NO ONE BUT OEMS WRITING PROCEDURES

During a panel discussion at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) last month, Darrell Amberson of LaMettry's Collision in Minnesota, said he's seen collision repairers sometimes questioning OEM procedures, just as some insurers do. "There are those who in some cases may not be educated and believe the way they have been doing things works fine," Amberson said. "There are those who question the manufacturers. I frequently hear comments like, 'They are just looking after themselves,' or 'They come up with policies that are over-the-top so therefore we don't have to give too much credibility to them.'" But panelist John Eck of General Motors said following OEM procedures makes sense because the only alternative is "leaving it to every man, woman and child to figure that out for themselves." "Is there anybody else writing repair procedures for GM vehicles," Eck asked rhetorically. "Anyone that is tearing these cars apart, testing different weld techniques? What are the alternative procedures?" Eck said some attempts to legislate at a state level the use of OEM procedures have incorporated the issue with limits on the use of non-OEM parts, but he sees the two as distinct issues. (The Automotive Service Association and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers say they plan to push for OEM procedure legislation in some states next year but have not said whether limits on non-OEM parts use will be part of that effort.) "In my world, those are two different things," Eck said. "Repair procedures are how you fix the car; parts are about what you're putting on”.