What Goes Around…May Just Come Back to Haunt You!

Along with many other potentially devastating liabilities faced with in the collision repair industry, as a repairer and now industry advisor and consultant/coach, “Reconditioned Wheels” has been one of my greatest concerns for some time. While called for, and employed across the country on a daily basis, these reclaimed and repaired wheels pose serious and significant safety concerns.

My concerns began back in the mid 90’s when I replaced a repaired wheel obtained from a supplier listed within the repair estimate prepared and provided by my customer’s insurer. Several weeks after delivery, the customer came back with a concern over his tire going flat. He’d taken it to his tire store to have it repaired only to find that his tire was fine and that the wheel itself was leaking air, and not around the bead, but through the rim where a repair had been performed and where a remaining crack or fissure remained which allowed air to escape through the rim. I realized then that once damaged and repaired wheels are susceptible to having remaining flaws and defects and the distinct liabilities they posed for me and other repairers.

While the opportunity to recondition once damaged wheels surely proves to reduce repair costs for insurers and consumers, the considerable risks of failure and potential for serious property damage, injury and even death and the associated liabilities are just as real and far more significant for repairers.

Perhaps no entity understands this better than the Original Equipment Manufacturers such as BMW, Daimler-Chrysler, Ford, GM, , Honda, Nissan, Toyota and others who have released written statements making their positions known that, other than minor cosmetic refinishing, the repair of damaged rims in not recommended. Obviously this is to avoid associated liabilities and to safeguard the integrity of their product and name-brand reputation.