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AUTOBODY

AUTOBODYNEWS.COM

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Vol. 12 / Issue 4 / July 2021

Auto Body Shops Asked to Submit Experiences with SRS Inspections by John Yoswick

I-CAR is seeking help from collision repairers as it reviews OEM safety inspections related to secondary restraint systems (SRS). Scott VanHulle, manager of I-CAR’s Repairability Technical Support and OEM Technical Relations, said the project grew out of a virtual summit the training organization held in March with 150 shops, insurers and automakers. The discussion centered around whether the industry had adequate information about what inspections

were required and when, what the inspections should “look like” and the “why” behind the inspections. The OEMs may not be aware of shortcomings in their procedures related to this, VanHulle said, because traditionally much of the feedback they receive is from dealership service departments that aren’t dealing with collision-damaged vehicles. I-CAR hopes to develop industry-vetted best practices related to the inspections, provide feedback to the automakers about any potential repair information improvements See SRS Inspections, Page 19

No Signs Microchip Shortage is Delaying Crash Parts by John Yoswick

PartsTrader’s Greg Horn said in May his company isn’t seeing any significant disruption in crash parts availability based on the global microchip shortage, which is impacting new vehicle production. He pointed to a number of data points that led him to that conclusion. Enterprise’s most recent “length of rental” data showed the average number of days replacement vehicles were in use in the first quarter of 2021 was “essentially flat” when compared to the same quarter in

2020. His company’s internal data showed the average quoted delivery times for parts going through PartsTrader across all model vehicles did not change significantly in the past 13 months. Looking at parts for just model year 2020 and 2021 vehicles showed even a modest improvement in April, compared to April of 2020. Parts on the system are also receiving the same number of bids or quotes on average over the past year. “As we look at all those components, we really don’t see any See Microchip Shortage, Page 27

Toyota Says It’s Still Too Soon to Focus on Electric Cars by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs

Toyota continues to assert its vehicle lineup will offer a variety of options over the next 30 years, a stance it reiterated at the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

Toyota has been pushing hybrids and hydrogen for years, and it still insists it’s not time to focus on

electric cars. An investor asked during the meeting why Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, has a different view from that of Honda. The competing Japanese brand has set a goal to have a fully electric lineup by 2040. Toyota Director Shigeki Terashi, who joined the call from Toyota’s Aichi headquarters, reportedly replied, “It’s too early to concentrate on one option.” Terashi added between now and 2050, the brand needs to offer mulSee Focus on Electric Cars, Page 22

Rhode Island Collision Repairers Seek to Clarify Concerns with 2 House Bills by Chasidy Rae Sisk

Last month, the Rhode Island House Corporations Committee heard from collision repairers advocating for House Bill 6234 and House Bill 6235, both introduced by Reps. William O’Brien, Scott Slater, Jacquelyn Baginski, Raymond Hull, Camille Vella-Wilkinson Gregg and Amore. House Bill 6234 seeks to updateRhode Island General Laws §27-9.14, the state’s Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, by addressing issues related to paint and materials charges, vehicle abandonment and sublets. House Bill 6235 would require insurers using recycled parts to choose parts that are “at least equal in kind and quality to the OEM parts in terms of fit, quality, performance and warranty, and be from a vehicle of the same year or newer and have the same or less mileage than the vehicle receiving the used part.” House Bills 6234 and 6235 were reviewed simultaneously during the Rhode Island House Corporations Committee hearing. O’Brien, the

House Corporations Committee vice chairman, said the main reason he sponsored the bill was related to a constituent’s experience where their insurer abandoned a total loss, accumulating $1,000 in storage fees, which, he said, the insurer was responsible for. The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies Northeast has “no objection to the total loss notification provisions,” according to Rory Whelan, northeast regional vice president, though the group opposes the other two amendments proposed by the bill. Rep. Robert Craven Sr. supports House Bill 6234 because of “the general frustration that the auto body shops are having dealing with the insurers, but most importantly, the consumer who pays for this insurance policy and doesn’t get what he or she expects to get.” Craven indicated insurers object to paying for items as simple as taping windows before painting, though it is part of the process required. PolicySee 2 House Bills, Page 20

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REGIONAL

NATIONAL

AASP/NJ June Virtual Meeting to Highlight

2020 Fatality Data Show Increased Traffic

‘Out of the Box’ Solutions������������������������������18 Auto Glass Safety Becomes Law in Maryland����22 Automakers’ Lawsuit to Overturn Voter-Approved MA Vehicle Data Access Law Goes to Trial�����24 Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires 2 Repair

Fatalities During Pandemic���������������������������28 Auto Body Shops Asked to Submit Experiences with SRS Inspections��������������������������������������1 Auto Care Association’s Auto Care Caucus Renewed with 117th U.S. Congress��������������54

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

CONTENTS

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

Serving New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Northern Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2021 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 / (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com editor@autobodynews.com

Acura of Westchester�������������������������������������� 46

LKQ Corporation����������������������������������������������� 5

American Icon Automotive������������������������������ 16

Long Automotive Group���������������������������������� 14

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 61

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������������� 58

Axalta Coating Systems������������������������������������ 6

Mercedes-Benz of Atlantic City������������������������� 7

Car Insurance Customer Satisfaction Stalls

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������42-43

Mercedes-Benz of Fort Washington������������������� 7

Despite $18 Billion in Premium Relief,

Cadillac of Mahwah���������������������������������������� 39

Mercedes-Benz of Paramus���������������������������� 38

Car-O-Liner������������������������������������������������������ 9

Mercedes-Benz of West Chester����������������������� 7

Central Avenue Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram����� 23

Mercedes-Benz of Wilmington������������������������ 27

Cox Automotive Study Examines Best

Certified Automotive Parts Association������������ 16

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers�������� 55

Road Trip to Highlight Northeast

Practices of Dealerships Thriving in

Cherry Hill Nissan������������������������������������������� 20

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 44

Charging Infrastructure���������������������������������16

an Accelerated Digital Landscape�����������������60

Classifieds������������������������������������������������������ 62

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers����������������36-37

Colad/EMM Specialties����������������������������������� 64

New Holland Ford������������������������������������������� 26

Ford Partners with Mile Auto�����������������������������26

Colonial Automotive Group������������������������������ 41

New Holland Toyota���������������������������������������� 52

Ford Reports Huge Growth in EV Sales,

Courtesy Mitsubishi���������������������������������������� 40

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers������������ 58

DePaula Chevrolet-Ford���������������������������������� 47

Northstar Kia�������������������������������������������������� 46

Dover Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep���������������������������� 29

Nucar������������������������������������������������������������� 35

Eastchester Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge������������������� 24

Open Road Acura of East Brunswick��������������� 52

Eckler’s Automotive���������������������������������������� 19

Packer Norris Parts����������������������������������������� 45

Empire Auto Parts��������������������������������������������� 8

Porsche Huntington���������������������������������������� 48

Equalizer Industries, Inc���������������������������������� 34

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������� 53

Plan to Shift to Electrification������������������������62

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 57

Pro Spot International������������������������������������� 15

MSO Symposium Announces Format������������������8

Franklin Sussex Auto Mall������������������������������� 28

Rafferty Subaru����������������������������������������������� 12

No Signs Microchip Shortage is Delaying

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers��������������������������� 49

Rockland Nissan��������������������������������������������� 12

Hoffman Auto Group��������������������������������������� 17

SATA Dan-Am Company���������������������������������� 21

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers�31, 32-33

Schultz Ford��������������������������������������������������� 11

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������� 56

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes�������������� 2

Infiniti of Norwood������������������������������������������ 22

Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet���������������������������� 8

Insta Finish����������������������������������������������������� 13

Spanesi Americas������������������������������������������� 25

Jaguar Land Rover Cherry Hill������������������������� 30

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������������� 59

Centers in Maryland��������������������������������������28 Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires Repair Center in Victor, NY���������������������������������������30 MA Right to Repair Law Headed to Trial��������������8 Maryland Auto Expands Initiative to Combat Insurance Fraud��������������������������������������������14 Massachusetts Man Charged with

Average Age of U.S. Cars Reaches All-Time Record of 12.1 Years�������������������������������������47 BMW 3-Series Vehicles Recalled Over Explosive Airbags������������������������������������������59

J.D. Power Finds���������������������������������������������4

Attempting to Fraudulently Purchase

CarAdvise, Affirm to Offer Long-Term Payment��19

$83,000 Sports Car��������������������������������������10

CIF Elects New Trustee�������������������������������������24

National Grid Launches Electric Vehicle

Registration Open for NORTHEAST Automotive Services Show����������������������������18 Rhode Island Collision Repairers Seek to Clarify Concerns with 2 House Bills�����������������1 Rhode Island Man Sentenced to 10 Months for Car Warranty Fraud Scheme��������������������11 Sununu to Sign PPP Tax Exemptions for New Hampshire Businesses��������������������������24 Tesla Hires at New York Gigafactory for Autopilot and FSD Beta���������������������������������26 Volta Charging Reaches 100 Charging Stations in Maryland�������������������������������������12 Volvo Group Breaks Ground on State-of-the-Art Vehicle Propulsion Lab in Maryland�����������������6

COLUMNISTS Anderson - Scanning—It’s Not Just for DTCs Anymore (And Never Was)��������������������40 Attanasio - Painter/Car Restorer Miguel Perez Produces a Podcast and Creates a Brand������56 Phillips - Jake Rodenroth of asTech on Vehicle Tech’s Relation to Collision Repair Diagnostics����������������������������������������44

Driverless Cars Make People Feel Less Safe: Study��������������������������������������������������������������4

Best May for SUV Sales Since 2003��������������60 GM Vehicles Recalled for Airbag Warning Lights��54 Hertz’s Reorganization Plan OK’d by Bankruptcy Court������������������������������������������58 I-CAR Supports Inter-Industry’s First OEM Glass Repair Certification Program����������������59 Jaguar XE Recalled for Missing Welds���������������39 Lamborghini Outlines Massive $1.8 Billion

Crash Parts�����������������������������������������������������1 Registration Open for 2021 AWDA Conference��50 SafeAuto Insurance to Join Allstate�������������������10 SEMA Show Exhibitors Begin to Select Booth Space�������������������������������������������������39 Toyota Introduces Data Privacy Portal���������������14 Toyota Says It’s Still Too Soon to Focus on Electric Cars����������������������������������������������1

Sisk - Collision Training on ADAS, EVs, Total

U.S. House Members Advocate for RPM Act������40

Jeff D’Ambrosio Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge������������ 18

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers����������������������� 60

Losses and Phone Skills at ASA’s X50

USAA to Acquire Noblr, Inc.����������������������������������4

Jeff D’Ambrosio Volkswagen��������������������������� 34

Volkswagen of Kingston���������������������������������� 50

Conference���������������������������������������������������48

Will We Have Enough Juice to Get Us to

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������� 51

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������� 63

Kia of Attleboro����������������������������������������������� 40

White Plains Volkswagen�������������������������������� 52

Kundert Volvo�������������������������������������������������� 10

Yonkers Kia����������������������������������������������������� 54

Yoswick - HLDI Shows Impact on Claims from Auto-Emergency Braking, Changes to Powertrains����������������������������������������������52

an All-EV World by 2035?������������������������������34 WIN Launches WINConnect�������������������������������12

autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 3


Car Insurance Customer Satisfaction Stalls Despite $18 Billion in Premium Relief, J.D. Power Finds The auto insurance industry voluntarily returned more than $18 billion in auto insurance premiums to customers in 2020 to address the sharp decline in miles driven during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the magnitude of this historic relief effort, the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, released June 15, finds overall customer satisfaction with auto insurers is flat, following four consecutive years of improvement. “What we’re seeing in this year’s study is a case of insurers delivering with their actions but missing the mark on effective communication to their customers,” said Robert Lajdziak, senior consultant for insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “The refunds provided to customers during the pandemic were significant, representing nearly 7% of total industry premiums, but only half of customers were even aware of them. “Worse, when customers needed to communicate with their insurers, either via phone, website or chat, many came away feeling less satisfied with the result than in the past.” Following are some of the key

findings of the 2021 study: Overall satisfaction stagnates: Overall customer satisfaction with auto insurance providers is 835, on a 1,000-point scale, this year, unchanged from a year ago. This is the first time since 2017 that auto insurance customer satisfaction has not improved year over year. Insurers miss the mark in communication: While price is the lowest-scoring factor in the study, it has seen the greatest improvement year over year. This improvement is overshadowed by significant declines in satisfaction with interaction. Satisfaction with the assisted online channel, which is comprised of chat and e-mail functions, declined 12 points from a year ago, with decreases also seen in contact center (-5), website (-3) and local agent (-1). Customer awareness of COVID-19 relief efforts boosts brand perception: As of March, just 52% of auto insurance customers were aware of their insurer’s COVID-19 premium relief efforts. Overall brand impressions are significantly higher among customers who were aware of these relief efforts, which was also

reflected in their intent to renew their policy. Pandemic as catalyst to telematics growth: More than one-third (34%) of auto insurance customers say they are willing to try usage-based insurance (UBI), which uses telematics technology to track customer driving patterns and includes discounts based on safe driving and fewer miles driven. Currently, 16% of customers say they are already using the technology, which is double the volume seen just five years ago and is the largest year-over-year increase to date. Ready to switch at hint of a premium increase: Nearly half (45%) of auto insurance customers say they would switch if they could receive a savings of $200 or less. Of those who recently switched due to a premium increase, 57% did so for increases of $200 or less.   The study measures customer satisfaction with auto insurance in 11 geographic regions. Highest-ranking auto insurers and scores, by region, are as follows: California: Wawanesa (853) (second consecutive year) Central: Shelter (856)

Driverless Cars Make People Feel Less Safe: Study by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

Driverless cars scare people, a fact repeated in multiple studies and reports which collected consumer attitudes about sharing the roads with autonomous vehicles. In the latest research conducted by AAA and the Technology and Public Purpose Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, only a small percentage of consumers believe driverless vehicles will make the roads safer. According to researchers, 38 states and the District of Columbia have active programs that allow self-driving test vehicles to operate on public roads, a fact many consumers know nothing about. Support of these programs was split, with 34% of drivers in favor, 36% opposed and 31% unsure about allowing autonomous test vehicles on the highways. Research results from AAA and Harvard indicate the majority of the public believes sharing the roads with driverless

cars will make the roads less safe, no matter if the autonomous vehicles are cars or tractor-trailers.

Sharing the road with: • Self-driving semi-trucks: Feel less safe: 53% / Feel more safe: 11% • Small, self-driving delivery vehicles: Feel less safe: 43% / Feel more safe: 12% • Self-driving vehicles on a highway: Feel less safe: 47% / Feel more safe: 13% • Self-driving vehicles on local roads: Feel less safe: 44% / Feel

4 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Florida: State Farm (848) Mid-Atlantic: NJM Insurance Co. (867) New England: Amica Mutual (867) (ninth consecutive year) New York: State Farm (859) (second consecutive year) North Central: Erie Insurance (857) Northwest: State Farm (844) Southeast: Farm Bureau Insurance-Tennessee (883) (10th consecutive year) Southwest: American Family (850) (second consecutive year) Texas: Texas Farm Bureau (850) (10th consecutive year) The 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, now in its 22nd year, examines customer satisfaction in five factors, in alphabetical order: billing process and policy information; claims; interaction; policy offerings; and price. The study is based on responses from 38,938 auto insurance customers and was fielded in February and March. For more information about the U.S. Auto Insurance Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/ resource/jd-power-us-auto-insurance-satisfaction-study. Source: J.D. Power

more safe: 13% However, research participants say there are things that would at least make them feel safer sharing the roads with autonomous vehicles. Simply clearly marking a driverless car as a self-driving car would make about 60% of the public feel safer, as would having designated driving lanes for autonomous vehicles. About 30% of respondents say they would feel more comfortable if there were restrictions on the times of day or days of the week when self-driving vehicles can use the roads. Researchers also learned about 50% of the public believes consumers should be educated about how to behave around driverless cars. And a self-driving car should also operate consistently and provide predictable behavior, something which should be defined by safety regulators.

