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Stacey Phillips

Stacey Phillips photoStacey Phillips is a freelance writer for the automotive industry based in Southern California. She has 20 years of experience as an editor including writing in a number of businesses and fields.


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Wednesday, 15 May 2019 16:52

The Best Body Shops’ Tips: Volkswagen-Audi Collision Program Manager Advises Industry on Reliable Repair

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2019 Jetta 2019 Jetta Volkswagen



“There are going to be definite requirements from the manufacturer on how this car is repaired,” he said.


Audi ensures these requirements are being followed and technicians are trained, tooled and have the proper equipment through the car manufacturer’s certified network.


Ninety-five percent of attendees who were part of the Guild 21 podcast responded to a survey where they concluded that vehicles are unique and require individual repair plans.


Repair Procedures


When asked about Volkswagen’s position statement in regard to scanning vehicles, Wideman said the car manufacturer includes this information in the repair literature.


“Our major concern as a manufacturer is that not enough repair facilities are researching and accessing the repair literature on a consistent basis,” he said. “A pre-scan is obviously good for repair planning. It makes sense and will lead to a better estimate being written more accurately, and therefore cut out the possibilities of surprises at the end of a repair, which can lead to increased cycle time and vehicle rental time.”


While pre-scanning is a logical approach to good repair planning, post-repair scanning is essentially a requirement, according to Wideman, and is found in the repair literature.


As he travels to facilities throughout Canada, he often encounters repairers putting on exterior panels that have been plug welded, which does not follow the Volkswagen procedures. With the increasing level of high-strength steel being used on vehicles today, Wideman has serious concerns that the welds could compromise the integrity of the vehicle due to heat. As a result, he said a fundamental step that technicians need to consider is managing that heat.


Wideman pointed to the current generation of Audi A8 to demonstrate the specific methodologies on how a car needs to be addressed. Launched a few months ago, the vehicle uses seven different substrates and includes a carbon fiber rear assembly section that covers the rear seats.


He then offered an example where looks can be deceiving. What initially looked like a rear bumper and taillight casement repair with an Audi R8, ultimately needed a complete rear cradle assembly, because the car took a significant hit.

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