Northeast Edition New York New Jersey Pennsylvania Delaware
VOL. 1 ISSUE 6 SEPTEMBER 2011
Ford Releases video showing differential performance between OE and A/M parts. Questions whether airbags would deploy correctly. See Ford and ABPA, Page 49
ABPA counters with their own video demonstration showing neglible differences in airbag deployment at low & high speed collisions. See Ford and ABPA, Page 49
Toby Chess clarifies the origin of the parts discussed in his CIC presentation this July. He says repairers should post images of parts, whether A/M or OE, that don’t fit correctly on a blog site. See Hey Toby Column, Page 56
Russell Thrall III
Anthony J. Mamo
North State v. Progressive—What the NY Supreme Court’s Recent Decision Might Mean for Your Business by Anthony J. Mamo, Jr., Attorney
When I first met Greg Coccaro, the owner of North State Custom in Bedford Hills, New York, I was immediately struck by his passion for his business, his customers and his
industry. But it was his frustration with the inequities inherent in his chosen field that truly captured my attention. I listened as Greg explained to me what a DRP was, how his labor rate was determined by See North State v. Progressive, Page 20
Autobody News Congratulates the Collision Industry’s Most Influential Women of 2011, Thanks to AkzoNobel Doug Craig
The Debate about Industry Standards at CIC
See John Yoswick Column, Page 40
We were thrilled to have our Barbara Davies, General Manager and coowner of Autobody News, selected as one of the five most influential women in the collision industry in 2011. We know what she does and how hard she works. Pictured with Barbara (l to r, right photo) are Sharon Mazanec, Jennifer Justice-Hayley, Susanna Gotsch and Michelle Rolls.
With NACE and CARS in Orlando a little over a month away ... we wanted to know more about the keynote speaker, social media guru Chris Brogan... See NACE Crowds, Page 38
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2 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
COLUMNISTS Attanasio, GFS - Trial by Fire: Indianapolis Body Shop Turns a Potential Tragedy into a Win-Win with a State-of-the-Art GFS Paint Booth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Attanasio, Mattei - Brown Auto Body Appreciates Mattei’s Rotary Vane Compressor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Attanasio, PPG - Pennsylvania Body Shop Outshines with PPG’s Aquabase® Plus Waterborne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Attanasio - How to Fix Your Damaged Online Reputation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Chess - Confusion over Certified Parts at CIC . . . 56 Espersen - Estimators – The Front Line in the Battle for Profitability . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Evans - This Year’s Entry for the SEMA Pinewood Derby 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Franklin - Long or Short Ad—Which is Best? . . . 45 Insurance Insider - Ridiculous DRP Requirements? Guess Why They’re Asking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Sisk - Brian’s Auto Body, Mount Holly, NJ—Dealership Converted to Shop . . . . . 24 Sisk - NACE/CARS Receiving Renewed Enthusiasm from East Coast Shops . . . . . 57 Weaver - Is It ‘Change Is a Good Thing’ or ‘It’s Good That Things Change’?. . . . . . . . 37 Williams - Acura of Westchester . . . . . . . . . 51 Yoswick - CIC, Consultant, Seeking Views on Industry Repair Standards . . . . . . . . . . 40 Zurada - Tips for Negotiating a Commercial Lease For Your Body Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
NATIONAL 3,400 Tickets/Month: Houston Red Light Cams . 9 AkzoNobel Presents ‘11 FIT Sustainability Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Arizona Has Stolen Road Grates Problem . . . . 9 ASRW Expands its Town Hall Event to Include Health Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 ASRW Partners with Muscle Car Network of Florida at Expo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 BASF to Return to NACE Expo for First Time Since 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 BK Listings: Marketing Automotive Businesses Through Innovative Listings . . . 29
Boyd Group Founder Sells Part of Ownership Stake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Chevy Volt Sales Slow to Grow, Nissan Leaf Worse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Chrysler Recalls Up To 370,000 ‘08 Minivans. 36 CollisionLink Represents ‘Inevitable Change’ Says Major Parts Dealer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 CREF and CCC Name Five Student Scholarship Winners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 CREF Announces New Board of Trustees Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Domestics More Popular Among Auto Thieves Now . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Enterprise Rent-A-Car Makes $11,000 Donation to CREF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Europeans Less Distracted When Driving than U.S. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Ford Minivans Not Subject to Recall, Infrequent Issue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Ford Partners Azure on F-Series Plug in Hybrids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Ford Releases Another Crash Test Video Comparing OEM to Aftermarket Crash Parts, ABPA Responds with its own Crash Test Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Ford to Recall 1.22 M Trucks, Fuel Tank Straps . 36 GM Has No Recall on its Tahoe and Yukon SUVs. 36 GM Recalls Over 16K Cars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 GM Tops Toyota as World’s Largest Automaker. 43 Google’s Self Driving Prototype Involved in Three-Car Collision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Handling People, Including Insurance Adjusters, Means Negotiating Effectively. . 50 High Tech Devices Make Cars More Theft-Prone . 50 Honda Recalls 2.5 Million Vehicles for Software Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Honda to Build Mexican Plant . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Honda to Recall 1.5M CRVs, Elements, Accords. 36 How Shop Owners Can Take Advantage of Salvage Auctions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 I-CAR Board of Directors Welcomes New Board Member, James Roach, American Honda Motor Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 I-CAR Offers New Course on Electronics Damage Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Kelly Blue Book Reports Lowest Cost of Ownership for 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Lincoln Electric Acquires Torchmate Parent . . . 36 LKQ Corporation Reports 23% Increased 2nd Qtr, Record Reveue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Mercedes’ Plan to Become World’s Top Premium Brand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Mitchell Releases Industry Trends Report for Q3 of 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Mitsubishi Back to Profitability . . . . . . . . . . . 50 My Take On the I-CAR Training Issue . . . . . . 54 NACE/CARS Program Expected to Draw Larger Crowds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Nevada, 1st State to Issue Robo-Car Licenses . 18 NHTSA Investigates BMW for Potential Rollaways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 North State v. Progressive—What the NY Supreme Court’s Recent Decision Might Mean for Your Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Pipe Bomb Disarmed at Salt Lake City, UT, Auto Auction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Repairer-Driven Education at SEMA Gets Support from PPG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 SCRS Conducts Survey of 17 Insurers on Aftermarket Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Toyota-Tesla RAV4 Electric to be Built in Ontario, Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Truck Driver Behavior Trackable w/New Tech . 36 Use of Black Boxes in Vehicles Increased Over the Last Decade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Vehicle Safety Bill With Data Collection Relevant to Repairers Introduced in U.S. Senate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Assistant Editor: Erica Schroeder Contributing Writers: Tom Franklin, John Yoswick, Lee Amaradio, Dan Espersen Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Mike Causey, Tom McGee, David Brown, Rich Evans, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Sean Hartman (800) 699-8251 Sales Assistant: Kristy Navarro Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia
REGIONAL 2000 Honda Civic Most Stolen Car in New York State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 AASP-PA 4th Annual Sporting Clay Shoot Coming in Sept. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Chiropractors Among 11 Booked in NJ Insurance Fraud Scheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Gary Lawson, Body Shop Owner in Washington DC, Passes Away . . . . . . . . . . 4 Husband of NY Driver Who Killed 8 Sues Over Signage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 New Auto Insurance Regulations Hope to Provide Some Relief to NJ Drivers, Consumers . . . . 4 NY Considers “Crash Tax” for Accident Victims . 10 NY’s Suffolk County to Install Median Barriers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 NY–IN False Theft Scam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 PA Coroner Charged . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Pennsylvania Collision Trade Guild to Host CCRE Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Right to Repair Will Go Before MA Voters on the 2012 Statewide Ballot . . . . . . . . . . . 8 State Farm Moving 500 N.J. Jobs . . . . . . . . . . 6 Study Supports Notion that Green Technology Boosts Job Growth . . . . . . . . . 6 Syracuse Shop Wins Motion in ‘Assignment of Proceeds’ Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Trenton, NJ, Chief of Staff is Charged with Leaving Scene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Work Comp IL Law Linked to State Trooper . . . 9
Serving New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware 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. ©2011 Adamantine Media LLC.
Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018; (800) 699-8251 (760) 721-0253 Fax www.autobodynews.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Amato Agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Autoland Scientech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 48 BASF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 BK Listings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 BMW Audi of Turnersville. . . . . . . . . . . 24 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . 55 Burdick Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 CARS Cooperative. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Central Avenue Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . 25 Chief Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Circle BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Cramer Motors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 DuPont . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Equalizer Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 49 Franklin Sussex Automall . . . . . . . . . . 16 Fred Beans Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Fuccillo Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . . 34-35 Garmat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Global Finishing Solutions . . . . . . . . . . 9 Global PDR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 GM Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . 47 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 45 Jaguar Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . 59 Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 56 Koeppel VW-Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Lazare Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Lexus Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . 53 Lynnes Subaru. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Manhattan Automobile Company . 22-23 Mattei . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Maxon Mazda-Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . 43 Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Center. 28 Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Metric Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 21 NACE / CARS Registration . . . . . . . . . 32 Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers . 62 NRD Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Nucar Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 53 PPG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 PreFab Ads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Prince & Portnoi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Safety Regulations Strategies . . . . . . . 31 SATA Spray Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 SEMA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Scion Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . 58 Security Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep . . . . . . . 8 Stadel Volvo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers DE, NJ, PA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12-13 Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . 51 Thompson Organization . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . 59 VIM Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . 50 Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . 52
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
AASP-PA 4th Annual Sporting Clay Shoot Coming in Sept
Pennsylvania Collision Trade Guild to Host CCRE Meeting
The AASP-PA’s Central PA chapter will hold the group’s 4th Annual Sporting Clay Shoot on September 17, 2011. Registration begins at 8:30am with a shotgun start time of 10:00am, ending at 2:00pm. The event will be held at the Central Penn Sporting Clays Club, 75 Quarry Rd Wellsville, PA 17365. The shoot will include a round of 50 clay birds. Form a team or come as an individual to join in on this outdoor event. A catered lunch and awards will follow the shoot. Sponsorships are available. New at shooting clay? No problem. New shooters will be paired up with experienced shooters. Eye wear and ear protection is required for this event. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer 717-303-6166 or at the office 717-564-8400. Golf carts are available. Shooting instructors and loaner guns are also available.
The Pennsylvania Collision Trade Guild will host their first fall collision industry seminar in October. The Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE) will be held on Friday October 7th and Saturday October 8th at the Hilton Airport Hotel in Philadelphia. The CCRE will focus on the legal aspects of running a collision business. Speakers will include attorneys Erica Eversman and John Parese and they will explain the proper use of authorization to repair and repair contracts, blueprinting and damage analysis, eliminating supplements, job costing profit including profit on paint and materials, final billing and collections, and assignment of proceeds. Email the CCRE office at email@example.com for more information or visit www.theccre.com or www.pctg.org. The cost of the event is $495.99 per person. After Sept 15 the cost is $595.99. Cost includes breakfast and lunch both days. For accomodations please contact the Hilton at 215-365-4150 ext. 33.
Gary Lawson, Body Shop Owner in Washington DC, Passes Away
2000 Honda Civic Most Stolen Car in New York State
Gary Wayne Lawson passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by family, in Purcellville, Virginia on July 27, 2011. Gary owned Circle Auto Body in Washington DC since the late 1970’s and was highly respected throughout the collision repair industry. He was also a distinguished member of the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association. Gary was a devoted family man and is survived by a large family. In addition to his wife of 45 years, Linda Linhoss Lawson, he is survived by his mother “Dot”; a daughter, Gina Lawson Burns and her husband, Terry; a sister, Judy Lawson and her husband, George Dellyssee; two brother-inlaws, Kenneth Linhoss and his wife, Judy and Charles Linhoss; and three grandchildren, Trevor Wayne Burns, Kylie Renee Jenkins and Tanner Michael Burns. A daughter, Stacey Michelle Lawson preceded him in death. Family gathered for visitation on Monday, August 1, 2011 at the Enders & Shirley Funeral Home in Berryville, VA. Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758516, Topeka, KS 666758516. To send condolences online, please visit www.endersandshirley.com.
The New York Insurance Association has noted that the 2000 Honda Civic is again the most frequently stolen vehicle in New York State, according to Insurance Journal. The Hot Wheels 2011 study released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) examines data reported to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and determines the vehicle make, model, and model year most reported stolen in 2010. The study found that the 2000 Honda Civic topped the list of the most frequently stolen vehicles in New York State for the fourth year in a row. In 2010, the most stolen vehicles in New York State were: 1. 2000 Honda Civic 2. 1994 Honda Accord 3. 1991Toyota Camry 4. 1996 Nissan Maxima 5. 2000 Dodge Caravan 6. 2005 Nissan Altima 7. 2009 Toyota Corolla 8. 2009 Ford Econoline E350 9. 2002 Ford Explorer 10. 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee “Auto theft continues to decline in New York State,” Ellen Melchionni, president of NYIA stated. “But drivers still need to take prudent steps to prevent their vehicle from being stolen.”
4 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
New Auto Insurance Regulations Hope to Provide Some Relief to New Jersey Drivers, Consumers New Jersey made massive change to the regulations for the personal injury element of auto insurance this month, with the intention of keeping rate increases under control, according to Live Insurance News. The primary changes have to do with the ways in which a doctor will be permitted to bill for the treatments provided, and will recreate the way in which a claim that has been denied can be appealed. While New Jersey has maintained its status among the more costly states in which to buy car insurance, its residents are paying lower premiums following former Governor James McGreevey’s changes, which were enacted in 2003 in order to encourage competition. However, more recently, rates have been climbing upward once more and officials are blaming personal injury expenses. According to the Department of Banking and Insurance in New Jersey, in 2010, 97% of all rate increases were a direct result in an alarming increase in the personal injury claims being paid out. It also stated that $1.23 was
being spent by insurers for benefits for every dollar that they made for personal injury premiums. State regulators are hoping that these new rules will help to slow or stop these escalating premiums. According to Thomas Considine, the insurance commissioner for the state, too many loopholes are permitting doctors to bill for a greater amount than the listed rate. He explained that a small percentage of the doctors in the state had “found ways to abuse and take advantage of the system, and really have an unfair and inequitable way of drawing down New Jersey’s coverage dollars”.
Honda to Build Mexican Plant
Honda Motor Co. will invest around $800 million to build an auto plant in the Mexican state of Jalisco, the company said August 12, according to the Detroit News. The plant will produce subcompact vehicles for North American markets starting in 2014. The plant will employ 3,200 workers at its full annual capacity of 200,000 units, Honda said.
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 5
Study Supports Notion that Green Technology Boosts Job Growth More than 155,000 American auto workers already are making components for cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles, and that number could grow significantly as the United States continues to embrace new generations of fuel efficient cars and trucks, according to a new study produced by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation and the UAW. While these groups clearly have a vested interest in environmental issues, the report, Supplying Ingenuity: U.S. Suppliers of Clean, Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Technologies, provides evidence of a strong link between fuel-efficient vehicles and economic vitality. “The reality is that cleaner vehicles have already led to more jobs,” said Peter Lehner, executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Our report shows how strong fuel efficiency standards have employed people nationwide, so stronger standards will certainly mean even more job growth in the future.” According to the report, 43 states and the District of Columbia now are home to the 300-plus manufacturers that develop and supply key components for advanced internal combustion
engines and vehicles, hybrid powertrains and plug-in electric vehicles. “This report shows that most states have facilities that produce cleanvehicle technologies,” said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, who directs the union’s Competitive Shop/Independents, Parts and Suppliers Department. “The employment benefits flowing from increases to vehicle fuel efficiency will be widespread.” The report lists the top 15 states employing the highest number of autoworkers in clean, efficient technologies: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Texas, Alabama, California, South Carolina, Tennessee, New York, Illinois, Virginia, and Arizona. “This report demonstrates how strong fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks sustain local jobs. They also safeguard wildlife, and protect America’s public health,” said Jim Lyon, the National Wildlife Federation. “It’s critical that Congress stops putting these gains at risk by grandstanding against the Clean Air Act and other landmark laws that Americans across the nation rely on.” For a copy of the report, see: www.nrdc.org/transportation/autosuppliers
State Farm Moving 500 N.J. Jobs
State Farm will drastically reduce the size of its operations center in Parsippany over the next two years, moving about 500 New Jersey jobs to New York and Pennsylvania to cut costs and improve efficiency, the company said July 26 according to NorthJersey.com. Most of the Parsippany office’s functions will be consolidated into its two other Northeast operations centers, in upstate Ballston Spa, NY and Concordville, PA. Some of the Parsippany employees will be offered jobs in those locations, the company said The Christie administration was “proactive” in trying to persuade State Farm to keep the jobs in New Jersey, but the insurer’s decision was final, company spokesman Doug Nadeau said. Employees were notified July 24, he said. A bodily injury claims office and a sales training office will remain in Parsippany, but it is unclear how many will be employed there. The Parsippany center currently employs about 700. “State Farm hopes to retain the largest amount of employees possible,” Nadeau said. Employees who do not want to relocate will be offered severance packages, he said. A satellite office in Farmingdale, NJ, that employs a dozen people also is slated for closing and a claims office in Melville, NY will be consolidated into one in Lakeville, NY. The changes, ex-
pected to be completed by September 2013, are to “better serve customers and achieve business goals through increased efficiency, reduced expenses and establishment of more consistent operations,” Nadeau said. State Farm, which has more than one million policies in force in New Jersey, last year had a leading share of the state’s home insurance market by premiums, and ranked fourth in automobile premiums, according to the state Department of Banking and Insurance. The insurer, which said in May it was closing two dozen field offices in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, expects to continue to distribute policies and serve customers in New Jersey through more than 200 independent contractor sales agencies. State Farm had threatened about a decade ago to exit the auto insurance business in New Jersey, complaining that strict regulation made it too hard to make a profit. But it later backed away from that stance, and the regulations were relaxed in 2003 by former Governor McGreevey. The coming move will be “seamless” to customers, he said. “We have every intention of continuing to do a vigorous business in New Jersey and growing our market share. Nothing negative about New Jersey, the New Jersey insurance market, or the New Jersey economy that should be inferred from the decision.”
