The Importance of Vehicle Scanning Part II

In my last post, I discussed reasons why pre- and post-scans must be performed on every vehicle coming in for service or repair. I explained ODB-II ports and the scanners used to monitor them. The reasoning behind this directive has been debated. Is vehicle scanning a consumer necessity for safety, or a way to get more money by adding an unnecessary service?

Leading the debate on the side of safety and customer satisfaction are the service providers and carmakers. On the other side, we see the insurance industry and/or the consumer who may not want to pay for this service. The auto glass industry being a service provider in the aftermarket, is caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand we want to provide a safe and quality auto glass replacement for our customers.  On the other, we want to provide a service that our customers, retail and insurance alike, will value and demand.

Are pre- and post-scans necessary?

Modern vehicles have a plethora of safety and performance features that must perform flawlessly to protect the occupants from harm, and provide long and worry-free service built into them. Some of these features depend on other adjacent or contributing features to work properly and efficiently. Some carmakers feel strongly enough about goals of safety and performance to make pre- and post-scans mandatory for their service providers. We in the auto glass industry, can’t ignore the directives from the vehicle manufacturers or all liability will rest on our shoulders. So, are pre- and post-scans necessary – I say yes. Safety is our goal and the operation of the vehicles’ safety devices after a glass replacement are our responsibility. If it takes scanning the vehicle to assure safety, we have little choice in the matter.

Photo Courtesy of Mitchell International

We need to address this issue sooner rather than later both in our everyday practice of our craft and in our standard that guides us to safe installation.

Are we going to be paid for this added service?

Just as we are fighting for fair payment for recalibration, we may also have to fight for scanning reimbursement. It seems if the car maker requires it, the insurance industry is willing to pay what is necessary for safety. However, they need to be asked in advance of the service.

My advice to all shops:

  • Acquire a vehicle scanner and learn how to use it to scan all vehicles prior to and after an installation.
  • Determine a fair and reasonable price in your market for the service.
  • Create a policy and procedure for when a scan finds issues beyond your ability to repair.
  • Train your technicians on the proper scanning procedures of the tool you choose to purchase.
  • Train your billing agents in proper pre-authorization of scanning costs for retail and insurance customers.

This could be a win-win-win for everyone. It is a win for the customer in added safety and performance, a win for the insurance companies in reduced accident claims, and a win for service providers who have an additional service to offer customers.