What is the difference?
There are two types of automobile repairs, (1) the ones that are makeshift and poor-quality, intended as fast, cheap solutions, and (2) those that ensure pre-accident conditions according to factory specifications. Needless to say, the latter of the two is the option to choose.
It might seem quite the conundrum to figure out which repair facility performs quality work, and which one doesn’t, but it’s actually very simple. The shop that follows the manufacturer’s protocol and whose repairmen are in possession of the right certifications is the one that restores your car to its factory conditions. A shop recommended by a dealership is guaranteed to follow standard operations and employ factory parts; it can’t deviate from established procedures to reduce costs or use aftermarket parts.
You might be wondering if a shop would ever dodge the Bureau of Automobile Repairs’ (BAR) requirements when it comes to a repair of high caliber, and if it does decide to skip the book and cut corners, whether it’s such a big deal.
A faulty repair is a recipe for disaster. It’s the difference between the assurance of a vehicle’s safety, especially in the event of another accident, and finding oneself crushed under a roof that was glued back on with an adhesive instead of being welded as required by the manufacturer. What’s more, subpar repairs amp up costs if you try to correct them further down the line – something that may be impossible – and at the same time they diminish the vehicle’s value; it’s the worst of both worlds.
A body shop operating according to a carrier’s guidelines, and not the instructions set forth by a manufacturer, will be more concerned about reducing costs and saving time. This runs the risk of producing a shoddy repair that allows for an unsafe vehicle to be returned to the streets. You could end up with hidden damages left unfixed and you won’t know they’re there until you either lift the car up to inspect what’s beneath the frame with a borescope, or until it causes your car to break down. You could find yourself driving home with a busted tail frame that’s been concealed from view, and an aftermarket windshield not approved by the OEM (original equipment manufacturer).
As Anderson Cooper made clear on CNN, there is widespread concern with shopspre-selected by insurance companies, because these shops are given strict terms and quotas when it comes to carrying out their repairs, which frequently prevent the job from being done properly.
Conversely, a shop recommended by a manufacturer or dealership must comply with factory specifications that prioritize quality and safety, something which according to the BAR, a repair facility is obligated to do. This means that its repairmen must undergo proper training to be certified by I-CAR or ASE; it means that only manufacturer approved parts will be used, and it means that the shop will have invested in state-of- the-art equipment.
So ask yourself, who is more likely to do a better job? A shop recommended by manufacturers and dealerships because it follows established standard operations, or a shop taking orders from the entity that is required to pay the bill, something that spells out a potential conflict of interest.
The right choice couldn’t be more obvious.