Hidden Storage Compartments Could Mean Hidden Hazards

It seems in this life, you can never have too much space for storage. Whether that be in your home, place of work, or your vehicle. Consumers are looking for more and more storage on their vehicles, driving OEMs to get creative with creating this storage space. To meet consumer demand, OEMs have been taking almost every empty space on vehicles and created a storage compartment out of it. While some of these spaces are obvious, others may be harder to see or even disguised in an effort to create a secret storage compartment. So, how do these additional storage spaces affect the collision repair industry.

The most obvious effect this has on the industry is having to select the correct parts. Some OEMs make use of empty space on pickup truck bedsides by creating storage compartments out of them. Vehicles equipped with these features will require specific parts to repair.

The other big factor is what the consumer might have stored in these storage bins. As a general rule of thumb, you should always make sure there is nothing in the vehicle that can be damaged during the high temperature bake cycle. In the past you could just look in the trunk, glove box, and passenger compartment to make sure everything was safe. With the many different storage compartments available today, there could be potential explosion hazards stored in a place you didn’t know existed.

This makes it important to interview the customer and inform them that their vehicle will be exposed to extreme temperatures. Find out if they have any items that could be sensitive to extreme temperature changes such as propane cylinders or aerosol cans. Also, foods can be left in a storage bin after an accident. The heat can cause the food to spoil or melt and cause additional problems. On the other end of the spectrum, vehicles being stored outdoors in extreme cold can also have problems. Unopened beverage containers can freeze and explode.

Here are a few of the places that hidden storage can be found:

  • In truck box sides
  • In passenger compartment floor
  • Under the truck bed
  • Behind the infotainment screen
  • Under the seats
  • Under seat cushions
  • In center consoles

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