USAA to Acquire Noblr, Inc. Sunbit, the buy now, pay later (BNPL) technology for everyday needs and services, announced June 8 it has entered into a relationship with Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) as the recommended financing solution for MNAO’s 550 dealership auto parts and service centers. Sunbit technology is currently available in 111 MNAO dealerships. During a limited rollout in 2020, Sunbit’s solution generated more than $2 million in revenue for participating Mazda dealership parts and service centers. Sunbit’s technology, designed for in-person and contactless transactions with a digital approval process within 30 seconds with nearly no data entry, does not perform hard credit checks for applicants, making it an ideal financing solution at dealerships. Source: Sunbit


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Volvo Group Breaks Ground on State-of-the-Art Vehicle Propulsion Lab in Maryland During a groundbreaking ceremony June 9, the Volvo Group announced a $33 million expansion of its powertrain research and development site in Hagerstown, MD, for the construction of a new, state-of-theart Vehicle Propulsion Lab (VPL). Volvo’s VPL will be the first facility in North America to allow comprehensive testing of current and future products for Volvo Trucks, Mack Trucks, Prevost and Volvo Bus to meet evolving government regulations and ensure high performance on the diverse North American roadways. Housed under one roof, the lab will consist of two environmental chambers. One chamber will have a chassis dyno capable of emissions measurements and simulating extreme-weather and altitude conditions. The second will offer testing of fully operative vehicles, including highway and vocational trucks, as well as coach buses, for starting in a variety of weather conditions. “The Hagerstown powertrain technology site plays a significant role in the Volvo Group’s efforts to offer advanced transportation solu-

tions that meet customers’ needs today and down the road,” said Lars Stenqvist, chief technology officer of the Volvo Group. “The all-new VPL, slated to open in the second quarter of 2023, will enable us the ability to more quickly develop and test battery-electric and hydrogen-based fuel cell solutions, as well as internal combustion engines, which will be powered by fossil-free fuels in the future, for our Class 8 trucks and coach buses.” Additional testing features in the VPL will include: Operating from -22 degrees F to 104 degrees F for development and verification activities Wind speed simulation up to 85 mph Vehicle absorbing and motoring capability up to 1600 horsepower Altitude simulation up to 14,000 feet Various types of performance and emissions testing for battery electric, fuel cell, hybrid, natural gas and diesel technologies Capability to test highway and vocational Class 8 trucks and coach buses for North American, South

American and European applications “Our engineers currently rely on long-distance travel for extreme-weather testing or tap various third-party labs that specialize in specific types of testing,” said Audley Brown, vice president of powertrain engineering for Volvo Group North America. “The VPL will be one of the few places in operation that offers vehicle emissions and on-board diagnostics requirements at all expected operating conditions for trucks, buses and powertrains.” The company also expects the new lab to help drive ongoing product-quality improvements and speed-to-market capabilities due to the strategic migration from on-road testing to controlled, lab-environment testing. At final construction, the VPL will be more than 35,000 square feet, two stories high and connected to the existing engine development lab on the Hagerstown campus. It’s been 15 years since the current lab went into operation, which involved a $40 million investment at the time. Since then, the company

has spent an additional $12 million upgrading the test cells, a portion of which was used to enable the creation of electricity regeneration when operating the dyno tests. The Volvo Group employs more than 250 people at the current site from engineering, procurement, environmental, health and safety functions, and the new VPL will add around 10 new jobs, including both non-bargaining and UAW union-represented team members. The company’s Hagerstown campus is also home to the Volvo Group’s powertrain manufacturing facility, producing engines, transmissions and axles for Mack Trucks, Volvo Trucks, Prevost coaches and Volvo Buses sold in North America. Employing more than 1,700 team members, the company has invested more than $294 million since 2011 at the 1.5 million square-foot manufacturing facility.  Source: Volvo Group North America

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autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 7


MSO Symposium Announces Format The Automotive Service Association is pleased to announce the 2021 MSO Symposium will be taking place as a live and in-person event Nov. 1 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV. The MSO Symposium is an annual collision industry event where repair facility executives from large, small and regional MSOs come to gather with like-minded peers. The 2020 event was held virtually over a week and was made available to everyone in the industry. This year’s oneday program will return to its original format. The event will begin at 10 a.m. PDT and will feature a unique line-up of presentations and panelists, concluding with an evening reception. Registration to this closed event will be made available in late June. Stay informed by visiting www.msosymposium. com. Source: MSO Symposium

MA Right to Repair Law Headed to Trial The issue of a consumer’s “right to repair” was in the news with the release of the Federal Trade Commission’s “Nixing the Fix” Report to Congress. Massachusetts has been “ground zero” on the issue with passage of voter initiatives in 2012 and 2020. Consumer advocates are readying for a legal decision in the lawsuit seeking to block implementation of the measure that was supported by a large majority of Massachusetts voters at the ballot box last November. The 2020 initiative, which would require 2022 model year cars and later sold in Massachusetts and use a telematics system to have an inter-operable, standardized and open access platform, has been delayed by a lawsuit brought by the manufacturers groups that campaigned vigorously against the voter initiative. The case, Alliance for Automotive Innovation v. Healey, is scheduled for a bench trial in June in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. An issue at trial will be the manufactur-

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er group’s contention the pending state law is pre-empted by federal statute. Proponents of the initiative seek to ensure independent auto shops have access to a vehicle’s telematics system and close what they see as a legal loophole in the 2012 initiative brought about by changing technology. The Auto Glass Safety Council was part of the large coalition supporting the initiative for fear that consumer safety could be jeopardized if auto glass service shops did not have access to a vehicle’s essential telematics information prevalent in late model vehicles. Tommy Hickey, director of the Right to Repair Coalition in Massachusetts, told glassBYTEs his group was “very disappointed the manufacturers have chosen profits over customers in bringing the litigation after the initiative was approved by 75% of the voters.” Hickey is confident the federal court will reject the manufacturers’ argument. That court has conducted extensive discovery in the case and is expected to decide

the case by Aug. 1. Hickey also said several bills have been introduced in the Massachusetts legislature that would give manufacturers more time to comply, as far out as model year 2025, but the coalition opposes these measures. He sees many similarities between the present effort and the successful campaign in 2012-2013, which resulted in the implementation of a model law. The coalition leader also was encouraged by the FTC report sign and pleased that the federal independent agency “noticed the issue and called out the manufacturers. In a world with computers, tablets and 15 devices in a house, people are sick of it.”

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Massachusetts Man Charged with Attempting to Fraudulently Purchase $83,000 Sports Car A Worcester, MA, man was arrested May 20 and charged with attempting to fraudulently purchase a Chevrolet Camaro valued at $83,000 using the bank account of an Arizona resident. Brandon Brouillard, 27, was charged with one count of bank fraud. Brouillard was detained following an initial appearance May 20 before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler. According to the charging documents, on April 17, Brouillard arrived at a Chevrolet dealership in Norwood, MA, to test drive a 2021 Chevrolet Camaro. After test-driving the Camaro, Brouillard allegedly agreed to purchase it for $83,000 and paid for the vehicle with a cashier’s check made out to the dealership. It is alleged Brouillard provided his Massachusetts driver license, proof of insurance and signed a sales contract, Massachusetts application for registration and car title in connection with the purchase.  On April 19, Brouillard allegedly picked up the Camaro from the dealership. On April 23, the deal-

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ership learned the account listed on the bank check provided by Brouillard was frozen. The dealership contacted Brouillard, who allegedly promised he would wire $83,000 to pay for the car. On April 26, an Arizona resident contacted local police and reported an attempted fraudulent wire transfer of $83,000 from the victim’s bank account. The victim reported a fraudulent email purportedly from the victim was sent to the bank, requesting a wire transfer of $83,000 to pay for the victim’s “brother-inlaw’s car.” The bank contacted the victim for verification, and the victim did not approve the transfer. It is alleged that starting in or about September 2020, the victim’s accounts were compromised, and large fraudulent purchases were made and shipped to Brouillard’s address. It is estimated that approximately $500,000 of the victim’s funds were stolen. The charge of bank fraud provides for a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of $1

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million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Acting U.S. Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI, Boston Division, made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by the Boston, Braintree, Moultonborough (NH), Natick, Newton, Norwood, Worcester and Scottsdale (AZ) police departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Mulcahy of Mendell’s Worcester Branch Office is prosecuting the case. The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts

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SafeAuto Insurance to Join Allstate SafeAuto will add capabilities and distribution with its 24-hour, 7-days-a-week customer contact centers at 1-800-SafeAuto and its website. The combination will leverage National General’s direct-to-consumer non-standard auto insurance operations and leverage National General’s track record of acquiring and integrating companies to accelerate growth. “I am confident that combining forces with National General with the backing of Allstate will allow SafeAuto to grow its platform in the non-standard space,” said Ari Deshe, co-founder and chairman of SafeAuto. “I wish to thank all of our past and present associates for their contributions to our success during our 27-year history.” The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2021, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Source: SafeAuto

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Rhode Island Man Sentenced to 10 Months for Car Warranty Fraud Scheme The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced Herman Cabral, 62, of Cranston, RI, was sentenced May 26 to 10 months’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release by U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion for a wire fraud conspiracy offense. According to Acting U.S. Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Cabral was convicted of processing false invoices for nonexistent automobile repairs through his Providence, RI, automobile repair shop, A Plus Collision Center. Cabral pleaded guilty July 23, 2019, to causing between $150,000 and $250,000 of fraudulent loss to the Wilkes-Barre based automobile warranty company. Mannion also ordered Cabral to pay restitution of $211,644.03 to the victim of his crime. Three of Cabral’s coconspirators were convicted and are awaiting sentencing. Brian Larry, 59, of Clark’s Summit, PA, was convicted May 10 following a jury trial, of mail fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft

and false statement offenses. Larry was convicted of defrauding his former employer, the Wilkes-Barre based automobile warranty company, from approximately January 2014 through October 2018. Larry also was convicted of stealing the personal information of warranty policy owners and providing it to his coconspirators, who created false invoices for nonexistent automobile repair work supposedly performed at various garages in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, including by forging the policy owners’ signatures on the paperwork.  The false and forged documentation was then sent to the warranty company, where Larry approved payment of the invoices.  During the course of the scheme, Larry and his coconspirators obtained approximately $400,000 paid out by the warranty company pursuant to the false invoices, including thousands of dollars in repair work for Larry’s personal vehicle that he charged to other policy owners. The evidence

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at trial showed Larry then falsified internal warranty company documents in an attempt to conceal his crimes. Matthew Gershkoff, 64, of North Providence, RI, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and to aggravated identity theft, and is awaiting sentencing. Gershkoff was convicted of preparing false invoices for nonexistent automobile repairs at multiple automobile repair shops located in Rhode Island and in Massachusetts, and for forging policy owners’ signatures.  Gershkoff pleaded guilty May 18, 2020, to causing between $250,000 and $550,000 of fraudulent loss to the Wilkes-Barre based automobile warranty company, and has agreed to repay restitution. Jason Pannone, 39, of North Providence, RI, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and mail fraud and to aggravated identity theft, and is awaiting sentencing.  Pannone was convicted of processing false invoices for nonexistent automobile repairs through his

Providence automobile detailing shop, Platinum Auto Services, and through a North Attleboro, MA, automobile repair shop, Ultra Auto Services. Pannone pleaded guilty March 23 to causing between $150,000 and $250,000 of fraudulent loss to the Wilkes-Barre based automobile warranty company, and he has agreed to repay more than $128,000 in restitution. The case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Phillip J. Caraballo and Jeffrey St. John prosecuted the case. Source: U.S. State’s Attorney’s Office Middle District of Pennsylvania

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Volta Charging Reaches 100 Charging Stations in Maryland Volta Industries, Inc., an industry leader in commerce-centric electric vehicle (EV) charging networks, on June 15 announced it has reached a joint milestone of 100 brand-sponsored, complimentary charging stations located in prime locations across Maryland. In partnership with the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) and Giant Food, along with local attractions such as the Mall of Columbia and Inner Harbor in Baltimore, there are now 100 sponsored Volta Charging stations available to Maryland EV drivers, giving them access to convenient and reliable charging on the go.  Volta Charging equipment incorporates marketing messaging on the charging station’s screens which allows the public to use the chargers at no cost. This milestone in Maryland illustrates how state and local governments can successfully work with private entities to support the networked charging infrastructure necessary to enable the growing adoption of EVs. Volta Charging has received financial assistance for 64

chargers at 22 locations throughout the state and counting via MEA’s Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate Program, which has helped incentivize the deployment of over 5,000 residential and commercial charging stations across the state since 2014. Reliable and convenient charging infrastructure will be needed to support a shift in consumer mobility, a shift that underscores the importance of creating widespread, universal access to alternative energy sources. Optimizing charger deployment for the grid, the transportation system, site hosts and consumers is more essential now than ever before. “This public-private partnership with Volta Charging and Giant is yet another testament to Maryland’s standing as a national leader in transportation electrification,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. “Expanding access to electric vehicle charging infrastructure is critical to achieving both our emissions reduction and EV deployment goals, while serving the needs of Marylanders and visitors alike.” “We now have 74 Volta kiosks

installed at Giant Food locations across our market area,” said Ira Kress, president of Giant Food. “As part of our continued sustainability commitments, we are furthering our actions to reduce carbon emissions through our business practices and key partnerships. We are happy to partner with Volta to provide on-site charging options for our EV customers, and a quick, convenient and complimentary service that supports their personal efforts to live more sustainably.” “We’re proud to work with Maryland Energy Administration to provide greater access to open, reliable and convenient charging infrastructure that underpins the massive shift to electric vehicles,” said Scott Mercer, founder and CEO of Volta Charging. “Volta is a key component of Giant Food’s visionary Better Neighbor program, focused on building healthy communities today and tomorrow. This relationship allowed us to work together with the state of Maryland to offer alternative fueling solutions for drivers at the places they like to go, while also supporting the goal of wellness and a cleaner en-

vironment for all Marylanders.” Volta Charging’s unique charging stations―which feature large, eye-catching digital displays― provide an optimal content viewing experience for drivers who plug in their vehicles when and where they shop. Volta Charging’s digital media network delivers a high value, diversified audience reach of more than 70 million consumers in 14 of the 15 largest designated market areas. Volta media charging stations also offer brands a dynamic content experience, including activation and engagement opportunities. Brands running campaigns on Volta charging stations report experiencing positive results in brand awareness and increased purchase intent; in addition, Volta’s business partners who choose to have Volta charging stations installed report an increase in spend, dwell time and engagement on site. Source: Volta

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WIN Launches WINConnect The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) has launched WINConnect, a new program designed to increase networking and career building opportunities. Registration for the initiative opened May 24 and is available exclusively to all WIN members interested in expanding their professional capabilities and knowledge. Members will be able to network and learn during virtual group sessions directly with the professional coaching and development team at MVP Spark. This year-long program will run from July 2021 to May 2022, with carefully selected cohorts meeting every other month. Cost for present WIN members is $120. Members who belong to a WIN-sponsoring organization receive a discount. Students will receive a deeply discounted fee, and accommodations are available for students in need of additional assistance. To sign up, visit: https://thewomensindustrynetwork.site-ym. com/page/connect Source: WIN

