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Pre & Post Scanning: State of the Debate

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Toronto, Ontario — June 28, 2018 —  As the technical complexity of vehicles has blossomed in the era of driver-assist functions pre-and post-repair scanning has become a hot topic. OEMs have come out with official guidelines about the need to run diagnostic checks, though, not every manufacturer has done so, and that has might have some wondering—what is the real state of the scan debate?

A week and a half ago Kia became the latest OEM to issue official guidance on scans. Recognizing that ADAS features laden modern cars with all kinds of sensors, cameras, and computers that were not part of the industry even five years ago, Kia is another manufacturer that felt the need to release an official statement on scanning.

According to the statement Kia considers pre and post-diagnostic checks an “essential task.” Or, as the press release put it, “After a collision has occurred, it is imperative to perform both pre-repair and post-repair scan procedures within all the systems to test for potential diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs)…

The Kia notice is in line with other OEM statements that have been released over the last two years. This past winter Honda Canada also released a statement unequivocal in its demand that all Honda and Acura vehicles involved in a collision must be scanned and calibrated, regardless of age.

At the time the company noted that as the number of digital functions in a modern vehicle has exploded (the new Pacifica minivan has 200 computers) not all internal Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) are funneled up to a warning light on the dash. The dashboard warning lights, obviously, are for functions important to the driver only. Today, the only way to discover whether all DTCs have been addressed is through a proper scan of the cars OBD-II port. As the Honda Canada position statement puts it, “The scanning procedure should not be considered an option, but rather as an essential task both during the pre-repair collision estimating phase and after the repairs are completed.”

Here in the era driver-assist a majority of the other OEMs have released similar statements, among them Subaru, Nissan, General Motors, FCA, Mercedes, and Toyota. But even companies that have not released an official position statement on scanning recommend it as a procedure. OEMs such as Audi and Ford have had representatives attend industry events where they express a need to run diagnostic scans. The MSO Symposium at NACE 2017 featured an address from the collision marketing manager of Ford who said that while Ford hadn’t released an official position statement on scanning, “it’s very clearly” a part of the company’s published repair procedures. “It absolutely should be done,” said the Ford exec.

Where these position statements differ is in the model year that needs to be scanned. Subaru, for example, suggests scanning should be done on everything dating back to 2004. Other OEMs indicate a need to scan back to the 1990s. In the case of Honda, the company said that every model back to 1996 needs to be scanned.

So it seems today that scanning is an expected part of the repair procedure, at least from the perspective of OEMs. But how many shops are actually doing scans on every repair? This is an interesting question.

Shops are able to bill for the process, and so this isn’t an added expense. That said, the investment in the equipment needed to do the scans is an expense, and that may be one of the reasons that it seems many shops (at least in the U.S.) have yet to get up to speed on this issue.

CCC Information Services carried out a survey on this question. According to the collision repair service provider, some 70 percent of vehicles on the road are from an OEM that has released an official statement requiring scans. So the vast majority of cars on the road are from a manufacturer that demands scanning as policy. Even so, according to a survey of data submitted through shop-based software, only 9 percent of shops had filled out the line item for scans when submitting job estimates to an insurance carrier.

Of course, in many shops, the scan may be performed (and charged for) without being broken out into its own line item. And so that number is likely lower than the reality. But as a statement from CCC suggests, “… the disparity does underscore how the industry is grappling with the when and why and how much for vehicle scans – something we can expect to hear more about as more vehicles are equipped with technology that requires this type of repair.”

That said, the CCC statement also notes that “… the number of scans has grown each quarter, however, and scans are being performed most on newer model year vehicles.” So it does seem the practice is becoming more common. Which it must if the industry is to keep up with the rapid pace of technological advances taking place in the modern auto industry.

It is common today to hear car industry executives say that more advances in vehicle technology have taken place in the last five years than in the eighty years previous. But as vehicle complexity continues to skyrocket, so to is the task of repairing those that have been in a collision–proper handling of diagnostics is going to be a part of the remarkable evolution in auto tech happening today.