6 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Chiropractors Among 11 Booked in NJ Insurance Fraud Scheme New Jersey law enforcement officials have charged 11 people in what prosecutors say was a scheme to recruit accident victims as patients for chiropractors who then falsely billed insurance companies. Among those arrested are three chiropractors: 51-year-old Scott Greenberg of Franklin Township, Somerset County; 39year-old Christopher Montana of Chester, Morris County; and 39year-old Fernando Barrese of Washington Township, Bergen County. Abel Tirado, 36, of Allentown, was charged as one of the four runners for Greenberg, the attorney general’s office says. He faces charges of conspiracy, money laundering, health care claims fraud, and criminal use of runners. Prosecutors said the three paid so-called “runners” a fee for every accident patient they recruited to their practices. Several of the alleged runners also have been charged. Greenberg owns a New Brunswick chiropractic center. Montana and Barrese own chiropractic centers in Elizabeth, Newark and Jersey City.
Trenton, NJ, Chief of Staff is Charged with Leaving Scene
Trenton’s former chief of staff, Paul Sigmund IV, who resigned after being arrested on heroin charges, was issued several motor vehicle citations Aug. 9 alleging he left the scene of a minor traffic accident in Lawrence, police said. Sigmund, who was arrested in May for possession of 10 bags of heroin, is accused of rear-ending a vehicle driven by Priyanka Mathur, 38, of Plainsboro, police said. “(Sigmund) got out and said that he would take care of the damages and not to call the police,” said Lt. Charles Edgar with the Lawrence Township Police Department. “She took his information and went inside the store to get some assistance and when she came out, he was gone and his vehicle was gone.” Sigmund was driving a 2004 Nissan Pathfinder with a California registration that expired earlier this year, Edgar said. The driver’s license he provided to Mathur was a valid California license, Edgar said. Sigmund was issued five citations including summonses for careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. Lt. Edgar said additional charges could be filed.
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 7
Right to Repair Will Go Before MA Voters on the 2012 Statewide Ballot In response to more than 50,000 letters from consumers who support the Right to Repair legislation, the Right to Repair coalition announced August 3 it has submitted language to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office for approval as a 2012 ballot question. The coalition is still aggressively pursuing passage of its original legislation but the deadline this week for ballot submissions comes at the same time as the continued legislative push. “As the original sponsor of the Right to Repair legislation, I intend to push as hard as I can to show my fellow elected officials that the current legislation is the best way during these challenging economic times to provide cost savings and convenience for financially-strapped car repair consumers,” said State Rep. Garrett Bradley (D-Hingham). “But, with the deadline coming this week to submit ballot questions for 2012, the coalition is doing the right thing for motoring consumers by keeping that option open,” Bradley said.
Consumers across the state visiting local mechanics or neighborhood parts stores have been filling out support letters and sending them in to their state legislators. While the possible 2012 ballot question would achieve the same goal of allowing consumers to have their cars completely serviced wherever they choose without being forced to go to one of the carmaker dealerships, one option filed with the Attorney General includes language different from the current legislation. The ballot language would require new car dealerships to provide all the necessary non-proprietary repair information directly to consumers at the time of purchase of a new vehicle. This would put choice and convenience directly into consumers’ hands. “Whether it is our original language requiring the car makers to sell the repair information to the local, independent mechanic or whether it is a 2012 ballot question to have the car manufacturers provide the data directly to consumers, this is one break
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in this tough economy that consumers need,” said Art Kinsman, spokesman for the Right to Repair coalition. There is precedent for states requiring the automakers to be responsive to local needs. California, for example, has passed legislation over the years requiring certain pollution control equipment for cars sold in its state.The current Right to Repair legislation would require auto manufacturers to sell to local, neighborhood independent technicians the diagnostic and safety information needed to repair customers’ cars. Currently, only some information is shared, limiting consumer choice and making business difficult for neighborhood shops. The bill is now awaiting a vote in the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure. In the interim, consumers are picking up postcards at their local repair shops and parts stores in an effort to rally behind the bill. In addition to individual consumers, several organizations representing consumers and car owners support the bill as well. These include:
AAA Southern New England, The Massachusetts Independent Auto Dealers Association, New England Tire and Service Association, Retailers Association of Massachusetts, Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC, American Car Care Centers, more than 1,000 Independent Repairers, Massachusetts Insurance Federation, Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, The Coalition for Auto Repair Equality, Midas International Corporation, Firestone, Consumer Electronics Association, Massachusetts Locksmiths Association, Automotive Oil Change Association, RetireSafe, AutoZone, NAPA, Allied Auto Parts, LKQ, Meineke, Pronto, Carquest, Valvoline Instant Oil Change, American Military Society, Consumer League for Economic Auto Repair, Advance Auto Parts, Engine Repower Council, Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association, Automotive Recyclers Association, Tire Industry Association, Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades, Massachusetts Motorcycle Association, Auto Recyclers of Massachusetts.
NY’s Suffolk County to Install Median Barriers
Work Comp Illinois Law Linked to State Trooper
3,400 Tickets in a Month: Houston Red Light Cams
Arizona Has Stolen Road Grates Problem
NY–IN False Theft Scam
Husband of NY Driver Who Killed 8 Sues Over Signage
Europeans Less Distracted When Driving than U.S.
Suffolk County is installing steel cable barriers on two of its highway medians in an effort to prevent crossover crashes, which have killed seven since 2002. Barriers are being erected on the LI Expressway and Sunrise Highway on 11 miles of each roadway. On the LIE from exits 64 to 70 and on the Sunrise from exits 53 to 59. The state DOT says work on the LIE will be completed this fall and on the Sunrise by the end of the year. By 2015, the barriers will extend into Riverhead on the LIE and into Southampton on the Sunrise.
Illinois state employees injured while committing crimes no longer will be able to get workers’ compensation under a new law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn. The law stems from a 2007 wreck involving former Illinois State Trooper Matt Mitchell, who was driving more than 100 mph and using his cell phone when his cruiser crossed the median and slammed into a car. The two Collinsville sisters in that car were killed. Mitchell later pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and was sentenced to 30 months of probation. His claim for workers’ compensation for his injuries was denied.
Pennsylvania state police have charged Lackawanna County’s deputy coroner with arson, alleging he tried to pay $40,000 to an undercover trooper to burn a building he owned in a bid to collect insurance money. The Times-Tribune in Scranton reported on its website that Joseph A. Swoboda was charged with one felony count each of arson, solicitation to commit arson and arson for insurance purposes. He’s also facing a count of reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor. Swoboda was taken into custody onAug. 5 and put in the county prison in lieu of $50,000 bond.
A sophisticated car-theft ring that specialized in bringing luxury vehicles from New York to Indianapolis has been broken up with the arrest of seven people, authorities said Aug. 9. Two Brooklyn men have been arrested with warrants out for two others thought to be involved. Indiana State Police said 10 vehicles valued at a total of $500,000 to $600,000 were stolen from New York, transported to Indiana and sold to members of the car-theft ring (with new VINs) at discounted prices. The seven arrested have been charged with auto theft, insurance fraud and forgery.
PA Coroner Charged
Houston police have issued nearly 3,400 citations to red-light runners since the cameras were turned back on July 24. The figures were released by the company that operates the intersection cameras, Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions. U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes on July 22 ruled that Houston may not appeal his June decision invalidating the 2010 election when voters said the cameras should be turned off. A study, released Aug. 1, found that redlight accidents fell 25 percent at hundreds of the state’s intersections after traffic cameras were installed.
The husband of a woman whose wrongway driving killed 8 on the Taconic parkway in 2009 is blaming insufficient signage for the crash. Daniel Schuler filed a lawsuit against the state on behalf of a daughter who was killed and a son who survived, saying the “appropriate lanes of travel” were unmarked. Investigators found that his wife, Diane Schuler, was very drunk and high when she drove past do-not-enter signs and into an SUV carrying three from Yonkers. Schuler also sued his brother-in-law, the owner of the minivan, whose daughters died in the crash.
Thieves have been stealing metal grates and leaving drains wide open around Tucson. It’s dangerous because people can fall into open drains. KOLD-TV reports 25 went missing in Tucson and 86 disappeared from Marana. Tucson police say they arrested two people last week on two counts of theft and three counts of trafficking in stolen property. A scrap metal yard reported receiving grates from the pair. The Public Works director for Marana says stealing grates has cost the town more than $20,000, and all have been replaced.
CDC has compared several European countries’ drivers with those in the U.S. based on their texting and cell phone usage. Overall, 25% of drivers in the U.S. report cell phone use “regularly” or “fairly often” while driving, including nearly 40% of drivers ages 18–29. European drivers who report using the cell phone “regularly” or “fairly often” while driving range from 21% in the Netherlands to 3% in the UK. Europeans who text while driving is higher among drivers aged 18–29 than other age groups— from 13% in Portugal to 3% in the UK.
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 9
New York Considers “Crash Tax” for Accident Victims “Crash taxes,” or accident response fees, are sweeping the nation. Cities in 27 states have adopted them in one form or another, including Dallas, Texas; Buffalo, New York; Toledo, Ohio; and New Haven, Connecticut. But not every state has been eager to bill those involved in motor vehicle accidents for the services of responding firefighters and police officers. According to Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, 13 states, including neighboring Pennsylvania, have outlawed accident fees, preventing their municipalities from billing those injured in motor vehicle accidents for fire and police department services. New York may be the 14th state to ban crash taxes. Earlier this year, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed that drivers be assessed an accident response fee when the New York Fire Department (NYFD) responds to an accident or car fire. The proposal basically meant that if the NYFD responded to: • A vehicle fire or car accident with in-
juries, then drivers would receive a bill for $490. • A fire without injuries, those involved would receive a bill for $415. - An accident without injuries, motorists would be assessed a crash tax of $365. The thought behind charging accident fees was to shift the burden from having taxes cover the cost of the NYFD’s services to having the people responsible for car accidents pay for those services. Insurance industry representatives and city council members are against the accident response fees, seeing them as a form of double taxation. The president of the New York Insurance Association noted that “New Yorkers pay taxes expressly designed to cover municipal services and would then be charged again for accident responses.” Furthermore, another insurance industry spokesman points out, it is not the cities that are coming up with these ideas — vendors who collect the bills (for a percentage) are the ones pitching the idea to municipalities.
Mitchell Releases Industry Trends Report for Q3 of 2011 Mitchell International released their third quarter Industry Trends Report this month; the report focused on gas prices and their affect on car-buying and car value trends. This issue also discusses how volatile and sustained high fuel prices are impacting insurance claims beyond a reduction in miles driven. Vice president of industry relations for Mitchell International Greg Horn talks about the role gas prices play in resale values of vehicles from fuel-efficient to so-called gas guzzlers. “Fuel efficient vehicles tend to rise more quickly and reliably in value during periods of high gas prices than gas guzzlers, which fall in value,” Horn said in the report. The insurance and collision repair industries need the accuracy of a true market survey method for valuing a total loss because constantly fluctuating fuel prices move too fast, with too great an impact, for slower traditional ‘book value’ valuations to accurately reflect the true actual cash value of total loss vehicles.”
Other valuable points of interest in the current issue of Mitchell’s ITR include: Mitchell’s Q2-2011 data reflect an initial average gross Collision appraisal value of $2,761-$90 less than this same period last year. However, applying the indicated development factor of 9% suggests a final Q22011 average gross collision appraisal value of $3,008. The average Actual Cash Value (ACV) of vehicles appraised for Collision losses during Q2-2011 was $13,705-an increase of $500 over the same period last year. In Q2-2011, the average gross appraisal value for Comprehensive coverage estimates processed through Mitchell servers was $2,854-compared to $2,625 in Q2-2010. Applying the prescribed development factor of 1% for this data set produces an increase in the adjusted value to $2,883reflecting the strong storm season with many hail claims. For more information about Mitchell, visit www.mitchell.com. To view the entire report please visit www.autobodynews.com.
10 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Many cities, including New York City, grab onto the idea because they are facing funding shortages. The 2012 fiscal year starts July 1, and NYC is facing a $2.4 billion deficit. The NYFD has been asked to slash $58 million from its annual costs. The hope is, of course, that accident response fees would help make up this difference. Consumers assessed fees usually try to pass them onto their auto insurance companies, but the insurers often refuse to pay them—leaving motorists to foot the bill themselves or litigate over the matter. And even when insurers do pay them, they pass the expense right back to their policyholders by increasing auto insurance premiums. Several cities that have tried to implement fees for responding to accidents are quickly finding them to be a bad idea. Oceanside, California, recently decided to eliminate its crash tax after discovering that not only has it been very difficult to actually collect the fees, but it was also impacting tourism, as the fees there are assessed only against nonresidents, so tourists try to avoid passing through the city.
Firefighters in municipalities that have adopted the fees are also finding frustration with the idea, as they have to spend more time on the accident scene, gathering information so that they know where to send the bill. Given the New York City Council’s opposition to the crash tax, Mayor Bloomberg has backed off the proposal, according to Property Casualty 360. In fact, the New York State Legislature now has a bill before it— Bill S2277—that would add a section to New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law prohibiting municipalities from imposing accident response fees. It should be noted that the new law, if passed, would likely not affect the current ability of local governments in New York to charge motorists involved in accidents for ambulance services, cleanup of hazardous chemicals or damage to municipal property. Visit www.colwell-law.com for more information. Article provided by Colwell, Colwell & Petroccione, LLP
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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 13
ASRW Partners with Muscle Car Network of Florida at Expo
ASRW announced a new partnership for 2011 with the Muscle Car Network of Florida. The Muscle Car Network plans to display approximately 80 vehicles on the ASRW show floor at ASRW, during the expo. The display includes rare, exotic and hot rod vehicles, which belong to members of the network. Additionally, the Muscle Car Network plans to make a donation to a local automotive charity Saturday, Oct. 8, to further education and training for the next generation of automotive service and repair professionals. “Our audience has a true passion for automobiles, and we know they’ll appreciate this collection of vehicles. We’re pleased to be partnered with this group, and to have something new and exciting to offer at the show this year,” said Ron Pyle, ASA president. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to give back to the local Orlando-area community, in appreciation of our time there.” “This is a win-win for everyone involved. We’re excited for the opportunity to show off our ‘pride and joy’ to the industry professionals who attend ASRW,” says J.R. Goodman, Muscle Car Network director.
CREF and CCC Name Five Student Scholarship Winners
The Collision Repair Education Foundation and CCC Information Services named five exceptional students as winners of the CCC Michael Salvatore Memorial Student Repair Technician Scholarship, renamed to honor the memory of longtime CCC team member Michael Salvatore. The CCC Michael Salvatore Memorial Student Repair Technician Scholarship awards scholarships to students currently enrolled at eligible technical schools throughout the country. The award recipients use the scholarship funds to reduce the balances on tuition loans or to reimburse tuition costs that accumulated during their education. Each student will receive a scholarship award in the amount of $5,000. The 2011 winners are: ● Manuel Aguilar, UTI (Sacramento, CA) ● Nabil Assad, Pennsylvania College of Technology (Williamsport, PA) ● Isaac Hostetter, Pennsylvania College of Technology (Williamsport, PA) ● Ian Hilner, Pennsylvania College of Technology (Williamsport, PA) ● Michael Releford, Sowela Technical Community College (Lake Charles, LA.)
