June 2022 Midwest Edition

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Mid-Michigan Auto Body Shops Pushing Repairs Back Amid Parts Shortage by Cody Butler, WILX-TV News 10

Getting in a car crash, even a minor one, is now being compounded into an even worse experience. That’s because—in addition to everything else—you have to deal with longer wait for repairs. It’s taking weeks, and sometimes even months, to get the vehicles fixed. “I still have my car in the shop now and we’re going on to be about May now,” said Mario Gonzales. Gonzales hasn’t been able to drive his car since he was in a wreck in February, and he has no idea

when it will be fixed. “I have to go out of town for my job frequently, so that really put some stress on me to figure out what my next move was going to be,” said Gonzales. Body shops said these delays are happening for everyone. “Every body shop is backed up for four to six weeks,” said Don Ruthruff, Young’s Body Shop manager. Ruthruff has cars in his shop for three or four weeks for what used to be a three-day fix. See Parts Shortage, Page 13

Massachusetts Auto Body Techs Demanding Higher Pay Surround Beacon Hill by Matthew Medsger, Boston Herald

Auto body repair mechanics crashed the Massachusetts State House on May 18, joined by dozens of tow trucks circling the building, horns

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blaring, to push for a pay hike on what the industry says are the lowestin-the-nation reimbursement rates. “34 years—we’ve changed almost nothing,” Tom Ricci, legislative director of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts (AASP-MA), said to a raucous crowd of auto body shop owners and workers. “This is our day to make a lot of noise—not just a little, don’t be shy, let’s go, let’s rock this place—we’ve done this for so long, since 1988,” he said. See Higher Pay, Page 16

Vol. 11 / Issue 9 / June 2022

AASP-MN Awards $20,000 in Scholarships The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) is pleased to announce it has awarded scholarships totaling $20,000 to help automotive service and collision repair students pay for tuition or tools during the 2022-23 school year. The scholarships are in the amounts of $500 or $1,500 and are made possible by generous donations from the Minnesota State I-CAR Committee and Bill Smith Fund, as well as proceeds from AASP-MN’s Annual Race for Automotive Education fundraiser, held earlier this year. Thirty-eight college and high

school students from 12 schools submitted scholarship applications. Applications were reviewed by a committee of industry representatives, with consideration given to scholastic achievement, education and career goals, financial need and written recommendations. The recipients are: Arieonna Blount, South Central College, North Mankato, automotive service technology Joseph Bonnette, Century College, White Bear Lake, automotive service technology See $20,000 in Scholarships, Page 13

Ford Dealers Defying Company Orders with Insane F-150 Lightning Markups by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

Ford has made it clear over the past months that dealers should not overcharge for popular electric vehicles like the F-150 Lightning. CEO Jim Farley has spoken up against it, and Ford has written a sternly-worded letter to dealers warning them of the consequences they may face if they charge too much for the all-electric pickup truck. Ford and its CEO’s warnings appear to have fallen on some deaf ears. As mentioned by the Lightning Owners’ forum to Teslarati, a Ford dealer in California has been spotted charging around $145,000 for a 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum SuperCrew. The same dealership, DCH Ford of Thousand Oaks in Westlake Village, CA, also had a couple more Lightning options available for about $130,000. Another dealer in Napa, CA, had a 2022 F-150 Lightning Platinum listed for almost $134,000. That’s a markup of about $40,000, or about

the same amount as a base F-150 Lightning Pro. While the F-150 Lightning Platinum starts at about $91,000 and options could easily bloat the vehicle’s price, a markup that puts the all-electric pickup truck well into the $130,000- to $145,000 range is substantial. It could even, perhaps, result in some Ford dealers being punished by the company.

Ford has been clamping down on improper dealer behavior, especially with regard to its all-electric vehicles. Just recently, the Blue Oval said dealers might be fined $25,000 for selling demo units of the F-150 Lightning early. Fined dealers would also be blacklisted from the Ford Courtesy Transportation Program (FCTP).

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FREE 4x Monthly E-Newsletter.

CONTENTS AASP-MN Announces 2022-2023 Board of Directors ������������������������������������������������� 10 AASP-MN Announces 27th Annual Golf

Consumer Skepticism Toward Autonomous Driving Features Justified ��������������������������� 47 Cox Automotive Forecast: No Relief in Sight

Outing ���������������������������������������������������������� 6

as Slow New-Vehicle Sales Persist in April � 44

AASP-MN Awards $20,000 in Scholarships ����� 1

Farmers Insurance Wins NABC Award ����������� 46

Group Wants Chicago’s Speed Camera

Ford Dealers Defying Company Orders with

Threshold Restored to 10 MPH Over Limit �� 12 Mid-Michigan Auto Body Shops Pushing Repairs Back Amid Parts Shortage ��������������� 1 Penske Automotive Group Acquires Hyundai, Genesis Dealership in Indianapolis ���������������� 6

Insane F-150 Lightning Markups ������������������� 1 Ford F-Series Tops List of Vehicles Targeted Most for Catalytic Converter Theft ���������������� 6 Ford Recalls Certain 2021 Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators for Potential Fire Concern ������������������������������������������������������� 16

COLUMNISTS Anderson - 7 Steps to Implementing

Glue Pulling Repair Becoming More Commonly Used in Auto Body Shops ��������������������������� 38

Improvements Within Your Auto Body

I-CAR Now IACET Accredited ������������������������� 45

Repair Business ������������������������������������������ 26

Massachusetts Auto Body Techs Demanding

Attanasio - She Sold Her Auto Body Shop to Become an Artist ���������������������������������������� 32 Yoswick - CIC Committee Looking at How Estimates End Up on Vehicle History Reports ������������������������������������������������������� 36

MicroMix Stops Auto Body Shops from Getting Shorted on Paint, Materials �������������� 8 New Estimates Show Traffic Fatalities Reached a 16-Year High in 2021 ������������������ 42

IPMI on Catalytic Converter Theft ��������������� 36

1Collision, Auto Techcelerators Partner ����������� 47

Register for ASE Certification �������������������������� 34

3M Offering Specialized Products, Training,

Register for CIECA CONNEX 2022 ������������������� 26

Support to Collision Repair Shops to Help

Repairify Completes Record Scans ����������������� 21

Drive Profit Efficiencies ������������������������������� 30

SCRS Offers Update on Collision Repair

ASE Training Conference Set ��������������������������� 10 Biden Administration Announces $3B Plan for U.S.-Based EV Battery Manufacturing ��������� 45 Branch Launches 6 New States ���������������������� 12 CCC Launches Integration with asTech ����������� 44 CCC Promotes Janik to SVP ���������������������������� 16 Collision Repair Industry Consultant Won’t Let Health Issues Stop Him ������������������������� 40 Collision Repair Industry Trailblazer

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Stacey Phillips, Eric Murphy, Ron Liesch Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Norman Morano, (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bryan Malinski Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Permissions Editor: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray

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. ©2022 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com editor@autobodynews.com

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 45

LaFontaine Buick-GMC-Cadillac ��������������������� 26

Auto Data Labels �������������������������������������������� 48

Launch Tech USA ��������������������������������������������� 5

Axalta Coating Systems. �������������������������������� 13

Laurel Auto Group of Westmont ��������������������� 27

BMW of Des Moines ������������������������������������� 16

Luther Bloomington Acura-Subaru ����������������� 23

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������������������� 41

Luther Brookdale Mazda ��������������������������������� 22

Certified Automotive Parts Association ���������� 10

Luther Kia of Bloomington ������������������������������ 37

Classic BMW MINI ���������������������������������������� 36

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ��������������������� 44

Classic Chevrolet ������������������������������������������� 33

McGrath City Hyundai ������������������������������������ 32

Classifieds ������������������������������������������������������ 46

Midwest Parts Group �������������������������������� 18-19

Columbia Hyundai ������������������������������������������ 30

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers ����������������������� 42

Dominion Sure Seal, Ltd ����������������������������������� 7

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������� 28-29

Eagle Abrasives ����������������������������������������������� 9

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers ���������� 44

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������ 38

Patrick Hyundai ���������������������������������������������� 37

Gandrud Parts Center ������������������������������������� 17

Platinum Auto Trends ��������������������������������������� 8

Ganley Westside Subaru �������������������������������� 20

SATA Dan-Am Company ���������������������������������� 2

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������������� 43

Sears Imported Autos, Inc ����������������������������� 31

Hawkinson Kia ����������������������������������������������� 30

Shaheen Chevrolet Parts Warehouse ������������� 21

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers ������24-25

Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet ��������������������������� 6

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������������ 40

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������� 45

Induction Innovations, Inc. ����������������������������� 12

Sunmight USA ������������������������������������������ 14-15

Jordan Ford ���������������������������������������������������� 16

The Sharpe Collection of Automobiles ����������� 35

Kelly BMW ����������������������������������������������������� 31

Varsity Ford ���������������������������������������������������� 37

Kia of Lansing ������������������������������������������������� 34

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers ������������ 44

Kia Wholesale Parts Dealers �������������������������� 39

Wrenchers ����������������������������������������������������� 11

Higher Pay Surround Beacon Hill ������������������� 1

Recyclers Association Leaders Meet with ISRI, NATIONAL

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Sheila Loftus Dies at 79 ������������������������������ 47

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Industry Projects; DEG Offers Update ���������� 20 Subaru Battery Drain Lawsuit Settlement Reached ������������������������������������������������������ 22 Volkswagen Bringing Back Scout Brand with Electric Truck, SUV ������������������������������ 46 WIN Education Conference Offers Collision Repair Industry Chance to ‘Recharge, Reset & Renew’ �������������������������������������������� 4

autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 3


WIN Education Conference Offers Collision Repair Industry Chance to ‘Recharge, Reset & Renew’ by Abby Andrews

The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) held its first-ever hybrid Education Conference, May 2-4, online and in-person in Greenville, SC. The three-day slate of events included panel discussions, presentations, networking opportunities, a National Auto Body Council Recycled Rides giveaway, a walk to raise money for WIN’s scholarship fund and a gala to celebrate the winners of this year’s Most Influential Women awards.

Panelists discuss the ongoing challenges to the collision repair industry brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Panel Discussion: Industry Changes, Challenges & Opportunities in a Post-COVID World On May 3, a panel of people representing all facets of the collision repair process—insurers, rental car companies, parts and materials distributors, OEMs and auto body shop managers—talked about the pandemic-induced supply chain and staffing issues and trends that have increased cycle times, leading to frustration for everyone, down to the customers. Brenda Hewitt, Guaranteed Repair Network manager for the Western U.S. for Liberty Mutual, said the pandemic put a lot of pressure on an industry that was already feeling a lot of pressures. “Everybody was worried for several months [at the onset of the pandemic],” Hewitt said. “Fast forward to last summer, and not only do we still have jobs, but we have more than we can do. Now we’re looking at inflation. “It’s about how to work together and not point fingers at everyone in the industry,” she said. “Customers that maybe before [the pandemic] came in scared and frustrated but friendly, more and more are coming in angry and looking to blame somebody,” Hewitt

said. “We all have to empathize and understand that everybody’s in a different spot.” Angie Babin, vice president of supply chain for Caliber Collision, said there was already a shortage of technicians before COVID, but now everyone is recognizing it. “The labor shortage also increases cycle time on receiving parts and materials, unloading parts, delivering them; we’re seeing [labor shortages] across the board,” Babin said. “We need to sell to people why they need to come work in this industry.” Genevieve Dombrowski, senior vice president of human resources for LKQ Corp., said the pandemic also contributed to a marked exit of women from the labor force, as women left careers to stay at home when kids’ childcare providers and schools closed. “Two million women exited the workforce in the last two years, and they haven’t come back in droves,” Dombrowski said. “We need to be more flexible with work times and shifts. I think it will take disruption to get women back.” Turning to supply chain issues, Denise Kingstrom, BASF’s supply chain director for coatings solutions in North and South America, said while demand for collision repair materials initially declined, there have been big jumps in demand since, which the logistics side has not been prepared to handle. Kingstrom said all aspects of the chain have been affected, from raw materials to transportation to production facilities. “We have to adjust by working with the other partners in the chain, to see where you can flex to address some of those challenges,” she said, offering examples of combining shipments or using rail service instead of trucks. Future Tech: Technology & EV Repair Trends Jake Rodenroth, North American body repair program manager for Lucid, talked about how EVs are assembled, operated, owned and powered. There are a lot of compelling reasons for an OEM to go all-EV,

4 JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Rodenroth said, including manufacturing savings and scalability, but EVs present different challenges to collision repairers.

