Not All Collision Repairs Are Alike

The "Alberta Insurance Council - Insight June 2008" reports that the new materials being used as structural components in vehicles is causing issues relating to manufacturer specific repair procedure. "Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC), Alberta Apprenticeship and Alberta Transportation have become aware that some businesses are representing themselves to consumers as being able to do repairs for which they do not have the necessary equipment, tools or expertise. For example, many car manufacturers are using boron steel. It is an ultra high strength steel and is so hard that the "jaws of life" used by fire departments cannot cut through it! Conventional repair methods will not property fix a vehicle with boron steel components after an accident."

You need to be aware of what your vehicle has for components. It can be boron steel, carbon fibre, aluminum or magnesium/aluminum compositions. You need to verify that the repair facility is properly trained and equipped to do the repairs.

"Boron cannot be pulled, heated, straightened or repaired in the same way as traditional steel. Once damaged, it must be replaced. Replacing damaged boron steel components requires high compression and heat using a squeeze type resistance spot welding. Long-established welding methods do not work on boron steel."

AMVIC is requesting the assistance of new vehicle sellers to make their customers aware of these requirements. Some manufacturers have gone to the extent of controlling who can purchase replacement parts in an effort to protect consumers. These manufacturers will only sell to particular properly equipped and trained repair facilities.

AMVIC is working towards educating the insurance companies about the requirements of certain vehicles for repair. These vehicles are more expensive to repair.

"AMVIC reminds its licensees that it is an offense under the Fair Trading Act to "make any representation to a consumer that the business has the ability to install equipment or perform a particular repair or service unless the business has the equipment, tools and expertise necessary to complete the installation, repair or service".


See Also:

  • Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council
  • Canada Safety Council
  • Fair Trading Act
  • Consumers Association of Canada