The Importance of Using OEM Software and Adhering to OEM Required Procedures
Regarding ADAS repairs, one phrase should echo loudly in the minds of repairers and shop owners: safety, safety. The use of OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) software and adherence to OEM procedures is crucial for ensuring the safety of drivers and passengers. Here, we will explore why using OEM software tools in the ADAS repair process is paramount, highlighting its significance for car owners, shop owners, and the overall industry.
Safety, Safety, Safety: The Primary Motivation
The foremost reason behind the insistence on using OEM software tools and procedures is the safety of those on the road. Recent studies have emphasized the importance of maintaining the integrity of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) during repairs. Even a slight deviation from the precise calibration specifications, such as a sensor misalignment, can have severe consequences for the driver. These technologies significantly influence the vehicle’s behavior and the driver’s decision-making. Properly returning them to their original specification is a matter of life and death.
What this means for the shop owner
Shop owners who prioritize the use of OEM software tools and procedures in the ADAS repair process can rest easy knowing that they have taken the necessary steps to ensure the highest standards of repair. By following the exacting guidelines outlined by the OEMs, they uphold their responsibility to care for and fix vehicles in a manner that prioritizes safety.
What this means for the car owner
By adhering to the use of OEM software tools and procedures in the ADAS repair process, owners of repaired cars can have peace of mind. The risk of improper repairs is minimized, reducing the chances of accidents caused by malfunctioning ADAS systems. Ultimately, this translates to peace of mind for the owner and fewer tears shed in moments of tragedy.
Not Using OEM Software Tools: A Game of Russian Roulette
At their best, third-party scan tools display inconsistency1. Moreover, service technicians must possess a solid understanding of the limitations of these tools when utilizing them and grasp their limitations to use them effectively. The research shows the top-performing aftermarket tools in ideal situations returned OEM-level results at best 78% of the time, while the lowest performers returned the same results 56% of the time or less.2 Conversely, an OEM scan tool is specifically engineered to function across models produced by that particular OEM. No guesswork exists on when and how to deploy an OEM solution.
Therefore, neglecting to use OEM software tools and procedures in the ADAS repair process is equivalent to playing Russian roulette with customers’ lives. These two elements below underscore this viewpoint.
a. Design and Updates: OEM software is purposefully designed with the latest updates and insights, considering the specific make and model of the vehicle. Unlike many generic third-party tools, this specialized software ensures optimal performance and compatibility.
b. Specificity: OEM software caters to the unique characteristics of each vehicle model, ensuring precise diagnostics and repairs. Third-party tools lack the same level of accuracy and compatibility, compromising the quality and safety of repairs.
OEM Procedures: Engineering Excellence for Safety
In addition to tools, there are OEM procedures that must be followed. It is important to note that OEM procedures are meticulously designed by engineers who anticipate potential risks and account for shop environments. Again, below are some views on this application of procedures.
a. Engineering Expertise: OEM procedures are crafted by engineers with in-depth knowledge of the vehicle’s design and intricacies. This ensures repairs are conducted to uphold manufacturers’ safety and performance standards.
b. Risk Mitigation: OEM procedures incorporate preventive measures to minimize risks by considering what could go wrong during repairs. This comprehensive approach safeguards lives and protects against accidents caused by faulty repairs.
c. Testing and Validation: OEM procedures undergo rigorous testing to verify their effectiveness and safety. This ensures that the repairs conducted using OEM procedures meet the highest standards of quality and reliability.
The Consequences of Deviation
Deviation from OEM repairs and the use of OEM software tools and procedures in the ADAS repair process carries significant consequences:
a. Liability Concerns: Incorrect repairs can lead to substantial liability for repairers and shop owners, potentially resulting in legal and financial repercussions.
b. Costly Redo: Non-OEM repairs conducted with inadequate tools or procedures prove insufficient and require rework. This results in delays, additional expenses, and customer dissatisfaction.
c. The Line of Deviation: The decision to deviate from OEM repairs, tools, or procedures is risky. It becomes a game of chance where safety is compromised, resembling the dangerous game of Russian roulette.
Prioritizing the use of OEM software, tools, and procedures is essential for the ADAS repair industry. By ensuring safety, reducing liability, and maintaining the highest standards of quality and repairers shop owners can uphold their commitment to customer satisfaction. By embracing the use of OEM software, tools, and procedures, we not only safeguard lives but also strengthen the integrity and professionalism of the industry.
At Smart Express, we prioritize the use of OEM software tools and adhere to the required OEM procedures in all our repair projects. The need for expertise, specialized knowledge, and the highest level of quality and safety drives our commitment to OEM standards. Our ADAS specialists undergo extensive training on these tools and procedures, ensuring they can confidently execute a full-cycle ADAS reinstatement process for any ADAS repair project.
1 Not All aftermarket Scan tools give OEM Results in all situations” Repairer Driven News, Dave LaChance, November 4, 2022
2 Scan Research Results Noted in Autobody News, Jan. 11, 2023
(Image from FreePix)