Reflecting the new and emerging nature of the modern collision repair industry, this past April, at the spring CIC meeting, the Emerging Technologies Committee of the CIC, proposed a fascinating definition for a new role that may emerge in the collision repair shop of the very near future: Advanced Driver-Assist and Safety-Systems Tech.

According to the committee, this new position would be, “an automotive technician skilled in computer functions, advanced diagnostic equipment, and new vehicle technologies.” This “future tech” would also be knowledgeable, “… in OEM repair procedures, having mechanical aptitude and qualifications, with a primary focus on (SRS) supplemental restraint system and (ADAS) advanced driver-assistance systems.”

As the auto world evolves at breakneck speed, there is a new and more sophisticated collision repair industry coming into view—proper scanning policies are an early first step into this bright and shiny future.

AAA Technology Update: ADAS Sensor Calibration Increases Repair Costs

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ADAS Sensor Calibration Increases Repair Costs

AAA put out a technology update talking about increasing repair costs and what it means for shops and customers. We found it not only had useful and engaging content, but the graphics and illustrations used to describe ADAS technologies and functionalities were clear and educational. Find the article here.



OEM Position Statements

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The below information are the Position Statements from the vehicle manufacturers who have issued position statements on pre- and post-repair vehicle scanning.  It includes statements from GM, Honda, Honda Canada, Infiniti, Mercedes, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota.

GM Position Statements: 10/2016
• Pre- and Post-Scan of Collision Vehicles

Honda American Position Statements 07/2016
Post-Collision Diagnostic Scan and Calibration Requirements for Honda and Acura Vehicles

Honda Canada Position Statements 08/2016
• Post-Collision Diagnostic Scan and Calibration Requirements for Honda and Acura Vehicles

Infiniti Position Statements 09/2016
• Pre- and Post-Repair System Scanning/September 15, 2016/Reference: IPSB-16- 397

Mercedes Position Statements
• MBUSA Collision Position Statement
re: Diagnostic Repairs Following a Collision

Nissan Position Statements 06/2016
• Collision Position Statements

Subaru Position Statements 07/2017
• Pre- and Post-Scanning of Collision Vehicles

Toyota Position Statements 06/2016
• Scanning for Electrical System Faults

Mopar Position Statements 

Scan Tool Position Statement[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]

TSB: Dodge Blind Spot

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 Dodge Blind Spot

This bulletin applies to 2013 Dodge Charger vehicles built between April 22, 2012, and Dec. 22, 2012, equipped with Blind Spot and Cross Path Detection.

The owner may experience the blind spot indicator in either outside mirror flashing or on continuously. The technician may find no DTCs present.

Using a scan tool (wiTECH), verify that no Blind Spot Monitor DTCs are present. If DTCs are found, record and repair as needed.

Install a battery charger to prevent battery voltage from dropping below 13.2 volts or above 13.5 volts during the flash process.

1. Using the wiTECH, check the part number of the LBSS and RBSS.

2. Does the part number end with “AB”? If yes, proceed to Step 3. If no, this bulletin does not apply. Perform normal diagnostics.

3. Flash reprogram the LBSS and RBSS. For instructions, select the HELP tab and HELP CONTENTS. This will open the Welcome to wiTECH Help screen where help topics can be selected.

4. Clear any DTCs that may have set in other modules.


CIC Meeting Morning Recap at SEMA

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Oct. 31, 2017 — The Collision Industry Conference (CIC) kicked off today at the Renaissance Hotel on day one of SEMA.

The meeting began with remarks by CIC Chairman, Guy Bargnes and a presentation from the Collision Industry Foundation on its disaster efforts with recent hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The Insurer-Repairer Relations Committee created a brief presentation on “OEM Procedure Issues” that featured I-CAR’s Director, Jason Bartanen discussing the I-CAR Reapirability Technical Support (RTS) portal.

The tool features information on many different car manufacturers and allows shops to tap into OEM repair procedures. It also includes information on 2018 vehicle technology and trends, GM company collision repair overview, understanding Volkswagen collision repair overview, etc.

