Salvage Wire

Salvage Wire
Helping Automotive recyclers become leaders in their industry

Monday, 26 March 2012

Vehicle repair or scrap?

Motor vehicle engineers across the world have to make the decision on vehicle status following an accident or incident, can the vehicle be repaired, should it be sold as repairable salvage, or dealt with as junk/scrap and taken out of use?

Most cases are reasonably clear cut and easy to make, however there are a significant number of decisions made daily that could be challenged. The overriding factor in any engineering decision should be the safe future repair of the vehicle; can the vehicle be repaired to such a standard that in the event of another incident the occupants will experience a similar level of protection that they would have found if the vehicle was new?
Engineers need to look at could or should the vehicle be repaired?
Should is fairly easy, an extensively damaged vehicle involved in a fatal accident probably should not be repaired, likewise a vehicle with serious flood water damage, high enough, for example, to soak the airbags.
Could the vehicle be repaired is a more subjective argument, this is where a knowledge of vehicle repair techniques and standards come in, and this is becoming more important as vehicle manufacturers explore more ways of increasing vehicle strength whilst making vehicles as light as possible. High strength steels, aluminium, carbon fibre, laser welding on production lines, and much more – all making repair in local shops much more difficult without extensive knowledge and expensive equipment and increased cost.
Training and accreditation for vehicle assessors is highly recommended, and there are many in place throughout the world.
In the UK Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) sets the standard for body repair technicians, estimators and insurance assessors, I-CAR in the US follows similar principles and standards.
A main area of focus for all of these programmes is establishing the correct method of repair for any accident damaged vehicle, making sure that the repairs can be completed to the highest standards possible, standards that will protect any future owners and occupants of the vehicle if it is involved in another accident.
Any engineer signing vehicle disposal paperwork must be certain that the vehicle they are signing off can be repaired safely, because if it isn’t and the worst case scenario occurs, then that engineer could be held liable for the injuries sustained.
If the engineer feels that the vehicle cannot safely be repaired, then the vehicle must be dealt with a junk/scrap and taken out of use.

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