The Cadillac CT6's Achilles Heel: Collision Repair

the cadillac ct6s 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?

  • Theflyersfan I was living in one part of the world when China and Russia were completing their 21st century scramble of Africa. They were pumping billions into the economies of these countries building new dams, bridges, skyscrapers, freeways/toll roads, utilities, power plants, you know - projects that would benefit the average resident of said location. All they wanted in exchange were the mineral, mining, fishing, timber, etc., rights of said location. And they got them. So during that era when they were looking at global expansion, we were fighting unwinnable wars and our "leaders" on the left were yelling at the "leaders" on the right and vice versa, and what happens when all you do is stare and focus on one thing like DC is known to do? The world moves on around you. And that's what happened here.We had the same opportunity to build Africa up and to make the same deals as other countries, but our "nation building" tends to take place via the conversion from something solid and standing to something in pieces and in rubble. So it looks like we'll continue to have to deal with hostile nations holding our feet into the fire and working through their many geopolitical issues just so we can continue to get cheap electronics and necessary materials in our manufacturing just because we decided around 40+ years ago to ship it all overseas because we wanted to save 50 cents on a pack of socks and the CEOs needed their next quarterly statement to look even better to the shareholders so they could increase their pay and bonuses, consequences be damned.
  • DweezilSFV I didn't think GM could make a worse looking truck than their full-sizers.Success.
  • DweezilSFV GM. Still trying to make OnStar happen.And still the answer to a question no one ever asked.
  • Corey Lewis Look, here's the voice warning record player!
  • Buickman as Donnie Brosco said... Forget about it.