Later in the discussion was addressing dash light certifications featuring Matthew McDonnell, owner of Big Sky Collision and Barry Dorn of Dorn’s Body and Paint.

McDonnell did a study last year in his shop on over 200 cars to test how many trouble codes that were appearing in vehicles were accident related, repair related and what codes appeared when the vehicle left the shop.

He found that only 3.5 percent of codes were damage related when a vehicle comes into his shop. But McDonnell added that codes that are unrelated to damage are a great way for repairers and insurers to build a relationship.

You take the information of the code and go to the insurer or bill payer and find a plan to go about such a situation.

“It builds trust,” he says.

After he started doing pre and post scans back in September of 2016,  found that while a car may show codes that aren’t related, once you disassemble, the codes can change.

After the panel discussion, Chris Evans, co-chair of CIC updated the crowd on their glossary initiative. The glossary of terms, which was last updated in 1997 with only 31 pages, now has a current draft on the CIC website that is 62 pages of updated information.

New sections include, general automotive part definitions, automotive scanning diagnostics, calibration and programming and a CIECA glossary.
The morning ended with an overview of the collision industry in Australia and New Zealand from the Consulting Editor of The National Collision Repairer, David Newton-Ross.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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Many of our potential customers have the same questions.  Technicians need to know what they will need on location, what type of scans the AirPro will complete and how it will stay charged.    We always have someone available to answer any other questions that you may have.

What is required for the AirPro to work at our location?    You will need an established long-range Wi-Fi connection for the fastest connection time and battery support for the vehicle for the AirPro to be able to connect.  The AirPro can connect to a cellular hotspot, however, this is not recommended.

How does the AirPro receive power and how long will it stay charged?  Depending on use the AirPro will stay charged for 3-6 hours.   The AirPro is charged by a standard charger that is provided by AirPro and will stay charged when not connected to it’s power source.  It is recommended that the AirPro be connected to the power source when not in use.

What are the type of scans and how long do they take?   AirPro can complete a Quick Scan, Inspection Scan, Diagnostic Scan, Completion Scan and a Follow-Up Scan.  These scans typically take anywhere between 3 to 30 minutes depending on the type of scan, manufacturer, and number of modules.

AirPro is also able to do programming on most vehicles and supports seat calibrations.  Programming is however limited with Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Mercedes, BMW, and Audi.

Repairer Driven News 10.2.2017- Texas auto body shop owes $31.5M for incorrect repair tied to fiery crash

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Texas auto body shop owes $31.5M for incorrect repair tied to fiery crash

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Business Practices | Legal | Repair Operations | Technology The Dallas-based shop was found responsible for 75 percent of the couple’s ordeal and the $42 million verdict the jury handed down Monday. The Dallas County jury attributed the other 25 percent of the blame to the other driver, according to notes taken by Tracy Law Firm spokesman Robert Riggs breaking down the verdict.

“I didn’t think that they were going to award the plaintiffs with that much money,” said Auto Body Association of Texas Executive Director Jill Tuggle, who watched closing arguments Friday and was present for the verdict Monday. “I thought that the defense made a pretty good case for planting some seed of doubt.”

The verdict was 10-2, an acceptable split under Texas law so long as the same 10 jurors agree on every part of the verdict and damages.

As various multimillion-dollar awards for separate injuries were read, “jaws were just dropping” on the plaintiff’s side of the court, Tuggle said. She called it “pretty intense.”

Interviewed after the trial, the two dissenting jurors said they thought John Eagle should have shouldered 99 percent of the responsibility, and “they wanted to offer more money,” Todd Tracy, who represented plaintiffs Matthew and Marcia Seebachan, said Monday afternoon.

“I think it was vindication for them,” Tracy said of his clients’ reaction to the verdict. He said they had always wondered why their Fit’s roof behaved as it had in the collision. Tracy said talks were underway regarding a potential settlement (which might be more desirable to the plaintiffs than what could be a long and expensive appeals process).

“I anticipate a resolution of this thing favorably,” Tracy said, describing the possibility of John Eagle Collision and his firm working together on crash testing.

