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SCRS responds to concerns about tinting to a blendable match

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April 13, 2011 — Following feedback from membership, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) on Tuesday release_notesd information about a claims trend related to tinting and blending.

The SRCS said it had become aware of a practice in which insurance carriers limited claims settlements for either tinting or blending individually, but not reimbursing for the procedures mutually. The issue was first noticed in the Northeast, where several large carriers started implementing a “tint or blend” approach, according to the SCRS.

After polling other markets, the organization found the trend is growing nationwide, requiring shops to have clearly stated documentation to substantiate their processes for proper and undetectable refinish repairs.

“In our refinish department it is not unusual to both tint and blend the paint to achieve a proper color match,” said Shannon Chambers, head painter at Dingman's Collision Center in Omaha, Neb. “In talking with our estimators, I know that they are getting more and more pressure to reduce the estimate costs, but these are operations that I have to perform to live up to our customer's expectations of our shop. In addition to the tinting and blending, I have more time spent than ever researching the color tools and indexes that we have; these are steps that I have to go through if I want to do repairs the right way.”

The SCRS contacted each major paint manufacturer and asked them the following four questions to clarify what procedures are recommended:

• Is blending the basecoat recommended by your company to achieve proper color match between panels?

• Is tinting the basecoat material a recommended procedure to achieve a proper color match to the vehicle's existing refinish?

• Are procedures such as tinting and blending commonly performed in conjunction with each other, or are they redundant processes?

• Does your company recommend performing one, or both, of these processes to achieve a proper color match on the repaired vehicle?

All of the responses are available on the SCRS website, but the organization said the overall response was in line with its stance on the issue:

“Collision repair professionals have a wide variety of tools and resources available to assist in determining and producing proper color application. Research of the color code and existing variations provided by the refinish manufacturer and blending of the color coat are both recommended operations to perform an acceptable match; if the refinish technician performing the repair determines that the color variance requires adjustment, it is a consistent recommendation to tint to a blendable match. When tinting is necessary for color adjustment, it is always done in conjunction with blending.”

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