Jake Rodenroth, North American body repair program manager for Lucid

EVs use lighter materials that are riveted instead of welded, have much larger batteries with more voltage and use a lot more coolant to cool those battery packs — eight to 10 gallons in a single EV, compared to two gallons in a gas-powered car. EVs will also have an increasing amount of ADAS features and the related sensors and cameras— Rodenroth said the Lucid Air sedan has 14 cameras and 32 sensors, requiring a 15-by-30-foot area to recalibrate. EVs do not need oil changes and go twice as far between brake jobs, he said, and there is only one piece that moves—the rotor—as opposed to an internal combustion engine, which has a lot of moving internal parts. Rodenroth said 3-D printing certain parts, rather than ordering them, could become common. “Shops could get licenses to print out a bumper cover, for instance,” he said. What’s Behind the Glass—Reflections on My Leadership Journey Renee Cacchillo wrapped up the conference May 4 with a keynote speech on how her education and career path led to becoming Safelite’s first female CEO in 2021, and the challenges and opportunities both along the way and going forward. Cacchillo was announced as the CEO of Safelite, a national company

that will celebrate its 75th anniversary in June and the leading provider of auto glass for repair, replacement and recalibration, in September 2021. She officially assumed the role in December. After earning a bachelor’s degree in business, Cacchillo worked for Dillard’s Inc. and Hallmark, while taking night classes to earn her MBA, and then Accenture, Lbrands and Bob Evans. In 2011, Cacchillo started with Safelite. Over the next 11 years, she worked in a range of areas within the company, including service delivery, customer experience, marketing and technology, before being named the company’s CEO.

Renee Cacchillo, CEO of Safelite.

People kept telling me, ‘Renee, you’ve broken the glass ceiling,’” Cacchillo said. “Other people paved the way for me, but I’m paving the way for others.” Cacchillo encouraged women to get comfortable possibly being alone in a male-dominated area, but to not be surprised when other women see their success and are inspired to emulate it. To illustrate her point, Cacchillo said Safelite only had two female glass technicians nationwide before the company created a recruitment ad featuring one of them. The day after the ad started running, the company heard from 6,000 interested applicants—40% of whom were women. “Every market has female trainees in class now,” Cacchillo said. “They are still the minority but [the ad] brought their attention to the fact they could have a future at Safelite.”

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Ford F-Series Tops List of Vehicles Targeted Most for Catalytic Converter Theft

AASP-MN Announces 27th Annual Golf Outing

Catalytic converter thefts have soared in recent years, thanks in large part to the spiking prices of precious metals. Thieves are removing catalytic converters by cutting them from beneath vehicles, and that can be a rude awakening for car owners. Not only will the car make a loud noise when started, but it can cost owners thousands of dollars to replace that missing catalytic converter. So just how prevalent is catalytic converter theft? The National Insurance Crime Bureau, which tracks thefts reported to insurance companies, said the number of those reports increased about 977% from 2018 to more than 14,000 in 2020, the most recent year for which data is available. To help consumers, CARFAX has compiled a nationwide list of the top targets for these precious-metal thieves:

The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers-Minnesota (AASP-MN) is pleased to announce its 27th Annual Golf Outing will be held June 15 at Majestic Oaks Golf Club, Ham Lake, MN. More than 150 AASP-MN members, their employees, industry vendors and insurance representatives are expected to enjoy the day of golf and socializing. Play will begin at noon, followed by a social hour/dinner and awards presentation. The cost to participate is $100 per golfer or $400 per foursome. Golf holes are also available to sponsor for $350 each. For additional information, contact the AASP-MN office at (612) 623-1110 or 800852-9071 or online at www. aaspmn.org.

1. 1985-2021 Ford F-Series pickup trucks (F-150, F-250, etc.) 2. 1989-2020 Honda Accord 3. 2007-17 Jeep Patriot

Source: AASP-MN

AUTOBODY

Penske Automotive Group Acquires Hyundai, Genesis Dealership in Indianapolis Penske Automotive Group, Inc. on May 3 announced it acquired Terry Lee Hyundai and Genesis of Noblesville, IN, increasing the company’s presence in the Indianapolis metropolitan market.

Terry Lee Hyundai was recognized by Automotive News as a Best Dealership to Work for in 2020 and was named as a 2020 Top Work Places by The Indianapolis Star. The

acquisition is expected to generate annualized revenue of $80 million. Commenting on the acquisition, Chair and CEO Roger Penske said, “We are pleased to add the Hyundai and Genesis brands to our existing Honda and Chevrolet footprint in the Indianapolis metropolitan market, and welcome their employees to our team. We look to enhance the strong legacy of these dealerships while building additional scale in this important market for Penske Automotive Group.” The addition of the Hyundai and Genesis dealerships brings total expected acquired annualized revenue in 2022 to approximately $745 million. Source: Penske Automotive Group

4. 1990-2022 Ford Econoline vans 5. 1999-2021 Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks 6. 2005-21 Chevrolet Equinox 7. 1997-2020 Honda CR-V 8. 1987-2019 Toyota Camry 9. 2011-17 Chrysler 200 10. 2001-21 Toyota Prius

Depending on where you’re located in the country, certain vehicles are targeted more heavily. These lists were compiled by looking at CARFAX service reports for catalytic converter replacements from more than 60,000 service shops across the country from 2019

through the first three months of 2022. Car owners looking to prevent catalytic converter theft should: • Park in a well-lit area. • Park in your garage if possible, instead of in the driveway or on the street. • If you must park in a driveway, consider installing motion sensor security lights. • Install a catalytic converter anti-theft device. • Have a muffler shop etch your vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the converter and spray it with a highly visible, high-heat paint. Doing so enables law enforcement to track converters, which in turn could lead police to the thieves. To learn more about catalytic converts and why they’re stolen, visit https://www.carfax.com/blog/ catalytic-converters Source: CARFAX

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Dominion Sure Seal Celebrates its

50th Year Anniversary

For the past five decades, Dominion Sure Seal has been a leading manufacturer of sealants, protective coatings, and adhesives for body shops, car restoration companies, and car dealerships throughout North America. If you ever need reliable and affordable products like undercar coatings, paints, plastic repair systems, anti-corrosion materials, liquid bedliners, adhesives, tapes, and specialty chemicals for your collision repairs or restoration jobs, the brand name Dominion Sure Seal is likely all over your shop. The company’s CEO Greg Morton is proud of his family’s business and honored to have played a major role in the success story at Dominion Sure Seal. “I began working here at age 14, working part-time; sweeping floors and painting walls,” he said. “Initially, we sold directly to body shops and then in 1995, we broke into the market by working with distributors and warehouse wholesalers.

Greg Morton (right) and Managing Director Derek Morton now run the show at Dominion Sure Seal

By knowing what the collision repair industry needs and fulfilling them with new products over the years, we’ve grown here in Canada and in the United States. Now we’re in a lot of major retailers throughout Northern America and the business has doubled within the past 5-6 years.” Greg’s late father Ron started the business in 1972, one year after Greg was born. The company started with five people and now they employ 30, which includes 40 regional reps. The company’s first major victory happened in 1989, when chemists at Dominion Sure Seal unveiled a plastic repair system that quickly became a go-to product for body shops and car Then in 1995, Dominion came out with Gator Guard, an epoxy liquid bedliner that helped the company to create an entire line of epoxy-based products. Today, Dominion Sure Seal sells more that 100 different products to collision repairers, car restorers, and car-crazed individuals (aka do-it-yourselfers)

The late Ron Morton started the Dominion Sure Seal in 1972, built around quality products, great prices, and amazing customer service.

800-265-0790 905-670-5411 905-670 5174 Fx Dominion Sure Seal 6175 Danville Road Mississauga, ON, Canada L5T 2H7

Another big reason for Dominion’s longevity and success includes its people, Greg said. “My brother Derek is our Managing Director and everyone here feels like they’re a part of our family, which they are. We have people here who have been with us for 15-20 years and that continuity has enabled us to be a market leader.” By carefully monitoring the pulse of the collision repair industry and developing products to improve the lives of body techs, painters, and mechanics, Dominion Sure Seal is looking with confidence at the next 50 years. “People know our name, with 90 percent of our customers coming from the automotive repair industry and the rest from the DIY market,” Morton said. “We’re well-known for quality products, great prices, and customer service and it has definitely paid off. We started with two products now we carry 100 and we’re developing new ones all the time. We know the body shop business from top to bottom and that’s why we create products that will enable collision repair professionals to do a better job, while cutting cycle time and improving the bottom line.”

www.dominionsureseal.com autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 7


MicroMix Stops Auto Body Shops from Getting Shorted on Paint, Materials by Ed Attanasio

An auto body shop manager told me he has a recurring nightmare where he is standing in his shop and watching money fly out the door. He keeps reaching out to grab the cash, but it keeps slipping through his fingers. You don’t need to go to a fortune teller to decipher the meaning of that nightmare. The flying money represents all of the dollars spent on paint and materials, and his inability to catch any of it means he can’t get reimbursed and is losing revenue— not to mention sleep. One man was tired of hearing about his paint customers waking up in the middle of the night from losing money on paint and materials, so he developed a solution. Mick Fetter, a former painter, created the MicroMix Material Estimating System more than 15 years ago to produce an itemized estimate of the paint and materials typically used on a collision repair. Unlike many other methods, MicroMix provides an estimate profile specific to each shop and includes every aspect of every refinish and blend operation. Fetter has seen shops reimbursements being shorted on paint and materials by their insurance “partners” for many years, as his career went from being a painter to working for a paint distributor. Tired of being beaten up by his customers for rising paint costs, Fetter began thinking about a new system designed from a painter’s perspective. He started the business in 1994, when he called it BodyShopOffice, as a “A Body Shop Management Tool that Any Shop Can Afford and No Shop Can Afford to Be Without!” The focus was originally on paint and material purchases and usage efficiency, as well as other aspects of managing a collision repair shop, but shifted to paint and material reimbursements. Every career refinisher remembers the first car they painted, and Fetter is surely no exception. “I was in my late teens to early 20s and I painted my 1966 Pontiac LeMans,” he said. “I went from being a hobbyist to a professional refinisher after a few years and never

considered doing anything else. “Due to a severe car accident, I needed to get out of the shop, so I got hired as a jobber rep,” he said. “I had a large territory and visited 20-30 shops every month. In 1992, I bought my first computer to furnish my customers with purchase reports, usage reports and inventories. Ultimately that move into computers led to the development of several programs used in body shops, including the Paint and Material Calculator.”

polls tell us more than half of all the body shops in the U.S. are currently using some form of itemized invoicing for paint and materials.” Some states are even passing legislation that mandates insurers must honor the results of itemized estimating systems, Fetter said. “In Rhode Island, for example, Mitchell RMC, PMC Logic and MicroMix Material Calculator are mentioned specifically in the legislation,” he said. “This is the first

“A Body Shop Management Tool that Any Shop Can Afford and No Shop Can Afford to Be Without!” — Mick Fetter With more than four decades in the paint game, Fetter has seen the industry change dramatically—in some good ways and some bad. “Years ago, body shop people began asking to get paid for all of the so-called ‘little’ things associated with every repair,” he said. “For a long time, shops have used a ‘dollars x hours’ methodology for compensation on paint and materials. Though it was far from being a perfect system, it seemed to work just fine for a while, and then skyrocketing prices for paint and materials triggered by inflation broke the system.” In 2005, when oil prices spiked, the collision repair industry began devising new ways to measure and categorize things they were not getting reimbursed for by the insurance companies. “Back then, insurers had no problems telling shops that they should eat these expenses as the cost of doing business and just move on,” Fetter said. “That’s when we started seeing a bunch of new systems hitting the industry—an evolution that every insurance company wasn’t pleased with for obvious reasons. “Now, let’s fast forward to the present; with inflation that’s out of control, we’re seeing double-digit increases on paint and materials across the board,” Fetter said. “We all know that’s the case, but are the insurance companies stepping up to help out on these expenses? Not hardly. Material calculating systems are more prevalent than ever, and

8 JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

state to mandate that a body shop can mark up its by numbers 25%, and hopefully many more will follow.” The so-called “material door rate” that drives the “dollars x hours” methodology needs to be retired, Fetter said. “One of the main problems with

this methodology is the fact that the equation varies from market to market,” he said. “In New York, for example, the insurance company will pay a higher door rate for paint and materials than, say, another state in the Midwest. It doesn’t make sense because the cost of paint and materials is the same regardless of which market you’re in. “The dollars part of the equation should be used strictly for measuring performance in material sales and material usage efficiency, and not as a multiplier to determine compensation,” Fetter said. “For many years, body shops have endured annual or bi-annual cost increases with lagging compensation increases. As a rule, the paint manufacturers will increase their prices, but the insurance companies customarily drag their feet when it comes to passing these rates on for reimbursement.” Ease-of-use and time savings are the main benefits of using the MicroMix Material Calculator. “We use data from all of the major auto refinish paint compa-

