In response to a growing number of instances where
insurance carriers have limited claims settlements for either
"tinting" or "blending" individually, but not reimbursed
for the operations mutually, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) polled the refinish manufacturers on tint and blend procedures and posted their responses on its
website to help repairers substantiate the processes they undertake to perform proper and undetectable refinish repairs.
SCRS asked the following four questions of the refinish
1. Is blending the basecoat recommended by your company
to achieve proper color match between panels?
2. Is tinting the basecoat material a recommended
procedure to achieve a proper color match to the vehicle’s existing refinish?
3. Are procedures such as tinting and blending commonly
performed in conjunction with each other, or are they redundant processes?
4. Does your company recommend performing one, or both,
of these processes to achieve a proper color match on the repaired vehicle?
The SCRS said that the overall conclusions from the
responses were consistent with SCRS’s position on this issue: that research of
the color code and existing variations provided by the refinish manufacturer
and blending of the color coat are both recommended operations to perform an
acceptable match. Also, if the refinish technician performing the repair
determines that the color variance requires adjustment, it’s a consistent
recommendation to tint to a blendable match. Finally, when tinting is necessary
for color adjustment, it’s always done in conjunction with blending.
SCRS has posted the responses from each refinish
manufacturer on its website (click HERE).
SCRS researched this topic due to feedback received from
its membership. The initial notification came from membership in the Northeast
and indicated that several large-size carriers had made the determination
on "tint or blend" within a relatively short time period of one another and had begun to implement
the approach within the marketplace.
Upon polling other markets, SCRS discovered that the
practice was growing across the country.
"In our refinish department, it’s not unusual to
both tint and blend the paint to achieve a proper color match," said
Shannon Chambers, head painter at Dingman’s Collision Center in Omaha, Neb. "In talking
with our estimators, I know they’re getting more and more pressure to reduce
the estimate costs, but these are operations that I have to perform to live up
to our customer’s expectations of our shop. In addition to the tinting and
blending, I have more time spent than ever researching the color tools and
indexes that we have; these are steps that I have to go through if I want to do
repairs the right way."
"The insurance companies that aren’t willing to pay
for the necessary operations like these are trying to lower the industry
standard simply because it adds to their bottom line," said Kye Yeung,
owner and head painter for European Motor Car Works in Santa Ana, Calif.
"If they were interested in raising the standard, they would spend more
time listening to the craftsmen in our industry without the need for all this additional
labor and documentation.
"The key element we’re dealing with is that you have a ‘recipe’ to make a certain
color rendition. All the manufacturers have different raw materials, and you
often have to adjust to compensate for minor differences in those raw materials.
Especially in areas where we’re now painting with water and working on vehicles
originally painted with solvent, it’s important to understand the
materials, how they react to one another and the processes we need to
undergo to achieve that color match.
"For 20 years, operations like this weren’t an
issue, and yet suddenly you get insurance adjusters coming in stating they
aren’t allowed to pay for it anymore, even though they could yesterday.
Customers today are far more particular about their vehicles, with the majority
of them being concerned about the color matching after the repair. The refinish
work is one of the primary results of our labor that they can actually see. In
my mind, color tinting and blending are necessary operations that can’t be
Read paint manufacturers’ response to SCRS’s questions on tint or blend