MUNICH -- Every year, 3.5 million auto repairs could be carried out in a more environmentally friendly way in Germany than they are right now, a study says.
If environmentally friendly repairs became common, CO2 savings could be boosted by between 200,000 and 570,000 tons a year just in Germany," said Christoph Lauterwasser, managing director of the Allianz Center for Technology.
The center has just published a study on environmentally friendly repairs with the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology.
The study looked at the environmental impact of carrying out so-called "soft" repairs on damaged body parts instead of the common practice of replacing them.
It was based on repairs to plastic and metal exterior parts as well as minor paint damage on a Volkswagen Golf.
The work was compared with the replacement of the part or the complete painting of a fender.
The result: the CO2 emissions can be reduced by 60 percent by repairing a vehicle side section, 72 percent by repairing a plastic bumper, and 44 percent by partially painting a fender.
"For the first time, we have produced the proof that the soft repair methods that Allianz has recommended for a long time are not only technically flawless and cost-effective, but are environmentally friendlier as well," said Karl-Walter Gutberlet, a member of the Allianz management board.