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Toyota Introduces Data Privacy Portal Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) is proud to announce the creation of the Toyota Data Privacy Portal to increase data transparency, accessibility and control for Toyota and Lexus vehicle owners. Toyota created Data Privacy Portal to give consumers a clear understanding and control over how their personal data is used— including providing options to share data where it benefits them, while making it easy to de-enroll should they choose. Data Privacy Portal informs users when an impactful change has been made to their privacy settings. Data Portal can be accessed for Connected Services-capable vehicles, starting from model year 2013, through the “account settings” section of the Toyota and Lexus apps. If the user owns multiple Toyota or Lexus vehicles, they can select custom privacy and data sharing settings for each individual vehicle. Source: Toyota

Maryland Auto Expands Initiative to Combat Insurance Fraud Maryland Auto Insurance’s initiative to combat auto insurance fraud in the state has expanded to include extensive fraud prevention training for internal teams and authorized producer partners. On May 20, a virtual training session for authorized Maryland Auto agents was led by Maryland Auto Executive Director Al Redmer Jr. and Special Investigation Unit Supervisor Andrew Pacione. “There is a lot of organized fraud out there and it costs us all a lot of money,” said Redmer. “We at Maryland Auto are committed to identifying and catching fraud. And when we do catch it, we work with the Maryland Insurance Administration and the authorities to prosecute suspected parties.” Maryland Auto policies are sold by a network of authorized agents across the state and the training is designed to engage the agents in the effort to reduce fraud. “Our providers are the front line in our effort to combat fraud, especially at the point of sale. By being aware of potential fraud indicators and requesting additional

documentation or declining to write a policy until appropriate documentation is provided, our partners can prevent ineligible drivers from purchasing Maryland Auto policies illegally,” said Pacione. The training session included a review of fraud prevention tactics, including confirmation of insurable interest for all policies and residency verification for all applicants. Maryland Auto is working vigilantly to stop fraudulent claims. In 2019, claims totaling more than $3.6 million were denied by Maryland Auto following fraud investigations. Many of these claims were denied based on residency issues. Maryland law limits eligibility for coverage with Maryland Auto Insurance to state residents. In 2019 and 2020, Maryland Auto conducted more than 900 residency investigations, 75% of which resulted in a policy being voided. Maryland Auto was created by the legislature with the public mission of providing access to auto insurance to all Maryland drivers.

“As an independent agency of the State of Maryland, we also have a responsibility to protect the residents of our state from the financial burden created by insurance fraud,” said Redmer. The company’s fraud prevention initiative was first announced in fall of 2020 and began with enhanced fraud identification training for claims associates. “Mr. Redmer has empowered us to create better, more efficient fraud prevention processes at Maryland Auto. In addition to the new training we have enhanced our IT systems to help us identify fraud and suspicious activity,” said Pacione. Source: Maryland Auto Insurance

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National Grid Launches Electric Vehicle Road Trip to Highlight Northeast Charging Infrastructure National Grid on June 3 unveiled its new EV Road Trip, an effort to raise awareness around the location of charging infrastructure and accelerate adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) across New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. As summer arrives and seven in 10 Americans hit the road, National Grid is offering an online guide to tourist spots in the Northeast and ways to see them sustainably and conveniently in an EV. The initiative is the latest effort by National Grid, a principal partner of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), to expand clean energy adoption across the Northeast. One of the ways National Grid has committed to combating climate change across the Northeast is through transportation electrification. That includes investing $200 million in deploying 19,000 charging stations, helping to lower charging costs through managed charging programs, supporting fleets to develop electrification road maps and install charging and promoting general EV awareness.

“With so many of our customers planning to travel this summer, we are encouraging both safety and sustainability,” said Badar Khan, U.S. president of National Grid. “Traveling by electric vehicle is one way to explore the Northeast while emitting less carbon. The

Road Trip is designed to demonstrate the availability of charging infrastructure so that we can reduce range anxiety and encourage more people to drive electric.” The EV Road Trip comes in the wake of a new report from the International Energy Agency noting that, while the technology to achieve reductions in emissions exists, it has not been deployed fast enough.

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This issue is most apparent in transportation, the nation’s largest source of emissions. Despite advocacy from the Biden Administration and the introduction of more EV models, research shows consumers remain concerned over inadequate charging infrastructure. With travel set to rise 60% over the next few weeks as vaccines reduce COVID-19 infection rates, the EV Road Trip seeks to assure travelers that sustainability and summer traditions can go hand-in-hand. The EV Road Trip encompasses more than 40 cultural, natural and historical sites offering families an easy and safe summer escape without using a drop of gas. Those stops include: Massachusetts―The Berkshires, Boston Common, Salem Witch Trials Memorial and Cape Cod beaches New York―Niagara Falls, Lake George, Schenectady, Albany and the Catskills Rhode Island―Roger Williams Park Zoo, The Breakers and Narragansett Beach The EV Road Trip is one of many

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AASP/NJ June Virtual Meeting to Highlight ‘Out of the Box’ Solutions The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) will host a virtual membership meeting, “Are You at the End of Your Rope? Thinking There Has to Be a Better Way?” at 6:30 p.m. ET June 16 via Zoom. The meeting is set to feature industry business coach Barrett R. Smith, who will present an eye-opening conversation about how to better run an auto collision facility by sharing “out-of-thebox” solutions that will change the way one does business forever. Smith is a former body shop owner who has also worked as a claims adjuster and managed independent and dealer collision centers. He holds the designations of accredited automotive manager (AAM) and ASE master tech and is certified by Mitchell, CCC and ADP estimating platforms and I-CAR training. He founded Auto Damage Experts (ADE) in 2001, and offers consulting services to auto body repairers, consumers, legal

professionals and insurers around the country. In addition, Rick Palmer of PMCLogic will give a brief presentation on the paint and materials management and invoicing system. This meeting is free to all industry professionals in New Jersey. To become a member of AASP/NJ, call Executive Director Charles Bryant at (732) 9228909 or the administrative office at (973) 667-6922. Pre-registration for this event is a must. To register for this meeting, contact Bryant or the AASP/NJ administrative office. For more information on AASP/ NJ, visit aaspnj.org. Source: AASP/NJ

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Registration Open for NORTHEAST Automotive Services Show Registration is now open for the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/ NJ)’s 2021 NORTHEAST® Automotive Services Show, which will be held in person Sept. 10-12 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center (MEC) in Secaucus, NJ.

As New Jersey continues to loosen restrictions with the latest news that Gov. Phil Murphy has removed the indoor mask mandate for those fully vaccinated against COVID-19, there is much to be excited about. NORTHEAST will be the automotive repair industry’s first in-person regional show since the coronavirus crisis began. “We are thrilled and excited to be the first regional automotive show to come back after the nightmare of the pandemic,” said

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AASP/NJ President Jerry McNee. “AASP/NJ has always been a leader, and it is an honor to be the first to get our industry back to some sense of normalcy. Holding NORTHEAST is always something we look forward to―maybe more than ever this year.” The association continues to work daily with the MEC to implement all necessary safety protocols to ensure that anyone who attends NORTHEAST will feel safe and secure. To register for NORTHEAST 2021, visit the official event website, aaspnjnortheast.com. Pre-registered NORTHEAST 2020 attendees will not need to re-register, as badge data will be carried over to the Sept. 10-12 dates. For more information on AASP/NJ, visit aaspnj.org. Source: AASP/NJ

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Continued from Cover

SRS Inspections that are needed, and press for some level of standardization among the automakers. To do this, VanHulle said, “We need more data on what’s being found in the real world. Right now we have a lot of anecdotal examples of strange things that were found during inspections,” such as when a shop discovers a “bad actor” has installed resistors on a vehicle to mask that an airbag module is missing or inoperable. “We need a lot more than just those anecdotal examples,” VanHulle said. I-CAR has posted a brief form (https://rts.i-car.com/srs-inspection-feedback-form) shops can use to submit information on the SRS inspections they perform, what triggered the inspections and what was found. “And pictures, pictures, pictures,” VanHulle said. “I’m sure any of the people who deal with estimating have seen not very good pictures

from the industry. If you give us a picture that is so extremely close I have no idea what part that is even on, it’s not a great picture. I need ones with geography. I need to be able to see what the part looks like

I-CAR has posted a brief form they are asking shops to use to submit information on the SRS inspections they perform

and where it’s located, and have it as clear as it can be.” By providing real-world findings to the OEMs, he said, the automakers may be able to include common things to look for during inspections, and it could be incorporated into I-CAR training. Vague references to “inspect for damage”

could be replaced by step-by-step processes. “The more data we can get, the more accurate information we can then have to work with,” VanHulle said. “This is not something we’re going to do for a week. This is a long-term data gathering.” I-CAR’s effort was welcomed by Jason Bartanen, vice chairman of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) Emerging Technologies Committee. He points to one automaker whose procedures call for removing an undeployed airbag to inspect it, then reinstall it using new fasteners. “But they only service the fasteners with the airbag,” Bartanen said. “That presents huge obstacles. You’re essentially replacing an undeployed airbag because we had to take it out and inspect it. That’s where I think we can do a lot of good with this. “The OEMs have shown that they are responsive. The more information we can get them, the ideas for solutions…They are open to it and they’ve shown a willingness to change.”

CarAdvise, Affirm to Offer Long-Term Payment CarAdvise, an online vehicle maintenance, scheduling and discounted repairs marketplace, has launched a new partnership with Affirm, a financial lender of installment loans. This partnership will give CarAdvise members availability to choose a long-term payment option for their vehicle maintenance and repair purchases. CarAdvise’s platform allows members to search, compare prices and book vehicle and maintenance appointments online. Until today, members only had the option to pay at checkout via credit card. Now members will have the option to select Affirm as a payment method at checkout, allowing them to pay off maintenance over time. The Affirm payment program will allow CarAdvise members to pay for their maintenance or repair over a three-, six- or 12-month period. Source: CarAdvise

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Continued from Cover

2 House Bills holders pay for the insurance company to return their vehicle to its original state after an accident, according to Craven, who also specified it’s some, not all, insurers who have “decided they’re going to cut corners,” leaving auto body shops to eat the cost. “It’s not fair. We’re not paying auto body shops to do anything other than fix our cars, but we are paying insurance companies to cover the loss,” he said. “It’s time to tell the insurance industry that writes collision insurance, ‘You’ve got to stop this.’ […] This isn’t an anti-insurance bill; it’s a consumer bill. It’s irritating to see people ripped off by this kind of nitpicky practice.” Frank O’Brien, vice president of state government relations for American Property Casualty Insurance Association, opposed both bills, arguing it “costs more to repair a car in Rhode Island than anywhere else,” and Rhode Island “has more detailed restrictions in place than any other state,” blaming those factors for the high cost of auto insurance in the state. Referencing House Bill 6235, which he claimed “constitutes nothing less than a constructive ban on the use of recycled parts” as written, Frank O’Brien noted, “While we have no issues with the provisions of the bill which deal with the use of appropriate parts, what we do object to are the nonsensical requirements in the bill which would require and limit our ability to source parts beyond a certain geographic area.” Objecting to legislation that “keeps diving into the nitty gritty of these issues,” Frank O’Brien added, “Enough is enough with these bills. How far is the General Assembly supposed to get into the weeds with all this stuff?” Randy Botella, owner of Reliable Collision in West Warwick, RI, argued materials used are not considered overhead; instead, they are materials, such as primer, body filler and buffing pads, meant to be used on a specific vehicle. He also acknowledged most insurers reimburse markup, but the bill is meant to address the matter with those who “won’t adhere to the law.” The first portion of House Bill 6234 expands on current require-

ments related to paint and materials charges, updating §27-9.1-4(21) as follows: “Refusing to compensate an auto body shop for their documented charges as identified through the most current version of automotive industry-recognized software programs or systems for paint, body and refinishing materials in auto body repair claims, including, but not limited to, programs such as Mitchell’s RMC, PMC Logic, Paint, Micromix or a paint manufacturer’s programs. An insurer shall not discount documented charges by failing to use a system in its entirety, including an automotive industry standard markup.” §27-9.1-4(25)(v) says: “When a vehicle is deemed a total loss, if the insurer is not retaining the salvage, the insurer must notify the owner of the vehicle in writing of the requirements of obtaining both a salvage title and a reconstructed title from the department of motor vehicles pursuant to chapter 1 of title 31,” and would be amended to add: “and must obtain, in writing, the owner’s consent and acknowledgement that the insurer is not retaining the salvage and include a statement of the owner’s obligation and potential costs to dispose of or otherwise retain the salvage.” Lastly, the Rhode Island Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act would be expanded to add, “(27) Refusing to pay an auto body repair shop for documented necessary sublet services paid out to vendors or incurred by the auto body repair shop, for specialty or unique services performed in the overall repair process, including costs and labor incurred to research, coordinate, administrate or facilitate the necessary sublet service, and an automotive industry standard markup. Examples of sublet services include, but are not limited to, towing, transportation, suspension, alignments, electronic calibrations, diagnostic work, mechanical work and paid charges to release a vehicle.” House Bill 6235 seeks to add six standards to Section 27-10.2-1 of the General Laws in Chapter 27-10.2, “Motor Vehicle Replacement Parts,” related to used parts insurance companies request during the collision repair. First, HB 6235 includes a definition of used parts: “a motor vehicle replacement part that is a used original equipment manufacturer part.” It

20 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

would then amend Chapter 27-10.2 to include the following: “27-10.2-4. Standards for use of used parts. Whenever used parts are used for repairs to physically damaged motor vehicles, the following standards shall apply: “(1) The used parts shall be at least equal in kind and quality to the OEM parts in terms of fit, quality, performance and warranty, and be from a vehicle of the same year or newer and have the same or less mileage than the vehicle receiving the used part; “(2) To the extent practical, an insurance company shall not require the use of multiple parts distributors to provide parts for a single repair and shall limit the distance of the sourced parts to fifty (50) miles, and provide delivery unless agreed to by the vehicle owner; “(3) Insurers specifying the use of used parts shall make allowances for the reasonable cost of any modifications to the parts which may become necessary when making the repair, and for the cost of fitting, removing and/or handling of used parts which do not result in the vehicle being repaired to its condition prior to

the loss; “(4) If the used part specified by the insurer does not result in the vehicle being repaired to its condition prior to the loss, the insurer shall then specify the use of an OEM part; “(5) The automobile body shop shall promptly notify the appraiser if the used part specified by the insurer does not result in the vehicle being repaired to its condition prior to the loss and permit the appraiser to reinspect the vehicle and make appropriate supplemental authorizations, if necessary; and “(6) The automobile body shop shall provide documentation of used parts, which do not meet the requirements of this section, as reasonably requested by the insurer. The insurer shall be permitted to exercise any available rights of recovery against the used parts distributor.” The Rhode Island House Corporations Committee voted to hold House Bills 6234 and 6235 for further study. Concerned collision repair professionals and consumers can contact their Rhode Island representatives or senators to urge them to support this legislation.

