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AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 10 / Issue 1 / April 2019

Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires 18 Carubba Collision Locations, Enters NY State

9 Indicted for Selling Drugs Out of Auto Body Shops in Bronx, NY

Gerber Collision & Glass recently announced it is entering its 27th state with the acquisition of a multi-store operation consisting of 18 collision repair centers located in New York.

by Staff, Bronx Voice

These repair centers are located throughout New York, including the market areas around the cities of Albany, Buffalo and Syracuse. The centers, located in Buffalo (three stores), Amsterdam, Ballston, East Syracuse,

Hamburg, Horseheads, Jamestown, Olean, Oneonta, Scotia, Sennett, Syracuse, Tonawanda, Watertown, Wheatfield and Yorkville, operated as Carubba Collision, which originated in 1955. “We are very excited about this important acquisition, which expands our footprint and allows us to introduce our brand and leading service model to new markets and better assist our insurance clients,” said Tim O’Day, president and COO of Gerber Collision & Glass. “We look forward to maintaining the high level of service provided at these locations.”

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

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

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

Nine members of a drug gang have been indicted by the feds for selling heroin out of Bronx, NY, auto body shops. The following have been charged with participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin, fentanyl and cocaine: Adalberto Velazquez, a/k/a “Joe”; Raymond Resto, a/k/a “Tone”; Sal Castro, a/k/a “Floss”; Joel Lopez, a/k/a “Rompiendoe,” a/k/a “Paul,” a/k/a “Po”; Willis Lleras, a/k/a “Willy”; Reinaldo Roman, a/k/a “Papo”; Jaime Garcia, a/k/a “Jimmy”; Antonio Burgos, a/k/a “Anthony”; and Marilyn Adino. According to the allegations in the indictment and statements made in court:

The defendants were members of a drug trafficking organization (the “DTO”) that packaged and sold narcotics out of multiple auto body shops and garages in the Bronx. From 2015 to February 2019, the DTO is estimated to have distributed hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and heroin. Much of the heroin that the DTO distributed was mixed with fentanyl. U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “As alleged, these defendants were a network that outwardly offered to fix cars but was really an organization that would supply a fix of heroin or cocaine. Thanks to the work of the DEA and its Strike Force partners, we have delivered a body blow to these allegedly drugpeddling body shops.” See 9 Indicted, Page 12

Court Junks Body Shops’ Antitrust Claims Against State Farm, Other Carriers by Greg Land, PropertyCasualty360.com

The ruling favored Illinois residents Jeffrey A. Corbin, Margaret A. Corbin and Anna Tryfonas in their class action complaint against Allstate. They brought the suit in 2016 to downstate Madison County Circuit Court, which is known as a See Class Action, Page 22

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

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

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CONTENTS 9 Indicted for Selling Drugs Out of Auto Body Shops in Bronx, NY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 ABAC Responds to NH House Bill 664, House Bill 432 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 ASA Supports Connecticut OEM Repair Procedure Legislation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Sisk - ASA Washington D.C. Representative

‘Why a DTC is Not Always Displayed’ . . . . . 56 Yoswick - Survey Finds Trends in How Shops Are Charging – And Being Paid – for Shop Supplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Auto Body Repair & Painting Are Among Business Uses Eyed in Freehold, NJ . . . . . . 23 Black Walnut Body Works Marks 36 Years in Bellefonte, PA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 CARSTAR Pete’s Hosts Networking Event in South Windsor, CT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

NATIONAL ‘ToyMakerz’ Star David Ankin Introduces Kids to Custom Vehicle-Building Process. . . 30 After the Donation: Caliber Collision, Allstate Step Up to Help Army Veteran . . . . . . . . . . . 55

CCC Accused of Low-ball Appraisals by

Allstate Sues Auto Glass America & Its Owner . . 4

Source One Financial Corp, AASP/MA

ASA Launches New Video Series . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Responds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

asTech, AutoNation To Deliver Repair Service . . 12

Fire Damages Saratoga County, NY, Body Shop . 12

Axalta Develops New PETRONAS Green Color . . 29

Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires 18 Carubba Collision Locations, Enters NY State . . . . . . . 1 LIABRA, ABCG Feb. Meeting Features Presentation by Body Shop Rescue . . . . . . . 14 MD Body Shop Employee Sentenced to Prison for Theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Nashua, NH, Collision Repair Program Aims to Fill Labor Gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 North Philly Body Shop Engulfed by Fire Racked Up Safety Violations Prior to Blaze . . 28 NY Collision Repair Specialist Credits Ulster BOCES for Polished Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Pittsburgh, PA, Sets Guidelines for Self-Driving Vehicle Testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 RI DOT Begins Testing Autonomous Vehicle Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Ulster BOCES Auto Collision Students Learn From Industry Experts in NY . . . . . . . 20

Phillips - How to Implement an Effective Scheduling Process to Achieve Revenue & Cycle Time Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

be obtained in writing from the publisher.

Office Manager: Louise Tedesco

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Matrix Electronic Measuring. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 68

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5, 6

McGovern Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . . . . . 22

Bical Auto Mall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Mercedes-Benz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40-41

Blowtherm USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Mercedes-Benz of Atlantic City. . . . . . . . . . . 51

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 58-59

Mercedes-Benz of Fort Washington . . . . . . . 51

Cadillac of Mahwah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Mercedes-Benz of Paramus . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

CCC Information Services, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Mercedes-Benz of West Chester . . . . . . . . . 51

Central Avenue Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . . 21

Mercedes-Benz of Wilmington . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Cherry Hill Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram . . . . . 28

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 71

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Collision Equipment Consulting, Inc.. . . . . . . 24

Mirka USA, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Colonial Automotive Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 76

Continental Auto Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . 44-45

Criswell Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . . . . . . . 34

New Holland Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . 26

Dent Fix Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealer . . . . . 77

Dent Magic Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Northstar Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Dominion Sure Seal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Nucar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Eckler’s Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 66

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

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

Empire Auto Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Prima Welds, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Equalizer Industries, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

RBL Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

SATA Dan-Am Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Fred Beans Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

Schultz Ford. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Security Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram . . . . . . . . 7

GYS Welding USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Spanesi Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

HD Repair Forum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . 72

Takata Airbags . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 36-37

Tasca Automotive Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

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

Hyundai Motor America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 74

U.S. Rep. Upton Files Bill to Block Import

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 70

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

Car Tariffs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

Infiniti of Norwood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

VIP Honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

UAF Accepting Scholarship Applications . . . . . 18

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 69

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . 75

Volvo Imposes Speed Limits on Cars to

Kundert Volvo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Westbury Jeep-Chrysler-Dodge-Ram-SRT . . 15

Launch Tech USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

YesterWreck. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Lexus Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . 56

Yonkers Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

to Celebrate 25th Anniversary . . . . . . . . . . . 64 CIF Reports Success at 9th Annual Fundraiser . 17 Class Action Against Allstate Can Continue; "Company, Not State, Sets Rates" Appeals Court Says . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Court Junks Body Shops’ Antitrust Claims Against State Farm, Other Carriers . . . . . . . . 1 CRI Renews Commitment to CIECA Standards . 61 CSN Collision Centres Conference Focuses on How To Achieve Excellence. . . . . . . . . . . 70 Customer Research, Inc. Renews Commitment to CIECA Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Elite Body Shop Solutions’ Next Webinar . . . . . 16 Elon Musk Promises ‘Fully Autonomous’ Teslas This Year. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Hacked Self-Driving Cars Would Cause Chaos,

Polyvance Releases Two New Hood

Cycle Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

any form the material published in Autobody News must

Bill Doyle, Norman Morano (800) 699-8251

AutobodyLaw.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

CIECA Announces Industry-Wide Logo Contest

Repairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Can Improve a Shop’s ROI & Decrease

Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Sean Hartman,

Malouf Chevrolet-Cadillac . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Next Generation in Measuring Systems . . . . . . 34

Phillips - How Implementing a Lean Process

tion for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . 65

CARSTAR on Entrepreneur’s Top Franchises List . 76

Necessary to Ensure Documented Proper

The Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publica-

Stacey Phillips, Victoria Antonelli, Gary Ledoux

Lynnes Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

NABC Names 2 New Board Members . . . . . . . 50

Ledoux - Vehicle Safety Equipment Through

Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and

Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk, David Luehr,

Atlantic Hyundai. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Anderson - Moving Beyond Paper QC Process

Chases Fame as Stand-up Comic . . . . . . . . 73

Maryland, Northern Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode Island,

Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney,

Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists, LLC. . . . . . . . 29

How 4 Recalls May Impact Your Business . . . . 76

Attanasio - Mike’s Auto Body Estimator

Serving New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware,

General Manager: Barbara Davies

Long Automotive Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

COLUMNISTS

Shine Online . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst

Acura of Westchester . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

Study Suggests. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

Attanasio - Broadly Helps Body Shops

www.autobodynews.com

AUTOBODY

Bob Redding Delivers Legislative Update. . . 68 Sisk - ASA Webinar Features ‘G’ Jerry Truglia’s

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

REGIONAL

Repair Kits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Regional Association Event Announcements: April 2019. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Subaru Recalls 783,000 Vehicles for

Reduce Fatalities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

autobodynews.com / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Allstate Sues Auto Glass America & Its Owner by Staff, glassBYTEs.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Race Towards Electric by Chana Perton, CBT Automotive Network

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

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

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

APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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

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

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Black Walnut Body Works Marks 36 Years in Bellefonte, PA by Staff, The Express

This year marks the 36th for one auto body business that strives to always put its customers’ safety first and quality a strong second. After graduating from Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology and working at his father’s shop doing mechanical and body work, Eric Dash opened his own business in 1983 on Axemann Road. Today, that business, Black Walnut Body Works, Ltd., has 16 employees and two locations in operation: 1620 Zion Rd., its main location, and Water Street, Bellefonte, its secondary location for restorations and overflow collision and refinish work. “My father taught me [that] any job [worth] doing was worth doing right and that everyone should be treated fairly, honestly and with respect,” Dash said. “Those are the founding principles of my business and will remain my mission.” In addition to collision repair, general auto body repair and auto de-

6

tailing services, Black Walnut offers onsite rental cars for customer convenience and continued education for all its technicians. State-of-theart equipment is prevalent to better serve its customers’ vehicle needs. Beyond the services it offers, the business always strives to put the community first.

brated Black Walnut Body Works Day, offering information on its services and giving out free goodies. “We had a lot of fun sharing our business with fair-goers,” said treasurer/VP Jill Howard. In addition, the business supports local school district sports programs and extracurricular activities,

“My father taught me [that] any job [worth] doing was worth doing right and that everyone should be treated fairly, honestly and with respect. Those are the founding principles of my business and will remain my mission.” — Eric Dash Over the years, Black Walnut has contributed and sponsored a multitude of community events and organizations, including the annual Bellefonte Cruise, which benefits various Bellefonte organizations, and the Annual Connoisseur’s Dinner, which supports WPSU programming. Last year, it sponsored the Grange Fair in Centre Hall and cele-

APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

local fire and rescue companies, and many other local events and activities in the Centre County region. Black Walnut is also a member of the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County and the Bellefonte Intervalley Area Chamber of Commerce. Last year, in celebration of the business’s 35th anniversary, it started

a new tradition of giving back to the community with a benevolence program. For that program, Black Walnut was able to repair a vehicle that it donated to a local community member in need. The shop plans on continuing this tradition for years to come, as its team members love being able to give back. Another way the business gives back to its customers is through its Hit a Deer? Win a Deere program, which is in its fourth year. For the program, any customer who has had an accident involving a deer and has had their car repaired at Black Walnut is entered into a raffle to win a new John Deere riding mower. The drawing is open each year from October through April, and the winner is chosen on April 15. “We are ambitious and growing to better serve our community,” Dash said. “We are continually working on keeping up with new technologies this industry requires. We are becoming certified with several automobile manufacturers, and we’ve rolled out See Black Walnut, Page 50


autobodynews.com / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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CCC Accused of Low-ball Appraisals by Source One Financial Corp, AASP/MA Responds by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Feb. 22, WBUR, a Boston news station, reported that a complaint had been filed against CCC Information Services by Source One Financial Corporation.