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nies used in more than 90% of the shops performing carrier-related work,” Fetter said. “We then measure actual consumption rates for refinishing materials based upon industry research, and use the shop’s EMS interface with CCC One, CCC CompEst, AudaExplore and Mitchell UltraMate estimating systems for easy information transfer. The user creates a one-click itemized report that can be attached as an image or printed, and provide it with the flexibility to make specific adjustments, when required, based on the individual repair being processed.” MicroMix’s easy-to-read single-screen view displays all of the material estimate details imported from the user’s existing estimating system while enabling users to edit information easily and quickly. Color adjustments are made by selecting the paint code or color description for the vehicle year and make. “There are currently over 36,000 paint codes in the system going back to 2007,” Fetter said. “Users can also add body repair hours for body repair materials. The body hours are broken down into the three

primary functions—body repair, prime and block and de-nib and polish. The end result is detailed, itemized and accurate material estimate reports in under a minute.” Larry Englehardt, owner of Bud’s Paint & Body Shop in Palmyra, MO, has used the MicroMix Material Calculator since 2017 and agrees itemized paint and material invoicing is a far superior method than the old “dollars x hours” methodology. “The biggest problem I see in our industry in regards to paint and materials are that most shops are not even aware of their overall costs of paint and materials,” Englehardt said. “Shop owners are inundated with such a flurry of the day-to-day challenges of managing their business, which makes it impossible for things not to fall through the cracks. In other words, we’re too busy working in our business to be working on our business.” Englehardt first learned of the MicroMix Material Calculator from one of his better insurance carriers— believe it or not—that provided him with an itemized invoice generated

from the insurance carrier version of MicroMix. “Boy, if only all of the insurance companies used this system, it would make things much better,” Englehardt said. “Besides fair compensation for paint and materials, we really like the fact it’s so quick and easy to use. We’re not bumbling around with double input of data. It doesn’t take a minute to generate an itemized invoice. We’re way too busy to spend too much time generating paint and material invoices.” For more information regarding the MicroMix Material Calculator, visit www.micromix.net. MicroMix also offers a free paint and material analysis for shops struggling with paint and material profitability.

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ASE Training Conference Set The 2022 ASE Instructor Training Conference is scheduled for July 12-15 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Frisco, TX. Hosted by the ASE Education Foundation, the conference is planned for high school and college instructors from auto, truck and collision repair programs nationwide. Offering more than 20 hours of technical update training, the in-person conference will provide separate tracks for auto, medium/heavy truck and collision repair instructors. The cost for instructors from ASE-accredited programs is $550 per person while the cost for instructors from non-accredited programs is $650 each. For more information and to register, visit the ASE Education Foundation website at https://aseeducationfoundation.org/events/ase-instructor-training-conference Source: ASE

AASP-MN Announces 2022-2023 Board of Directors April marked the beginning of service for the 2022–2023 AASPMN Board of Directors. The alliance is pleased to welcome new board members: Dan Gleason, Pro-Tech Auto Repair, Corcoran, mechanical seat Aaron Swanson, LaMettry’s Collision, Eden Prairie, collision seat Paul Yager, Enterprise Rent-ACar, Eagan, associate division director They join other members of the board, which include: Jesse Jacobson, Heppner’s Auto Body, Woodbury, president Tom Archambault, BLVD Autoworks, St. Anthony, immediate past president Mike McLynn, Automotive Electric, Grand Rapids, secretary/ treasurer Travis Doyle, Arrowhead Auto Body, Hermantown, collision division director

Jeremy Nordgren, Nordgren Automotive, Medina, mechanical division director Lee Schlosser, Autoworks Collision Center, Rockford, collision seat AASP-MN also extends a sincere thank you to this year’s outgoing board members:

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10 JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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Branch Launches 6 New States Branch, a full-stack insurance company that pioneered instantly-bundled home and auto insurance, announced April 1 its expansion to six new states including Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia. These new additions bring Branch’s total state roster to 25 and means 49% of Americans can access Branch’s instant-pricing capability. Through Branch’s rapid growth, the company maintains a stellar customer service experience with an impressive 4.8 Trustpilot rating. Having launched in six new states since the beginning of 2022, Branch continues to attract new members with its instant-pricing capability and average annual bundled savings of $535. With the goal of national coverage halfway completed, Branch continues to pave the way for convenient and affordable insurance with the aim of being available in all 50 states before the end of 2022. Source: Branch

Group Wants Chicago’s Speed Camera Threshold Restored to 10 MPH Over Limit by Andrew Hensel, The Center Square

A group called Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras is calling on the Chicago City Council to take action to reverse a measure that reduced the threshold for sending a speeding ticket from 10 to 6 mph over the speed limit. Last year, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot lowered the threshold on when motorists would be assessed fines from automatic speed cameras to just 6 mph above the speed limit. Research by the Illinois Policy Institute shows the city raised more than double the previous year’s revenue from speeding tickets, with minority neighborhoods impacted the most. Adam Schuster of the institute also said the mayor’s change was made to get more money from drivers to help with the city’s massive debts without having to raise taxes. “The city of Chicago’s financial problems are so bad and its taxes are already so high that when they are trying to raise the revenue they try and look for alternatives to

just raising the property tax or sales tax,” Schuster said. Mark Wallace, founder and executive director of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras, said Lightfoot has refused to reverse the action.

council to bring 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale’s amendment, which would reverse the threshold change, to the floor for a vote. “We have been trying to get it to the floor for vote, but the city has been burying this amendment

“We have been trying to get it to the floor for vote, but the city has been burying this amendment the last two or three times,” — Mark Wallace “A high number of motorists traveling in Chicago have received a speed camera ticket because of this new threshold, but people traveling in Black neighborhoods have been hit the hardest at twice the rate as those traveling in predominantly white neighborhoods,” Wallace said. Nearly half of tickets received by low-income residents incur late fees and additional penalties before they are paid. Late penalties drive up the cost of tickets, turning a $35 citation into an $85 fine. Wallace’s group wants the city

the last two or three times,” Wallace said. “We believe this is the time for changes and abolishing the photo enforcement of red-light and speed camera policies. We hope the city council will take the necessary action to reverse the mayor’s decision.” Chicago has 160 speed cameras in total; 27 of those cameras each generated more than $1 million from city drivers during the year, and 10 of those cameras generated more than $2 million. Two of them topped $3 million in total fines levied.

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Continued from Cover

Parts Shortage “Just a lot of delays in getting parts. It’s just a waiting game on waiting for parts,” said Ruthruff. Sometimes the wait is even longer for things like headlights or even a simple rubber seal. “To wait for the parts and once you get more cars in, you have to get the other car that’s outside, you have to get that back in once the part gets here and it’s been a challenge,” said Ruthruff. Ruthruff said he’s never seen parts in this short supply in the more than 20 years he’s been fixing cars. And right now, there’s no advantage to having a particular vehicle.

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“There’s no rhyme or reason to the model year or the manufacturer,” said Ruthruff. Gonzales said his car is waiting on parts from China, which was surprising. “I’m surprised they weren’t able to go through domestic auto part suppliers. I’m surprised there wasn’t something they could do to negotiate some advanced shipment,” said Gonzales. Body shops are encouraging people to check with their insurance companies for details on their coverage. Some companies are adjusting their rental car policies because of the parts shortage. They add there’s nothing else they can do but wait and most people are patient.

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$20,000 in Scholarships Tehron Buffman, St. Cloud Technical & Community College, St. Cloud, auto body collision repair Connor Haag, Rochester Community & Technical College, Rochester, automotive service technology Thomas Huso, Dunwoody College of Technology, Minneapolis, auto body collision repair Brandon McKenzie, Century College, White Bear Lake, automotive service technology Zach McLaughlin, Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount, automotive service technology Caleb Mead, South Central College, North Mankato, automotive service technology Michael Ni, St. Paul College, St. Paul, automotive service technology Adam Oberg, Pine Technical College, Pine City, automotive service technology Nicholas Perzichilli, Century College, White Bear Lake, automotive service technology Jacob Raak, Ridgewater College,

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Willmar, auto body collision repair Barron Schneider, Ridgewater College, Willmar, auto body collision repair Cody Sievert, Ridgewater College, Willmar, auto body collision repair Taliesin Sutton, Hennepin Technical College, Eden Prairie, automotive service technology Matthew Wallace, Century College, White Bear Lake, automotive service technology Congratulations to all this year’s recipients. The scholarship awards are the centerpiece of AASP-MN’s Automotive Education Fund, established to provide financial resources to support automotive students, enhance automotive programs and raise awareness of career opportunities in the independent automotive service industry. Source: AASP-MN

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autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 15


Ford Recalls Certain 2021 Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators for Potential Fire Concern Ford Motor Company is advising customers of certain 2021 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs—built over a four-month period between late 2020 and early 2021—to park their vehicles outside and away from structures while Ford investigates the cause of under hood fires. Responding to 16 reported incidents, Ford is recalling 39,013 Expedition and Navigator SUVs in the U.S. built between Dec. 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021. These vehicles may pose a risk of under hood fire, including while the vehicle is parked and off. As of Ford’s filing with NHTSA, there have been no reported incidents with vehicles built before or after these dates. Ford, which began investigating the issue March 24, has not yet established a cause. The incidents are believed to originate in the rear of the engine compartment near the passenger side of the vehicle. Fourteen of these incidents occurred on vehicles owned by rental companies across multiple locations

and two were retail customer vehicles. Of the 16 incidents, 12 reportedly occurred while the vehicle was parked and off, one reportedly while the vehicle was parked and on, and three reportedly while the vehicle was in motion. Ford is treating this recall with a high sense of urgency and will communicate to customers via FordPass and Lincoln Way app and mail as soon as it finalizes the list of owners and addresses within the recalled vehicle population. Ford has not issued instructions to stop driving vehicles under this recall and is not aware of any accidents related to this issue. The company is aware of one reported injury. “We are working around-theclock to determine the root cause of this issue and subsequent remedy so that customers can continue to enjoy using their vehicles,” said Jeffrey Marentic, general manager, Ford Passenger Vehicles. “We recognize the importance of staying in touch with our customers until we resolve this matter.” Source: Ford

Continued from Cover

Higher Pay The group gathered outside the State House to demand action on a pair of proposals before the lawmakers that would raise the lowestin-the-nation labor rate for auto body repairs. The bills, H.1111 and S.709, both called “An Act to establish minimum reimbursement rate to insurance claimants,” are currently being ironed out between the legislative chambers through a joint committee. Both would set the rate for repair at upwards of $78 per hour of labor, according to advocates. The current rate is just $40 per hour, which, according to the group, is the lowest in the nation and just $10 more than it was in 1988. AASP-MA Executive Director Evangelo “Lucky” Papageorg said the industry is filled with technicians that started because they thought it was a cool job, one that they learned to love. That passion, he said, does not feed their families though.

“The problem is that loving and cool don’t pay the bills. We need to be able to pay the bills,” he said. The bills have until June 30 to clear the committee, after which the legislature would have just a month before the end of the session to approve and send them to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk. Standing in the way, according to former state Sen. Guy Glodis, are insurance companies that want to keep reimbursements low. Glodis said auto body workers first approached him in 2003, saying their wages were so low they couldn’t compete to keep workers from leaving the state. He said the problem was recognized by legislative leadership, who said they would do something about it. “Folks, that was over 20 years ago—nothing has been done,” he said. “We’re here to educate the legislature about the greed and the injustice and the dishonesty of what’s going on with the insurance industry where they are purposely stagnating and suppressing wages. “It hurts business and it hurts families,” he said.

CCC Promotes Janik to SVP CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc. named Scott Janik senior vice president, insurance services group. Janik joined CCC in 2007 and has served as the group vice president of the insurance services group since 2012. In his new role, Janik is responsible for leading strategic growth of the market segment and aligning business priorities to meet customer needs through the technology leader’s advanced cloud-based SaaS platform, which connects 30,000 businesses across the property & casualty ecosystem. Janik succeeds Barrett Callaghan, who was elevated in 2021 to the role of executive vice president, markets and customer success, overseeing engagements across the insurance, automotive and collision repair markets. Before joining CCC, Janik worked in technology and management consulting, first with Accenture, as well as a boutique management consulting firm. Source: CCC

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autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 19


SCRS Offers Update on Collision Repair Industry Projects; DEG Offers Update by John Yoswick

Research into the accuracy of the blend time formula commonly used in the industry is among the projects the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has on its docket, the association reported at an open board meeting held in April in Oklahoma City. “Many of our members have challenged us that blend times sim-

Aaron Schulenburg said the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) is researching the accuracy of the blend time formula commonly used in the industry

ply aren’t realistic,” said Aaron Schulenburg, executive director

of SCRS. “We hear you. We have made a decision to invest in doing more research around that, and to bring answers in a transparent manner back to the industry. “Blending is a very challenging task, that has lots of steps and preparation, and we have long challenged that 50% [of full refinish time] formulas aren’t reflective of what’s actually necessary with the blend task.” Schulenburg said the association also is “close to a solution” in terms of offering a health insurance plan to the industry. “We’ve been talking for a long time about health care [and] are continuing to work on solutions there,” Schulenburg said. “I can’t reiterate this enough: The last thing SCRS wants to do is develop a solution that we don’t believe is going to be for the long-term, and ask the industry to consider it, to switch, to go through the process of doing all that, and end up in a place where a year from now you’re not in a better position than you were.

