Safety features, also called ADAS, stands for Advanced driver-assistance systems. ADAS is all of the fancy features your new car comes equipped with that helps to avoid a collision. This includes blind-spot monitors, lane-keep assists, pre-collision braking, and a whole lot more depending on the year and makes of vehicle.
As little as a few years ago, the only safety system that required any type of recalibration following a collision was the airbag. It was obvious to identify the issue because the airbag light would appear on the dashboard letting us know that they needed to have it reset or recalibrated, or that there was a problem like a loose wire somewhere in the system.
Unfortunately in modern vehicles, there are not enough dashboard lights to cover all of the potential faulty ADAS systems. This means if your shop doesn’t perform the necessary scanning for them, you will have no way of knowing if your car is throwing off fault codes for those complex systems.
If you assume that every body shop will automatically do the appropriate scans and check all your car’s safety features, consider this: vehicle diagnostics provider CarMD reported that its third-party PRO SCAN tool had found issues on 80 percent of 5,642 vehicles checked by repairers.
CarMD wrote that “a majority” of those 80 percent had “hidden problems not likely identified by a visual vehicle inspection alone.”
“On average, these vehicles had six issues that needed to be checked, repaired, or replaced, resulting in improved peace of mind for vehicle owners and increased average repair order (ARO) for shops,” the company continued in a news release.
So what CarMD is saying, is that of the body shops that use their scanning tools, 80% of the vehicles scanned had other system issues that were basically invisible since they don’t show any indicator lights. We think that’s pretty alarming.
Of all the cars scanned, only 32 percent of them displayed the more common check engine light, which is not collision or ADAS related.
But on the 68 percent without a check engine light, “nearly three quarters (74%) of these vehicles … reported a problem with one or more system. On average, each vehicle had six different modules that required attention, resulting in additional work for the shop.”
“The most common Network System codes were related to the Body Control Module (BCM), Transmission Control Module (TCM), Instrument Panel Cluster (IPC), Powertrain Control Module (PCM), Engine Control Module (ECM) and radio.”
Here is the part that impacts customer safety, though: “Some less commonly diagnosed issues, but equally important due to their potential impact on passenger safety, were a faulty backup camera, adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, lane departure alert and seat belt retractor motor module.”
CarMD spokeswoman Kristin Brocoff confirmed these 74 percent didn’t throw any of the other dash lights either. “In most of those cases it was an issue that doesn’t report a dashboard warning light at all,” she wrote in an email. “Other scenarios included situations where a CEL bulb was removed or disconnected from the combination meter. In others, it was an intermittent issue that hadn’t triggered a warning light.”
So as you can see, it is important that you select a body shop that is going to cover every aspect of your collision repair, including a pre and post-repair scan and calibration, but you may be wondering why might a shop would elect not to scan the vehicle?
Whether you think so or not, there are unfortunately still many auto body repair shops that operate the same way they did in the 1970s. The scary thing is, they either disregard the proper collision repair steps or don’t even know that they need to perform certain protocol. You also have other body shops who choose to keep repair costs low in order to keep their severity numbers low so they can stay on certain direct repair programs and get all their business through insurance companies as long as they keep their repairs cheap. Here at, Mid Island Collision, we wither send out any vehicle that has not been pre and post-repair scanned or do it ourselves. We consider vehicles that haven’t been scanned or fully inspected to be a liability to the customer and to our business.
Here at Mid Island Collision Center, we are Long Island’s premier choice for collision repair because we know what it means to repair your car the right way. Too many body shops, especially in New York, will jump right on a repair based on a photo estimate, neglecting necessary steps to do a completely safe repair.