The complaint alleged that CCC frequently understates car values through sloppiness or fraud. Source One CFO Michael Parsons told WBUR, “On a regular basis, we see [CCC] making claims regarding the sales price of motor vehicles that aren’t substantiated. In fact, Source One has sent out private detectives to make sure that the prices they give are fair. And what we’re finding is, on a regular basis, those prices are not the right price, either because they are discounting the price available [or] taking unreasonable condition adjustments against the consumer’s car.” The Massachusetts Department of Insurance (DOI) has agreed to investigate Source One’s allegations, though the office refrained from announcing the decision publicly and is unable to discuss open complaints. However, according to WBUR, Thomas Walsh, a supervisor in the DOI’s consumer services unit, wrote in a September email, “Our department accepts complaints from consumers only; we do not normally accept business to business complaints. Nevertheless, I made the decision to accept your complaint on the basis that if proven true, the allegations made in your complaint would affect many consumers.” Encouraged by the DOI’s inten-

tion to investigate the claims that CCC shorted Massachusetts drivers out of thousands of dollars in totaled and stolen vehicle claims, AASP/MA issued a statement on the subject. In the statement, AASP/MA Executive Director Lucky Papageorg expressed confidence that this matter will bring greater attention to the discrepancies existing between shop and insurer versions of estimating platforms.

Papageorg stated, “It is about time that a spotlight of this nature is shone on the Division of Insurance and on what is an obviously flawed system that only serves to condone the systematic defrauding of the consumers by insurance companies. The fox is truly watching the henhouse. All one has to do is call the DOI and see what it means to be stonewalled on any issue. This situation reinforces my belief that the service providers are there to sell to insurance companies. I feel they create packages that are advantageous to insurers. They are their biggest customers, but at the same time, the motoring public is at a disadvantage.” AASP/MA collision director Rob DelGallo agreed. “It’s all sided for the insurance company; it’s as simple as that,” he said. “I’ve seen them actually put six hours to prep the car for auction de-

ducted from the valuation in total loss jobs. We could never get six hours to clean a car.” Matt Ciaschini, treasurer of AASP/MA, added, “I’m going to use the WBUR article as part of the total loss package we give our customers. When a customer’s vehicle is totaled, we help them with finding the true value of their vehicle while making sure they know to do their due diligence to get paid out properly. Ninety-five percent of the time when we’re dealing with customer totals, they’re getting badly low-balled. This is not just a CCC issue; this is an industry issue.” Although CCC has not yet responded to AASP/MA’s statement, it did issue its own statement in response to the WBUR article and Source One’s allegations: “We are aware of the article and believe the allegations against CCC’s valuation product and serv-

ice are without merit. We continue to stand behind the quality and supportability of our valuation product and service.” While Parsons admits that his intentions aren’t fully altruistic because his company often has a financial interest in the outcomes of CCC’s appraisals, the matter has impacted him since his son received what he considered a low-ball payment on a total loss claim last year due to a CCC appraisal. Parsons noted, “My company fights for the benefit of consumers to get the most money—hence, we get fully paid as well, so I’m not suggesting it’s altruistic[; however,] it is personal, at this particular moment in time. But it’s always been personal. I run an auto finance company and on a daily basis, I watch people’s lives get affected.” AASP/MA encourages its association members to read the complete WBUR article. For more information on AASP/MA, visit aaspma.org.

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RI DOT Begins Testing Autonomous Vehicle Technology by Staff, Roads & Bridges

Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti, Jr., along with state and local officials, recently hosted a demonstration of autonomous vehicle technology at the Quonset Business Park in North Kingstown. The vehicles being tested on lowvolume roads in the Park are the initial phase of a pilot project scheduled to launch in Providence this spring. The debut of the autonomous vehicles is the latest step in a multiagency effort called the Rhode Island Transportation Innovation Partnership (TRIP), which RIDOT launched in 2017. TRIP also includes a research component, with the goal of studying autonomous mobility solutions, ridership, workforce impacts, environmental impacts and technology adoption. The research being conducted in this pilot project will help RIDOT clarify the opportunities and challenges that come with integrating this AV technology onto state roads. The research will help improve transit and provide information for communities, the workforce and policymakers. “This is a very exciting day as

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we kick off testing of autonomous vehicles, putting Rhode Island on the map as a leader in this new high-tech field in transportation,” Governor Gina Raimondo said. “And we’ll do it in a careful and safe manner partner-

project to make our transportation system better and provide more mobility choices for our customer, the Rhode Island taxpayer.” “Quonset is pleased to host this innovative transportation pilot as a

ing with institutions of higher education to carefully study and evaluate the service and its integration on Rhode Island roads.” “Thanks to the governor’s RhodeWorks program, we’ve made great strides in rebuilding our transportation system,” Alviti said. “At the same time, we’re working on projects like the autonomous vehicle pilot

test site,” said Steven King, managing director of the Quonset Development Corporation. “As home to many Rhode Island companies at the forefront of engineering and design, Quonset is excited to assist in the fielding of this cutting-edge technology to Rhode Island.” Called the Little Roady Shuttle, each vehicle is fully electric and capa-

APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

ble of carrying five passengers as well as an attendant who is trained on how to operate the vehicle manually if needed. Up to six vehicles will be on the road at the same time, operating on low-speed roads along a 5-mile route along the Woonasquatucket River corridor with 12 stops from Olneyville to Providence Station. The Little Roady shuttles are provided by May Mobility, Inc., which entered into a public-private partnership with RIDOT last fall following a competitive request-for-proposals (RFP) process. The testing period in Quonset will be followed by similar testing in Providence prior to the start of service. This includes testing of the vehicles and all their sensors and a rigorous acceptance testing protocol in which the vehicles must pass several safety tests, including adhering to lanes, avoiding obstacles and safe operations in both daytime and nighttime conditions, as well as in different types of adverse weather. Between the two locations, the fleet will undergo 500 miles of testing. We thank Roads & Bridges for reprint permission.


ABAC Responds to NH House Bill 664, House Bill 432 by Chasidy Rae Sisk

The New Hampshire House of Representatives’ Committee on Commerce and Consumer Affairs recently held a hearing on House Bill 664, which is designed to address OEM repair procedures. While ASA has indicated support for the bill, other parties are concerned about it. The Auto Body Association of Connecticut (ABAC) released a position statement detailing its concerns and proposing alternative language in certain places. ABAC President Bob Amendola said, “We applaud anyone who is trying to improve the industry through legislation, and we appreciate that this bill was set forth with good intentions. However, we believe it is important to remember that there is no contract between independent repair shops and insurers. “Legislating direct payment to the repair shop misses the role of insurance, which is to indemnify their customer, the insured. We fear that this kind of direct obligation has the potential to give insurers greater involvement in the repair process. This is something we’ve always fought

against. We don’t need insurers telling us how to fix cars. So, while we certainly stand behind the notion that following OEM repair procedures wherever applicable should be the standard, we believe a few adjustments to the framework of this bill are necessary.”

The position statement elaborates, “Insurance companies are legally obligated to indemnify their insureds or the victims of their insureds. Creating language that would make an insurer directly obligated to pay an auto body repairer misunderstands the dynamics of the relationship and each party’s respective obligations. This is problematic because it suggests that

insurers should have a greater degree of control in the repair process, something we have fought for many years.” ABAC proposed the following verbiage: “An auto body repairer shall, whenever feasible, follow original equipment manufacturer-recommended collision repair procedures, recommendations, or service bulletins when repairing a motor vehicle.” The position statement goes on to explain that insurers are legally obligated to reimburse shops for identified services as part of the duty owed to their insured or the insured’s victim. ABAC clarifies, “It makes no sense to legislate a duty to make direct payment from an insurer to an auto repair facility, which is the primary basis for our objection.” ABAC has also identified concerns with NH House Bill 432, which “gratuitously draws a distinction between ‘mechanical’ and ‘auto body’ repair work and the reimbursement for the same. This distinction is misleading and would only serve to further distort the cost of auto body repairs. Why would NH seek to legislate that mechanical repairs be worthy of being paid

that amount which is ‘normally and reasonably charged… to retail consumers who are not using insurance coverage,’ but that same standard would not apply to auto body repair? That’s like saying, ‘We support efforts by insurers to illegally conspire to suppress fair market rates for auto body repair, but not for mechanical repairs.’” Additionally, ABAC objects to the final section of the bill, which references paint and material reimbursements, for the same reasons. The group explains, “We support efforts by repairers to be paid on a [fairer] basis, but legislating a direct reimbursement from an insurer to a repairer contradicts the dynamics of the relationship and puts insurers in a greater position to influence how vehicles are repaired—something that is harmful to consumer safety and to quality repairs.” For more information on the ABAC, visit abaconn.com.

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Fire Damages Saratoga County, NY, Body Shop by Alyssa Plock, WNYT, NewsChannel 13

Multiple fire crews responded to a fully involved fire at Neet’s Auto Body in Clifton Park, NY, late the night of March 10. Route 9 was closed from the start of Wood Road to the end of Wood Road early the morning of March 11. The road reopened just after 5 a.m.

Credit: Sidewinder Photography

Jonesville Fire Chief Patrick Champagne told NewsChannel 13 the owner of the shop was using a tow truck to try to save some of the vehicles on site. He also said the fire departments had trouble getting access to water initially. The fire was under control by 5:30 a.m., but the building sustained severe damage. No one was hurt. The cause is under investigation. We thank WNYT, NewsChannel 13 for reprint permission.

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Continued from Cover

asTech, AutoNation To Deliver Repair Service

9 Indicted

Repairify, Inc., the makers of the patented asTech® diagnostic device, and AutoNation, Inc. announce a partnership. The collaboration provides AutoNation with the technology required to perform pre- and post-diagnostic and electronic vehicle service for their 85 collision centers. asTech’s diagnostic & calibration solutions and technical support team of technicians enables real-time collaboration with collision repair technicians to efficiently diagnose and perform repairs. The partnership with AutoNation will also provide asTech® with technical insights from thousands of AutoNation technicians working in automotive repair centers who are the first to interact with the latest in-vehicle technologies. “Pre and Post diagnostic scanning for collision repairs is fast becoming the new standard for the repair process,” said Scott Arnold of AutoNation.

Velazquez, 50; Resto, 43; Castro, 39; Lleras, 63; Roman, 55; Garcia, 53; Burgos, 46; and Adino, 49—each of the Bronx, NY—and Lopez, 39, of New York, NY, are each charged with one count of conspiring to distribute cocaine, heroin and fentanyl, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA. The arrest was the result of an investigation by the New York Strike Force, a crime-fighting unit comprising federal, state and local law enforcement agencies supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).

APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

DEA Special Agent in Charge Raymond Donovan said, “These arrests will have a significant impact on the heroin/fentanyl supply in the Bronx. “DEA’s goal is to keep the public safe from the dangers of drug abuse. One way of doing that is to target local distribution organizations responsible for attracting new users, enabling addiction and contributing to overdoses in our city. “I applaud the Strike Force and U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, for their diligent work throughout this investigation.” The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. We thank Bronx Voice for reprint permission.

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Northeast Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

LIABRA, ABCG Feb. Meeting Features Presentation by Body Shop Rescue On Feb. 19, the Long Island Auto Body Repairmen’s Association (LIABRA) and the Auto Body Craftsmen’s Guild (ABCG) held their February General Meeting at Barry’s Auto Body in Staten Island, NY, hosted by Barry Crupi, owner of Barry’s Auto Body.

Barry Crupi, owner of Barry’s Autobody, hosted LIABRA and ABCG’s February meeting

According to ABCG Executive Director Ed Kizenberger Jr., “The meeting was open to all members, their spouses and employees as well as non-members and industry participants. The meeting was very wellattended with standing room only.”

pitality. He reminded members that their independent adjuster’s license renewal was due in December and must be handled as soon as possible. Kizenberger also reported that the New York State Legislature passed a new law on sexual harassment, which requires each shop to certify that all employees have received sexual harassment training. Kizenberger distributed training workbooks on the topic and reviewed the training process. Next, Bill Vallely and Frank Sebastiano of Body Shop Rescue provided a two-hour seminar on improving estimating skills, including how a proper appraisal should be prepared. Vallely emphasized that the estimate should tell the story of how the vehicle will be prepared.