“That’s been the stumbling block for us in a lot of the solutions we’ve found. I think we’re really close to something, [and] as soon as we know that we can feel confident in putting our name and brand and endorsement behind it, we will.” SCRS board member Michael Bradshaw said the association also

SCRS board member Michael Bradshaw said the association also is continuing to develop weekly “Quick Tip” videos

is continuing to develop weekly “Quick Tip” videos, offering brief information and advice related to technical processes, estimating, negotiation, documentation and business practices.

“They’re great tools for your staff,” Bradshaw said. “And something we’ve seen in our facility: If there’s a friction point on an operation between third-party payers and your staff, these videos can be a really quick and easy tool to send to [the insurer] to help them comprehend what’s going on and why it needs to be done.” He said SCRS also will be creating some videos aimed at vehicle owners. “As shops, we all sometimes struggle to convey an appropriate message to the consumer as to what’s going on with the claims process or why certain things need to be done or why certain things happen in the manner that they do,” Bradshaw said. “So we’re going to shoot videos that are geared toward the consumer. The shops can then use them to educate their consumer base, and hopefully make life a little easier for them.” Also during the meeting, Danny Gredinberg, administrator for the Database Enhancement Gateway

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(DEG), said of about 19,000 inquiries the DEG has received over 15 years regarding missing or potentially inaccurate information in the industry’s estimating guides, more than half—52%—have resulted in a change by the information providers.

Danny Gredinberg said more than half of the inquiries the DEG has received have resulted in a change by one of the estimating system providers

“That’s a pretty alarming number,” Gredinberg said, but also pointed to the value the DEG offers as a free resource to the industry. Although the estimating system providers have long provided a way for anyone in the industry to submit such inquiries directly to

them, the DEG (www.DEGweb.org) was created—and continues to be funded—by a number of shop trade associations, including SCRS, as a centralized and easier way to submit and monitor what happens to such inquiries. Gredinberg said one strength of the DEG is that it is used, and considered credible, by both collision repairers and insurers. “I got an email from a DEG user, contesting a labor time on a replacement rear body panel part,” Gredinberg cited as one example. “He shared with me the email he got back from the actual adjuster. It started out with: ‘Alright, Robert, sorry for the delay, but just got word from on high [that] we’re good to go. They cleared the separate time on the end plate; that DEG form was worth its weight in gold.’” Gredinberg said DEG inquiries recently have helped lead Mitchell International to add wording to its estimating guide about destructive weld testing, and the time and costs of researching OEM repair information being not-included. Similarly, CCC Intelligent Solu-

tions and MOTOR recently updated their estimating guide to add a labor procedure related to front bumper camera and sensor aiming, and what is not-included in the refinish time for a “minor panel” when it is being refinished independently of a major panel. “Recently, I-CAR did a ‘Repairers’ Realm’ with Honda talking about laser brazed roof replacement,” Gredinberg said. “The week after that video got released, a repairer watched it, had a Honda in his shop, and noticed there was no way he could do that roof replacement for the time given. With that video, we were able to show the information provider, and within a couple days, they updated the time, and added some additional footnotes about one-time use parts and additional brackets and bolts that needed to be replaced as well.”

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Repairify Completes Record Scans Repairify, Inc., unveiled key insights from its record 2021 yearend, including that its family of brands completed more than 12.4 million automotive diagnostic scans and delivered more than 4.9 million diagnostic reports across the collision, mechanical, dealership, auction and reconditioning repair markets. The record-setting year marked a watershed moment for Repairify. The company completed five acquisitions and expanded its capabilities beyond collision repair technology into diagnostics for mechanical repairs, data insights for ADAS calibrations and vehicle reconditioning workflow and inspections. Beyond the delivery of a record-setting year, Repairify’s 2021 performance was capped by several strategic investments, multiple industry partnerships and a new exclusive global patent licensing and supply agreement with LAUNCH Tech. Source: Repairify, Inc.

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Subaru Battery Drain Lawsuit Settlement Reached by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

A Subaru battery drain lawsuit settlement has been reached between the automaker and plaintiffs following multiple class actions that were filed since 2020. According to the 13 customers who filed the battery drain lawsuit, defects in these vehicles cause the batteries to drain, then the replacement batteries also drain. 2015-2020 Subaru Outback 2015-2020 Subaru Forester 2015-2020 Subaru Legacy 2015-2020 Subaru WRX 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent The class action alleges a Subaru battery drains because of the controller area network (CAN), which relies on electrical current when the vehicle is in use. But when the vehicle is shut down, the CAN system should enter sleep mode so only a limited amount of electrical current is used. According to the Subaru battery drain lawsuit, software errors prevent the CAN from entering sleep mode when the vehicle is turned off. This will drain the original battery and every replacement battery installed in the Subaru. The lawsuit alleges Subaru drivers and their occupants are left stranded once the batteries drain and fail. The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit by alleging Subaru should stop selling the vehicles and replace or buy back the vehicles. Multiple lawsuits were filed concerning the alleged Subaru battery drain problems, including Dalen v. Subaru and Tomasian v. Subaru. Subaru insists there is nothing wrong with the vehicles and the automaker denies all allegations in the class action lawsuit. Additionally, Subaru says the vehicles, “function properly, are not defective and that no warranties or statutes have been breached.” Subaru Battery Drain Lawsuit Settlement Agreement According to the proposed battery drain settlement, Subaru will pay 100% of the cost for a first battery replacement for up to five years or

60,000 miles from the in-service date of the vehicle. For vehicles that have been in service more than five years or 60,000 miles, Subaru will extend its warranty for three months from the class action lawsuit notice date, but this will cover only 50% of the first battery replacement cost. Subaru Battery Replacement The Subaru battery drain lawsuit argues replacing the batteries does no good because the replacements also drain, but some owners may be helped by an extended warranty in situations where the replacement batteries fail. However, considering some of the models go back to the year 2015, some customers may still have to pay a percentage for a battery replacement. If a vehicle has been in service up to five years or 60,000 miles (whichever comes first), 100% of the battery replacement costs will be paid, including parts and labor. If a vehicle has been in service up to seven years or 84,000 miles (whichever comes first), 80% of the battery replacement costs will be paid, including parts and labor. If a vehicle has been in service up to eight years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first), 60% of the battery replacement costs will be paid, including parts and labor. Reimbursement for Battery Drain Expenses According to the Subaru battery drain lawsuit settlement, customers may be reimbursed over and above the amounts they paid for expenses related to the alleged Subaru defect. Examples of expenses eligible for reimbursement include battery replacements and/or battery testing and diagnosis performed by a Subaru dealer, and out-of-pocket expenses for towing services. For a customer who had their vehicle serviced at a third-party repair facility and who paid for any battery replacements and/or battery testing and diagnosis or expenses for towing services, reimbursement is possible. However, before the vehicle was repaired at a third-party shop, the customer must have “presented his or her vehicle to an authorized Subaru

22 JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

dealership or contacted Subaru’s customer service division regarding the battery-related issue.” With a vehicle that experienced two or more Subaru battery failures within five years/60,000 miles from its in-service date, Subaru will provide “140% of Reasonably Related Reimbursable Costs related to the Class Member being stranded as a result of a battery failure that occurred prior to the Notice Date.” According to the Subaru battery drain lawsuit settlement: “Recoverable expenses include, without limitation, hotel expenses, meals and equipment purchased to sustain battery operation, and other expenses reasonably related to the battery failure. A Settlement Class Member who qualifies for the cash payments under this section will also be entitled to receive a $140 single-use Subaru service voucher, which will remain valid for one year from the date the claim is approved.” Subaru Battery Drain Software Update

The battery drain settlement, which still needs to be granted final approval, provides customers with a free software update at a dealer. However, free software updates (11-17417R and 11-176-17) were already available for certain vehicles years before the Subaru battery drain lawsuit was filed. The update allegedly improves the engine control module charging logic of the Subaru battery. Subaru customers who paid for the battery drain software updates are eligible to be reimbursed 100%. Based on the settlement agreement, each of the 13 named plaintiffs will receive $4,000, and the attorneys who represented those owners will receive more than $4 million. The Subaru battery drain lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey: In re: Subaru Battery Drain Products Liability Litigation. The plaintiffs are represented by Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, LLC, Sauder Schelkopf LLC and Girard Sharp LLP.

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autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 25


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.

7 Steps to Implementing Improvements Within Your Auto Body Repair Business “I have all these great ideas, but I can’t get my people at the shop to help implement them.” I don’t know if that’s something you’ve found yourself thinking or saying, but I know as a trainer, consultant and 20 Group facilitator, it’s a comment I hear from auto body shop owners frequently. The problem, often, is shop owners may be great entrepreneurs, but not always great leaders. But it’s a skill that can be learned, through practice. Following the same steps over and over again will help you become a leader who can put great ideas into practice. Here’s my seven-step system for implementing something new at your shop. 1. Choose a goal. Odds are, you have multiple ideas you want to try. Don’t get bogged down trying to do it all: Choose one or two to start; you can come back to the others later. 2. Assign specific tasks. Let’s say you want to “5S” (clean and organize) your paint mixing room to make it more efficient. Choose the person or people who can best help you achieve that, and assign them three to five specific tasks: clean the scale, wash and paint the walls, discard unneeded items, standardize where specific items are to be kept. Don’t overwhelm them by giving them too many items on the action list. You can give them more tasks when they finish the first ones.

But remember that your definition of clean and organized may differ from theirs, so either work with them the first time, or give clear, detailed instructions about your expectations. 3. Determine and gather the needed tools, equipment and materi-

Inspire and lead change within your business using a seven-step process, Mike Anderson suggests

als. Are you asking them to stay late or meet you on a Saturday to work on a special project? Then absolutely don’t kill morale by waiting until then before you run to the hardware store for needed supplies. Be prepared. 4. Determine a timeline and set a deadline. Ask your team if they think the timeline you’ve set seems appropriate. An action plan in writing with the steps or tasks involved and deadlines ensures their buy-in. 5. Check in at the midway point. Those who abdicate rather than delegate forget about an assigned task until weeks later when they notice it’s not done. At that point it’s as much your fault as theirs that it

didn’t get done. One shop I work with agreed they would close out a stack of old repair orders within two weeks. The great thing about electronic calendars are the reminders we can schedule in them. I didn’t wait until two weeks went by to check in with that shop. I called one week later and said, “We’re halfway to the deadline. Are you still on task for finishing up in another week?” 6. Document accomplishments. Keeping lists of successes and “victories”—almost a “yearbook”—will give everyone involved a sense of accomplishment. Any time you’re feeling discouraged, you can look back and see that you’ve worked through challenges and made improvements. Documentation might include checklists and photos as well; once the paint mixing room looks how you want it kept, post some pho-

tos that will remind employees of your expectations for how it is to be maintained. 7. To sustain a change, choose someone to audit compliance. Studies have shown a person has to do something 30 days in a row in order for it to become habit. A frequent audit at first is crucial until something becomes habit, allowing for less frequent auditing later. Part of the challenge of getting employees to help implement change is that we all tend to view change in terms of “What is it going to cost me?” or “What am I going to have to give up?” Your job as a leader is to promote your vision, to help your team see what they gain from the change, to help them view it as improvement rather than just change. That’s making a change with your team rather than to your team.

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Register for CIECA CONNEX 2022 CIECA announced its 14th annual conference, CONNEX 2022, will be held Sept. 13-14 at the Embassy Suites St. Louis-St. Charles in Missouri. The event will include a full lineup of business and technical speakers, networking opportunities and a vehicle gifting as part of the National Auto Body Council Recycled Rides® program. One of the event’s highlights will be a tour of Hunter Engineering’s ADAS and calibration center.

