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AUTOBODY IL / IN / IA / KS / KY / MI / MN / MO / NE / ND / OH / SD / WI

Prosecutor: No Crime by Uber in Self-Driving Death; Crash Still Under Scrutiny by Ray Stern, Phoenix New Times

Uber, the corporation, didn’t commit any crimes in the self-driving fatal crash last year that killed a woman in Tempe, AZ, the Yavapai County At-

Credit: Tempe Police

torney’s Office announced March 5. But backup driver Rafaela Vasquez may still be in trouble. The prosecutor’s office is asking Tempe police to provide more information and evidence that would help determine whether she was at fault. The Prescott-based office is also referring the criminal case against Uber back to Maricopa County for further review. The March 18, 2018 crash that killed Elaine Herzberg, a 49-yearold homeless woman, rocked many in the tech world who assumed auSee Self-Driving Death, Page 62

Class Action Against Allstate Can Continue; “Company, Not State, Sets Rates” Appeals Court Says by Dan Churney, Cook County Record

In a split decision, an Illinois appeals panel stripped Allstate Insurance of its defenses against a class action that alleged the company unfairly billed long-term auto policyholders more than it charged new ones. The panel said Illinois insurers can’t protect their rates from lawsuits because their rates are not controlled by the Illinois Department of Insurance. The Jan. 29 ruling was delivered by Justice Judy Cates with concurrence from Justice Melissa

Chapman of Illinois Fifth District Appellate Court in Mt. Vernon. Justice James Moore dissented.

AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 8 / Issue 7 / April 2019

IL Introduces Bill Mandating Disclosure of Aftermarket Parts, Adherence to OEM Repair Procedures by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Feb. 15, Illinois State Senator Tom Cullerton (D) introduced Senate Bill 2104, which would add verbiage pertaining to OEM procedures to the Illinois Insurance Code. It would specify that “no vehicle repair facility or installer may use repair specifications or procedures that are not in compliance with the original equipment manufacturer for those parts.” The Illinois Automotive Collision Repair Act would also be amended to state that “no vehicle repair estimate may include the use of non-original equipment manufacturer aftermarket crash parts unless authorized by the customer in writing. “The estimate shall include the use of repair specifications by the

original equipment manufacturer for those parts, and no repair facility or installer may use repair specifications or procedures that are not in compliance with the original equipment manufacturer for those parts.” House Bill 2104 would also require that the use of aftermarket parts be disclosed and the manufacturer of each part be identified. Each estimate must describe the major parts needed in the repair and “shall designate the parts as either new parts, used parts, rebuilt or reconditioned parts, or aftermarket parts.” The proposed bill would also amend the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act to specify “no person engaged in the business of performing services on merchandise shall advertise See Mandating Disclosure, Page 12

Court Junks Body Shops’ Antitrust Claims Against State Farm, Other Carriers by Greg Land,

The ruling favored Illinois residents Jeffrey A. Corbin, Margaret A. Corbin and Anna Tryfonas in their class action complaint against Allstate. They brought the suit in 2016 to downstate Madison County Circuit Court, which is known as a See Class Action, Page 26

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has scrapped five combined lawsuits filed by auto body repair shops accusing State Farm Insurance and several other insurers of conspiring to punish shops that didn’t cooperate with its alleged scheme to fix prices and use sub-standard replacement parts. No Price-Fixing Eight of the nine judge en banc panel agreed that the repair shops’ complaints didn’t rise to the level of price-fixing and group-boycotting under the Sherman Antitrust Act, agreeing with a trial judge who dismissed the actions in 2016. The case has divided courts. In 2017, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh

Circuit had split the other way, with Judge Charles Wilson and a visiting judge sitting by appointment saying complaints should move forward, while a third, Senior Judge R. Lanier Anderson, dissented. The majority opinion made March 4 was written by Anderson with the concurrence of Chief Judge Ed Carnes and Judges Gerald Tjoflat, Adalberto Jordan, Kevin Newson, William Pryor, Beverly Martin and Elizabeth Branch. The dissenting opinion was crafted by Judge Charles Wilson, who had written the earlier opinion favoring the body shops. The most recent ruling dismissed the federal causes of action and two of three state claims, leaving alive only a claim for tortious interference. See Antitrust Claims, Page 24



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CONTENTS AASP-MO Welcomes AutoZone as Newest Associate Member . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 ABRA Auto Body Purchases Redfield Collision in MO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 ASA-OH Members Learn to Optimize Performance Through Repair Planning . . . . 16 Award-Winning St. Joseph, MO, Body Shop Is CertifiedFirst Charter Member . . . . . . . . . 21 East St. Louis, IL, Auto Body Shop Accused

Phillips - How to Implement an Effective Scheduling Process to Achieve Revenue & Cycle Time Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Sisk - ASA Washington D.C. Representative Bob Redding Delivers Legislative Update. . . 36 Sisk - ASA Webinar Features ‘G’ Jerry Truglia’s ‘Why a DTC is Not Always Displayed’ . . . . . 46 Yoswick - Survey Finds Trends in How Shops Are Charging – And Being Paid – for Shop Supplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

of Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Fiat Chrysler To Invest $4.5 Billion in 5 MI plants, Create 6,500 Jobs . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Fueled Customs’ Love of Cars Fuels Awards in Lake Mills, WI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires 11 Locations in Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 IL Introduces Bill Mandating Disclosure of Aftermarket Parts, Adherence to

1Collision Announces 10th Location in

AASPI Annual Meeting Features Collision

Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists, LLC . . . . . . . . 20

Laurel Auto Group of Westmont . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Luther Bloomington Acura-Subaru . . . . . . . . . 44 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Maplewood Toyota-Scion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5, 14

Matrix Electronic Measuring. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Blowtherm USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . 58

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

McGrath City Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Bob Hook Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Mercedes-Benz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34-35

Brunswick Auto Mart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 52 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Midwest Parts Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18-19

Classic Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Mirka USA, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Courtesy Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . 40-41

Dent Fix Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Morrison’s Auto Parts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Dent Magic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . 60

Dominion Sure Seal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Patrick BMW MINI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Eckler’s Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Patrick Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

PPG Refinish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Chaos, Study Suggests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

Equalizer Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Prima Welds. Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

How 4 Recalls May Impact Your Business . . . . 64

Gandrud Parts Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

RBL Products. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

KABA’s 1st Trade Show To Feature

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Richfield-Bloomington Honda. . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Mike Anderson of Collision Advice . . . . . . . . 21

GYS Welding USA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

SATA Dan-Am Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

NABC Names 2 New Board Members . . . . . . . 56

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 28-29

Spanesi Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Prosecutor: No Crime by Uber in Self-Driving

Hyundai Motor America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . 54

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 55

The Sharpe Collection of Automobiles . . . . . . 50

Infiniti of Naperville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Jack Phelan Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram

U.S. Chemical & Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Eric Newell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 After the Donation: Caliber Collision, Allstate Step Up to Help Army Veteran . . . . . . . . . . . 45

ASA Launches New Video Series . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Auto Exchange Joins CIECA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Wrecks in MI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 NSF International Certifies 7 Crash Champions Collision Shop Locations in Chicago Area . . 16 Rev Up Your Game at AASP-MN’s 2019 Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference . . . . . . . 22 St. Charles, MO, Shops Stay Busy This Winter . . 27 YANG Attracts 50+ Attendees to Regional Meet-Up in Grand Rapids, MI . . . . . . . . . . . 15

CARSTAR on Entrepreneur’s Top Franchises List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 CIF Reports Success at 9th Annual Fundraiser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Class Action Against Allstate Can Continue; Company, Not State, Sets Rates, Appeals Court Says . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Court Junks Body Shops’ Antitrust Claims Against State Farm, Other Carriers . . . . . . . . 1 CSN Collision Centres Conference Focuses on How To Achieve Excellence. . . . . . . . . . . 58 Elite Body Shop Solutions’ Next Webinar . . . . . . 3 Elon Musk Promises ‘Fully Autonomous’

COLUMNISTS Anderson - Moving Beyond Paper QC Process Necessary to Ensure Documented Proper Repairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Attanasio - Broadly Helps Body Shops Shine Online . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Attanasio - Mike’s Auto Body Estimator Chases Fame as Stand-up Comic . . . . . . . . 60 Ledoux - Vehicle Safety Equipment Through The Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Phillips - An Insider’s Guide to Handling Media Interviews During a Crisis . . . . . . . . . 32 Phillips - How Implementing a Lean Process Can Improve a Shop’s ROI & Decrease Cycle Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51


Serving Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2019 Adamantine Media LLC.

Mankato, MN, Auto Body Shops Busy With

Now Is the Time of Year for Car-Deer

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk, David Luehr, Stacey Phillips, Victoria Antonelli, Gary Ledoux Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Sean Hartman, Bill Doyle, Norman Morano (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bill Pierce Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Rochelle Beckel Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Editorial/Sales Assistant: Randi Scholtes

Advice’s Mike Anderson, asTech’s

IL, Firefighters Respond to Auto Body Shop Fire . 22

Closure, Cites Changes in Industry . . . . . . . 20


Twin Cities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Allstate Sues Auto Glass America & Its Owner . . 4

Merrill, WI, Auto Dealership Announces

Shop Academy for free at http:// /academy. “The content Scott will share during this webinar is literally some of the most relevant information to the future of collision repair,” said Luehr, owner of Elite Body Shop Solutions. “This information is crucial for shop leaders to learn in order to remain successful in the collision repair industry. I am expecting a great turnout of North America’s best operators for this event.”


OEM Repair Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Winter Fender Benders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Dave Luehr’s Elite Body Shop Solutions recently announced the next installment of the free Elite Webinar Series. “Leveraging the Certified Repair Provider Model” will feature Scott Biggs, Assured Performance Network CEO and chairman of the board, on Thursday, March 28 at 1 p.m. central. To register, visit: https://events.genndi .com/channel/EliteWebinarMar20 19. Those unable to attend the live event can watch the recorded webinar by joining the Elite Body

Teslas This Year. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Hacked Self-Driving Cars Would Cause

Death; Crash Still Under Scrutiny . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Subaru Recalls 783,000 Vehicles for Takata Airbags . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24



Elite Body Shop Solutions’ Next Webinar

Autobody News Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018; (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax

of Countryside . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

VanDevere Kia-GM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Kansas Auto Body Association . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 56

UAF Accepting Scholarship Applications . . . . . 52

Kelly BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

YesterWreck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Volvo Imposes Speed Limits on Cars to

Kia Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

Zimmer Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . . . . . . 68

The Race Towards Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Reduce Fatalities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Launch Tech USA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Allstate Sues Auto Glass America & Its Owner by Staff,

Allstate Insurance*, one of the nation’s largest writers of auto insurance policies, has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Orlando division, against Auto Glass America LLC of Florida (AGA) and Charles Isaly of Arizona. The suit, which was filed just before Christmas 2018, alleges AGA and Isaly directed an “extensive and complex scheme … to pressure Allstate’s insureds into hiring AGA for windshield replacements, obtaining assignments of benefits (AOBs) from insureds, submitting invoices to Allstate for excessive and unreasonable amounts and fil[ing] over 1,400 lawsuits for recovery of excessive and unreasonable amounts.” The 48-page complaint details 10 separate counts against the defendants. Allstate also alleges AGA got insureds to authorize the replacements through high-pressure sales tactics, omissions and misrepresentations that were in violation of Florida law. The complaint states, “The owner and sole member of AGA is the scheme’s mastermind, Isaly.”

The defendants have since responded. “Notwithstanding the Complaint’s length and verbosity, it is little more than a cornucopia of hyperbole and legal conclusions that float freely on a sea of bombast,” says a response by the defendants on Feb. 4, 2019. The response goes

on to say, “Nowhere … is there any reference to a single customer or single transaction or a single claim made on a single Allstate policy for a single windshield replacement.” The response also argues that Allstate lacks standing in its case because allegations center on violations of consumer protection statutes, while Allstate is not a consumer, it suggests, nor are AGA’s customers. In the response, AGA argues “… There is no authority for the

proposition that the consumer-consumer status of an insured extends to the insurer.” In its original complaint, Allstate argued AGA filed more than 1,400 lawsuits against it and that the replacements were performed without notice to Allstate after insureds hired AGA. Allstate contends that AGA billed it, on average, $900 per invoice for the period of January 1, 2015, through September 30, 2018. Meanwhile, the company reports that the average invoice amount for all other glass vendors in Florida during the same timeframe was $350. AGA’s response says that of 1,185 cases identified so far, approximately 600 have been settled on terms favorable to AGA, while the rest remain pending. All were filed before Allstate’s action. A discovery deadline of March 2 has been set for the case with expert reports due Dec. 16 of this year. * The suit was filed by Allstate Insurance Company and three other related Allstate companies. We thank for reprint permission.

ASA Launches New Video Series ASA is partnering with an auto repair industry leader to produce a series of videos aimed at building an online dialogue to help business owners solve everyday challenges in their shops. With Arizona shop

owner and social media guru Frank Leutz hosting, the online “Garage Challenges” videos will be produced twice monthly. They will be made available online at www and through ASA’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts. The goal is to produce needed information for shop owners and then for it to create discussion among ASA members. “We want the industry to weigh in on these challenges and share their experiences and ideas for the betterment of your shop and the industry as a whole,” ASA Executive Director Ray Fisher said.

The Race Towards Electric by Chana Perton, CBT Automotive Network

It’s becoming clearer and clearer that we’re at the start of an electric revolution. Fluctuating fuel prices, increased environmental protection efforts and new technology are all pointing toward a bright future for electric cars. It feels like every day there is yet another announcement from a leading brand about its expansion into electric vehicles. It’s only a matter of time before one manufacturer claims the crown and reigns over the market. Among the loudest competitors are Volkswagen, Tesla and General Motors. All three are making names for themselves in the electric market, working hard to edge out the opposition. Volkswagen: An All-or-Nothing Gamble Perhaps the most surprising entry in the electric vehicle race, Volkswagen has set its sights on becoming the manufacturer of electric cars. The decision came soon after the emissions scandal when regulators found that the company used software to 4

fake passing results. Though at first the decision to mass-produce electric cars was born of necessity—if enough were made to balance its ordinary stock, it could circumvent emission standards regardless of how many sold—Volkswagen has embraced the choice and

is investing heavily in electric. It plans to phase out its gas and diesel models by 2026 and go forward solely with electric cars. The company looks ahead to governments legislating tougher emissions legislature and truly believes the future is in electric. When that day comes, it is positioned to have the largest stock available.


Tesla: Keeping It Cool Tesla has really made a name for itself in the electric vehicle market. It currently stands as one of the most recognizable brands that produce electric cars and technology. It’s at the forefront of affordable pricing for electric and is often hailed for its cool tech and innovative design. That said, Tesla is not without its problems, most recently in relation to the polar vortex that hit the Midwest this winter. When the temperatures dropped well below freezing, Tesla drivers found they had difficulty getting into their cars. Many were surprised to discover their door handles had frozen shut. More seriously, in a message to employees earlier this year, Tesla’s Elon Musk apologized for the need to lay off a number of workers—despite the second profitable year for them—due to challenges facing the company as it fights to build itself up against traditionally fueled competitors. General Motors: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Right now, General Motors is riding a wave of success having announced a great last quarter and year. Part of this is due to a complete restructuring of its operations, which has already begun to shift workers to other plants as the company looks to jettison less popular sedans in favor of trucks and other trend pleasers. As part of the many chances, in January GM announced it would be wading into the electric car market with its Cadillac brand, promising to release fully electric cars biannually over the next few years. That said, the manufacturer is being cautious, saying it doesn’t plan to see returns on the investment for a while, which is understandable given how new this sector is and its current struggle to bring down costs. We thank CBT Automotive Network for reprint permission.


