Seen the light on OEM procedures? Montanez shares tips on using them

A $31.5 million verdict against a Texas shop who failed to follow Honda repair procedures might hopefully have inspired collision repairers to research and adhere to the OEM instructions.

Or not. “It hasn’t sunk in,” P&L Consultants co-owner Larry Montanez argued in a Monday interview. Many shops are “still going to slap cars together,” he said.

But while he expressed pessimism about a chunk of the industry, Montanez will offer a primer on accessing OEM instructions to the shops who do see the light with “How to Find, Read and Understand OEM Repair Procedures,” 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, during the  SCRS Repairer Driven Education series at SEMA. (Sign up for the class here, or buy the series pass package deal here.)

“All it takes is one Todd Tracy” to catch a shop not researching procedures, Montanez said, referring to the plaintiffs’ attorney in the Texas John Eagle Collision Center case. Other attorneys would likely follow Tracy’s lead following the verdict, he said.

Practice

OEM repair procedure websites can seem daunting, but they’re learnable, Montanez said. Just practice, he said, likening it to buying a cellphone with a new OS. “You screw around with it” and learn the system, he said.

“That’s for your own benefit,” he said.

But flat-rate techs refuse to put in the effort because they won’t get paid for it, according to Montanez. “It’s laziness and greed,” he said.

In general, if a tech keeps practicing with the OEM repair procedure sites, “it becomes easier,” Montanez said.

OEM certification training can help here. Mercedes has one of the most difficult sites to use, if not the most difficult, he said. But every Mercedes class has students look up and explain repair procedures so they can practice the system.

After a while, the technician gets used to the system and what parts are likely to be involved in the repair, he said.

Montanez said some OEMs with robust certification programs also…

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