The theme of the conference this year is “CIECA Next Gen: Evolving to Meet the Needs of the Collision Industry.” All industry stakeholders, including CIECA members and non-members, are invited to attend. The day prior to the conference, NABC will be holding the Boone Valley Golf Club Fundraiser in Augusta, MO. The conference agenda will be announced later this spring. Source: CIECA

26 JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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©2022 FCA US LLC. All Rights Reserved. Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Wagoneer, Mopar and SRT are registered trademarks of FCA US LLC. autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 29 1/5/22 3:34 PM


3M Offering Specialized Products, Training, Support to Collision Repair Shops to Help Drive Profit Efficiencies by Stacey Phillips

Report, one of the tools 3M uses to understand driving behaviors, demonstrating driving has increased 100% in the U.S. and is returning to pre-pandemic levels. “The positive news is that driving trends are moving more toward an endemic phase, and I look forward to seeing an improving business as we go through the course of 2022,” he said.

With the pandemic halting mobility over the last two years and accidents falling sharply, the collision repair industry has been impacted worldwide. As a result, 3M has focused its efforts on offering specialized products, training and support to the collision repair industry to help it be more efficient, productive and profitable in 3M Focused on New Prodthe future, said Dave Gunucts to Help Shops derson, 3M’s president and 3M launched two new solugeneral manager of the Autions during the pandemic to tomotive Aftermarket Divi- Dave Gunderson, assist shops with their prosion (AAD). ductivity and efficiency in president and Celebrating his 34th general manager of collision repair: the 3M™ year with 3M, the indus- 3M’s Automotive Performance Spray Gun and Aftermarket Division the 3M™ Cubitron™ II Net try veteran recently shared (AAD) Abrasives. major trends in 2022 related to collision repair and the ways With the current raw materials 3M AAD businesses are focusing on shortage, paint companies, like all supporting their customers. companies, have had to raise costs. Gunderson pointed to statis- Gunderson said the industry is starttics from an Apple Mobility Trends ing to think long-term and focus on

solutions that help offset the rising costs with product solutions that aid

The lightweight, versatile 3M™ Performance Spray Gun was created as a cost-effective and easy-to-use product for shops

with shop productivity and eliminate some of the concerns. “We have been in the indus-

try for a long time and our job is to bring innovation and solutions to problems to the market,” said Gunderson. The lightweight, versatile 3M™ Performance Spray Gun was created as a cost-effective and easy-to-use product for shops. Designed to deliver a consistent and professional paint job every time, 3M’s spray gun has demonstrated positive benefits for shops with the high paint transfer efficiency on repaired parts. Since being introduced to the industry, many customers have realized an average savings of 10% to 20% in paint mix costs. In addition, the paint gun has positive benefits for the environment because fewer solvents are used through the cleaning process. “It’s a win-win-win, and we couldn’t be prouder bringing this innovative product to market,” he said. The company also introduced 3M™ Cubitron II™ Net Abrasives

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during the pandemic. Although net abrasives have been previously used in the industry, Gunderson said the 3M™ Cubitron II™ Net Abrasives use 3M’s patented precision-shaped grain material, which allows the solution to cut twice as fast and last twice as long as other net abrasives families. In addition, it captures more than 97% of the dust created when sanding in a shop. “With a shortage of technicians and competition for labor, employees want a clean, safe environment to work,” said Gunderson. “Our customers understand that dust extraction allows for a much cleaner body shop and paired with long-lasting abrasives, the productivity in sanding can also be met with fewer discs.” Supporting Body Shops Gunderson shared three distinctive ways 3M currently supports body shops: training and education, community and industry engagement, and increasing shop productivity and engagement. With training innovation facilities in more than 40 countries, Gun-

and curriculum offerings for aspiring and current technicians. This includes opening an approximately 20,000-square foot training facility in St. Paul, MN. “Our employees could not be more thrilled,” said Gunderson. “Our team loves working with and advancing the collision trade, and having a brand-new facility with the right equipment and full-size classrooms will allow even more shops and technicians access to 3M™ Cubitron II™ Net Abrasives use 3M’s patented the teams of subject matter precision-shaped grain material experts at 3M.” 3M also takes pride in its com“Anyone can go online and get training on proper repair proce- munity and industry engagement dures,” said Gunderson. “That has efforts. For instance, the 3M team been very successful. Last year, we will participate in paint finish comtrained over 40,000 technicians.” petitions at SkillsUSA in June in Training is also available for Atlanta, GA. The St. Paul-based apvocational-technical schools and in- plication engineering team makes it cludes information about OEM stan- a priority to support bringing technidards and specifications. In addition, cians into the trade. 3M partners with I-CAR and OEMs Finally, similar to the medical to offer customized in-person and industry, Gunderson said collision virtual training. repairers often spend as much time An important goal for 3M in on the administration side of the 2022 is to advance their training business as on the operational side. derson said helping educate the next generation of technicians is a priority to 3M. During the pandemic, 3M scaled up the virtual component of its 3M Collision Repair Academy.

The third area of focus is around the support and digital tool integration for body shops. “Our goal is to simplify shops’ day-to-day administrative tasks,” he said. “A lot of materials that are used in repair shops don’t get accounted for on a repair order… some of these are critical, like structural adhesives.” To help shops account for materials, 3M introduced the 3M™ Collision Repair Materials Planner tool, known as CRiMP, about five years ago. The tool enables shops create a repair invoice to account for materials used on an order, reduce supplements and fully account for materials used during a collision repair job. “There are a number of different required materials on a repair order that shops tend to overlook when writing and submitting a repair order,” he said. Gunderson offered the example of using seam sealer on a vehicle. By using CRiMP, it allows a shop to specify how much of the tube was used during the repair and then creates an invoice attached to the repair See 3M Offering, Page 34

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Day Job/Night Job

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

with Ed Attanasio

She Sold Her Auto Body Shop to Become an Artist buy bird seed. Somebody walked In the world of collision repair, the- forward? up to my brother and punched him re are a ton of multi-talented people doing other things when they’re not Lack of education! As cars and he fell and fractured his skull. with Gary Wickert repairing vehicles. are ever-changing with legi- He went into a coma, and three and I would bet the average custo- ons of new technology, it is imperati- a half weeks later, he was gone. The mer does not realize the tech, painter murderer got 18 years—seor estimator working on their car is a ven years suspended—but musician, artist, actor, writer, movie he has been messing up in director—even the owner of a champrison, so it looks like he pion Frisbee dog! I have enjoyed inwill be in there for a long time. My brother was a retiterviewing thesewith mega-talented inStacey Phillips dividuals since I started this column red doctor and I think about in 2008 when I wrote a story about him every single day. Chris Mashburn, a body tech, and I mainly create abstracts his beloved Frisbee dog, Mindy. in acrylic, and will paint on This story is about Bianca any surface I find interesRauser, who stepped away from the ting. I choose colors based with Stacey Phillips world of collision repair and sold on my mood that day. Raher shop to enjoy life and pursue her rely using brushes, I opt for art. A major tragedy in her life caunon-traditional methods of Bianca Rauser sold her shop to step away from the crazy sed Rauser to fast track her journey, life of collision repair and pursue her passion for making application such as bubble and part of that includes creating art art wrap, cookie cutters, funthat has quickly become a signifinels, plastic grocery bags, cant part of her retirement plan. ve to constantly train to keep up with water bottles, blow torches, marbles, with Stacey Phillips correct procedures. I hated the fact How did you get into the col- that I had to fight with the insurance lision repair industry? companies so that we could make safe, OE repairs. I could see that I was working for an in- quality wasn’t always a priority and surance company, and had it began to become an issue. When HYUNDAI to interact withwith body shops a lot. I people’s safety is involved, quality is Stacey Phillips was getting tired of the Evil Empi- not negotiable, in my opinion. re when a shop owner offered me a job. I took it, and I absolutely loved How did you get into creamy position. He taught me how to be ting art? Please describe your an estimator and I loved everything process. about it. with Stacey Phillips Art became an outlet for my What were the most satisfyanger and sorrow after my ing and challenging parts of brother was murdered in a random your role in the industry?

The Legal View

A:

Product and Process Industry Training

Shop Secrets and Strategies

Q: A:

etc. I even used a cat toy the other day to create an interesting texture.

Q: A:

Where do you create the art?

Q: A:

How long does it take to create a piece?

My studio is in a climatecontrolled three-car garage that has exactly enough room for zero cars due to all of my artwork and supplies.

From start to finish, approximately three weeks. I have several art projects going on simultaneously all the time. I am always looking for new and exciting things to create, and that’s why I am doing things like tables, coaster sets, and people seem to like my clocks as well.

Shop Services

Q:

National Events

Q:

A:

A:

Western Associations

There are people out there who aren’t crazy about wowith Victoria Antonelli men working in this industry. It has gotten better, but it still exists. When I could make customers happy after going through the stressful situation of an accident—I loved that part. It has also been rewarding getting to with Victoria Antonelli Bianca Rauser is selling her pieces both know and interact with some of the through major galleries in Arkansas and most knowledgeable people in the nationally industry. act of violence. I was talking to him What are the biggest obstac- on the phone one day, and he told les for the industry moving me that he was going to the store to

Western Events

Q:

32 JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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I worked as a cake decorator for 20 years before I got into collision, so I am comfortable using the left side of my brain. It’s so therapeutic—it is amazing. I also do commissions on occasion, usually images on large canvases. If the art is going

Rauser’s art is hanging in body shops throughout the country and gaining top reviews for its use of color and shapes

to be hanging on a wall in a shop, I will sometimes do the image in the company’s colors to tie it in to the whole look. Continued from Page 31

3M Offering order. “This helps enhance the profitability of the shop,” he said. A second tool he discussed is Performance Analytics, currently being used in about 350 shops, which aims to help shops manage performance. “You can track shop data and determine where you are and aren’t making money and where you are losing or gaining productivity,” he explained. Owners and managers can benchmark performance against industry standards, receive recommendations on areas of improvement, and have access to two-way integration with body shop management systems and real-time tracking. Both of these standalone programs are being integrated into 3M™ RepairStack™ Performance Solutions, a digital suite of products that allows technicians to scan materials being used on the repair order to track inventory and performance analytics in one system.

Q:

Have you had success selling your art through galleries, to friends and/or online?

to hand it off to some really great people, and it’s turned out to be a great decision.

A:

Q: A:

All of the above! My first sales were from me just posting some of my work on my personal Facebook. I am currently in two local galleries—Akib’art and Hidden Talent, both in Fort Smith, AR—and have good experiences at artisan markets. I have a few pieces on my Facebook page, B the Art. Every time I make a sale, it’s so satisfying and fulfilling, it’s like presenting a beautifully repaired vehicle to a customer on a Friday.

Q: A:

Why did you retire from the body shop life?

I had a talented young buyer whom I felt comfortable with taking over what I built. My decision to sell was based upon my frustration with the unethical practices of insurance companies. My original plan was 10 years, but then the murder of my brother altered my perspective and I decided

“We’ve had a very good reaction from the shops using it over the last nine months,” said Gunderson. The Connected Body Shop Digital Solution Looking ahead, Gunderson said 3M will continue to focus and offer customers not only high-value allied products but also a connected and integrated digital solution. This can be done through the 3M™ RepairStack™ Performance Solutions, which aims to simplify order planning and automate delivery from distributors, as well as offer the capability to organize and track the use of both 3M and non3M materials. This digital shop tool is currently in the beta phase and will add functionality with the technology asset acquisition of LeanTec. The goal is to increase the shops participating during the second half of 2022 and industry-wide in 2023. During challenging times, Gunderson said 3M is committed to bringing the best end-to-end innovations to market and providing training opportunities to body shops and aspiring technicians.

34 JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

What else are you doing during your retirement?

Traveling, cooking, fishing and spending quality time with friends. And of course, making art and hopefully selling art.

Q:

What mediums do you use and are you thinking of using new things to create art?

A:

Mainly I use acrylic on canvas, but I am getting into alcohol inks and pottery as well. I am open-minded to try all sorts of items and products to create a spectacular—or not!—piece of art. I have discovered that art is certainly subjective, and some of my favorite pieces are of little interest to people, while other articles I don’t care for seem to be popular. It “pays” to have a wide variety of exhibits.

AUTOBODY

Register for ASE Certification Spring registration is officially open for more than 50 ASE certification tests covering nearly every aspect of the motor vehicle service and repair industry, said the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Those registering by June 30 will have 90 days to schedule an appointment to take the selected ASE tests, whether registering on the first day of the registration period or the last. ASE testing is available throughout the year and is conducted days, nights and weekends at nearly 450 secured, proctored test centers. To register, visit ASE.com, click on register and sign-in. Once logged in, users can next click on “orders” and then “store” where they can find the tests they want to take, add those tests to the cart, check out and registration is complete. Service professionals with unexpired automobile certifications (A1-A9) can use the ASE renewal app for recertification. Source: ASE

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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 www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.