4x Monthly E-Newsletter. / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Fiat Chrysler To Invest $4.5 Billion in 5 MI plants, Create 6,500 Jobs by Ian Thibodeau & Nora Naughton, The Detroit News

City officials have limited time to acquire 200 acres of land and secure City Council approval to pave the way for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV to open Detroit’s first new assembly plant in nearly three decades. The automaker confirmed plans Feb. 26 to revive a previously idled engine plant on the city’s east side as part of a $4.5 billion investment in five Michigan plants. The actions would create about 6,500 new jobs in Metro Detroit, help solve capacity problems for Fiat Chrysler in North America and prepare for future production of electrified Jeep SUVs. If Mayor Mike Duggan and his team deliver the land, a community benefits agreement and council approval, Fiat Chrysler would bring nearly 4,000 new jobs to the city to staff the vehicle assembly line. That would be a boon for Metro Detroit, positioning the city and the region to reap economic rewards from FCA’s three-year realignment of its lineup around hot-selling Jeep SUVs and Ram trucks. FCA’s plans come as crosstown rival General Motors Co. is moving to idle in January its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant just four miles away, to potentially close three other facilities in the United States and one in Canada as part of a sweeping North American restructuring. “FCA just became everyone’s darling,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics at the Ann Arbor-based Center for Automotive Research. “GM had some tough decisions to make. These are the right decisions for these companies, and not all companies are going to be in the same part of the plan at the same time. There’s a lot of uncertainty in this environment right now, and each company is going to make a different pathway out of it.” FCA plans to invest $1.6 billion to convert the two plants that comprise the Mack Avenue Engine Complex on the city’s east side—including long-idled Mack II—into an assembly plant to build the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, as well as new 6

three-row and plug-in hybrid versions of the highly profitable SUV. Mark Stewart, FCA’s chief operating officer, expressed confidence Feb. 26 that the city will “get its end done.” The automaker wants to

ment for FCA’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant. The city plans to give Fiat Chrysler a property tax abatement of about $12 million, the mayor said. The state would offer a larger, as-yetunannounced tax incentive. But the largest contribution from the city would be the acquisition and delivery of roughly 200 acres of land to expand the new plant’s parking, provide storage for new vehicles and allow supplier trailers access to the site. The targeted parcels are owned primarily by the city, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (center), along with DTE Energy Co., the Great Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (right) and several FCA employees announce that FCA will be building a Lakes Water Authority and new assembly plant in Detroit. Credit: Clarence Tabb the Moroun family, among Jr., Detroit News others. No residents would launch the Jeep models planned for be forced from their homes to exthe Detroit assembly line by the pand the engine plant, the mayor fourth quarter of 2020. Duggan and said, though the city would close St. multiple council members acknowl- Jean Street from Kercheval to Waredged they’d be pulling late nights to ren to reroute traffic away from the get the deals done and to assure FCA plant. would build the new plant in the city. Also part of the city’s commit“This is a long time coming,” said Councilman Andre Spivey, whose district surrounds the Jeep plant sites. “You could have gone to any greenfield throughout the United States of America. You chose to come here. District Four, roll your sleeves up. We’re going to get to work. It’ll be a heavy lift, but a lift nonetheless.” The new automotive assembly plant—the first within Detroit city limits since neighboring Jefferson North Assembly Plant opened in 1992—would add 3,850 new jobs to the facility. Fiat Chrysler’s plans to revive the Mack II plant, which has been idled since 2012, and invest in other Metro Detroit facilities were first reported in December by The Detroit News. Under terms of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Detroit and FCA, city officials must assemble land, craft a community benefits agreement and finalize tax incentives. About a year ago, Duggan said he began discussions about the new plant with former CEO Sergio Marchionne, who died last July–though the mayor first approached Marchionne to secure new invest-


ment to the FCA project: organizing a community benefits agreement agreeable to the city, the automaker and residents; addressing any environmental issues that could exist on land the new plant would occupy; and ensuring approval of the commitments by City Council. Community benefits agreements have been attached to several recent deals in the city, including Ford Motor Co.’s acquisition of the historic Michigan Central Depot and Ilitch Holdings Inc.’s District Detroit development. They typically ensure that a percentage of new jobs and construction jobs go to Detroit residents or that the companies train Detroit residents to fill the new positions. “Some of this is going to be expensive,” Duggan said. “That’s a lot of work to do. But there’s an awful lot at stake. We’re going to do this without putting anybody out of their homes.” Michigan Economic Development Corp. CEO Jeff Mason said the state has been discussing incenSee 5 MI plants, Page 9

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Fueled Customs’ Love of Cars Fuels Awards in Lake Mills, WI by Sarah Weihert, Lake Mills Leader

Fueled by a love of cars, the owners of Fueled Customs have taken their passion for classics and hot rods and turned it into an award-winning business. Fueled Customs, located at 403 South CP Ave. in Lake Mills, WI, opened its doors in August 2016 when Eric Baneck and Steve Goemans, who were employees at Cruisin Auto Body, purchased the business. Both Baneck and Goemans have had an interest in cars since a young age. “This means the world to us,” Baneck and Goemans said of getting the awards in an email to the Leader Feb. 25. “It tells us we are doing something right. We love to build on the recognition and feedback we get from car shows to help us grow and continue to move in the right direction.” The weekend of Feb. 23—24, Baneck brought home the Best in Class award for his 1967 C10 truck and the Best Overall Street award at the World of Wheels show in Milwaukee. Street Achievement Awards


ness has gone to the show. It was also awarded last year. “We love to take a vehicle that might have been discarded or forgotten or neglected and turn it into something both we and the owner can appreciate for years to come. We also enjoy the challenge of creating a vehicle that is eye-appealing and unique in ways that many people may not notice at first glance.” The main focus of the business is on auto restoration and fabrication, but they also do collision repair on late model vehicles. Eric Baneck of Fueled Customs is seen at the World of Baneck has almost 15 Wheels show in Milwaukee, WI, in February, where his years’ experience in the 1967 C10 truck earned Best in Class. Contributed photo industry and attended The business was also awarded WyoTech College. Goemans has alfor a restoration it completed last fall most nine years’ experience in the on a 1941 Buick, which received a industry and attended MATC. Other employees include James Best in Class award. The car was Weide, painter and body tech, who also Best Restored of the show. The passion for restoring a for- has more than 20 years’ experience gotten or neglected car is what keeps in the industry, and Guy Schraufnagel, fabricator. Both employees the young business owners going. This is the second year the busi- were brought on in April 2017 and are presented to streetable vehicles, especially those competing in “Street Competition,” where offered, at International Show Car Associationsanctioned events.


have been a big part of the reason for their success, Baneck and Goemans said. The owners thanked the community for their kindness and support. “All the people behind the scenes such as our upholsterer Inside Rides, chrome shop Custom Plating Specialist, our pinstriper Willie Osborne, engine builder Tiry’s Race Engines, powder coater Spectrum Coating and specialized mechanical work from Steve’s Car & Truck,” they said. We thank Lake Mills Leader for reprint permission.

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Continued from Page 6

5 MI plants tives with FCA, but was not ready to “reveal the extent of those.” Proposed incentives would go before the Michigan Strategic Fund board within the next few months: “We will use the tools available to us already within our toolkit,” he said. Also in Detroit, Fiat Chrysler plans to invest $900 million at its Jefferson North plant to retool for continued production of the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The move would add 1,100 new jobs at that plant for a total of nearly 5,000 new jobs in the city. The automaker also confirmed it is abandoning plans to repatriate production of its Ram Heavy Duty pickup from Mexico to Warren Truck Assembly. Instead, the ItalianAmerican automaker will up its investment in Warren to $1.5 billion from $1 billion announced in 2018 to allow for production of two all-new full-size SUVs: the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Production of previous-generation Ram 1500

pickup trucks will continue there. Fiat Chrysler said the moves would add 1,400 jobs. The automaker will put $245 million into Warren Stamping and $160 million at Sterling Stamping to support the additional production announced Feb. 26. Those moves would add more than 80 new jobs at the two stamping facilities. Meantime, FCA also confirmed it plans to cut a shift on May 6 at its Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois, home to the compact Jeep Cherokee SUV, displacing 1,371 hourly workers. The 3.6-, 3.2- and 3.0-liter Pentastar engines currently built at Mack I would be relocated to the Dundee Engine Plant as part of a $119 million investment. Engine production at Mack I is expected to end by fall, the first step in the site’s conversion to an assembly plant. The investments in Michigan are pieces of an effort begun by Marchionne and continued by his successor, CEO Mike Manley, to stoke already strong Jeep brand sales as well as the automaker’s other trucks and SUVs. “(We) continue to invest in Jeep

as our core brand,” Manley said. “We’ll bring Jeep back into what I think is a good segment. For us, the Mack facility is complete white space. So, that opens up, I think, a segment that has grown strongly. We don’t have a three-row offering.” The $4.5 billion for the Michigan facilities would enable Jeep plants to build hybrid vehicles, he added, and equip some vehicles with advanced driver-assist features that could handle steering, acceleration and braking while monitoring the road. Upgrades at the Mack facility would start this spring. The threerow Jeep would hit showrooms in the fall of next year and would be “quickly” followed by the new Grand Cherokee as well as the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer built at the Warren Truck plant. The projects are contingent on land acquisition and negotiation of development incentives with the state and with the cities of Detroit, Sterling Heights, Warren and Dundee. The investments in Detroit should boost Fiat Chrysler’s exports from Detroit to Europe, the Middle

East, Africa and the Asian markets--a potential boon to the city that helped put America on wheels. “We export Grand Cherokee today,” Manley said. “That’s going to continue into the future. Our international markets have expressed interest in the three-row. Its export really will be in those parts of the world that larger vehicles play because clearly it’s going to be a larger vehicle than Grand Cherokee, as is Wagoneer.” Added Patrick Anderson, CEO of the East Lansing-based Anderson Economic Group: “The re-opening of a ... plant to build new-generation Jeeps is unequivocally good news. It builds on our strengths in Michigan; it leverages great brand values for Chrysler; and it focuses on products that have a well-established market. “It also underlines what we have been pointing out since GM’s announcement several months ago: the momentum in the auto market is all towards crossovers and trucks, and not electric and hybrid vehicles.” We thank The Detroit News for reprint permission. / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance technical writer from Wilmington, Delaware, who writes on a variety of fields and subjects, and grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. She can be contacted at

AASPI Annual Meeting Features Collision Advice’s Mike Anderson, asTech’s Eric Newell by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Feb. 23, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Illinois (AASPI) held its 2019 Annual Meeting at the Diplomat West in Elmhurst, IL.

Senator Tom Cullerton is sponsoring AASPI’s bill in the state Senate

The meeting featured presentations by Mike Anderson of Collision Advice and Eric Newell from asTech.

ing Yourself in the Collision Repair Program,” during which he discussed the future for collision repairers and how to win. He discussed how telematics and connected vehicles will impact the damage analysis process and FNOL, how to prepare for the fact that 36 percent of consumers want services outside of normal business hours, and how to prepare for predictions that 70 percent of claims will be handled via photo or video re-inspection by 2020. He also delivered an overview of his “Who Pays for What?” surveys and provided an update on OEM certifications. During his “Why is Post-Repair Calibration So Important?” seminar, Newell discussed why it is critical for repair facilities to understand which systems may be impacted by the repair process and how calibrating the ADAS is vital to a properly and safely functioning vehicle. AASPI also invited Senator Tom Cullerton and Representative Elizabeth Hernandez to the meeting to discuss the association’s legislative initiatives for the year. “During the meeting, AASPI

A record 112 participants attended AASPI’s 2019 Annual Meeting

According to AASPI Executive Director Michael Lane, “One-hundred-twelve people attended our 2019 Annual Meeting, eclipsing last year’s attendance.” Anderson presented “Position10

lobbyist Brian Wojcicki provided a legislative review of the association’s principal legislation calling for all estimates to be written with OEM repair procedures and OEM parts,” Lane explained. “On hand to


talk about this legislation was Senator Cullerton, who is sponsoring our bill in the state Senate. State Representative Hernandez, who is

State Representative Elizabeth Hernandez, who is sponsoring AASPI’s bill in the House of Representatives, also sat down with the association’s leadership team during the Annual Meeting

sponsoring our bill in the House of Representatives, also sat down with our leadership team during the meeting.” AASPI also held elections for

its board of directors. Bob Gottfred of Erie-LaSalle Body Shop was elected president; Doug Fiala of Douglas Auto Body was elected vice president; Paul Mason of AutoNation was elected secretary/treasurer; and Tim Paap of Paap Auto Body and Tom Stiefbold of O’Hare Auto Body were elected directors. AASPI’s 2019 Annual Meeting was sponsored by Hawk Auto Group, AkzoNobel, asTech, Axalta Coating Systems, Enterprise Holdings, Jack Phelan Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Countryside Mopar Warehouse, FinishMaster, PPG, Bionic Auto Parts & Sales, ErieLaSalle Body Shops, Mayer’s Collision Center, Parkville Auto Body, ABC Auto Parts and NCS/Single Source. For more information on AASPI, visit / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Now Is the Time of Year for Car-Deer Wrecks in MI by Julie Riddle, The Alpena News

They come out of nowhere. In northern Michigan, a simple drive can be disrupted in the blink of an eye by an encounter with one of the many deer with whom northerners share their home. A glimpse of few deer grazing by the side of the road may be a gentle pleasure, but when the deer decide to sprint across the road, the result can be hazardous for all concerned. This time of year is when deer are most on the move, according to Deputy Ryan Frost of the Presque Isle County Sheriff’s Office. The department responds to about 10 car/deer calls a week during the late winter months, when deer are looking for food sources and are attracted to roads by the salt left behind by snowplows. Most of the calls handled by the department occur in the early morning and early evening hours, when deer tend to be mobile. Frost suggested drivers be especially alert during those times and that they watch their speed to give themselves enough time to brake if an animal is on or near the road. Drivers who hit a deer should pull onto the side of the road and, if a phone is available, call their local law enforcement agency to file a police report, Frost said. Those with smartphones can look up the central dispatch number for their county. It is also alright to simply call 911. An officer will be dispatched to file a report and can assist the driver in getting tow service if the vehicle is not drivable. A deer struck by a vehicle rarely bounds away unharmed. If the animal has been killed and is in the roadway, the driver can drag it out of the way of traffic, but only if it’s safe to do so, Frost said. If the deer survives but has been injured enough that it won’t be able to recuperate, the officer will dispatch it humanely as quickly as possible. Vehicle damage from an encounter with a deer can be substantial. Norm Arlt, owner of Norm’s Body Shop in Rogers City, has received AUTOBODY


many calls a day in recent weeks, asking for repairs on vehicles that have been damaged by hitting a deer. The cost of a repair can range from a small amount for a simple dent removal to upward of $10,000 for extensive damage.

Norm Arlt, owner of Norm’s Body Shop in Rogers City, MI, inspects a vehicle involved in a collision with a deer March 5. The car received about $2,400 worth of damage. Credit: Julie Riddle, The Alpena News

Prices for repairs are often determined by the make of the vehicle. Jeeps, Nissans and high-end luxury vehicles often require expensive replacement parts. Chevrolets and Fords are the least expensive to repair, according to Arlt. Run-ins with deer can require replacement of anything from bumpers and radiators to doors and roofs. Arlt recalled one repair in which the deer made no contact with the front or sides of a Subaru, but the roof had been driven right down into the body of the vehicle. “I guess it was trying to jump right over the car,” Arlt said. Insurance coverage can be a lifesaver—or at least a wallet-saver— when it comes to car-deer collisions. Auto owners who opt for comprehensive coverage on their policies are covered, minus any deductible, when their vehicles are damaged by elements out of their control—things like theft, fire, falling tree branches, and deer, according to Christine Idalski, a State Farm employee in Rogers City. Collisions with deer are so common in northern Michigan that comprehensive coverage is regularly classified as “deer coverage” in this region, Idalski said. Most of the claims Idalski sees year-round are deer claims, including 9 of the last 12



she has processed. Idalski said most local drivers are experienced enough to be able to navigate nasty road conditions safely. Despite recent difficult driving conditions, insurance claims in winter are still mostly because of collisions with deer. “They’re so unexpected. They just pop up,” Idalski said. “It doesn’t matter how careful you are; you can’t always avoid them.” Drivers are encouraged to call their insurance companies soon after hitting a deer, Idalski said. Even if the damage is not substantial enough to require a repair, it’s good to have the incident recorded in a driver’s insurance records. It’s not necessary to call instantly, Idalski assures; drivers should first take time to make sure they are safe and contact law enforcement to report the incident. Idalski recalled a relative who has had many encounters, saying with a smile, “Some people just don’t have luck with deer.” We thank The Alpena News for reprint permission.

Continued from Cover

Mandating Disclosure such services as factory-authorized services unless, among other requirements, such services are repairs performed pursuant to original equipment manufacturer specifications subject to the Illinois Automotive Collision Repair Act [and] provides that a violation of a section in the Insurance Code concerning the regulation of the use of aftermarket crash parts constitutes an unlawful practice under the Act.” Senate Bill 2104 has been submitted to the Senate Assignments Committee, which will determine how the bill will proceed.



Autobody News / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


AASP-MO Welcomes AutoZone as Newest Associate Member by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Feb. 20, AASP-MO hosted a meeting at AutoZone Mega Hub in Kirkwood, MO, to welcome AutoZone as its newest associate member and discuss AutoZone’s partnership with the association.

name-brand inventory they have on hand. I had no idea AutoZone stocked headlight and tail light assemblies, an unbelievable amount of radiators, fuel tanks, diesel turbos, and the list just goes on. Those who attended the meeting were impressed by the quality,

program in which they sign up and receive a rebate on purchases.

“Their labor claim policy is leading the industry and pays 100 percent of your labor rate within 48 hours.” — Ron Reiling Reiling noted, “Daniel Brickle, Stephanie Cress and Ray Sutter did a great job of sharing what is happening at AutoZone and the program and tour. This is not your father’s AutoZone!”

AASP-MO Executive Director Ron Reiling shared, “We are pleased to announce AutoZone is our newest AASP-MO Associate Member. During the meeting, AutoZone shared their partnership plan with our members, and they also provided dinner and a tour of the Mega Hub. “When I toured the Mega Hub, I was impressed by the quality


quantity and inventory of their name-brand parts. They have really stepped up their program over the past few years with quality and name-brand parts. Their labor claim policy is leading the industry and pays 100 percent of your labor rate within 48 hours.” As part of its partnership with AASP-MO, AutoZone is offering association members a discount



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East St. Louis, IL, Auto Body Shop Accused of Fraud by Angelica Saylo Pilo, Madison-St. Clair Record

Two motor vehicle owners claim an East St. Louis, IL, auto body repair shop refused to complete repairs on an SUV. La Trice Vanderford and Anthony Armstead filed a complaint Jan. 30 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Leon Austin, doing business as LA Customs Auto Body, alleging violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. According to the complaint, in 2018 Vanderford and Armstead contracted LA Customs to perform repairs on their damaged 2018 GMC SUV for $4,500. They allege the defendant failed and refused to complete the repairs pursuant to the agreement, causing the plaintiffs to suffer damages. Vanderford and Armstead seek trial by jury, compensatory damages in excess of $5,500, plus additional punitive damages of more than $50,000 and court costs. They are represented by attorney David Duree of David M. Duree & Association PC in O’Fallon. We thank Madison-St. Clair Record for reprint permission.