Contacted for comment about the verdict, an attorney for John Eagle Collision on Monday said a joint press release with Tracy’s Tracy Law Firm would be coming Tuesday.

According to Tracy, one of the jurors interviewed after the trial observed that John Eagle Collision had made a business decision to panel-bond the roof instead of following Honda procedures, and so “‘we made a business decision for them.’”

The Seebachans had asked for $42 million, and the jury awarded all but about $34,000 of it. (Tracy wasn’t sure what $34,000 specifically was rejected.) The body shop had proposed $3.5 million instead.

“They gave us every dollar we asked for,” Tracy said.

The Tundra’s driver was not actually named as a defendant in this lawsuit. Tracy said “he paid his proceeds a long time ago.”

Crash and repair

The Seebachans were traveling in the Fit on a 75 mph stretch of road in 2013 when a 2010 Toyota Tundra in the other lane hydroplaned into their path, leading to the Fit striking the right front quarter of the Tundra in a T-bone collision.

Two of the Tundra’s occupants were uninjured, while the other was merely bruised. The Seebachans were seriously injured and trapped inside the burning Fit, which they had purchased without knowledge of the previous repair.

Experts for the plaintiffs said in court documents that the severity of the crash and the Seebachans’ injuries were the result of the body shop adhesive-bonding the Fit’s roof during a $8,500 hail repair in 2012 for the prior owner, a State Farm policyholder.

Honda OEM repair procedures demand a shop tack-weld the front and rear corner edges of the new roof and then perform a combination of two- and three-plate spot welds and MIG plug welds. (Editor’s note: All highlighting in hyperlinked documents done by Tracy Law Firm.)

“It can be seen that no welds are present,” wrote plaintiff’s expert Neil Hannemann, who inspected the Fit. “The (Z-)buckling of the cant rail is due to the lack of welding of the roof panel, which was designed to be welded on and acting as a shear panel for sharing crash loads.”[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8511″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]The defense had argued the substitution of the panel bonding agent was equally acceptable and the shop actually was ahead of Honda’s own engineers in making that determination.

“The Seebachan’s would likely have had only minor injuries if not for the faulty repair,” Hannemann wrote. “One must remember that a vehicle’s safety systems are like links in a chain. Each system must work together to ensure the other safety systems perform as designed. When the faulty structural repairs were made, the crashworthiness systems were all compromised.”

The 2010 Honda Fit has a “poor” Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 40 mph small-overlap crash test rating but a “good” 40 mph moderate-overlap crash-test rating.

“The 2010 Honda Fit was originally designed to provide structural and fuel system crashworthiness protection, which would prevent serious injuries to occupants in this foreseeable accident,” wrote Hannemann, an engineer who has worked on the Ford GT and Mercedes SLR. “In fact, the 2010 Honda Fit receives the highest rating from the IIHS for the moderate offset impact test, which is virtually identical in terms of crash forces to the subject accident.”

North Dakota State University Impact Biomechanical Laboratory director Mariusz Ziejewski concurred. The unibody car failed to properly distribute the energy around the couple, crushed their legs and trapped them inside the burning car, he wrote.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8512″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

OEM repair procedures

The jury thought OEM procedures were “absolutely paramount,” particularly given the shop’s recognition by I-CAR, which demands shops follow OEM procedures, according to Tracy.

“They found that that was absolutely critical,” Tracy said.

The affiliation of John Eagle Collision with an OEM dealership also was “a huge deal” to the jury in showing the shop have known better, according to Tracy.

Tracy felt the case showed any shop representing itself as certified would have to follow OEM procedures or in advance tell the customer it was going to repair the car incorrectly and secure permission to do so. (Which still might not protect it from a lawsuit, another attorney has observed.)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Find out about shop liability during Repairer Driven Education

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Learn what failing to follow OEM repair procedures could mean for your shop in court Nov. 2 at the OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Experts including Tracy will present “The Hidden Dangers of Vehicle Technology, Improper Repair Methodology and Your Liabilities.”  Space will be limited; early registration is encouraged. The session is part of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists Repairer Driven Education Series Oct. 30-Nov. 3. Register here for individual courses or here for the series pass package deal.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”8513″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]And if a shop doesn’t get certified by I-CAR, “we get them for just general incompetence,” Tracy predicted.

