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BMW expands structural parts restrictions to include aluminum

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Collision Repair
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BMW has expanded its structural parts restriction, and will only sell certain aluminum parts to authorized repairers or facilities that have undergone special training and acquired the right tools.

The OEM said in a bulletin last Thursday that new additions to its restricted parts list include:

    • X5 / X5M (G05 / F95) structural aluminum;
    • 5’ / M5 (G30 / F90) structural aluminum;
    • 5’ / i5 (G60) structural aluminum;
    • iX (I20) structural carbon fiber;
    • XM (G09) structural aluminum;

“Due to complexity of repair and the requirement of highly specialized tools, training, & repair procedures, BMW of North America restricts the provision of [these parts],” the automaker said in its bulletin. “Only collision centers that successfully complete specific training requirements and who possess the required tooling will be approved [for] the provision of restricted structural parts.”

For businesses that aren’t already certified, BMW requires them to complete a carbon fiber structural repair course, or BMWi body repair levels two and three, and specified tools to receive the restricted carbon fiber parts. For structural aluminum parts, they must take either bonding and riveting techniques and aluminum structural repair courses, or BMWi body repair levels two and three.

The tools deemed necessary by the automaker are listed below.

Andrew Batenhorst, repair center manager at Pacific BMW Collision Center, said the announcement is good news for the industry as it will help ensure vehicles are safely returned to their original condition following a crash.

“It gives the customer peace of mind that the car is at the right facility being repaired with the properly trained technicians with the correct tools,” Batenhorst told Repairer Driven News. “Something that BMW has stressed to us is that you don’t have to be certified to gain access to these parts. If you have BMW training and buy the tooling yourself, you can be certified to gain access to those parts.

“Yes, these parts are restricted, but you don’t have to go through the whole certification process of being a full CCRC like some of us are. There’s still an avenue for you to go down to work on these cars safely and do what you need to do.”

The latest bulletin adds to an earlier BMW bulletin from July 2021 notifying facilities that it was enacting a new ordering and approval process for certain carbon fiber parts “to ensure the repair facility purchasing the restricted part is properly equipped and trained to perform the repair.”

In that bulletin, BMW said that in order to obtain one of the nearly 75 parts now on the restricted list, the repair facility must supply the parts dealer with photos of the VIN sticker, photos of the damaged parts being replaced, and a copy of the repair estimate along with the repair facility name, address, phone, and email address.

The parts dealer would then submit all of the information to BMW, who will confirm whether or not the repair facility has the proper tooling and training, and either approve or reject the parts order.

BMW said in its latest memo that the ordering process hasn’t changed and that facilities seeking the parts should email

It’s not known whether any additional parts restricted are expected from BMW, although RDN has heard that it’s planning to roll out additional rules for its structural steel parts in the future.


Featured image courtesy of Cineberg/iStock

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