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What Collision Repairers Have Learned from 2017

Let’s hope the new year gives us a new perspective on the way we’re doing repairs.

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Jason Stahl has 26 years of experience as an editor, and has been editor of BodyShop Business for the past 14 years. He currently is a gold pin member of the Collision Industry Conference. Jason, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from John Carroll University and started his career in journalism at a weekly newspaper, doing everything from delivering newspapers to selling advertising space to writing articles.

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Well, it’s December 2017, and the year is almost over. I look back and see one of the biggest and sobering stories of the year: the John Eagle lawsuit.

I remember years back that someone said it would take government intervention to fix the collision industry’s issues, but be careful what you wish for. Or, that some politician’s child would have to suffer a horrific injury or death in an accident involving a vehicle that was improperly repaired in order to open legislators’ eyes.

The John Eagle case has shown us the importance of following the repair guidelines of the OE, the entity that engineered the vehicle. That today’s vehicles are not your father’s or grandfather’s vehicles, and thus repair methods have changed and the need for continual training has increased. That we as the repair experts must repair the vehicle properly as we see fit and not how the insurer wants it done.

Read Mitch Becker’s article on welding on pg. 68 of the December 2017 issue of BodyShop Business. Most body shops still aren’t doing test welds before welding on the vehicle. This has to change. You may follow the OE’s procedures, and the weld looks nice, but is it structurally sound? Is your welding machine working properly?

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Let’s hope the new year gives us a new perspective on the way we’re doing repairs.

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