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Auto Glass Safety Becomes Law in Maryland Auto glass safety legislation requiring the state to adopt regulations that “meet or exceed” the ANSI/AGSC/ Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) has been enacted by the State of Maryland. The bill was passed by the state legislature in April and was on a long list of bills issued by the Maryland governor this weekend that will be allowed to pass into law prior the state’s June 1 veto deadline. The bill is based on model legislation developed and supported by the Auto Glass Safety Council. It requires the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MD MVA) “adopt regulations establishing standards and requirements for aftermarket safety glass replacement that… meet or exceed the standards an requirements of the American National Standards Institute/Auto Glass Safety Council/Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standard.” Aftermarket safety glass is defined as “vehicle safety glass replacement services that occur after the original installation by a vehicle manufacturer.” The legislation passed the Maryland House of Delegates by a vote on 128-6 on March

12 and the Maryland Senate 47-0 on April 6. “I am pleased that my legislation for Maryland to adopt auto glass safety standards has been enacted,” said Maryland Delegate Kumar Barve, chair of the House Environment and Transportation Committee and sponsor of the bill. “I am greatly appreciative of all of the hard work of the safety advocates in supporting this bill. The Motor Vehicle Administration has already begun work on drafting the Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standard into state law and I look forward to working with them throughout the process.” The legislation drew support from many in the auto glass industry who testified at hearings before state legislators, including the Auto Glass Safety Council, Glass America, Novus and Safelite. “We are grateful that Maryland has taken the lead in adopting the AGRSS, a voluntary industry standard, into state law to better protect automobile drivers and their passengers. We look forward to working with other states to enact similar auto glass safety standards,” said Seth Maiman, AGSC’s director of public affairs.

Continued from Cover

Focus on Electric Cars tiple options, such as hybrids and fuel-cell cars. He also said these vehicle types need to compete with one another to offer people the best options. While Ford, GM and Volkswagen have made it clear they’re going “all in” related to a future of EVs, Toyota argues battery-powered cars aren’t necessarily the way of the future. Moreover, it believes “non-electric cars” will continue to thrive in markets across the globe. “Some people love battery-electric vehicles but others don’t see the current technologies as convenient,” Toyota’s Chief Technology Officer Masahiko Maeda explained. “In the end what matters is what cus-

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tomers choose.” As we previously reported, Toyota is saying publically it will leave the decision to car shoppers. However, Toyota isn’t just citing a lack of demand for EVs as the only concern. Rather, according to Automotive News, it also suggests the materials needed to make EV batteries “could account for a larger share of total emissions than those from tailpipes.” Nonetheless, Toyota did say it will make an effort to reduce production costs associated with EVs, though it will do so by producing them alongside other vehicles that don’t use battery-electric powertrains. Toyota says to truly reduce carbon emissions, automakers must look at a vehicle’s entire lifecycle, not just its tailpipe emissions.

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Sununu to Sign PPP Tax Exemptions for New Hampshire Businesses by Christian Wade, The Center Square

New Hampshire businesses will be exempt from paying state taxes on federal disaster loans under legislation expected to be signed by Gov. Chris Sununu.    Sununu told the New Hampshire Business Review he planned to sign the recently approved measure, which will eliminate taxes on the federal Paycheck Protection Program for more than 25,000 businesses that received the disaster loans.   “Excited to move forward with yet another tax cut for the Main Street small businesses of New Hampshire,” the Republican governor told the publication. “This plan is a win-win.” Senate Bill 3, filed by Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, passed the House on June 4, putting New Hampshire in line with a majority of other states that have exempted the PPP loans from taxation. The bill was previously approved by the Senate.   Congress exempted the disaster loans from federal income taxes,

but New Hampshire was one of 18 states where the funds were scheduled to be taxed.

CIF Elects New Trustee The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) is excited to announce the election of Yvette Burke, vice president of replacement and leisure division at Enterprise Holdings Inc., to the CIF Board of Trustees. CIF provides emergency relief by securing and distributing donations to collision repair professionals who have experienced significant losses due to natural disasters or other catastrophic events. Burke has a long history of philanthropic involvement, including within the collision repair industry as a member of the Women’s Industry Network (WIN), where she has contributed on numerous committees and as a mentor, and the National Auto Body Council as a member of the St. Louis Golf Tournament Committee. She is a current board member of the Alzheimer’s Association, chairing the “Walk to End ALZ” and participating on the ALZ Gala Committee.

eligible for PPP loan forgiveness if at least 60% of the proceeds go toward payroll expenses.

“Excited to move forward with yet another tax cut for the Main Street small businesses of New Hampshire. This plan is a win-win” ” — Chris Sununu Lawmakers who backed the move argued that the state has plenty of surplus money and can afford to give back to businesses that have struggled to survive during the pandemic.    The state Department of Revenue Administration estimates the impact to state coffers ranging from about $80 million to $135 million. The Paycheck Protection Program was approved as part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress in March to help keep small businesses afloat during the current pandemic. Under the law, borrowers are

A second pandemic relief package approved by Congress in December provided another round of forgivable PPP loans, and allowed businesses to claim tax deductions for the expenses they covered with forgiven loan proceeds. More than 25,000 New Hampshire businesses received about $3.72 billion through the loan program, according to the latest data from the U.S. Treasury.   The federal program effectively ended last week, when the Small Business Administration stopped taking applications for funding.

Source: CIF

Automakers’ Lawsuit to Overturn Voter-Approved MA Vehicle Data Access Law Goes to Trial All eyes in the auto care industry will once again turn to Massachusetts on June 14 as the trial begins in federal court to hear the challenge brought by vehicle manufacturers against the state’s voters on the data access law. Approved by voters Nov. 3, 2020, by an overwhelming 75% to 25% margin, the new law would require manufacturers to provide vehicle owners both access and control of the diagnostic and repair data generated by their vehicles. The lawsuit, filed by the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, the car companies’ trade group, asks the court to overturn the data access ballot question based on a host of allegations, including cyber security concerns, insufficient time to comply with the new data access requirements and their contention

the ballot initiative is preempted by federal law. The trial is expected to last about a week.  “Auto Care is carefully following the trial, as well as the verdict, which likely will occur sometime later in the summer,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. “Obviously, we hope that the court will uphold the will of the people of Massachusetts. However, no matter the result, the association is committed to continuing the campaign to ensure that car owners, nationwide, have the ability to directly access their in-vehicle data in real time and to have that data available to the repair shop of their choice.”   Source: Auto Care Association

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Tesla Hires at New York Gigafactory for Autopilot and FSD Beta by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs

Tesla is currently building its fourth and fifth Gigafactories, one in Berlin, Germany, and the other in Austin, TX. However, many people are only familiar with Tesla’s original Gigafactory, the battery facility in partnership with Panasonic in Sparks, NV. Tesla also recently opened a Gigafactory in China. That’s only four production facilities. The fifth came to Tesla as part of its acquisition of SolarCity, and it’s located in Buffalo, NY. The factory’s main task is related to Tesla’s solar roof project, though Tesla Solar hasn’t yet ramped up significantly. It aims to be a major piece of the brand’s future. However, for now, it will use its “Gigafactory 2” location for multiple efforts. New York requires that Tesla have a certain number of employees in order to keep the monies invested by the state. With the solar business making slow progress, Tesla has had to add new activi-

ties at the factory, to hire more employees.

Tesla has made multiple attempts to restructure the work at the NY Gigafactory, including a deal with Panasonic to produce solar modules, which has since ended, as well as producing Supercharger stations. Now, according to a recent report published by Electrek, Tesla has confirmed it already hired more than 250 people to work on data labeling related to Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Beta. The publication contained a letter to New York penned by Tesla Treasurer Yaron Klein. It reads: “Despite these headwinds, Tesla has been steadily ramping back up GFNY and expanding and diversifying the facility’s

operations. Tesla has continued to expand the portfolio of the Power Electronics and vehicle charging equipment manufactured in Buffalo, and we recently onboarded over 250 new positions at the facility to support training Tesla’s autonomous vehicle and full self-driving capabilities.” The article also claims Tesla will be working on power electronics production at the factory. Reportedly, Tesla has already met its investment requirement for New York, but it needs to ramp up hiring by about 30%. The state is giving Tesla until the end of the year to meet the goal. The company says “it will continue to recover from the pandemic-related impacts and expects it will meet and exceed all of the Agreement’s Year Two requirements by the end of the 2021.”

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Ford Partners with Mile Auto Automotive giant Ford Motor Company is teaming up with Mile Auto, a next-gen insurtech innovator using computer vision and decision analytics to offer an affordable car insurance option based on mileage to low-mileage drivers. Ford owners who drive fewer than 10,000 miles per year could potentially save between 30% and 40% of their current rates. Mile Auto is changing the way car insurance is purchased with an offering that requires drivers to pay only for what they use. By leveraging onboard telematics data from current Ford models, Ford owners can choose to share mileage data with Mile Auto. Mile Auto does not require smartphones, mobile apps or other hardware to take advantage of lower rates. Mile Auto insurance is currently available in Arizona, Georgia, Illinois and Oregon. The company expects to expand its coverage to 50% of the U.S. auto insurance market by the end of 2021. Source: Mile Auto

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Continued from Cover

Microchip Shortage impact on the collision industry, through the middle of May, when

absolutely are reporting they had short staff due to a COVID outbreak in that area. So the parts were there, but the plants were not able to get them packaged into the boxes and shipped out. But that is a very

PartsTrader said parts on its system are receiving the same number of bids or quotes on average over the past year, indicating good access to replacement crash parts.

PartsTrader data shows the average quoted delivery times for parts going through its system did not change significantly in the past 13 months, one indication that microchip shortages aren’t widely impacting availability of replacement parts.

it comes to parts shortages,” Horn said. “The only real information we had on collision [parts] shortages…is around the packaging plants that two OEs have in Mexico. They

temporary situation and we’re not seeing any big impact from that.” The global microchip shortage has occurred after microchip production was curtailed last spring

early in the pandemic, followed by a sharp uptick in demand for cell phones and gaming devices for those spending much more time at home. “Meanwhile, as that was ramping up, automotive manufacturers were sort of the last to resume production, and when they started coming back online, they realized they were all of a sudden at the back of the line for ability to buy

them,” Horn said. Microchip producers are working to boost supply, but forecasters don’t expect the shortage to be resolved for some months.

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autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 27


2020 Fatality Data Show Increased Traffic Fatalities During Pandemic The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on June 3 released preliminary estimates of crash fatalities in 2020 involving motor vehicle occupants, motorcyclists and people walking and biking. Alongside the release of the 2020 fatality projections, Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2020, the agency issued two special reports, Early Estimates of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities and Fatality Rate by Sub-Categories in 2020, and Update to Special Reports on Traffic Safety During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: Fourth Quarter Data. While Americans drove less in 2020 due to the pandemic, NHTSA’s early estimates show an estimated 38,680 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes—the largest projected number of fatalities since 2007. This represents an increase of about 7.2% as compared to the 36,096 fatalities reported in 2019. Preliminary data from the

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) shows vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 2020 decreased by about 430.2 billion miles, or about a 13.2% decrease. The fatality rate for 2020 was 1.37 fatalities per 100 million VMT, up from 1.11 fatalities per 100 million VMT in 2019. NHTSA’s analysis shows that the main behaviors that drove this increase include: impaired driving, speeding and failure to wear a seat belt. “Safety is the top priority for the U.S. Department of Transportation,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s acting administrator. “Loss of life is unacceptable on our nation’s roadways and everyone has a role to play in ensuring that they are safe. We intend to use all available tools to reverse these trends and reduce traffic fatalities and injuries. “The president’s American Jobs Plan would provide an additional $19 billion in vital funding to improve road safety for all users, including people walking and biking. It will increase funding for

existing safety programs and allow for the creation of new ones, with a goal of saving lives.” NHTSA’s projections show significant increases in fatalities during the third and fourth quarters of 2020 as compared to the corresponding quarters of 2019. NHTSA will continue to carefully analyze various data sources to understand how the risks to vulnerable road users might have changed during 2020 and the contributing factors for the increase.   Preliminary finding show that traffic fatalities rose in most major categories over 2019:  • Passenger vehicle occupants (23,395, up 5%) • Pedestrians (6,205, flat from 2019) • Motorcyclists (5,015, up 9%) • Pedalcyclists (people on bikes) (846, up 5%) Crash factors and demographics reviewed by NHTSA that showed the largest increases in 2020 as

Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires 2 Repair Centers in Maryland The Boyd Group Inc. announced the acquisition of two collision repair centers in Baltimore and Reisterstown, MD. These locations operated as Camden Body & Fender, founded 96 years ago, one of the oldest collision repairers in Maryland. Baltimore is the most populous city in Maryland and 30th largest city in the U.S. The population of the Baltimore metropolitan area is approximately 2.8 million people. Reisterstown is a residential suburb located northwest of Baltimore. Just outside of Reisterstown is Camp Fretterd, a training site for the Maryland Army National Guard and Air Guard. “We welcome these experienced teams and are eager to expand on their longstanding repu-

tation for delivering high-quality repairs and great customer service,” said Kevin Burnett, COO of Gerber Collision & Glass. “These repair centers are located 12 miles from each other and will introduce our brand to new customers and enhance our ability to further assist our insurance clients in these markets.” The Boyd Group is continuously looking to add new collision repair locations to its existing network in Canada and the U.S. Interested collision repair center owners are asked to contact Jason Hope, vice president of business development and strategic projects, at (530) 7743887 or jason.hope@boydgroup. com. Source: The Boyd Group Inc.

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There are a few categories that are projected to have decreases in fatalities in 2020. Fatalities in crashes involving a large truck (commercial or non-commercial use) are projected to decline marginally, down 2%. Fatalities among older persons (65+ years of age) are projected to decline by about 9%.

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compared to 2019 included: • non-Hispanic Black people (up 23%)  • occupant ejection (up 20%) • unrestrained occupants of passenger vehicles (up 15%) • on urban interstates (up 15%) • on urban local/collector roads (up 12%) • in speeding-related crashes (up 11%) • on rural local/collector roads (up 11%) • during nighttime (up 11%)  • during the weekend (up 9%)  • in rollover crashes (up 9%)  in single-vehicle crashes (up 9%)   • in police-reported alcohol involvement crashes (up 9%)

Authentic Parts. Happy Customers. Mopar® Collision Parts When your customers need collision repair parts, offer them the original equipment designed for their Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep , Ram or FIAT Brand vehicle – Mopar . Using aftermarket or salvage parts on their vehicles puts them at a higher collision risk and can influence the integrity and overall quality of their vehicle. ®

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28 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com 68665_Yellow_Q_ABN.indd 1

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Send your electronic insurance estimate to your local FCA US LLC dealer and get the parts that fit true and finish right. We price match* against aftermarket or salvage collision parts. *Some exclusions apply. See dealer for details.

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LLC. All Rights Reserved. Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Mopar and SRT are registered trademarks of FCA US LLC. ©2021 FCA US FIAT is a registered trademark of FCA Group Marketing S.p.A., used under license by FCA US LLC.

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autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 29 1/28/21 12:41 PM


Special Reports: Last summer, recognizing the unique circumstances, NHTSA researchers began compiling additional data from a wide variety of sources to enhance understanding of what was happening on the roadways during the pandemic. This research led to a series of special reports, including two issued June 3: Early Estimates of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities and Fatality Rate by Sub-Categories in 2020 and Update to Special Reports on Traffic Safety During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: Fourth Quarter Data. These update earlier reports released in October 2019, Drug and Alcohol Prevalence in Seriously and Fatally Injured Road Users Before and During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, and Examination of the Traffic Safety Environment During the Second Quarter of 2020: Special Report and January’s Update to Special Reports on Traffic Safety During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

NHTSA’s research suggests throughout the national public health emergency and associated lockdowns, driving patterns and behaviors changed significantly, and that drivers who remained on the roads engaged in more risky behavior, including speeding, failing to wear seat belts and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Traffic data indicates average speeds increased throughout the year, and examples of extreme speeds became more common, while the evidence also shows fewer people involved in crashes used their seat belts.

Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires Repair Center in Victor, NY The Boyd Group Inc. announced the acquisition of a collision repair center in Victor, NY. This location operated as Austin-Spencer Collision Repair Center-Victor, servicing the community for 35 years. Victor is located in the northwest corner of Ontario County and appeals to many commuters with its proximity to Rochester. “We welcome this experienced and well-performing team which will strengthen our ability to deliver high-quality customer service to this region,” said Kevin Burnett, COO of Gerber Collision & Glass. “This repair

Source: NHTSA

center is near our existing locations in Fairport and Canandaigua, strengthening our brand and further assisting our insurance partners in the area.” The Boyd Group is continuously looking to add new collision repair locations to its existing network in Canada and the U.S. Interested collision repair center owners are asked to contact Jason Hope, vice president of business development and strategic projects, at (530) 7743887 or jason.hope@boydgroup. com. Source: The Boyd Group Inc.

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Please contact these dealers for your Honda or Acura Genuine parts needs. HONDA CONNECTICUT

MASSACHUSETTS

NEW JERSEY

NEW YORK

Curtiss-Ryan Honda

Boch Honda

Madison Honda

Lamacchia Honda

800-523-4190 203-929-0635

833-319-6270 781-619-6791

800-648-0293 973-822-1710

315-471-7278

Shelton

Norwood

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-5; Sat 7-4 callen@curtissryan.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5 bh-wholesale@boch.com

Lia Honda of Enfield

LIA Honda Northampton

Enfield

800-221-3131 860-741-3401

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

Northampton

800-369-7889 413-587-2900

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5; Sat 8-3 dstanisewski@liacars.com NEW JERSEY

Berlin City Honda

Clinton Honda

800-640-6685 207-774-6685

877-657-2787

South Portland

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30 mmmparts@berlincity.com

Prime Honda

Annandale

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Th. 7:30-7; Sat 7:30-4 klavalle@driveprime.com

240-864-0880

Vineland

800-893-3030 856-692-4449

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5 (W until 7); Sat 7:30-3 dlyons@rossihonda.com

Route 22 Honda Hillside

973-705-9100

Honda of Turnersville

Sussex Honda

800-883-0002 856-516-6262

800-842-0557 973-579-3500

Turnersville

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-4 mbivario@penskeautomotive.com

Hudson Honda 866-483-6917 201-868-9500

MARYLAND

Germantown

Rossi Honda

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-2 abdulc@clintonhonda.com

West New York

Criswell Honda

Dept. Hours: M-Thu 7-7; Fri 7-6; Sat 7-5; Sun 8-4 jay.madisonhonda@gmail.com

Dept. Hours: M-Sat 8-5 rt22hondaparts@route22honda.com

Saco

207-391-7910 207-282-0900

Madison

Dept. Hours: M-Sat 8-5 mdasilva@hudsonhonda.com

Dept. Hours: M-Fri 7-7:30; Sat 7-6 hondaparts@criswellauto.com

Newton

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

Ide Honda Rochester

800-462-0056 (N.Y.) 585-586-4919

Syracuse

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30 parts@lamacchiahonda.com

Lia Honda of Albany Albany

800-272-6741 518-482-2598

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

Lia Honda of Brewster Brewster

845-278-4177

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

Lia Honda of Williamsville Williamsville/Buffalo

877-659-2672 716-632-3800

Dept. Hours: M & W 7:30-7; Tu & Thur 7:30-6 Fri 7:30-5; Sat 8-5:30 mmiller@liacars.com

Ray Laks Honda Orchard Park

716-824-7852

Dept. Hours: M, Tu, Th 8-8; W, F 8-6; Sat 8-5 jmaybee@raylaks.com

Dept. Hours: M-Thur 8-8; Fri 8-5:30; Sat 8-5 parts@idehonda.com

ACURA MASSACHUSETTS

NEW JERSEY

NEW JERSEY

NEW JERSEY

Acura of Boston

Acura Turnersville

Elite Acura

Park Ave Acura

800-254-1169 617-254-5400

888-883-2884 856-516-6060

856-722-9600

888-690-7621 201-587-0028

Brighton

Turnersville

Maple Shade

Dept. Hours: M-Sat 7:30-6 bmartinsen@eliteacura.com

Dept. Hours: M-Thur 8-7; F 8-6; Sat 8-4 manny.aliagra@bernardiauto.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5; Sat 7:30-4:30 sbaptist@penskeautomotive.com

Acura of Peabody

Autosport Acura

Open Road Acura of East Brunswick

973-361-3117

732-238-0777 732-238-5466

Peabody

800-878-3600 978-532-9110

Dept. Hours: M-Sat 8-5 dbritt@acurapeabody.com

Denville

East Brunswick

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 8-4 erin@theautosportgroup.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4 robert.talbot@openroad.com

Bill Vince’s Bridgewater Acura

Open Road Acura of Wayne

908-704-0307

973-696-5151

Bridgewater

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-7; Sat 8-4 mattn@bridgewateracura.com 32 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Wayne

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-4 jonathan.tangen@openroad.com

Maywood

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

Acura of Westchester Westchester

914-834-8887

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


PENNSYLVANIA

VERMONT

Apple Honda

802 Honda

800-960-9041 717-848-2600

802-223-9700

York

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

Berlin

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

Baierl Honda Wexford

818-332-7351

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4 markludwig@baierl.com

Shenango Honda Hermitage

800-858-0849 724-981-7106

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

Sussman Honda Roslyn

800-682-2914 215-657-3301

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

NEW YORK

PENNSYLVANIA

Curry Acura

Baierl Acura

800-725-2877 914-472-7406

800-246-7457 724-935-0800

Scarsdale

Wexford

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-5 parts@curryacura.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-4 cameronegerter@baierl.com

Paragon Acura

Davis Acura

718-507-3990

267-296-1000 215-943-7000

Woodside

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-5; Sun 9-4 parts@paragonacura.com

Smithtown Acura

Langhorne

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 8-4 frankp@davisacura.com

St. James

Sussman Acura

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

800-826-4078 215-884-6285

631-366-4114

Jenkintown

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-5; Sat 8-1 rendrick@sussmanauto.com autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 33


Will We Have Enough Juice to Get Us to an All-EV World by 2035? by Ed Attanasio

You don’t need to be a Californian to know electric vehicles (EVs) are coming whether we like them or not. In 2035, if you go to a new car dealership and mention gas, they will likely escort you off the lot. Well, maybe it won’t be that bad, but rest assured if you don’t own an electric car by 2035, your neighbors will talk. So, is there going to be enough juice in the box to make California―let alone the rest of the country―all-EV in the next 14 years? Recently, Autobody News interviewed Chuck Reynolds, the owner of Cyber Switching, Inc. in San Jose, CA. Cyber Switching’s power management solutions are targeted to small- and medium-sized commercial buildings. As a 40-year veteran of the electricity game, Reynolds was working on EV charging back when it was a novelty rather than the norm. He started his business in 1983 with a handful of electricians who shared

his vision of the future, including everyone driving an EV.

Q:

We’re going to need enough electricity to power an enormous fleet. Do we have it and if not, can we have it by 2035?

A:

We installed charging systems in Cisco Systems back in 1996 because several of their employees had EVs, but that was very obviously forward-thinking at the time.

A:

There shouldn’t be any technical or economic reason why the grid won’t support electrification. There is likely enough generation capacity out there right now, but it’s just not going to the right places. The biggest problem is going to be the infrastructure and getting the power to where it’s needed. A really good example is that in California now existing buildings, like condo developments and other multi-unit dwellings, can’t just say OK―we are going to install charging stations here, but the problem is they have limited power.

Q:

You can see the future of EV charging through some of your clients, so what have you learned?

Jeff D’Ambrosio Volkswagen

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34 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Chuck Reynolds owns Cyber Switching, Inc., a power management company in Silicon Valley. He said there will be enough electricity out there to power all EVs by 2035, as long as it’s properly managed

When many of these buildings were built prior to 1995, for example, these weren’t designed to handle all of these additional loads. With some of our clients who are in buildings built in the early 2000s, they’re not prepared when people hook up their vehicles and start charging.

So, one of the biggest issues is infrastructure. When you come to work in the morning and you plug your vehicle into one of our charging stations, there are sometimes 20 to 30 people doing the same thing at the same time, with just as many waiting in line. Right now, people have to go out to their cars to take them off the charger, and that’s obviously not very efficient. Studies have shown that large companies are losing a lot of money while their employees have to stop what they’re doing so that they can move their EVs.

Q:

Will companies that are not prepared end up paying through the nose if they don’t manage their power?

A:

Well, that’s going to put a spike on the grid because everyone is plugging in at the same time and if there are others waiting, they will roll it over every two hours approximately. That’s going to put a strain on the grid and is a concern for whomever is providing that power.


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FIT AND FINISH IS NO PLACE TO GET CREATIVE. 36 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com ABN_Northeast_2pgSpread_2018.indd 1


GET IT DONE RIGHT WITH ORIGINAL MOPAR PARTS. ®

Collision repair is no place to cut corners. It’s also no place to drill holes or do extra welding to make the wrong part fit better. Only Mopar® parts are made from the original specs for durability, performance and the highest safety standards. They’ve also undergone rigorous testing as part of a whole safety system. So don’t compromise the integrity of the whole vehicle for a lesser part. When you partner with us, you’ll get the right part for the job – Authentic Mopar.

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MCGOVERN CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE RAM

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DOVER DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP 158 S. Salem Street Dover, NJ 07801 Order Hot Line: (888) 676-6727 Fax: (973) 366-0757

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TURNERSVILLE CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE RAM 3100 Black Horse Pike Turnersville, NJ 08012 (856) 875-2627

Check out MoparRepairConnection.com for resources, promotions and technical information. ©2021 FCA US LLC. All Rights Reserved. Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Mopar and SRT are registered trademarks of FCA US LLC. FIAT is a registered trademark of FCA Group Marketing S.p.A., used under license by FCA US LLC.

autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 37 6/8/21 11:20 AM


That’s why the utilities are now charging “demand charges” for the peak amount of usage during that month for 15 minutes. It’s essentially a penalty that could be anywhere from $18 to $20 per kilowatt. So, if you have a large number of EVs coming in at the same time every morning, that’s going to be a big spike, especially since that’s when all of your other machinery will start kicking in. The problem is that if we want to achieve the 2035 regulations, we will need more and better infrastructure to handle the huge load. The user can install a power management system in order to spread the load evenly, so that not everything will come on at the same time. You can do the same with your EV charging to reduce the demand charge, and we are already doing that here at Cyber Switching, Inc. We have several patents on rotational charging systems. We currently have eight EV chargers in front of our building and it’s on one circuit that is staggered, which enables us to avoid paying the demand penalties. If you have

a power management system like the ones we have patents on, outages won’t ever happen. Most people don’t realize that there are many alternatives when it comes to power management. With so many EVs on the roads within the next few years, people will be charging their vehicles all at the same time, in many cases. There will be some pretty significant spikes and that puts a strain on the grid in that area. The worst thing that can happen is when you trip a breaker. That tells you you’re overloading the grid. I think that’s going to be the No. 1 problem that we can potentially encounter with large-scale EV charging.

home. With many of these homes that have been built starting in the 1970s, the utility company never anticipated this demand when everything comes on at the same time. It will be the same scenario, but in reverse. People will come home from work and plug-in all at the same time and it’s going to be a big load. It’s not like turning on a lightbulb― even with the small charges, it’s still going to be a 120V load, 1,400 watts or more. Even if you’re using one of the smaller chargers, turning it on is comparable to 14 100-watt lightbulbs simultaneously. The grid wasn’t set up for this originally, so it will have to change and adapt to handle these larger loads.

Q:

Q:

A:

A:

Will EV owners have to adapt in order to get their vehicles charged when needed?

Yes, people are always going to want to charge their cars at work, and by 2035 that will mean large parking lots full of EVs that are waiting to be charged. It will also be a problem at

38 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Will people be forced to charge primarily during the day to accommodate the huge spike in usage?

Yes, I think that is what will eventually happen. You want to charge when that power is available, so that’s why the utility companies are pushing from 4 to 9 p.m.

If you don’t have solar on your house to supplement your power, you might be in trouble. With many of those tract home developments built in the 1970s, there is not a lot of excess power there. So, that is where you’re going to have to spend the money―in infrastructure. Power management is a better alternative for companies on many levels. To meet their growing needs, they will have to upgrade their service to allow for more charging. But, that’s a large expense. With our system, you can use the power that’s available, and for most companies, they won’t have to change their electrical service and their employees will still get a charge for their vehicle. To avoid people moving their cars, we install what we call ‘dumb units’ that don’t have all of the bells and whistles, but they save time because employees won’t have to move their vehicles. This means that the ROI on these chargers is very fast because they don’t realize how much it can cost them in lost productivity when you have EVs in the picture.


SEMA Show Exhibitors Begin to Select Booth Space As exhibitors prepare to choose their exhibit locations for the 2021 SEMA Show, excitement continues to grow for the annual trade show taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Nov. 2-5 in Las Vegas, NV. “SEMA is the place to showcase what is new within the industry, which creates excitement and enthusiasm,” said Kristen Damberger, Cometic Gasket director of promotions, advanced. “As an exhibitor, we want to fuel that fire. We want to be a part of that energy.” Cometic Gasket is one of more than 1,700 companies that will take part in the annual SEMA Show Priority Space Selection process, held June 7-23. Like Cometic, these companies all committed to exhibiting at the 2021 SEMA Show before the May 7 priority deadline, and they are now preparing to showcase their new products and reconnect with buyers in person for the first time in nearly two years. “Anticipation for this year’s SEMA Show has increased as we get closer to Priority Space Selection and exhibitors begin making

plans,” said Tom Gattuso, SEMA vice president of events. “Exhibitors are excited to know where their booth is going to be so they can start to plan what their exhibit is going to look like and how to effectively connect and conduct business with attendees.” Many exhibitors experienced growth during the nationwide stayat-home orders and maintained production with new products. Others have hot products from early 2020 that they have not had a chance to debut industry-wide. “The SEMA Show is a great place to do business, and not being able to connect last year only amplified our enthusiasm to get back to Vegas and get back to business in person,” said Rob Fisher, E3 Spark Plugs vice president of motorsports, marketing and business development. “We recently launched a new line of ultra-lightweight lithium batteries, and these were originally going to be showcased last year, but we will naturally showcase them at SEMA 2021 so that our customers and the industry can see them firsthand.”

This year’s show will include exhibit space in all four Las Vegas Convention Center halls, including the newly constructed West Hall, a 1.4 million-square feet facility that will be used to enhance the attendee experience. As exhibitors select their space, the floor plan will be updated several times throughout the day at www.semashow.com. Once the Priority Space Selection process is completed, show organizers will begin adding meeting rooms for seminars and areas for special displays and interactive attractions throughout the 3.2 million-square foot Las Vegas Convention Center. “Our work creating this year’s floorplan to meet the demands of the aftermarket industry has only just begun,” said Gattuso. “The enthusiasm to reconnect in person can be felt throughout the industry, so this year’s SEMA Show will be essential in helping businesses move forward.” For more information or to register to attend the 2021 SEMA Show, visit www.semashow.com. Source: SEMA

Jaguar XE Recalled for Missing Welds by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

Jaguar is recalling three model year 2017-2018 and 2020 Jaguar XE vehicles that received replacement rear rail assemblies as part of service repairs. Missing spot welds may weaken the strength of the rear rail assemblies. Jaguar says the weakened rear rail assembly may allow the rear bumper beam to detach when the vehicle is being towed, or could cause the tow-bar assembly to detach when towing a trailer. The Jaguar recall should begin May 28. Jaguar dealers will replace the rear rail assemblies. XE owners may call 800452-4827 and refer to recall H349.