YANG Attracts 50+ Attendees to Regional Meet-Up in Grand Rapids, MI by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Feb. 7, the Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG) hosted a Regional Meet-Up in Grand Rapids, MI.

According to Jonny Dykstra, general manager - foreign parts specialists of the Auto-Wares Group, the event sponsor, “The event was a great success! We had over 50 attendees under the age of 40 come and go throughout the evening. We had food, drinks, raffles, brewery tours, speeches from Todd (Leimenstoll, president and CEO of Auto-Wares) and JC (Washbish, YANG chair)— but the best thing to see was the networking between everyone. Not often do we have the chance to meet with such a diverse young group of professionals from our industry. “All had a great time, and I

think that is because we had such a well-mixed crowd. We had manufacturers, store managers, shop owners, service writers, technicians, Northwood students and a wide range of departments from AutoWares represented. All had a common goal: striving for the best possible future of our industry. These events also show how much fun our industry can be—shout-out to Founders Brewing for being such a good host for us! “The more we can collaborate on trends, technology, logistics and ideas, the better our future will be! These events open the door to relationships being built at all levels of our industry.” Dykstra believes YANG’s Meet-Ups are a great way to demonstrate to young industry professionals that “we’re all in this together, no matter what role you have in our industry,” he said. “Build connections, which helps everyone stay involved and grow. We all love the automotive aftermarket and want to see it thrive for decades to come. The next generation needs leaders, and coming together helps build relationships, but it also spurs desire to grow

in our companies and industry. It often opens minds to just how big and real our industry is—how it takes so many different levels of service to take care of the end customer.

“Individuals being involved in these events are frequently small steps that lead to big leaps in the advancement of their professional careers.” — Jonny Dykstra “The event was a great success and showed that companies like Auto-Wares are committed to the future of our industry, its diversity and well-being,” he said. “We are building leaders for the future. Individuals being involved in these events are frequently small steps that lead to big leaps in the advancement of their professional careers.” For more information about YANG and its upcoming events, visit

1Collision Announces 10th Location in Twin Cities 1Collision Network shop owner Jerald Stiele has acquired Collision Center in Golden Valley, MN. The store is Stiele’s second location and the 10th 1Collision affiliated location in Minnesota.

Stiele commented, “Hopkins Auto Body is delighted to grow our business with the acquisition of Collision Center with a great location and an excellent, longstanding reputation in the marketplace. Most importantly, the outstanding staff is a great fit with the quality culture of our company.” Jim Keller, 1Collision president, stated, “We are excited to see Jerald grow his business with such a wonderful acquisition and be a part of his continued business success.” / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


NSF International Certifies 7 Crash Champions Collision Shop Locations in Chicago Area NSF International, an independent public health and safety organization, recently certified seven Crash Champions locations throughout the Chicago, IL, area. NSF International’s independent, third-party collision repair shop certification assesses and evaluates a shop’s ability to meet specific quality, operations, training and technical service requirements. These requirements include following original equipment (OE) repair procedures, providing exemplary customer service, assessing staff competency, ensuring the proper equipment is used for the repair, documenting procedures and meeting facility requirements. If a shop meets these requirements and successfully passes its audit, NSF International certification is granted. Certification categories include refinish, steel structural and advanced material structural. Crash Champions shops earned advanced material structural

certification, meaning they are certified to conduct structural repairs on non-steel parts.

“We are excited to announce that all seven of our Crash Champions locations have gone through NSF International’s extensive certification process and met all certification requirements,” said Matt Ebert, Crash Champions CEO. “It was not easy, but thanks to our team, we passed the audit and met all requirements, including the

ASA-OH Members Learn to Optimize Performance Through Repair Planning by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Feb. 6, ASA-OH hosted an educational workshop titled “Optimize Performance Through Repair Planning (Blueprinting)” for its members. It was taught by Robb Powers, senior manager of business solutions for PPG.

plained. “Attendees were very pleased with the information provided. They paid close attention to the process Robb taught, and everyone said that the workshop will help them improve their repair process in the shop.” Dougher believes associationsponsored events are important to ASA-OH members and the industry as a whole because “the industry is changing and becoming very complex. Continuing education is the key to safely repairing vehicles and staying profitable.” For more information about ASAOH, visit

According to ASA-OH Executive Director Matt Dougher, “The workshop went well. Robb provided attendees with proven techniques to improve efficiency and profit during the repair process.” The training workshop was held to “provide the latest repair process techniques to shop owners and their staffs,” Dougher ex16


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repair inspections, which evaluate the entire repair process.” In addition to the initial audit to earn certification, Crash Champions will undergo ongoing audits to ensure continued compliance with NSF International certification requirements. Crash Champions’ repairs are backed by a lifetime warranty. “NSF International collision repair shop certification recognizes shops like Crash Champions with outstanding collision experts that go above and beyond to provide highquality repairs and excellent customer service,” said Dave Parzen, senior technical manager, NSF International. NSF International is the only American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited product certification body (accreditation #0216) that provides independent repair shop certification.

ABRA Auto Body Purchases Redfield Collision in MO by Staff,

Redfield Collision Center, a longtime Farmington/Festus, MO, business, was recently purchased by ABRA Auto Body Repair of America.

Greg Redfield has owned and operated Redfield Collision for more than 40 years, first in Festus and then in Farmington. ABRA Auto Body Repair was founded in 1984 and has more than 350 locations across the country. At this time, no changes are expected with the management team or personnel at either Redfield location. The purchase was finalized the week of Feb. 24. We thank for reprint permission. / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS




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Merrill, WI, Auto Dealership Announces Closure, Cites Changes in Industry by John DesRivieres, WSAW-TV

Stark Automotive in Merrill, WI, informed employees Feb. 25 that the car dealership would be closing effective immediately, according to Bill Stark, president of Stark Automotive group. The Chevrolet and Buick dealership located on Brandenburg Avenue was in operation for 32 years and employed about 15 people. Stark said his company had diversified out of new car sales over the last few years, citing changes in the automotive industry that had made car sales a low-margin business. Stark said advancements in ride-sharing, electric cars and autonomous cars are changing the business model and his company was adapting to those changes. General sales manager Paul Kraetsch told NewsChannel 7 that any warranty work that was scheduled for customer vehicles would have to be completed at another General Motors dealership.


Any other repair work that was being done on vehicles would have to be finished at another auto shop. Kraetsch said that if the vehicles were drivable, the customer would be responsible for taking it to another shop. If the car was not drivable, Stark Automotive would transport it for them. Heritage Chevrolet in Tomahawk is offering to honor the warranties on any vehicles purchased at Stark Automotive. Owner Roger Schlegel said Heritage will also honor any extended service contracts purchased through Stark. Fred Mueller Automotive in Schofield announced it will honor all GM warranties for vehicles purchased at Stark. The dealership also announced it is hiring for open positions and invites any impacted Stark employees to visit with management to see if they are a fit for the company. We thank WSAW-TV for reprint permission.


Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires 11 Locations in Michigan Gerber Collision & Glass recently announced the March 8 acquisition of a multi-store operation consisting of 11 collision repair locations in Michigan.

These repair centers, which previously operated under the names of Dusty’s Collision (seven locations), Whitney’s Collision (three locations) and Wright Brothers Collision (one location), are located in Ann Arbor, Flint and Lansing in eastern and central Michigan. Dusty’s Collision originated in 1995 in Ann Arbor. A second Ann Arbor location was added in 2006, and Dusty’s expanded by new unit growth and acquisition with the most recent openings in 2017. “The addition of these new lo-

cations allows us to bring our brand of service to new customers and better assist our insurance partners,” said Tim O’Day, president and COO of Gerber Collision & Glass. “We look forward to maintaining the high level of service provided at these locations.” Gerber Collision & Glass is continuously looking to add new collision repair locations to its existing network in Canada and the U.S. Interested collision repair center owners are asked to contact Stephen Boyd at (204) 594-1776 or for more information.



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KABA’s 1st Trade Show To Feature Mike Anderson of Collision Advice by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On April 26 and 27, the Kansas Auto Body Association (KABA) will host its first trade show at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, KS. According to KABA President Jeff Oldenettel, “KABA is hosting this trade show because it goes with the themes of why our association exists: to help Kansas shops improve; to deliver safe, quality repairs; and to provide better representation for our customers. “KABA anticipates 300 attendees and around 20 vendor booths as part of the expo. We plan to hold educational conversations about the industry and provide information for attendees to improve their businesses, so we’re bringing Mike Anderson of Collision Advice in to give us some helpful information on why we do what we do. The vendor expo will also provide an opportunity for participants to familiarize themselves with new industry equipment and

products.” The KABA Trade Show will commence on Friday evening with an opening night mixer, sponsored by Mitchell, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. From the end of the mixer until 10 p.m., Anderson will deliver a state of the industry address. Anderson will also provide an all-day training event on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. KABA is also interviewing additional speakers for morning and afternoon sessions to provide as much educational value as possible. Lunch on Saturday will be sponsored by PPG and Color Vision. The vendor expo will remain open during all educational sessions. Attendance is free to all KABA members, and non-members can purchase tickets in advance for $75 or at the door for $90. Members should RSVP by emailing For more information, visit

Award-Winning St. Joseph, MO, Body Shop Is CertifiedFirst Charter Member by Staff, St. Joseph News-Press

Ken Smith Autobody has remained at the same location in St, Joseph, MO, since opening in 1958. Purchased by Mike and Mary Brown in 1986, the shop provides quality auto body repair and painting for all makes and models. It has also done several custom motorcycles.

The Browns’ sons, Chris and Kevin, have become part-owners to continue the family-owned business. “Our customers choose our shop for many reasons—honest, friendly customer service; up-to-date equipment; and ongoing training for employees,” Mike Brown said. “We live up to our motto: ‘Where Pride of Workmanship Comes First.’”

Ken Smith Autobody’s employees are certified technicians who genuinely take pride in restoring the customer’s vehicle back to pre-accident condition. The shop was recently certified for aluminum welding. Ken Smith Autobody has received the News-Press Reader’s Choice award 18 years in a row and is a charter member of the CertifiedFirst network program. “CertifiedFirst affiliates have to meet the network’s stringent criteria for group facilities,” Brown said. “This includes having modern equipment, trained technicians and a staff that is committed to complete customer satisfaction. With the CertifiedFirst program, we have the Good Housekeeping seal of approval.” Ken Smith Autobody would like to let everyone know that it is always YOUR choice where you get your vehicle repaired. We thank St. Joseph News-Press for reprint permission. / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Rev Up Your Game at AASP-MN’s 2019 Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference by Chasidy Rae Sisk

AASP-MN’s 2019 Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference, “Rev Up Your Game,” will take place Thursday, April 11 at Delta Hotels by Marriot Minneapolis Northeast in Minneapolis, MN. According to AASP-MN collision division director Matthew Feehan, “The purpose of the 2019 Leadership Conference is to help you sharpen your mind and come up with some new ideas to address an issue that has been holding you or your company back. It’s a way for you to spend quality time with like-minded people.” The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. with an opening general session, followed by “Age of Engage: Create Engagement,” presented by Roger Haskett of Engagement Unlimited. From 9:45–11:30 a.m., three 30-minute roundtable discussion sessions will be held on key industry topics, including social meeting, regulatory compliance and OEM information, among others. Feehan shared, “The roundtable

discussions are a fantastic way to collaborate with talented industry professionals and get real answers. There is just something special about a group of people sitting down and ‘talking shop.’ None of us are as smart as all of us.”

Mike Jones of Discover Leadership Training will present the luncheon keynote, “Play Like a Rookie.” At 2 p.m., Auto Craftsmen’s Amy Mattinat will teach attendees to “Increase Your Sales and Profitability by Winning with the Decision-Makers: Women.” Two additional sessions will be offered during the same two-hour time slot: “How to Lure and Retain Top-Performing Employees” with Brian Sump of Avalon Motorsports

and Urban Autocare, and “The Collision Repair Industry: Revving Up for What’s Next,” with Mike Anderson of Collision Advice. The day will conclude with a vendor showcase and social hour, including grand prize drawings, at 6 p.m. Feehan noted, “This year, the line-up is off the charts with talented presenters, not to mention the fantastic vendors. If you would like to go farther and faster with less effort in 2019, you owe it to yourself to be there.” Full-day registration is available for $225 for members and $250 for non-members. The half-day registration option is available for $125 for members and $150 for non-members. Early bird pricing discounts are available for those who register before March 25. For more information or to register, visit


IL, Firefighters Respond to Auto Body Shop Fire by Coventry Adrian,

South Beloit, IL, firefighters were able to stop a fire from spreading from one business to another. Several agencies responded to Brother’s Auto Body and Repair around noon Feb. 25

The South Beloit Fire Chief said there was heavy black smoke coming out of the garage doors when they arrived on scene. Crews were able to contain the fire to that business. It did not spread to the muffler and exhaust shop next door. Everyone was able to get out of both buildings by the time the fire department arrived. No word yet on where or how the fire started. We thank for reprint permission.

d Family owne d and operate since 1958

Mankato, MN, Auto Body Shops Busy With Winter Fender Benders by Nick Kruszalnicki, KEYC News 12

This seemingly endless winter has another unintended consequence. Crashes caused by slick roads are keeping auto body shops busy. Jerry Kottschade, owner of Jerry’s ABRA Auto Body and Glass in Mankato, MN, said, “Our business has been very, as we say, booming.” Just about every type of wreck has come into the shop. “A lot of fender benders, a lot of curb-crunchers. Unfortunately, some serious hits too, but a lot of just small hits. People running into things,” he said. Body shop repairs can be costly. The average bill has been running around $3,100. To avoid those expensive repairs, keep your car in good condition and drive safe. “Make sure you got good tires on. A lot of them that have been in accidents, they needed to go to the tire store and buy some new tires. Second thing is, some of them are over-driving the con22

ditions and some of them just plain get caught in a bad situation,” Kottschade said. If your car ends up in a wreck, choose a well-established body shop. “See if it’s a certified shop. Second of all, what kind of warranty do they got and stuff like that. The training of the technicians,” he said. Well-trained technicians are the backbone of any auto body facility. “Technology of the car today is a whole lot different than it was five, 10, 15 years ago. You need a technician that understands electronics and drivability,” Kottschade said. Luckily, most of the drivers who brought their cars to Jerry’s shop were not injured in their accidents. “Most of the accidents are minor accidents and nobody’s getting hurt. You can always replace tin; you can’t replace flesh,” he said. We thank KEYC News 12 for reprint permission.


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Continued from Cover

Antitrust Claims Cases Began in 2014 As detailed in the opinions and other filings, the cases began in 2014, when the first of nearly two-dozen lawsuits was filed around the country accusing State Farm and insurers including Allstate, Progressive, GEICO, Nationwide, USAA, Liberty Mutual, Hartford and others of conspiring to drive down the prices they pay for repairs by agreeing among themselves on a preset “market rate,” enforcing compliance by steering their policyholders to businesses that agree to their terms and boycotting those that refuse. The complaints were combined in multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, where some were dismissed with prejudice and others remain pending. The March 4 decision involves five complaints combined as Quality Auto Painting Center of Roselle Inc. et al. v. State Farm Indemnity Co. et al. The actions were dismissed by

Judge Gregory Presnell in 2016 for failure to state a claim. Price-Fixing or Price Leadership? In general, the complaints alleged that the defendants insurers all agreed to follow a market rate established by State Farm, which is accused of using a method of ranking body shops by criteria, including number of employees, number of work bays and area density, which it then “manipulates” as it solicits businesses to be part of its “direct repair program.” Shops not complying are dropped from the DRP program, and customers are “steered” away by the insurer. In briefing for the en banc hearing, the appellate panel posed two questions as to the federal claims: whether the complaints could plausibly be inferred to support per se claims of illegal price-fixing and whether they could support claims of an illegal boycott by the insurers. In ruling against the repair shops, Anderson relied heavily on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly. That decision toughened the

Subaru Recalls 783,000 Vehicles for Takata Airbags by David A. Wood,

We thank for reprint permission.

Subaru is recalling 783,000 vehicles to replace dangerous Takata airbag inflators in two recalls that include the 2010–2014 Subaru Tribeca, WRX, Legacy, 2010–2011 Subaru Impreza and 2010–2013 Subaru Forester. The Takata passenger frontal airbag inflators contain ammonium nitrate used as the propellant that deploys the airbags in crash impacts, but the chemical can become unstable and explode. Even a minor crash can cause the metal inflators to explode into sharp pieces of metal. Nearly 453,000 of the vehicles are recalled if they were sold or registered in the following states:


Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. In a separate Takata recall of the same Subaru vehicles, more than 330,000 are recalled in these areas: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Owners should have received recall notices explaining how Subaru dealers will replace the frontpassenger airbag inflators. For questions, please call the automaker at 844-373-6614.