“They can’t win for losing,” he said.

Tuggle, who was present when the plaintiffs interviewed the jury in the hallway after the trial, said jurors felt an OEM “recommended procedure” still meant the the shop must fix the vehicle that way or “they assume full liability.”

“I don’t think the jury realized .. how big of a statement that was,” she said. Collision repair trade groups and I-CAR have all repeatedly stressed that OEM repair procedures are the standard — but still face resistance from insurers and other shops who treat them as merely suggestions.

“It’s interesting that there’s so much interpretation” in the collision repair field, Tuggle said, but “in the eyes of a consumer,” OEM recommendations are indeed requirements.

“We’ve got to take the word recommendation more seriously,” Tuggle said.

Meeting the jurors, plaintiffs

Tuggle said the jury was interested in justice for the Seebachans, not with trying to fix the collision repair industry. But she said she introduced herself, said repairers were watching the case closely, and “‘this will have a big impact on our industry.’”

“They thanked me,” Tuggle said. She said she got the impression her comments helped them feel like “‘I did the right thing’” with the verdict.

Tuggle called the case a tricky one for her as a trade group director. She hates to see a shop sued, but repairers seemed “mostly positive with the verdict today,” she said.

Shops can cite Seebachan v. John Eagle Collision to an insurer refusing to pay for the work to be done correctly and say, “‘If I don’t, this could happen to me,’” she said.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8514″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]In addition, seeing Matthew Seebachan in the courtroom “personifies the impact that we can have on people,” she said. Based on the jury’s damages, he endured and will experience the most pain and suffering,

She said she told Seebachan “our industry has used this for a learning experience” and “everyone’s listening now.” He and Marcia Seebachan both thanked her.


Matthew and Marcia Seebachan were seriously injured after their 2010 Honda Fit collided with a hydroplaning 2010 Toyota Tundra. (Provided by Tracy Law Firm via PRNewsFoto)

This graphic from the Tracy Law Firm compares where the original welds on a Honda Fit would be compared to the alleged absent welds on the Seebachans’ 2010 Fit. (Provided by Tracy Law Firm)

Ford GT engineer and plaintiff consultant Neil Hannemann wrote that in his expert opinion, the failure of the roof of the Seebachans’ 2010 Honda Fit during a crash compromised the overall structure and collision energy management of the vehicle — contributing to the Seebachans being trapped inside and the subsequent fire. (Neil Hannemann report; provided by Tracy Law Firm)

This 2010 Honda Fit burned following a collision with a hydroplaning 2010 Toyota Tundra. (Provided by Tracy Law Firm via PRNewsFoto)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Subaru: Pre- and post-repair scan all vehicles since 2004 model year

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Subaru: Pre- and post-repair scan all vehicles since 2004 model year

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Subaru this month released a position statement advising collision repairers to scan before and after a repair all vehicles dating back to the 2004 model year.

Hopefully, that definitive start date for the procedure placates insurers who this week have questioned whether OEMs who say that all vehicles should be scanned really mean it — despite what’s now been a year of OEMs and basically everyone else (I-CARETIASASCRS) consistently stating that scanning has been important on all vehicles for years. (The idea that stating “all” is somehow unclear has rightfully been ridiculed by Nissan.)

For Subaru vehicles from model year 2004 and forward involved in a collision, Subaru collision repair procedure recommends that pre-repair scanning be performed. Pre-scanning will reveal DTCs for items that are not functioning properly in the vehicle. It allows a shop to identify any issues early in the estimate process, allowing a more complete estimate and encompassing repair process.

Additionally, Subaru collision repair procedure also recommends that post-repair scanning be performed on these vehicles. Post scanning is critical in ensuring the malfunctioning items have been repaired and there are no remaining DTCs. It may also assist in assuring the appropriate calibrations and reinitializations have been performed.