CIC Committee Looking at How Estimates End Up on Vehicle History Reports

Shop Showcase

The Collision Industry Conference for example, needs the VIN in order (CIC) Data Access, Privacy and Se- to obtain the needed vehicle build curity Committee in April continued data, he said. with Ed Attanasio “However, if I’m a dealer and its ongoing discussion related to auto body shop estimates resulting I’m selling parts, I only need the last eight of the VIN,” Tagliapietra in entries on vehicle history reports. One key point discussed at the said. “What’s really important is CIC held in Oklahoma City: is the VIN being too widely shared within the industry? with Ed Attanasio “The underlying piece for us is there’s no vehicle build data” included in the VIN, committee co-chair Dan Risley said. “A lot of people assume if you have a VIN number, you probably have build data, but that is not the case.” with Ed Attanasio Pete Tagliapietra of DataTouch said many Pete Tagliapietra of Datashops may be unaware of data pumps running Touch shared a slide showing his on their shop’s computer system, extracting view of which entities in the indusdata for a third party try actually need access to the VIN during the repair and claims process, the industry getting to the point of noting “the list with is not Ed that Attanasio long.” A controlling the VIN, making sure company doing vehicle diagnostics, it’s protected and information isn’t

Social Media for Shops

SEMA Show Goes On

shared where it shouldn’t be shared.” Aaron Schulenburg of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists agreed, noting one of the shops that raised this issue nearly faced litigation from a customer who assumed the shop had shared information with a vehicle history reporting company. “He stopped that from happening, because he stopped putting the VINs into repair plans,” Schulenburg said. “He’d put it in, decode the vehicle, pull it out and not have it in there. But that’s not practical.” Sharing the VIN as part of getting parts pricing during the estimating process is one of several theories on how merely writing an estimate on a vehicle can result in an “incident” entry on a vehicle history report; the dealers getting that information could have agreements to share that data with CARFAX or

others. Tagliapietra said another common way to capture estimate data is if there is a data pump running on a shop’s computer system, extracting data for a third party. “Data pumps have become prolific,” Tagliapietra said. “It’s gotten out of hand, from my point of view, because the data has become so valuable. Most shops probably have a data pump, or more likely multiple data pumps, that are sucking the repair line information and personally identifiable information off of every estimate they write.” At past CIC meetings, CCC Intelligent Solutions has said it does not share data with CARFAX. During April’s meeting in Oklahoma City, Jack Rozint of Mitchell International delivered a similar message. Rozint shared the relatively

Media and Publicity for Shops

Recyclers Association Leaders Meet with ISRI, IPMI on Catalytic Converter Theft

Shop Strategies

Leadership of the Automotive Re- lytic converters from vehicles. with Stacey Phillips Catalytic converter theft has cyclers Association (ARA) met with the International Precious put negative pressure on the inMetals Institute (IPMI) and the dustry’s business model because Institute of Scrap Recycling In- automotive recyclers are purchasdustries (ISRI) on May 5 in Wash- ing vehicles with the expectation that a catalytic converter will be ington, D.C. The associations discussed present on a vehicle only to diswith Stacey Phillips how the epidemic of catalytic con- cover it in fact has been stolen and verter thefts across the U.S. is hav- removed. Over the past two years, ARA ing a negative impact on the public has been committed to working and their respective membership. At the meeting, ARA Pres- alongside law enforcement to help ident Marty Hollingshead, of combat motor vehicle theft and Northlake Auto Recyclers in catalytic converter theft. with Stacey “proPhillips Additionally, the associaHammond, IN, emphasized fessional automotive recyclers do tions discussed the lifecycle of not generally purchase detached a catalytic converter and began catalytic converters but purchase identifying points in the chain of entire vehicles with catalytic commerce where stolen catalytic converters still attached. Addi- converters are most likely to be tionally, automotive recyclers are laundered into legitimate busirequired by federal law to report ness streams. The parties presentwith every vehicle theyStacey acquire Phillips into ly agree it would be beneficial to the National Motor Vehicle Title continue conversations regarding Information System.” catalytic converter theft with the For several years, automotive hope each group can reach a betrecyclers have fallen prey to cata- ter understanding and agreement lytic converter thieves who break with one other. Source: ARA into their facilities and steal cata-

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short list of companies that receive access to a VIN through his company’s system during the estimating process. He said no VIN data is shared outside of Mitchell Cloud Estimating unless the user enables third-party integrations or EMS/ BMS outputs, which a user can shut off at any time. “If you use our estimating system in a standard configuration, as most of our users use it, without enabling any of those third-party integrations, we don’t send the data anywhere,” Rozint said. “It’s been brought to my attention there may be other information providers that, in the course of writing an estimate, bounce the VIN off a number of dealerships to get pricing information, and that just writing an estimate in another system may actually share the VIN with multiple parties that you may not even be aware of. “But that does not happen with Mitchell Cloud Estimating,” Rozint said. “If just the act of writing an estimate is causing CARFAX to get the data, I’m guessing the estimate wasn’t done in Mitchell. Now

VARSITY FORD

we do allow our customers to export BMS and EMS [data files] to whomever they choose. They can do that without Mitchell’s involvement. We allow our customers control of our data as they see fit for their business. So there’s things that can happen outside of Mitchell’s control, but that’s in the control of the user.” Trent Tinsley, who co-chairs the CIC committee, said the committee has been having ongoing discussions with several vehicle history reporting companies for months, inviting them to speak, and hopes to have that happen at CIC in July. “What we want to aim for is: can a shop explain to a customer, if they were asked, where their data goes,” Tinsley said. “That is what as a committee we are trying to work toward.” “It’s a huge issue for consumers, and we don’t know how to explain to them how [a vehicle history company] got that information,” New Mexico shop owner Scott Benavidez told the committee. Benavidez owns a collision repair shop and a vehicle inspection company, two separate businesses,

using the same estimating system in both. For the inspection business, his company writes a “reconstructive estimate,” showing what work had previously been done on a used vehicle based on the company’s inspection. At some point he discovered even that reconstructive estimate, with no parts ordered, would trigger a new incident report on a vehicle history report for a vehicle already repaired. Benavidez’s concern is shared widely, based on some polling at the CIC meeting. The committee in 2020 developed a set of five Golden Rules for those entities accessing and using shop estimate data; they can be viewed on the “work products” page on the CIC website, www.ciclink. com. The goal was that by getting companies to agree to abide by the rules, the industry could deter data being used without a shop’s awareness and permission. At CIC in Oklahoma City, attendees were asked if they feel those Golden Rules are being adhered to by the majority of their trading part-

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ners; 68% said no. Among just collision repairers at the meeting, 88% said they did not believe they were in control of their company’s data and how it’s being shared. Schulenburg said he was surprised by that, because while he understands shops’ frustration, he thinks the data-sharing problems may be caused by a relatively few bad players. “As skeptical as I am about the exchange of data, I believe most companies are doing the right thing,” Schulenburg said. “I think most companies doing the right thing are getting a negative implication because there are some companies choosing to make data aggregation an ancillary business model to their core function. “Everybody in this industry should be concerned about that,” Schulenburg said. “It’s impacting the view of the collision repair facility, and impacting the view that collision repairers have of products [in the industry] that exchange data. We should all be really vigilant so we can trust one another with that exchange.”

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Glue Pulling Repair Becoming More Commonly Used in Auto Body Shops techniques because it does not remove e-coatings and corrosion proFor more than 30 years, collision re- tection applied to the panel by the pair technicians have experimented vehicle manufacturer,” noted White. with glue pulling repair (GPR) tech- “This yields a simpler, cleaner reniques to fix vehicles. pair that can significantly reduce the The tooling and techniques amount of body fillers and/or paint have improved over the years, al- to finish.” White is currently receiving inlowing an increasing number of auto quiries from hundreds of body shops to adopt GPR in shops a month interested in their facilities, according to adding GPR to their repair Chris White, president of arsenal. KECO Body Repair Products. “Body work has been “Glue pull repair is done for so long that a lot rapidly changing how colof guys think there is only lision repair work is done,” Chris White, pres- one way to fix a dent,” said ident of KECO Body Derek Heinrichs, manager said White. “It is the least Repair Products of City Collision II in Pittsinvasive, best-quality method to repair a dent today.” burgh, PA. After experiencing GPR KECO has more than 50 years first-hand and physically doing it, of experience in plastics. Founded in Heinrichs said they will continue us1963, the company was purchased ing this repair method in their body by White in 2004. Two years later, it shop. doubled in size and has continued to GPR is Not PDR expand over the years. In 2018, KECO opened a GPR Like paintless dent repair (PDR), facility and headquarters for body GPR aims to save as much of the repair products in Oklahoma City, original finish as possible so there’s OK. Today, the team manufactures little to no filling, priming and painttabs, tools and accessories and pro- ing at the end of the repair. In addivides training to dent and collision tion, no stud welding is required. repair technicians. Although GPR is similar to The company’s Level 2 GPR PDR in some ways, White said System was awarded the SEMA “GPR is not PDR.” 2021 New Product of the Year in However, he said, with much Collision & Refinish. more time and skill applied and During the SEMA with many times the use of Show, White teamed up additional PDR push tools, with Gene Fetty, KECO’s the GPR process can be a master technician, to share means to a full PDR. information about GPR GPR is mainly used as and demonstrate KECO’s a tool for conventional dent products. His presentation, repair and enables techni“Glue Pull Repair—Pull to Gene Fetty, KECO’s cians to avoid disturbing Paint, and Beyond,” was master technician or damaging the insulation part of the Society of Colliand sensitive electronics on sion Repair Specialists (SCRS) Re- the reverse side of the panel. pairer Driven Education Series and In addition, he said, technicians recorded for future viewing https:// experience less damage to the clear rde.scrs.com. coat and less distortion of the metWhite explained GPR is a al. This leads to less harmful dust, non-invasive cold straightening repair painting and replacement of panels. technique to pull dents with plastic “We’ve found over and over tabs in various shapes and sizes. The again that panels, particularly alutabs are adhered to a panel’s clear coat minum, that needed to be replaced with specialized hot melt glues and are now repairable,” he said. then pulled with lifting devices. A wide range of metals is com“This method of damage re- patible with GPR, including mild moval offers significant advantag- steel, high-strength steel and most es over traditional collision repair aluminum. However, he encourages by Stacey Phillips

38 JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

repairers always to check the OEM procedures. The GPR Continuum White encourages technicians to think of GPR in terms of a continuum—something that keeps changing slowly over time. “It is that process that can be used very aggressively to move a lot of metal and also a process that can be used with great finesse and detail to be able to move metal and finesse out to a finer finish,” he said. He shared a graph of a GPR continuum, which includes the types of effort related to the repair, as well as how much filler, glaze, sanding and painting are required. “Where you want to get to on the continuum is really based first and foremost on the economics of the repair,” explained White. The GPR Process Fetty then discussed the GPR process and demonstrated using it on vehicle damage that would have typically needed the panel replaced.

