Structural Sectioning Procedures: Volkswagen

Ask I-CAR receives many technical inquiries referring to sectioning. The collision repair industry wants to know where can you section, does the OEM have a sectioning procedure, and where can I find the sectioning procedure? Most OEMs allow sectioning to outer body panels and the front and rear rails. Sectioning reinforcements is not as common, as most reinforcements are replaced at factory seams.

Parts are made from various materials including HSS, UHSS, aluminum, and carbon fiber. These parts also have complex designs to collapse or transfer collision forces in a specific manner. Introducing a sectioning joint to many of these parts will alter how the part reacts to those collision forces. For this reason, sectioning a part is only allowed if supported by vehicle maker repair information. Let’s see what Volkswagen says about structural sectioning.

Vehicle-specific Volkswagen repair manuals offer procedures for sectioning of various parts. However, it is crucial to pay attention to the various Notes and Warnings through the entire procedure. For example, per a note pertaining to a laser welded seam in the Longitudinal Member, Removing and Installing, Left Front, Partial Section procedure on the 2016 Beetle: "50 mm before and behind laser weld seam must not be separated nor welded."

The vehicle-specific body repair manual is used to determine the required type of welding and sectioning joint for the repair being performed.

Volkswagen has two position statements pertaining to structural sectioning that you should be aware of.

  • Vehicle Body Sectioning states: "full body sectioning (sometimes referred to as “clipping”) is a method of repairing vehicles that have been involved in severe rear collisions…Full body sectioning is not an acceptable method of repair on any Volkswagen vehicle."
  • Unibody Alignment and Repair states: "collision repairs to correct structural damage and body panel replacement should only be conducted on VWoA-approved straightening and measuring equipment. Any and all welded structural panels, parts, pieces and components must only be replaced while properly mounted to VWoA approved straightening and measuring equipment."

Volkswagen vehicle-specific body repair manuals can be found at:

For additional Volkswagen information, check out the Volkswagen OEM Information page.

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