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17 August 2018

THERE’S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO CRASH A CAR

Every collision is different. What happens if a car is damaged in a way a repairer has never seen?

Collision repairers have a tough job. Every crash is unique and cars are more complex than ever. An industry service offered free by one of Australia’s major car brands is keeping repairers ahead of the curve.

Our drive gets safer every day, but every new system introduces intricacy. These systems require specialist knowledge to repair. Car companies invest significantly in educating the trade, and giving them the resources they need to repair safely.

In a small office near GM Holden’s Port Melbourne HQ, a small team is linking crash repairers with GM Holden engineers. Their mission: road safety. Back up repairers, and make sure any issue they encounter is corrected with confidence.

GM Holden Collision Business Manager Damian Cahill said it’s no longer the repairer’s job to bring damaged cars back to what they looked like before an accident.

“It is their job to prepare that vehicle for the next crash. The only way to prepare the vehicle correctly is through the use of Holden Genuine Parts and also Holden Repair Procedures” he said.

Repairs go beyond the damaged part of the vehicle. Vehicles are engineered with a mix of material strengths, sensors and high-tech devices. They are all carefully tuned to work together across every condition or incident drivers could encounter.

Safe repairs require vehicle manufacturers repair manuals and genuine parts. Without them, repairers don’t know where they might come across or disrupt a safety system.

Helping smash repairers to expect the unexpected, a help desk is available to repairers, assessors and anyone else who needs a hand.

Team leader Jenny has a direct line to GM Holden’s senior engineers.

Are you a repairer in need of help repairing a Holden? Contact holden.repairinfo@gm.com to make an inquiry.

“We take regular inquiries from repairers. They range from basic questions on material types or welding to the more complex,” she said.

“We have a database of set procedures but every vehicle collision is different, sometimes they may not fit.

“There is so much more to cars than people think. That’s why we rely on the engineers and their expertise. Without a Holden engineer’s repair approval, our concern is the car can’t perform as intended in another impact. “

When Jenny asks the engineers for help, they go deep. Building bespoke crash simulations based on repairers requests, they contact global engineering homerooms and test thousands of potential scenarios, to ensure a repair will maintain safety.

The only acceptable outcome is getting the car back in the owner’s garage with factory specified level of safety and protection. The goal is to turn that advice around fast and keep repairers businesses moving.

“If the vehicle is not repaired correctly, safety systems may not work in the way they were designed by Holden engineers. For example, using the wrong steel strength can affect the structural integrity of the car. If a car is made too strong with high-tensile steel repair, the airbag might deploy unnecessarily. If it’s too weak it may not deploy at all.”

Jenny replies with CAD screenshots, steel strength and material information, resources and engineer vetted advice that restores factory protection.

“With the right repairs, we keep the customer in a car that performs and protects the same as it did off the factory floor,” Jenny explains.

“We are the first port of call. GM provides this service for free at considerable expense. We understand the importance of efficiency in the repair business, and the engineers take these inquiries as a priority, often spending days ensuring they give the right advice to get a repair approved.”

“Repairers are happy, customers are happy and there are safer cars on the road. Everyone wins.”

Are you a repairer in need of help? Get in touch with Jenny and her team at holden.repairinfo@gm.com to make an inquiry.

 

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