He stressed the importance of following KECO’s “6 Cs” process to have good strong pulls every time. The 6 Cs: 1. Clean: Always start with a clean panel for maximum adhesion. “Most of the time, all you need is 99% strength isopropyl alcohol,” he said. “Do not use paint thinner or other acetone-based products---anything that can attack the plastic.” Using a clean towel, follow up with isopropyl alcohol before using glue and tabs on the panel. The last step is to clean with 99% isopropyl alcohol, the glue’s release agent. 2. Check: This involves checking the temperature of the panel, ambient air, tabs and glue; the size of the dent; the type of metal; and where to start pulling. Fetty said temperature is probably the most overlooked part of a successful repair. “The right temperature will guarantee a strong pull,” he explained. “If the glue is See Glue Pulling Repair, Page 42

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*Kia Genuine replacement parts sold but not installed by an Authorized Kia Dealer are covered for 12 months from purchase date, regardless of mileage, for the part only, and any labor charge is the consumer’s responsibility. autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 39


Collision Repair Industry Consultant Won’t Let Health Issues Stop Him by Ed Attanasio

What happens when your body starts to fail you, but your mind is as sharp as ever? Do you quit or do you re-invent yourself? This is a question many people in every industry—including collision repair—have to answer at some point in their careers, but it usually when approaching retirement. Chris Maimone has had to face these life-changing issues at the young age of 38 due to some serious health issues requiring more than 30 surgeries. Many people would have understandably thrown in the towel after experiencing a plethora of medical issues like the ones Maimone has encountered. But he apparently doesn’t know the word “quit,” and instead of stepping aside, he is embracing his new role as an industry consultant focusing primarily on auto body shops. Maimone comes from a body shop business family well-known throughout southern California. He earned a bachelor’s degree in busi-

ness administration from California Lutheran University, and entered the industry began by working at Marco’s Collision Centers, which has seven locations. He’s extremely proud of the fact he played an integral role in the company’s success with a mission

Chris Maimone has had health issues that might force many people to early retirement, but they only inspired him to work harder and do a better job. Now he works as a consultant for CARSTAR and is exceeding everyone’s expectations with his knowledge and experience

passion of improving the collision repair industry from the front office to the paint booth and everywhere in between. Maimone started his career in

collision repair from the bottom by washing vehicles, but was learning every facet of operating the shop since day one and progressed quickly, he said. “After a short time, they put me in charge of the San Gabriel shop, where I supervised 50 employees, produced an average daily output of $32,000, generating a 50% gross profit and earned a Customer Service Index (CSI) between 98% and 100%, while keeping all of our DRPs happy,” Maimone said. “I oversaw our production process, which required every department to achieve a successful daily output while keeping our quality standards. This required knowing every vehicle’s in-process and coordinating with each member who came in contact with the car.” The most challenging part of Maimone’s position was checking for quality during every repair, he said. “I am a perfectionist and everyone who works with me knows it,” he said. “If something was not 100%

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The RIGHT COLLISION PARTS FOR YOUR COLLISION JOB. 40 JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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perfect, I sent it back. To be totally transparent, there were many times I wasn’t the most well-loved person at the shop because I often send vehicles back due to quality issues. It was my task to protect the company’s name and reputation, which meant making sure each customer’s car was repaired to absolute perfection. Our goal was to affirm that the vehicle was always repaired ‘Once, Right, the First Time.’” Maimone hasn’t let his health issues get in the way of performing his job at a high level. “I used to think that to be successful it required a perfect presentation of how I appeared and carried myself,” he said. “I went from being a typical 35-year-old to a man who now uses a walker, but this did not define my success. I knew that I was still damn good at what I do, and now there was an unexpected ingredient of inspiration. When people see the diligence and commitment I give them, it inspires them to go the extra mile and commit to change despite my hurdles. Within my field, this is

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what I’ve always aimed to do.” As a consultant, Maimone loves motivating people to do amazing things, he said. “I’ve been continually drawn to my consultant role solely because I offer an approach that goes beyond the result of what other consultants may offer,” he said. “My job is to advance the mindset of the entire company from I should make changes to I want to make changes! This means we aren’t looking for a temporary fix but a permanent one. I am only successful if the entire team embraces the change, from the owner to the porter. When the company adopts it, the results will last.” In 2014, Marco’s became the first California acquisition for Service King Collision Centers. “They then chose me to be one of the first members of their Southern California market’s quality assurance team,” Maimone said. “This team started with eight locations and grew to 30 locations within two years. I was meticulous when inspecting each vehicle, like I had at Marco’s, but my most important role was coaching the teammates in embodying the same

quality standards.” Maimone was promoted to Service King’s quality assurance team lead for the entire Southern California market within two years. “Many of my days were spent on quality inspections for different locations, which involved one-toone training, group meetings, customized presentations and hosting national calls to help educate the entire team,” he said. “In addition to these, I was on the Pack Board for the Universal Technical Institute from 2016-2018. As an avid advocate for bringing more women into our industry, I also helped one of the UTI students become the first woman accepted into Service King’s technician apprentice program.” Everything changed in 2018 for Maimone. “My body started having problems, and I didn’t know why. The changes were subtle at first---tingling in the legs, numbness in my feet, etc. Then my balance began to suffer, and I had difficulty walking normally. My symptoms quickly advanced, so much so that I had to leave Service King.”

He was diagnosed with a tethered spinal cord, meaning he had excessive scar tissue wrapped around his spinal cord, essentially suffocating it. “Within two years, I had five spine surgeries and seven brain surgeries,” Maimone said. “I lost all of my feeling from the waist down, yet the amazing thing is that I’m still able to walk with the assistance of a walker. I should be wheelchair-bound, but I continually fight and push my body’s boundaries to where I know they can be. That includes fighting for my capability to get back in the field.” In December 2020, Maimone successfully returned to the workforce, albeit through a different avenue due to his spine issues. He landed a job with CARSTAR. “Coaching and making people better has always been my passion, so I decided consulting would be a perfect fit,” he said. “I was invited to be a motivational speaker at the VeriFacts Symposium within that same month. Figureheads and leaders throughout the collision repair industry were in attendance, and

they learned not only my story but also the framework needed to instill a higher-than-standard collision company.” Integrating into three locations for CARSTAR and moving through their production areas on a walker seemed like a daunting task at first. “I had just spent the last 24 months battling a condition that could have made me completely paralyzed, and now I am being entrusted again with the task of guiding companies to success,” he said. “What ended up surprising me was how my refusal to let my body stand in the way of my work ethic had prevented my walker from becoming a hindrance. “It was an amazing experience working with the corporate staff, shop management and shop teammates,” Maimone said. “I know the processes we implemented will help increase their capture rate and help them fulfill their long-term goals. Just as how I am determined to walk one day without assistance again, I too am determined to do exactly what I had done for years— make people and companies better.”

Original BMW Parts & Accessories.

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When you repair a BMW, use the parts that are identical to those used in Series production – and just as reliable. Choose Original BMW Parts and Accessories. Because you can’t repair your reputation.

©2022 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks. autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 41


New Estimates Show Traffic Fatalities Reached a 16-Year High in 2021 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released its early estimate of traffic fatalities for 2021— projecting an estimated 42,915 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes last year, a 10.5% increase from the 38,824 fatalities in 2020. The projection is the highest number of fatalities since 2005 and the largest annual percentage increase in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s history. Behind each of these numbers is a life tragically lost, and a family left behind. “We face a crisis on America’s roadways that we must address together,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “With our National Roadway Safety Strategy and the president’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are taking critical steps to help reverse this devastating trend and save lives on our roadways.” The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law places a strong emphasis on improving safety and includes the new Safe Streets and Roads for All program, which just opened its first round of applications. The program, the first of its kind, invests up to $6 billion over five years to fund local efforts to reduce roadway crashes and fatalities.

Continued from Page 38

Glue Pulling Repair too cold, it will crystalize and if it’s too hot, it will prevent proper setup and solidification.” 3. Choose: Based on the facts already known about the type of metal, size of the dent and the end goal will help technicians choose the appropriate lifting tools, tabs, glue and knockdowns. “Most of the time, the repair is going to answer the questions for you,” he said. 4. Coating: If a technician doubts the amount of glue to use when coating the tab, Fetty recommends using extra glue. “It will only slightly affect drying time but will never negatively affect your pull,” he said. “If you are short on glue and it’s not filled edgeto-edge, you will get a bad pull.” 5. Correct: Using controlled pulling techniques to massage the dents out, Fetty advises pulling the lows and knocking down the highs. “Work slow and methodically,” he said.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law now being implemented also advances Complete Streets policies and standards; requires updates to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which defines speeds, lane markings, traffic lights and more on most roads in the country; and sharply increases funding for the Highway Safety Improvement Program, which helps states adopt data-driven approaches to making roads safer. “This crisis on our roads is urgent and preventable,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s deputy administrator. “We will redouble our safety efforts, and we need everyone—state and local governments, safety advocates, automakers and drivers—to join us. All of our lives depend on it.” NHTSA launched the Click It or Ticket campaign, which coincides with special enforcement efforts to raise awareness about the fact that seat belts save lives, and launched a technical assistance program that will assist states in aggressively addressing a continued rise in fatalities. NHTSA released $740 million in funding for the 402 State and Community Grant Program, Section 405 National Priority Safety Program and

Section 1906 Racial Profiling Data Collection Grants. States are encouraged to use the funding to implement programs to address gaps and opportunities identified during the technical assistance effort, expand partnerships and focus on risky driving as well as safety concerns among vulnerable road users and overrepresented populations. The full-year estimate of 2021 traffic fatalities also provides a look at state-level estimates during the pandemic. As in 2020, all 10 NHTSA regions are estimated to see increases in fatalities. Forty-four states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are all projected to have had an increase in traffic deaths, as compared to 2020. Preliminary data reported by the Federal Highway Administration show vehicle miles traveled in 2021 increased by about 325 billion miles, or about 11.2%, as compared to 2020. Data estimates show the fatality rate for 2021 was 1.33 fatalities per 100 million VMT, marginally down from 1.34 fatalities in 2020. While the fatality rate continued to rise in the first quarter, it declined in the other three quarters of 2021, compared to 2020. Additionally, the traffic fatalities

in the following categories showed relatively large increases in 2021, as compared to 2020: • Fatalities in multi-vehicle crashes up 16% • Fatalities on urban roads up 16% • Fatalities among drivers 65 and older up 14% • Pedestrian fatalities up 13% • Fatalities in crashes involving at least one large truck up 13% • Daytime fatalities up 11% • Motorcyclist fatalities up 9% • Bicyclist fatalities up 5% • Fatalities in speeding-related crashes up 5% • Fatalities in police-reported, alcohol-involvement crashes up 5% To read more about the U.S. Department of Transportation’s comprehensive National Roadway Safety Strategy, which adopts the safe system approach and builds multiple layers of protection with safer roads, safer people, safer vehicles, safer speeds and better post-crash care, click here. To learn more about the Safe Streets for All program, which is currently accepting applications for Fiscal Year 2022, click here. Source: NHTSA

“Slower is faster and cleaner. Slow and steady wins the race every time.” 6. Continue: By repeating the process, Fetty said big dents are ultimately reduced to smaller ones. “Continue until the panel is ready for filler and the panel is restored without painting,” he said. Another consideration is lighting. “Correct lighting is very important,” said Fetty. “You can’t fix what you can’t see.” The goal, according to Fetty, is to be able to see the dead center or deepest point of the dent with the light parallel to the surface being fixed while the technician’s eyes are perpendicular. “It seems the momentum is building day by day for GPR,” said White. “We are seeing many OEMs showing interest in GPR over the last 12 months. We have literally had them tell us, ‘We don’t want to put filler in our cars anymore.’” For more information, visit https:// keco.com/ or https://www.youtube. com/c/KECOBodyRepairProducts.

42 JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Choose Original MINI Parts. Michigan

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The Dealers Above Are Original MINI Parts Distributors ©2022 MINI USA, a division of BMW of North America, LLC. The MINI name, model names and logo are registered trademarks.


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autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 43


CCC Launches Integration with asTech

Cox Automotive Forecast: No Relief in Sight as Slow New-Vehicle Sales Persist in April

CCC Intelligent Solutions on March 31 announced asTech®, a Repairify company and a leader in diagnostic, calibration and programming solutions, has joined the CCC® Diagnostics network. The integration makes it easier for repair facilities to capture and document scan information in CCC ONE® workfiles. This streamlined service is available now via CCC ONE. The integration does not require a physical connection between the asTech device and CCC ONE. Information is uploaded wirelessly and the scan report is automatically attached to the vehicle’s CCC ONE workfile. Activation is simple. Repair facilities using CCC ONE select their preferred diagnostic provider(s) from those available through CCC’s network and providers send scan data directly to the workfile.

When automakers report sales the first week of May, there will be little talk of spring growth. The seasonally adjusted annual rate or (SAAR) upsells is forecast by Cox Automotive to be near 14.3 million, up from last month’s 13.3 million pace. However, this monthover-month sales-pace gain is from seasonal adjustment factors, not volume increases.