Subaru recommended that shops use the Subaru SSM4 and Denso DST-i interface device; details for these can be found here. Otherwise, it said a shop could use the middleman asTech device to connect to a remote Subaru scan tool. The OEM said it couldn’t vouch for any aftermarket scanners.

The OEM pointed out that cars are continuing to add or improve technology like “sensor, cameras, control units, as well as other components. …  They are a critical part of vehicle operation and the safety
features in each Subaru vehicle.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Collision Repair Mag-5-29-17- CCIF event highlights aftermarket scan tool capabilities

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Toronto, Ontario — March 29, 2017 — The OEM-specific scan tools may deliver the best results, but the cost of lining them all up may be more than most shops would like. According to Michel Julien, founder of TeamXTremeTech, the cost of scan tools for the 16 most common car brands would run approximately $153,150 in the first year, and roughly $66,000 every year thereafter for the subscriptions.

Julien was one of the presenters at a special scanning technology event held at Toronto’s Centennial College. The event was presented by the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF). Repairers, insurers, OEM representatives and other industry stakeholders came to hear presentations on aftermarket scanning technology from people representing Drew Technologies, Collision Diagnostic Services (CDS), Launch Tech, TeamXTremeTech and AirPro Diagnostics.

The day kicked off with opening remarks by Brigitte Pesant, Director of Collision Programs for AIA Canada and Joe Carvalho, Chairman of CCIF.

Dan Dominato of Precision Marketing was first up, providing details on the asTech2 scanning tool, manufactured by CDS. Precision Marketing distributes the scanning tool  here in Canada.

Dominato noted that the asTech2 covers nearly all makes and models, 2008 and newer. It essentially does this by uploading the scanned data to CDS, where it it is then run through OEM scanners. The idea is that this gives the shop access to OEM quality scans for a fraction of the price of acquiring all of the necessary OEM scan tools.

Glen Eaton of Drew Technologies was next to take the podium, discussing the company’s Remote Assist Program (RAP) Kit. According to Eaton, the technology provides pre- and post-repair scan details and vehicle scan reports on demand. Shops pay for each scan performed. The unit is undoubtedly easy to use. Users simply plug in the kit and place a call to Drew Technologies. The company scans the vehicle and sends the  user the report. The unit can also be used to reprogram modules, including airbags and other functions.

Launch Tech USA’s Harlan Siegel presented details of that company’s X-431 PAD II, an Android-based scan tool tablet. Siegel highlighted the scanner’s functions, and shined a light on how the company improves its databases. He noted that aftermarket scan tools will have gaps in their information compared to an OEM-specific scan tool, but that Launch Tech communicates with users to reduce those gaps.

“We’re reducing those gaps by getting you, the end user, involved in the process,” he said. In essence, all scans uploaded to the tool are gathered by Launch Tech USA. In turn, this allows them to build up a greater database of information.

Michel Julien of TeamXtremeTech was up next, updating attendees on his company’s scanning solution. Headquartered in Brossard, Québec, the company offers a home-grown aftermarket scanner. The company has been in business since 2011, but had primarily concentrated its efforts on the mechanical and service side until the last year.

“Me and my team, we’ve spent the last eight months in collision repair shops,” he said. This was done to determine what bodyshops needed that their mechanical counterparts did not. “In the collision repair shop, the car must leave almost like new. This doesn’t always have to be the case with the mechanical shops.”

Julien also pointed out that training was key when it comes to finding success with scanning, as was solid customer support.

“Tech support is the key to success in every shop,” he said, outlining how even a GM dealer, for example, where every technician has received the OEM training, will still call for tech support approximately 42 percent of the time.

Chuck Olsen of AirPro Diagnostics presented attendees with information on his company’s scan tool, the AirPro, and the accompanying app, ORION. The AirPro is a remotely controlled scan that uses both OEM and proprietary software. According to AirPro Diagnostics, this allows the tool to cover roughly 98 percent of makes and models. ORION is a cloud-based diagnostic management system that automatically stores all scan results and recommendations.