Autobody News


standards for price-fixing claims and concluded that simply showing that parties engaged in “parallel conduct” without evidence of an actual agreement is insufficient to support such claims. Anderson first took issue with the plaintiffs’ decision not to amend their complaints when Presnell first issued his ruling, writing that “the body shops’ appellate briefing takes undue liberties in construing the inferences that can be fairly read from their pleadings.” The plaintiffs provided several “plus factors” to indicate more than parallel conduct by the insurers, which Anderson’s opinion took up and discarded one by one. The assertion that the body shops are barred from changing the rates they charge without authorization from State Farm was not supported in the complaints, he wrote. “Quite the contrary, the only relevant specific allegation of fact is that the non-State Farm Insurance companies advise the plaintiffs that they will pay no more than State Farm pays,” Anderson said, which is “mere price leadership” and perfectly acceptable.

“The body shops also argue that the conspiracy is shown by the presence of a common motive, namely desire to maximize profits,” he said. “However, under this logic, most businesses with similar pricing would be deemed in cahoots with each other because that is the goal of most corporations.” Neither was there support for claims that State Farm kept its rating decision a secret, he said. “Quite the opposite,” Anderson wrote, “the complaints reveal that State Farm must necessarily tell the rate to every repair shop in a given geographic area.” Similarly, he said, there is no indication that the insurers are making identical demands of the repair shops. “The body shops argue that the insurance companies have engaged in uniform tactics in that they require the Body Shops: to repair faulty parts rather than install replacement parts; to install used or recycled parts; and to offer discounts and concessions,” the opinion said. “All of these purported ‘highly uniform’ tactics are easily explained See Antitrust Claims, Page 27 / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

Class Action venue favorable to plaintiffs. Allstate, which is one of the country’s largest insurers, is headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Northbrook. All plaintiffs said their vehicles were covered by Allstate for 20 years. Plaintiffs alleged Allstate had been violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act since at least 2012 by charging its longtime customers higher auto insurance premiums than it charged newer customers. Allstate figured out loyal policyholders would tolerate higher premiums than would new customers, plaintiffs alleged. Further, Allstate allegedly told neither the Illinois Department of Insurance nor existing customers of this practice. Allstate moved to dismiss the suit, citing the so-called filed rate and primary jurisdiction doctrines. Madison County Judge Barbara Crowder refused to dismiss, prompting Allstate to ask the appellate panel to address whether the doctrines served


as defenses to the suit. By a 2-1 margin, the appellate court ruled the doctrines were not applicable. The filed rate doctrine protects public utilities and other regulated entities from lawsuits involving rates if the rates must first be filed and pass muster with a regulatory agency.

agency, which has the appropriate expertise, decide the issue in dispute. In the Allstate matter, the company said the director of the Department of Insurance is empowered to determine if an insurer is engaging in unfair or deceptive conduct. However, Cates concluded, the suit doesn’t allege wrongdoing unique

“The allegations of unfair and deceptive business practices and unjust enrichment come within the experience and conventional competence of the Illinois courts,” — Justice Judy Cates Justice Cates found the legislature decided to leave insurers free to fix rates according to market conditions without approval from the Department of Insurance. As a consequence, the filed rate doctrine is useless for Allstate. “Illinois has embraced open competition in regard to rate-setting for auto insurance,” Cates observed. Under the primary jurisdiction doctrine, a judge can halt court proceedings and let an administrative


to the insurance industry, saying the Department of Insurance doesn’t have any specialized knowledge or technical expertise with regard to Allstate’s alleged conduct. “The allegations of unfair and deceptive business practices and unjust enrichment come within the experience and conventional competence of the Illinois courts,” Cates said. Justice Moore disagreed, finding the Department of Insurance does have authority to weigh whether a

rate is improper. “While, under Illinois law, the director and Department of Insurance do not have the power to set insurance rates or pre-approve filed rates, there is a comprehensive statutory scheme whereby the legislature has given the Department of Insurance the power to disapprove rates based on unfair or deceptive acts or practices by those engaged in the business of insurance,” Moore said. Plaintiffs have been represented by the following firms: Mehri & Skalet, and Tycko & Zavareei, both of Washington, D.C.; Law Offices of Thomas E. Kennedy, III, of St. Louis; and Berger & Montague, of Philadelphia. Allstate has been defended by the firms of HeplerBroom firm, of Edwardsville, and DLA Piper, of Baltimore. We thank Cook County Record for reprint permission.


4x Monthly E-Newsletter.

Continued from Page 24

Antitrust Claims by the most common of corporate stimuli: a desire to increase profits,” the opinion said. None of the plaintiffs’ “plus factors” sufficed to “tip the scale from equipoise toward conspiracy sufficiently to prevent dismissal of this count,” Anderson wrote. Boycott Allegations Insufficient “The boycott allegations in this case are even weaker than the allegations of price-fixing,” the opinion said. “Neither the ‘steering’ allegations nor the ‘boycott’ section of the complaint allege even in conclusory fashion that there was an agreement to do so.” “For the same reasons that it forecloses the body shops’ price-fixing claim, Twombly forecloses the body shops’ group boycott claims,” it said, which “allege only parallel conduct which is insufficient to create an inference of prior agreement or conspiracy.” The complaints also included state law claims for unjust enrichment,

quantum meruit and tortious interference, only the last of which narrowly survived the judges’ scrutiny. Even that claim, Anderson noted, may be knocked out of district court on remand if Presnell declines to exercise jurisdiction. In dissent, Wilson wrote that the majority’s reading of Twombly was too narrow for dismissal of the suits at the pleading stage. “Antitrust laws are often underenforced against anticompetitive exercises of buyer market power,” Wilson wrote. “And yet, under the majority’s interpretation of the Twombly standard, never has it been harder for an antitrust plaintiff to proceed to discovery.” Allowed to proceed, wrote Wilson, discovery “might uncover, for example, that the insurers agreed at industry meetings to use the same market rate, same reimbursement formulas, and same standards of quality … And it might not.” The plaintiffs’ appeal was argued by former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, now in private practice in Salt Lake City, and John Eaves of John Arthur Eaves Law Offices in Jackson, MS.

3 Remaining Cases Pending Shurtleff said he was disappointed with the ruling but still had hope that three remaining cases that have been combined with amended complaints and are pending will bring some relief to the repair shop owners. “He did dismiss the amended complaints, but he put them on hold until the Eleventh Circuit ruled in this one,” Shurtleff said. “We’ve been dealing with this since 2014, and I know how harshly these clients of ours are being treated. It’s a daily struggle for them, but we’re not giving up.” Arguing for the insurers on appeal were Alston & Bird partner Michael Kenny for State Farm, Dentons partner Rick Fenton for Allstate and Daniel Goldfine of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie for GEICO. In response to queries, a State Farm spokesman said only that the insurer was pleased with the ruling. Reprinted with permission from the March 7, 2019 issue of ©2019, ALM Media Properties, LLC. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.

St. Charles, MO, Shops Stay Busy This Winter by Scott Connell, KSDK

While many businesses have struggled with each onslaught of winter weather, it’s meant extra work for many auto body shops around the area. Every time snow falls or ice glazes the roads, accidents litter the highway. Many times, those cars end up at the body shop to have the pieces put back together. At Rick’s Auto Body in St. Charles County, MO, they usually work on about 30 cars a week. This winter, Matt Rodewald said, they have an extra 10–15 cars each week with many already booked for the weeks ahead to have repairs made. Rodewald said the most common damage is to the bumpers. He also noted that while the damage may look minor and only cosmetic, it’s important to have it looked at by a professional to see if there is damage where you can’t see it. We thank KSDK for reprint permission.



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From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

Mike Anderson is the president and owner of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry. For nearly 25 years, he was the owner of Wagonwork Collision Center, an OEM-certified, full-service auto body repair facility in Alexandria, VA.

Moving Beyond Paper QC Process Necessary to Ensure Documented Proper Repairs While working with a shop on some quality control (QC) issues recently, I discovered they were still using a paper QC checklist. It reminded me of the somewhat dated checklist that’s among the forms and tools available for free on my website ( It’s not that such checklists are bad. They serve as a good reminder of the things that are often not quite right and can result in a needless comeback. But a paper system has become an outdated way to accomplish quality control effectively. I believe shops need to move to an electronic QC process. There are several reasons why. First, there are more and more young people working in shops who have grown up using computers, tablets and cell phone apps. If you hand them a piece of paper, it’s like a step back in time for them. How else, they may wonder, is this shop not staying up to date? Second, we’ve all seen people “pencil-whip” forms, signing or initialing the top item on the list and drawing a line from that right down the rest of the list. They may well have done everything on the form, but perhaps not. Just rapidly filling in all the boxes at the end is no substitute for checking each item at the appropriate time. An electronic system helps make employees more accountable. Third, some of the lawsuits out there related to incomplete or incorrect repairs have raised the industry’s awareness of the need for proper documentation of repairs. An electronic QC process ensures that every step is time- and date-stamped, a record that helps ensure—and document—that things were done properly. That documentation isn’t just important to you as a business owner. It can be equally important to those with whom you have business agreements, such as automakers that certify your shop or insurance companies. An electronic system allows your shop’s quality control efforts to 30

be more easily audited. Several electronic quality control systems are out there. CCC Information Services has “Checklists,” which can be customized and integrated

That highlights how quality control isn’t just about holding employees accountable and ensuring you have a documented process that can be audited and used to demon-

with CCC ONE. (It’s a stand-alone product that can be used regardless of what estimating or shop management system you use.) Shops in the Assured Performance Network have access to that network’s electronic QC system. I’m aware of another program out there called “myQCiQ,” and there may well be others. Using an electronic QC system also makes sense because more of the QC process itself involves electronics, namely, post-repair vehicle scanning. The old paper checklist that asks if the headlights and turn signals are working, or if moldings are missing or loose, was fine in its day, but it is no longer enough. Those things still need to be checked, but there’s no way to ensure all of the vehicle’s safety and comfort features are working without conducting an output and functionality test through a post-repair scan. It’s an absolute must. We all, of course, think of scanning in terms of ensuring the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are functioning. But you’ve no doubt had the experience of delivering a vehicle after a $5,000 or even $10,000 repair that seems just perfect, only to have the customer come back because their seat-warmer isn’t working or their Bluetooth device won’t sync.

strate exactly what was done to that vehicle. A robust QC process also ensures your customer drives away satisfied in a safe vehicle.


Another great tip I learned from my friend Ray Chew at CCC: Ask customers early in the process what some of their favorite features of their vehicle are. There’s no way any of us can possibly be aware of and understand every feature on every vehicle. By knowing upfront what in particular the customer appreciates about their vehicle, you can integrate checking those features into the QC process for that extra level of attention. Keep in mind that when consumers are asked if their vehicle was fixed right the first time, the industry average is just 82 percent. That really concerns me. That means 1 in 5 cars comes back for a problem. That’s not acceptable. It’s time every individual in this industry takes responsibility for quality. QC inspections must be part of the process—not just at the end, but at every stage of repair.

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Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

Stacey Phillips is a freelance writer and editor for the automotive industry. She has 20 years of experience writing for a variety of publications, and is co-author of “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops.” She can be reached at

An Insider’s Guide to Handling Media Interviews During a Crisis There’s an important question everyone in the collision repair industry should ask themselves, according to award-winning journalist and communication trainer Jeff Ansell: If your body shop or business is accused of transgressions, real or imagined, would you know how to respond to the media? “There is no shortage of badnews scenarios or allegations the collision repair industry could experience, whether that includes allegations of deliberately damaging cars, installing used parts but billing for new ones, or invoicing for phantom repairs,” said Ansell. “The answer is to have the skills necessary to properly tell your story to all stakeholders, especially when the news about your organization is not positive.” During the 16th annual CSN Collision Centres conference held in Scottsdale, AZ, in November, Ansell


offered insight on how to confidently communicate with the media during a crisis. This included how to respond to difficult questions, confidently tell a business’s story and frame the media narrative before others frame it.

Award-winning journalist and communication trainer Jeff Ansell during the CSN Collision Centres conference in Scottsdale, AZ

Ansell’s perspective was based on his experience over the years as an investigative reporter and a media and crisis communications advisor.


People often ask Ansell why it’s important to be media-trained and rehearse answering questions when all you have to do is tell the truth. Every day, he said, the media, especially social media, sets the public agenda that can impact a business. “A social media onslaught focusing on you and your business can come at you like an avalanche,” said Ansell. Not only will good communication help manage a business’s reputation, he said, but it will also help the problem dissipate more quickly. “Regardless of what the future holds, communication will always be a big part of it,” said Ansell. “What you say and how you say it to the media, customers and employees are very important now, more than ever, because communication these days is beyond instant.”

Undercover investigations involving hidden cameras are very common in this line of work and can portray auto repair shops and the people who work in them as incompetent, dishonest and, in some cases, criminals, according to Ansell. “When bad news strikes, the media and the public are quick to make up their minds about you,” said Ansell. “Reporters can show up at your business anytime. How you respond speaks volumes about who you are.” As a result, Ansell shared what he referred to as “the rules of the game” when talking to the media. 12 Do’s and Don’ts for Communicating With Confidence: 1) When you mess up, ‘fess up. 2) Remember there is no such thing as “off the record.”

3) Don’t change your story mid-interview. 4) Be aware that cameras are always rolling, even before interviews begin. 5) Don’t snap at people who ask you questions that you don’t like. 6) Be mindful of political correctness and gender insensitivity. 7) When the heat is on, don’t get defensive, especially if your business is accused of being sleazy and unethical. 8) Don’t trivialize problems experienced by your customers. 9) Media interviews and public appearances are not the appropriate time to engage in a confession. 10) Don’t be too quick to take your lawyer’s advice when you are dealing with a bad news issue. 11) Don’t repeat negative words that might convince people you are guilty. 12) Don’t make promises you can’t keep. How to Tell a Business’ Story “You never know what questions you might be asked by a reporter—some are straightforward; some are curveball, off-the-wall, leading questions, loaded questions, politically incorrect

and uncomfortable questions,” said Ansell. “Knowing the right thing to say during media interviews, especially during stressful times, isn’t easy.” Ansell acknowledged that it’s easy to get angry at reporters or customers, especially when they are aggressive. After interviewing and training thousands of people over his career, Ansell has observed that when people are put on the spot and the question gets tough, they often experience a physiological default. “When hijacked by a question, we teeter on the precipice of fight or flight,” he said. “Do I stay here and answer this in-my-face question, freeze or flee? Our sole objective is survival, which is easier said than done.” In stressful moments, Ansell said, people tend to hold their breath, stop listening, feverishly ask how to answer the question and fall into every reporter trap. It often becomes an outof-body experience. What can a shop do if it finds itself dealing with bad or controversial news and its reputation is in peril? Ansell said it’s often helpful to tell a story.

“If you’re not there, others are going to tell it for you,” he observed. “How we come across in front of the media is critically important and clearly impacts how our story will be told.” This involves being responsive to the questions asked, knowing how to answer them properly and then telling the story. However, if a shop plans to do multiple interviews, he recommended not telling the same story the exact same way with the same words every time. The communications expert also suggested invoking what he called the “value compass,” which can be a valuable tool when the trust in an organization is threatened. This involves looking at the stakeholders’ emotions, asking what would enhance the well-being of the people directly affected, identifying the elements of the spokesperson’s nature and touching on the spokesperson’s standards. “The value compass is the collection of words we would use to describe how we want and need our stakeholders to see us and perceive us when we find ourselves mired in

the blinding glare of the media spotlight,” explained Ansell. In a bad news situation, he stressed the importance of showing the business spokesperson is upset, genuine, honest, emphatic and trustworthy. “When bad news happens, show you are among the most disturbed, aggrieved and outraged by what has happened,” Ansell advised. “The idea is to take every question asked, every answer given, the message delivered, and every policy, process and procedure talked about and filter it through the value compass, sentence-by-sentence, action-by-action.” In addition to telling a story, Ansell also stressed the importance of creating messages for the media to report. He said to use simple language and short sentences that are focused, compelling and quotable. Once these messages have been created, the next step is to find a credible way to introduce them into the interview, regardless of whether the reporter asks about them. Ansell also shared the framework to use if and when shop owners See Insider’s Guide, Page 56 / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance technical writer from Wilmington, Delaware, who writes on a variety of fields and subjects, and grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. She can be contacted at