Enterprise Rent-A-Car Makes $11,000 Donation to CREF
Enterprise Rent-A-Car is the first rental car brand to receive the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s Industry Leadership Circle donor designation through its $11,000 donation to the organization in 2011. This donation will support annual student scholarships, school grants, and the recently created Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant. “Our partnership with the collision repair industry has been a key to our success over the years,” said Bruce Clifton, vice president-insurance replacement for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. “We are happy to assist the efforts of the Collision Repair Education Foundation to identify and develop the next generation of industry leaders.” Collision Repair Education Foundation Executive Director Scott Kruger added, “Thanks to Enterprise Rent-A-Car for supporting the Collision Repair Education Foundation and joining our efforts in supporting collision repair school programs and their students. “The Industry Leadership Circle includes a wide cross-section of the entire collision repair inter-industry and we are pleased to have Enterprise as the first rental car company in the Circle.”
Domestics More Popular Among Auto Thieves Now
For the first time since 2002, NICB discovered thieves preferred domestic nameplates over foreign brands, as indicated by the list of the 10 most stolen vehicles in the U.S. Among the top 10, Ford took three spots, Dodge held two and Chevrolet held one, while the remaining four were held by Honda, Toyota and Acura. However, the top three positions continue to be held by Honda and Toyota models, a trend that NICB said has been consistent since 2000. According to an examination of vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center in 2010, the most stolen vehicles in the nation were— 1994 Honda Accord—1995 Honda Civic—1991 Toyota Camry—1999 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)—1997 Ford F150 Series/Pickup—2004 Dodge Ram—2000 Dodge Caravan— 1994 Acura Integra—2002 Ford Explorer—1999 Ford Taurus. NICB says certain older cars and trucks are popular with thieves because of the value of their parts — but many are not insured against theft. Whereas newer, more expensive and insured vehicles are often stolen to be resold intact with counterfeit VINs or shipped out of the country.
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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 15
SCRS Conducts Survey of 17 Insurers on Aftermarket Parts The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) is conducting a survey of 13 major insurance companies to determine their use of aftermarket replacement parts. The survey was sent to Allstate, American Family, Farmers, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Mercury Insurance, Met Life Auto and Home, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, The Hartford, Travelers and USAA, according to Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of SCRS. He said the survey was “an effort to bring further transparency to our understanding of carrier’s approaches to use of aftermarket replacement parts.” The survey was motivated by input from SCRS members and ongoing discussions stemming from aftermarket replacement parts, Schulenburg said. “We are finding that members in different parts of the country are submitting conflicting reports about the policies of some major national insurance companies. In other words, we are hearing that in some cases field level practices may vary from official corporate policy on parts use. In some cases, an insurer may have a policy for use of only certified parts,
but when a certified part is unavailable, the shop is instructed to simply select a non-certified part by the field adjuster,” Schulenburg said. “It is also possible that, in those cases, some shops may assume that a non-certified part is what the carrier wants them to do, and may not realize that the insurer would prefer an OEM replacement part if the only available alternative is a non-certified part,” he continued. “Knowing what specific corporate policies exist, provides for a better, more transparent, understanding of the approach taken in settling a vehicle owners claim. “In the interest of transparency, and with an issue as important as aftermarket parts in structural repair, the SCRS board of directors felt that it would be worth our efforts to conduct this study, and share the results with the industry.” To see the insurer survey, search all or part of this heading at Autobodynews.com.
16 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Kelly Blue Book Reports Lowest Cost of Ownership for 2011
Kelley Blue Book has reported the top three luxury and top three non-luxury brands with the lowest average Total Cost of Ownership for the initial fiveyear ownership period for 2011. Based on Kelley Blue Book’s analysis, Audi, Lexus and Cadillac (respectively) top all luxury brands, while Kia, Hyundai and Honda (respectively) dominate among all non-luxury brands for lowest average total ownership costs. Total Cost of Ownership is developed using Residual Values to calculate depreciation costs. Depreciation plays the largest role in Total Cost of Ownership, followed by the cost of fuel during the ownership period. Kelley Blue Book calculates total ownership costs for new vehicles by applying a sophisticated valuation methodology along with critical financial data from thirdparty providers. “The average vehicle typically maintains about 30 percent of its original MSRP after five years of ownership, whereas a handful of vehicles maintain more than 45 percent after the same time period,” said Eric Ibara, director of residual value consulting for Kelley Blue Book. “The new Total Cost of Ownership data on kbb.com is based on
Kelley Blue Book Residual Values, which are used by banks and manufacturers nationwide.” At the brand level, Audi and Lexus currently have the lowest depreciation and best fuel economy among luxury brands, giving them an advantage in low cost of ownership at the luxury level. In addition, Audi, Lexus and Cadillac all offer models that carry a lower MSRP compared to other luxury brands. Combined with their entry-level vehicles, these brands stand out among their competitors for having low overall ownership cost. Audi’s Total Cost of Ownership success is primarily driven by the A3 2.0T and A4 2.0T sedan models. Both edge out competitors with their minimal depreciation and stellar fuel economy. For non-luxury brands, Kia and Hyundai have a number of successful redesigns, greatly improved quality and competitive pricing, which sets them apart from other non-luxury brands in terms of cost of ownership. Key Kia models contributing to the brand’s low Total Cost of Ownership include the Rio, Optima and Forte. Additionally, Honda continues to be a reliable choice with strong fuel economy and customer loyalty.
Pennsylvania Body Shop Outshines with PPG’s Aquabase® Plus Waterborne by Ed Attanasio
Proactive body shops that are embracing the inexorable change to waterborne paint in states where the laws are looming, but not yet a reality, are anticipating an advantage over their feet-dragging competitors over the next few years. One of these forward thinking shops is Old Forge Collision Centers, a 20-yearold company with two locations in Pennsylvania that repair an average of nearly 200 vehicles monthly. Old Forge’s General Manager, Bob Scarpello, 54, is a 30-year veteran of the collision industry and a former painter. Three decades ago, his first job out of tech school was as a painter’s helper and by continually learning and improving his skills, Scarpello eventually progressed up the ladder into upper management. One of the first things Scarpello did when he was hired at Old Forge, was to take a long, serious look at converting both of his locations to waterborne paint, he told Autobody News. “We were one of the first body shops in Pennsylvania to go with waterborne paint. When I came here in 2003, after reading everything I could get my hands on about waterborne painting systems, I realized that it would eventually be coming here. I mean, Europe has been using it for decades, and so what are we waiting for?” Before he could pursue the changeover, Scarpello had to persuade the owners. “Our owners, Peter Watson and Larry Schoppert, were environmentally conscious guys already, which made it easier. It didn’t really take much coaxing on my behalf to get them on board. I met with them and told them, ‘this is the way things are going and pretty soon we will have to do it anyway. I told them that the conversion will benefit us in two ways. First, we’ll get recognition around Pennsylvania for being a waterborne early adopter. Several local newspapers have published articles about our conversion process, so that was great. Second, we’re providing a safer environment for our crew and for the planet. It’s all positive stuff and from day one it’s been a great journey. I can’t complain about any aspect of it.” Scarpello met with several paint companies and decided to go with PPG and their Nexa Autocolor™ Aquabase® Plus waterborne product. “I wanted to be a step ahead of everyone else, so we met with PPG
SHOP & PRODUCT SHOWCASE Old Forge Collision Center Location: Two locations in Lansdale and Chalfont, PA
Telephone: 215-368-3100 www.oldforgecollisioncc.com Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 25
In Business Since: 1981
DRP Programs: 12 (Lansdale)
and 8 (Chalfont)
Number of Locations: Two
Combined Production Space: 32,700 square feet (combined)
Old Forge Collision’s Dave Miller painting a car with PPG’s waterborne Aquabase® Plus
to discuss their waterborne products. I had used PPG solvent-based paint extensively at other shops where I worked before, so I knew that their quality was outstanding and the service was always excellent. So, we took two months to strategize the changeover and hash out the details. “My biggest concern was how the painters would react when they have to start using waterborne after using the solvent for so many years. But I didn’t need to worry so much. PPG made the switch as smooth as butter. They took all of my painters to their school in Baltimore and after one day there my paint crew came back and reassured me about the product. They were especially happy with the color matches and the blending aspect of the Aquabase® Plus. They were literally blown away, even my lead painter, Dave Miller. Now, we don’t have to spend time taking spray outs and tinting them for 45 minutes to get a color match. The color matching qualities of Aquabase® Plus is a lot better than what we encountered with the solvent.” The conversion took place in 2008, aided by Old Forge’s jobber Bill Flannery and his crew. “We had to reorganize our paint department in several ways. The drying system, of course, was considerably different with the waterborne. The old solvent system we were using was based on heat and now it primarily involves air flow. We had to revamp our paint booth and install
several air movers in there to get the air flow suitable for the waterborne. But my painters love it and they will never go back to solvent, guaranteed. Once they adapted to the PPG waterborne, they were saying ‘Why did we ever use solvent?’” Have any of Old Forge’s local competitors made the switch to waterborne? Some have, but Scarpello is baffled that other body shops are reluctant to make the move to waterborne. “The only switch involves the basecoat, because the sealers and primers and top coats are still solvent. So, it’s not like everything has changed. One piece of the puzzle is now different, but it’s so easy that I can’t believe when I hear that other shops are fighting the change.” “Some are in the process of converting, but we were definitely the first in this region,” Scarpello observed. “A lot of them are getting on board with it, but I know that many of them are waiting until the last minute to change, and we didn’t want to wait until the final hour. As a result, we got more attention from PPG and my jobber, because back then we were the only ones doing it. In the next few years, there will be a rush to these waterborne systems and body shops will be competing for their attention. A lot of shops around here will be struggling and shuffling to get it done, and we will already be using the waterborne for five years by then.” If you’re an educated consumer, who would you take your vehicle to?
Old Forge Collision Center’s Lead Painter Dave Miller appreciates the spot-on colors he gets with the Aquabase® Plus system
Old Forge Collision Center’s General Manager Bob Scarpello has taken his operation into the waterborne age by adopting the PPG Aquabase® Plus system
PPG Automotive Refinish Company Contact: Cindy Piazza Phone: (440) 572-2800 email: email@example.com website: www.ppgrefinish.com
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 17
Nevada Becomes First State to Issue Robo-Car Licenses
Nevada is on course to become the first state to approve robo-cars on the road. The state passed a bill that authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to begin drafting rules for “autonomous vehicles” like the ones that Google is building and testing in California. Nevada residents won’t have their roads taken over by robotic cars overnight. The legislation is only a preliminary move. The bill goes into effect on March 1, 2012, and gives officials the go-ahead to work out car certification standards, insurance guidelines and other rules that would apply to robotic cars. The DMV also will mark out areas of the state where the cars can be tested. According to the bill, these rules would apply to cars that use sensors, global positioning systems and artificial intelligence to drive “without the active intervention of a human operator.” Google started testing the “automated cars” last year and logged 140,000 test miles in the Bay Area (with engineers in the front seat). Google’s cars are designed to navigate traffic using Google’s massive data centers.
Google’s Self Driving Prototype Involved in Three-Car Collision
Google has been developing automated cars that drive themselves, producing enough evidence to Nevada’s State legislature to create a licence especially for self-driving cars (see adjacent story). Since then, its technology has been legally driving hundreds of thousands of miles in California, however mishaps have occured. Google’s Prius project car rear-ended another Prius just outside of Google’s Mountain View headquarters in California. Google released a statement on the incident highlighting that safety is their first priority. They also claim that the self-driving car was being driven by a person at the time, which is why it resulted in an accident. In fact, a total of three cars were involved, two Priuses (Prii) and a Honda Accord. Google’s driving cars use a complex combination of laser and imaging systems to help identify potential hazards. Google Spokesman Jay Nanacarrow pointed out to NBC Bay Area News that since Google’s self-driving prototypes hit the road last year, “the cars have traveled 160,000 miles autonomously without incident.”
Mercedes’ Plan to Become World’s Top Premium Brand
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has said the company’s Mercedes-Benz brand will challenge rival German premium brands BMW and Audi for the position as the world’s best-selling and most profitable luxury carmaker. In a rallying call to employeees, Zetsche confessed that Mercedes is being outpaced by rivals, but said: “Our competitors’ success should provide us with additional motivation.” Zetsche issued the challenge in a letter to Daimler employees, writing: “Some of our competitors are now growing faster and more profitably than we are. Granted, those are just snapshots in time and should not be overestimated. After all, many of our best new products are yet to come.” Zetsche adds: “In the long run we can’t be content to be in a ‘solid second’ or even ‘third’ place: We are Daimler – we should be far ahead of the pack! And if that requires something that we don’t currently have, then we’ll identify and develop it.” Zetsche ends the letter by saying: “Enjoy your summer and refill your tanks. Because in the second half of this year we’re going to continue to play some hard offense!”
Toyota-Tesla RAV4 Electric to be Built in Ontario, Canada
Toyota and Tesla Motors confirmed August 5 that their jointly-developed RAV4 electric vehicle will be built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, Inc. in Woodstock, Ontario beginning in 2012. “The Tesla-Toyota joint development team has agreed that building the vehicle at the Woodstock plant on the same line as the gasoline-powered RAV4, will streamline and simplify the production process and guarantee the highest level of quality control,” said Ray Tanguay, TMMC Chairman, who hosted Canadian officials at the plant today and thanked them for their support. “This is a great example of Toyota’s determination to collaborate with companies with leading edge technology.” As previously announced, Toyota will pay Tesla approximately $100 million to supply the electric powertrain, which includes the battery, motor, gear box and power electronics for the RAV4 EV. Tesla will build the electric powertrains at its production facility in Palo Alto, California and then ship them to TMMC for final assembly into the vehicle. The RAV4 EV will be sold at U.S. Toyota dealers.
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Continued from Cover
North State v. Progressive
someone other than himself and what the practice of “steering” had done to his and other businesses like his. Having spent nearly 20 years litigating for and against insurance companies, I was aware of the power an insurance company can exert. However as Greg explained to me the realities of the collision repair industry, I was admittedly shocked by what I heard.
The Case of North State v. Progressive Insurance In 2007, as attorney for North State Custom, I commenced a lawsuit against Progressive Insurance alleging that Progressive engaged in deceptive business practices and interference with North State’s business and customers. The case has survived two motions to dismiss, two appeals and a separate action brought by Progressive against North State resulting in two separate jury trials. (For a summary of the Progressive v. North State saga see autobodynews.com, Cocarro Case Takes a Wide Turn...). While the case against Progressive has not yet been resolved and in fact we expect a jury trial to be held sometime next year, a recent court ruling in the matter has significant impact for the industry as a whole.
New York’s “toothless” insurance statute is called Insurance Law Section 2610, known as the “anti-steering law.” It states that not only do consumers have an absolute right to select
and its own repair shops for their economic gain and to North States economic detriment. At the close of the discovery phase in the case, Progressive moved
the repair shop of their choice, but that an insurance company may not recommend a repair shop without a consumer request to do so. Of course, nowhere does this “anti-steering law” provide for a remedy to a consumer when the statute is violated. Rather, the law gives the power to raise a violation only to the Attorney General or the Department of Insurance, and not the consumer or his chosen repair shop. New York’s Consumer Protection Law can be found within the state’s General Business Law and specifically at section 349. The law was originally enacted to protect consumers from unscrupulous business practices but has been expanded to include any consumer oriented conduct that is materially misleading which causes harm to a party. Thus, it is here, where the interests of large corporations overlaps
the court for a dismissal. It did so by making two divergent but significant arguments. First, Progressive argued that its actions in connection with the way it “offered” its Direct Repair Program was not misleading or deceptive. Second, Progressive argued that even if the way it offered its direct repair program was misleading and deceptive, New York’s Insurance Law did not allow a consumer or a repair shop such as North State to bring such an action. Thus the court was forced to make three separate but intertwined decisions:
... a federal court found that actions such as disparaging statements, intentionally declaring vehicles a total loss, and steering were deceptive practices ...
... the insurance industry has been able to lobby state legislators to enact “toothless” insurance laws that claim to regulate the insurance industry without actually doing so...
