Photo courtesy of GM.

Photo courtesy of GM.

General Motors next year will launch a comprehensive collision certification program that will incorporate standards for scanning, calibration and overall repair, the automaker said.

“Today’s certification programs have to evolve to keep up with the rapid-fire pace of technological innovation in the auto industry, especially in areas like safety systems,” said John Eck, collision manager in the company’s Customer Care and Aftersales division. “Our new program is being designed to measure critical behaviors and procedures that will help ensure every collision repair is done to the highest standards, whether the work is done at a dealership, an independent body shop or by a multi-shop operator.”

To develop the certification program, the GM Customer Care and Aftersales division is working closely with companies such as Mitchell International and Enterprise Holdings. The new program will build on current training- and tools-focused programs, but will be much more comprehensive, GM said.

Last year, GM issued a position statement that all vehicles being assessed for collision damage repairs must be tested for diagnostic trouble codes during the repair estimation. Additionally, each vehicle must be retested after all repairs are complete to verify the faults have been repaired and new faults have not been introduced during the course of repairs.

GM is also exploring ways to incorporate technologies like OnStar into the process, such as providing drivers with information on qualified collision repair facilities based on vehicle location and crash severity.

“With Automatic Crash Response, OnStar is typically the first to know an incident has occurred,” said Brian Hoglund, OnStar commercial experience director for GM. “Depending on the vehicle’s repair needs and driver’s well-being, OnStar has the ability to help streamline the repair process while making the experience more convenient for our customers.”