ASA Washington D.C. Representative Bob Redding Delivers Legislative Update On Feb. 6, ASA’s Washington D. C. representative, Bob Redding, delivered a legislative update two blocks from the U.S. Capitol to discuss national and state legislation relevant to the automotive industry. Referencing the previous evening’s State of the Union address, Redding mentioned that transportation infrastructure is a big issue. Beginning at the federal level, Redding noted that the SELF DRIVE Act passed last year, which addresses new vehicle technology, autonomous vehicles and how states and the federal government should interact regarding the regulation of these vehicles. He noted that the bill “passed overwhelmingly” in the House and the Senate Commerce Committee; however, an amendment to address cyber security and data access issues was attached, and the bill never reached the Senate floor. Pointing out that the 2018 election flipped the House from Republican to Democrat, Redding stressed that priorities change and require a new beginning. “ASA is pleased with the data access amendment and supports it, but we have to start all over now,” he said. “We’re looking for federal legislation regarding autonomous vehicles soon, and we’ll work to ensure data access and cyber security are addressed.” Redding stressed the importance of being at the table for legislative conversations. “ASA’s goal is to be part of the process, to learn and share with members and leadership, and to be sure we’re at the table when a lot of decisions are made. If you’re not at the table, you’re very likely to be on the menu,” he said. Redding moved on to the variety of bills for the 2019 state sessions, beginning with Missouri. He noted that Missouri has one of the premiere vehicle safety inspection programs in the nation. “In fact, ASA has used it as a template we’d like to see other states follow,” he said. “Almost every year, 36

the Missouri Vehicle Safety Program is attacked in the state legislature. Last year, it was in the form of House Bill 1444, which we fought, but it has been reintroduced as House Bill 451. ASA is opposed to this legislation, and we need to stop it.” While 30 states have had vehicle inspection programs in the past, only 15 states currently have them. Redding said, “We believe these programs are invaluable to the motoring public, and ASA would like to protect the 15 programs in play today [and] see them enhanced and spread to other states. There are many responsible repairers who look up vehicles and inform customers of safety recalls without mandates and regulations, but this piece of consumer education could be wrapped into these safety programs.” Moving along to Massachusetts, Redding noted that Right to Repair was approved in 2013; however, a bill was dropped at the end of 2018 and was reintroduced in 2019 with changes that touch on telematics, expands the Right to Repair legislation of 2013 and includes some data access provisions. He stated, “Data access is the new service information. ‘Data access’ is the catch phrase you are going to see over and over in legislation, at the state and federal level. We need to ensure, in legislation, that it does what automotive repairers need it to do.” Turning to New Hampshire, Redding discussed House Bill 664, which calls for the use of and reimbursement for OEM repair procedures. According to Redding, “This is just the tip of the spear. Multiple states are drafting similar legislation, but this has nothing to do with parts—just OE repair procedures.” Redding then requested complete attention for an “important story of David and Goliath” and delved into Wyoming Senate Bill 0095, which was introduced in midJanuary and attempts to define na-


tional certification of aftermarket crash parts. He explained, “Legislation on this subject has been attempted in multiple states with little success, and the NHTSA has rebuked attempts to certify aftermarket parts. The legislation passed within two weeks without enough collision shop input, and it is now being considered by the House.” Redding then spouted off a series of important questions regarding this legislation that need to be considered. “What state agency in Wyoming is fully equipped to evaluate the certification standard of aftermarket parts? Who will determine if these parts meet OEM standards? How does this protect consumers? What value does it offer? Any discussion about aftermarket parts evokes discussion of the quality issue, and

these are important issues that require more than a superficial review. Cheaper and quicker does not ensure a quality, safe repair. ASA opposes the Wyoming legislature and is working to stop the bill from going forward without more review and input from the impacted entities. It provides no protection for shops or consumers,” he said. As the feed wrapped up, Redding announced that ASA plans to provide more periodic updates on legislation at the state and federal levels. “We are dealing with huge issues and want to keep you informed, to work with you. We have found there is strength in numbers, and we need more members to speak up,” he said. ASA will host a webinar on March 20 to further discuss legislative issues impacting the automotive industry. For more information, visit


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In Reverse with Gary Ledoux

Gary Ledoux is an industry veteran with 48 years’ experience in the automotive and OEM collision parts industry. His column appears exclusively in Autobody News. He can be reached at

Vehicle Safety Equipment Through The Years By the mid-1950s, more than a million Americans had been in car accidents and died on the nation’s roads and highways. The general consensus was that it was all on account of driver error and/or the drivers in question not following the laws. Surely, that must be the cause because, it was thought, cars couldn’t be built any better … could they? Many in the industry thought they were already at the epitome of automotive design and safety—there was nowhere else for automotive technology to go! Automotive writer James Crate wrote in 1993 that from the birth of the automobile up until 1956, the auto had been largely unmolested by federal laws largely because those ideas were left over from the days when horses were the primary mode of personal transportation. The thenmotoring public and the federal gov-

ernment considered the automobile a personal item, much as a horse had been. Thus, it was viewed as an inviolate part of a person’s way of life that should not come under the scrutiny of some government law or entity. That began to change on July 15, 1956 when Congressman Kenneth Roberts, an Alabama Democrat, opened the first session of the first House subcommittee on traffic safety by proceeding directly to the subject of automotive design standards. The auto industry was not ready for Congressman Roberts. They weren’t ready to be asked if the vehicles they were putting on the road might be designed better and safer, to first help mitigate accidents and/or to reduce their severity and save lives. The motoring public, at the time, was apathetic. Even Roberts’ fellow legislators and other federal personnel were apathetic at best and

condescending at worst. Roberts was not re-elected. However, during his tenure, he managed to get H.R. 1341 passed, which set safety standards for those vehicles purchased by the U.S. government. At the time, the federal government purchased about 35,000 vehicles a year, a proverbial

“drop in the bucket” in the total scheme of things. But it set a precedent and got people and the government to give vehicle safety and design another look. Coincidentally, this was the same year that Ford tried selling

safety as a vehicle feature. An optional safety package came with seat belts, padded dash and padded sun visors, among other items. (Seat belts would not be federally mandated until 1964.) Fewer than 2,000 of Ford’s safety packages were sold. Since 1956, the federal government has mandated much of the safety technology used in cars today. Left up to their own devices, would carmakers have advanced automotive safety on their own? Consider the following: On Feb. 10, 1885, way before the automobile was even thought about, the first U.S. patent for a seat belt was issued to Edward J. Claghorn of New York. In the patent, it was described as “designed to be applied to the person and provided with hooks and other attachments for securing the person to a fixed object.” They would not be re-


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quired for use in automobiles for another 80 years! But seat-belted carriage passengers aside, the earliest “horseless carriage” drivers changed a car’s direction of travel with a tiller, not unlike steering a small boat. It was clumsy and not very practical. So in 1900, the steering wheel was invented, introduced in the Packard. Early cars could only be driven safely during the day because they had no headlights! So, the first automotive headlamps were introduced for use on the 1898 Columbia Electric Car from the Electric Vehicle Company of Hartford, CT. But the new electric lamps were not very popular—the rather fragile filaments didn’t last long bouncing over the rough, early roads, and it was difficult for the car to produce enough current to even power the lamp. Thus, in 1904, a more durable and practical headlamp was introduced— powered by acetylene. (That doesn’t sound very safe?) Vehicle lighting with headlamps, tail lamps, and side lamps, as we know it today, was not used until 1908 and then powered by an 8-volt battery. Side marker lamps

would have to wait until 1968. Center-mounted, high brake lamps would have to wait until 1986. Early cars moved along at not much more than walking speed. But that didn’t last long. To gauge how fast a vehicle was going required a speedometer. The first one appeared in the 1901 Oldsmobile. Ironically, early mechanical brake systems were still rather crude, and cars didn’t stop well. But for the first time, by watching the speedometer, it was possible for a person to judge beforehand how badly they and their vehicle would be damaged if the car collided with something. Shock absorbers also appeared around this time. Early shocks were “knee-action” as opposed to the reciprocating tubular style we are most familiar with today. Dampening the suspension controlled wheel shimmy while traveling along unpaved roads. It also helped drivers better control their vehicle and keep themselves out of ditches and out of the way of oncoming traffic.You might call this the first lane-keep assist system. In 1951, German Walter Linderer and American John Hedrik

applied for patents for early airbags. The bags were largely ineffectual because they could not deploy fast enough, and a system to trigger the deployment did not yet exist—but they had the concept right. An acceptable triggering system would have to wait until 1968 when Allen Breed would submit for a patent for his invention, the first electro-mechanical airbag triggering system. The first airbags sold commercially on a passenger car appeared on the 1973 Oldsmobile Tornado. In 1953, the iconic Chevrolet Corvette was introduced. It was the industry’s first production fiberglass body, which presented some new challenges to the collision repair industry. It was also the first mass-produced American car with a wrap-around windshield, which eliminated a troublesome blind spot at the corner of the windshield, increased the driver’s line of vision and ostensibly made the car safer. The wraparound design was the brainchild of legendary car designer Harley Earl. Interestingly, Harley’s father, J.W. Earl, developed and patented a tilting windshield in 1911, another innova-

tion of its time. Of all the safety equipment ever invented for a motor vehicle, none has been as ubiquitous, been damaged as many times in so many accidents, generated as much income for so many parts suppliers and provided as many labor hours for so many collision technicians as the item invented by Frederick R. Simms. Simms was born in Hamburg, Germany on August 12, 1863. He became a British mechanical engineer, businessman and inventor. He was a personal friend of Gottlieb Daimler and became involved in the company that eventually became known as Daimler-Benz. In association with Robert Bosch, he invented the magneto and started the Simms Magneto Company in New Jersey. The company eventually went on to produce electrical items through the 1940s and later was bought out by the British company Lucas. But by those in the collision repair industry, Simms is not remembered for his achievements in the world of automotive electrics. Simms is known as the inventor of what is arguably the most maligned safety item ever—the automotive bumper.


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Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

Stacey Phillips is a freelance writer and editor for the automotive industry. She has 20 years of experience writing for a variety of publications, and is co-author of “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops.” She can be reached at

How to Implement an Effective Scheduling Process to Achieve Revenue & Cycle Time Goals For body shop owners and managers who are still “winging it” when scheduling repair jobs, there is a better way to manage the process and proactively run a collision repair shop, according to Dave Luehr and Ron Kuehn. Luehr, owner of Elite Body Shop Solutions, and Kuehn, owner of Collision Business Solutions, teamed up during an Elite Body Shop Academy webinar to teach body shops how to schedule optimum WIP (work in process), create a balanced workflow, optimize a shop’s work mix and create a simple scheduling form. “In today’s collision repair world, old thinking and poor scheduling systems are a recipe for disaster,” said Luehr. “Modern shops can no longer afford to bring in a majority of their week’s work in on Mondays and expect to survive.” When Luehr meets with shop owners and managers to help manage their businesses, his first operational priority is to look at their scheduling process and optimum WIP.

“You can’t implement anything successfully in an environment where you have too many cars sitting around,” he said. “The best blueprinting efforts typically fail because [owners] don’t understand scheduling and optimum WIP.” Why Most Scheduling Systems Don’t Work Many shops across the country schedule jobs based on labor hours, the number of cars or dollars. Although there is nothing wrong with scheduling this way, according to Kuehn, there is a tremendous opportunity to analyze the information 42

available to a repair facility and finetune the scheduling process. Luehr added that the labor hours used to schedule jobs aren’t always accurate due to incomplete estimates. This can create a tremendous amount of instability, not only with scheduling but also with the entire production system.

In a typical body shop, Luehr said, the culture has always been to “grab the keys” for as many jobs as possible. However, that approach often isn’t effective, especially in some markets across the country. “It’s killing people,” said Luehr. “It seriously creates health problems from the amount of stress and chaos that goes on every day in a typical body shop.” Kuehn said some shop owners and managers find comfort in knowing they have a lot of work on the shop floor and premises. However, he said, more often than not, the bigger the parking lot they have compared to the number of technicians, the worse the shop’s cycle time is going to be. Kuehn often calls shop owners like these “wipaholics”—those who don’t mind having too much work in process. Luehr said another main reason most scheduling systems aren’t effective is that shops “push” work through the shop, rather than allowing production to “pull” work from a pool of production-ready jobs. Instead, he recommends determining the needs and capacity of the shop’s production system and bringing in just the right amount of productionready work to feed it.


Excess WIP has been found to drive up operating costs, leading to poor cycle time, cash flow problems, quality defects and wasted resources. “If your WIP is too high, cycle time can suffer and chaos ensues,” said Luehr. “If it is too low, revenue can suffer.” Kuehn said three key ingredients need to be addressed: a shop’s WIP; monitoring intake and system of repair planning/blueprinting to identify what is needed regarding labor and parts up front; and most importantly, leadership. “Leadership has to set the tempo,” said Kuehn. “You have to come up with a number, then you have to monitor it and see what works and what doesn’t and continue to make modifications to make it better.”

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Learning to Schedule to Optimum WIP Using Little’s Law Luehr also discussed Little’s Law, a mathematical equation for cycle time, introduced to him by Rich Altieri from AutoBody Management Solutions. Using the model of Little’s Law, Luehr said, shops can design their desired cycle time days and then figure out how many cars to ideally have on the property. To calculate optimum WIP, divide the number of cars on the property (WIP) by the daily production units (the average number of vehicles delivered daily). That will tell a shop its average cycle time. For example, if a shop with 10 cars in its production system consistently produces an average of two per day, it translates to a five-day cycle time. In contrast, a shop carrying 20 cars on the property would

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have a cycle time that would double to 10 days on average. Creating a Balanced Workflow When scheduling for production, Kuehn said, most management systems include four dates: arrival; repair start (when a technician is ready to

work on the vehicle and it can hopefully go through the system without stopping); repair complete (when the file is finished, ready to close and the vehicle is completed and inspected); and delivery. “The time between the start or ‘repair time’ and complete time, which you can think of as your manufacturing plant, is where you make your money,” said Kuehn. “The more efficient you can make your manufacturing plant, the more cash velocity [a component of cash flow] you are going to have.” In a perfect world, Luehr said, a

shop should bring in the same number of vehicles per day that are delivered to help maintain optimum WIP. For example, in a shop that repairs 20 cars per week, four would be brought in each of the five days it’s open and four would be delivered each of those five days.

“That would create the optimum workflow that would allow your business to be firing on all cylinders at its most profitable state,” he said. “The bottom line is to monitor intake because you can’t afford to have those cars sitting around,” said Kuehn. “You have an investment in all of those cars and a lot of cash tied up. It’s not just about getting those cars through the shop; it’s also the administration you have that can backlog the shop and your office.” Optimizing Work Mix Wise shops, according to Luehr and


Kuehn, implement “triage” methods and bring in a mix of work each day. Different triage methods can be used based on the number of estimating hours, number of damaged panels, dollars spent and drivable vs. nondrivable vehicles. While many of these methods work well for shops, Luehr said it can often complicate the process. Instead, he recommends using a simple category size triage system using dollars or labor hours. For example: Category 1: $0-$1,499 Category 2: $1,500-$3,999 Category 3: $4,000+ “By overloading your system and not having the proper mix because you have too many small jobs at any one point in time, it will slow down the overall work,” said Kuehn. In other words, to keep all departments running at optimal profitability, he said, a mix of small, medium and large jobs need to be scheduled throughout the week. How to Create a Simple Schedule Form Luehr said a good first step is to cre-

ate a scheduling form to maintain optimum WIP and revenue goals. Every repairable vehicle should be accounted for on the form, regardless of the actual arrival date. If no openings are available, then the shop probably shouldn’t bring in another car, he said. If a loyal customer happens to come in, he said shops will likely agree to repair the car but will have to let the customer know the timeframe. “At least you have a scheduling system that allows you to communicate a little smarter with your customer,” said Luehr. “If you get ahead of schedule, you can always blueprint the vehicle and pull it into production, but don’t force-feed it,” said Kuehn. Luehr said the typical work mix for DRP shops can be determined by pulling historical data from the shop management system, and then space can be created on the scheduling sheet for those vehicles. “You may not know exactly how many are coming in or when, but you can still block out space for them,” he said. “The worst thing that See Scheduling Process, Page 47

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After the Donation: Caliber Collision, Allstate Step Up to Help Army Veteran by Ed Attanasio

Some deserving people receive donated cars to make their lives a little easier, while others use them to get better jobs and improve their situations. For Eboni Strader, a disabled U.S. Army veteran and single mother of two children, her new vehicle has allowed her to continue receiving critical medical treatment, take her children to school, continue her education and work with the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet), which serves veterans throughout the entire state. “I work in the executive suite with the Women’s Division. This car has given me the ability to achieve all of this in just two short months after receiving the car. Life was exceedingly difficult for me and my children before we received the gift of this vehicle,” she said. In October 2018, Caliber Collision, in conjunction with Allstate Insurance as part of the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides pro-

gram, presented a completely refurbished 2014 Toyota Corolla to Strader at the sixth annual Military Women’s Appreciation Day at American River College in Sacramento, CA.

Army Veteran Eboni Strader, with her son Isaiah, received a 2014 Toyota Corolla from Caliber Collision in conjunction with Allstate Insurance as part of NABC’s Recycled Rides program last year

More than 200 female veterans and active service members attended the event, which was hosted by VA NorCal and produced in cooperation with Operation: Care and Comfort, The Soldiers Project and the American River College Veterans Resource

Center. “The car changed my life because it removed a lot of stress,” Strader said. “This entire experience changed my life because it made me a better mother, student and employee and has allowed me to gain the freedom and independence I desperately needed. Now I can obtain the medical treatment and care that I desperately need, and it allows me to keep my children enrolled in the current charter school they attend because I can get them to and from school every day.” In 2015, Strader relocated to California to escape a domestic violence situation and start anew. “I got on an airplane with my two children, and we had to leave a lot of our possessions behind,” she said. “We came to seek shelter with a family member in another city but were unable to stay there, and eventually we had to move. We then came to Sacramento, and I sought help from the VA here. I was placed in VA housing for women with SVRC (Sacramento Veterans Resource Center).