I. Backround: The State of the Law in New York In New York, as in most states, the insurance industry has been able to lobby state legislatures to enact “toothless” insurance laws that claim to regulate the insurance industry without actually doing so. As a result, most insurance companies believe, and rightfully so, that they can exploit the law with impunity and bully insured’s into having their cars repaired by captive and tightly controlled repair shops. Fortunately, most states including New York, also have little known but effective consumer protection laws designed to protect consumers from improper corporate behavior.
with the interests of small businesses, that the legal battle between insurers and independent repair shops is taking shape.
II. Progressive’s motion to dismiss In our lawsuit we alleged that Progressive, as one of the largest automobile insurance companies in the country, used intimidation, threats, disparaging statements and direct lies about North State in order to force North State’s customers and others similarly situated into using Progressive’s network of direct repair shops and that these actions caused harm to North State. In other words, that Progressive purposefully and improperly misled and deceived customers about both North State
20 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
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First, did Progressive act improperly? Second, if they did act improperly, were those actions of the kind contemplated by the Consumer Protection Law? And third, if Progressive acted improperly and those improper actions violated the consumer protection law, did the fact that those actions also violate the Insurance Law matter? As explained below, the court disagreed with each of Progressive’s arguments and denied Progressive’s motion to dismiss. (Dennis Artese, Esq., of the firm of Anderson, Kill & Olick, authored the legal papers submitted on behalf of North State and the decision issued by the court could not have been possible without the immense effort and dedication of Mr. Artese and the Anderson, Kill & Olick firm.) III. Did Progressive act improperly in violation of the Consumer Protection Law? In response to this question, North State submitted evidence obtained from its customers that Progressive See North State v. Progressive, Page 26
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian’s Auto Body, Mount Holly, NJ—Dealership Converted to Shop with Chasidy Rae Sisk
Walking up to Brian’s Auto Body in Mount Holly, NJ, the first thing that caught my attention was the pictures of cars, wrecked and restored, on the front windows. As I learned from shop manager Tom Riches, the shop often changes these before-and-after pictures which are also displayed inside
the lobby as well as in a booklet and on their website. Brian’s customers seem to like seeing their vehicle displayed at the shop. These photos underscore the motto of Brian’s Auto Body: employees should ask them-
selves if they would be happy with the repairs if it were their own vehicle. According to owner Brian Katz, “providing quick and high-quality repairs is the reason we’re still here.” Brian’s Auto Body employs thirteen auto body specialists. Their workforce is highly trained and professional, and they attempt to keep their workspace clean, functional, and attractive. The shop is around 12,000 square feet in size, with eight repair bays in the front while the dry booths, prep deck and storage for completed vehicles are all found in the back of the shop. They use two Car-OLiner vision liner frame racks, an AC machine, MIG welders, a prep deck and a tint system for painting. Brian’s maintains certifications through ASE, I-Car, Honda, Subaru and Toyota/Lexus. The shop is fully
licensed and insured, and they offer a lifetime guarantee on all repairs completed. Each vehicle goes through a quality check before being released to the customer. The shop averages about eighty to one hundred repairs each month, and all of their revenue comes from body
work in some form. They sublet towing and paintless dent repair work. In addition to collision repair, Brian’s does suspension repair, unibody/full frame repair and AC service for both foreign and domestic vehicles.
Brian’s participates in fourteen direct repair programs, and they are always willing to work with all insurance companies from start to finish in order to aid their customers, beginning with contacting the insurance company after a customer brings their police report to the shop. Tom Riches, claims their customer-oriented business is what distinguishes them. By accommodating customers and helping them through the process of repairing their vehicle, the shop is able to not only acquire customers but to retain them and keep them coming back for their auto repair needs. Tom has been with Brian’s Auto Body since it was opened and has watched the business grow. Brian’s has been in business for twenty-seven years, and they have completed over 36,000 repairs since opening. Brian Katz was the manager
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of a car dealership and three body shops through the dealership, but when the owner of the dealership went out of business, Brian purchased an abandoned car dealership on NJ Route 38 and opened his own auto body
down-draft Saima spray booths. Since their inception, Brian’s Auto Body strives to stay up to date with insurance requirements and modern equipment, giving them an edge over other local shops.
Brian’s team (from l to r): Kevin, Kenny, Mario, Steve, Dave, Paul, Jerry, Bill, Tom, Brian and Victor
shop in April 1984. When he opened the shop, Brian was only the second company in Southern NJ to install a bake booth. They currently utilize two
The shop converted to waterborne paints in September 2010; since rumors abound that New Jersey will require all auto body shops to convert
in 2012. Their painters are trained and certified in AkzoNobel Sikkens waterborne as Sikkens by AkzoNobel is the paint that Brian’s Auto Body uses. Brian’s Auto Body wants to stay ahead of the curve. They are quite content with the new waterborne paints recycling system which allows them to cut down on the waste their shop emits. When it comes to charitable contributions, Brian’s Auto Body only sponsor volunteer efforts, focusing on funds that benefit children. Of the many organizations to which he donates money, some of the more notable organizations are American Vets, American Cancer Society, American Legion, Children’s Cancer Assistance Network, Habitat for Humanity, Make a Wish Foundation of NJ, US Fund for UNICEF, Boy Scouts, and VFW. Brian Katz also belongs to the Mount Holly Rotary club and is a member of the Burlington County Chamber of Commerce. Brian’s Auto Body, Inc. 1549 Route 38 Lumberton, NJ 08048 609-261-1800 www.briansautobody.com
Boyd Group Founder Sells Part of Ownership Stake
Boyd Group Income Fund has announced that Terry Smith, executive chairman of the Boyd Group, has sold 300,000 units of his ownership position in the fund. After the sale Smith holds approximately 463,000 units and exchangeable Class A shares of the Boyd Group. After the transaction, the management team continues to own in excess of 15 percent of Boyd. Smith said, “I am tremendously happy with what Boyd has achieved since I founded the company in 1990,” said Smith. “Starting with a single repair center in Winnipeg, Boyd has now become the largest collision repair operator in North America with 164 locations covering 13 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces. Although many milestones for the fund have been reached, significant growth and opportunities lie ahead. As I prepare myself for eventual retirement, I have taken a step to prudently diversify my finances by reducing concentration in any one asset. I have no current plans to reduce my equity position in Boyd any further. I am extremely confident with our existing management team and how the company is positioned for continued growth and success.”
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 25
Continued from Page 20
North State v. Progressive used deceptive and misleading tactics in order to bully consumers into having their cars repaired at its DRP shops. This evidence included testimony from North State customers chronicling the lies and misrepresentations made by Progressive’s employees about North State. North State also relied upon similar cases where Insurance Companies had been found guilty of violating New York’s Consumer Protection Laws as well as on the decision in the matter entitled MVB Collision v. Allstate, where a Federal Court found that actions such as disparaging statements, intentionally declaring vehicles a total loss and “steering” were deceptive practices as contemplated by the Consumer Protection Statute. (Here a special thank you and expression of appreciation must go out to the owners of Mid-Island Collision in Long Island, New York, as well as to their Counsel, for obtaining this extremely important decision.)
After viewing the evidence submitted by both sides, the court held: “North State has submitted evidence that Progressive employees made disparaging, untrue statements to its insured’s concerning North State, in connection with the DRP, that caused Plaintiff to lose customers and that such evidence of misrepresentations, made in connection with its DRP, an established program involving billions of dollars and thousands of consumer-insured’s was sufficient to violate the consumer protection statute”. Thus having dispensed with the question of whether Progressive’s acts could be deemed deceptive and mis-
whether North State had a right to make such a claim at all.
leading in violation of the Consumer Protection Law, and answering that question with a resounding ‘YES,’ the court turned to the question of
involving MVB Collision. (See MVB Collision v. Progressive, Nassau County, New York). After viewing all of the evidence
... you as a business now have the means to stop improper steering as soon as you become aware of the practice... Now that precedents are being set, attorneys in your state will be much more willing to bring an action on your behalf...
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IV. Are North State’s claims barred by the Insurance Law? As stated above, Progressive predictably relied upon the argument that North State’s consumer protection action was simply a veiled “steering” claim which was barred by New York’s Insurance Law. This argument has been made by insurance companies in nearly every jurisdiction (see the California “Hughes v. Progressive” case at www.autobodynews. com) and in fact Progressive had been successful in making this same argument in New York in another matter
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submitted in this case however, the court disagreed with Progressive and held that because an insurer’s misrepresentations to its insured’s as part of a broad DRP is enough to violate the consumer protection laws, the fact that those misrepresentations also violate the Insurance Law does not stop the collision repairer from being allowed to bring an action against the insurance company. The court again looked to the MVB Collision v. Allstate case for guidance when it wrote: “With respect to the argument that the plaintiff’s cause of action was really a disguised steering claim, the Allstate Court held: Here, by contrast, there is evidence of a free-standing claim of deceptiveness’ that simply happens to overlap’ with a claim under the Insurance Law. The alleged scheme to dissuade Allstate insured’s from going to Mid Island involved not only steering but also, inter alia, alleged defamatory comments. Thus, because plaintiff’s § 349 claim merely happens to overlap’ with provisions of New York Insurance Law, it is not an improper attempt to circumvent the lack of a See North State v. Progressive, Page 28
Brown Auto Body Appreciates Mattei’s Rotary Vane Compressor by Ed Attanasio
Dana Cooper, the owner of Brown Auto Body, a busy, modest-size shop located in southwest Iowa, has been in the collision industry for more than three decades. Cooper knows the value of reliable equipment and he’s convinced there’s no more important need in a shop than having a reliable air compressor. Not only is it critical for his painting needs but he depends on it for air tools needed to maintain his cycle times. That’s why Cooper was so pleased when his Keystone rep introduced him to Mattei compressors for the first time late last year. “With a machine like an air compressor, I want to be able to buy it and never worry about it ever again. We’re fixing 30-40 cars per month here, and it’s just another thing I don’t want to have to think about. We’ve had this Mattei unit for about seven months now, and they’ve been very good about keeping us on the right maintenance schedule. I know this is important. If my air compressor goes down, we’re dead in the water. Almost everything from buffers to paint guns depends on air. It would be like trying to fix vehicles without paint or techs—that’s how important it is to have a good air compressor that won’t quit or need service all the time.” Darrin Cook, General Manager for Keystone Automotive Industries Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska has worked for Keystone for more than 22 years, so he’s seen (and heard) his share of air compressors of all brands, sizes and styles. It’s not just a lot of hot air when Cook enthusiastically lauds the quality and performance of Mattei’s rotary vane compressors. “We’ve been marketing the Mattei compressors for more than a year now and they’re super quiet, while using less energy and producing more air,” Cook said. “These Mattei units are smaller than the other brands we’ve sold before, so they also take up less space. Pricewise, they’re also in the ballpark. You’re getting a quality product, so you might be spending a little more with these Mattei compressors, but in the long run these machines will last you longer. In the past, the compressors I encountered worked hard but wore down pretty quickly. These rotary vane compressors from Mattei don’t work as hard, so they last longer, and they put out more air. They say ‘Get your last compressor, get a Mattei’ and after
SHOP & PRODUCT SHOWCASE Brown Body Shop Location: Atlantic, IA
Telephone: 712-243-4610 www.brownautobody.com Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: Three In Business Since: 1980 DRP Programs: Zero
Number of Locations: One
Combined Production Space: 4,000 square feet
It’s a small yet talented crew at Brown Auto Body, consisting of (from left) Owner Dana Cooper, Tech Doug Towne and Tech Dan Schriver
working with them for a while now, I believe it.” Mattei’s machines have been in use worldwide for industrial and automotive applications for almost a century. The company was founded by Enea Mattei, an Italian engineer, when he became fascinated by the then relatively minor compressed air industry in 1919. After 15 years of research and innovation, Mattei invented the world’s first portable air compressor and, after embracing a series of technological advances, Mattei became one of the leaders in compressed air worldwide. The company solidified their role as a pioneer in the industry. Mattei started manufacturing rotary vane compressors in 1958, and have gained popularity with body shops within the last decade because they’re efficient, durable and maybe most importantly—quiet. Cooper started out as a tech and later purchased Brown Auto Body after he had been working for 20 years, he explained. “The original owner, Pete Brown, wanted to get out, so I bought the shop and took it over in 2000. Owning and running a shop has been a ton of work, but we’ve been staying busy, even during the recession and average $2,000–$3,000 per repair without any DRPs. I’ve got two techs and an office manager working part-time, so it’s a lean operation. We serve Atlantic, Iowa (6,800 population) and some of surrounding areas, competing with about three other shops in this area.”
Cooper has been pleasantly surprised with his compressor, partially because of the fact that he wasn’t familiar with Mattei until Darrin Cook at Keystone introduced him to the company and its line of rotary vane compressors. “Darrin gave me Mattei’s literature and we researched them online to find out a little more. At around the same time, one of my friends purchased an Americanmade compressor, and I realized that it was a lot noisier and doesn’t put out quite as much cfm as my Mattei does.” After doing his homework, Cooper made the move to Mattei and he hasn’t had any regrets. “We bought Mattei’s 11 kilowatt unit,” he said. “We tested it by sandblasting a car and it performed really well. It gained psi the whole time and we didn’t have to stop to interrupt the job. And it’s so quiet! That’s a big plus. I can now stand right next to it while it’s running and still actually talk on the phone. Our old compressor was in our paint mixing room. It was so loud in there we had to scream to have a conversation—it was terrible. It was starting to leak oil and was beginning to worry about it, so we purchased it just in time. They come with a 10-year warranty and designed for 100,000 hours of use, although many go way past that, from what we’ve heard.” Cooper is looking forward to not hearing, or not hearing about, his Mattei compressor for a good long time.
Brown Auto Body in Atlantic, Iowa fixes 30–40 cars per month without any DRPs
The shop’s old air compressor was loud and starting to leak oil, so Owner Dana Copper researched Mattei and made the move to the company’s rotary vane compressors
Mattei Compressors, Inc. Phone: (410) 521-7020 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.matteicomp.com
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 27
Continued from Page 26
North State v. Progressive
private right of action under the Insurance Law.”
II. What does it all mean? So what does the North State case, MVB v. Allstate and Hughes v. Progressive mean for the collision repair industry today? First, the cases show that individual repair shops and the industry as a whole now have a means to combat the illegal steering practices so long a staple of the insurance industry. By asserting your rights as a consumer under your state’s consumer protection laws, you as a business now have the means to stop improper steering as soon as you become aware of the practice. While lawsuits can be expensive, the costs of a suit pale in comparison to the amount of business that a shop loses at the hands of illegal steering. Further, now that the precedents are being set, attorneys in your state will be much more willing to bring an action on your behalf which should bring litigation costs
down as well. Second, but perhaps even more critical is the fact that as a result of these and other lawsuits, there are now a growing number of legal precedents that are establishing ex-
collision repair business and the importance of these and other cases like them cannot be overstated. In the end, the conflict between the independent repairer and the insurance industry will of course con-
actly what constitutes improper, deceptive and illegal steering activities in the insurer-collision repairer relationship. For example, the court in the North State case took great pains to define what it considered “improper conduct” to be and looked to the earlier MVB Collision case for help in crafting its definition. The practice is called “setting and defining precedent” and it is the way in which our laws and our society develop over time. Thus, cases like North State v. Progressive and MVB Collision v. Allstate are actually helping to define what it is an insurance company can and cannot do when interacting with a
tinue. However, the legal precedents now set by North State v. Progressive and other matters are working toward establishing the legal and practical boundaries within which an insurance company may conduct itself.
... there are now a growing number of legal precedents that are establishing exactly what constitutes improper, deceptive and illegal steering activities in the insurer-collision repairer relationship...
Anthony J. Mamo is an attorney practicing in Westchester County New York. He specializes in litigation on behalf of individuals and small businesses particularly in the collision repair industry. He has been involved with the representation of North State Custom since 2005. He may be contacted by email at Mamolawfirm.com or by phone at (914) 631-5050.
Syracuse Shop Wins Motion in ‘Assignment of Proceeds’ Case
A Syracuse (NY) City Court judge has denied a motion by Nationwide Insurance seeking dismissal of an “assignment of proceeds” case brought against the insurer by Nick Orso’s Body Shop. The shop sued on behalf of two customers for repair costs not paid for by Nationwide, which argued that the customers’ policies prohibited them from assigning claimed losses to another party without the insurer’s prior permission. Judge Rory McMahon, citing a decision in a similar case last fall also involving Nick Orso’s Body Shop, ruled that anti-assignment clauses are valid for assignments prior to a loss and claim (when that could impact the insurer’s exposure) but not after. Orso’s attorney argued successfully that Nationwide has no interest in preventing a post-loss assignment of proceeds “other than an insurer’s desire to make it as cumbersome as possible for the insured to obtain what is owed under the insurance contract.” The judge, however, did not find that Nationwide’s motion for dismissal of the case was brought in bad faith, and he therefore denied the shop’s request to have its court and attorney costs paid for by the insurer.
