Two representatives from AirPro Diagnostics led the Southern California Autobody Association (CAA) meeting on Wednesday, March 20 at The Phoenix Club in Anaheim, CA.
Michael Quinn, SVP of business development, and Frank LaViola, vice president of sales and marketing, flew in from out of state to discuss the importance of pre-scanning and post-scanning proper repairs to ensure customers and their families are safe once again and the vehicle will respond in any subsequent accident as the manufacturers engineered.
Quinn and LaViola gathered relevant information from AirPro customer surveys, Society of Collision Repair Specialists, Mike Anderson, Automotive Service Association, Mitchell and other sources for the presentation.
The speakers described their product as a true OEM-compliant, dealer-level remote scanning and calibration solution that is advanced driver assist systems (ADAS)-ready. It has been approved by Honda, General Motors and Subaru, with more OEMs in the process of signing on.
The meeting began with networking at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. Speaker introductions, led by Melanie Allan, CAA SoCal president and Craftsman Collision VP of business development and sales, began around 7 p.m. Quinn took the podium first.
Quinn started his portion of the slideshow with statistics on the “Technical Tsunami” that has engulfed the collision repair industry.
According to Ward’s Auto, cited on Quinn’s first slide, ADAS and advanced electronics, such as rear cameras, rear parking sensors and lane departure warning systems, were installed in the majority of the 17 million vehicles manufactured in 2018.
It is necessary for body shops to scan because it is “simply not possible” for a vehicle to illuminate a warning light for all of these different systems and codes, stated Quinn.
Performing pre-scans and post-scans on every collision-damaged vehicle is a mandatory procedure for many OEMs, he added. However, less than 3 percent of body shops employ qualified OEM-trained diagnosticians. And not just any scan tool will do: 92 percent of tools sold today do not cover all 2019 model vehicles, according to Quinn.
“Recent court decisions have held collision shops liable for the processes, parts and procedures they use during the course of damage repair,” said Quinn. “An improper repair can come back to haunt a shop years later, like with the Honda Fit [John Eagle Collision case].”
Quinn added that much of the liability exposure stems from a shop using outdated or improper repair procedures.
“Technology also plays a role,” he said. “Modern ADAS systems, such as adaptive cruise control, lane keep, blind spot monitoring and other systems using cameras, sonar, radar and LIDAR sensors require calibration after replacement or repair.
“Even a minor collision can cause damage to these systems because they are not protected by ultra-high strength steel enclosures, but rather located right on the exterior of the vehicle.”
This is why a comprehensive estimating process now demands a pre-repair scan of the vehicle to identify any trouble codes and a post-repair scan to verify that these systems are all functioning properly, explained Quinn.
Quinn then shared a slide on what is included and not-included in pre-scans and post- scans.
“Scan” included operations:
• Locating the keys, vehicle and repair order
• Moving the vehicle to a designated area
• Running the vehicle long enough to reach operating temperature (note: antilock brake controllers can be temperature-sensitive)
• Locating and connecting battery support
• Locating and connecting scan tool
• Cycling the key
• Submit the scan request (which includes data entry of items like the vehicle and collision information)
• Reviewing the scan report
“Scan” not-included operations:
• Resetting and clearing stored faults
• Testing and diagnostics
• Liftgate / door relearns
• Adjusting passenger seat for seat weight sensor
• Test-driving the vehicle in accordance with the OEM’s repair procedures
• “Wiggle” test wiring harness to uncover short or ohm change on readings of live data
• Fuel level
• Check / adjust Tire Pressure
• Wheel speed sensors: through live data, voltage signal can be inspected - if faulty sensor is suspected shop may need to R&I wheel and inspect wheel sensors (common on suspension damage)
• Rear parking sensors: start vehicle and have a second person walk behind vehicle to ensure integrity of sensors
• ‘360 Camera’s: start vehicle and have a second person walk around vehicle to ensure integrity of sensors
• Initialization of modules
• Reprogramming of modules
• 4W Alignment BEFORE any steering angle sensor calibration or ADAS calibrations
• ADAS Calibrations
• Calibrations of radar
• Calibrations of sensors
• Calibrations of cameras
• Calibration of 360 camera systems
• Calibration of adaptive headlamps
• Calibration of seat weight sensor – SWS
• Calibration of forward-looking cameras
Quinn indicated this list is not all-inclusive and will grow as vehicle complexity increases. He concluded his portion by sharing several examples of vehicles that require complex procedures for seemingly simple repairs, such as the 2017 Honda HRV.
“Simple repairs such as replacing a passenger mirror may now require software updates, lane departure calibration, marrying-in and functional tests to confirm proper operation,” he added.
LaViola began the second half of the presentation by reviewing specific OEM requirements for scanning. For example, pre-scans and post-scans are required for Subaru vehicles model year 2004 and beyond that have been involved in a collision. Ford Motor Company also requires pre-scans and post-scans for vehicles model year 2010 and beyond. Several other major OEMs, including General Motors and American Honda, require scans for all vehicles involved in a collision, regardless of model year.
LaViola then shared questions, answers and comments from Mike Anderson’s “Who Pays for What?” survey and a survey of AirPro customers.
According to the results, only 21 percent of shops perform post-repair scans on every vehicle. Fifty-three percent of shops stated this is because “the level of damage does not warrant a post-scan.”
Eighty-seven percent utilize OEM position statements and 57.4 percent utilize I-CAR information to receive compensation for scans.
Forty percent of shops feel only half the adjusters they encounter understand the importance of scanning vehicles.
LaViola shared Mike Anderson’s “keys to reimbursement”:
• Research each vehicle based on the build data and that specific vehicle’s safety and comfort option
• Determine what is fair and reasonable - This can vary based on the OEM scan tool and the amount of fault codes or DTCs
• Determine what is included versus what is not included in your labor time
• It is not just about scanning! Think calibrations, initializations, relearns, etc.
• Understand the key search terms in the OEM repair procedures
• Build a repair plan you can defend: - Use photos, line notes and OEM repair procedures; capture freeze frame data (aka snap shot data, key cycles, etc.); measurements – scans and alignments
LaViola also discussed his purchasing criteria for scanning tools. At a minimum, he said, every shop should own an “OBD-II Enhanced” scan tool that is connected directly to the vehicle with the OEM software resident at the vehicle or “local,” as required by GM. The AirPro system can perform pre-scanning, post-scanning, programming, flashing, basic system calibrations and ADAS calibrations and includes a cloud-based diagnostic management system, among several other features.
LaViola’s presentation also included survey results from shops currently using AirPro services. In addition to insurance companies providing reimbursement for the AirPro invoice, 46 percent of shops said they were paid 25 percent or more markup. Sixty-seven percent of shops were reportedly compensated at a mechanical labor rate, while 39.6 percent were compensated at a body labor rate. Around 70 percent of shops also reported being reimbursed for a half-hour of labor for both pre-scans and post-scans.
According to the survey comments, some insurance companies do pay a full hour of labor. Lastly, almost 31 percent of shops reported that scanning, in-house programming and calibrations with the AirPro tool reduced their cycle time by two days, followed closely by 25 percent that stated it improved cycle time by more than two days.
LaViola and Quinn concluded by sharing their contribution to the Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) and encouraging others to get involved. CIF aids industry members affected by natural disasters and other crises. To learn more, visit www.collisionindustryfoundation.org.