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“Who Pays?” survey finds more shops are researching OEM repair procedures

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Business Practices | Repair Operations
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Sixty-one percent (more than 3 in 5) of shops said in the latest “Who Pays for What?” survey that they are researching OEM repair procedures on “all” or “most” of the vehicles they repair.

That’s a nine percentage point gain since 2020. The survey was conducted in the spring by Collision Advice and CRASH Network. About 700 shops participated.

“It’s still not a high enough percentage because this must be done every time, but at least awareness of this vital step is increasing,” said Mike Anderson, Collision Advice president owner, in a news release. “OEM information is complex and can change. I recently wrote an estimate on three of the same year and model of vehicles but the alignment procedures and battery disconnect procedures were different based on trim levels and engine types.”

Nearly 17% of respondents acknowledged that they never or “only occasionally” research OEM procedures when preparing an estimate or repair plan — a percentage that has held steady since 2020, the release states.

The surveys have consistently found that about half of shops say the estimator or repair planner primarily researches OEM procedures while another 35% say an estimator and technician do it jointly.

The spring survey focused on frame and mechanical operations.

“As we see ADAS become more prevalent, it is critical to pre-measure the vehicle because any minor misalignments can affect the ADAS accuracy,” Anderson wrote in the survey report. “I believe pre-measuring a vehicle to diagnose the damage has become as critical as pre-repair scanning of a vehicle. Nissan/Infiniti, for example, has a position statement on this, and the OEM repair procedures for some Honda vehicles state that rear damage requires that the entire vehicle be measured.”

“While the percentage of shops getting reimbursed for this has been increasing for the past few years, just 37% being paid regularly is still very, very concerning,” Anderson wrote. “We need to WAKE UP on this one. This is a non-negotiable procedure. EVERY OEM states that we need to do this (though the actual testing process itself will vary by OEM). If your techs aren’t doing this, don’t delay, get them doing it today!”

“The ADAS in today’s vehicles are reliant on proper suspension alignment as well as steering angle sensors.” Anderson said. “This procedure is something we expect to become more prevalent in the future.”

The full survey results and previous survey results are available here.

This quarter’s “Who Pays for What?” survey is now open through the end of July. It focuses on not-included body labor operations. Shops can take the survey here. The survey can be completed in about 15 minutes by anyone familiar with their shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of at least some of the largest national insurers. Each shop’s individual responses aren’t made public; only aggregated data is released.

Survey participants receive a free report with complete survey findings, analysis, and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented.


Featured stock photo credit: standret/iStock

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