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BK Listings: Marketing Automotive Businesses Through Innovative Listings BK Listings, an internet marketing company that provides industry-specific listings to businesses in the automotive industry, has expanded its services to include everything automotive. BK Listings was founded in early 2010 and is headquartered in Dearborn, MI. The company started with 3 employees; a web designer, a programmer, and Owner and Founder Bradley Brennan. Brennan started BK Listings to offer industry specific and content rich profiles to businesses in the automotive industry and to offer customers an easier way to find the best shops in their area. BK Listings foGavin Crawford, cuses exclusively Web Designer on the automotive service industry—their motto is “anything and everything automotive.” “You could never include the type of information you can with us on a Google or Yellow Page ad.
They’re too general and don’t let your customers see what they need to see,” said Brennan. BK Listings allows automotive businesses to list the industry-specific information customers searching for this type of business want to see, such as which insurance companies the shop has a Direct Repair relationship with and a complete list of Alyssa Koslowsky, services provided Marketer that distinguish the shop from the competition. All of this information is searchable by users on BK Listings, so if a shop offers a certain service that people in their area want, customers will be able to search for that service and find that shop with ease. Customers can create a free login with BK Listings that will allow them to upload information about what needs to be repaired on their vehicle. This information then becomes available to shops with advanced pro-
files and they can bid on these jobs, allowing the customer to make an informed decision when choosing a shop and allowing the shop to find additional work in their area. “This addition to the site is rela-
tively new but we are really excited about its potential,” said Brennan. Customers can also submit information about a job they had done at a shop as well as shop reviews. BK Listings has expanded since
A mock listing was created for Autobody News
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their founding to include listings for automotive service businesses beyond just collision repair shops, like mechanical, customization, and wheel & tire. They have also increased their staff; expanding to include three programmers, a graphic designer, a writer, and a marketer. “We are currently building a section for buying and selling automobiles to help offer another marketing solution to our dealership friends, and we plan on facilitating automotive part sales in the future,” said Brennan. BK Listings offers two types of profiles, basic and advanced. They differ in the amount of information provided about the business and the way they are searched by users. BK Listings has over 30,000 body shops listed with basic profiles. Advanced profiles, once set up, will always come before basic profiles in search results and will always display more information, so shops fortunate enough to be one of few signed up with advanced profiles in their area will enjoy increased visibility in all searches by local users. “We have decades of experience in the collision industry and know ex-
actly what shops are looking for; we know what customers want and we know how to bring business in. Our goal is to provide a service that allows the best shops to find the customers
in mind, and we believe together we can improve the industry as a whole.” John Germain, owner of E & F Auto in Melvindale, Michigan, has had a listing on BK Listings for a short pe-
The request an estimate form available for potential customers to fill out and have shops bid on their job
they need to survive and succeed,” said Brennan, “The collision industry is just now beginning to aggressively pursue internet marketing; we want to be at the forefront of that movement. We have the best interests of the shops
riod of time but has already seen a positive response from the listing. “It is easy to use and makes our company more visible. We already had a website in place but the additional traffic helps with our online
marketing,” said Germain. BK Listings is currently running a promotional deal for their members; if a member refers another shop to sign up, BK Listings will send the member a check for $100. All members have to do is tell a friend to sign their shop up, if they stay on for at least 3 months, BK Listings will send the check. There is no limit on the amount of shops members can refer for this deal. Shops should email BK Listings notifying them of the referral (see below). “We have done our best to pull in every shop in America, but through the process there is the chance we missed a couple,” said Brennan. “It is very easy to add your shop if you don’t already have a basic profile listed, you can submit a request on the website or email us directly and we will add it for you.” Questions can be directed to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. “I want to develop a personal relationship with every shop that is interested; we can only succeed by working together,” said Brennan. Please visit www.bklistings.com for more information.
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Repairer-Driven Education at SEMA Gets Support from PPG
For the second consecutive year, PPG Automotive Refinish has demonstrated support of collision industry education programs through their involvement with the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) hosted Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. PPG will contribute course content with a program led by Jim Berkey and Mark Mueller entitled Load Leveling - The hidden enabler for shop performance. “All of us at PPG are excited about helping promote education to the collision repair community with SCRS this fall,” said John Parran, director, marketing, PPG Automotive Refinish. “Education is a key part of the value-added services we deliver to our customer base, and it is an honor to be a part of the growing and unique opportunity SCRS has put together with RDE. Last year we saw great value for the industry from our involvement, and it was an easy decision to continue our support in 2011.” PPG will also co-host the much anticipated Afterburner evening event with SCRS on November 3rd. Visit www.semashow.com/specialevents.
ASRW Expands its Town Hall Event to Include Health Care
For 2011, ASRW has expanded the Town Hall concept at the NACE/CARS show to look at the impact of health care reform included in the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (derisively referred to by some as “Obamacare.”) and an outlook for changes in health care laws in the future. Industry experts will review the new law's impact on independent automotive repair businesses and possible changes in health care laws. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask pertinent questions of health care experts.
BASF to Return to NACE Expo for First Time Since 2008
ASRW announced that BASF has returned to the show floor at the upcoming 2011 event for the first time since 2008. “NACE is the premier event for the collision repair industry and we understand how important it is to represent the BASF brand among this core audience who uses BASF products,” said Chuck Soeder, VP, BASF Automotive Refinish. “We look forward to supporting the industry this October.” BASF will be at booth N1413.
Honda Recalls 2.5 Million Vehicles for Software Issues Honda Motor Co. said August 5 it will recall 2.49 million cars, small SUVs and minivans worldwide, including its popular Accord sedan, to repair a software problem that could damage the automatic transmission, according to Automotive News. The recall includes 1.5 million vehicles in the United States, 760,000 in China and 135,142 in Canada, the automaker said in a statement. Globally, the recall affects fourcylinder Accord sedans for the model years 2005 to 2010. In the United States and Canada, the recall also includes the CR-V crossover for the model years 2007 to 2010 as well as the small SUV Element from 2005 to 2008. Without updating the software, the automatic transmission in these vehicles could be damaged if the driver quickly shifts between gears. That might cause the engine to stall or make it difficult to put the car into park. The company has said it disagreed with the influential U.S. consumer advocate’s assessment. Chris Martin, Honda spokesman at the company’s U.S. headquarters in California, said August 5 the recall was not a sign of deeper difficulties.
Martin said the current recall was the result of “extremely unusual circumstances. The far majority of our consumers would never really encounter this. It’s software programing. It’s not a weakness in the transmission per se.” No injuries or deaths have been reported from this problem, Martin said. Honda said the problems might arise if the transmission were quickly shifted between the reverse, neutral and drive positions. A driver might do this in an attempt to dislodge a vehicle in mud or snow. The automatic transmission secondary shaft bearing could be damaged in this scenario. An update to transmission control module software will ease the transition between gears and reduce the possibility of damage. Honda will begin informing U.S. consumers at the end of August. It did not disclose expected cost of the recall. The software update will take about a half-hour, but customers may have to leave their cars at Honda dealerships for a longer period, Martin said.
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www.ASRWEVENTS.com 32 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Vehicle Safety Bill With Data Collection Relevant to Repairers Introduced in U.S. Senate
U.S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller, D-W.V., chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Sen. Mark Pryor, DArk., have introduced a bill in the Senate titled the Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2011. The bill touches on several issues relevant to the collision industry, including broadening the authority of the secretary of transportation to: ● Conduct motor vehicle safety research, development, and testing programs and activities, including new and emerging technologies that impact or may impact motor vehicle safety, ● Collect and analyze all types of motor vehicle and highway safety data and related information to determine the relationship between motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment performance characteristics. The legislation requires that the U.S. DOT conduct a study of crash data collection and report, after one year, to a Senate Committee and to the House Committee on the quality of data collected through the National Automotive Sampling System, including the Special Crash Investigations Program. The administrator of NHTSA will then conduct a comprehensive review of the data elements collected from each crash
to determine if additional data should be collected. This review will include input from interested parties, including suppliers, automakers, safety advocates, the medical community and research organizations. Another section, titled “NHTSA Electronics, Software and Engineering Expertise,” discusses efforts to further explore green methods, including a council to research the inclusion of emerging lightweight plastic and composite technologies in motor vehicles to increase fuel efficiency, lower emissions, meet fuel economy standards, and enhance passenger motor vehicle safety through continued use of the administration’s Plastic and Composite Intensive Vehicle Safety Roadmap. Finally, the bill requires that “Vehicle Event Data Recorders” include information regarding vehicle data recorders and privacy provisions specifications. Beginning with model year 2015, new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States are to be equipped with a vehicle event data recorder. The language includes that any data in an event data recorder, regardless of when the passenger motor vehicle in which it is installed was manufactured, is the property of the
owner or lessee of the passenger motor vehicle in which the data recorder is installed. It also states that data recorded or transmitted by such a data recorder may not be retrieved by a person other than the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle unless: ● a court authorizes retrieval of the information in furtherance of a legal proceeding, ● the owner or lessee consents to the retrieval of the information for any purpose, including the purpose of diagnosing, servicing or repairing the motor vehicle, ● the information is retrieved pursuant to an investigation or inspection authorized under section 30166 of title 49, United States Code, and the personally identifiable information of the owner, lessee or driver of the vehicle and the vehicle identification number is not disclosed in connection with the retrieved information, ● or the information is retrieved for the purpose of determining the need for, or facilitating, emergency medical response in response to a motor vehicle crash. To view the full text of this bill, visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.
CREF Announces New Board of Trustees Members
The Collision Repair Education Foundation announced the appointment of three new members to the Board of Trustees which include: Tim Adelmann, ABRA Autobody & Glass; Scott Kohl, SAFECO Insurance; and Randy Starnes, State Farm Insurance Companies. Through the guidance, support, and direction of the Board of Trustees, the Collision Repair Education Foundation is able to continue its support of secondary and post-secondary collision students, their school programs, and instructors. The Education Foundation is pleased to have the following representatives on the Executive Committee: Chair: Doug Webb, CSi Complete Vice Chair: Chris Northup, GD and C Secretary: Tim O’Day, Gerber Collision & Glass Treasurer: Terry Fortner, LKQ Corporation Member-At-Large: Geralynn Kottschade, Jerry’s Body Shop Member-At-Large: Bill Daly, Allstate Member-At-Large: Joseph Allen, CCC Information Services Inc. Immediate Past Chair: Chris Evans, State Farm Insurance Companies
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 33
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Ford Partners Azure on FSeries Plug in Hybrids
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Ford Will Recall 1.22 M Trucks, Fuel Tank Straps
Ford and Canadian-based Azure Dynamics plan to convert the largest of its F-Series models into plug-in hybrids, starting with the F-550 and later adding the F-450 and F-350 models. The trucks would operate in electric-only mode at low speeds while also reducing fuel consumption at higher speeds in hybrid mode. Anticipated range on battery power, overall fuel efficiency and pricing details have not been released. Marketing is aimed at commercial fleet buyers sensitive to the rise in fuel prices.
Ford told the National Highway Traffic SafetyAdministration it will recall 1.22 million trucks to replace fuel tank straps subject to corrosion.The recall includes these units: —Ford F-150 from 1997 through 2004 —Ford F-250 with GVW of less than 8,500 pounds from 1997 through 1999 —Lincoln Blackwood from 2002 and 2003 model years. NHTSA said the trucks were manufactured from June 20, 1995 through Aug. 4, 2004. The flaw could cause dropped fuel tanks and fire hazards.
Lincoln Electric Acquires Torchmate Parent
GM Recalls Over 16K Cars
Lincoln Electric Holdings, announced Aug. 12 that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of Applied Robotics, Inc., a leading manufacturer of CNC cutting tables and accessories in North America. Applied Robotics, known in the welding industry by its brand name, Torchmate, has headquarters and manufacturing facilities based in Reno, NV. Torchmate (www.torchmate.com) offers a wide selection of CNC plasma and oxyfuel cutting tables to medium-sized fabricators.
Chrysler Recalls Up To 370,000 2008 Minivans
GM said Aug. 12 it is recalling 16,198 Chevrolet Impala and Buick LaCrosse cars in the United States and Canada to address sensor and power steering problems. There are 11,905 2012 Impalas recalled to check the power steering hose. The hose, if misrouted, could be damaged and spray fluid onto hot engine parts to create a potential for a fire. GM also said it is recalling 4,293 2012 LaCrosses to reprogram the electronic brake control module because an incorrect calibration may cause the electronic stability system to improperly detect a sensor malfunction and fail to illuminate a warning light.
NHTSA Investigates BMW for Potential Rollaways
Chrysler is recalling nearly 370,000 2008 Grand Voyager, Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan vehicles for a possible heating and air conditioning problem that could inadvertently trigger the air bag, the second related recall in nine months. NHTSA said condensation from the heating and air conditioner could leak onto a sensor module. This could lead to activation of a warning light and inadvertent deployment of the air bag. There was a recall last November to replace a heating and cooling drain tube in those model vehicles to eliminate potential condensation.
U.S. safety regulators have opened an investigation into about 120,000 BMW 7series cars regarding shifting into park not engaging, with roll away. NHTSA said it has opened a preliminary probe of the BMW cars from 2002–2008 after receiving a complaint that a 2006 model rolled away after the consumer parked and exited the vehicle. Reports involving similarly equipped cars also describing roll-away incidents were submitted by BMW. A BMW spokesman said the automaker is cooperating with the NHTSA and is not aware of any reports of accidents or injuries related to the issue.
American Honda is bringing back approximately 1.5 million vehicles to update the software that controls the automatic transmission. Included are 4-cylinder Accords from 2005 through 2010, the CR-V from
2007 through 2010, and the Element 2005 through 2008. Honda believes the automatic transmission secondary shaft bearing can be damaged if the transmission is quickly shifted.
Honda to Recall 1.5M CRVs, Elements, Accords
36 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
I-CAR Offers New Course on Electronics Damage Analysis I-CAR has premiered several online training programs in 2011, including its newest course, Basic Electronics Damage Analysis (DAM13e). By taking this course, individuals will learn how to effectively communicate at every level of the damage analysis process, identify the basic requirements for a circuit and how circuit values are measured, as well as what other parts of a circuit are designed to do. This course provides an understanding of how electrical systems are designed to work and what can be done when these systems are damaged. Information on how to recognize collision damage to wiring, the possibilities for repair, and the tools and steps required when troubleshooting an electrical circuit problem are also covered in this course. Joyce Kasmer, I-CAR Director of Business Development said, “Understanding how to effectively communicate throughout the entire repair process lends to more accurate damage assessments, which can result in reduced cycle times and higher customer satisfaction. This online course will be beneficial to collision repair professionals who are interested in learning about specific procedures re-
lated to electronics damage analysis and how to effectively interact with vehicle owners, repair facilities, and insurance companies.” This course meets I-CAR® ProLevel™ or annual training requirements for the Estimator and Auto Physical Damage Appraiser roles and satisfies the Basic Electrical knowledge area within the I-CAR® Professional Development Program™. Once an online training course has begun, an individual has thirty days to complete the course and can re-access it an unlimited number of times until it has been completed. After completion of the course, the individual will have access to course materials for reference by logging in to their account. Information and registration for this course can be found on the ICAR website (www.i-car.com) or by contacting I-CAR Customer Care at 800-422-7872.
Advances in transportation research are increasing interest in putting cameras and sensors in and on work trucks. Scientists are using a strategy that combines tightly controlled simulator driving, closely monitored runs on closed tracks and scrutiny of working truckers on revenue runs to help researchers translate observations about driver behavior. With simulators, a computer vision system can tell where a driver is looking.Adriver’s eye position is one of the most readily quantifiable factors in truck-safety as a computer can now determine a driver’s level of fatigue.
A NTHSA team cleared GM from the need to bring back more than 266,000 2007 Chevy Tahoes and GMC Yukons. The concern was chrome plating on interior door handles that could peel or separate from the plastic base material. De-lamination could result in a sharp edge and pose a risk of laceration.”The resultant population group had a total of 746 complaint reports with 309 injury incidents and 43,619 unique VIN regular warranty claims over a combined 451,745 vehicle population,” NHTSA said in a report.
