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Guide to Collision Repairs

No vehicle owner expects to be involved in an accident. But, at some point, you may be faced with damage to your vehicle as the result of a collision. Vehicle repairs can be handled better by an informed consumer.

Vehicle design

Most vehicles manufactured since 1980 (unitized or unibody) are particularly good at absorbing collision impacts and minimizing injury to vehicle occupants. The ability to absorb collision impact is accomplished by creating “crush zones” in the vehicle that absorb and redirect the impact energy to other areas of the vehicle outside the passenger compartment.

Unitized body construction relies on a number of lightweight, high strength steel panels and parts, properly welded together, to provide structural strength. Due to the energy-absorbing nature of the design, even relatively minor appearing accidents can result in damage that may affect the structural integrity of the vehicle.

Hastitngs Street Collision has the proper training and equipment necessary to correctly diagnose and repair your vehicle. A poorly repaired vehicle may be unsafe and can cost you money.

What you should look for

Under Michigan law, repair facilities that perform collision repairs are required to be registered (licensed) by the Department of State. The registration and a consumer information sign must be posted in a prominent location within the facility.

The consumer information sign advises you of your right to a written estimate from the facility before repairs begin and to a final invoice upon completion of repairs. Further, mechanics who repair collision-damaged unitized body vehicles are required by law to be certified in the category of Unitized Body Structural Repair. The mechanic’s certificate must be posted in a conspicuous location.

Look for Hasting Street Collison's registration, the mechanic’s certificate and the information sign. If you do not see them, ask the service manager or owner about them. Only do business with a repair facility that is registered and can demonstrate that it has properly trained, certified mechanics who will work on your vehicle.

Repairs to be performed

When you receive a written estimate for the work that will be done, be sure you understand the extent of repairs that will be performed and the type of parts that will be used. The abbreviation “LKQ” stands for “Like Kind and Quality” and is another way of saying the part is used and not new. 

Michigan law requires Hastings Street Collision to inform you in writing if the replacement parts used to repair your vehicle are not OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer, the company that manufactured your vehicle). Parts not produced by the vehicle manufacturer may be of a lesser quality and, if used, may void the manufacturer’s warranty. Before authorizing collision repairs, make sure you inform Hastings Street Collision and your insurance company if you only want the repair completed with OEM parts.