AS A COLLISION REPAIR PROFESSIONAL, you probably know that in the event a seatbelt is damaged, it must be replaced—it cannot be repaired. But, did you know that Toyota also recommends replacing any supplemental restraint system (SRS) wire harnesses or connectors that may have been damaged during a collision? Handling these components during a collision repair must be done with the ultimate goal of safety in mind.
WHAT IS AN SRS?
An SRS is a restraint system in a vehicle that acts in addition to a seatbelt. Air bags are an example of an SRS. These systems are often highly sophisticated, with electrical components that help them function properly. Many SRSs rely on precision timing in the event of a collision in order to deploy properly. It is vital for all of the components that make up the SRS to be undamaged and in good working order at all times.
As part of the electrical circuit, SRSs include wire harnesses and connectors that plug in to the various parts of the electrical systems. If any of these components are damaged, they cannot be repaired—they must be replaced. Improper repairs may affect the electrical circuit’s continuity and performance.
You may be able to find part numbers for SRS connectors and for the pins to repair them in part systems or electronic wiring diagrams. Even though the part numbers are available, these components should not be repaired if damage is evident; they should be replaced.
LOOK FOR CLUES
SRS components should be inspected thoroughly to determine if they have sustained any damage. Often, damage will be visible, but sometimes you may need to do a closer inspection to ensure the system is intact. One clue that there may be unseen damage to SRS wire harness or connector components is if you see a related diagnostic trouble code appear when you are performing the Techstream vehicle health check.
For additional information, reference Collision Repair Information Bulletin (CRIB) #156, SRS & HV Wiring Repairs. The Collision Repair & Refinish training Body Electrical Diagnosis and Repair course also offers more in-depth information about performing these repairs.
Collision Repair Rights
Be an advocate for your customers and help ensure they get a safe, quality repair.
Having to sort out the details of getting an automobile repaired after it’s been in a collision can make your customers’ busy lives even more hectic and stressful. You can be a huge asset to your clients by understanding your state’s laws and regulations and helping to educate your customers about what their rights are when it comes to a collision repair.
THE RIGHT TO OEM PARTS
Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts are engineered to the specifications and tolerances of the particular vehicle they are created for. These parts are designed to meet the highest standards of fit, finish and safety. In many cases, the customer has the right to request that OEM parts be used in the repair of his or her vehicle. A customer’s right to OEM parts depends first on his or her insurance policy. Policies vary—some allow for OEM parts in every repair, some allow for OEM parts depending on the age of the vehicle, and some allow only for salvage or aftermarket parts.
State laws and regulations also affect whether a customer is able to use OEM parts. Many states require disclosures if anything other than an OEM part is used during a repair, while other states require a customer’s consent to use non-OEM parts. Some states do not have any of these protections. Research your state’s rules so that you can help guide your clients through this process.
Take the time to discuss the use of OEM parts with your customers as well as what rights they can expect in your state. Additional resources about customer rights and collision repair can be found at www.crashrepairinfo.com.