Neither of the points above should hopefully be revelations to a collision repair professional, but they might be useful in explaining to a Farmers adjuster or policyholder why you need to perform scanning or calibration. The interviews with Anderson and Rodenroth, conversely, should provide an auto body business owner or technician with deeper insights.
Poirier’s answers at times do seem to muddle fairly straightforward manufacturer instructions and best practices related to diagnostics, similar to recent “case-by-case”-type comments from State Farm and GEICO. On the other hand, all three insurers’ acknowledgement of situations where scanning would be required at least allow a shop or customer to challenge mistaken “we don’t pay for that” stances by adjusters.
Poirier calls OEM position statements “very broad” and said the collision repair industry needs to be “patient” while unspecified people within the industry worked to “develop procedures surrounding it (scanning).”
If Poirier’s referring to the discussion over what’s a fair charge for it, then that’s certainly still being worked out. (And even that won’t be one-size-fits-all — some subletting will be inevitable unless a shop has five or six figures worth of scan tools.) Anderson says as much in one video, predicting labor times coming from the information providers soon.
Asked about the importance of diagnostics on a scale of 1-10, Poirier also says that one repair might be a 10 because of a “severe enough collision” with electronic systems involved, while another would be “very little,” such as a scratch on a fender “where there would possibly be no reason to do a scan on the vehicle.”
“Every situation is unique,” he tells I-CAR moderator Karen Kirchenbauer.
However, Poirier encouraged shops to approach scanning like any other repair and do their research, advice which if followed should provide a shop with the documentation needed to support their charges.
Featured image: A Farmers representative agrees on a new I-CAR video series that failure to properly calibrate a car “could put the customer at risk” or at least lead to vehicle issues. (Screenshot from I-CAR YouTube video)