Frank Sebastiano of Body Shop Rescue taught attendees about proper appraisal during LIABRA and ABCG’s February meeting

ABCG Executive Director Ed Kizenberger Jr. greeted attendees and discussed association business before introducing the evening’s guest speakers

The meeting commenced at 7 p.m. with Kizenberger introducing Crupi and thanking him for his hos-

Sebastiano added, “I hate the word estimate; an estimate is just a guesstimate! You should be writing an itemized appraisal. The end goal of the appraisal should be a blueprint of every operation and part necessary to make the repair.” Reminding attendees that they are responsible for the vehicle’s repair, Vallely stressed the importance

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of using OEM procedures to avoid issues. He stated, “You must plan your work correctly and use standard operating procedures (SOP) so you don’t miss any procedures.”

LIABRA and ABCG's February meeting was well-attended

“Before looking at the damage, look at the whole car and note any old damage or non-quality repairs, as well as damage transferred to other areas of the car from the impact,” Se-

bastiano noted. “You should prepare an itemized estimate of each part that needs to be repaired and replaced within your appraisal. Don’t forget trial fit for discovery and analysis of damage.” Body Shop Rescue’s presentation concluded with a review of refinish time, which is often a forgotten operation. Vallely encouraged attendees to check their estimating system for the correct percentage of time for these operations, including variants, multiple maskings, multiple car covers and feather prime and black. Vallely and Sebastiano then answered questions from attendees. Before and after the meeting, attendees enjoyed pizza and refreshments provided courtesy of Enterprise Auto Rental. For more information, visit liabra .org.


autobodynews.com / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Nashua, NH, Collision Repair Program Aims to Fill Labor Gaps by Lucille Jordan, Nashua Community College

While a strong economy means Granite Staters are finding work, it doesn’t mean applicant skills evenly match market demands. Many of the trades continue to find themselves with an aging workforce and a shortage of candidates with the right skills. Community colleges and industry leaders work together year round to address labor gaps as they arise. Individual college programs have advisory boards to keep that relationship strong and ensure students are well prepared to be future employees. Collision Repair Technology is an excellent example with its team of nearly 20 advisory board members from across the auto body industry. “We work closely with independent and dealership body shops in the area,” said Karl Wunderlich, program coordinator and professor in the collision repair program. “I had my own shop for 10 years. I know the people and suppliers in the industry, and I think that helps make relationships here. A lot of the shops we work with hire our

graduates, and some are run by our graduates.” Alumni often return to the program for employees, confident in the integrity of their education. Members of the New Hampshire Auto Dealers Association serve on the collision repair technology board, and Wunderlich, in turn, has served on their New Hampshire Automotive Education Foundation for the past 10 years. NHADA helps connect high schools with college programs and provides generous scholarship support for students preparing to enter the industry. “There is a great need for technicians and not enough people coming into it. We need to get more people into the industry—not just here in New Hampshire, but nationwide,” Wunderlich said. The collaboration of NHADA, advisory board members and NCC begins a pathway at the high school level that ends with a lucrative career in the industry. “There’s a lot of opportunity. It’s not just working on new cars— it is working on new cars, old cars, insurance work, working with paint companies. There’s a lot of oppor-

tunity,” he said. Launched in 1978, collision repair is one of the longest-running degree programs at NCC, and it continues to evolve as the market evolves. Just last year, collision launched its first certificate program, which can be completed in one year or rolled into the associate degree program for its second year. Wunderlich has been with NCC for 23 years and was a graduate of the collision repair program in 1982, along with fellow collision professor Randy Biggs. He also leads the entire industry and transportation department at NCC, overseeing automotive, Honda PACT and aviation technology as well as collision repair technology. Learn more about collision repair technology at nashuacc.edu or visit the next Open House on campus March 28 from 5–7 p.m. Lucille Jordan is president of Nashua Community College, located at 505 Amherst St., Nashua, NH.

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Elite Body Shop Solutions’ Next Webinar Dave Luehr’s Elite Body Shop Solutions recently announced the next installment of the free Elite Webinar Series. “Leveraging the Certified Repair Provider Model” will feature Scott Biggs, Assured Performance Network CEO and chairman of the board, on Thursday, March 28 at 1 p.m. central. To register, visit: https://events.genndi.com/channel/EliteWebinarMar2019. Those unable to attend the live event can watch the recorded webinar by joining the Elite Body Shop Academy for free at http:// www.elitebodyshopsolutions.com /academy. “The content Scott will share during this webinar is literally some of the most relevant information to the future of collision repair,” said Luehr, owner of Elite Body Shop Solutions. “This information is crucial for shop leaders to learn in order to remain successful in the collision repair industry. I am expecting a great turnout of North America’s best operators for this event.”

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Pittsburgh, PA, Sets Guidelines for Self-Driving Vehicle Testing by MJ Slaby, TheIncline.com

On March 4, Pittsburgh, PA, leaders released guidelines for testing selfdriving vehicles in the city. A fourpart executive order from Mayor Bill Peduto asks testers to meet the city’s expectations and goals. Karina Ricks, director of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, outlined the order’s requirements at a morning press conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The Department of Mobility and Infrastructure will be the city’s point of contact for testers. The department will create guidelines for testing operations. Mobility and Infrastructure will create a series of policies so the city is ready for future deployment of self-driving vehicles and will give an annual public report. The five testers in Pittsburgh will be partners with the city and respect the city’s guidelines. The city also released an initial outline of the department’s testing guidelines and submission process for testers, which will be asked to submit information about its com-

pany and fleet, as well as when and where the fleet is operating and in what weather conditions. The guidelines were designed in anticipation of there being more testers in Pittsburgh in the future, Ricks said.

Mayor Bill Peduto announces an executive order governing self-driving vehicle testing. Credit: MJ Slaby, The Incline

The order expects testers will respect the guidelines but doesn’t outline penalties if they fail to do so, Ricks said. She added that following the guidelines has a “mutual benefit” for the city and testers. Representatives from each selfdriving tester in Pittsburgh were present at the press conference: Aptiv, Argo AI, Aurora Innovation, Carnegie Mellon University and Uber. They expressed excitement for the executive order and working with the city.

“What we want to be able to do is work hand in hand with the autonomous vehicle industry to be a leading city once again,” Peduto said, adding that he wants to address issues early to ensure equity. The executive order also prioritizes automated driving systems that emphasize high vehicle occupancy, lower or no emissions and equitable transportation options. Peduto was an early advocate for self-driving vehicles; however, he’s had a somewhat contentious relationship with testers and has asked them to give back to the community in which they were testing. Currently, there are no laws that specifically address self-driving vehicles. PennDOT has interim oversight of testing and asks for a “notice of testing” from each company. While not required, PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards stressed it was a good idea for companies to cooperate in anticipation of possible legislation. All five companies testing in Pittsburgh have submitted notice to the state. We thank TheIncline.com for reprint permission.

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

autobodynews.com / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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ASA Supports Connecticut OEM Repair Procedure Legislation ASA supports a proposal in the Connecticut legislature aimed at addressing original equipment manufacturer (OEM) repair procedures for collision repairs.

However, ASA lobbyist Robert L. Redding Jr. has asked the Connecticut Joint Committee on Insurance & Real Estate to amend House Bill 7266 to “assure additional protection for consumers, repairers and small businesses.” The amendment would make the legislation similar to “language proposed earlier in the year,” Redding said. Redding made the suggestion in comments submitted to the committee on behalf of ASA. “House Bill 7266 seeks to address an issue of concern for our consumers and repairers,” Redding

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said in the comments. “The OEM repair procedures are the logical repair processes to be followed. To be clear, ASA does not support the use of OEM parts only. ASA’s interest is in requiring the industry to adhere to a set of repair procedures that assure the best opportunity for vehicle safety on our highways. “Our proposed amendment assures that no insurer shall condition payment of a claim to the insured or to any person conducting a collision repair based upon the utilization of any repair procedure or specification that does not conform to the original manufacturer’s repair procedures. “In addition, it is critical that scans are part of the repair processes. This is more important than ever before with new vehicle technologies. Many of our members risk not being paid by conducting pre- and post-scans of the vehicle to assure that the vehicle is safe when it leaves the collision repair shop. With this bill, the legislature ensures that the State of Connecticut has done as much as possible to protect consumers and small busi-

APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

nesspersons in the repair chain following an accident.” According to HB 7266’s Statement of Purpose: “… no, (1) Motor vehicle insurance policy delivered, issued for delivery, renewed, amended or endorsed in this state shall require a motor vehicle repair shop to deviate from the collision repair guidelines, procedures, recommendations and service bulletins issued by vehicle and original equipment manufacturers; and “(2) motor vehicle repair shop shall deviate from such guidelines, procedures, recommendations and bulletins without customer authorization.”

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UAF Accepting Scholarship Applications The University of the Aftermarket Foundation is accepting applications for automotive scholarships at its Automotive Aftermarket Scholarship Central website. The application deadline is March 31, 2019. Interested candidates can view a wide array of scholarship opportunities, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, available from the University of the Aftermarket Foundation and more than 30 industry organizations. Hundreds of scholarships are available for students enrolled in four-year and two-year colleges as well as ASE/NATEFcertified automotive, collision and heavy duty post-secondary schools. By completing a single application online, students can be considered for multiple scholarships for the 2019–2020 school year. To receive information and reminders about the University of the Aftermarket Foundation Scholarship Program, interested parties can text their name and email address to 720-903-2206. For more information visit www.UofAFoundation.com and www.automotivescholarships.com


autobodynews.com / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Ulster BOCES Auto Collision Students Learn From Industry Experts in NY On Feb. 26, Ulster BOCES auto collision technology students learned about cutting-edge industry techniques and products used by today’s repair technicians. The owner of Kingston Auto Supply/NAPA Auto Parts and his team of industry experts visited the career & technical center to share best practices in grinding, sanding, body fillers and buffing. Business owner Todd Coutant and his team of representatives provided demonstrations featuring products that included surface cleaners, pads, rolls and sanding discs. According to Coutant, who graduated from the Ulster BOCES

Ulster BOCES auto collision technology students watch a sanding demonstration by Kingston Auto Supply/NAPA Auto representative Joe Chrys. Students pictured from left to right are: Alexis Luna, Wallkill Central School District; Fernando Cuellar, New Paltz Central School District; and James Jarman and Anthony Obermeyer, both from the Saugerties Central School District

Ulster BOCES auto collision technology instructor Dave Rosenberg (far right) provides guidance to student James Jarman (holding sander) from the Saugerties Central School District. Other students pictured from left to right are: Anthony Obermeyer, Saugerties Central School District (far left); Jonathan Elkins (center rear), Ellenville Central School District; and Andrew Hicinbothem, Onteora Central School District

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aviation program, revisiting the career & technical center and sharing his knowledge with the next generation of workers made for a memorable day. Coutant comes from a family of Ulster BOCES graduates, including his father, who graduated from what was then called the auto specialist program, and his sister Gina, who graduated from the child care program. “It all comes full circle,” he said, adding that his father was also the supervisor of the Town of Esopus

Ulster BOCES auto collision technology student Elizabeth Falcon, from the Saugerties Central School District, practices with a sander using a disc that Kingston Auto Supply/NAPA Auto Parts demonstrated during a guest visit Wednesday, February 26. Other students pictured from left to right are: Fernando Cuellar, New Paltz Central School District; Nazarius Vazquez, Wallkill Central School District; James Jarman, Saugerties Central School District (rear); Jonathan Elkins, Ellenville Central School District; and Andrew Hicinbothem, Onteora Central School District

Ulster BOCES auto collision technology student Fernando Cuellar, from the New Paltz Central School District, examines one of the sanding discs that Kingston Auto Supply/NAPA Auto Parts demonstrated during a guest visit Wednesday, February 26. Other students pictured from left to right are: Alexis Luna, Wallkill Central School District (far left); Nazarius Vazquez, Wallkill Central School District (rear); Anthony Obermeyer and Elizabeth Falcon, both from the Saugerties Central School District

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Ulster BOCES auto collision technology student Robert VanAnden, from the Rondout Valley Central School District, practices with a sander

Kingston Auto Supply/NAPA Auto Parts owner Todd Coutant demonstrates a sanding procedure during a guest visit Wednesday, February 26

Ulster BOCES auto collision technology student Justin Arastiqueti, from the Saugerties Central School District, practices with a sander using a disc that Kingston Auto Supply/NAPA Auto Parts demonstrated during a guest visit Wednesday, February 26. Other students pictured from left to right are: Kenneth Smith, from the Kingston City School District (far left), and Dakota Newton (far right), from the Onteora Central School District

and was a key player in the relocation of Ulster BOCES from the City of Kingston to its current site on Route 9W in Port Ewen, NY. Bringing career experts from the business and industry into the classroom to speak with students is a common theme in the education students receive from the various fields of study available at the Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center.


