In Australia there is no one like Thatcham Research. The local insurance companies dominate panel repair industry and dictate the way vehicles should be repaired. FAN would like to believe that fleet vehicles with the latest safety technologies are always being repaired to the highest standard and returned to the factory condition, but we here too many stories that suggest otherwise.
In the UK, on behalf of its insurer members, Thatcham Research has released a set of Insurance Industry Requirements (IIR) for the safe repair of ADAS-equipped vehicles. The requirements come as the number of ADAS-enabled vehicles on UK roads reaches 4.5 million, a figure that is set to grow exponentially as carmakers increasingly fit the latest driver assistance technology to new models.
Richard Billyeald, chief technical officer, Thatcham Research stated: “The correct procedures for the safe repair of vehicles with ADAS, and in what scenarios calibration of the systems themselves is required, is a well-established challenge for the automotive repair industry. Today the IIR brings clarity to repairers and enables the long-term sustainability of ADAS-equipped vehicles.
“Sensor calibration requirements vary greatly from one vehicle to another. But no matter what model is being fixed, it’s essential that manufacturers’ technical specifications are met to reinstate ADAS features safely, without compromising performance.”
The IIR: the detail
The IIR confirms that inspection, realignment and calibration requirements must be considered in all situations where ANY of the following is included within the repair, service or maintenance procedure:
- ADAS sensors,
- parts likely to affect the operation and functionality of ADAS sensors, or
- vehicle geometry
Dean Lander, head of repair sector services, Thatcham Research comments, “The IIR will deliver clarity to bodyshops who need a standardised approach to repairing ADAS. The goal is for ADAS reinstatement to become business as usual, presenting no greater challenge than fitting a new wheel.”
The requirements establish the key steps repairers must follow to ensure that ADAS continue to function as they did pre-accident, including:
- Identifying the presence, or not, of ADAS on the vehicle and ensuring this is recorded
- Completing all relevant inspection, realignment and calibration activities as detailed within the repair procedures
- Ensuring that calibration results confirm that the sensors are functioning within the vehicle manufacturer’s technical specification
In addition, repair procedures should clearly identify if inspection, realignment and calibration are required and why; repairs must be carried out by a ‘currently competent person’; and fully verifiable and auditable records should be produced, with a copy provided to the Asset Owner or Work Provider.
Lander adds: “As features like Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Keeping Systems become more and more common, continuing with a disparate approach to ADAS repair is at best inefficient and at worst a threat to road safety.”
The IIR, the accompanying guidance and more information can be found at: https://www.thatcham.org/insurance-industry-requirements/
Steve Nash, Chief Executive Officer, The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI):
“Both the ADAS Guidance and Insurance Industry Requirements for ADAS align to the IMI belief that, it is of paramount importance to enable the sector to deliver on its obligation for safe repair and in addition to build trust with consumers.
“Furthermore, both initiatives align to the IMI Campaigns for Change and TechSafe initiatives, which provide clarity for all stakeholders with an interest in ensuring competence during vehicle maintenance and repair activities, including ADAS.”
Gerry Keaney, Chief Executive, British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association (BVRLA):
“The BVRLA welcomes the publication of this important guidance, which will help ensure that vehicles with ADAS equipment can be repaired, serviced and maintained without compromising their vital safety functionality.
“Automotive technology is changing rapidly, and it is great that the insurance and automotive sectors have been able to collaborate on this document.”
Adam Murray, Motor Technical Manager, Technical Claims Services, Aviva Insurance:
“Aviva Insurance take our responsibilities to protect and treat all customers fairly very seriously, we are committed to delivering safe compliant repair to all customers’ vehicles and support the introduction of standards and requirements that assist in delivering against our ‘with you today for a better tomorrow’ promise.”
Simon Smith, Chief Operating Officer and Aviva Repair Lead at Solus:
“The IIR is about making sure we have the right process and controls in place to effectively repair a customer’s vehicle. It should provide comfort to both the customer and insurer that everyone is following the correct method of repair and returning the vehicle in the condition it was in before the incident occurred.”
Andrew Walsh, Founder and CEO, AW Accident Repair Centres:
“The IIR is a positive step, ensuring those responsible for accident repair have the processes in place to understand how ADAS systems can be affected.
“AW Repair Group recognised very early that we wanted the skill in-house to identify systems during the repair. It is our preferred modus operandi to ensure we have full capability to complete the entire repair so investment in equipment for the reinstatement of ADAS was critical to achieve this in a streamlined manner.”
Neil Atherton, Sales and Marketing Director, Autoglass®:
“At Autoglass®, a business with motorist safety at the very core of its principles, we have been concerned about varying standards in ADAS recalibration across the after-market for some time now. As the UK market leader in Vehicle Glass Repair, Replacement and Recalibration we have worked on numerous initiatives to raise standards for the benefit of all and give confidence that vehicles are being returned to the road in a safe condition, for example partnering with the IMI on the creation of the first industry training accreditation for recalibration.
“We welcome and embrace the launch of the IIR; we are proud to have been able to contribute to its creation and our processes are already aligned to its high standards. If recalibration does not meet the vehicle manufacturer’s specification, the sensor may not read the environment correctly with potentially dire consequences for safety; now the full insurance supply chain will have clear guidance on what is and is not acceptable.”
“National Windscreens are delighted to have been involved in the consultation of the insurance driven IIR. This document provides a welcomed comprehensive set of requirements to the automotive repair sector, where the calibration of ADAS sensors is required.
“This ensures that safety features on the vehicle are being restored to full functionality, by accredited ADAS calibration technicians. With the increasing numbers of vehicles with safety systems coming as standard, the safety of the driver and their occupants along with other road users is paramount. The robust IIR gives the automotive repair sector, and National Windscreens confidence in the continuation of ADAS calibrations to the highest standard.”
“We have long advocated a clearer approach to ADAS recalibration, and the IIR represents a significant step forward in ensuring vehicles are repaired safely and to the highest standards. We are happy to support its implementation.”
Neil Hilton, Head of HGS, Hella Gutman:
“Following the rapid increase in vehicle ADAS fitment it is paramount that the automotive industry has a unilateral approach to the repair and calibration of these vehicles, as pioneers of aftermarket ADAS calibration equipment and a long-standing relationship working with Thatcham Research in this area, it is great news that we finally have the IIR to facilitate safe and accurate working practices on ADAS vehicles.”
Maria Charlton, Director, Automotive Glazing Academy:
“The ADAS IIR will provide the clarity needed in the industry to ensure a safe process is followed for a full ADAS approach and repair.
“This will encourage all automotive glazing companies to “step up” their internal processes and to acknowledge they have a responsibility to follow a full process in relation to an ADAS-ready vehicle.
“A most welcome piece of guidance for the automotive industry.”