The I-CAR OEM Technical Information Matrix - What Is It, And How Does It Help The Collision Industry?
Do you know what vehicle makers have collision repair information available? Do you know where you can go to find that out?
To help the industry with this challenge, I-CAR, with the help of the collision industry, has developed an OEM Collision Repair Information Matrix. This matrix is a quick-reference guide that is used for identifying the specific type of collision repair information an OEM has available for damage analysis, or for reference during repair. It contains thirteen information headings, and thirty-five vehicle brands.
In case you're wondering where the categories in this document came from, here's some background on how this matrix was developed. In 2013, I-CAR held three Advanced Vehicle Repairability Summits at these locations; Hoffman Estates, IL, Southfield, MI, and Torrance, CA. to identify the most common problems the repair industry is encountering with repairing lightweight structures. These meetings involved people from several vehicle makers, along with collision industry stakeholders from several industry segments. One major factor that was discussed at length was the challenge of accessing current OEM collision repair information and repair procedures. In order to resolve this issue, we needed to determine whether the challenge was due to the information being difficult to obtain, or if the information just doesn't exist. To identify the state of OEM collision repair information, I-CAR began developing the OEM Collision Repair Information Matrix.
Because the amount of collision information and level of detail varies between OEMs, it was determined that the matrix should list the specific types of collision repair information needed for complete, safe, and quality repairs. The matrix categories were identified and refined at the summits, and are now contained in the matrix as it exists exclusively today on the rts.i-car.com website in PDF format. The first page is the matrix itself, while the second page of the PDF expands on the specific meaning of each of the matrix headings. Although some vehicle makers provided the input for their listings, many of the fields are being researched and populated by I-CAR staff. Because this process is ongoing, some of the fields are still being researched and will be populated in the near future.
Unfortunately, it is evident that there are some vehicle makers that are still in the process of making this critical information available to the industry. However, there are indications that some of these voids may be filled sometime soon. We will continue to work with these vehicle makers and to encourage them to make more collision repair information available.
Using the information in this matrix, I-CAR is developing vehicle maker specific web pages that will allow the information categories to be more searchable for specific brands and models. Watch for upgrades occurring there in the near future. Currently, the Honda and Acura pages on the rts.i-car.com website are examples of what you can expect to see for all OEMs, eventually. The matrix currently does not include categories for mechanical, passive restraints, or electronic systems. An additional matrix for those systems may be developed sometime in the future, based on demand. But in the meantime, be sure to make use of this easy-to-use tool whenever you have a question on the availability of OEM collision repair information for a specific vehicle brand.