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Continued from Cover

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

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

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

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

APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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

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

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MD Body Shop Employee Sentenced to Prison for Theft An investigation by the Maryland State Police and the Queen A Millington woman will serve Anne’s County State’s Attorney’s eight years at the Maryland Depart- Office found Twigg stole more ment of Corrections for stealing than $45,000 in cash payments made by auto body shop customers from her employer. during her six months of Stephanie Anne employment from FebruTwigg, 32, pleaded guilty ary 2018 to August 2018. Jan. 15 in Queen Anne’s Twigg was responsible County Circuit Court to a for accounts receivable at theft scheme of more than the business. $25,000 to under $100,000. Twigg routinely told Judge Thomas G. Ross customers who were payhanded down the sentence ing deductibles or for and ordered Twigg to pay Contributed photo their own repairs that the restitution of $45,472 to Chuck’s Body and Fender Inc. of shop only took cash payments, Kingstown. The case was prosecuted then pocketed the money, said Rob by Assistant State’s Attorney Leigh Penny, chief of staff and investigator at the state’s attorney’s ofDarrell Dillon. “Ms. Twigg held a position of fice. The business owner got suspitrust within this business. She constantly abused that trust over the cious when a customer asked him course of her employment. This sort about his supposed “cash only” polof behavior has a negative impact icy, Penny said. He had the customer on small businesses that are part of go ahead and make the payment, the foundation of commerce in then checked the bank deposit slip at Queen Anne’s County. I am happy the end of the day and found the she received a punishment that will payment missing. hopefully deter her, and others, from this sort of conduct in the future,” We thank Bay Times and Record Observer for reprint permission. Dillon said. by Angela Price, Bay Times and Record Observer

Auto Body Repair & Painting Are Among Business Uses Eyed in Freehold, NJ by Matthew Sockol, CentralJersey.com

Municipal officials in New Jersey’s Freehold Borough are preparing to amend the borough’s redevelopment plan in a portion of the downtown district to permit motor vehicle repair garages, auto body repairs and painting, and tire sales.

On Feb. 19, the Borough Council introduced an ordinance amending the Freehold Center Core Redevelopment Plan. Officials said the purpose of the action is to encourage new development in the downtown. The targeted area is desig-

nated as the Freehold Center Core Redevelopment Zone. Projects in the zone must be compliant with the core redevelopment plan. A public hearing on the ordinance was scheduled for March 4. Under the current core redevelopment plan, motor vehicle repair garages, auto body repairs and painting, tire sales and the sale of automobiles are prohibited uses. The proposed ordinance, if adopted, will amend the core redevelopment plan to permit motor vehicle repair garages, auto body repairs and painting, and tire sales if certain conditions are met. The conditions refer to setbacks, building height, work spaces, vehicle storage and other conditions. We thank CentralJersey.com for reprint permission.

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Continued from Cover

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

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

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

“The body shops also argue that the conspiracy is shown by the presence of a common motive, namely desire to maximize profits,” he said. “However, under this logic, most businesses with similar pricing would be deemed in cahoots with each other because that is the goal of most corporations.” Neither was there support for claims that State Farm kept its rating decision a secret, he said. “Quite the opposite,” Anderson wrote, “the complaints reveal that State Farm must necessarily tell the rate to every repair shop in a given geographic area.” Similarly, he said, there is no indication that the insurers are making identical demands of the repair shops. “The body shops argue that the insurance companies have engaged in uniform tactics in that they require the Body Shops: to repair faulty parts rather than install replacement parts; to install used or recycled parts; and to offer discounts and concessions,” the opinion said. “All of these purported ‘highly uniform’ tactics are easily explained See Antitrust Claims, Page 29

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NY Collision Repair Specialist Credits Ulster BOCES for Polished Future Ulster BOCES means different things to different people. For James Schrowang, enrolling in the Port Ewen, NY, school’s auto collision technology program meant having a teacher who mentored him and provided him with the technical skills he needed to be successful in the industry.

In fact, Schrowang said he barely passed geometry in regular high school. But all that changed when he took math that was integrated into his auto collision curriculum. At Ulster BOCES, he started earning A’s. At the career & technical center, he also perfected his mechanical skills, which gave him an advantage Schrowang has been working on when he graduated and began attendvehicles since he was a youngster. ing Hudson Valley Community Col“My father and family all worked lege (HVCC). on cars. I like to tinker, and I can turn “There were a lot of kids who a wrench,” he said. hadn’t picked up a wrench before, and a lot of them dropped out in the first month,” he said. “They had to start from the beginning with grinding, painting and metal-straightening, and I had all that under my belt before my first year in college. It gave me a huge edge over other people.” Today, Schrowang is a collision repair specialist at James Schrowang, Ulster BOCES auto collision program Starr Collision & Body graduate and Starr Collision and Body Shop collision repair Shop in Saugerties, NY. He specialist credits his former instrucHe explained that he chose auto tor, Dave Rosenberg, and the time collision technology over automo- he spent at Ulster BOCES with tive technology because he already helping him land his rewarding job. had a working knowledge of en- It was Rosenberg, he said, who ingines. spired him to enroll in the college’s The 2014 Kingston High School automotive technical services-autograduate said pursuing a technical body repair program and to pursue education made sense for him. an associate degree in occupational “I was bad at math, so I went on studies. the Ulster BOCES visitation tour in “If I had never gone to Ulster 10th grade,” he said. “I felt that the BOCES, I might have never gone to career & technical center and the auto HVCC. It’s where it all started,” he collision technology program were said. “It’s all connected.” the right fit for me.” Schrowang showed initiative from He described feeling “edgy” about the very beginning, according to traditional learning techniques. Rosenberg. “I couldn’t sit still, and I didn’t “James was always positive see the point in reading about things and punctual with all of his assignI don’t care about,” he recalled. ments, but the biggest indicator for

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his success was his inquisitiveness about techniques that we hadn’t even gone over yet. He was really captivated by the subject matter,” he said. In addition to teaching the skills needed for analyzing, assessing and

fixing vehicles using modern and traditional techniques such as welding, shaping metal, auto body filler, and painting, Rosenberg stressed the importance of being able to work well with others and the importance of keeping the work area clean to avoid injuries. Dan Starr, owner of Starr Col-

lision and Body Shop, said he is very pleased with his partnership with Ulster BOCES. “James [Shrowang] came to work for us and has been an asset, thanks to the foundation he built in the auto collision technology program,” said Starr. Although Schrowang has worked on cars most of his life, he said that building on that foundation, finding his niche in the auto repair ccc industry and taking pride in his work have led him to a fulfilling and profitable career. “I have five or six vehicles, I am 23 years old, and I am about to buy my own house,” Schrowang said proudly. “It’s a good trade to make money.” Speaking about his preferences in collision repair, he said, “I like doing restoration work the most. I like the feeling when it’s all done and together and painted. It’s a very rewarding feeling when you have accomplished all of that.”


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North Philly Body Shop Engulfed by Fire Racked Up Safety Violations Prior to Blaze by Catalina Jaramillo, WHYY

A North Philadelphia, PA, auto body shop that exploded into flames on March 11 operated for years without proper permits or safety measures in place, according to city records. At least 14 fire and permit violations remained unresolved and open when the fire started near a pile of tires and rubbish in the early hours of the morning. It took firefighters three hours to control the blaze. The Fire Department isn’t reporting any injuries, but the blaze sent a cocktail of harmful, toxic pollutants into the air. Deputy Philadelphia Fire Chief James Renninger told news media that the flames were especially dangerous because of all of the chemicals contained in an auto body shop. “You can imagine: An auto body shop has oxy-acetylene torches, fuel, chemicals. If something were to explode with any of our personnel in there, it could be hazardous,” Renninger told KYW News Radio. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, said Kathy Matheson, a fire department spokeswoman.

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The shop, located on the corner of W. Sedgley and Allegheny avenues in Fairhill, lacked permits and had flouted at least 12 fire code regulations since May of 2016, according to the Department of Licenses and Inspections’ website. The building, which includes a store and an insurance office, has 13 sets of violations dating back to 2010.

This Fairhill, PA, auto body shop had racked up multiple safety and permit violations before a fire ripped through it on March 11

L&I records show that a large number of Philadelphia auto shops operate without proper licenses or permits. Some operate illegally within residential areas, creating problems for neighbors. In these areas, people tend to complain because the shops dump oil in the streets, spray paint in the open air and occupy sidewalks

APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

with cars and junked auto parts. Piles of tires, like the one that lit up March 11, are a persistent problem, records show. Karen Guss, an L&I spokeswoman, said the agency attempted to take the auto shop’s owner, Tobias Gonzalez, to court but could not track him down. It’s a common problem, she said. “They don’t give you the correct contact information, or they move, or they sell the business,” Guss said. “It’s very frustrating for the community, and we also get frustrated because it is what we’re here to do.” Russell Zerbo, an advocate with the Clean Air Council, said city inspectors respond to complaints by visiting sites and ticketing for violations, but most operators pay their fines and continue to operate, business as usual. Sometimes, it takes a disaster to stop a business or change its operating procedures. “[This fire] is not an uncommon occurrence,” Zerbo said. Six fires were caused by auto-related business in the city—three in North Philly and three in the Southwest in 2018, he said. “Any fire releases carbon monox-

ide and dioxide, but a fire burning hazardous waste… would release mercury, heavy metals like lead and cadmium, in addition to particulate matter 2.5 and sulfur dioxide,” Zerbo said. “It is worse than living next to the refinery or the nastiest coal plants around because there are no industrial processes; it’s just an open fire of hazardous waste on the grounds of the site.” Guss said the city can close a business if it believes there’s an imminent danger, but that wasn’t the case with the Fairhill property. The agency acts upon complaints, and according to Guss, there have been no complaints for almost three years. In September of 2018, the operator of a junkyard that caught fire in Kensington got a 95 percent reduction on its fire code violation fines. The March 11 fire broke out close to Amtrak train tracks, which SEPTA also uses for the Chestnut Hill West and Trenton regional rail lines. SEPTA said trains that passed through the area were on a speed restriction. We thank WHYY for reprint permission.


Continued from Page 24

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

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

3 Remaining Cases Pending Shurtleff said he was disappointed with the ruling but still had hope that three remaining cases that have been combined with amended complaints and are pending will bring some relief to the repair shop owners. “He did dismiss the amended complaints, but he put them on hold until the Eleventh Circuit ruled in this one,” Shurtleff said. “We’ve been dealing with this since 2014, and I know how harshly these clients of ours are being treated. It’s a daily struggle for them, but we’re not giving up.” Arguing for the insurers on appeal were Alston & Bird partner Michael Kenny for State Farm, Dentons partner Rick Fenton for Allstate and Daniel Goldfine of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie for GEICO. In response to queries, a State Farm spokesman said only that the insurer was pleased with the ruling. Reprinted with permission from the March 7, 2019 issue of PropertyCasualty360.com. ©2019, ALM Media Properties, LLC. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.