Source: CCC Intelligent Solutions

had a spring bounce to remember. April 2021 was one of the best-selling months in the U.S. market since the Great Recession, as the SAAR reached a pace of 18.3 million. Optimism around vaccines, coupled with $1,400 stimulus checks, led to a demand surge. However, inventory at dealerships across the country could not be replaced at previous production

“We expect production volumes to improve in the second half of the year, but fulfilling existing orders may not allow dealer inventory to accumulate in any noticeable way.” — Charlie Chesbrough April sales volume is forecast to fall 1.7% from March, despite having the same number of selling days. After nearly a year, limited supplies of cars and trucks on dealer lots across the country continue to hamper new-vehicle sales. Year over year, sales volume is forecast to drop nearly 20%. Last year, the U.S. auto market

levels due to COVID-created supply chain issues, and supply was drawn down quickly. The market has been operating with tight inventories ever since. Cox Automotive Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough explained: “The situation on the ground has not changed significantly for months. Product availabili-

ty remains constrained, and many customers can only order their vehicles for future delivery. Improved inventory conditions will likely not happen in 2022 as many customers are now waiting for their already reserved vehicles to be built. We expect production volumes to improve in the second half of the year, but fulfilling existing orders may not allow dealer inventory to accumulate in any noticeable way.” April 2022 New-Vehicle Sales Forecast Highlights • New-vehicle sales are expected to fall nearly 20% from April 2021 and fall 1.7% from last month. • The SAAR in April 2022 is estimated to be 14.3 million, below last year’s 18.3 million level, but up from March’s 13.3 million pace. • All segments will see significant year-over-year decreases with the compact car segment dropping the most at 40.3% and the mid-size SUV/crossover segment dropping the least at 15.1%. Source: Cox Automotive

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44 JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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Biden Administration Announces $3B Plan for U.S.-Based EV Battery Manufacturing by Joey Klender, Teslarati

build and develop battery and battery component manufacturing within the U.S. Funded by President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law, the grants will help

and 600,000 cars and trucks within the federal fleet will be EVs by 2035. The U.S. is adopting EVs at the third-best rate globally, trailing only China and Europe. However, just 4% of vehicles purchased last year were

The Biden Administration made a massive push toward the eventual domestication of the electric vehicle supply chain in the U.S. on May 2, announcing it will launch a $3.16 billion plan to boost U.S.-based EV “These made-in-America batteries are going to battery manufacturing. Electric vehicle manufacturing help reduce emissions and create opportunities has boosted globally, but the U.S. across the country.” — Gina McCarthy is working toward making more parts of the supply chain available domestically. As the Russian war bring more battery manufacturing electric, according to Canalys, a maragainst Ukraine launched earlier this efforts to the country, boosting man- ket research firm. year, material prices skyrocketed, ufacturing efficiency and providing “Positioning the United States causing many automakers to increase more jobs in the sector. front and center in meeting the prices. “These made-in-America bat- growing demand for advanced batAdditionally, supply chain bot- teries are going to help reduce emis- teries is how we boost our competitlenecks have been prevalent in the sions and create opportunities across tiveness and electrify our transportaautomotive industry, among others, the country,” White House National tion system,” said U.S. Secretary of as a whole since the COVID-19 pan- Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy Energy Jennifer Granholm. “Presdemic began. Parts and materials said May 2 in a call with report- ident Biden’s historic investment coming from overseas are taking ex- ers, CNBC said. in battery production and recycling The government has also com- will give our domestic supply chain tended periods to make it to the U.S., pushing the need for domestic parts mitted to EVs with specific goals the jolt it needs to become more manufacturing. for the sector and internal targets to secure and less reliant on other naFinally, the Biden adminis- replace a considerable number of tions—strengthening our clean enertration announced May 2 it would vehicles within its fleet with electric gy economy, creating good-paying push money toward this initiative. powertrains. Fifty percent of all vehi- jobs and decarbonizing the transporAudi Part Professionals are experts on collision parts, replacement components and mechanical items. The funding will support grants to cle sales should be electric by 2030, tation sector.”

I-CAR Now IACET Accredited I-CAR announced April 4 it has been awarded accreditation by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET.) I-CAR is now the first organization within the collision repair inter-industry to achieve this rigorous accreditation following a proven, universal model for developing effective and valuable continuing education and training programs across nine IACET-recognized educational programming excellence categories. As an IACET accredited provider, I-CAR offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard. IACET accreditation demonstrates the I-CAR team’s ongoing dedication to continuous improvement and supports the organization’s goal to serve the inter-industry through collaborative solutions grounded in quality, excellence and transparency. Source: I-CAR

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Morrie’s Brooklyn Park Subaru Brooklyn Park (800) 343-6999 (763) 765-1462 (763) 765-1487 Fax Mon-Fri 7-6; Sat 8-4 bpsubaruparts@morries.com

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Ganley Westside Subaru North Olmsted Toll Free (888) 850-0633 Direct (440) 788-7060 (440) 788-7085 Fax Mon-Fri 8-7 Tue-Fri 8-6 Sat 8-5 jtjoyce@ganleywestside.com

autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 45


Farmers Insurance Wins NABC Award The National Auto Body Council (NABC) President’s Award is designed to honor the NABC member company that supports the vision of the NABC through donation of its time and resources. For 2021, the NABC President’s Award was presented to Farmers Insurance, selected by a vote of the NABC Board members. The Farmers Insurance nomination received overwhelming support from the NABC Board based on Farmers strong commitment to the NABC. Throughout 2021, Farmers Insurance assisted with the gifting of nearly 30 NABC Recycled Rides vehicles, and provided its staff with the time and resources to act as chairman of the NABC Fundraising committee and support NABC activities. In addition to presenting Farmers with the NABC Presidents Award, the NABC will make contributions to two organizations in the recipient’s honor— one selected by NABC and one by Farmers. Source: NABC

Volkswagen Bringing Back Scout Brand with Electric Truck, SUV by Maria Merano, Teslarati

On May 11, Volkswagen Group’s Supervisory Board confirmed the company’s plans to launch an all-electric pickup truck and rugged SUV for the U.S. market. VW plans to produce the electric pickup truck and rugged SUV under the Scout brand, which it obtained in 2021 when Traton Group—one of Volkswagen Group’s commercial vehicle subsidaries—purchased Navistar, formerly known as International Harvester. Volkswagen aims to start production on Scout’s EV products by 2026. The Scout brand will help VW break into the electric vehicle market in the U.S. “After Volkswagen’s successful turnaround in the U.S., we are now taking the opportunity to further strengthen our position in one of the most significant growth markets for EVs,” said Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG. “Electrification provides a historic opportunity to enter the highly-attractive pickup and R-SUV segment as a

up segment is key for further profitable growth in the U.S. And now we have a unique opportunity for market entry,” said Arno Antlitz, CFO of Volkswagen Group. “The size of the full-size segment gives us the opportunity to achieve higher unit sales with a small number of models. This offers additional return opportunities.” Volkswagen will face fierce competition in the EV pickup truck and SUV market in the U.S. from legacy automakers and EV startups alike. Ford seems serious about dominating the electric pickup truck market with the Ford F-150 Lightning and other upcoming products. Rivian will be another of VW’s contenders in the EV pickup truck and SUV market. Then there is Tesla, which will start Cybertruck production next year. Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes Volkswagen has made the most progress out of all its competitors in the EV market, acknowledging the work VW put into developing electric vehicles and entering the market during his recent interview with Financial Times.

Group, underscoring our ambition to become a relevant player in the U.S. market.” The European automaker aims to achieve 10% market share in North America by 2030, with a focus on battery electric vehicles (BEV).

Volkswagen announced on Twitter it is bringing back the Scout brand with an all-electric truck and SUV. Credit: VW/Twitter

VW also announced a $1.7 billion commitment to boost its battery-electric vehicle lineup, R&D and manufacturing in North America. The U.S. is central to its expansion plans. Volkswagen plans to build a dedicated battery cell production factory in the U.S. “Success in the SUV & pick-

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Consumer Skepticism Toward Autonomous Driving Features Justified In AAA’s latest survey of attitudes about automated vehicles, drivers overwhelmingly want automakers to improve the performance of existing driver support features rather than develop self-driving cars. This desire is backed by another round of AAA testing that reveals inconsistent performance remains a problem with available driving assistance systems, resulting in crashes with a car and a bicyclist. The failures occurred regardless of vehicle make and model. It is the third time AAA has studied these systems’ performance. AAA urges automakers to listen to consumers and improve what is currently available before focusing on future technology. “You can’t sell consumers on the future if they don’t trust the present,” said Greg Brannon, director of AAA’s automotive engineering. “And drivers tell us they expect their current driving assistance technology to perform safely all the time. But unfortunately, our testing demonstrates spotty performance is the norm rather than the exception.” Consumers surveyed told AAA

they are more interested in improved vehicle safety systems (77%) versus self-driving cars (18%). But new testing, the third round by AAA’s Automotive Engineering team in the last few years, found vehicles with an active driving assistance system—also known as Level 2 systems as defined by SAE—failed to consistently avoid crashes with another car or bicycle during 15 test runs. A foam car similar to a small hatchback and a bicyclist dummy was used for this testing. A head-on collision occurred during all 15 test runs for an oncoming vehicle within the travel lane. Only one test vehicle significantly reduced speed before a crash on each run. For a slow lead vehicle moving in the same direction in the lane ahead, no collisions occurred among 15 test runs. For a cyclist crossing the travel lane of the test vehicle, a collision occurred for five out of 15 test runs, or 33% of the time. For a cyclist traveling in the same direction in the lane ahead of the test vehicle, no collisions occurred among 15 test runs.

While the refinement of available active driving assistance systems improves, drivers must remain continuously engaged in the driving task. The research vehicles performed as expected during the closed-course testing for routine situations, such as approaching a slowing moving vehicle or bicyclist from behind. However, all test vehicles collided with either the simulated passenger car or the adult cyclist multiple times during “edge-case” testing, like a car approaching head-on or a bicyclist crossing directly in front of the test car. This reinforces recent AAA research calling for direct driver monitoring systems with camera-based technology to be integrated into active driving assistance systems. “While it may be encouraging that these driving systems successfully spotted slow-moving cars and bicyclists in the same lane, the failure to spot a crossing bike rider or an oncoming vehicle is alarming,” said Brannon. “A head-on crash is the deadliest kind, and these systems should be optimized for the situations where they can help the most.” Active driving assistance systems

Collision Repair Industry Trailblazer Sheila Loftus Dies at 79 Sheila Loftus, an innovator who led collision repair publications and associations, passed away May 11. She was 79. An inimitable businesswoman, a beloved mother, grandmother and friend, and a voracious, enthusiastic lifelong learner, Loftus died of complications from a stroke at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, in New York City, with her family by her Sheila Loftus side. Born Oct. 18, 1942, Loftus graduated from Shaw High School and Baldwin Wallace College (now University), then began her career as a public school math and science teacher in Cleveland, OH. After a move with her family to Washington, D.C., she worked at a daycare center and did freelance photography before becoming a trailblazer in the collision repair industry as a successful, innovative and influential woman in a male-dominated field. For more than 30 years, Lof-

tus was the editor and publisher of the D.C.-based trade magazine Hammer and Dolly and the executive director of the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA). In addition, she founded the CRASH Network, a weekly publication of industry news, and co-founded the Women’s Industry Network (WIN). In 1996, she was inducted into the collision repair industry’s version of the Hall of Fame, the Hall of Eagles. Loftus’s impact was international in scope. Hammer and Dolly had subscribers around the world, and she reported on industry exhibitions, technologies and controversies in Australia, Japan, Taiwan and half a dozen other countries. But she also wrote about local events and personalities. “Body Man of the Month” and “Women at Work” features appeared in each month’s Hammer and Dolly.

While Loftus was intent on providing the men and women in the collision repair industry with information they could use to succeed— and to protect their health—she also liked to make her readers laugh. Hammer and Dolly’s “Whoopie Car” issue, in which people in the industry ranked the best cars for sex (and reminisced, in G-rated fashion, about their backseat exploits), was a big hit. So was the annual swimsuit issue. At once a parody and a tribute to Sports Illustrated’s famous nonsports issue, Hammer and Dolly’s version made a model of anyone in the industry brave enough to pose next to a car, truck, van or motorcycle in a swimsuit and a smile. After Loftus retired from the collision repair industry in 2008, she bought an apartment in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood below where her daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons lived. Known far and wide as “Grandma She-She,” she befriended (or so it seemed) half of Manhattan. Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer

are widely available and often called semi-autonomous because they combine vehicle acceleration with braking and steering. Since 2016, AAA has surveyed consumers about driving assistance systems and self-driving cars to track sentiment regarding emerging vehicle technology. Key survey findings demonstrate that while consumer interest in driving assistance vehicle technology remains steady, there is more interest in familiar features that consumers perceive to be designed for their safety, such as automatic emergency braking. Meanwhile, consumer distrust of fully self-driving vehicles remains high. AAA found 85% are fearful or unsure of self-driving technology, a level that has remained steady for the past several years. When transporting their children or loved ones, 85% also said they would not be comfortable with using a self-driving vehicle. A troubling belief in commercially available self-driving cars was also revealed in the data, with 12% incorrectly thinking they could buy such a vehicle while 53% were unsure if they could. Source: AAA

1Collision, Auto Techcelerators Partner 1Collision and Auto Techcelerators, LLC have announced a partnership where Auto Techcelerators will provide consulting, software, mobile apps and training to help 1Collision affiliate locations open and operate ADAS service and calibration businesses. 1Collision affiliates will now have access to advice, training, software, mobile apps and other solutions that will help them launch and operate a profitable ADAS services and calibration business in their local markets. The agreement provides support for site identification and preparation, equipment selection, software and mobile apps that identify ADAS systems, components and required calibrations to managing their calibration businesses and documenting, invoicing and validating all aspects of the calibration process. Source: 1Collision

autobodynews.com / JUNE 2022 AUTOBODY NEWS 47


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