Truck Driver Behavior Now Trackable with New Tech
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GM Has No Recall on its Tahoe and Yukon SUVs
Ford Minivans Not Subject to Recall, Infrequent Issue NHTSA previously said the Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey from 2004 through 2007 might have defective automatic transmission control modules, but now says “below defect trend.” Tests found 200 potential prob-
lems out of population of 125,865, for a failure rate of 0.16 percent. The concern was water running down onto the cowling under the hood and dripping onto the PCM, causing a stall and the transmission to shift badly.
This is a new story by Scott “Gonzo” Weaver as posted on his website, www.gonzostoolbox.com. Gonzo has been serving the Tulsa area at Superior Auto Electric for over 27 years. See his book “Hey Look! I Found The Loose Nut”, which provides a Good Laugh for Mechanics of Any Age. The book is available at amazon.com. Contact Gonzo at Gonzosae@aol.com.
Is It ‘Change Is a Good Thing’ or ‘It’s Good That Things Change’? with Gonzo Weaver
A body shop dropped off a 2005 Nissan Titan XE for a trailer light problem. It was hit in the rear and had folded the bumper under the body. This particular body shop I have known for years, and they pride themselves on doing a top notch repair on every vehicle that they are associated with. This truck was being a problem though. All the systems were working except for the trailer turn signal lights. To be thorough, they went back through each and every part that they had replaced or disturbed. They found nothing, not a thing—2 days of checking it out led to a dead end. That’s where I came into the picture. As always, the first thing I want to see is the wiring diagram. You know, I’ve always said change is a good thing, this time, I should rephrase that to—it’s a good thing that “things change”—and I hope this does real soon, because, this was
about the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s not the first time I have ran across trailer lights going through computer systems but it’s the first time I ran across only the trailer turn signals running thru the BCM (body control module) not the trailer park lights, not trailer brakes—nope, just the turn signals. Right there on the print, plain as day, R-trailer turn and L-trailer turn, oh please—what were you dudes thinking? (Referring to the engineers) What was the reasoning behind this? I checked the rear wiring and all the circuits involved along the underside of the truck, all of which were in impeccable condition. I couldn’t help but stare at that BCM on the wiring diagram. I said to myself, “You mean to tell me I’m going to have to change an expensive BCM just for trailer lights? Come on, guys.” (Engineers)
The BCM is attached to brackets just above the gas pedal. Once I managed to get into position to see the BCM, I moved the wire harness out of the way to get a better look at it. All of which looked great. Another glance at the print showed that pin 51 and 52 were the trailer turn signal wires, one yellow/black and the other green/black. Using a test light I checked the leads output signal directly at the BCM connector. I was so glad to see the test light flashing with the turn signals, what a relief! At least it’s not the BCM, it’s wiring in between the BCM and the rear connector. Another long stare at the print with my head under the dash, all wedged in between the driver’s seat and my feet dangling out the door, one hand holding the wiring harness out of the way, flash light by my right ear, the test light and the wiring diagram all getting cramped in what lit-
tle space that’s provided; but I still couldn’t see the problem. Since I already checked the wiring running into the truck and the signal was coming out of the BCM I had to be close, real close. I was starting to understand why the body shop spent two days looking for the problem and couldn’t find it. I knew what I had to do—start hand tracing the two leads again from start to finish—one-more-time. At this point anything would be better than spending another minute “sardined” in this truck. As I moved my arm out of the way and was about to slide out from under the dash I noticed right where I had my hand holding the harness out of the way were two small in line fuse holders, almost opaque in color right on the green/black and the yellow/black wires leading away from See Change, Page 38
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 37
NACE/CARS Program Expected to Draw Larger Crowds The keynote speaker for NACE’s Opening General Session will be Social Media Guru Chris Brogan. Brogan will headline the Opening General Session at ASRW 2011, Thurs., Oct. 6, from 8:30 A.M.–10 A.M. Brogan is a noted author and journalist; he is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Trust Agents, and a featured monthly columnist at Entrepreneur Magazine. Brogan’s blog, chrisbrogan.com, is also in the Top 5 of the Advertising Age Power 150. Brogan is a marketing consultant and frequent speaker Chris Brogan about social media marketing who educates businesses and organizations on how social software aligns with their strategies. He is the president and CEO of Human Business Works, an education and community company. Brogan’s keynote presentation will focus on small business solutions, sales, lead generation and specific strategies—all as they relate to the use and implementation of social media. “We carefully selected Chris Brogan this year and feel his presentation will be a highlight of ASRW,” stated Ron Pyle, ASA president. “Attendees can expect an entertaining and engaging presentation and also to walk away with ideas and solutions they can easily implement as soon as they get home.” “Technology and the advent of social media in particular have changed the way we all do business, Continued from Page 37
the BCM. AHA! THERE IT IS! Two in line 10 amp fuses to the trailer lights, Wowser!!! Fixed, done, works perfectly. The prints did not show any fuses in the circuits, it only showed the wiring leading from end to end. Unbelievable, no wonder the body shop couldn’t find the problem. I even missed it until I moved my hand out of the way and knew the correct wire colors. It’s not the sort of thing I’d expect to find—factory fuse holders inline with the BCM—but there they
so we feel Chris Brogan is not only a timely choice for this year’s keynote presentation, but an extremely relevant one,” said Harry Hall, DuPont North America Sales Manager—Refinish. “Brogan has become a leader in his field through his innate use of technology and connecting it to business, which parallels DuPont Performance Coatings’ philosophy of innovation as a leader in the collision repair industry.”
BASF Back as Exhibitor BASF has also committed to a presence at the NACE show for the first time since 2008. “NACE is the premier event for the collision repair industry and we understand how important it is to represent the BASF brand among this core audience who uses BASF products,” said Chuck Soeder, vice president, BASF Automotive Refinish. “We look forward to supporting the industry by exhibiting at ASRW this October.” BASF can be found in booth N1413 at the ASRW Expo. BASF’s Felicia Funchess will also be leading two sessions entitled, “Creating a Positive Work Environment” and “Leading Change,” throughout the week’s industry education sessions. The shows’ sessions will cover a broad range of subjects including management tips and tricks, technical information, legal and HR advice, and women’s professional development. Eric Schmitz were, you can be guaranteed that I made a note about this one. I won’t forget next time. It doesn’t help that the prints were wrong, and it doesn’t help that the manufacturer ran the trailer turn signals leads thru the BCM, so I guess I can officially change my status from “change is a good thing” to “good thing it changes” now do me a favor there engineers; Change it!
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38 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Eric Schmitz with KPA, an expert compliance company on safety, environmental, and human resources (HR), will lead a session titled “What to Do When an Inspector Knocks on Your Door.” KPA’s environmental, health and safety services help to reduce accidents and associated costs while ensuring companies are in compliance with EPA and OSHA regulations. Autobody News columnist Tom McGee with ALLDATA will lead an information sesssion titled “Stop Guessing and Start Knowing.” Personal development speaker and lifestyle guru Richard Flint will Tom McGee also be speaking again this year. He will lead sessions entitled “The Power of Change” and “Wanted: Leaders That Lead!” His leadership session will touch on the Top 6 roadblocks that prevent leaders from being successful and how to remove them, how to interpret the redefinition of Leader, Leadership and
Company, how to break down the 6 Secret “must haves” for being an effective leader, examining the 5 support beams that connect Leaders to their people, and identifying the mindblowing insights into working with the 3 personality types leaders are confronted with daily. Cory King with the law firm of Fine, Boggs & Perkins LLP, who has spoken at several California Autobody Association meetings over the years, will lead legal advice sessions entitled “Survival Skills for Today’s Employer: HR Best Practices” and “Survival Skills for Today’s Employer: Compliance with Wage/Hour Laws.” The events, which have consistently tracked ahead of last year’s expos, are expected to draw in larger crowds than usual thanks to this year’s new east coast location. Tickets for the Opening General Session are included in the purchase of a Super Pass or may be purchased online for $35 after the early-bird deadline of Aug. 9. For more information about the expos please visit www.naceexpo.com.
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Trial by Fire: Indianapolis Body Shop Turns a Potential Tragedy into a Win-Win with a State-of-the-Art GFS Paint Booth by Ed Attanasio
Sometimes a negative, even tragic, event can lead to a positive outcome. When a serious fire hit Collision Solutions in Indianapolis, IN, and destroyed its paint booth, management took the opportunity to make lemonade from lemons. The fire offered the owners a chance to rearrange the shop’s layout and take the leap into the world of waterborne. Instead of being paralyzed by the devastation, the shop bought a new cuttingedge ECO Expert paint booth from Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) and converted one of their locations to waterborne paint before any restrictions mandated it. As a result, Collision Solutions was soon turning out amazing paint jobs and their crew quickly became fully comfortable with waterborne and the numerous benefits offered by their new GFS paint booth. “We took a couple of the prep stations and replaced all of the old equipment with GFS equipment after looking at several companies. We went with GFS based on what people out there in the industry were telling us about the company and its track record. Owner Aaron Clark, 40, is a second generation body shop owner whose parents operated a shop more than three decades ago. “I started working in our family’s shop when I was 16 and worked my way up from porter to technician,” Clark told Autobody News. “In 1994, my partner and I opened our own shop in friendly competition with my parents’ company. It was a very successful operation that eventually grew into a two-location business in the Indianapolis area.” In 1998, Clark sold his interest in the two shops and returned to work at his parent’s shop. By working harder and smarter, Clark starting adding new locations. “We’ve grown and currently have five stores in Metro Indianapolis with 75 employees. We fix 500--600 vehicles every month.” Today, Collision Solutions is an $11-$12 million business maintaining several DRPs. Clark is the current Chairman of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), and has served the organization on its Board of Directors for the past five years. Clark’s relationship with GFS– which bills itself as “the world’s leading provider of technologically advanced capital equipment solutions for the finishing industry” — started almost immediately after the
SHOP & PRODUCT SHOWCASE Collision Solutions Corporate Headquarters Location: Indianapolis, IN
Telephone: 317-787-8366 www.collisionsolutions.com Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 75
In Business Since: 1978 DRP Programs: 10
Number of Locations: Five
Combined Production Space: 88,000 square feet (combined)
After a fire destroyed their old paint booth, Collision Solutions bought a new cutting-edge ECO Expert paint booth from Global Finishing Systems (GFS) and converted the location to waterborne paint before any restrictions mandated it
fire that nearly devastated the business. “We were in the process of changing over to waterborne anyway, so it was important for us to get a paint booth that was going to treat us well while using the waterborne finishes and that’s why we went with the GFS ECO Expert booth,” Clark said. “We put the four corner tower blowers in it and installed a double prep deck adjacent to the paint booth. We took the opportunity to move the booth to a better location and connect it to a mix room and installed additional overhead doors in the building to create a better flow through our paint department. Even though it was definitely a tragedy when our old paint booth caught fire, we have used it to get better equipment and improve our operation overall.” Clark says he wants to be able to buy a paint booth and then forget about it for a very long time. “we would like to enjoy 30 years of service out of this type of equipment and expect to see that from this GFS booth. We’re very excited to be working with GFS. This is our first GFS piece of equipment and by using it side-by- side with the other equipment we’re still using at our other locations, we can see that it performs better than the other equipment we’ve had. No question about it. We wanted a paint booth with all of the latest technology that’s currently available and the ECO Expert is exactly that. Everything is computerized and has all the features we were looking for.”
The process of installing the ECO Expert booth was painless and the power savings are considerable, Clark said. “Our rep, Don Putney of Indiana Booth Associates, installed it completely in October of 2009. Price-wise, GFS was very competitive, but we were more focused on all of the other things we were getting from the company. We were interested in the Variable Speed Drive (VSD) motors and the digital panel and the corner blowers we installed are totally controlled by the digital panel. Also, a big plus is that the booth pulls less electricity. We’ve seen an overall drop in our electrical bills, because the VSD motors pull less juice.” The GFS ECO Expert has been the real instrument in getting Collision Solutions up and running with waterborne. “We have never sprayed with solvent in that booth. We converted the first day we got the ECO Expert and we’re happy we did,” says Clark. “We’re not in an area where we have to use it by law, but we have five stores and since we were installing this new paint booth, we decided to spray waterborne to conduct my own internal testing. We’re still using solvent primarily at my other four stores, but by looking at the profitability and the performance, we will be converting another store at some point, definitely. It’s a better and safer product and if it’s being used at the OE level (for new vehicles), so it should be used by the collision industry.”
Collision Solutions has grown into a $11-12 million business with five stores in Metro Indianapolis that repair 500-600 vehicles every month
Aaron Clark is a second-generation shop owner and the Chairman of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS)
Global Finishing Solutions Phone: (877) 658-7900 email: email@example.com website: www.globalfinishing.com
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 39
John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has a body shop in the family and has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
CIC, Consultant, Seeking Views on Industry Repair Standards with John Yoswick
The skittishness among some in the industry about how formalized repair standards may be developed or implemented was evident during discussion at the most recent Collision Industry Conference (CIC). At the meeting, the CIC-formed Repair Standards Advisory Committee offered an update on its work, including the hiring of a consultant to build a business case for the development and implementation of formalized standards. Russell Thrall III, publisher of CollisionWeek and a past CIC chairman who now co-chairs the advisory committee, said the goal of the consultant’s work is to present a report by November about what consensus exists within the industry about standards and a possible new organization to oversee the development and implementation of standards. Thrall said that as of mid-July,
the committee had raised $26,600 of the $60,000 it needs in sponsorships for the consultant’s work and the development of an industry forum on the topic in November. More than 50 percent of the 21 sponsors to date are collision repair businesses, 38 percent are suppliers and less than 5 percent are insurers. Mike Condon, whose consulting firm has been hired by the committee, said he has conducted about 10 of the 40 interviews—about half with repairers and half with those in other segments of the industry—that he anticipates doing to prepare the report for the committee. That report, he said, will examine if there is support for the idea of a standard-setting body, and if so, how that body could be structured and funded. As part of the research, Condon also will examine standard-setting entities in other industries and in the collision repair in-
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that or agrees with that statement. And some of those other industry segments and participants who don’t necessarily support that as the standard are involved in this activity and committee, and that is cause for concern.” Thrall said those opinions are part of what Condon’s research is designed to capture, and that the associations’ volunteer leadership are among those slated for interviews. While some CIC participants at the July meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, raised questions or concerns about the consultant’s research process or the questions being asked in interviews, Rollie Benjamin, CEO of ABRA Auto Body & Glass, called that “micromanaging the process.” “I trust Russell, I trust Mike. I think they will do a good job,” Benjamin said. “I think they’ll come out with the information we need to make a good decision on whether we move
dustry in other countries. He said he is also looking at what various segments of the industry view as “deal-breakers” in the concept. “We want to flesh those out so we don’t go down a path that ultimately will not work,” Condon said. Speaking for the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP), Aaron Schulenburg of SCRS said the two groups “believe standards are both necessary and a good thing,” but have concerns about the approach the CIC committee is taking. “Our members believe there are standards that exist today,” Schulenburg said. “They view the (automaker) recommendations and procedures as the standard. That standard is not followed every day because while that’s the overwhelming view of repairers, not every industry segment recognizes
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forward or not. Let’s let these guys do their job.” Scott Biggs of Assured Performance Network, who also is part of the leadership of the committee, said he understands that the standards issue may be “threatening to so many different organizations because it is such an enormous issue.” But he said those with concerns should understand that opposing viewpoints are held and being voiced even among those leading the effort. “There isn’t even general consensus within the executive committee,” Biggs said. “I can tell you that’s what Mike’s charter is: to see what people’s opinions are.” Dale Delmege, another former CIC chairman who has been asked by the committee to help raise the additional $33,000 needed for the project, urged repairers to donate $100 per facility (insurers and vendor sponsors are also being sought) for the effort. Delmege said he sees the consultant’s work has having no bias toward shops, insurers or automakers. He also said his research of the repair standards program in the United Kingdom indicates it has been positive for the industry.
“They transformed their industry—about an hour and 15 minutes before regulators ‘helped them’ do so,” Delmege said. “Those people over there are pretty happy about where they got to.”