Axalta Develops New PETRONAS Green Color Axalta has developed a new luxurious, dynamic, stunning pearl PETRONAS green for MercedesAMG Petronas Motorsport. The new PETRONAS green color features prominently in a stunning glow line that runs the entire length of the MercedesAMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ race cars – from the front wing to the rear wing. The glow line has two different concentrations of the new PETRONAS green either side of a bright, white stripe giving an impressive and striking effect, on and off the track. As Official Team Supplier to Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Axalta has delivered the technically advanced paint, via its premium brand Spies Hecker, on the previous championshipwinning Silver Arrows as well as on this year’s car, the MercedesAMG F1 W10 EQ Power+.

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‘ToyMakerz’ Star David Ankin Introduces Kids to Custom Vehicle-Building Process by Stacey Phillips

David Ankin, a former stunt driver and racer, recently traveled to San Diego, CA, from his hometown of Reidsville, NC, to attend a special event aimed at showing kids that more is out there than their screens.

More than 30 kids came out to Speed Circuit, a new in-door go-kart facility in San Diego, to help promote the season three premiere of Ankin’s series on HISTORY®. During the event, Ankin shared his message “If you can dream it, you can build it” and demonstrated ways to keep kids’ screen time down and activity up. He also showed his support for the cancer charity Team Parker for Life by partnering with The Speed Circuit to donate 20 percent of the night’s proceeds to the charity. Team Parker for Life works to boost the morale of kids battling cancer, raise awareness of the disease and be a voice for the children in their fight. The new season of “ToyMakerz” premiered March 10 at 9 a.m. ET/PT on HISTORY® during the DRIVE block, an auto enthusiast programming block on A+E Networks, then again for an encore airing the following Saturday, March 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FYI®. During each episode, Ankin leads his team in crafting one-of-a-kind custom automotive builds, from hot rods and classics to muscle cars, trucks and motorcycles. “‘ToyMakerz’ gives car lovers across America a front-row seat to the incredible building process behind these powerful and unique machines,” said Ankin. “It’s going to be an exciting season of builds for sure … some of the fastest and most unique cars and motorcycles ever made, and then driven to the extreme!” Autobody News recently reached out to Ankin to find out more about the new season of “ToyMakerz” and 30

how he is spreading his message to kids.

Q: A:

queen Sarah Edwards. We couldn’t be more excited about the new season.

How did you get involved in the industry?

Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money. We spent a lot of time finding interesting cars to work on and figuring out how to make them drive. This industry was a natural fit. My father was a tinkerer and built hot rods and cars, and my grandfather did the same before him. I guess it was in my blood. My favorite car when I was young was probably a ‘69 Z28 Camaro, the DZ car. It was really prevalent, but at the same time it was a rare car. You see Z28 cars, but very seldom do you see a DZ 302 car. My dad happened to have one, as well as our next-door neighbor. It was what I always wanted when I grew up. Congratulations on season three of “ToyMakerz.” What can viewers expect to see on the show?

Q:

This year, we’re constantly pushing the envelope on the show. We have been creating several specialty vehicles that people are going to not only enjoy, but never forget. We have a real feel for the types of big engine toys that people like to see, and we’re ready

A:

Your readers can tune in to season three of “ToyMakerz” every Sunday at 9 a.m. ET/PT or on FYI Saturday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT starting March 10.

Q: A:

What was the inspiration for the show’s name?

I’m not prejudiced. I like motorcycles, cars and trucks— they are all toys to me. I’m just a big kid living in a dream world, and I don’t want to limit myself to anything. As the industry changes and we grow, the show is about real toymakers. I believe we’re all toymak-

Can you tell us about your team?

They are amazing—Boe Wood, Ashley Robertson, Billy Leavy, Charles Joyner and Jason Hensley. I’m very, very fortunate to have them. My business partner, David Young, has a keen interest in specialty vehicle manufacturing and is CFO of Tanom Motors, a reverse trike manufacturer in Virginia. I appreciate all of the help my behind-the-scenes team provides as well, which includes the film crew and editing team. I have a major team behind me that I wouldn’t be able to survive without. Can you tell us about your message, “If you can dream it, you can build it”?

Q: A:

I think that’s life. You should never think you can’t do it. See David Ankin, Page 35

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Associations Assembling with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

Regional Association Event Announcements: April 2019 See below for a list of regional automotive association events coming up in April: RDA To Host IMPACT Performance Conference From April 1-3, the Refinish Distributors Alliance (RDA) will host its next IMPACT Performance Conference at the OMNI Frisco Hotel in Frisco, TX. “The meeting’s theme will be related to football and sports because the venue is adjacent to the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters in The Star. On April 2, conference participants will have the opportunity to take a private tour of the Cowboys’ training facility,” shared Robert McKenzie, executive director of RDA. “Approximately 100 people from across the country are expected to attend. The audience will include members, guests and manufacturers within the collision refinish industry.” Following various RDA meetings throughout the morning of April 1, IMPACT will begin at 3 p.m. with several presentations, including “Get Switched On” with Chip Eichelberger, whose presentation will continue before lunch the following day. The first day will conclude with an evening reception before breaking for dinner. The second day will feature “The Huddle,” a speed-dating-style rotation among the tables and displays of RDA manufacturer partners in 15minute increments, providing an opportunity for attendees to learn about new products and services in a fun way. Drawings throughout the day will also provide multiple chances for attendees to win valuable prizes. Tuesday’s events will conclude with a dinner reception and entertainment by hypnotist Erick Kand. The final day of RDA’s 2019 IMPACT Performance Conference is reserved for RDA members exclusively. The day, which ends mid-afternoon, will feature a special workshop presented by Steve Zelechoski of Corporate Visions titled “Why You?” The workshop will complement the 32

one he taught during RDA’s 2018 Fall IMPACT Performance Conference. For more information, visit rdaimpact.com or contact McKenzie at 731-217-9081 or robertemckenzie@ me.com. ARA To Host Hill Day 2019 On April 3-4, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) will host its 2019 Hill Day and Legislative Summit in Washington D. C. This year’s event will be held in affiliation with the Washington Auto Show. For more information about the Washington Auto Show, visit washingtonautoshow.com. For more information on ARA, visit a-r-a.org. AAAS To Host AL Capitol Day The Automotive Aftermarket Association Southeast (AAAS) will host its annual Alabama Capitol Day on April 17 in Montgomery, AL. For more information on AAAS, visit aaas.us. NYCARA To Host Crash Course on Email Marketing On Wednesday, April 10, the New York City Auto Repair Association (NYCARA) will host a presentation titled “Crash Course: Email Marketing in Auto Repair” from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Holiday Inn JFK Airport in Rosedale, NY. Dahlia Benaroya of Constant Contact will teach attendees tips and tricks for email marketing in our increasingly digital world with insights specifically related to automotive repair businesses. Attendees will discover how to find new customers, understand the importance of collecting customer email addresses and learn how to convert this information into profit. The cost to attend is $40 for non-members, $35 for Silver members, and $25 for Gold members. For more information on how to register for this training seminar, visit nycara.org. MCRA Spring Conference To Feature Mike Anderson From April 12–13, the Montana Col-

APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

lision Repair Association (MCRA) will hold its Spring Conference at Best Western Premier Helena Great Northern Hotel in Helena, MT. The event will begin on Friday evening with a reception, and on Saturday morning the educational segment will commence at 7 a.m. with an MCRA Board Meeting. At 8:25 a.m., Paul Flores will introduce the main presenter, Mike Anderson of Collision Advice. From 8:35 a.m. until noon, Anderson will present a seminar titled “Learn to Research and Research to Learn.” During lunch, MCRA Past President Bruce Halcro will provide an update from the association’s legislative committee. At 1 p.m., Anderson will deliver “State of the Industry: What’s Happening Now and What’s Coming,” and the afternoon will conclude with his final presentation, “New Horizons: New Technology.” At 5:30 p.m.,

MCRA Treasurer Matthew McDonnell will announce the association’s fall meeting plans before Flores adjourns the spring conference. The cost to attend MCRA’s spring conference for members is $300 for a shop of up to four team members and is $400 for five or more team members. Associate members pay $250 for their team, and non-members can attend for $350 per person. For more information, visit mcramt.com. VAA To Host 2019 Convention & Trade Expo From April 12–14, the Virginia Automotive Association (VAA) will host its 2019 Convention and Trade Expo at the Hilton Norfolk The Main in Norfolk, VA. The event will kick off on Friday with the VAA Open Golf TourSee Event Announcements, Page 38


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CARSTAR Pete’s Hosts Networking Event in South Windsor, CT The South Windsor Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Business After Hours was hosted by CARSTAR Pete’s and featured several local officials who spoke on the state of poverty in the South Windsor and Windsor, CT, regions. The well-attended networking event was open to members of both the South Windsor and Windsor Chamber of Commerce to bring together businesses separated only by a five-minute drive over the Connecticut River. The event was also the culmination of a paper and personal goods collection effort by CARSTAR Pete’s and Geissler’s customers to benefit both towns’ food banks. Several local officials at the event were asked to comment on the state of poverty in the region. Andrea Cofrancesco, South Windsor Human Services director, and Ernest Perreault, Windsor Food and Fuel Bank president, explained the ongoing need to provide goods to families in their towns. “During the holiday season, food is generously donated, but throughout the year, there is a chal-

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lenge to provide paper and personal goods such as toilet paper and toiletries,” Cofrancesco said. “Diapers are also a high-demand item,” added Perreault, along with his description of how the Windsor Food Bank has grown over the years as the need for it has expanded. Located in an old school, Windsor’s Food Bank has been able

to take advantage of a walk-in refrigeration system and provides fresh produce and meats in addition to non-perishables. South Windsor Mayor Saud Anwar explained further. “Hunger is real, and it is regional. We must know that there are people in our neighborhoods who are making difficult choices relating to hunger.” South Windsor’s state representative, Tom Delnicki, continued, “When we strengthen the business community in our area, thereby pro-

APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

viding more and better-paying jobs, we can directly address poverty in the region. CARSTAR Pete’s is a role model on how a business can care and be involved in the community.” Windsor’s state representative, Jane Garibay, gave perspective on the types of jobs that are available and well-paying but lack the appropriate hiring pool. “There are many excellentpaying trade and manufacturing opportunities in our region, but there is a shortage of people educated and trained to fill them. The emphasis on a traditional college degree has made a demand for skilled tradespeople who many times can get an entry-level job at much higher wages than a new college graduate.” Pete Gutska, owner of CARSTAR Pete’s, concluded “We are happy to have hosted this event that offered an educational, community service, and enjoyable business networking in a social atmosphere. It was encouraging that the attendees were evenly split between Windsor and South Windsor and that new business relationships were sparked.”

Next Generation in Measuring Systems AccuVision-3D introduces their next generation 3D chassis measuring system, the 10-AV700. The new generation units incorporate Infrared technology. The stereo camera and hand held pointer are equipped with Infrared optical cameras and LEDs. This new technology enables users to use the system outdoors even under direct sunlight. A plus when space is limited on the shop floor. Since measurements do not need an even level surface for the vehicle, one can measure on any surface without any concerns. The unit calibrates itself automatically, is extremely quick and accurate. The wheel alignment diagnostics feature is included in the software. The Mitchell chassis database is used and when there is no data available, the user is capable of making data to measure. Accuvision-3D is manufactured in Canada by Arslan Automotive Canada Ltd. For more information visit: accuvision-3d.com


How are you inspiring and motivating kids to take a break from screen time?

was younger. I really enjoy being hands-on, and they’ve taken that opportunity out of many schools. Any time you can get kids hands-on things and show that it can make difference, I think that is a good thing. My 13-year-old son, Braydon, like others, grew up around computers, and I know screen time is very common. I think it’s important to try and reach our kids’ other senses as well: to get them to feel it, hear it and touch it. I think the more senses you can get them in tuned with, the more you can teach children, and then they don’t even think about screen time anymore. For example, Brayden often lends a hand in my shop. Getting kids excited about racing, such as the event we held at Speed Circuit in San Diego, is another way of doing that. It was great to be able to teach them a few things about paying attention to corners, speed and braking, and then watching their lap times become faster.

