The wild weather that has lashed much of Australia this summer has left an estimated 60,000 cars in need of urgent hail-damage repair, prompting the official automotive industry body to issue a warning to customers about dodgy repair jobs.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has today issued an "instant expert" checklist to help owners spot inferior repair work when they go to collect their vehicles from workshops. It's part of the organisation's Genuine is Best campaign that pushes genuine OEM parts for repair work.
“Australian motorists could have their cars returned in far worse condition following a repair,” says FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber.
“We are in a fraught smash repair environment. Drivers are sometimes unable to choose their repairer and many are signed on to insurance policies that encourage the fitment of parts that are unapproved and untested by the car’s maker.
"These issues are only compounded by a surge of thousands of simultaneous claims."
Of most concern to the industry body is the fitment of non-genuine replacement parts, with window glass, roof panels, doors, bonnets and boot lids the most likely to be swapped out after a hail storm.
The FCAI says that genuine windscreens are calibrated to pair with the vehicle's safety systems (like AEB, lane keep assist and forward collision warning), and warns that aftermarket glass might corrupt those functions, with similar warnings in place for non-genuine bonnets and panels.
To ward off dodgy repairs, the FCAI has issued the following instructions for car owners to go through before they take delivery of their vehicle:
The FCAI has issued a six-point repair checklist
Was your car damaged by hail? Are you happy with your repairs. Tell us in the comments below.