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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



“These vehicles are engineered and designed to withstand incredible forces,” said Wideman. “If this had gone to a facility that wasn’t trained and certified, perhaps that would have been overlooked.”


In this case, if the car happened to be in a second collision, Wideman said the results could be catastrophic and this is something that all stakeholders want to avoid.


“There are concerns we have as manufacturers that the cars aren’t ending up at the proper facility,” said Wideman. “That is where we need to work together with all stakeholders to make sure that those vehicles are addressed properly.”


New Technology


Wideman also discussed the impact of new technology on repairers and the industry in general, especially related to Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS). 


When looking at repair literature today, Wideman said it gives ample warnings about the importance of being aware of the technology included in the car. For example, if a vehicle with the lane assist feature was in a collision and the rear bumper had been removed and then reinstalled, calibration is required.


“This is becoming more of a critical step in the repair process for our vehicles, as well as for multiple manufacturers,” said Wideman. “The way you have been repairing a car a month ago could have changed.”


As a result, he stressed the importance of reviewing the repair literature for every repair each and every time.


In another example, Wideman said he is often asked why Volkswagen requires a four-wheel alignment as part of the calibration process. The front camera comes as an optional device in these vehicles and Wideman said the thrust angle of the car is absolutely critical to start the calibration process.


“If that is not correct, we would have a system that wouldn’t be functioning properly,” he said. “Just one degree of misalignment of that front camera means that at a distance of 130 m, it will be reading the car in front a complete lane to the left.”


He encouraged attendees to think about the implications in these types of situations when a consumer is relying on the technology that is supposed to be operational, yet it has not been looked at post-repair.

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