During a Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) meeting in Indianapolis, two board members highlighted the post-accident safety inspections called for in many automakers’ repair procedures.
Montana shop owner Bruce Halcro and Oregon shop owner Ron Reichen gave a presentation that focused on the safety inspections that Subaru calls for after one of its vehicles has been in a collision.
“These are physical inspections, not something that’s included in a pre- or post-repair scan,” Reichen said. “They basically ask that you do some disassembly so you can visually look at cage nuts that are mounted in certain areas [such as seatbelt anchors], to see if there is any stretching or stress points, or if there’s any wiring that may have been pulled [in a way that could lead to] connection or connectivity issues, especially in supplemental restraint systems.”
The wiring may function well enough to get a clear scan, Reichen said, but if it’s stretched, frayed or only partially connected, road vibration could lead it to fail, possibly leading to a failed airbag system.
“That’s why it’s so critical,” Reichen said.
Halcro agreed that some of the required inspections are “intense,” potentially requiring 15 to 20 labor hours.
“You’re actually pulling out the dash, and checking the wiring underneath the dash, the connectors,” Halcro said. “There’s a safety beam under there that we take photos of to document in the file that we inspected all that.”
Halcro’s and Reichen’s shops have each earned Subaru certification. They said Subaru’s online repair procedures include various checklists for the safety inspections based on the vehicle model, the area of the vehicle impacted, whether airbags deployed, etc.
Both shop owners said that because some Subaru dealers in their area do not have body shops, they have had to educate service advisors at those dealerships about the safety inspections that are part of the OEM collision repair procedures.
“Because they’re going to get called,” Halcro said. “The adjuster may talk to the dealer, and then tells us the dealer doesn’t know anything about it. A lot of times that’s true. They don’t know about it because they’re not doing collision repair.”