State Farm and Others offer updates In other news and discussion at CIC in Salt Lake City: ● George Avery of State Farm said the insurer is continuing to work on an electronic parts ordering system it will require its Select Service shops to use. “The repairer will continue to have a choice on who they buy parts from, and they will have control over which parts they buy, regardless of the price,” Avery said. “We are not interested in purchasing parts. What we’re interested in is helping the industry smooth out the process. We believe in quality, efficiency and competitive price. As you know, we have a scorecard that we use to evaluate performance across the board in those three categories. So that’s why we think the repairer is the best person to make the choice on parts.” ● Doug Craig, collision repair manager for Chrysler, said Chrysler,
Ford and some other automakers are working to “commonize where we can” some of their “approaches to different repairs.” He said Chrysler also will be moving away from “recommendations” to instead offer much more specific “requirements on what process, procedure and/or components... should be used in a repair.” ● The National Auto Body Council said because 20 percent of all collision and mechanical repair technicians are Hispanic, it will soon be release a Spanish glossary of collision industry terms. The glossary, which will be downloadable and searchable, was funded in part by a grant from AASP. ● The CIC Insurer-Repairer Relations Committee released a draft of what the committee is compiling as elements of the “most beneficial and productive repairer-insurer relationships.” Those elements—11 of them in the current draft, some of which apply to non-direct repair program shops as well – include an explicit outline of the key performance indicators (KPIs) used to measure shop performance; consistency between corporate and field employees regard-
ing the selection and retention of DRP shops; an unbiased dispute resolution process with a designated point of contact to resolve issues “free of the fear or reprisal’: communication to the consumer about the relationship between insurer and shop; and a streamlined electronic communication process between repairer and shop. ● I-CAR’s Jeff Peevy said 11 percent of shops in the United State have achieved the “Gold Class Professionals” designation, and another 20 percent are involved in some level of consistent technician training. But 69 percent of shops, he said, have no consistent training for technicians “yet they claim to do collision repairs.” He urged more insurers to require their DRP shops to maintain the Gold Class designation. “If you do not require training of those shops that are doing repairs for you, you need to consider the rapid changes (in vehicle design and materials),” Peevy said. “You cannot properly repair a new car accidentally any more. You just can’t do it.”
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 41
The Insider is a corporate-level executive with a Top 10 auto insurer in the U.S.. Got a comment or question you’d like to see him address in a future column? Email him at Auto.Insurance.Insider@gmail.com
Ridiculous DRP Requirements? Guess Why They’re Asking with The Insurance Insider
In a previous column, I offered some of my thoughts on the decision of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) to make the Farmers Insurance “Circle of Dependability” (COD) agreement public, and to question some of the requirements of that direct repair program agreement. In doing so, SCRS said that “the industry is often disadvantaged by restriction of communication from participants of these program.” I am little confused as to where the disadvantage lies? Okay, I am very confused. Explain to me the disadvantage. What would the advantage be if there were no restrictions? Shops should be deciding what is best for their individual business. That decision shouldn’t be predicated upon whether or not your competitor thinks it’s a good idea to participate. While SCRS makes a lot of good points in their press release, this is one it needs
to reconsider. Go ahead and publish all of the major insurance carriers direct repair program agreements and see what it changes. Would it really improve the industry or help shops? That said, here are a few more of my thoughts—some of which may surprise you—from an insurer’s per-
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spective on the COD agreement and SCRS’s concerns about it. The agreement states that Farmers has the right to inspect a shop’s books to validate and audit files to ensure proper payment and compliance with the program requirements. Why insurers continue to infuse themselves into the body shop’s business in this way is beyond me. It’s wrong and they have no business inspecting your books. If SCRS wants to take a stand on an issue, this is an easy one. But association’s comments on this section of the agreement have me wondering, “Where’s the beef?” If you are going to call someone out, take a stand. Lead the way. Insurers will continue to ask and demand more until shops say ‘no.’ And here’s a news flash: If you aren’t following the guidelines, insurers don’t need to look at your books to find out. They have other ways of obtaining the same information. If you
are committing fraud, they aren’t going to casually walk into your shop and ask to inspect the books. They will probably have their legal team subpoenaing your records. There’s no need for this clause, and it just shows they will continue to make demands until the industry says, “Enough.” The COD agreement also says participating shops will conduct background checks on all employees and not employ convicted felons. SCRS is dead-on with its assessment: This is the most ridiculous clause I’ve ever read. Doesn’t everyone know that statistics show that nine out of 10 convicted felons prefer to work for a body shop? Just joking! Please don’t send any (more) hate mail. But seriously, the audacity of Farmers to prohibit shops from having a convicted felon on staff is troubling from many perspectives. I’m not advocating the hiring of mass-mur-
derers or anything of the sort, but the fact is in some states you could be a convicted felon simply as a result of a DUI judgment. This isn’t a valid reason to not be considered for a job at a professional collision repair facility. Of course a shop should be concerned and do its due diligence before hiring anyone who has been convicted of a felony. But Farmers should remove this clause from the agreement unless of course they would like to subject their staff to the same scrutiny. In fact, how do you know it isn’t a convicted felon from Farmers inspecting your books? What if that person happens to be an unscrupulous individual who just hasn’t been caught yet? You could potentially have a convicted-butrehabilitated Farmers staff member remove you from the COD program because you have a similar ex-con on staff. How’s that for irony? I’ve seen just as many thieves wearing white-collar shirts as those wearing blue-collar shirts. Insurers have no business telling you who you can or can’t hire. Shops should be judged on the product and service they deliver, and not based on arbitrary and unjustified requirements.
All that said, I hope you aren’t missing the overarching theme of my view of Farmers’ (or any insurer’s) DRP requirements: Quit whining. Quit saying it’s not fair. It’s like raising kids. Even the best kids will continue to misbehave until there is a consequence for their actions. You can threaten to ground them, tell them it’s their last chance, or insinuate a good old-fashioned butt-whuppin’ is acomin,’ but if you don’t follow through, the antics will continue. Until the insurers hear ‘no,’ they will only continue to ask for more, whether that more is “reasonable” or not. This column reflects solely the opinion of The Insider who wishes to remain anonymous. Got a comment or question you’d like to see him address in a future column? Email him at Auto.Insurance.Insider@gmail.com. Or, leave a comment on the article in the Insider’s column section at autobodynews.com. To see the Farmers COD agreement referenced in the column, go to www.autobodynews.com and search “Farmers COD.” The SCRS press release about the agreement can also be found there. Search “SCRS Farmers agreement.”
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AkzoNobel Presents 2011 FIT Sustainability Awards
AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings Americas for the second year presented the collision repair industries “FIT” Sustainability Award. The by-invitation-only awards ceremony was conducted in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Grand America Hotel before an audience of approximately 100 key collision industry dignitaries. Receiving the 2011 award will be Mark’s Auto Body Ltd. of British Columbia, Canada, Moody’s Collision Centers Gorham, Maine and Lafontaine Automotive Group in Highland, Michigan. The “FIT” Award centers on the use of three key attributes: Focus, Innovation and Talent. It is the industry’s first recognition for visionary organizations that are incorporating business practices which meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future. Mike Shesterkin Director of Sustainability and New Business Innovations for AkzoNobel said, “Our 2011 nominees visibly demonstrate the marathon nature of creating sustainable businesses.”
GM Tops Toyota to be World’s Largest Automaker, Again
General Motors Co. outsold Toyota Motor Corp. globally in the first six months to become the world’s largest automaker after the record March earthquake disrupted production in Japan, according to Bloomberg News. GM sales rose 8.9 percent to 4.536 million units in the half-year ended June 30, the Detroit-based automaker said in a statement August 4. That compares with 4.13 million units at second-ranked Volkswagen AG and 3.71 million units for Toyota, including its luxury Lexus marque and affiliates Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd., according to statements by the companies. Output at the Toyota City, Japan-based automaker slumped 23 percent to 3.37 million units in the halfyear after the company halted production following the magnitude-9 temblor and tsunami in March. Toyota expects to enter a production recovery phase in September, one month earlier than previously announced, it said Aug. 2. “Even if Toyota recovers production, it will take another few more months for sales to actually recover” as it takes time to deliver vehicles to dealers, said Takeshi Miyao, an analyst at consulting company Carnorama in Tokyo.
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Social Media for Shops
How to Fix Your Damaged Online Reputation with Ed Attanasio
In an article in July’s Autobody News I wrote about Yelp and how shops have objected to the way this review site seems to perpetuate negative reviews on shops unless they’re members of the premium (paid) user program. If you missed it see www.autobodynews.com and search: Yelp. The question for many shops in this situation is: what can I do about it? Okay, let’s assume your name and the reputation of your shop has been thrown under the bus and now you want to fight back. Maybe it’s a bad review on Yelp, or maybe a disgruntled former employee has trashed you on the Web and posted a collection of half-truths coupled with some outright lies. Or, maybe one of “those customers” that is never be happy is posting negative things online about you and they are beginning to get noticed and starting to affect your business. Okay, it looks bad and it can be very frustrating, but don’t panic— there are some strategies you can use to defend yourself online and clean up your damaged reputation in the process. To get started, you can initially do some things on your own that can distance you from the snarky online comments or bad reviews about you and your business. If you have any even rudimentary computer skills, you can help yourself considerably by making the right moves. The basic rule here is always take the high road. Don’t’ respond directly to anything in a negative or combative fashion. If you jump in the mud with your online accusers, than all you’re really doing is adding credibility to their claims. Focus on disseminating positive information about your shop and get it on as many websites as you possibly can. Put them on your Facebook page and other social media sites, such as LinkedIn, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, and Netlog, to name some of many. Join as many as you can and maintain them, inviting customers and friends to join. Eventually, your involvement in these sites will start appearing in search results, and pretty soon, you’ll notice that the bad reviews will begin to migrate down the list.
If you really want to get proactive in defending your company online, you can take it a step further and start your own blog. Blogs are popular, because they’re simple and posting stories and photos on there is a snap, even for the cyber-challenged. You can link your blog to your website and it will also provide a wide range of SEO advantages over your haters. For example, BlogSpot (blogspot.com) is a very popular blogging site. It’s easy-to-use and absolutely free. Posting stories on your blog doesn’t require a lot of time and even with just casual computer skills you can start and maintain a blog within a short time. Now, of course, you might be asking yourself—how do I find the time to do these things online? You’re probably already working 50 hours a week—fixing cars, dealing with customers, insurance companies, vendors and employees is your priority every week, so how can you do it all? Some body shops call upon a front office employee to assume the role of the company’s IT person. But, if you don’t have anybody currently on your staff like that, you’ll need to hire a company or an individual to assist you in salvaging your reputation online and defending you in the future. Some body shops have hired public relations firms to perform these duties. If you can afford them, it’s a sage move. Bruce Miles is a public relations specialist who has worked for companies such as Cisco Systems, Apple Computer and a wide range of startups in Silicon Valley. He offered me some tips for how to position your shop in a good light and reap accolades that can offset any bad reviews or negative content about you and/or your business online. “Start a list of all the things you do well and leverage those items,” Miles said. “Collect testimonials from your satisfied customers and get their permission to use them. If you’re not currently helping the community that you’re doing business in, start getting involved. It’s a win-win, because it will help your business and attract more customers. Too many small
44 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at email@example.com.
companies don’t see the big picture and concentrate solely on profit, payroll and the bottom line. Those things are obviously crucial, but establishing a solid reputation especially in your area is paramount.” Press releases distributed to the local media is one way to get the word out about all of the great things you’re doing, Miles explained. “Hire a PR person and have them generate one press release every couple months. Any positive news is good news and local community papers love to run upbeat stories, because most of the headline news out there is grim, as we know. Maybe you’re mentoring local students who want to get into collision repair? Maybe you fixed a rare, unique vehicle? Or maybe held a dinner for the local Little League team you’re sponsoring? Good public relations specialists will find the story ideas for you, and by using their con-
tacts with the local media, you’ll start seeing your name in print and online in a positive vein.” If you have a really negative perception on the Web you may need to go further. For many body shops, a good solution is hiring a company called Reputation.com (formerly ReputationDefender.) Located in Redwood City, California, the company sells online reputation management (ORM) and Internet privacy to companies and individuals worldwide. ReputationDefender was founded six years ago to help parents in shielding their children from damaging their reputations via embarrassing postings on social media websites, but Reputation.com has shifted its business model to defending adults online as well and continually monitoring web content about their clients. When damaging content is found, the comSee Damaged Reputation, Page 47
Tom Franklin has been a sales and marketing consultant for fifty years. He has written numerous books and provides marketing solutions and services for many businesses. He can be reached at (323) 871-6862 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. See Tom’s columns at www.autobodynews.com under Columnists > Franklin
On Creative Marketing
Long or Short Ad—Which is Best? with Thomas Franklin
If you’ve ever received a long sales letter, you may have wondered why it was four or more pages long—and who would expect you to read it all? In the days before the Internet, e-mail and Twitter, snail-mail marketing often included these long sales letters. At that time, statistics proved that recipients who read these long letters were often the ones who bought the product. My wife’s ex-husband was an ad copywriter who made a nice living from writing long ad copy, but no more. Today we’ve entered the era of the short message. Twitter is a prime example. Ad copy must be 140 characters or less. Most advertisers no longer believe people will read long copy. The assumption is most people have a very short attention span and a message must be fast, brief and dramatic to capture viewer interest and attention. Institutional advertising might lead a shop owner to think all an ad has
to do is have an attention grabbing image displaying the company name and product. Nothing could be farther from the truth. National corporate products have large advertising budgets and often simply try to keep the product name in front of the public eye. A gigantic billboard may have a huge photo of an attractive person drinking that company’s beverage and the company name might be so small you could miss it if you didn’t look closely. The thinking behind this is that repetitive viewings will encourage sales of the product. Unless you have very deep pockets, don’t even think about advertising like this. But one aspect of this kind of ad is very accurate: Repetitive viewing can result in a prospect trying or buying the product. The question is: what is the best media to use to convey that brief, repetitive message? A good start is to think about where you can put a brief message so
that it will be seen over and over. One obvious place is a lighted window sign if you have a window that can be seen from a street or road. If not, the entrance to your driveway may front on a road or street where you can put up a changeable sign. A hotel near me that has entertainment and a lounge has a high, lighted sign that can be seen from the freeway. The sign always has a joke or a humorous quote plus an invite to their lounge. When traffic backs up, it’s inevitable that most drivers will read the sign, out of boredom if nothing else. A changing message is the key to getting readership. If you have a website or Facebook page or even a Twitter account, these are obvious places to run a continuously changing message. Even a cheap, weekly-changing classified ad can be effective. And of course, if you can afford it, radio and TV are ideal for this kind of advertising.