I understand that times have changed and kids aren’t doing the same things that I was when I

What advice can you offer young men and women considering a career in this industry?

Continued from Page 30

David Ankin Why can’t you do it if somebody else can? The only reason is that you haven’t put in the time or you haven’t had the desire to do so. I’m a normal guy from a normal world. I had an incredible family but a very normal upbringing. I went to a public school, and I didn’t have a silver spoon in my mouth. From the time I was a child, I worked very hard and believed. This is a great country, but life is not handed to you. You have to go out and get what you want. If you truly put in the effort, you can do anything in life. You just have to have a little bit of faith and perseverance and work hard. This is true if you’re painting a wall, laying bricks, building a motor or driving a car.

Q: A:

Q:

If you are good at what you do, there is always an opportunity for you. Somebody is always looking for an up-and-coming employee who is talented at what they do. When I went to high school, we had shop classes. Now, you often have to attend a separate trade school. Kids call me all the time wanting to apprentice in my shop. If their heart is really in it, and their mindset is right, I welcome it. If it’s not, I can usually tell. I’m a passionate man with everything that I do, and I welcome anybody who carries that same passion into my world.

A:

What are some of the changes you’ve seen over your career repairing vehicles?

Q:

It’s immense. It’s happening everywhere on every level. The computer age is amazing. The new vehicles are beautiful machines and so computerized. Everything is at the touch of a button, and it’s absolutely incredible. It almost takes it out of the hands of a mechanic. Although, I have to admit, at times I struggle with it. With today’s

A:

cars, you use a computer to tune a car. I used to use my ear, but you can’t do that anymore with advances in technology. What are your thoughts about electric and autonomous vehicles?

Q:

I know it’s coming, and the technology is amazing. We actually might have some EVs on the show, and I plan to put my own spin on them. When it comes to autonomous cars, I don’t like being in the passenger seat with anybody, even those I trust driving, so to let the computer drive is still baffling to me. I still want to be able to get in my car and hear it rumbling underneath me. I like to drive myself around. I don’t listen to my radio; I listen to my exhaust system.

A:

For more information about the show, visit ToyMakerz.com and follow David Ankin on Instagram @real DavidAnkin

www.autobodynews.com

autobodynews.com / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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HO NDA CO NNECT I CUT

Lia Honda of Enfield E n fi e l d

800-221-3131 860-741-3401 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 8-4 jdoucette@liacars.com

Manchester Honda M a n ch e ste r

800-442-6614 860-645-3115 Dept. Hours: M-F 7-5; Sat 8-4 gabe.llantin@manchesterhonda.com

Schaller Honda N e w Br i ta i n

800-382-4525 860-826-2080 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5; Sat 8-1 jkiniry@schallerauto.com MA I NE

Berlin City Honda So u th Po r tl a n d

800-640-6685 207-774-6685 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30 mmmparts@berlincity.com

Prime Honda Saco

207-391-7910 207-282-0900 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Th. 7:30-7; Sat 7:30-4 klavalle@driveprime.com MA RY L A ND

Criswell Honda Ge r m a n town

866-738-2886 Dept. Hours: M-Thu 7-9; Fri 7-7:30; Sat 8-6 hondaparts@criswellauto.com A CURA MA RY L A ND

Tischer Acura Lau rel

800-288-6983 301-498-3322 Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 8-4 wholesaleparts@tischerauto.com MA SSA CHUSET T S

Acura of Boston Brig h t on

800-254-1169 617-254-5400 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5:30; Sat 8-5 bruce.fisher@acuraofboston.com

Acura of Peabody Peab ody

800-878-3600 978-532-9110 Dept. Hours: M-Sat 8-5 dbritt@acurapeabody.com 36

APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com


Please contact these dealers for your Honda or Acura Genuine parts needs. MARY L A N D

NEW JERSEY

N EW YOR K

PEN NSY LVA NI A

O’Donnell Honda

Madison Honda

Brewster Honda

Ellico tt City

Mad i s o n

B re ws t e r

Yo r k

410-461-5000 410-461-9654

800-648-0293 973-822-1710

845-278-4177

800-960-9041 717-848-2600

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-5 bshortt@odonnellhonda.com

Dept. Hours: M-Thu 7-8; Fri 7-6; Sat 8-6; mschumer@madisonhonda.com

Ourisman Honda of Laurel

Rossi Honda

Laurel

Vine l a n d

800-288-6985 301-498-6050

800-893-3030 856-692-4449

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-7; Sat 7-4 julio.cruz@ourismanautomotive.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 6:30-5; Sat 7:30-3 dave@rossihonda.com

MASS A C H U S E T T S

LIA Honda Northampton Nor thampto n

Route 22 Honda Hills i d e

973-705-9100

800-369-7889 413-586-6043

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7:30; Sat 8-5 rt22hondaparts@route22honda.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 8-4 dstanisewski@liacars.com

Sussex Honda

NEW JERSEY

Clinton Honda Annanda le

877-657-2787 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5 chrish@clintonhonda.com

Honda of Turnersville Tur ne rsville

800-883-0002 856-649-1584 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-4 sbaptist@penskeautomotive.com

Hudson Honda We st New Yor k

866-483-6917 201-868-9500

Newt o n

800-842-0557 973-579-3500

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4 kbennett@liacars.com

Dick Ide Honda R o ch e s t e r

800-462-0056 (N.Y.) 585-586-4919 Dept. Hours: M-Thur 8-8; Fri 8-5:30; Sat 8-5 parts@dickide.com

Lamacchia Honda S y ra cu s e

315-471-7278 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 9-1 parts@lamacchiahonda.com

Lia Honda of Albany Albany

800-272-6741 518-482-2598

Apple Honda

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 7-4; Sun 10-4 applehondaparts@appleauto1.com

Baierl Honda Wexfo rd

724-940-2006 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4 johnryan@baierl.com

Shadyside Honda Pi ttsb u rg h

800-468-2090 412-390-2908 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5 shadysidehondaparts@hotmail.com

Shenango Honda H e r m i ta g e

800-858-0849 724-981-7106

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5 realhondaparts@sussexhonda.com

Dept. Hours: M, T, W, F 7:30-5:30; Thur 7:30-8; Sat 8-5 mjerard@liacars.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 8-4 parts@shenangoauto.com

VIP Honda

Lia Honda of Williamsville

Sussman Honda

Nort h Pl a i n f i e l d

908-753-1680 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-3 kevinh@viphonda.com NEW YO RK

Babylon Honda

Williamsville/Buffalo

Ro sl yn

877-659-2672 716-632-3800

800-682-2914 215-657-3301

Dept. Hours: M-Thu 7:30-8; Fri 7:30-5; Sat 8-5:30 liaparts@liacars.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-1 rendrick@sussmanauto.com

Wes t Ba by l o n

Ray Laks Honda

631-669-5800

We s t S e n e ca

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7:30-3:30 babylonparts@aol.com

716-824-7852 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-8; Sat 7:30-5:30 ekuznicki@raylaks.com

VER MO NT

802 Honda Be r l i n

802-223-9700 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5; Sat 8-Noon hondaparts@802cars.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7:30-5; Sun 8-3 anthony.perrone@hudsonhonda.com

NEW JERSEY

NEW YO RK

N EW YOR K

PENNSY LVA NI A

Acura Turnersville

Acura of Westchester

Smithtown Acura

Tu r n er sville

We s tche ste r

S t. J a me s

E mmau s

888-883-2884 856-516-6060

914-834-8887

888-832-8220 631-366-4114

877-860-3954 610-967-6500

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 8-4 parts@smithtownacura.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-5; Sat 8-5 mustafa@vinart.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4 kristen.powell@penskeautomotive.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-8; Sat 8-4; Sun 9-4 acura.parts@yahoo.com

Elite Acura

Curry Acura

Map le S h ad e

856-722-9600 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4 bmartinsen@group1auto.com

Park Ave Acura

S ca r sda l e

800-725-2877 914-472-7406 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-5 parts@curryacura.com

Ma ywoo d

Paragon Acura

888-690-7621 201-587-0028

718-507-3990

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-3 ron@parkaveacura.com

Wo o d si de Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-5; Sun 9-4 johnp@paragonacura.com

Lehigh Valley Acura

Sussman Acura

PEN N S YLVAN IA

Baierl Acura Wexfo rd

800-246-7457 724-935-0800 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-1 johnsabella@baierl.com

Jen kin t ow n

800-826-4078 215-884-6285 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-1 rendrick@sussmanauto.com

Davis Acura L a ngho r ne

866-50-ACURA 215-943-7000 Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 8-4 markh@davisacura.com autobodynews.com / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Continued from Page 32

Event Announcements nament at Cypress Point Country Club. Participation in the golf tournament costs $125 per player. On Friday evening, attendees will enjoy a welcome reception on a cruise aboard The Spirit of Norfolk. On Saturday at 8 a.m., the educational portion of the convention will begin with VAA’s Annual Meeting and an opening keynote address provided by Dr. Roy Littlefield, CEO of the Tire Industry Association. Two options will be available from 9–10 a.m.: “The Future of the Independent Tire Dealer,” presented by Patti Hoying, editor of Tire Review, and “Supercharge Your Front Counter Skills by Becoming a Customer Relationship Manager,” taught by ATI senior instructor Matt Winslow. The morning sessions will round out with a Peer to Peer Roundtable, moderated by Hoying. Saturday afternoon will feature the 2019 VAA Trade Expo, where attendees will have an opportunity to visit a variety of industry vendors and also have a chance to win $1,500 worth of cash prizes. The evening will include a reception, awards banquet and “The Comedy of Jeff Allen.” The Next Generation Automotive Professionals Reception will take place at 10 p.m. During breakfast on Sunday morning, closing keynote speaker Steve Gilliand will present “Enjoy the Ride.” The 2019 VAA Convention and Trade Expo will adjourn at 10 a.m. Full registration for the event is available for $159. For more information or to register, visit vaauto.org. Nashville I-CAR Committee To Support CREF With Golf Fundraiser On April 16, the Nashville I-CAR Committee will hosts its annual Golf Fundraiser at Topgolf in Nashville, TN. The proceeds will benefit the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) and collision programs in area high schools. This event is held as part of the committee’s dedication to the continuous improvement of Nashville-area high school and college collision programs. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a networking happy hour, and 38

the tournament will run from 7:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. During the tournament, attendees will enjoy a backyard BBQ buffet, desserts and drinks. The evening will conclude with an hour of free play, during which the winners of the tournament and raffle prizes will be announced. Registration is available for $100 per golfer. This year’s sponsors include Pro Spot, Enterprise and Service King. For more information or to register, visit icar-nashville.weebly.com. Atlanta I-CAR Committee To Hold 10th Annual Golf Tournament On April 25, the Atlanta I-CAR Committee will host its 10th Annual Golf Tournament at The Golf Club at Bradshaw Farm in Woodstock, GA. Last year, the committee raised $68,000 for a total of $375,000 that has been donated to local collision schools via the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF). The recipients of these funds have included Maxwell High School of Technology, North Georgia Tech, Chattahoochee Tech, Athens Technical School and Atlanta Technical College. Registration for the tournament will open at 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., during which the 19th hole experience and a putting contest will be available for attendees. At 10:30 a.m., the annual helicopter ball drop will take place. Balls can be purchased online for $10 each for a chance to win $2,000. The tournament will begin at 11 a.m. with a shotgun start. The event will conclude with an awards banquet and raffle drawing beginning at 5 p.m. Registration is available for $150 per golfer before April 1, but the price increases to $200 after April 1. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information or to register, visit icaratlantagolf.weebly.com. ARM To Hit the Road for 11th Annual Road Show & Business Networking Conference From April 25–27, the Automotive Recyclers of Michigan (ARM) will host its 11th Annual ARM Road Show and Business Networking Conference at Worldwide Equipment Sales LLC in Livonia, MI. The event will include several yard tours, an expo, educational seminars and plenty of networking opportunities, as well as a live auction. Exhibitor and sponsor-

