Article date: 2 April 2007
Fleet managers picking repair firms are taking "pot luck" and risking dangerous repair quality, according to RAC Services.
The comment comes following a Metropolitan Police initiative to investigate the ability of bodyshops to repair the "ultra-high strength steel" components in modern cars.
Former Cheshire assistant chief constable, John Dwyer, has claimed that fewer than a quarter of the UK's 5,500 garage bodyshops are equipped to repair cars containing the new high strength steels.
Phil Mairs, head of RAC Services, says: "There is a varying standard of skill and quality among the damage repair industry and fleet managers are taking pot luck by choosing a repairer from a phonebook.
"Fleets can't be expected to know how to vet a potential repairer, which is why it's essential to tap into an approved repairer network.
"Outsourcing the process to an accident management company, such as RAC Services, means fleet managers can be certain that their vehicles are being repaired by an RAC approved bodyshop, which will undoubtedly offer excellent levels of quality and capability.
"Those buying repair services should be looking for the BSI PAS 125 Kitemark for vehicle body repair. Developed by BSI and Thatcham - the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre - the standard covers five key elements of the repair process, including people, methods, equipment, materials and process management.
"RAC and its sister company, Norwich Union, have been instrumental in developing the standard. As part of the steering group committee we have put forward a set of criteria and recommendations which all our approved repairers mustadhere to. We believe the BSI PAS 125 Kitemark is another vital element for fleet managers to protect their drivers and themselves."
RAC Press office contact:
Adam Cracknell 01603 684916/07800 699 517 or Jon Day on 01603 209287/07800 690 555
Notes to editors:
With around seven million members, RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organizations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, windscreen repair and replacement, learning to drive, vehicle inspections and checks, legal and financial services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able to meet motorists' needs. RAC incorporates BSM, RAC Auto Windscreens, RAC Direct Insurance and HPI.
Aviva bought RAC in May 2005. The acquisition brings together RAC's powerful brand and customer base with the expertise and leading position in motor insurance of Norwich Union Insurance (part of Aviva). Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer, insuring one in seven motor vehicles and with a market share of around 15%.
RAC's news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at www.racnews.co.uk.