October 24, 2017 by Canadian Underwriter
Manitoba Public Insurance’s (MPI) new centre for automotive research and training has been officially certified by Certified Collision Care, which has strategic partnerships with Fiat Chrysler Canada, Ford Motor Company of Canada and Nissan Canada for OEM certification.
The new centre – located at the J.W. Zacharias Physical Damage Research Centre in Winnipeg – was opened on Oct. 17. It will enable qualified technicians to work in collaboration with Manitoba’s repair industry as it adapts repair methods related to vehicles now being constructed of complex materials (including aluminum, carbon fibre, high strength and ultra, high-strength steels).
“This certification ensures proper and safe repair is being conducted to manufacturer’s specifications within our new facility,” said Ward Keith, vice president of business development & communications and chief administrative officer of MPI, in a press release on Monday. “Certification of our new physical damage and research centre validates our commitment to Manitoba’s collision repair industry.”
To become certified, MPI passed the rigorous certification process essential to help ensure a proper and safe repair of the new generation of advanced vehicles, the insurer reported, adding that less than 5% of collision repair facilities in Canada are able to meet the stringent requirements to become officially certified and recognized. “We are very pleased that Manitoba Public Insurance has achieved certification by Certified Collision Care, and meets the OEM certification criteria for Fiat Chrysler, Nissan and Ford,” said Leanne Jefferies, vice president of Canadian operations for Assured Performance, which consists of a management company, non-profit consumer advocacy organization and legal co-op.
“The certification criteria is based upon auto manufacturer requirements,” Jefferies added in the release. “These are critical to ensure the vehicle fit, finish, durability, value and safety following a collision. As new model vehicles are being introduced that use lightweight, high-strength materials and advanced technology, a proper repair according to manufacturer specification is even more important than ever to ensure the passenger safety and proper performance of the vehicle.”
When the new research and training centre was opened, MPI reported that technicians in the centre will work closely with Manitoba’s repair industry and Red River College to offer access to training on new and emerging vehicle repair techniques and equipment. This will result in “significant savings for local collision repair shops that would otherwise have to spend thousands of dollars to send their autobody technicians to out-of-province training sessions,” MPI suggested in a statement on Oct. 17. The Crown corporation’s president and CEO, Dan Guimond, said that moving forward, the centre will host technical training courses for the collision repair community, in addition to offering tours to Manitoba high school students who may have an interest in becoming an auto repair technician. MPI will also leverage its relationships with other collision research facilities around the world to investigate new and cost-effective vehicle repair techniques, tools and equipment for use by Manitoba collision repair shops, the statement said.
Certified Collision Care is the Canadian division of Assured Performance, a non-profit consumer advocacy organization specializing in the automotive collision repair market segment. The Certified Collision Care program provides all qualified collision repairers the opportunity to attain multiple OEM certifications in Canada within a single program, audit process and cost. In order to qualify, repairers must have the proper tools, equipment, training and facilities required to repair vehicles to OEM specifications and ensure a vehicle’s fit, finish, durability, functionality, value, and safety are preserved.