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ship opportunities are available. For more information, visit automotiverecyclers.org. NYSACTA To Host Annual Lobby Day On April 30, the New York State Auto Collision Technician’s Association (NYSACTA) will host its Annual Lobby Day to introduce legislators to industry initiatives. Representatives from several state associations will be present, including LIABRA and ABCG. According to NYSACTA Executive Director Ed Kizenberger, “We will be promoting our legislation and educating legislators on OEM parts and the necessity of following OEM procedures. We will have representatives from throughout NY, including Long Island, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, the Capital District, Rome/Utica, Syracuse and several others.” YANG To Host Meet-Up in Tampa, FL On Monday, April 29, the Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG) will host a Regional Meet-Up in Tampa, FL, from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. The event will be held in con-

junction with the 2019 ACPN Knowledge Exchange Conference, which is scheduled for April 28 through May 1 at the Marriott Tampa Waterside. The Meet-Up will be hosted by JNPSoft. For more information, visit autocare.org/yang/. ASA Northwest To Host April Meetings • ASA Northwest’s Pierce County chapter meeting will be held on April 4 at LaQuinta in Tacoma, WA. • The Whatcom/Skagit chapter meeting is scheduled for April 9 at Park Bowl Restaurant in Bellingham, WA. • The Eugene chapter will meet on April 10 at Izzy’s Grill in Eugene, OR • The North Sno-King chapter’s meeting will be held at Alfy’s Pizza in Snohomish, WA, on April 11. • On April 16, the Yakima chapter will meet at River Ridge Golf Course in Selah, WA • The Spokane chapter’s April 18th meeting will take place at the Mirabeau Park Hotel and Convention Center in Bellevue, WA. • The South Sno-King chapter See Event Announcements, Page 61


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More than parts i

Access to over 300,000 Genuine Mercedes-Benz Parts. A dedicated wholesale team. Customer-centric delivery options. Technical resources and repair assistance. Find a certiďŹ ed PartsPro dealership at mbwholesaleparts.com/partspro.

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APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com


it’s a partnership.

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In Reverse

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

with Gary Ledoux

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

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

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

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

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

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APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com


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

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

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

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

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From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

Moving Beyond Paper QC Process Necessary to Ensure Documented Proper Repairs While working with a shop on some quality control (QC) issues recently, I discovered they were still using a paper QC checklist. It reminded me of the somewhat dated checklist that’s among the forms and tools available for free on my website (www.collisionadvice.com). It’s not that such checklists are bad. They serve as a good reminder of the things that are often not quite right and can result in a needless comeback. But a paper system has become an outdated way to accomplish quality control effectively. I believe shops need to move to an electronic QC process. There are several reasons why. First, there are more and more young people working in shops who have grown up using computers, tablets and cell phone apps. If you hand them a piece of paper, it’s like a step back in time for them. How else, they may wonder, is this shop not staying up to date? Second, we’ve all seen people “pencil-whip” forms, signing or initialing the top item on the list and drawing a line from that right down the rest of the list. They may well have done everything on the form, but perhaps not. Just rapidly filling in all the boxes at the end is no substitute for checking each item at the appropriate time. An electronic system helps make employees more accountable. Third, some of the lawsuits out there related to incomplete or incorrect repairs have raised the industry’s awareness of the need for proper documentation of repairs. An electronic QC process ensures that every step is time- and date-stamped, a record that helps ensure—and document—that things were done properly. That documentation isn’t just important to you as a business owner. It can be equally important to those with whom you have business agreements, such as automakers that certify your shop or insurance companies. An electronic system allows your shop’s quality control efforts to 46

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

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

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

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

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


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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.

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

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

48

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

APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continued from Page 6

a lot of friends over the years through building those relationships with our customers,” Dash said. Howard said, “We are not just a business; we are an extended family with not only our team members but with our entire community. We love meeting new people every day, helping take care of their auto repair and rental car needs, and we love delivering a quality product to them. Our customers’ satisfaction is most important to us, and we will continue to be an advocate for them to ensure their family’s safety and that they receive that pre-accident quality repair! “From our family to yours, we would like to thank everyone who has contributed to our 36 years of success and hope to provide our services for many more years to come,” Dash said. Black Walnut Body Works, Ltd., is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information can be found online at www.black walnutbodyworks.com or by calling 814-355-3000. We thank The Express for reprint permission.

Black Walnut a new logo and will be launching our new website this spring! We are very excited about all the changes we’ve been making and will continue to make changes to give our customers a positive experience, even though accidents often are not.” There is a lot to be proud of while providing quality service to customers at such an auto body shop as Black Walnut. According to Dash, about 60 percent of the business’s customer base comes from repeat customers and their referrals. The business especially prides itself on the ability to work with any insurance company and ensure that customers receive pre-accident condition quality repairs. And what have been the most memorable and favorite parts of working at Black Walnut? “Making our customers happy after they have had an unpleasant accident or experience with their vehicle at another facility. We have gained 50

APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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

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

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Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

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

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

“You can’t implement anything successfully in an environment where you have too many cars sitting around,” he said. “The best blueprinting efforts typically fail because [owners] don’t understand scheduling and optimum WIP.” Why Most Scheduling Systems Don’t Work Many shops across the country schedule jobs based on labor hours, the number of cars or dollars. Although there is nothing wrong with scheduling this way, according to Kuehn, there is a tremendous opportunity to analyze the information 52

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

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

APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ate a scheduling form to maintain optimum WIP and revenue goals. Every repairable vehicle should be accounted for on the form, regardless of the actual arrival date. If no openings are available, then the shop probably shouldn’t bring in another car, he said. If a loyal customer happens to come in, he said shops will likely agree to repair the car but will have to let the customer know the timeframe. “At least you have a scheduling system that allows you to communicate a little smarter with your customer,” said Luehr. “If you get ahead of schedule, you can always blueprint the vehicle and pull it into production, but don’t force-feed it,” said Kuehn. Luehr said the typical work mix for DRP shops can be determined by pulling historical data from the shop management system, and then space can be created on the scheduling sheet for those vehicles. “You may not know exactly how many are coming in or when, but you can still block out space for them,” he said. “The worst thing that See Scheduling Process, Page 60

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

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

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

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

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

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

“My children and I were housed with them for over a year before I received my own permanent housing through a special program set up for veterans called Hud-Vash. During this time, I was diagnosed with several health issues as well as MTSD. As a disabled veteran, it was vital for me to continue getting the treatment I desperately needed from the VA hospital located at Mather Airfield. “Shortly after receiving housing, my car was repossessed, and I had no other means of getting another car. I had used all the money I had saved up to pay the deposit on our townhome and was unable to afford the $400 car payments any longer. “For a while, I was able to borrow a vehicle to take my children to school until the rear right tire broke off and was slung into oncoming traffic. I then was able to get my case manager to graciously take time out of her day to travel from Mather to pick me up for a couple of vital appointments I had at the VA hospital. I also was given a bus pass, and I ocSee After the Donation, Page 64

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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

ASA Webinar Features ‘G’ Jerry Truglia’s ‘Why a DTC is Not Always Displayed’

ASA Vice President Tony Molla began by welcoming attendees and introducing Truglia. Truglia began by examining the right way to diagnose DTCs and drivability problems. He noted that the most important tool needed to diagnose DTCs is a generic/global scan tool, but a factory scan tool is not always necessary. He stated, “You’re not going to become an expert in an hour, but we can put some lights on and help each other.” Repairers also need a game plan. Truglia explained, “Information on iATN, Identifix, ALLDATA, Mitchell, Autodata, MotoLogic, or even Google and YouTube can be very helpful in identifying if the vehicle you are working on needs a reflash or has a silver bullet problem. Remember, when looking at a silver bullet solution, always check and test the components and the system before replacing anything.” As he began to explain how to understand the diagnostic process, Truglia noted, “Before we go too deep, let’s get the caveats out of the way. When it comes to diagnosing engine performance, DTCs or driveability problems use a general/global scan tool to expedite your diagnosis. 56

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

APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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

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

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

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59


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

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

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

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Continued from Page 54

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

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Polyvance Releases Two New Hood Repair Kits

Event Announcements

Polyvance’s new Kenworth W900 hood repair kits provide an easy solution for broken hood pockets on Kenworth W900 trucks. Kenworth W900 trucks can have either “square” or “round” hood pockets. Polyvance has a repair kit for each of them. The repair kits each come with one pair of aluminum hood pocket reinforcement plugs, one pair of steel reinforcement plates, two packages of PlastiFix High-Performance methacrylate adhesive, and all of the required nuts, bolts, rivets, washers, and screws to perform the repair. In 2015, Polyvance released a hood repair kit for the Kenworth T800. Their Kenworth T800 kit has been a hit for the company. In 2018, Polyvance started receiving numerous calls asking for Kenworth W900 repair kits. Polyvance saw the need for the product and decided to bring the Kenworth W900 kits to the market. More information about the kits may be found at polyvance .com.

will also host its meeting on April 18 at the Bellevue Brewing Company in Bellevue, WA. • The Southwest Washington chapter will meet on April 22 at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, WA. The meeting will feature “Are You Fully Insured on Your Business,” presented by Todd Black, owner of Unlimited Services. • The Olympic Peninsula chapter will meet at Kitsap Golf and Country Club in Bremerton, WA, on April 23. For more information on ASA Northwest, visit asanorthwest.com. ISRI To Host Annual Convention & Expo From April 8–11, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) will host its 2019 Convention and Exposition at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It is anticipated that 300 exhibitors and 5,000 participants will attend. Speakers will include Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec, ZipRecruiter’s

Ian Siegel, sales expert Hal Becker and inspirational speaker John O’Leary. For more information, visit isri2019.org. URG To Present XPAND 2019 From April 11–13, the United Recyclers Group (URG) will host its XPAND 2019 Training Conference at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, FL. Features speakers will include Andy Latham, Mike Hourigan, DJ Harrington, Richard Flint, Tom Bessler, Josh Brunner, Ray Butler, JC Cahill, Andrew Christensen, Mike Clay, Theresa Colbert, Oliver Cook, Chad Counts, Robert Counts, Paul D’Adamo, Ryan Falco, Garff Fitzgerald, Mark Gamble, Cliff Hope, Mike James, Jim McKinney, George Metos, Walt Michaels, Vanessa Mutchler, Don Porter, Ron Rainwater, Brian Riker, Roger Shroder, Mike Sliger, Troy Smith, Sarah Stidham, Rachel Whetstone, Jen Wilson, Laurie Woods, and Lee Worman. For more information, visit ur-g.com.

INFINITI OF NORWOOD

CRI Renews Commitment to CIECA Standards Customer Research, Inc. (CRI) recently renewed its commitment to CIECA and the CIECA standards. CRI was founded in 1967 and is based in Seattle, WA. “Collision center clients gain increased customer traffic through an enhanced reputation,” said Dusty Dunkle, owner and president of CRI, who has been active in the company for 27 years. “At the same time, CSI services result in elevated customer loyalty as well as improved employee performance and processes.” Dunkle said CIECA has been a household name to CRI, and the company has been a member for many years. “CIECA has created a platform to better CSI services to the industry and has allowed CRI to contribute to this platform by participating in the CIECA CSI Committee for many years,” said Dunkle.

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Media and Publicity for Shops

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

with Ed Attanasio

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

Q:

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

A:

62

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

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

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

Q: A:

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

Q:

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

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

A:

d T S the roa R A P n I N E back o U G E N t them

ge t to i f Ktyiaa nd

Qua

li

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

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

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

Q: A:

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

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

Continued from Page 55

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

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

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

CIECA Announces Industry-Wide Logo Contest to Celebrate 25th Anniversary CIECA recently announced a national contest to select a new logo design to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The contest is open to those who are at least 18 years old and employed in the collision repair and property restoration industries. A $500 Amazon gift card will be awarded to the winner, a $100 Amazon gift card will be awarded to the second-place winner, and a $50 Amazon gift card will be awarded to the third-place winner. “Today, CIECA has a bold new agenda similar to the one the original founders had over 25 years ago when CIECA was established in 1994,” said Fred Iantorno, executive director of CIECA. “As our industry faces new challenges, once again CIECA is developing new so-

lutions. CIECA’s agenda focuses on innovation and workforce trends, and we want to revitalize the CIECA logo to reflect these changes.” All entries are due by June 30. The winner will be announced at the CIECA Connex conference being held Sept. 16—18 in Charlottesville, VA. In addition to a powerful line-up of industry speakers, there will be great networking opportunities and a vehicle gifting by the National Auto Body Council (NABC). One of the highlights of the event will be a tour of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The new logo contest details and rules can be found on the CIECA website at https:// www.cieca.com/info.php?pnum=3 5c87eac79ee43.

