After careful consideration using industry feedback, Ford Australia has issued a new position statement covering battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The company also revised the ‘Bumper Fascia Repair with ADAS’ and ‘Clearcoat Blending’ position statements.
Ford says that with a growing range of battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), precautions must be taken before, during, and after repairing vehicles fitted with a high voltage battery system.
To prevent the risk of high-voltage shock, the company says workers must always follow all warnings and service instructions precisely, including instructions to de-power the system. Failure to follow these instructions may result in serious personal injury or death.
Additionally, the high-voltage battery in a BEV and PHEV can be affected and damaged by excessively high temperatures, so unless otherwise specified in the model-specific procedure, during refinishing operations the paint booth temperature must be set at or below 60 degrees Celsius with a bake time of 45 minutes or less. “Temperatures exceeding 60 degrees Celsius or bake durations longer than 45 minutes require the high voltage battery [to] be removed from the vehicle prior to placing in the paint booth,” said Ford.
Regarding the company’s revised clear coat position statement, Ford says the preferred process – and the one it approves – is to blend the basecoat colour as necessary and then clearcoat the entire panel.
Clear coat must be continued to the nearest edge including apertures. For example, on a quarter panel or roof, the channel area is usually the line to make a break point. Ford says most of its vehicles include a channel area, which makes it easier to perform the procedure the right way, the first time.
“Ford Motor Company does not approve the procedure of clear coat blending or using clear coat blending in any warranty or collision repair,” the company said. “Furthermore, Ford never allows for partial clearcoat blending on warranty paint repairs and does not approve clearcoat blending on customer-pay or insurance-pay repairs.
“Paint companies and vehicle manufacturers agree that a repair using this material and procedure is not robust, and that over time, the edge will begin to lift and discolour, making the edge around the repair very noticeable. To resist ultraviolet light and other environmental factors, the clear coat needs approximately 25 microns of thickness. However, the micron thickness of the clearcoat in a blended area tapers out at the edge.”
BUMPER FASCIA REPAIR WITH ADAS
The revised Bumper Fascia Repair with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems position statement says bumper fascias play an integral role in the performance and functionality of state-of-the-art features that provide occupant safety and enhance the driving experience.
During body repairs involving the front and / or rear bumper fascia, Ford says it is critical that the vehicle be restored to proper operating condition to ensure that important safety systems function correctly. These systems include:
- Pre-Collision Assist with AEB
- BLIS (blind spot monitoring) with cross-traffic alert
- Intelligent adaptive cruise control
- Lane-keeping system
- Active park assist
- Evasive steering assist
- BLIS (blind spot monitoring) with trailer coverage
- Pro Trailer backup assist
The following points provide an overview of bumper fascia repairs:
- Paint repairs can be made if the material thickness does not exceed 300 microns in total thickness
- Use of hot staples to repair cracks or damage is not permitted
- Repair of any sonic-welded sensor retainer rings or tabs is not allowed due to possible misalignment and incorrect operation of the sensor
The company also says that vehicle wraps, bumper stickers, and aftermarket accessories in the fascia can create system operation concerns.
The full position statements, which also detail where further information can be sourced, are available from Ford Australia.