“My children and I were housed with them for over a year before I received my own permanent housing through a special program set up for veterans called Hud-Vash. During this time, I was diagnosed with several health issues as well as MTSD. As a disabled veteran, it was vital for me to continue getting the treatment I desperately needed from the VA hospital located at Mather Airfield. “Shortly after receiving housing, my car was repossessed, and I had no other means of getting another car. I had used all the money I had saved up to pay the deposit on our townhome and was unable to afford the $400 car payments any longer. “For a while, I was able to borrow a vehicle to take my children to school until the rear right tire broke off and was slung into oncoming traffic. I then was able to get my case manager to graciously take time out of her day to travel from Mather to pick me up for a couple of vital appointments I had at the VA hospital. I also was given a bus pass, and I ocSee After the Donation, Page 50


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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance technical writer from Wilmington, Delaware, who writes on a variety of fields and subjects, and grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. She can be contacted at

ASA Webinar Features ‘G’ Jerry Truglia’s ‘Why a DTC is Not Always Displayed’ On Feb. 20, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) hosted its monthly Webinar Wednesday. The webinar featured wellknown industry trainer “G” Jerry Truglia of Automotive Technicians Training Service, who presented “Why a DTC is Not Always Displayed.” Truglia covered how to alleviate issues related to a check engine light that comes on after the vehicle is repaired and how to diagnose and repair DTCs and drivebility more efficiently.

ASA Vice President Tony Molla began by welcoming attendees and introducing Truglia. Truglia began by examining the right way to diagnose DTCs and drivability problems. He noted that the most important tool needed to diagnose DTCs is a generic/global scan tool, but a factory scan tool is not always necessary. He stated, “You’re not going to become an expert in an hour, but we can put some lights on and help each other.” Repairers also need a game plan. Truglia explained, “Information on iATN, Identifix, ALLDATA, Mitchell, Autodata, MotoLogic, or even Google and YouTube can be very helpful in identifying if the vehicle you are working on needs a reflash or has a silver bullet problem. Remember, when looking at a silver bullet solution, always check and test the components and the system before replacing anything.” As he began to explain how to understand the diagnostic process, Truglia noted, “Before we go too deep, let’s get the caveats out of the way. When it comes to diagnosing engine performance, DTCs or driveability problems use a general/global scan tool to expedite your diagnosis. 46

A general/global OBD II scan tool allows us to view information quickly while allowing access to pending DTCs, Monitors, Mode 6, Mode 10 and Freeze Frame, to name a few. You won’t get all that information in the enhanced side of your scan tool, so start with the generic/global side first, and if you need more data PIDs or bi-directional control, switch to the enhanced side. Also, general/global PIDs are the same on every vehicle, whether it’s a GM, Toyota or a BMW. The data PIDs are all the same and easier to understand.” Truglia explained that repairers can get factory scan tool capabilities with J2534 and LSID/VSP, and he encouraged everyone to sign up at because “when you replace just about any computer on today’s vehicles, you’ll need that information to get the vehicle back online.” Displaying a slide that showed the modes of the OBD II, Truglia pointed out that this is the powertrain data that everyone has been looking at for years. He emphasized the importance of Mode 6, Mode 9 and Mode 10. “Mode 9 is super important because it gives us VIN information and allows us to see calibration files. Mode 10 will give us information that is stored in computer systems. This information is only erased after the vehicle has passed multiple times in special criteria,” he said. Truglia proceeded to demonstrate how to use the scan tool’s different modes, providing examples of scans and discussing what each of them could mean. Truglia explained, “If a monitor is not ready and you give the vehicle back to the customer without telling them, the client may get their check engine light illuminated again, and they won’t know whether it’s on for something they already paid to fix. I recommend that you print these screens and give them to the customer.” Reminding everyone to use the generic/global OBD II first, Truglia noted that generic scan tools cannot


substitute a value like an enhanced tool can. He talked through selecting the correct PIDs that should be viewed, pointing out that generic tools don’t have as many so they are less confusing. Truglia then moved on to discussing scan data fuel trim and the importance of knowing the good and bad limits so imbalances in the engine can be identified. He walked through many examples and explained the different issues that can be identified with this data. He noted, “Why does the number of fuel trim make a difference? Knowing which cell lets us know what and where to look for problems. Most mapping systems use a total of 16 cells, while some others will use a few more for other cells for fuel cut off, power enrichment, and EVAP purge, to name a few. Looking at RPM and map or load,

you can see the difference of how we add or subtract fuel using fuel trim cell data. “If fuel trim is normal, you can see there’s no problem, but don’t forget to look at the monitors so you don’t have a customer problem. Use data to determine what the problem is and which cell the problem is located in. The problem is with the load sensor most of the time. If we don’t have enough voltage at a component, it could be a power or a ground problem right, then we have an issue. These things are sometimes masked so you don’t see a directly related DTC.” Truglia demonstrated how Mode 6 shows the minimum and maximum values. The goal is to have a value in between, which would indicate that the item is working well. “Mode 6 is a quiz that fails a number of times; it then turns into a

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pending DTC,” he explained. “It means that if the item failed enough times in Mode 6, it is escalated to a pending DTC, then on to a DTC. Remember: If it continues to fail as a pending DTC, it will turn into a DTC and cause a check engine light to illuminate. Use Mode 6 to predict what’s going to happen to that vehicle. Go to the test results to figure out which areas have possible concerns.” Truglia went on to explore Mode 10 and looking at permanent DTCs if the codes are already erased. He also stressed the value of looking at relative compression to become alerted to possible mechanical problems. He emphasized, “Never erases DTCs. It’s like pouring Clorox on a crime scene—nothing will be revealed.” Many examples were provided via screenshots as Truglia talked through what repairers should pay particular attention to in specific scenarios. Explaining how to understand O2 – AFR voltage levels, Truglia noted, “The lower the AF sensor voltage, the richer the mixture, while the

higher the voltage, the leaner the engine is running. This is opposite of what we’re normally used to, so take note of that.” Discussing the PIDs that absolutely need to be viewed, Truglia explained that graphing PIDs helps problems stand out. He recommended looking at the LTFT, MAF, MAP, Calculated Load and when checking for a P0420 and P0430 catalyst efficiency DTCs. He recommended graphing the front O2 or air fuel sensor along with the rear O2 sensor at idle, 2000 and 3000 rpms to make sure that the rear O2 sensor does not dither. This efficiency test will uncover a potential issue that causes the P0420 and P0430 DTCs. Regarding time to temperature, Truglia pointed out, “This tells us if the engine is warming up too slowly or too fast. If the thermostat doesn’t open at the right pace, there could be transmission or drivebility issues. Be assured that you need to look at time to temperature.” After providing several more case studies, Truglia advised that CO2 and the ATS Bulleye leak detection tool, along with thermal im-


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Scheduling Process could happen is maybe one doesn’t show up and then you can bring in somebody else ahead of schedule.” Luehr cautions shops not to be too aggressive when reducing optimum WIP (car count) because it takes time to improve. He recommends decreasing the work in process incrementally while continuing to refine the shop’s systems to avoid losing revenue. Kuehn agrees. “You can’t change your culture overnight,” he said. “Instead, you need to start with a scheduling process gradually and fine-tune the system.” “The ultimate goal is to simultaneously achieve your revenue goals and cycle time goals and adjust to keep your optimum WIP on target,” said Luehr. For an example of Elite Body Shop Solutions’ scheduling form and to watch the free webinar, visit https:// webinar.


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aging, can be helpful tools for some DTCs and how to find problems. He ended his presentation by reminding participants, “Don’t just look at the DTCs. Look at all of the information that’s available to you. That’s the moral of the story here.” Molla then resumed control of the broadcast and led a question-andanswer session based on attendees’ feedback. ASA will host a bonus webinar on Feb. 27 on “How Engaging with AMi can Increase Profits” with AMi President Jeff Peevy. On March 20, ASA’s Webinar Wednesday will feature Robert L. Redding Jr., ASA legislative representative for the D.C. office. He will provide an update on the 2019 state legislative sessions and shop-relevant items on the legislative agenda.

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Media and Publicity for Shops with Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at

Broadly Helps Body Shops Shine Online In 2013, engineers Josh Melick and Assaf Arkin founded Broadly, a company that facilitates businesses’ success online through Facebook, Yelp, Google and NextDoor, while living in Oakland, CA. According to Broadly’s website, after years of watching his father’s roofing business struggle to find an effective, simple and affordable solution to market itself, Melick recognized a need in the local business community. He and Arkin set out to find an impactful way for businesses to engage with today’s consumers and thus, Broadly was born. Autobody News recently sat down with Melick to find out how his company is helping auto body shops all over the country grow organically online and bring more business through the door. If the majority of the work comes from the insurance companies, why should shops care about their online presence and online feedback?


In the collision repair industry ... the consumer writes the check, either to the insurer or the shop itself ... in the end, the customer makes the ultimate decision. In today’s modern world, more and more consumers like to look online, and they want to know that their cars are being fixed properly. They have the family mini-van, for example, and they want to make sure that it’s repaired perfectly after an accident before they put the kids back in it. That’s where word-of-mouth comes in. Word-of-mouth is always present—there is nothing new about that—but what has changed in our modern world is how we access it and where we go to find it. It’s not just people talking to people anymore. Although I might talk to my neighbor, they’re more likely looking on NextDoor or Facebook to see where their friends had their cars repaired. I might use my cell phone to search using Google to find shops near me or by my office.



This is the modern world we live in, so shops have to care about it in a way they didn’t before. Ultimately, the insurance company cares about the shop’s online presence too because they want to look reputable and don’t want blowback from consumers. What you do

Josh Melick co-founded Broadly, a company that facilitates businesses’ success online through Facebook, Yelp, Google and NextDoor. Credit: Todd Johnson

with online reviews can seal the deal. But if they’re done incorrectly, they can also kill the deal. If consumers start seeing one-star reviews on Yelp, for instance, the consumer might rebel and say I don’t want to take my car to that shop because I don’t think that they can do a good job on my car. Every business today needs to figure out how to get word-of-mouth happening. That’s where online reviews enter the picture, whether it’s Yelp, Facebook, Google, NextDoor or others. That’s why shops need simple ways to follow their customers, ask for feedback and get it posted in the right spot. That’s why we started Broadly.

Q: A:

How do you get people to review a shop after the repair?

Every business owner wants feedback; that’s always been a good business practice. That’s a great starting point, but you need to do more than just ask the customer for feedback. If you simply ask them to write about the car or the experience, that feedback is helpful for you to know, but it can do so much more for your business if it goes online. At Broadly, we’ve done the hard work by figuring out how to integrate with the social networks—to email, text message and communicate with


your customers. We enable businesses to follow up with their customers automatically. We make it easy for them to capture that feedback and leave that feedback in places that matter, like Google, NextDoor, Yelp, etc. It’s all about doing everything you can to make it easy, because it’s a lot of work to tell someone to go online and write a review about your shop. But if it’s done automatically, it’s much more likely that the consumer will actually do it. Most customers, to their credit, are willing to do that, especially if you’ve done a good job for them, but they will only go so far. Helping them by simplifying the process is the key. At Broadly, we can integrate with the shop’s management system in many cases, making it even simpler.


If a shop gets a one-star review, should the shop respond

either online or in person? Yes, but your response should always be short and sweet. You’re not going to win any public relations battles by responding to a one-star review online, because in most cases a bad review is caused by a breakdown in communications somewhere. The best way to avoid that is to prevent it from happening in the first place, so that’s why our tools, such as automatic feedback, can catch problems sooner. If you can catch it before it goes online, it’s better for both parties. Once a negative review is out there, it’s not easy to fix, so communicating with the customer during every stage of the repair is the best way to go. If consumers can see that a business responds quickly to a bad review and tries to make it better, that will resonate with them and they will



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usually be willing to accept that. Secondly, once the one-star review is out there, you should definitely respond promptly with a short response. Consumers like to see that because it shows you care. But the best way to deal with it is by picking up the phone to apologize personally and try to find out a way to fix it. Every business wants to make things right, but stuff happens. In the end, it all comes down to volume because if you have one bad review, but most of them are positive, it won’t be a problem.

Q: A:

Is it wise to pay for a high position on Google?

In collision repair, if you have a great presence online and you’ve done it organically, you’re going to get more business through the door whether you pay for advertising or not. First, you should make sure that you have a good image online before you think about advertising. Advertising is the icing on the cake, but not the cake itself, so you need that core organic presence first, and that comes from reviews.

Continued from Page 45

After the Donation casionally took a Lyft if I needed to go grocery shopping. There was one period of time over the summer that my children were home for more than 30 days straight without being able to go anywhere. Thank God for the Dollar General store across the street from our home because I was able to walk there for any crucial items we needed.” Without a vehicle, Strader and her family weren’t able to enjoy California. Once she received the car from Caliber Collision, she was able to take a significant trip with her kids, she said. “One of the greatest gifts I received with the gifting of the vehicle was the ability to fulfill a dream for my children by taking them to Disneyland,” she said. “My children had been through so much; this was something incredibly special for us to do together as a family. With the help of Allstate Insurance and Caliber Collision, I was able to make that dream come true for my children last year

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during the Thanksgiving break. They gifted my family $400 in gift cards as well as $100 in gas cards. That is a memory my children and I will never forget.

“I want to provide my children with a better life and show them that if you keep trying and believe in yourself, things will get better. From this experience, they have also learned there are wonderful people out there who are willing to help without expecting anything in return.” Strader has resided in a townhouse with her children in the Natomas, CA, area for over a year now. She is a full-time student working toward a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix and is a straight-A student.

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Several groups and organizations were instrumental in helping this single mom receive the car, especially her Hud-Vash case worker, Misty Ogsaen, who recommended Strader for the donation, and Caliber Collision field account representative Larry Lane. “When I heard her story, it was inspirational, and once she got the vehicle, I was confident that she would start paying it forward,” Lane said. Caliber teamed up with its industry partners to donate more than 100 cars in 2018 and plans to do the same this year. Recycled Rides is a 12-year-old program in which insurers, collision repairers, paint suppliers, parts vendors and other collision industry companies collaborate to repair donated vehicles for deserving individuals and service organizations throughout the country. The company has repaired about 2,000 donated vehicles.


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Tips for Busy Body Shops

Stacey Phillips is a freelance writer and editor for the automotive industry. She has 20 years of experience writing for a variety of publications, and is co-author of “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops.” She can be reached at

with Stacey Phillips

How Implementing a Lean Process Can Improve a Shop’s ROI & Decrease Cycle Time Collision repairers often don’t recog- time at a lower internal cost with less nize the tremendous value of incor- stress on the entire staff.” porating well-defined processes into Autobody News recently reached their body shops, according to Steve out to Feltovich to learn more about Feltovich, president of SJF Business the lean process and why he encourages shop owners and managers to Consulting LLC. Feltovich said that since be- take the steps necessary to implement it into their businesses. ginning to apply lean production principles to the How would you decollision repair environfine the lean process? ment in the early 2000s, he has seen committed shops Lean is a very merealize a multitude of benthodical, reliable and efits for their businesses. holistic approach to busi“The lean process is deSteve Feltovich, president of ness improvement. It puts signed to increase sales and SJF Business customer value at the foreprofitability, improve ROI Consulting LLC front, so everyone wins— and decrease cycle time,” said Feltovich, who works with deal- the customer, the insurance company, ers, independent collision repairers the organization and the supplier. and MSOs to make business improve- What I’ve taught shops for many ments and achieve performance goals. years is to look at lean as customer “It can also help a shop deliver a first. Although the insurance comhigher-quality product in a lot less pany transfers policyholder dollars to

Q: A:

the shop, at the end of the day, everyone is ultimately paid by the customer. There are five principal elements that make lean work: the elimination of waste; teamwork; the efficient use of resources; continuous improvement; and effective communication.

Q: A:

Why do we need a better business model, such as lean?

The reason we need a better business model is that cars have changed; they are not manufactured the same, they don’t function the same and as a result, they can’t be repaired the same. Today’s customers have also changed. They are more educated, more empowered and more knowledgeable. Whether we call it “Lean,” “Six Sigma” or the “Toyota Production System,” it’s just

a label. The bottom line is we need an absolute business transformation bringing in a better business model. Body shops have essentially operated the same way for the last 60 or 70 years. Across the board, everybody has been utilizing the same processes, and there is much waste in the system. The industry as a whole is still plagued by many of these wastes that we identified in the early 2000s. I think the primary reason is that we haven’t trained managers to manage their businesses any differently. We continue to hire managers who have experience in the collision repair industry but don’t necessarily understand how to transform business into a leaner operational platform. What advice do you give shops looking to implement the lean process?




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I tell them that you have to become a student in lean. Lean only works when the owner(s) and management team embrace the process improvement and philosophy. Employees are managed differently using the lean process. Rather than dictating to them what you want them to do, you instead bring them into the problems that the business encounters and work together to make improvements. Management becomes more of a facilitator than a dictator of operational processes. Training at the top of the tower is an absolute must. I think that is where most companies can derail— when the top people don’t understand the importance of continuous learning, embracing it enough and fully believing in it confidently before they try to roll it out to the shop floor. That’s where it fails—and fails ferociously in many cases. Many people attend one 20 Group meeting or one lean process training session. I caution those who are first introduced to the lean process that they aren’t going to learn enough in one session to transform their business successfully. They can often do more damage than good. You need to attend many sessions and read books such as “The Toyota Way” by Jeffrey Liker. That’s the first book I recommend and the bedrock of beginning to even consider implementing lean in a process improvement way that will be sustainable. Like any well-run business, it takes dedication, time and commitment from the people at the top of the organization. The lean process


can often take a little additional effort because shops are undoing the traditional management learning and changing that outdated thinking into more of a process-oriented and continuous improvement philosophy. This requires considerable maintenance from the management team to keep it on track.

Q: A:

How does the lean process differ from other processes?