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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.

Scanning—It’s Not Just for DTCs Anymore (And Never Was) Those of you watching TV back in the 1970s probably remember the slogan, “It’s not just for breakfast anymore”―the Florida Orange Growers Association’s way to encourage folks to think about drinking OJ more often than just in the morning. I’ve been paraphrasing that slogan in relation to scanning to emphasize to people that scanning isn’t just about finding DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes). A real “aha moment” I had in relation to this about a year ago was when my father told me there was something just not right about the way his vehicle was driving. He’d had a broken windshield replaced on the car, and afterward, they scanned the vehicle and said everything was OK. But after driving it, and still noticing a problem, he took it to a dealership that confirmed the vehicle scan they performed showed no DTCs. That’s when I got involved, hooking my asTech device to the vehicle, and asking my friend Jake Rodenroth and his team to help me

out. They scanned the vehicle: Sure enough, no DTCs. But that’s when the asTech technician said, “Let me check something else.” He checked the data from the scan tool that shows how the vehicle’s steering angle sensor is set, and then compared it to the automaker specifications. You can guess what he found: The steering angle sensor was out of spec. My dad was right: There was something wrong with the vehicle. But it didn’t set a DTC. That opened my eyes to something I’m concerned about in our industry. Scanning isn’t just about checking for DTCs. It’s important, whether conducting scanning in-house or using a mobile or remote supplier or even a dealership, that you have a knowledgeable person who really understands the collision repair process involved. Someone who is going to dig further, ask the right questions. Someone who doesn’t assume no DTCs means everything is A-OK. Since that incident, I’ve done more research. I came across some

documentation from other automakers about the need to look beyond the just the presence (or absence) of DTCs. Whoever is scanning should also pull the “freeze-frame” or “snapshot” or “live” data. That can show data, for example, when a fault code occurred: the date, vehicle mileage, how many key cycles have occurred, or even―in one example I’ve seen― how much gas was in the car at the time. This kind of information can be critical as part of diagnosis, documentation and reimbursement. One example of the need for this step: With some Honda and Acura vehicles, an issue with the lane-watch system or seatbelt pretension won’t trigger a DTC; you have to check the “live” data. As an industry, I think we’ve overlooked the skillset needed for those scanning vehicles in our busi-

nesses. These aren’t just auto parts store scans (with no offense to those businesses). You can’t presume all that’s needed is to just plug it in. There’s so much more to it than that. You need someone who understands how to dig further, and who understands the “set conditions” that must occur in order to set a DTC. If a vehicle is towed to the shop directly from the accident scene, for example, it might not have been driven for the distance or time or speed needed for that DTC to be set. I think our industry is doing itself and its customer a disservice when it presumes anyone is qualified to conduct a scan. It’s insulting to knowledgeable technicians who really understand all that this important and potentially complicated process entails. That’s why I say: Scanning. It’s not just about DTCs anymore.

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U.S. House Members Advocate for RPM Act By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2021 (RPM Act), HR 3281, enjoys strong bi-partisan support in the U.S. House of Representatives as lawmakers voice their enthusiasm for passing the legislation. With the racing world’s eyes on the Indy 500 over Memorial Day weekend, the Indy Star printed an article from U.S. Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN) that advocated for Congress to pass the RPM Act, entitled “Indiana’s auto-racing tradition is under attack. Here’s how we save it.” Pence is a leading voice on the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee for the RPM Act and understands the importance of racing and the motorsports parts industry in Indiana and throughout the country.

Back in Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. Fred Keller (R-PA) took to the U.S. House floor to speak to his colleagues about why he was proud to serve as an original co-sponsor of the RPM Act. Support for the RPM Act continues to grow with each week that passes. Currently, 58 members of the House have cosponsored the bill, including new cosponsors Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-NY) and Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN).

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Tips for Busy Body Shops

Stacey Phillips is an award-winning 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.

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Jake Rodenroth of asTech on Vehicle Tech’s Relation to Collision Repair Diagnostics variety of tools can be used to acTelematics, Advanced Driver Assis- mechanical diagnostics. tance Systems (ADAS) and OEM “Collision repair technicians cess the systems responsible for the repair procedures are all predicted and mechanical technicians will cause. Ultimately, mechanical diagto significantly with impactStacey the way Phillips ve- look at the same vehicle from a very nostics comes down to first identifyhicles are repaired in the future, ac- different perspective,” said Roden- ing the concern, and then the cause cording to Jake Rodenroth, direc- roth. Speaking from firsthand expe- and correction. tor of OEM and industry technical rience working as a master techni- In comparison, collision dician for a large OEM in his agnostics involves having relations for asTech. technicians first confirm the During a virtual presentation earlier career, he shared the vehicle model and trim levco-sponsored by the Nebraska Auto difference between the two. el and then determining the On the mechanical side, Body Association with(NABA) Victoriaand Antonelli cause and correction. It also the Kansas Auto Body Association most of the repairs revolve involves inspecting the se(KABA), Rodenroth shared insight around a concern or the veverity of damage by confirmabout several vehicle technologies hicle’s maintenance scheding body specification and and how they relate to collision re- ule. Jake Rodenroth, pair diagnostics. He also discussed “The technician’s job asTech’s director of suspension geometry using some of the future concerns techni- is to identify the cause of OEM and industry pre-alignments and 3D meacians will likelywith face. Ed Attanasio that concern and then rec- technical relations, suring systems. wearing augmented ommend the correction or “The trim level designates reality glasses Diagnostics repair on the vehicle,” said how many features and conIn the evolving landscape of vehicle Rodrenroth. trol modules it has,” said Rodenroth. diagnostics, Rodenroth said body Since many mechanical repairs “All collisions are inheritably differshops must recognize the difference are routine, he said the correction ent and there is nothing routine about between collision diagnostics and is usually predictable. Therefore, a each vehicle repair.”

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Often dealing with the newest vehicles in the worst shape, technicians need access to all vehicle control modules and features to ensure a safe and proper repair. Welding and painting operations, as well as vehicle disassembly, may impact the vehicle control systems. In addition, many labor operations require ADAS calibration. “After a collision, we should be really focused on making sure we see all of the modules and identify all of the problems as proactively as possible,” said Rodenroth. OEM Repair Procedures & Scan Tools Although some collision repair technicians turn to YouTube when looking for information to repair a vehicle, Rodenroth highly advises checking the OEM repair procedures. “I feel like we learn on every car,” he said. “We have to humble

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ourselves and research what is involved so you can get it right. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find,” he said. He recommends starting small and researching how to remove a bumper cover, disconnect a battery or perform a four-wheel alignment. Increasingly, Rodenroth said, dealer groups, OEM certified repair shops and many independent facilities are committed to following OEM procedures. Rodenroth encourages technicians to use the scan tools identified in the service manual to ensure the repair is completed correctly and can be defended if necessary. Some shops use aftermarket tools to help keep costs down, but Rodenroth cautioned they might not capture everything regarding scanning and diagnostics. “Scan tools aren’t magic wands,” he said. “They don’t just fix the problem for you. We need to figure it out. Only the combination of the correct tools, the OEM service manual and a trained technician can repair a vehicle effectively.” When it comes to invoicing,

Rodenroth recommends itemizing everything done with the vehicle, and says this is especially important with ADAS calibration. He advises shops to research the marketplace and identify the price of scans being charged and the tooling used. Rodenroth estimates the current market value of a scan is $50 while OEM diagnostics, whether done by a dealer, mobile vendor or another third-party, averages about $120. New Customers, Telematics & Over the Air (OTA) Updates Looking forward, Rodennoth said vehicle owners will increasingly become more connected to their vehicles, especially with a new generation of consumers, Generation Z. Often referred to as “Zoomers,” those included in this demographic were born middle to late 1990s to the early 2010s, and are what Rodenroth refers to as “digital natives.” “They aren’t afraid to use mobile apps in everything they do, whether it’s ordering a coffee or checking the health of their car,” he said.

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Over the next five years, Rodenroth predicts there will be a substantial increase in the number of communications going on in the connected car, including the use of telematics and OTA updates. The majority of OEMs now use telematics to update a vehicle’s infotainment system, consisting of radio and multimedia video capabilities. Telematic connectivity to a vehicle will also help owners benchmark if they received a good repair. “They are going to start asking probing questions, maybe those they didn’t ask in the past,” said Rodenroth. “We need to be aware if they are connected to dealer-type services.” This will allow the dealer or independent repair facility to predict the maintenance needed on the vehicle and whether the diagnostics were performed. ADAS Calibration In terms of conducting an ADAS calibration, collision repair facilities are finding they have three options: sending vehicles to dealerships, having their own technicians do the cal-

ibrations in-house or arranging for a third-party company to come in. Regardless of the decision, Rodenroth said shops will need to audit that the calibrations were done correctly. In the event of a failed calibration, Rodenroth reminded repairers to document it failed and then showed it passed. “It’s important to document the corrective repairers you did to make it pass,” he said. “You don’t want it to come back and haunt you, so document accordingly.” He also cautioned repairers to ensure the correct parts are used on vehicles and the procedures are followed. “When you start changing the way a vehicle is designed, you create variables for yourself that could create calibration failures,” said Rodenroth. “Remember that service manuals are written on perfect vehicles, not vehicles that have been repaired or have non-OEM parts fitted to them.” Electric Vehicles With automakers committed to an electric vehicle (EV) future, Roden-

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roth said OE factories and suppliers are expected to change dramatically. This includes new types of manufacturers, in particular technology companies, such as Rivian, Lucid, SF Motors, Mahindra and Faraday Future. “Tech companies are winning the race to electrification,” he said. Rodenroth estimated dealer service volume might decline by as much as 35%, while tire replacement, glass and visibility services, and length of ownership are all projected to increase. “Collision repairers are also going to see a lot of parts, steering systems, braking systems and cooling systems that may require scan tools,” he said. “If a scan tool is involved in the repair, make sure you have the capability in-house or plan for it.” Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Rodenroth said VR and AR are predicted to change how the industry is trained in the future. It will also impact how repair procedures are written and followed. “Repair procedures can be challenging to follow, especially if you

haven’t been formally trained with that OEM,” said Rodenroth. “AR/ VR offer an interactive way of dissecting the vehicle’s requirements and, best of all, explaining them.” Details like fluid quantities, measurements and torques specs are often overlooked; however, Rodenroth said they are important to ensure a safe and documented repair. “We, as an industry, need to slow down to have a chance at speeding up,” said Rodenroth. “Our consumers deserve better when it comes to whom they trust to repair their vehicles.” He said the industry should be an institution of learning and specification. “Every shop in America would hire at least one more technician if they could and with so many ‘tech jobs’ now available, it is even more important that we attract and retain as many young people as possible,” he said. “We need to find new ways of recruiting young people with different backgrounds and skill sets.”

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Average Age of U.S. Cars Reaches All-Time Record of 12.1 Years by Matthew Crisara, Motor1.com

Among many profound lifestyle changes we all endured in 2020, Americans drove quite a lot less and scrapped their old cars more―about 5% of the total U.S. fleet went to the junkyard in 2020. That move had an unusual effect, though. Here in the States, our transition into pandemic life led to an increase in the average age of our vehicles to a record-setting high of 12.1 years. You’d be led to believe scrapping so many vehicles would lower the average vehicle age. To offer some perspective, 15 million vehicles were scrapped in 2020, while vehicle miles traveled declined by 13%. Sure, discarding such a staggering amount of vehicles would normally lower the average age, but the combination of distance traveled and the chip shortage led to the contrary. Keen readers will know these manufacturing difficulties led to new vehicles skyrocketing in price―if you could even get your

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hands on one. This meant more people than ever opted to purchase a used car. Even with buyers pivoting towards the used market, pre-owned vehicles weren’t immune from similar price hikes. Unfortunately, many automakers are currently struggling with more than just chip shortages. GM recently suspended orders for its 2021 C8 Chevrolet Corvette amidst another parts shortage. Details remain sparse, but we know Chevrolet won’t reach its original production goal for 2021―the aim is to ensure 2022 models will roll out on schedule. Thankfully, vehicle age is forecasted to go back to normal later this year after owners trade in their current set of wheels for a newer model. Until then, the market will remain the oldest it’s ever been.

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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@gmail.com.

Collision Training on ADAS, EVs, Total Losses and Phone Skills at ASA’s X50 Conference

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The recent ASA X50 Conference & repair network processes, which inExpo offered more than 50 live train- cludes benchmarking industry competing sessions, including five classes itors, soliciting feedback from dealers with Chasidy Rae Sisk specific to collision repair profes- and the collision industry, and collabsionals. orating cross-functionally with Global “Our engaging platform will Aftersales Engineering, CCA Collision provide attendees with an inviting Wholesale Dealer Channel and Proexperience to learn from and inter- duction Engineering. act with instructors, sponsors and “There’s no compromise when Chasidy Rae Sisk their peers in awith way that uses techit comes to safety,” Blackmore connology to strengthen their networks cluded. “OEM repair procedures must and build their industry knowledge,” be used 100% of the time, but the insaid ASA Executive Director Ray dustry should stay close to the OEMs Fisher. since technology is changing rapidly.” GM’s John Eck and Chris Roger Cada of Accountable with Chasidy Rae Sisk Blackmore presented “GM Driving Estimating LLC presented “EstimaTechnology: Advanced Technologies tion, Education and Documentation in ADAS and the Impact to the Re- that Drive Bottom Line Results.” pair Industry,” stressing the impor- “The facts of the loss are critical tance of scanning and calibrations because they tell you what damagand providing updates on GM’s Coles are on that car… Since COVID, with Chasidy Rae Sisk lision Repair Network processes. you’ve become the eyes and ears for “[GM has] planned over 20 new the insurer, impacting the estimate models in the coming years to move and if it starts off wrong, it will nevto an electric vehicle fleet,” Eck er end up right,” Cada began. “And said, noting regulations, safety ex- the process begins when you first talk to the customer and get the facts pectations and ADAS features have with Chasidy Rae Sisk influenced changes in the industry. of the loss so you can write the most “And that’s exciting times, but it accurate estimate every time. also presents a mound of problems “We have to build evidence and issues for our industry that we through documentation,” Cada conhave to resolve. tinued. “It’s critical that we capture “Gas regulations lightthe evidence well so we can properly with required Chasidy Rae Sisk er vehicles, while also enhancing assess the damage and have an outsafety expectations,” Eck explained. come that actually restores it to its “Safety is king, and custompre-accident condition. The evidence you’ve collected ers are continually looking also justifies your charges, for safety options to prowithand Chasidy Rae Sisk preventing insurers from tect their occupants the investment they’ve made. saying no. But once you That requires a change in start repairing the vehicle, how vehicles are built and the evidence isn’t there, so the technology offered on you need to collect it at the Mark Allen them, including the creation with Chasidy Rae Sisk very beginning.” of new ADAS systems. More fea- Cada proceeded through a steptures being added to vehicles, forc- by-step breakdown of the documening evolutionary change. The goal tation required to provide evidence is a world with zero crashes, zero justifying the repairs performed, emissions and zero congestion.” such as pre-scans, clear images, Eck discussed the importance of measurements and test drives. scanning and calibration as Attanasio it pertains “Audi North America: EV and with Ed to vehicles equipped with ADAS, in- Evolving Technology,” presented by cluding how to access GM’s calibra- Audi’s Mark Allen, focused on the tion documents. OEM’s progress towards an electric Blackmore then discussed the fleet. changes GM is making to its collision Discussing high voltage aware-

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ness and training, Allen stressed, tically, that moment is already past “Everyone in our dealerships and our history,” he quipped. “We’re already collision network has to be trained to involved with these vehicles and reknow and identify EVs to recognize pairing them. So, in all this confuthat they shouldn’t touch the cabling sion, ask yourself, ‘Are you feeling and that it will require special care. lucky?’ Or are you ready for the fuOur high voltage technicians are ture of the e-tron?” trained to run diagnostics Kristen Felder, CEO of and de-energize the system, Collision Hub, taught two and high voltage experts are classes during ASA’s X50 trained in all high voltage Conference. The first, “Tosystems and can repair all tal Loss File Handling,” exsystems, including the batplored the total loss process. tery.” “Running a collision repair Allen discussed the shop has become more about Kristen Felder safety concerns related to accounting, law, psychology repairing EVs, noting the high volt- and other administrative tasks than age technician must observe three about actually repairing the vehicle,” safety rules before beginning the re- Felder said. “The administrative side pair: de-energize the vehicle, secure has become almost overwhelming.” the system against restarting and Shops should be aware of multicheck no voltage is present. ple legal terms to be prepared to con “You might think you’re a reb- tend with a total loss situation. Felder el living in the moment, but realis- defined bailment and explained how

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a law of contracts “gives you the ability to ensure a vehicle doesn’t get abandoned or pulled from you without your fees being paid.” She warned, “When it comes to total losses, having a ‘repair contract’ may not protect you from having vehicles removed and you not getting paid, or it may not protect your customer from having settlements diminished because of that.” After becoming familiar with civil and contract laws, Felder emphasized knowing state and municipal regulations is imperative since certain jurisdictions clearly identify who is qualified to be a storage or towing company, and those laws may also “govern what you can charge and lay out actions that are required on your end. If you have a regulation and don’t comply, you may not be able to collect what you’re charging.” Discussing how to establish services and pricing for total losses, Felder said, “If you’re in a contractual agreement that says you can’t charge for any services on a total loss, you’re stuck at this point, but if you don’t have that agreement, what do you charge?

