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What to consider when using photos for processing claims

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 06:00
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After a vehicle has been involved in a collision, there may be hidden damage to the vehicle’s electronic systems. Although the vehicle is drivable and appears to be operating normally, without diagnostic testing, it is impossible to tell if everything is working properly behind the scenes.

The technology controlling the safety systems on today’s vehicles is complex and sophisticated. Even the slightest impact of any sort may damage these delicate systems. Often times, the normal course of repairs creates additional trouble codes. Specific calibrations may be required to restore the vehicle back to pre-accident condition. A simple process like removing the rear bumper cover, or removing a door handle, can create diagnostic issues that must be addressed during the repair process, if the vehicle is to be completely repaired. To be certain that the vehicle is returned to pre-collision condition, a repair technician should perform a diagnostic post-scan. In fact, the OEMs recommend it. Using the asTech™ device to perform both pre and post-scans is an approved way of guaranteeing that the vehicle is repaired to pre-collision condition.

Beware the hidden damage
The vehicle owner expects the vehicle to be returned to pre-collision condition. If the insurer and repair facility want to meet that expectation, it’s in their best interest to complete a diagnostic pre-scan using the asTech device. Accurate repairs can only be achieved if all damaged parts are identified before repairs begin. A photo just isn’t able to show all of the damaged parts.

Modern vehicles are equipped with sophisticated safety electronics, modules and sensors. These sensors control many of the safety aspects of the vehicle. A damaged sensor puts the driver and their passengers at risk of injury if they were involved in another collision and the sensor didn’t work. It isn’t possible to determine if a module; such as the airbag module, is working, just by looking at it. Choosing to use the asTech device can properly identify all of the vehicle damage present on the vehicle. It will reduce the liability for the all parties involved.

Time is money
Most quality focused repair shops utilize some type of disassembly for repair (DFR) to streamline the estimating process. DFR ensures all damage is identified up front. Performing an asTech scan on a damaged vehicle prior to beginning repairs, will help isolate all damaged electrical parts and prevent unnecessary parts delays after the repairs have begun. Following a solid DFR process which includes using the asTech device to perform the required health checks, will help reduce the overall severity of the loss by eliminating unnecessary trips to the dealer, reducing costly rental days, lowering cycle times, meeting more guaranteed completion dates, and improving the overall customer experience.

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