Why OEM Certifications?
OEM certifications are important because cars have changed dramatically, and they continue to change as each year passes. Cars have changed technology wise as well as their construction. Vehicles are constructed to respond a certain way in a collision, keeping the occupants safe from harm. Cars are designed to collapse in an impact and deflect the energy around the what is considered the occupant cage. As each year passes more and more high strength steels are being used as well as more aluminum. Aluminum is being used either as a whole car or just panels. The reason these metals are changing is due to the effort to “lighten” vehicles for better fuel economy. The most important aspect of these changes is to continue to focus on consumer safety and crash ratings. The technology side of things brings into play things like “lane keep assist”, partial braking when an impact may be coming, blind spot monitors, etc.
These new technological advances are known as “ADAS” Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. These changes to cars require special attention to manufacturer recommendations on repair methods. Knowing what type of metal the car is made of is important. Some metals can be straightened and repaired, while others can not, and require “replace only” if damaged. From one year to the next a car can have changes. Certified collision centers are taught to research the latest repair methods and follow them. Certified collision centers receive an annual audit to verify proper practices are in place. Certified shops can not always be certified in every make, but this way of repairing cars and thinking carries over into those other makes as well.