“Your duty is to be able to describe the reasonableness of your decisions. Whatever you charge, you’d best be able to explain each line to every 10th or every penny you have on the estimate because that’s going to be compared to ‘reasonable’ in other places.” Felder discussed common reasons related to the total loss process, which collision shops may charge, including fees related to intake, notification, securing the vehicle, administration, collision access time, cataloging and storing removed parts, environmental protection, photo documentation, repair planning, vehicle mobility, vehicle disposition, OEM access, DMV/lien/legal expenses and storage. Next, Felder recommended shops create and store pre-written form letters, which can easily be updated with the client and vehicle-specific information. She provided a list of pre-written letters to keep on hand, such as confirmation of pickup disposition, summary of charges for pickup, status update total loss, notice of total loss, summary of inspection with fees, authorization for inspec-

tion with fees, notice of visual total loss and request for invoices. Examining examples of these forms, Felder identified which important aspects to include, repeatedly stressing the value of explaining the standards and regulations the shop must follow as well as the identification of the shop’s ethics in cost containment. “Proper documentation will get you paid down to the penny!” Felder said. During “Phone Skills for Collision Repair,” Felder pointed out, “The phone is probably one of the most important tools we have in the body shop. We’re on it all day and interact with customers more over the phone than face-to-face, but we’re really bad at the phone―and our skills are degrading!” Diving into the evolution of connection, Felder explained there are three layers of connection in the human brain. The neocortex is the rational brain, the limbic brain is the emotional aspect and the reptilian brain is guided purely by instinct and survival. “We want the people we’re deal-

ing with to be on the upper level, but first, we need to work through the first two layers. Understanding where someone is at mentally will help you communicate, connect and get them to do the things you want them to do.” Because the brain reacts to sound, the voice is a powerful tool that can be used to influence the customer when used correctly. Felder provided several tips for using the phone. Don’t use a script, use your name and theirs, ask questions, mirror their tempo, be kind and polite and speak inclusively by using “we” instead of “you.” To improve communication sessions, designate a talking space where the customer is the primary focus, designate a person who talks on the phone and keep a log system. “Cell phones are one of the worst things that ever happened to customer connection,” Felder warned. “We forget that our brain chemistry desires that connection. Don’t forget about the power of your voice or feel that you’re too overwhelmed. The more connected we are, the happier we are.” For more information on ASA, visit asashop.org.

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Registration Open for 2021 AWDA Conference Access One-on-One Meeting NormantoMorano Suites: The designated one-onThe Aftermarket Warehouse Dis- one meeting suites in the Venetian Advertiser: tributors Association (AWDA), a Guest Tower will now be accessiKen Care Vangorder community of the Auto Asso- ble by all guestroom elevator banks of Kingston ciation, on June 15 Volkswagen announced regto allow for more efficient access. istration is open for 1249 its 74th Annual Ulster Ave “AWDA is extremely excited AWDA Conference.Kingston NY 12401 at the opportunity to host our long The event will be held Oct. standing, premier event in person,” Phone: 845-336-5300x4 Fax: 845-336-7436 31–Nov. 3 at The Venetian Resort said Larry Northup, executive diand Casino in Las Vegas, NV. rector, AWDA. “While we were Today’s Date: The AWDA Conference is an2/15/2021 still able to successfully stay conannual business event that brings nected this past year, that does not together the premierAdcompanies of page rival the and the importype: quarter w/experience VW DLP listing the industry for high-level, private, tance of face-to-face engagements. one-on-one business meetings. The industry is ready to reunite and Instructions to Graphic Designer: The AWDA conference, sponforge on.” sored this year by Dorman Products, All companies must register 1)Usein-person all the information page spec will signify the dynamic by Aug. in 20histo8th participate in ad. the return of the industry at the start of AWDA One-on-One meetings. Automotive Aftermarket Industry 2)Use the Liberty VW Qtr page ad template Week (AAIW). For further details, eligibility, hotel For 2021, the AWDA confer- and registration information, vis3)Includethese the network logos: Parts Trader, OE ence will be implementing it autocare.org/awdaconference. new approaches: Connection, OPS Trax and Collision Link Shifting to Align with Source: Auto Care Association AAPEX: The AWDA Conference 4)Use the same bullet points in the Liberty VW will shift from its typical days don’t and use the bullet point in the ad. Please now offer one-on-one meetings all existing 8th page spec ad. day Nov. 1, followed by the afterwww.autobodynews.com noons of Nov. 2 and Nov. 3. by Camille Sheehan, Auto Care Association Sales Rep:

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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.

HLDI Shows Impact on Claims from Auto-Emergency Braking, Changes to Powertrains

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Matt Moore of the insurer-funded ly avoid that hit altogether,” he said. the potential benefits of AEB go away Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) AEB is expected to reduce front- if consumers turn the system off. offered some insights into the im- end crashes that result in injury by But Moore said HLDI stationed with Ed Attanasio pact auto-emergency braking (AEB) more than 50%, Moore said. Of course, researchers at some dealerships to could have on the frequency and severity of front-end crashes in the coming years, during his presentation at the recent Women’s Industry Network (WIN) virtual conference. HLDI’s rating system for AEB with Ed Attanasio systems involves two crash tests conducted at 25 mph and 12 mph. Those speeds may sound slow, he said, but “the more speed you can drop out of a crash, you drop out an exponential amount of energy.” A 25 mph crash of a Merwith Ed Attanasio cedes C-Class resulted in more than $28,000 in damage, for example, Moore said, but when the speed was reduced to 12 mph, “the cost is reduced by more than half,” to $5,715. “Of course,with if youEd canAttanasio go from The percentage of new vehicles for which auto-emergency braking is optional or standard has grown 12 mph down to zero, you can total- significantly

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check vehicles being dropped off for service. They found the lane departure systems on those vehicles were only left on 50% of the time, and Moore said he suspects even more drivers would turn that system off if doing so was easier. But the AEB remained active on almost 92% of the vehicles equipped with that system. “Folks like it. They leave it on,” Moore said. While automakers have voluntarily agreed to equip all new vehicles with AEB by September of 2022―and many automakers are ahead of schedule toward that goal―it still will take a long time for a majority of vehicles on the road have AEB, he said. He shared a series of charts to demonstrate this. The first (slide 1) showed the percentage of new vehicles for which AEB is optional or standard has grown significantly.

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But the second (slide 2) showed even in 2019, HLDI estimated only about 6% of registered vehicles were equipped with AEB. A third chart (slide 3) showed how that is likely to grow over the

of vehicles [in operation] have this technology,” Moore said. Another factor driving up severity of claims Moore pointed to involves changes to vehicle powertrains. Moore shared a slide (slide 4)

“What we’re predicting is by 2030, over 45% of vehicles will either be turbo-charged, super-charged, hybrid or electric, and that matters,” Moore said. He shared charts showing hy-

hybrid vehicles are heavier,” he said. “More complex to repair, more parts.” Electric vehicles, which Moore said will soon outnumber hybrids, have lower frequencies but higher severity. And turbo- or super-charged

Despite widespread availability, vehicles equipped with auto-emergency braking comprise only a small percentage of those on U.S. roads, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute

The percentage of registered vehicles vehicles equipped with auto-emergency braking will grow over the next two decades, but the 50% mark is not expected to be reached until about 2030

next two decades, but still, the 50% mark is not expected to be reached until about 2030. “We’re predicting it’s going to be about 2045 until the vast majority

brid vehicles have higher collision and property damage liability losses than their conventional engine counterparts. “This is, in part, because these

showing how far hybrid, electric and turbo- or super-charged vehicles have grown, and will continue to grow, in relation to vehicles powered by conventional gasoline engines.

vehicles are also associated with increases in severity. “For collision losses, about a 4% increase,” Moore said. “You take an already crowded engine compart-

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ment, and jam a whole lot more stuff under that hood as you would with a turbocharger or supercharger, and you increase the amount of damage it’s going to have when those crashes occur.” Claims have also been impact-

with that little power.” A 1983 Toyota Camry had 92 horsepower; the 2019 model had either 203 or 301 horsepower. A 1983 Jeep Grand Cherokee had 180-220 horsepower; the 2019 model had

The Highway Loss Data Institute projects hybrid, electric and turbo- or super-charged vehicles will continue to grow in relation to vehicles powered by conventional gasoline engines

ed by a steady growth in vehicle horsepower over the past four decades, and increases in speed limits over the past 20 years. “In 1981, most vehicles had less than 100 horsepower,” Moore said. “These days you can’t buy a vehicle

285-360 horsepower. The 1981 Ford F-150 had 115-165 horsepower; the 2019 model has 250-370. “More horsepower at any age nets you higher insurance losses,” Moore said. “The faster a vehicle is, the faster people are going to drive it.”

Auto Care Association’s Auto Care Caucus Renewed with 117th U.S. Congress by Camille Sheehan, Auto Care Association

The Auto Care Association on June 7 announced the Auto Care Caucus has been formally renewed in the 117th U.S. Congress. The caucus will be co-chaired by U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-PA, and Brendan Boyle, D-PA, who both share an enthusiasm and understanding of the auto care industry and will help facilitate communication about industry issues to their peers on Capitol Hill. Congressional caucuses are classified as Congressional Member Organizations and are made up of lawmakers who share common public policy goals pertaining to a particular interest, demographic or political party. The Auto Care Caucus mission statement explains, in part, that its purpose is to “…maintain a competitive free market for the motoring public; protect consumers’ vehicle data and the right to be the ultimate owners and stewards of their data; and to help ensure consumers have access to quality,

convenient and affordable auto repairs, maintenance and parts.” “I’m excited to see the continuation of the Auto Care Caucus with this new Congress and to witness our co-chairs’ support for the auto care industry,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “With technology being used more and more to tilt the competitive playing field in the vehicle repair industry, now more than ever we will be looking to Congress to support initiatives aimed at ensuring choice for car owners on where they have their vehicle serviced. The Auto Care Caucus will surely play a significant role in those efforts.” To learn more about the Auto Care Association’s Auto Care Caucus and the association’s government affairs initiatives, visit auto care.org/government-relations. Source: Auto Care Association

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GM Vehicles Recalled for Airbag Warning Lights by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

More than 301,000 General Motors vehicles are recalled because the airbag warning lights may stay illuminated and fail to provide warnings if the airbags fail. However, the warning lights stay activated only on alternating ignition cycles in these vehicles. 2021 Buick Envision 2021 Cadillac CT4 2021 Cadillac CT5 2021 Cadillac Escalade 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe 2021 Chevrolet Corvette 2021 Chevrolet Suburban 2021 GMC Yukon 2021 GMC Yukon XL The airbag warning light stays illuminated because the communications gateway module incorrectly processes a loss of communication with the sensing diagnostic module. GM learned in April about a possible problem and in May engineers opened an investigation to review field and warranty data, find-

ing 19 warranty claims possibly related. This caused GM to issue the recall, but the automaker says it’s unaware of any crash or injury reports. The U.S. GM recall includes 285,622 vehicles, while in Canada, about 16,071 GM vehicles are recalled. Recall notices will be mailed July 19, with details about dealerships updating the communications gateway module software. Owners who have accepted the terms and conditions will be able to receive the software changes using wireless over-the-air (OTA) technology without having to bring their vehicles to dealerships. However, owners may schedule to have the updates performed at GM dealers. Buick owners may contact Buick customer service at 800521-7300, Cadillac customers may call 800-458-8006, Chevrolet owners can call 800-222-1020 or GMC customer service can be reached at 800-462-8782. GM’s recall reference number is N212338110.

54 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 55


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

Painter/Car Restorer Miguel Perez Produces a Podcast and Creates a Brand Many painters are content when on one particular vehicle for several they’re able to get their work done years, he said. on time while keeping the quality “My brother’s 1989 BMW Gary Wickertblew up, so I took it to school and high, but that’swith just the beginning for Miguel Perez, head painter and we worked on it there. We thought manager at Extreme Paint Shop, a that we were doing an awesome job, division of Extreme Performance in but when I look at that project now, I have to laugh. It shows how far I’ve South Florida. While running a paint crew come and how much I’ve improved and working on some of the world’s my skills and processes over the years.” most unique andwith expensive vehicles, Stacey Phillips Perez has created a large following After graduating from high of painters, metal shapers/fabrica- school, Perez took a year off to regtors and other collision repair and roup and figure out his next move. Then he enrolled at WyoTech, majoring in collision refinishing with a minor in with Stacey Phillips metal fabrication. It was a good experience where he learned more, but he also realized school is only a platform and not just a ticket to employment. “Some people graduate with Stacey Phillips from WyoTech and think they’re going to enter the industry as a tech or a painter,” Perez said. “But the reality is that they’re goMiguel Perez, head painter and manager at Extreme Paint ing to start at an entry level Shop in South Florida during the day, hosts a podcast at and it might take five to 10 with Stacey Phillips night years to get to where you automotive restoration professionals think you want to be. I tell people worldwide with podcasts, merchan- that school gives you the basics and dising and videos. builds a foundation, but it’s only the His brand is Refinisher Porn (@ beginning.” refinisherporn on Instagram) and his Refinisher Porn is a brand that with Stacey Phillips merchandising company is Refinish can relate to any refinish techniciKulture (@refinishkulture), and cur- an in the world, not only those in rently more than 100,000 followers North America. It’s also not limited have joined the network. to painting automobiles either, Perez Perez, 34, began his career in said. paint/restoration as a teenager, whe- “It can be cars, trucks, boats, re he was exposed working on planes―anything that moves and withtoVictoria Antonelli cars and boats. can be custom painted is on our list. “My dad retired from the Coast We’re a strong and very connected Guard and he started a boat restora- group because we share the same tion business called Marine Perfec- goals and dreams. I use Refinisher tion,” he said. “I was working the- Porn to showcase work that has re after school and I learned a lot. been done by some of the finest rewith Victoria Antonelli Restoring boats helped me with my finishers on the planet. They value abilities, but working on cars was the feedback and we often discuss where I wanted to be.” things like processes, paint, tools While attending Martin Coun- and equipment to do a better job ty High School in Stuart, FL, Perez and create an amazing product every took auto tech classes and worked time.”