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

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Tips for Busy Body Shops

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

with Stacey Phillips

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

Q: A:

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

Q: A:

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

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

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APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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

Q:


I tell them that you have to become a student in lean. Lean only works when the owner(s) and management team embrace the process improvement and philosophy. Employees are managed differently using the lean process. Rather than dictating to them what you want them to do, you instead bring them into the problems that the business encounters and work together to make improvements. Management becomes more of a facilitator than a dictator of operational processes. Training at the top of the tower is an absolute must. I think that is where most companies can derail— when the top people don’t understand the importance of continuous learning, embracing it enough and fully believing in it confidently before they try to roll it out to the shop floor. That’s where it fails—and fails ferociously in many cases. Many people attend one 20 Group meeting or one lean process training session. I caution those who are first introduced to the lean process that they aren’t going to learn enough in one session to transform their busi-

A:

ness successfully. They can often do more damage than good. You need to attend many sessions and read books such as “The Toyota Way” by Jeffrey Liker. That’s the first book I recommend and the bedrock of beginning to even consider implementing lean in a process improvement way that will be sustainable. Like any well-run business, it takes dedication, time and commitment from the people at the top of the organization. The lean process can often take a little additional effort because shops are undoing the traditional management learning and changing that outdated thinking into more of a process-oriented and continuous improvement philosophy. This requires considerable maintenance from the management team to keep it on track.

Q: A:

How does the lean process differ from other processes?

The lean process differs from traditional managed processes on one key element: There’s a daily obsession with eliminating non-valueadded, wasteful activities from getting

in the way of producing greater customer value. For example, if you have to order parts two or three times on a car because you didn’t do a complete, 100-percent damage analysis with disassembly and discover all of the damage and broken components the first time, then there are wasted activities. They are non-value-added because you were paid to buy or order parts one time and they were ordered two additional times. Wasteful activities can be found in administration, production and paint processes.

Q: A:

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

People want to put a timeframe on lean; however, it all depends on how quickly you as a leader can build the culture around it. This includes how quickly you learn it, embrace it, understand it and then communicate it. It really varies and is about getting the team to understand that everyone’s job is to continually improve the business’s processes, so they get better

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

Q:

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

A:

See Lean Process, Page 72

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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

ASA Washington D.C. Representative Bob Redding Delivers Legislative Update On Feb. 6, ASA’s Washington D. C. representative, Bob Redding, delivered a legislative update two blocks from the U.S. Capitol to discuss national and state legislation relevant to the automotive industry. Referencing the previous evening’s State of the Union address, Redding mentioned that transportation infrastructure is a big issue. Beginning at the federal level, Redding noted that the SELF DRIVE Act passed last year, which addresses new vehicle technology, autonomous vehicles and how states and the federal government should interact regarding the regulation of these vehicles. He noted that the bill “passed overwhelmingly” in the House and the Senate Commerce Committee; however, an amendment to address cyber security and data access issues was attached, and the bill never reached the Senate floor. Pointing out that the 2018 election flipped the House from Republican to Democrat, Redding stressed that priorities change and require a new beginning. “ASA is pleased with the data access amendment and supports it, but we have to start all over now,” he said. “We’re looking for federal legislation regarding autonomous vehicles soon, and we’ll work to ensure data access and cyber security are addressed.” Redding stressed the importance of being at the table for legislative conversations. “ASA’s goal is to be part of the process, to learn and share with members and leadership, and to be sure we’re at the table when a lot of decisions are made. If you’re not at the table, you’re very likely to be on the menu,” he said. Redding moved on to the variety of bills for the 2019 state sessions, beginning with Missouri. He noted that Missouri has one of the premiere vehicle safety inspection programs in the nation. “In fact, ASA has used it as a template we’d like to see other states follow,” he said. “Almost every year, 68

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

APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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

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

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

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

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

is hand-picked based on having the highest quality of standards and vehicle repair technology. CSN’s mission is to bring safety, reliability and trust to every Canadian. According to Jay Hayward, vice president of operations for CSN Collision Centres, “Our mission is what drives us to bring the very best service and technology to every repair to make sure our customers have peace of mind.” This year’s theme, “On the Horizon,” showcased a variety of speakers who shared personal and professional advice with body shops through inspirational stories and experiences. “I’m excited about what’s before us—an adventure that allows us the opportunity of continuous improvement and providing everybody a world-class experience,” said Flavio Battilana, CSN’s chief operating officer. Battilana talked about CSN’s recent accomplishments, including the establishment of a new head office, its new insurance partners and new licensees as well as future company plans “on the horizon.” “As we travel toward our horizon, we will encounter both challenges and opportunities, and we will 70

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

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

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

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

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

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

MASSACHUSETTS

Continued from Page 67

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

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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

Mike’s Auto Body Estimator Chases Fame as Stand-up Comic Ron Bello, an up-and-coming standup comedian, has been working as an estimator at Mike’s Auto Body in Fairfield, CA, since November 2018. Bello, who has 20 years of experience working in retail, took Mike’s Auto Body’s one-week estimator’s training program at its Fairfield facility last year. He knows he has a lot to learn about estimating and the collision repair industry as a whole and is highly motivated and intrigued by the job. “Everyone here at Mike’s has been so great,” Bello said. “My manager in Fairfield (Corey Flies) has been very supportive, and the company is giving me all of the tools I need to succeed in this position. Mike’s is investing in me and everyone here is willing to answer all of my questions, so I know I’m not alone, and that gives me a lot of confidence.”

Confidence is key for Bello as he attempts to break into the stand-up comedy industry—one of the toughest things anyone can do. He hit the stage for the very first time back in August 2018, and after doing 20 gigs in the six months since then, he is hitting his stride. Bello’s influences include George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Robin Williams. He appreciates the challenge presented by doing comedy, he said. “Doing stand-up is very satisfying, but it’s also difficult. I now have 20 minutes of material, and my goal is to eventually do a one-man show, which means I’ll need to have 60 minutes or more of jokes and stories to tell,” he said. Bello’s first gig took place at Compadre’s in Napa, and although he was a little nervous, he got some big laughs and surprised a lot of peo-

ple, including himself. “I told my first joke and the audience started laughing, so I was definitely encouraged and gained

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

momentum. When I was done doing my five minutes, the emcee said that I must have done stand-up before, but it was truly my first time on stage,” he said.

In November, Bello signed up for a comedy competition at Sally Tomatoes in Rohnert Park and walked away as the first-place winner. “They had three judges who were big-time, including Ron Vingh, who does all the booking at the Punchline in San Francisco,” Bello said. “After my set, the judges critiqued my jokes and gave me some helpful feedback about my stage presence and the quality of my jokes. They said they liked my energy on stage and that my punch lines were strong, so that was definitely a great evening I will never forget.” In February, Bello and two other comedians kicked off their “Woke and Broke” tour at the Lucky Penny Theater in Napa with a sold-out show. As he writes more and more jokes and refines his style, he’s pleased and anticipating a bright future. See Stand-up Comic, Page 74

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Continued from Page 73

U.S. Rep. Upton Files Bill to Block Import Car Tariffs by Keith Laing, The Detroit News

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, is introducing legislation that would block President Donald Trump from imposing tariffs on imported cars as high as 25 percent, at least in the near term. Upton said March 13 he is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation with U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-AL, to block Trump from imposing tariffs on imported cars and parts until the International Trade Commission conducts "a comprehensive study on the economic importance of automotive manufacturing in America." "Countless jobs in Michigan and across the country depend on America’s automotive industry," Upton tweeted. "We simply need to better understand the current economic well-being of the auto industry before any tariffs are applied that could impact those jobs." Sewell, whose home state is home to plants that are operated by Hyundai, Honda, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz, added in a statement: “The president’s tariff trade policy threatens U.S. auto workers, including nearly 40,000 hardworking men and women in Alabama alone." He said the Trump administra-

tion has overreached its authority by claiming that cars and auto parts threaten American national security. Trump has floated the possibility of placing 25 percent tariffs on imported vehicles, most recently in retaliation for a decision by General Motors Co. to idle four U.S. plants as it continues production in Mexico. The U.S. Commerce Department recently concluded a nine-month investigation of the national security impact of allowing imported cars to come into the U.S., but the agency has not made its findings public.The process, initiated at the request of Trump in May 2018, could result in the president moving to impose tariffs under the guise of protecting the nation’s security as early as May unless Upton and Sewell’s measure becomes law. The review process being used by the Trump administration is referred to as a Section 232 investigation in reference to a 1962 trade law that allows the president to impose tariffs if he determines a security threat exists. It was used last year by the Trump administration to impose tariffs on imported aluminum and steel. The premise of the investigation has been mocked in foreign cap-

itals, and European Union leaders have signaled such a move would prompt immediate retaliation. Automakers have pushed the Trump administration to drop the import tariff proposal. The Center for Automotive Research said in a report released in February that a 25 percent tariff on imported cars and parts would increase the average cost of all new cars sold in the U.S. by as much as $2,750 if Canada, Mexico and South Korea are exempted due to trade agreements. The price of vehicles imported from places other than Canada, Mexico and South Korea would go up an average of $3,700. The average price of a new car was $36,590 in February 2019, according to Kelley Blue Book. Assuming a $3,000 down payment and a 4.7 percent interest rate on a fiveyear loan, the average monthly payment for a new car sold in Michigan would increase by $74 if $3,700 in tariffs were added to that price. The Center for Automotive Research estimates the proposed duties would reduce car sales by 1.3 million per year in the U.S. We thank The Detroit News for reprint permission.

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

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Customer Research, Inc. Renews Commitment to CIECA Standards Customer Research, Inc. (CRI) recently renewed its commitment to CIECA and the CIECA standards. CRI was founded in 1967 and is based in Seattle, WA. The company has 55 employees and provides several industries internationally with leading multichannel CSI (Customer Satisfaction Indexing) measurement, customer loyalty, marketing and reputation solutions. “Collision center clients gain increased customer traffic through an enhanced reputation,” said Dusty Dunkle, owner and president of CRI, who has been active in the company for 27 years. “At the same time, CSI services result in elevated customer loyalty as well as improved employee performance and processes.”

Dunkle said CIECA has been a household name to CRI, and the company has been a member for many years. “CIECA has created a platform to better CSI services to the industry and has allowed CRI to contribute to this platform by participating in the CIECA CSI Committee for many years,” said Dunkle. “CIECA has helped standardize processes that have provided efficiencies to a large number of businesses, and CRI is happy to be part of that.” For more information about CRI, visit www.CustomerResearch.com. For more information about CIECA, visit www.cieca.com.

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How 4 Recalls May Impact Your Business by Emmariah Holcomb, glassBYTEs.com

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

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

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

Fully autonomous cars that could pick up passengers and take them to their destinations will be ready by the end of this year, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Speaking on the ARK Invest podcast, Musk said he’s “fully certain” the technology is ready to go. “The car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up, take you all the way to your destination without an intervention,” Musk said, who is known for splashy actions and controversial pronouncements. Developing the last “1 percent” of full autonomy is the most difficult part of the project, he said. Still, the all-electric Teslas will be “feature-complete” by the end of the year, and the tech will be even more reliable in 2020. “My guess as to when we would think it’s safe for somebody to essentially fall asleep and wake up at their destination? Probably towards the end of next year,” Musk said. The entrepreneur said regulators must decide when the au76

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Credit: Volvo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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