After a short break for lunch, the event continued with an update from CARSTAR’s Bill Davidge on the status of I-CAR diagnostic scanning and presentations from Michel Gagnon of Mitchell International, Massimo Pecchia of Audatex Canada and Jim Wraight of ALLDATA Canada.

Finally, all scan tool manufacturers ran demos of their equipment so repairers and other stakeholders could have a chance to see them in action and ask questions about specific items.

Repairer Driven News 5.2.2017- CIECA to add support for scanning documentation in BMS data standard

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CIECA to add support for scanning documentation in BMS data standard

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In another sign of the necessity of vehicle diagnostics in modern auto body repair, CIECA announced Monday a “fast-tracked” plan to allow the transmission of scanning results through the Business Message Suite data standard.

The Business Message Suite and its more widely used but obsolete predecessor, the Estimate Management Standard, allow a variety of software related to the collision repair industry to exchange repair order data easily.

The Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association wrote in a news release Monday that it would add the ability to attach scan documentation and results to BMS message transmissions between insurers, auto body shops and other interests within the collision repair ecosystem. (For example, FCA, which checks estimates to ensure its certified collision repairers pre- and post-scanned every one of the OEM’s vehicles.)

“The scan output data can be either images, XML, pdf’s, or CSV files, depending on the scan tool,” CIECA Executive Director Fred Iantorno said in a statement. “The BMS (Business Message Suite) leverages all file types.”

CIECA said the request for scanning came from LaMettry’s Collision Center operations President Darrell Amberson, who at the January Collision Industry Conference said his company was “scanning virtually every collision car that we repair,” about 1,000 cars a month.

“Vehicle Scanning has become an integral part of the entire repair process on certain vehicles,” Amberson said in a statement. “Pre-repair and Post-repair scanning has become necessary in certain situations. The information received from the vehicle scan tool should be saved with the other Repair Order documentation for subsequent review, auditing, and other purposes. Repairers and the industry need a method to retain and exchange this data with the entire RO file.”

Amberson said in January that documenting scanning didn’t have to be complicated — it just took discipline.

McDonnell Group owner Matthew McDonnell, another member of the panel said that Mike Anderson of Collision Advice had stressed “documentation, documentation, documentation.”

“If it’s not documented, it didn’t happen,” McDonnell described his company’s mantra. This has led to success consistently being paid for scans.

CIECA said that just as shops need to purchase scan tools, “the data systems need to be re-tooled with the addition of scan data.” But its efforts could be moot if a shop doesn’t have a means of transmitting BMS messages; much of the industry still appears to use the outdated EMS standard, which hasn’t been supported by CIECA since 2002.

The neutral organization has provided assistance for collision repairers with access to IT resources to convert from EMS to BMS, but this might not be an option for every small shop. CCC will offer BMS support, but only through its controversial Secure Share platform.

It’ll be interesting if the convenience of transmitting scan documentation leads to a wider BMS adoption, no matter how it is ultimately accomplished.

Ironically, CIECA’s announcement came the same day as an appraiser’s opinion piece on PropertyCasualty360.com argued that insurers should demand shops meet a “higher standard of reporting” and make sure a shop isn’t cheaping out on the scan process:


The industry should not be satisfied with one line explanations of “Scan for Codes” or “Health Scan.” A higher standard of reporting may be merited with the identification of the scan tool, the technician’s name, certification and/or skill level of the technician along with proper documentation of scan results, and actions taken with an emphasis on full compliance with the OEM position where applicable.

Now that the insurance industry realizes that diagnostic scanning allowances are a necessary inclusion in automobile damage estimates, it is time for insurers to be diligent about getting what they pay for by defining a higher standard and seeing that repairers adhere to it. Insurers should work with shops to seek some balance with solutions that are cost-effective yet not inferior to the overall process of restoring the vehicle to the industry accepted standards. Pre- and post-repair scan allowances should be supported with the proper documentation of scan results and itemized explanations of services rendered, which serves to protect the insurer, repairer and consumer alike.

Anyone who wants to help CIECA with the project is welcome. Contact Iantorno at fred@cieca.com.

“Please forward this email to others in your company that might be interested in joining the project,” CIECA stated.