Full-Body Sectioning Should Not Be Done

I-CAR and subject matter experts from vehicle makers, collision repairers, insurers, and tool and equipment makers held a meeting in May, to develop, update, and publish an I-CAR best practice on Full-Body Sectioning Should Not Be Done.

Full-body sectioning (clipping) is not a safe or viable repair option and should not be done, under any circumstances. Full-body sectioning will not result in a complete, safe, and quality repair.

In the collision repair industry, full-body sectioning, often referred to as clipping, is the process of joining large assemblies cut from separate vehicles. This involves cutting through multiple panel layers in a combination of A-, B-, C-, and D-pillars, the quarter panels, the rocker panels, and across the floor pan. The undamaged portions from these vehicles are then welded to complete the “repair.” This type of procedure is done without supporting documentation from the vehicle maker.

I-CAR published a statement (Are General Sectioning Guidelines Still Applicable?) warning against using general sectioning guidelines on late-model vehicles. “If there are no published sectioning procedures available from the vehicle maker, do not section. The complete part should be replaced at factory seams, unless the OEM allows for partial part replacementat a factory seam.”

Installing large welded assemblies, such as full-front or full-rear body sections, involves making multiple joints in multiple structural panels and reinforcements. On all late model vehicles, the reinforcement panels in the vehicle side structure are made from high- and ultra-high-strength steels, aluminum, and carbon fiber that contribute to the structural integrity and occupant safety of the vehicle. Introducing a sectioning joint in any of these parts will adversely affect the performance of the vehicle structure during normal operation as well as during another collision.

In addition to the information from I-CAR, no vehicle maker allows clipping as an approved repair
method. In fact, most vehicle makers have published warnings against performing full body sectioning on their vehicles.