The lean process differs from traditional managed processes on one key element: There’s a daily obsession with eliminating non-valueadded, wasteful activities from getting in the way of producing greater customer value. For example, if you have to order parts two or three times on a car because you didn’t do a complete, 100-percent damage analysis with disassembly and discover all of the damage and broken components the first time, then there are wasted activities. They are non-value-added because you were paid to buy or order parts one time and they were ordered two additional times. Wasteful activities can be found in administration, production and paint processes.

Q: A:


Why is it becoming increasingly important to get onboard with the lean process?


OEMs are now looking for their certified shops to have more refined processes in place, such as a front-end sales process, a scheduling process and damage analysis. Some manufacturers are starting to say you can’t get certified unless you have lean practices in place. Whether you understand lean or not, ask yourself if you are doing some of the basic elements of lean that give you a better throughput, higher quality and lower internal costs. Shops that don’t even know what lean processes are and have had no exposure to it are really going to be left behind at some point. Another vital reason is due to the new technology in vehicles. I’ve heard from OEMs that 60 percent of


collision repair is going to be related to technology and electronics. This includes cameras, computers, smart wiring, calibration, road-testing and checking for functionality. All of the scanning of codes and clearing codes are going to be tied to electronics and technology. Therefore, it will be important to have an effective operational process in place to help drive precision and eliminate defects and redundancy. If we don’t, I believe it’s going to be a chaotic mess to try to fix these advanced technological platforms coming our way. We often go out and spend money on a new spray booth or frame machine. Although I’m in favor of purchasing efficient, up-to-date equipment, in a lot of cases we’ll spend our time and effort utilizing advanced equipment with broken processes when we could have worked on our processes and extracted a real return on investment. I believe it’s critical for shops to begin building a new business model based on “lean processes” to remain competitive in the future. For more information, email Feltovich at

Finish i t lik e a M asterp iece

How long does it typically take to implement the lean process?

People want to put a timeframe on lean; however, it all depends on how quickly you as a leader can build the culture around it. This includes how quickly you learn it, embrace it, understand it

UAF Accepting Scholarship Applications The University of the Aftermarket Foundation is accepting applications for automotive scholarships at its Automotive Aftermarket Scholarship Central website. The application deadline is March 31, 2019. Interested candidates can view a wide array of scholarship opportunities, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, available from the University of the Aftermarket Foundation and more than 30 industry organizations. Hundreds of scholarships are available for students enrolled in four-year and two-year colleges as well as ASE/NATEF-

and then communicate it. It really varies and is about getting the team to understand that everyone’s job is to continually improve the business’s processes, so they get better and better.

certified automotive, collision and heavy duty post-secondary schools. By completing a single application online, students can be considered for multiple scholarships for the 2019–2020 school year. To receive information and reminders about the University of the Aftermarket Foundation Scholarship Program, interested parties can text their name and email address to 720-903-2206. For more information visit and






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Industry Insight with John Yoswick

—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit Contact him by email at

Survey Finds Trends in How Shops Are Charging – And Being Paid – for Shop Supplies Although two-thirds of shops say they use an invoicing system of some kind to charge for such items as clips and fasteners, foams and weldthrough primer, nearly one-third (30 percent) say they simply charge a flat fee for seam-sealer, and more than 1 in 5 (22 percent) say they calculate their charge for seam-sealer with no more than an educated guess.

These were among the findings of a “Who Pays for What?” survey last fall that examined shop billing practices (and insurer payment practices) related to shop supplies and aluminum repair. The survey found that despite a growing increase in the percentage of shops using an invoic-

ing system for supplies—66 percent versus 58 percent in the same survey in 2017—3 in 10 shops still just charge a flat fee for seam-sealer. “Many shops commonly charge that flat fee without researching how much seam-sealer they actually will be using on that particular job,” said Mike Anderson of Collision Advice, who conducts the quarterly “Who Pays for What?” surveys in conjunction with CRASH Network. “I recall a shop in Minnesota that was putting a rear body panel and a rear frame rail on a vehicle, and when they added it up, they had used more than $300 of corrosion protection items, such as seam-sealer, cavity wax and weld-through primer.” The survey found that nearly all shops (96 percent) charge for seamsealer, and 84 percent say they are reimbursed for it most of the time or always by the eight largest U.S. in-

surers. But according to Anderson, the amount being charged is not always correct. “At the end of the day, is the amount you are charging for these items adequate and appropriate? You

bead size,” Anderson said. Calculations such as this can be difficult, but Anderson recommends several tools developed by 3M that can help shops estimate the amount of seam-sealer that will be needed. A

Shops reported which factors they take into account when charging for seam-sealer (adds up to more than 100 percent because shops were permitted to select multiple responses), with number of tubes or cartridges used being the most common factor

have to keep in mind what type of seam-sealer you are using—self-leveling, two-part, sprayable, brushable, etc.—as well as how many tubes you are using based on the length and

comment submitted by a shop manager from Illinois while taking the “Who Pays” survey last fall supports Anderson’s recommendation. “The 3M CRiMP (Collision Re-

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pair Materials Planner) tool really opened our eyes to the materials cost that we weren’t billing for,” the manager wrote. “It also streamlined things during our estimating process so that we can easily produce an invoice that insurers have never disputed.” But even with these types of tools, knowing what to put on the estimate can also require knowledge about the vehicle make. “Keep in mind that all Toyota/Lexus hoods, doors and decklids—as well as the majority of those replacement parts from Nissan/Infiniti—do not come seam-sealed from the factory,” Anderson said. “That may be true of some other manufacturers as well.” Four “Who Pays for What?” surveys are released each year, each focusing on different aspects of the collision repair process. The current survey, which asks shops about their billing practices—and insurer payment practices—related to “not-included” body labor procedures, is open throughout April. Shops can click here (https://www.crashnetwork .com/collisionadvice) to take the current survey before May 1.

More than 700 shops across the country responded to the survey last fall, which found shops are more frequently being paid regularly for certain shop supplies. About 22 percent, for example, said they are paid “always” or “most of the time” for acid

don’t understand what the brushes are used for,” Anderson said. “It’s not uncommon for technicians to use one or even multiple acid brushes to apply seam-sealer—and match OEM texture—or epoxy primer. If you’re using an invoicing system to track

Although the percentage of shops that view their investment in OEM aluminum certification as a “great” business decision has fallen slightly since 2015, the percentage of shops that say they are already seeing a return on their investment has risen

brushes when they are needed as part of the repair. This was up slightly from 20 percent in the two preceding years, and up from just 14 percent in the 2015 survey. But about threequarters of shops acknowledged they have never sought to be paid for such brushes. “I suspect a lot of estimators

and bill for clips, fasteners and other items, you can add acid brushes to that system.” The survey also asked about fees shops may charge for some administrative expenses. The 2015 survey found that less than half (46 percent) of shops responding said they were paid “always” or “most of



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the time” when charging an administrative fee for processing total losses, but by 2018, that had risen to 59 percent. The percentage of shops that said they have never sought such an administrative fee has declined from about 30 percent in 2015 to about 25 percent last fall. Just over half of all shops (52 percent) responding reported having at least one annual subscription to an automaker information website to research OEM repair procedures. About 21 percent say they have annual subscriptions for between two and five different OEM information sites, and another 22 percent have annual subscriptions to six or more. The survey also asked shops if or how they charge for the subscription fees for these sites —aside from any administrative fee they may charge to cover their research labor/time. Among the 536 shops that answered the question, most (78 percent) say they do not currently include a charge on their estimate to specifically cover subscription fees. The others (22 percent), however, said they do add a charge for these fees, with about twothirds of those saying they add the


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charge when they need to gain access to an OEM website for which they do not already have an annual subscription. Although the percentage of shops that view their investment in OEM aluminum certification as a

on tooling, training, fees and facility upgrades to become OEM-certified in aluminum repair. Every year since, the survey has asked how satisfied shops are with that investment. Given that the median amount spent by shops in 2015 to become certified

Shops reported their aluminum repair labor rates (structural and non-structural) when working on vehicle makes for which the facility is not OEM-certified; the 75th percentile body rate of $65 indicates 75 percent of shops reported a labor rate of $65 or less, while 25 percent reported a rate higher than $65

“great” business decision has fallen slightly since 2015, according to the survey findings, the percentage of shops that say they are already seeing a return on their investment has risen. The percentage of shops that believe they will eventually see a return on their investment also has grown. Back in 2015, the survey asked shops how much money they spent

was more than $84,000, their views on what return they are seeing on that money seem noteworthy. Last fall, just 23 percent of shops expressed negative feelings about their investment, down from 29 percent in 2016. Although 4 percent still feel it was a “terrible” business decision, the percentage of shops concerned about recouping their in-

Continued from Page 33

tressed that a customer was treated in this manner and we not only apologize and reimburse the customer, but we also terminated the employee responsible.” “Owning a problem, especially one that’s in the news, requires people to take ownership of their problems,” said Ansell. “Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also makes it go away faster.” Ansell lectures on crisis communications at Harvard Business School and on leadership presence at Duke University. For more than a decade, he was an instructor in an MIT-Harvard public disputes program called Dealing with an Angry Public. For more information, contact Jeff Ansell For more information about CSN Collision Centres, visit www

An Insider’s Guide find their business is in the news, and the news isn’t positive. The framework, called the problem-solution formula, consists of one sentence, helps influence how reporters tell the story and can be used with customers too. “In the front part of the sentence, answer, acknowledge, address or frame your problem from your perspective; in the back-end of the sentence, provide whatever solution is at hand,” he said. “Put the problem and solution together in one sentence.” Although it goes against his short-sentence rule, if the reporter uses a quote that mentions the problem, Ansell said there’s an elevated likelihood that he or she will quote the person talking about the solution. Ansell offered an example of a sentence that meets the problem-solution formula criteria and could be used in the case of someone at a shop doing something he or she shouldn’t have been doing: “We are deeply dis56


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vestment dropped from 25 percent to 19 percent in 2018. Of those who are upbeat about OEM aluminum certification, 28 percent report already seeing a return while another 50 percent now believe the investment will eventually pay off (that was up from 44 percent in 2016). Shops can take the current “Who Pays for What?” survey (or sign up to be notified about future surveys) at /collisionadvice. The four different surveys, conducted at one per quarter, each take about 15–25 minutes. Anderson said they can be completed by any shop owner, manager or estimator who is familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of the largest national insurers. Individual responses are not released in any way; only cumulative data is released. On the website, shops also can download the results of previous surveys and reports that break the findings down by region, insurer, and DRP vs. non-DRP. The reports also include analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented.

NABC Names 2 New Board Members The National Auto Body Council recently named two new members to the National Auto Body Council board, filling two open positions. • Randy Wittig, director of special projects for LKQ Corporation • Brian Driehorst, vice president of business development for Original One Parts “We have accelerated our strategic initiatives through the guidance and leadership of our NABC board members,” said Bill Garoutte, NABC president and CEO. “We welcome Randy and Brian to the NABC board and look forward to working with them and our current volunteer board members to continue to build positive awareness for the collision industry and enhance the foundation of the wonderful institution of the National Auto Body Council. Also, we thank these board members for their commitment of time and resources to help advance our important cause.”



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CSN Collision Centres Conference Focuses on How To Achieve Excellence by Stacey Phillips

Astronaut, IndyCar Driver and Vietnam War Survivor Featured at Annual Conference A Canadian astronaut, an IndyCar driver and a Vietnam War survivor were all part of the 16th annual CSN Collison Centres Conference held in Scottsdale, AZ, this past November. Established 16 years ago, CSN Collision Centres is a Canada-wide network of collision repair facilities with 350 locations throughout the country. Each of the collision centers

Kim Phuc, Vietnam war survivor (left) and Ashley Thorpe, national marketing manager at CSN

is hand-picked based on having the highest quality of standards and vehicle repair technology. CSN’s mission is to bring safety, reliability and trust to every Canadian. According to Jay Hayward, vice president of operations for CSN Collision Centres, “Our mission is what drives us to bring the very best service and technology to every repair to make sure our customers have peace of mind.” This year’s theme, “On the Horizon,” showcased a variety of speakers who shared personal and professional advice with body shops through inspirational stories and experiences. “I’m excited about what’s before us—an adventure that allows us the opportunity of continuous improvement and providing everybody a world-class experience,” said Flavio Battilana, CSN’s chief operating officer. Battilana talked about CSN’s recent accomplishments, including the establishment of a new head office, its new insurance partners and new licensees as well as future company plans “on the horizon.” “As we travel toward our horizon, we will encounter both challenges and opportunities, and we will 58

embrace both,” he said. “We will begin to realize that the horizon evolves, constantly moving and creating a different adventure from the one we might initially have planned for, and we will embrace that.” “At CSN, we pride ourselves on being performance-driven,” said Ashley Thorpe, national marketing manager at CSN. “We also pride ourselves on being leaders in the collision repair industry.” Thorpe introduced the keynote speaker, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who she said exemplifies those same traits. “As a 9-year-old boy, [Chris Hadfield] watched Neil Armstrong land on the moon and decided right then and there that’s what he wanted to do,” said Thorpe. “He put in the hard work and was motived to reach his goal, and sure enough, he became the first Canadian to walk in space and the first Canadian to be the commander of the International Space Station and spend 166 days in space. Our theme of the conference is ‘On the Horizon.’ Who better to speak about being on the horizon than someone who has not only seen the horizon but gone well beyond the horizon?” Hadfield talked about “Achieving Excellence” by paralleling his experiences with space travel.

the absolute best way to deal with what’s beyond the horizon,” he said. “Visualizing success is nice … it doesn’t really help when the actual reality of the problems of the world arrive. If you truly want to be ready for whatever challenge you are facing in your life, what we do professionally as astronauts is visualize failure…” He said they are then able to determine if they are prepared, how to readdress a problem and ensure they are constantly improving. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield talked about achieving Kim Phuc, a Vietnam excellence. He is pictured with Ashley Thorpe, national War survivor often referred marketing manager at CSN to as the “Napalm girl” or To achieve success, Hadfield en- “the girl in the photo,” addressed the couraged attendees to visualize fail- audience about “Staying Grounded.” Phuc, who was severely burned by ure. “If you haven’t visualized all of napalm when she was 9 years old, the failures and all of the obstacles is best known as the naked girl dethat are bound to roll out there in picted in the Pulitzer Prize-winning front of you, if you wait until it’s too photograph taken during the Vietlate, especially the more isolated you nam War. She shared what it was like when are, then your odds of success are much diminished … To me, that’s her village was bombed in 1972 and and fundamentally change their own capabilities and their own perception of what was impossible to try and gain the skills to do this.”


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Attendees had the opportunity to attend a vendor tradeshow with representatives from paint companies, parts and equipment suppliers, information providers and other collision repair companies.

“The real responsibility of trying to do something brand-new always falls down to small individual decisions,” he said. “Like Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins, Buzz Aldrin and the astronauts who walked on the moon … it starts with changing. None of them were born to be astronauts. Each one of them had to take an impossible ‘over the horizon’ task




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some of the lessons she learned from her experience, how it changed her life, shaped her values and helped her become who she is today. “Sometimes terrible things can happen to us,” said Phuc. “We are lucky we can learn from our experiences, and it can make us even stronger—that was my first lesson.” In addition to motivational presentations, attendees also had the opportunity to hear business advice related to the collision repair industry. This included a CSN marketing update, an overview of the network’s 2019 business strategy and an insurance panel. Osvaldo Bergaglio, Symach’s president and CEO, gave an overview about the company’s equipment, technology and layout solutions for body shops. The Italian-based company specializes in building and retrofitting collision repair shops worldwide. During his presentation, Bergaglio shared some of the key benefits of Symach’s patented Drytronic technology, the Symach Paint Application Process (SPA) and the FixLine repair process. Tim Ronak, senior services consultant for AkzoNobel, talked about

KPIs, why some are challenging to be evaluated by and what to do about it. After giving an overview of basic statistics and the key components needed to understand KPIs, he said that typically, severity is too variable to actually be used to meaningfully measure performance.

“Like it or not, big data KPIs are being used to make decisions about your business performance whether or not the KPIs are valid,” said Ronak. “Being able to discuss those variables in an intelligent way is crucial for you to be able to deflect a negative critique, especially when it is beyond your control.” Award-winning journalist Jeff Ansell shared his knowledge on how to communicate with confidence.