The Legal View

Product and Process Industry Training

Perez is a busy man, as the head of the paint department at Extreme Performance, a huge operation in

as one of the top custom shops in the U.S., and if you’ve ever attended a SEMA show, you’ve seen more than a few of their game changing creations. Perez was on teams that played roles in restoring vehicles for Michael Jordan, Vanilla Ice and actor/ comic/podcaster Joe Rogan, who inspired Perez to eventually produce a series of podcasts himself. But despite all of the work this busy shop generates, Perez still finds time to When he’s not in a paint booth or doing metal work, Perez manage his popular Instagshares ideas, photos and short videos with a huge network ram account while creating he created six years ago on @RefinisherPorn mega-cool T-shirts, hoodies Palm City, FL, that employs more and other products emblazoned with than 30 people in several buildings his Refinish Kulture logo, available equaling in excess of 66,000 square at www.refinisherporn.bigcartel.com. To interact with his Instagram feet. Extreme Performance is known followers, many of whom are con-

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56 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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autobodynews.com / JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 57


sidered top-tier painters and metal fabricators, Perez throws an epic bash at SEMA. It didn’t happen last year, obviously, and no one really knows what the show will look like this year, but people are still talking about the party he threw in 2019. “We do it at a different restaurant every year, and more and more people show up each time,” he said. “We don’t talk about paint enzymes or color matching at the party. We just hang out and get to know each other away from the show, and meeting new members in person is always great!” Perez is like the Bo Jackson of custom paint and body work because he can easily cross over from paint to metal and back, if needed. “I have always been attracted to fabricating and doing metal work, and that’s why I’ve always pursued it and worked to get better. Some painters are happy in the booth, but I have always wanted to play a larger role. I always tell people, especially if they’re new to the industry, be open to new things and don’t be afraid to develop new skills, because that way you will be more appreciated and more sought after.”

Perez gives his followers a simple message―never stop learning and don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way. “I got better because I had good teachers and a lot of my mistakes led to valuable lessons. New techniques, better processes, little tricks―always be working to improve and you’ll benefit in many ways down the road.” Perez is delighted with what he’s done on Instagram with @RefinisherPorn. “My initial goal was to turn @ RefinisherPorn into a network where people would come together, showcase each other’s work, and get better as a result,” he said. “I never imagined that this would turn into what it is today and I’m excited about where it’s headed.” Wherever it’s headed, you know Perez will be there to help other refinishers, metal fabricators, car rebuilders and collision repairers from Los Angeles to NYC and everywhere in between.

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The Right PARTS. A PERFECT Fit. Order Genuine Mazda Parts From These Parts Specialists in Your Area.

Hertz’s Reorganization Plan OK’d by Bankruptcy Court by Auto Rental News Staff

The bankruptcy court overseeing Hertz Global Holdings Chapter 11 proceedings has approved Hertz’s reorganization plan, the company reported June 10.

Hertz achieved payouts to equity, which are virtually unheard of in Chapter 11. Credit: Photo via flickr, www.dhub.com

The court’s approval clears the way for Hertz to emerge from Chapter 11 by the end of June. According to Hertz, creditors will be paid in full while existing shareholders will receive more than $1 billion in value. The plan will erase more than $5 billion in debt and provide more than $2.2

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billion in liquidity. Hertz will emerge with $2.8 billion in credit and an approximately $7 billion of asset-backed vehicle financing facility. “As a result of its restructuring efforts, Hertz will emerge from Chapter 11 with a substantially stronger balance sheet and greater financial flexibility than it had prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hertz said in a statement. “With the court’s approval of our plan today and a committed new investor group, we are poised to exit Chapter 11 by the end of this month as a well-capitalized and even more competitive company, with the flexibility and resources to pursue exciting new growth opportunities,” said Paul Stone, Hertz’s president and CEO. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath said in hearing June 10 that payouts to equity are virtually unheard of in Chapter 11. The case “surpasses any result that I’ve seen in any Chapter 11 case that I’ve faced in my 20-plus years,” Walrath said, according to a Bloomberg report.

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I-CAR Supports Inter-Industry’s First OEM Glass Repair Certification Program Leveraging the collision repair expertise of I-CAR (Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair), Mopar is launching its Mopar Certified Glass Installer Program, the industry’s first OEM glass repair certification. I-CAR’s training and support of the new Mopar program is a perfect extension of I-CAR’s 42-yearold vision, explained John Van Alstyne, CEO and president.

“I-CAR’s mission is to provide education, information, services and solutions,” he said. “This program represents a solution that brings to life the breadth of our mission. Along with education, audits, reporting and network support in collaboration with the Mopar team, this makes I-CAR a unique and perfect fit for Mopar’s new

program.” I-CAR currently has five glass-related courses as a requirement for the Mopar Certified Glass Installer program. Additionally, I-CAR will conduct virtual audits of glass installers to meet Mopar requirements, which were established jointly. Van Alstyne added I-CAR is uniquely positioned to support the Mopar Certified Glass Installer Program given its leadership position in the industry, expansive course portfolio and ability to reach glass installers and collision repairers nationally. Some of I-CAR’s educational support have included: The FCA Certified Collision Network has required I-CAR Gold Class® since its launch more than five years ago. Alfa Romeo Certified Collision Network shops require all four roles be at ProLevel 3, the highest level of individual recognition in addition to the shop maintaining I-CAR Gold Class. Maserati requirement for ProLevel 2 technicians within its certi-

fied network. Creation of FCA-specific educational courses and continued development of additional courses, including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Collision Repair Overview and 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL “As vehicle glass installation continues to become a much more advanced repair given today’s technology-laden vehicles, Mopar’s new program is a step forward for the inter-industry,” said Van Alstyne. “In pursuit of complete, safe and quality repairs, this program reinforces the many new ways we can accomplish this overarching goal.” To sign up for the program, contact I-CAR Customer Care at 1-800-I-CAR-USA (800-4227872) or visit I-CAR’s course catalog. Source: I-CAR

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BMW 3-Series Vehicles Recalled Over Explosive Airbags by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

A BMW airbag recall includes more than 4,500 of these vehicles equipped with non-azide driver airbag inflators (NADIs) manufactured by Takata. 2000-2001 BMW 323Ci 2000-2001 BMW 325Ci 2000-2001 BMW 328Ci 2000-2001 BMW 330Ci 1999-2001 BMW 323i 2000-2001 BMW 328i 2000-2001 BMW 330i 2000-2001 BMW 330xi The driver-side Takata airbag inflators were previously inspected but not replaced under previous recalls. BMW says moisture can invade the inflator and cause it to explode. BMW dealers will replace the driver-side air bag inflators with newly designed inflators. Owner recall notification letters are expected to be mailed July 19. Concerned owners may contact BMW at 800-525-7417.

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Cox Automotive Study Examines Best Practices of Dealerships Thriving in an Accelerated Digital Landscape Cox Automotive on June 15 released a new study, “How to Thrive: Best Practices for an Accelerated Digital Landscape,” examining effective strategies dealerships are adopting  to  find profits and  thrive  in  today’s marketplace.  With the industry’s abrupt shift from an in-person dominant to a digital-first model,  Cox Automotive’s survey of more than 450 franchise dealerships found those embracing new business solutions and digital capabilities became more efficient and profitable, while seeing consumer satisfaction scores soar to record highs.   “Through this study, we’ve learned that whatever the market conditions may be, it’s the experience you provide that will drive satisfaction and retention,” said Lori Wittman, senior vice president of dealer software solutions at Cox Automotive. “Right now, consumers may come to you for a particular piece of inventory you have, but they’ll come back to you for the experience you gave them.”  Given the current inventory and supply chain constraints, deal-

ers can take advantage of this lull to tune up systems and processes so they are fully optimized when supply of vehicles rebounds. “After a year of momentous change across our industry, Cox Automotive set out to better understand the most effective strategies for dealership success. Our ‘How to Thrive’  findings reveal the dealerships that capitalized on new strategies and capabilities flourished amid challenging circumstances,” added Wittman.  According to the “How to Thrive” study findings, most dealerships fall into two dueling mindsets―those that are either adapting and thriving or static and struggling.  The study found commonalities and advantages among the most successful dealers, aka Thrivers―those who  have overcome recent challenges and defied the odds to improve their KPIs. Thrivers  are  doing things differently, including: 

tailing into their dealership’s sales process.

during this time,” said a small franchise Thriver.

Adapting to customer desires in fixed ops: 70% of Thrivers are using text and/or email for quote approval, including pictures and videos, while 65% are also offering service pickup and delivery to enhance convenient solutions for customers.

“Implementation of digital contracting reduces turnaround time for paperwork for customers whether they are at home, in our showrooms or the service lane,” said a medium franchise Thriver.

Offering digital options across the experience: 59% of Thrivers have a strategy to incorporate digital re-

“Being flexible with online sales and remote deliveries has gained more loyalty and more referrals

Maximizing usage of data: 86% of dealers agree having accurate and complete customer data is a priority at their dealership.

“We are marketing a ton more. We are reaching out to the customers that haven’t seen us in 18 months or more,” said a large franchise Thriver.

Investing in their staff: 73% of Thrivers make employee satisfaction as important as CSI scores.

For more information on this study, download our Thrivers eBook at www.coxautoinc.com/thrivers/

Cox’s findings from the “How to Thrive” study underscore how investing in the right transformational technologies today will drive tomorrow’s better business outcomes. Direct comments from the qualitative portion of the study include: 

Source: Cox Automotive

Ford Reports Huge Growth in EV Sales, Best May for SUV Sales Since 2003 Ford on June 3 reported its May sales results, including a new EV sales record, the best May sales since 2003 for Ford SUVs and the best May sales ever for Lincoln SUVs. “Ford sales were up 4.1% on tight inventories, while year-to-date sales increased 11.3%,” said Andrew Frick, vice president, Ford

Sales U.S. and Canada. “Ford and its dealers are working harder than ever to match the right mix of inventory to best meet the needs of our customers at the local level. We have been receiving a massive number of reservations for our all-electric F-150 Lightning over the last two weeks―totaling over 70,000 trucks. Ford brand SUVs had their best May sales in 18 years, while Lincoln SUVs posted a new May record.” Ford electrified vehicle sales grew 184% in May, achieving a

new EV sales record, with sales of 10,364 vehicles. Growth came from the Mustang Mach-E, which totaled 1,945 vehicle sales, while the F-150 PowerBoost totaled 2,852 for the month and Escape electrified sales totaled 3,617―up 125% over last year. Explorer Hybrid sales also had a big increase of 132% over a year ago, with sales of 1,156 SUVs. New products continue to drive transaction pricing. Average transaction prices at Ford were up approximately $3,400 over a year ago. Ford’s newest products―the Bronco Sport and Mustang Mach-E― expanded their sales relative to April, with sales of the two totaling 16,892 vehicles, while turning quickly on dealer lots. Overall F-Series sales through May are up 4.7% on sales of 316,359 trucks. With tight inventories, F-Series continues to turn at record rates. Retail orders for F-Series trucks are up threefold over last year. Ford continues to fill orders as more semiconductor chips become available. Ford brand retail SUVs posted their best May sales since 2003,

60 JULY 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

while Ranger sales recorded their best May sales since 2004. Ford brand SUVs were up 51.8% over a year ago on new product introductions of Bronco Sport and Mustang Mach-E, along with the continued momentum of Escape, Explorer and Expedition. With total sales of 14,303 for the month, Ranger sales expanded 41.8% relative to last year. With the all-new Bronco Sport and Escape, Ford greatly enhances its share of the small SUV segment. Ford’s May retail share is up almost 4 full percentage points in the small SUV segment, with sales of both Bronco Sport and Escape expanding their sales within two very different customer groups. Escape sales were up 51.4%, while the majority of Bronco Sport customers are coming from outside the Ford brand. Lincoln SUVs posted another record sales result in May. Lincoln SUV sales were up across the entire lineup in May with a total of 7,871 SUVs sold―up 24.3 percent. Source: Ford

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Lamborghini Outlines Massive $1.8 Billion Plan to Shift to Electrification by Joey Klender, Teslarati

Lamborghini is planning to shift from gas-powered to electric for its world-class supercars. The company recently outlined a $1.8 billion plan, its largest in history, to shift away from combustion engines and toward electrification. CEO and President Stephan Winkelmann presented the company’s plan to decarbonize its future models. Known as “Direzione Cour Tauri,” or “Towards Cor Tauri,” the roadmap shows how the Italian automaker plans to begin electrifying its fleet by using its carbon-neutral site at Sant’Agata Bolognese in Northern Italy. The site has been free of CO2 emissions since 2015 and is the location of the Lamborghini Museum. The focus is simple: continue making the legendary, high-performance cars Lamborghini is known for, but make them environmentally friendly. Lamborghini will continue to identify technologies and solutions that guarantee top performance and driving dynamics that align with its “marque’s tradition.” A $1.8 billion

investment will be spread over four years. It seems, according to Lamborghini’s press release on the matter, the main goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by the beginning of 2025. While Lamborghini will celebrate the combustion engine that has brought it to the peak of automotive performance, it plans to bring a fourth fully electric model in the latter portion of the decade. “Lamborghini’s electrification plan is a newly-plotted course, necessary in the context of a radically changing world, where we want to make our contribution by continuing to reduce environmental impact through concrete projects,” Winkelmann said. “Our response is a plan with a 360-degree approach, encompassing our products and our Sant’Agata Bolognese location, taking us towards a more sustainable future while always remaining faithful to our DNA.  “Lamborghini has always been synonymous with preeminent technological expertise in building engines boasting extraordinary performance: this commitment will continue as an

absolute priority of our innovation trajectory,” he continued. “Today’s promise, supported by the largest investment plan in the brand’s history, reinforces our deep dedication to not only our customers, but also to our fans, our people and their families, as well as to the territory where the company was born in Emilia-Romagna and to Made in Italy excellence.” Lamborghini will complete the process in three phases: a celebration of the combustion engine from 2021 to 2022, a hybrid transition that will see the company launch its first hybrid series production car in 2023 with the rest of the fleet being fully electric by the end of 2024, and finally, the first fully electric Lamborghini, to be released in the second half of the decade. The celebration of the combustion engine may appear to be somewhat ironic in Lamborghini’s plan to launch an electric fleet. However, the company intends to pay tribute to the success provided by combustion engine vehicles. It will announce two new V12 models later this year. The hybrid transition planned by the end of 2024 will fuel the compa-

ny’s initial attempts to develop a hybrid series production car. This timeframe will be crucial for engineers to learn how to develop high-performance vehicles while compensating for additional weight provided by the battery pack. Finally, the first all-electric Lamborghini will be introduced in the second half of the 2020s. “Acceleration in the second part of the decade will be dedicated to full-electric vehicles, with the vision of a fourth model in the future,” the company said. “Once again, technological innovation in this phase will be oriented towards ensuring remarkable performance and positioning the new product at the top of its segment. “This is how Lamborghini sees the culmination of this part of its journey: Cor Tauri, the brightest star in the constellation to which the company’s roadmap points, is represented by a fourth fully-electric model.”

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