Repairer's Inquiry Nets More Time for BMW 3 Series Quarter Install - BodyShop Business

Repairer’s Inquiry Nets More Time for BMW 3 Series Quarter Install

Oklahoma shop owner gets IP to increase labor time, but says repairers must access OEM repair procedures to do proper repair.

An Oklahoma body shop owner has succeeded in getting an increase of 30 percent in labor time from an information provider (IP) on the additional operations it takes to install a quarter panel on a BMW 3 Series vehicle. But he cautions that not just any repairer can or should share in this bounty, however.

Gary Wano of G.W. and Son Auto Body, Inc., in Oklahoma City, visited the Database Enhancement Gateway ( and submitted a “Request for Review” regarding the 50 additional steps it takes to install a quarter panel on a BMW 3 Series when following the automaker’s procedures. The IP accepted the 50-plus steps he itemized, which resulted in an increase of 30 percent in labor for the installation. The problem, Wano says, is that the IP did not publish specifics on why the change was necessary.

Wano says he is concerned that the IP did not mention that repairers should not weld the replacement quarter per the manufacturer’s guidelines – even though the original panel was welded at the BMW assembly plant. The IP also didn’t point out the added equipment, supplies or operations it takes to install this quarter. For example, the type of rivet or rivet count; the part number; the amount of BMW bonding agent needed; the BMW punch rivet (self-piercing rivet) applicator needed; the K1 and K5 bonding applicator guns needed; or the process to follow at the sectioning point.

“Based on the new allocation and lack of minimal operational explanation, shops as a whole are going to think they hit a jackpot when installing a complete quarter on a BMW 3 Series,” says Wano. “The concern I have is if the insurer agrees a quarter install is required, and the IP somehow substantiates they allowed for the additional processes, when this repair fails due to lack of operational premise, who’s responsible? I wouldn’t call the IP information a half truth, but since it doesn’t give any indication of the repair complexity, I tend to wonder if the deck is not stacked against us.”

Wano explained that one of the reasons BMW reduced the amount of aftersales welding was to protect the vehicle from corrosion. BMW offers vehicle owners a 12-year corrosion proof warranty.

“What happens when corrosion occurs or a subsequent collision occurrence uncovers the ill install?” says Wano. “You received the additional labor allocation, even though you did not apply the additional operational steps. You know where the blame will be placed! If repairers do not get into the habit of pulling the OEM repair procedures on everything when they repair today’s cars, they’ll expose themselves to liability.

“Just be careful, nothing is free! I caution repairers that, in today’s market, ignorance is not bliss. In fact, ignorance could cost someone their life – and all that we’ve worked so hard to build. I love to see labor allocation increases, but make sure you know all you need to know before you accept the increase in procedures of today’s technologically advanced auto designs and still repair the vehicle with yesterday’s procedures. The life you’re jeopardizing may be the life of your business.”

More information:

Database Enhancement Gateway

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