Following the daytime presentations, Canadian IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe, CSN’s brand ambassador, hosted the Evening of Excellence Dinner and Awards Ceremony. Top-performing shops were recognized in a variety of categories, including CSN Dana’s in Fredericton, New Brunswick in the category of Shop of the Year. During the awards gala, Larry French, vice president of sales and marketing at CSN Collision Centres, announced that CSN shop owners and industry partners raised $175,000 for Make-A-Wish Canada. “Our CSN shops have worked extremely hard leading up to the holidays to raise funds that will help children live their dreams through the Make-A-Wish organization,” said French. “I’d like to thank all of them for their passion and commitment and going the extra mile to help kids experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” The next CSN Collision Centres Conference will be held in Quebec City in October 2019. For more information, contact Thorpe at

CIF Reports Success at 9th Annual Fundraiser The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) held its ninth annual Gala Fundraiser in Palm Springs, CA, alongside the Collision Industry Conference. The gala successfully raised funds for CIF’s mission. The foundation’s major focus has been the Collision Industry Relief Fund to assist collision repair professionals who have lost their livelihoods from a natural disaster or other catastrophe. Victims of the wildfires in California most recently benefitted from the fund. Cheryl Boswell, CFO at DCR Systems and CIF treasurer, said, “Our donors—companies and individuals—see the value of the Foundation’s work and continue to support us. We are grateful for their support so we may continue serving those in our industry impacted by natural disasters.” CIF’s vision is to bring awareness and emergency relief to collision repair professionals. If you know of anyone in need from our industry, please direct them to the CIF website www.collisionindustry

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Mike’s Auto Body Estimator Chases Fame as Stand-up Comic Ron Bello, an up-and-coming standup comedian, has been working as an estimator at Mike’s Auto Body in Fairfield, CA, since November 2018. Bello, who has 20 years of experience working in retail, took Mike’s Auto Body’s one-week estimator’s training program at its Fairfield facility last year. He knows he has a lot to learn about estimating and the collision repair industry as a whole and is highly motivated and intrigued by the job. “Everyone here at Mike’s has been so great,” Bello said. “My manager in Fairfield (Corey Flies) has been very supportive, and the company is giving me all of the tools I need to succeed in this position. Mike’s is investing in me and everyone here is willing to answer all of my questions, so I know I’m not alone, and that gives me a lot of confidence.” Confidence is key for Bello as he attempts to break into the stand-up comedy industry—one of the toughest things anyone can do. He hit the stage for the very first time back in August 2018, and after doing 20 gigs in the six months since then, he is hitting his stride. Bello’s influences include George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Robin Williams. He appreciates the chal-

lenge presented by doing comedy, he said. “Doing stand-up is very satisfying, but it’s also difficult. I now have 20 minutes of material, and my goal is to eventually do a one-man show,

Ron Bello is a fledgling estimator at Mike’s Auto Body in Fairfield, CA, who has dreams of being a successful stand-up comic

which means I’ll need to have 60 minutes or more of jokes and stories to tell,” he said. Bello’s first gig took place at Compadre’s in Napa, and although he was a little nervous, he got some big laughs and surprised a lot of people, including himself. “I told my first joke and the audience started laughing, so I was definitely encouraged and gained momentum. When I was done doing my five minutes, the emcee said that I must have done stand-up before, but

it was truly my first time on stage,” he said. In November, Bello signed up for a comedy competition at Sally Tomatoes in Rohnert Park and walked away as the first-place winner. “They had three judges who were big-time, including Ron Vingh, who does all the booking at the Punchline in San Francisco,” Bello said. “After my set, the judges critiqued my jokes and gave me some helpful feedback about my stage presence and the quality of my jokes. They said they liked my energy on stage and that my punch lines were strong, so that was definitely a great evening I will never forget.” In February, Bello and two other comedians kicked off their “Woke and Broke” tour at the Lucky Penny Theater in Napa with a sold-out show. As he writes more and more jokes and refines his style, he’s pleased and an-

ticipating a bright future. “That was a big night because we taped the show so we could use the footage for promotional purposes,” he said. “In this industry, you have to always be promoting yourself, which is why I do things like podcasts and radio shows to sell my brand. I have been a guest on a podcast called ‘The Grind’ that’s hosted by Hank Hardister, a fellow comic, and on Fridays I often appear on a radio show on KVON (1440 AM) hosted by Barry Martin, which is a lot of fun.” Bello is in a good space right now—happy with his job and delighted with the prospect of excelling as a stand-up comic. “I’ve always wanted to be a comedian, so this is huge, and Mike’s Auto Body is an incredible employer and the best job I’ve ever had,” he said.

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Auto Exchange Joins CIECA Auto Exchange recently joined CIECA as a Corporate Member. Established in 1979, the company is an insurance salvage auction and provides personal service and security in the salvage recovery industry. Auto Exchange has 15 employees and offers insurance companies, financial institutions and charities a central marketplace to dispose salvage vehicles in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. This includes complete title service, salvage reports and updates, and 24-hour security. “We have received news and updates from CIECA for many 60

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Self-Driving Death tonomous vehicles wouldn’t blindly plow into people in the street. Herzberg had been walking across Mill Avenue just south of Curry Road about 10 p.m. when Vasquez rolled up about 40 mph in one of Uber’s Volvo XC90 vehicles outfitted with self-driving technology. An investigation showed the brakes hadn’t been applied; Herzberg died soon after the impact. Vasquez, who was supposed to be monitoring the road as the vehicle was in autonomous mode, can be seen in an interior video looking below the dashboard of the vehicle in the moments before the car struck Herzberg. Evidence later showed her personal cellphone had been streaming a TV show at the time. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery declared a conflict of interest early on because his office had done some work with Uber. Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk then took up the case. “After a very thorough review

of all the evidence presented, this Office has determined that there is no basis for criminal liability for the Uber corporation arising from this matter,” Polk wrote in a letter released to the news media March 5. “Because this determination eliminates the basis for the MCAO conflict, we are returning the matter to MCAO for further review for criminal charges.” However, Polk went on that her office concluded the collision video “as it displays, likely does not accurately depict the events that occurred.” An expert needs to analyze the video to “closely match what (and when) the person sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle would or should have seen that night given the vehicle’s speed, lighting conditions, and other relevant factors,” Polk wrote. The crash video was released by Uber and disseminated widely in the media. It shows the woman appearing from the dark just before impact. That led Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir and others to conclude there was no way the crash could have

Elon Musk Promises ‘Fully Autonomous’ Teslas This Year by Jordan Bowen, KCBS Radio

Fully autonomous cars that could pick up passengers and take them to their destinations will be ready by the end of this year, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Speaking on the ARK Invest podcast, Musk said he’s “fully certain” the technology is ready to go. “The car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up, take you all the way to your destination without an intervention,” Musk said, who is known for splashy actions and controversial pronouncements. Developing the last “1 percent” of full autonomy is the most difficult part of the project, he said. Still, the all-electric Teslas will be “feature-complete” by the end of the year, and the tech will be even more reliable in 2020. “My guess as to when we would think it’s safe for somebody to essentially fall asleep and wake up at their destination? Probably towards the end of next year,” Musk said. The entrepreneur said regulators must decide when the au62

tonomous features will require human oversight and derided California regulators as “overzealous” but characterized federal regulators as “good.”

Last February, the California Department of Motor Vehicles announced new rules for the testing and public use of autonomous vehicles, including protections to prevent the vehicles from being hacked. Support for the technology slipped among those surveyed in the Bay Area, following the killing of a pedestrian by an autonomous Uber vehicle in Arizona. Uber suspended testing of its autonomous vehicle program for several months to address safety concerns. Musk has previously landed in hot water with the SEC for his public pronouncements, suggesting that Tesla had secured funding to take the company private—a claim that later proved false. We thank KCBS Radio for reprint permission.


been avoided. However, Tempe investigators concluded months later that the crash was “entirely avoidable.” Phoenix New Times pointed out in several articles that the video did not accurately show conditions at the scene. The video shows the street as much darker than it really is; in fact, a streetlight is nearly just above the crash site. A GoPro video made by New Times of the scene soon after the crash shows more light on the road than the Uber video depicted, and multiple drivethroughs of the area by New Times also indicated the crash video wasn’t realistic. Polk wrote that the purpose of a new expert analysis should be “to closely match what (and when) the person sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle would or should have

seen that night given the vehicle’s speed, lighting conditions, and other relevant factors.” Uber told New Times last year that Vasquez had been trained on the capabilities and limitations of the vehicle and was supposed to look at the road and prepare for any emergencies. Her hands weren’t on the wheel, and her feet weren’t on any pedals before and during the crash, Tempe’s report showed. Uber pulled its self-driving operation out of Arizona after the crash. Herzberg’s family members have filed notices of claim against Tempe and the state of Arizona, seeking $10 million from each. Polk’s office said it would make no further comments about the case because it’s still pending. We thank Phoenix New Times for reprint permission.

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CARSTAR on Entrepreneur’s Top Franchises List CARSTAR has been ranked in the top 100 franchisees in Entrepreneur magazine’s 2019 Franchise 500. Recognized by entrepreneurs and franchisors as a top competitive tool of measurement, the Franchise 500 places CARSTAR 96th on the list, up from 255th last year. It also was named the top franchise in the auto repair and services category. “It’s an honor to be recognized among the top companies in the world,” said Michael Macaluso, president, CARSTAR. The key factors that go into Entrepreneur’s evaluation include costs, fees, size, growth, support, brand strength, financial strength and stability. All franchises are given a cumulative score based on more than 150 data points, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500 in ranking order. CARSTAR, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, ended 2018 with record sales, growth and industry performance.

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Volvo Imposes Speed Limits on Cars to Reduce Fatalities by Jessica Miley, Interesting Engineering

Volvo, a car company synonymous with safety, is taking it one step further by introducing speed limits on its cars. In an announcement made March 5, the Swedish carmakers said future models will have a 112 MPH (180 kmh) limit to ensure the optimal use of the vehicles’ built-in safety systems. The move is part of the company’s Vision 2020, which has the goal of ensuring that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020. Volvo’s ambition makes it a safety leader in the industry. Tech Doesn’t Make Good Drivers But Volvo understands that all the technology in the world doesn’t make good drivers. To give them the best chance at achieving their vision, the company is opening up its policies to include driver behavior. Volvo said speeding is one of its main concerns as it moves towards a fatality-free future. “Volvo is a leader in safety: we always have been and we always will be,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “Because of

our research, we know where the problem areas are when it comes to ending serious injuries and fatalities in our cars. And while a speed limit is not a cure-all, it’s worth doing if we can even save one life.”

Credit: Volvo

Volvo Vows to Continue to Lead the Industry The reduced maximum speed limit is just one idea to tackle the gap between driver and technology. In addition to limiting overall maximum speed, Volvo is investigating using geofencing technology that could possible automatically reduce car speeds when around schools and hospitals. “We want to start a conversation about whether carmakers have the right or maybe even an obligation to install technology in cars that change

their driver’s behavior, to tackle things like speeding, intoxication or distraction,” said Samuelsson. “We don’t have a firm answer to this question, but believe we should take leadership in the discussion and be a pioneer.” Drivers Need to Understand the Dangers of Speed Better As cars become safer and safer, they can often give the driver an inflated feeling of protection, which in turn causes poor driver behavior. Above certain speeds, in-car safety technology and smart infrastructures such as automatic braking and lane-change assist no longer work optimally. Even without these technologies, any car traveling above certain speeds has reduced handling and control, which may result in accidents. In fact, data from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration shows that 25 percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2017 were caused by speeding. “As humans, we all understand the dangers with snakes, spiders and heights. With speeds, not so much,” said Jan Ivarsson. “People often drive too fast in a given traffic situation and have poor speed adaptation

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Distraction, Intoxication Next On the List Volvo has identified intoxication and distraction as the other two leading causes of accidents. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a leader in causing traffic accidents despite it being illegal in most parts of the world. Distraction is a new, on-the-rise problem that is often associated with using devices while driving. Volvo vows to tackle these problems and will present its initial ideas in Gothenburg, Sweden on March 20. We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.



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Hacked Self-Driving Cars Would Cause Chaos, Study Suggests by Maddy Foley,

As the battle for the autonomous car market amps up, with Tesla, Waymo and emergent start-ups all vying to be the first to render human drivers irrelevant, the public’s worries about crashes and pedestrian fatalities have slowly abated. But new research suggests that at least some of the fears about self-driving cars, particularly their potential to exacerbate traffic jams, aren’t unfounded. Essentially, that ridiculous scene from “The Fate of the Furious” isn’t all that far-fetched. The latest academic to sound the warning that autonomous driving might worsen traffic rather than improve it is Skanda Vivek, a postdoctoral researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In a new paper whose findings Vivek presented March 4, he argues that not only are internet-connected autonomous vehicles hackable, but hacking even a small percentage of the self-driving cars currently on the road in the U.S.’s largest city could completely stop the flow of traffic and impede the effectiveness of emergency vehicles. Vivek and his team presented their findings at the American Physical Society March Meeting in Boston.

“Compromised vehicles are unlike compromised data,” Vivek wrote in his study’s press release. “Collisions caused by compromised vehicles present physical danger to the vehicle’s occupants, and these disturbances would potentially have broad implications for overall traffic Self-Driving Cars Will Still Cause Traffic Jams After realizing that risk management studies around autonomous vehicles had all focused on the individual crashes caused by, say, poor vehicle reaction time when stopping, Vivek wanted to take a step back and review the situation from a larger perspective. No research had been done to quantify the effect of a “large-scale hack” on traffic flow, and studies focused on the problem of human error tend to find that replacing humans are likely to make roads safer. To determine the impact of a possible hack, Vivek and his team ultimately turned to percolation theory, a section of probability theory that focuses on the behavior of connected clusters in a random graph, to determine how hacked autonomous cars would affect the already-compli-

cated traffic ecosystem of New York City in real time. The findings? Not great: city-wide gridlock, millions of commuters trapped, and emergency vehicles stuck miles from potential emergencies. It would not take many cars at all to make the worst-case scenario possible, Vivek’s team found. In fact, 90 percent of the cars on the road in New York City could be unaffected by the theoretical hack, and the city would still be plunged into chaos and gridlock, the study found. How to Make Self-Driving Safe This does not mean that self-driving cars should be relegated to the scrap heap. Indeed, after terrifying all of us with visions right out of a dystopian action movie—think Pixar’s Cars but horrible and with real vehicles—Vivek has also presented a possible solution: a “compartmentalized multi-network architecture.” By ensuring no more than 5 percent of autonomous vehicles are on a given network, Vivek thinks the risk of a city-wide traffic jam would drop. Hackers would have to execute multiple breeches simultaneously in order to effect real mayhem. Ultimately, Vivek’s research isn’t intended to scare us away from

the prospect of autonomous cars. It’s ensuring that when they hit the road (not “if”), they avoid some of the more serious pitfalls.”Our work is not in opposition to the future of connected cars,” said Vivek. “Rather, the novelty of our work lies in identifying and quantifying the underlying cyberphysical risks when multiple connected vehicles are compromised. By shining a light on these technologies at an early stage, we hope we can help prevent worst-case-scenarios.” Other researchers have raised the possibility that self-driving cars will not exactly be a traffic-killing panacea. In early March, another researcher from the University of California, Santa Cruz, argued that, by negating the need for parking—after all, why park when your autonomous car could ferry ride-sharing passengers for cash or whisk off to the post office to grab that Amazon package on your behalf—self-driving cars will almost never leave the road. If that scenario comes to pass, self-driving cars won’t need to be hacked to make your morning commute a nightmare. We thank for reprint permission.

How 4 Recalls May Impact Your Business by Emmariah Holcomb,

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued four recalls with implications for the auto glass industry. The three vehicle manufacturers included in the recall are Nissan North America Inc. (Nissan); a variety of Mercedes-Benz models; and Subaru’s 2018 Legacy, Outback and BRZ models. Mercedes-Benz and Subaru have notified their affected vehicle owners. Nissan More than 340,000 Nissan Altima drivers are affected by the company’s latest recall. According to the NHTSA, Nissan is recalling vehicles that were previously addressed in recall number 17V-040. The administration stated the 2015–2017 Altima’s door latch-lock cable might not have been routed properly in the rear door when the remedy was applied. Glass shop representatives working on the recalled models can assure their customers that the latch-lock cables will be secured in the correct position at no cost. Shop owners can 64

advise their customers to contact Nissan’s customer service center if they have more questions at 1-800-6477669 or the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236. Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz had two new recalls in February, the first being its 2018–2019 GLA250 and GLA250 4MATIC vehicles. More than a dozen vehicle owners are impacted and may experience a loss in visibility. The administration states the vehicle’s sunroof bonding may allow water to leak into the vehicle. The water leak may reach the vehicle’s electrical components, thus increasing the probability of an accident. Auto glass technicians and owners can assure their customers that the panorama sliding sunroof bonding and the electrical contacts will be replaced as necessary at no charge. Shop owners can advise their customers to contact Mercedes customer service at 1-800-367-6372 if they have further questions.


Mercedes’ second recall involves its lane departure and steering in its 2018 S450 4MATIC, S560 4MATIC Coupe, S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe, Maybach S560 4MATIC, S560 4MATIC, S63 AMG and S63 AMG 4MATIC Cabrio vehicles. More than 6,000 vehicle owners are affected. According to the NHTSA, the Hands-offDetection system may malfunction, causing the Active Steering Assist system to remain engaged regardless of whether the driver’s hands are on the steering wheel. Mercedes stated it has notified all affected owners of both of its latest recalls. Shop owners can notify their customers that they will update the steering control unit software, free of charge. Subaru More than 71,000 Subaru owners are affected by the company’s latest visibility recall. The company’s 2018 Legacy, Outback and BRZ are the affected vehicles. NHTSA stated that

all models have a software issue that may prevent the audio display system from initializing. This can result in the camera display remaining blank and increase the likelihood of an accident when a driver is in reverse. “If this occurs, the rearview image will not display while backing up the vehicle. As a result, the vehicles fail to comply with requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety (FMVSS) number 111, Rearview Mirrors,” according to the NHTSA. Subaru stated it has notified all affected vehicle owners of the issue. Shop owners can assure their customers they will reprogram the audio system display software, free of charge. If customers have additional questions, vehicle shop owners can advise them to contact Subaru customer service at 1-844-373-6614. This recall’s number is WTZ-85. We thank for reprint permission.

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April 2019 Midwest Edition  

April 2019 Midwest Edition