Claims: Thatcham Aims For Sustainable Headlamp Clusters

Times are changing in Motor sector claims and one of the reasons that cars take longer to repair, or are written off, is the costs involved in simple headlamp/bumper collisions. Here’s some thoughts from Thatcham on a more sustainable approach;

Thatcham Research is shining a light on the growing need to repair rather than replace damaged vehicle headlamp units and has written a best practice guide to highlight repair options and encourage a more sustainable approach. Today’s headlamp units are often a coded component and integral to the operation of various Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and assisted driving functions that improve safety. But they’re also one of the most commonly damaged vehicle components.

In some cases, the cost of a replacement can amount to 8% of the total vehicle value when new, and costs are expected to increase further as more tech – including LiDAR, cameras and projectors – are incorporated into lighting units.

Sustainable repair solutions

As a vehicle risk intelligence organisation that collaborates with carmakers to understand sustainable repair options for vehicles and potential insurance risk, Thatcham Research has analysed vehicle headlamp specifications, complexities, technologies, and typical damage to identify potential repair strategies. The organisation’s engineers have collated this research data and written a best practice guide that vehicle repairers can use to accurately reinstate an existing lighting unit, rather than replacing it – to mitigate rising insurance costs and total losses.

Darren Bright, Thatcham Research’s principal engineer for automotive repair, said: “The days of a motorist or mechanic being able to repair a damaged headlight on the driveway are long gone. Today’s lighting units are sophisticated components that contain complex, advanced technologies and often have coding requirements to maintain their ‘connected’ status within the vehicle.

“Our repair guidance highlights best practice in the market and gives Vehicle Damage Assessors the information they need to embrace sustainable repair methods, rather than sending a defunct lighting unit straight to landfill.”

Brackets and lenses

Two of the components that Thatcham Research has identified as being most suitable to repair are headlamp mounting brackets and light lenses.

Its research found that 65% of the top-10 carmakers already offer a headlamp mounting bracket repair kit. These kits are designed to replace the sacrificial headlamp mounting bracket in some damage scenarios and could save thousands of pounds when weighing up the cost of a repair in comparison to sourcing a replacement unit.

When it comes to rectifying common forms of lamp failure, for instance a cracked lens, Thatcham Research has also noted that an increasing number of carmakers, including Toyota, are making replacement lenses available. It believes this trend will continue as other vehicle manufacturers introduce lens replacement solutions across the car parc.

In the event of any headlamp repair, Thatcham Research best practice guide reiterates that any repair outside of the OEMs recommended guidance should be approached with caution.

To download a free copy of Thatcham Research’s Vehicle Headlamp Repair Guide, follow the link: Thatcham Research Guidance Enables Sustainable Headlamp Repair

About alastair walker 12131 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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