The Cadillac CT6's Achilles Heel: Collision Repair

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
the cadillac ct6 s achilles heel collision repair

Owning a range-topping Cadillac is supposed to be a trouble-free affair, and — barring gremlins — it still can be, so long as your sharp-edged, oddly light CT6 remains unbent and unbroken.

Cadillac’s liberal use of high-strength aluminum in the sedan’s body structure won accolades when the CT6 debuted for the 2016 model year. Body stiffness, curb weight, and fuel economy all benefit from this mingling of metals. However, trouble arises when those carefully bonded metals come apart.

As it turns out, fixing a damaged CT6 could prove difficult for many of the model’s 7,876-plus owners.

According to GM Inside News, there’s a serious lack of collision repair shops capable of handling the model’s advanced composition. Only GM-certified shops can come near a battered CT6, and they’re pretty thin on the ground.

How great is the dearth of CT6-capable shops? The current tally sits at 150, found in 25 states. Yes, half of all U.S. states do not have a shop capable of performing collision repair on Cadillac’s three-box flagship. As such, the repair process could take a lot longer, especially for those living in the upper Great Plains, central Gulf Coast and extreme Northeast.

The marriage of steel to aluminum though both laser and aluminum arc welding, as well as piles of structural adhesive, makes putting Humpty Dumpty back together again a tricky thing. Certainly, you don’t want anyone screwing that up, and neither does GM.

GM wholesale channel associate Rachel Rodriguez told GMI that certification usually takes one to three months, depending on the shop’s resources. High-end shops with plenty of gear on hand might simply require an audit by the automaker. Still, the CT6 is new to the market, and so far hasn’t exactly flown out the door (though it has beat the CTS in sales for the past two months).

Until those numbers come up, many shops won’t feel the need to bother gaining certification.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Dec 23, 2016

    Once upon a time, a Cadillac owner could tell a Mercedes owner "Yeah well at least my car is generally cheap to repair." The irony of this whole push by Cadillac to compete with "Ze Germans" and with top tier Lexus cars is that they are alienating everyone. The beauty of the Lincoln and Acura Approach is that the cars are Fords and Hondas at heart which can be a big benefit to someone who wants to keep a car for a decade or more.

  • Akear Akear on Dec 27, 2016

    Cadillac seems to have paid a high price to make their cars the world's best handling luxury sedans. Considering what their brand represents was it worth it?

  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.
  • Leonard Ostrander Pet peeve: Drivers who swerve to the left to make a right turn and vice versa. They take up as much space as possible for as long as possible as though they're driving trailer trucks or school busses. It's a Kia people, not a Kenworth! Oh, and use your turn signals if you ever figure out where you're going.