The last time you were in a body shop, you might have seen a plaque on the wall that said "I-CAR" on it. What does that mean and why is it important to you as a consumer? Will it in any way affect the repair? Why should you make sure to take your vehicle to an I-CAR Certified auto body shop?
When it comes to an auto body repair of any type, general customer satisfaction is of course vital, but it's not the reason why you want a top-notch repair—your safety is also at stake. A low-quality repair using inferior parts can put you in a potentially life-threatening situation. It might not be a pressing issue at first, but consider your car down the road. If that car is in a serious accident, or a part fails, the consequences could be fatal.
Consider, for example, what could happen if a body technician incorrectly installs an airbag. Airbags not only save lives, but can cause serious injury if not used correctly—the education and skill of the technician quite literally has your life in his hands when he repairs your car. This is also true of seemingly simple repairs, such as bumper replacement.
There are many auto body shops out there to choose from, even if you’re in a small town. How can you be certain of the qualifications and aptitude of the technicians at any one given shop? The answer is an I-CAR Certification.
With today's highly sophisticated cars, a technician must be trained in every aspect of the repair, be able to fix even a bumper with an extreme level of expertise, and also be on top of the latest technology and techniques. That's where I-CAR plays an integral role: by training technicians, estimators and even front office staff at body shops all over the country, enabling them to perform top-notch O.E. repairs. Formed in 1979, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) is an international, non-profit association whose mission is to help the auto repair industry achieve a high level of technical proficiency by developing training programs for collision repair professionals in all areas of the field. Being an I-CAR Certified shop isn’t just a one-time deal—it’s an ongoing process. Every year, technicians get a significant amount of training on a wide range of important issues that helps them to stay current on all the latest repair techniques.
So, the next time you're vetting a body shop, or going over the list of shops that your insurance company provided, make sure that you work with an I-CAR Certified facility. That way, you'll get that peace of mind that all of us want whenever any company works on our beloved vehicle. By displaying that I-CAR plaque, it means that the shop has the latest knowledge and skills to complete the job to factory standards, and that you can trust them to keep your car in top shape—and keep you and your family safe.