Todd Tracy Talks Dangers of Non OEM Vehicle Repairs at SEMA 2017

The Society of Collision Repair Specialist invited Vehicle Safety Attorney Todd Tracy to speak at its Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Repair Technology Summit at SEMA 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Dangers of Shoddy Vehicle Repairs

Tracy appeared on a panel before a packed room of owners of collision repair facilities.  Tracy educated the group about the liability consequences of being bullied by auto insurance carriers into making shoddy non OEM repairs.

A Dallas County Jury had just awarded a $42 million dollar verdict in an accident case that crushed and burned a young couple.  Unknown to them, the hail damaged roof of their used 2010 Honda Fit had been replaced using glue instead of 108 welds as called for by Honda’s OEM repair specifications.

The SCRS OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit at SEMA 2017 was moderated by technologist and author, John Ellis. The panel included Mark Allen (Audi of America), Erica Eversman (Attorney at Law, Vehicle Information Services), Aaron Clark (former repair shop owner) and Todd Tracy (Attorney at Law, The Tracy Firm).

The panel addressed:

• How business decisions  can directly impact repair facility liability. Dallas County jury members stated after the trial that the collision center had argued in its defense that it made a business decision to use adhesive, but the jury concluded that it was the wrong business decision and the company had to be held accountable for damages.

Here’s a guide to important parts of the panel discussion: 1:56

– OEM stance on the state of technology? 3:42

– Liability risks for collision repair busineesses? 7:34

– Growing complexity of vehicle technology? 15:44

– OEM’s “recommend” vs. “require”? 25:13

– How to keep certified shops from repairing cars improperly? 27:53

– If there is not a documented OEM procedure, what should a shop do? 29:55

– Individual liability for the repair technician? 40:17

– How do repair facilities insist on OEM standards if insurance companies refuse to pay? 46:06

– A shop owner’s perspective of going through the liability process? 50:46

– What the aviation industry can teach us about quality control and stanards? 54:07

– Are “hold harmless” documents a defense? 58:10

– If an insurance adjuster tells a consumer “you have to pay the difference” who’s has legal liability? 1:01:20

– Does a vehicle lease change OEM requirements of where and how a vehicle is repaired? 1:06:28

– Liability issues over repairing vehicles with used parts that are key to crashworthiness. 1:17:20

– How can we engage insurers in avoiding liability from repair? 1:21:52

– What is your guidance to an independent repairer who is not on the certification program? 1:27:10

– What liability exists from leaving a digital fingerprint on the vehicle? 1:33:45

– If an insurer refuses to pay for a necessary operation, what should a shop owner do? 1:42:14

– When did repairers become “power of attorney” to act on behalf of the consumer?

The opinions expressed by the panelists are their own, and may not represent the views of SCRS. For more information about SCRS, or to join as a member, please visit, call toll free 1-877-841-0660 or email us at

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