By Kevin Creegan
In the past year, some issues have arisen because of the confusion between OEM approvals and recommendations. Although the distinction may seem trivial, there is actually a major difference between the implications, ramifications and legalities of these two terms. Many adhesive manufacturers have unfortunately grown into the habit of taking creative license related to the meaning of approval and recommended, and the industry must do a better job of enforcing proper use of these two terms.
Simply, the approval process requires testing and certification. In the case of adhesives, OEM approval exists when extensive testing has been completed by the manufacturer, OEM or a combination of the two or even a third-party to validate either the product (adhesive) and/process. The result may be a specification for the adhesive, but that does not necessarily validate the repair procedure. In contrast, the procedure may be approved, yet the adhesives used may or may not be approved (they may only be recommended). It is key that the TSBs or other pertinent bulletins are carefully read, understood and followed.
Further complicating this issue is that not all OEMs follow the same process for approvals and recommendations. In many instances, a procedure or a product may not be approved, rather, recommended. Such cases require the body shop to validate the product or procedure. An exception would be a recall, where an OEM likely won’t make a recommendation; it will likely be very specific procedure with specific products that are approved.
Although it is likely that many manufacturers will continue to take liberties with the approval versus recommendation concept, it is key as an industry we recognize that such a decision is not truth in advertising. Be wary of the use of the two terms interchangeably and be sure to ask questions related to this topic.
For more guidance on this topic, be sure to visit www.fusor.com/oemrepair for clarification on what Fusor adhesives are approved and/or recommended by OEMs.