Most ad sites are not very adaptable to a changing message. Bench ads, bus ads, print ads, flyers and business cards generally contain long-term messages. Nevertheless, the brief, easy to read and understand message is still a good choice. This often comes out in the form of a slogan. A good rule of thumb is to challenge the reader with an apparent contradiction: “Can cheap auto body repair also be high quality? Call us to find out!” “Can the dent or damage on your car be fixed while you wait? Call us to find out!” If someone is reading a short ad, time, speed and cost are sure to be high priorities for him or her. Your tougher job is selling them on coming in once they call. It’s also important to not forget that a picture is often worth a thousand words. But even if you have the space for a picture, choosing the right one See Long or Short, Page 47
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CollisionLink Represents ‘Inevitable Change’ Says Major Parts Dealer by Ed Attanasio
Back when Galpin Motors’ Parts Manager Butch Lemen was 12 years old, he worked with his father in the aircraft parts industry, some time before the advent of personal computers. Computers are now indispensible in parts departments and body shops worldwide. But, although many body shops have em-
people will call once we receive the order. It’s a streamlined process and allows shops to go on with the other multiple tasks that happen every day in your average body shop.” Lemen says he has seen CollisionLink work time after time in helping him to get orders and assist shops in getting OE parts on more repairs without paying more than the aftermarket. “It’s a
From left, Galpin Motors Sales Rep Joe Jotikasthira; Sales Rep Gerardo Sanchez; Warehouse Manager Tom Thompson; Ford Motor Co. Rep Anne Tran-Malone; Assistant Warehouse Manager Istvan Gerlei; Wholesale Parts Manager Butch Lemen and Sales Rep Javier Gonzalez receive yet another award for hitting top numbers year after year
braced the software and the Internet methods, there are still a ton of shops out there that are reluctant to accept what Lemen calls, “the inevitable.” Lemen is a strong advocate for CollisionLink, the Internet-based electronic parts ordering system designed by OEConnection for OEM parts dealerships and body shops. By using the system, shops can save time and money while including more original factory parts in their repairs. CollisionLink’s price comparison feature is currently used by shops of all sizes, from little independent facilities all the way to large chains. Lemen manages a multi-million dollar wholesale parts operation at Galpin Motors in North Hills, Calif. With 75 employees in his department and selling parts for the 10 brands they represent (Ford, Lincoln, Subaru, Mazda, Honda, Volvo, Jaguar, AstonMartin, Lotus and Spyker), Lemen values the time-saving aspect associated with using CollisionLink. “CollisionLink makes us more efficient and can save time for the shops that participate,” Lemen explained. “It frees up the shops’ time, because they don’t have to make phone calls searching for a part and/or waiting for a response. All of the correspondence through CollisionLink is handled via e-mails, and our parts
conduit for electronic parts ordering, but many body shops are still in the habit of ordering parts over the phone or via FAX. We can assist the body shops by providing parts with better fit and finish while delivering the parts quickly and improving cycle times.” Lemen recognized the importance of this system more than a year ago when Galpin starting offering it, but now he wants his shop customers to
By utilizing CollisionLink, Galpin’s customers can incorporate more factory parts into their estimates without paying more than the aftermarket
see the light as well. “We’ve been an advocate for CollisionLink for awhile now and we do have customers who use it and like it and we’re trying to get more shops up and running with it on a daily basis, so that we can put some more OE parts into their hands. We have roughly 30 shops currently signed up with CollisionLink, and they tend to be shops that are computer-
46 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
savvy and already using the Internet as a tool to improve their business. The computer age isn’t the future anymore, we’re right in the middle of it, and still, many of my customers don’t even have computers in their shops yet.” Once his shop customers take the leap of faith and embrace CollisionLink, it quickly becomes a daily part of their lives, Lemen reasons. But, getting them to take that first step can be difficult. “It’s getting people to accept a change, it’s just that simple. Change comes along no matter what, but the old days of going through catalogs and writing down part numbers is tedious and no longer efficient. Now, if you went into these forward-thinking shops and told them they had to go back to using those books, they might beat you up. They were reluctant a few years back, but now they can’t do business without the computers and systems like CollisionLink. It’s just a matter of accepting the change and seeing a new way of doing things, in order to make their shops more efficient and profitable.” Using CollisionLink is easy and most people can be proficient at it within just several days, Lemen said. “The majority of the body shop management systems out there right now contain all the parts pricing already. When the insurance company tells the shop ‘you need to use this aftermarket part to save money,’ that’s when CollisionLink steps in. Once their estimate is approved by the insurance company, they send it to us electronically and we call it the “1-2-3 Go,” because it’s just three steps, push a button and it’s done. Getting good at using it is a matter of repetition, just like anything else. To make it easier, I’ll send one of our reps to the shop and he’ll go through the training, both on-site and over the phone, with CollisionLink’s staff. It normally takes 15–30 minutes to learn the system and how to use it.” Once his customer sends him the invoice, Lemen and his staff can go through it and identify the parts to make certain they are correct for the repair. “Once I get the order, I simply open the file, import the file and push one button and everything else happens automatically. Once we’ve determined that it’s accurate, we can call the body shop and discuss the pricing or other options, for example.” If Galpin can meet or beat the aftermarket, it can obviously benefit both his operation and the body shop
involved, he said. “We can beat the aftermarket prices in many cases. We’re going up against the aftermarket and the used parts industry as well. For example, we received an estimate earlier today and within less than two hours, it was processed. We were able to meet or beat the aftermarket on 14 parts on the invoice and the shop bought them all. Our overall conversion rate for June was 71%, so, that’s significant.” One of Galpin’s customers using CollisionLink is Autoworld Collision in Valencia, California, a 14-year-old shop owned by Maurice Starrantino. “We’ve been using CollisionLink for at least a year, and it’s been a Godsend. By using it, we’re able to provide our customers with OE parts where we couldn’t before. These manufacturers want to incorporate factory parts in our repairs, and this is the best way to do it. On some items such as hoods, fenders, bumpers and many sheet metal parts, Galpin can match or beat the aftermarket parts a majority of the time, depending on the brand and the repair. CollisionLink is easy-to-use and now a part of our daily operations, so we definitely rely on it and value it.”
Owner Maurice Starrantino (left) and Assistant Manager Jesse Elizondo at Autoworld Collision in Valencia are using CollisionLink with great success to identify and purchase OE parts and get them into more of their repairs
CollisionLink software operates on PCs from Windows XP on up and is completely free to body shops. It can only be used to order OEM parts. It can be used with all of the leading systems already being used by most body shops, including Mitchell UltraMate Advanced Estimating System, CCC One Total Repair Platform, CCC Pathways Estimating Solution and Audatex. If a shop has another system, CollisionLink’s reps can help them to get it set up. Galpin Motors 15505 Roscoe Blvd. North Hills, California 91343 (800) 256-6219 www.galpin.com
Continued from Page 44
pany tries to get it removed from the offending websites through methods like contacting the site owners and requesting that they remove the content in question. In 2006, Susan Crawford, a cyberlaw specialist on the faculty of Cardozo Law School in NYC, says that when contacted in that fashion, “Most people will take materials down just to avoid the hassle of dealing with possible litigation.” Reputation.com also leverages the positive approach, by writing 200300 word articles praising their clients and posting them throughout the Web. By building a reservoir of positive feedback out there in cyberspace and continually acting as a watchdog, Reputation.com can help you to offset bad press or disparaging reviews that you’ve received and keep the good word coming, so that you’re ready when and if it happens again. “Be prepared” is the Boy Scout motto, but we can’t all be Eagle Scouts all the time, so when disparag-
ing things appear about you and/or your business online, the worst thing you can do is ignore the situation. If negatives are out there and you know it, you’ll never know who’s not coming to your shop because they’ve seen a bad review. Silence is deafening and people will readily form “guilty until found innocent” opinions unless you respond. But keep it positive, build good will by doing things that benefit your community and hire an expert or a company to defend you online if you’ve really been maligned. Had success in turning your online reputation around? Contact me at email@example.com and let me know how you did it. I’ll pass that along to shops who may find themselves in the same situation.
To advertise call Joe Momber at:
Continued from Page 45
Long or Short
can be a difficult task. It’s generally best to just illustrate the message in some way. An image suggesting speed, like a race track pit crew, could work. Or just an illustration of a clock with wings. Shop owners like to show a picture of their shop, but this is unlikely to motivate a prospect to come in for repairs. And this raises the most important aspect of the message. It absolutely has to motivate the prospect to respond. There MUST be a demand for action: “Call us to find out!” “Come in for a free estimate.” “Come find out how cheap we can be!” As good as repetitive short ads may be, there’s nothing like a great repetitive slogan. “You’re in good hands with Allstate,” has been around forever. Even if you totally disagree with the slogan, you know that most people recognize it. That’s the kind of recognition you want to build with a slogan about your shop. Brief but powerful may seem like a contradiction in terms, but if you can create it, it can do great things for your business.
Pipe Bomb Disarmed at Salt Lake City, UT, Auto Auction
At Brasher’s Salt Lake Auto Auction on Aug. 19, a pipe bomb was apparently discovered in a car that technicians were preparing for sale, according to news reports. Thankfully, police were able to detonate the bomb and everyone was safe. As of Aug. 20, authorities had not yet determined how or why it ended up there or who placed it. “Our bomb techs responded and inspected that device,” Salt Lake City detective Lisa Pascadlo said in one of the reports. “(They) determined that it was indeed an explosive device. They rendered it safe.” She added: “Obviously we will want to definitely investigate where that car came from and how there came to be a pipe bomb in the vehicle.” Lt. Isaac Atencio said in another report: “Nobody knows how it got there.” Apparently, a robot was used to deactivate the device, witnesses said.
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How Shop Owners Can Take Advantage of Salvage Auctions by Vinnie Mitz, President, Copart, Inc.
Although used car dealers and insurance companies are the types of corporations that seemingly benefit the most from the salvage auction industry, auto body shops are less obvious but equal beneficiaries. If properly utilized, salvage auctions can help body shops to supplement their existing business by increasing their repair volumes and facilitating access to parts.
Fixing the Fixed Costs Auto body shop owners have much of the same fixed-business costs as any other operation. The cost of land or rent, utilities, payroll and upkeep all add to an auto body shop’s overhead. That means that whether a shop repairs 10 cars or 50, the basic fixed cost of doing business will generally be the same. By utilizing salvage auctions, body shops have the opportunity to better utilize their fixed-cost base. One way to use the auctions is to buy repairable cars to fill in work slots. A lot of the cars that are written off as a total loss are actually repairable. Body shops can buy these damaged cars through a salvage auction, then repair and resell them for an added revenue stream. Or, if a shop needs multiple parts from a car, it can buy the car, strip it of the parts it needs, and then resell the remainder of the car. Going Virtual Top tier salvage auctions utilize online technologies that allow bidders to participate in virtual salvage auctions from the convenience of their home or office. Vehicle searching, previewing and bidding can all be accessed via a click of the mouse. Since the Internet has a global reach, it can vastly increase the size of an auto body shop’s business universe.
Locating Hard-to-Find Parts Shops can also buy vehicles for parts. Shops often fit used or recycled parts when making repairs to automobiles. They usually source them from a local or regional dismantler, but if they need a large number of used parts, it may be prudent to acquire an entire vehicle, use the parts required and then resell the rest. This method is often helpful in non-insured repair jobs.
If a shop is working on a rare or exotic car with hard-to-find used parts, sourcing from a salvage pool is an option. If the shop can’t find a part on its own, a salvage pool can inform the shop about recent sales of the same rare car. The shop can then track down the dismantler who bought the car and buy the part directly. An advantage to using virtual salvage auctions for body shops is the increased reach it offers when acquiring cars or car parts. Because the auctions are online and available to anyone in the world, shop owners are not limited to the cars or parts Vinnie Mitz, in their general Copart President vicinity. Additionally, the auctions don’t require bidders to be physically present, which will save the shop owner countless hours of boredom and drudgery, as well as travel costs.
A Level Playing Field Virtual salvage auctions help mitigate the shadier aspects of auto auctions, such as collusion or intimidation. Collusion can occur when multiple bidders conspire to fix the auction. It cheats other bidders out of a fair auction, and keeps cars from being sold at their optimum price. However, with the virtual auction, buyers simply enter their bids into a computer, rather than go through an auctioneer or auction manager, who may handle multiple competing bids simultaneously. By eliminating the human element in this part of the process, virtual salvage auctions create a fair auction for all bidders. Going Once, Going Twice, Sold! To participate in an online salvage auction, here are the three steps:
Step 1: Search and Preview Bidders from around the world can quickly search through all current vehicle inventories online to find exactly what they want through a variety of online search tools. Each vehicle has digital images and detailed condition information, allowing the bidders to fully preview the vehicles before deciding whether to bid. Bidders can also search for vehicles
48 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
in their general vicinity and preview them onsite to evaluate the condition first hand.
Step 2: Preliminary Bidding Once a bidder has found the vehicle they are interested in pursuing, they can enter preliminary bids online or at bidding kiosks where vehicles are stored prior to the live sale. Preliminary bidding is where bidders enter the maximum price that they are willing to pay for a vehicle. The system will then bid incrementally for the bidder up to their maximum bid, even during the virtual auction.
Step 3: Live Sale After the auction organizer receives the vehicle seller’s transferable title, the car is slated for a virtual sale. Potential bidders continue to compete in the preliminary bidding process up to one hour before the start of the Internet-only virtual sale. When the virtual sale starts, digital images of the car or truck for sale are displayed along with the current highest bid from the pre-
liminary bidding period. When bidding on the vehicle stops, a countdown is initiated. If no one bids during the countdown, the vehicle is sold to the highest bidder. Now that you have the basics down for participating in a virtual salvage auction, use it to your business advantage. Happy bidding!
About Copart, Inc. Copart sells more than one million vehicles each year at more than 140 facilities throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, through its two-stage VB2 internet technology. Copart sells vehicles for a variety of consignors including finance companies, banks, dealers, fleets, rental car companies and the insurance industry. Copart’s success has earned it a place on Forbes “200 Best Small Companies” list nine years in a row. Copart was also featured on the television show, World’s Best as “The World’s Best Remarketing Company.” For more information, see www.copart.com.
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Ford Releases Another Crash Test Video Comparing OEM to Aftermarket Crash Parts, ABPA Responds with its own Crash Test Video Ford released their second comparative tests of Genuine Ford structural steel collision parts versus aftermarket counterparts on their Youtube account on August 8. The video is described as showing a “parts comparison performance of genuine Ford parts vs. aftermaket collision parts using computer aided simulation tests, crash sled tests, and actual vehicle crash tests data. In all cases, genuine Ford parts perform as designed. Aftermarket parts performance leads to questions of doubt concerning proper air bag deployment.” The video is hosted by Ford Repairability Engineer Larry Coan. Coan also describes Ford’s own version of the “sawzall test,” which they recreated following its publicity since last year’s CIC meeting, where a Sawzall is used to cut into aftermarket and OEM bumper beams. The test has been duplicated numerous times and depicts the difference in difficulty between cutting through an OEM bumper beam versus an aftermarket bumper beam.
The test has been called into question by several aftermarket parts advocates, the groups call the test “unscientific” and question whether it provides a true measure of how a part will perform in a crash, however the intent is not to show whether cutting a support member more easily means it will fail, but rather that the materials are different. In the video Coan states that Ford’s saw test yielded similar results to others depicted over the past year. (See also Toby Chess’ column this issue.) Ford’s comparative tests were done with 05–09 Mustang and 08-09 Focus Bumper Beams, 06–08 F-150 bumper brackets and 04–07 F-150 radiator supports, and 05–09 Mustang bumper absorbers and isolators. Initial comparisons showed that part construction and weight were noticeably different between OEM and aftermarket parts. Crash simulations between parts also showed a large difference between impact reactions. Repair costs following such crashes also revealed
a difference between damage sustained from crashes where OEM and aftermarket parts were used.
ABPA Responds with Own Video The Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) responded to Ford’s video by releasing their own video and press release detailing some of their own crash test results. According to the group, the video of their crash tests illustrates the safety and quality of aftermarket auto parts. The video, which is available on the ABPA website at www.autobpa.com, showcases actual high- and low-speed crash tests. According to the ABPA, side-byside video taken during a high-speed crash test illustrates the simultaneous airbag deployment (down to the millisecond) for two 2006 Toyota Corollas, one outfitted with an aftermarket bumper reinforcement bar and the other a car company equivalent. The group uses this set of crash tests to claim that false assertions were made “by some car companies
that airbag timing is affected by using comparable aftermarket components.” The ABPA goes on to say that, “the high-speed crash data also shows the aftermarket- and the car companyequipped cars both delivering occupant safety well within the federal safety standards, with the car outfitted with non-branded car company parts actually delivering slightly better occupant protection as measured across 11 key injury criteria.” “In low-speed crash tests presented in the video, an aftermarket bumper reinforcement bar outperforms an equivalent car-company branded part, effectively absorbing impact without deployment of airbags while sustaining less damage that results in a $200 lower repair estimate.” “Time and again the aftermarket industry has demonstrated the safety and quality of its products, yet some car companies seem determined to counter scientific facts with fear-mongering,” said Co-Chair of the ABPA See Ford ABPA, Page 53
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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 49
Handling People, Including Insurance Adjusters, Means Negotiating Effectively I was talking with a fairly new shop owner the other day about the state of his business and the challenges of getting a new business off the ground. During the talk the subject of insurance adjusters came up. This particular owner, like many in the business, has a passion for his art. He is a master painter and does beautiful work. Like many new operators, he has some body techs but he is still the one who does the painting. He has goals. He wants his shop to be the best collision shop in his market and I have no doubt that with his drive he might make it. The reason I say might is due to the fact that he is currently stuck working in the back and trying to run the business which includes writing his own estimates. He is experiencing his first case of true stress and it is starting to manifest itself in the way he handles people. He looks at adjusters as an enemy who is there to drive him crazy and whittle down his profits to the point where he is not making any money. I asked him if he provides a space for the adjuster to work while the adjuster is in his shop. His reply was instantaneous and filled with antagonism. “Why should I do that? He is not here to help me!” I knew immediately that he was looking at the adjuster as an adversary and not a potential ally. I was not trying to find fault with him. He is a well trained and experienced painter with a lot of knowledge and talent in that area. His problem is that, he is not trained in the fine art of handling people, which as an owner is more important than his skills as a painter. As a result he is trying to han-
dle the wrong problem in his business. Mishandling adjusters will not improve his bottom line! I got him to calm down and take a look at what an adjuster does. How the adjuster plays the fine balancing act between the insurance company and the shop which has the customer’s interests as the priority. I got him to also look at that fact that he needs the adjusters’ help in accomplishing his goals and yelling at people and being belligerent is probably not the best way to win someone over. I agreed with him that adjusters are not all sweethearts. Some are a real problem. They can be difficult and unreasonable. Maybe they just got chewed out by the owner of the last shop they were in. It doesn’t matter. You need this person to help you get what you need. Maybe just offering them a bottle of water and a place to sit down for a moment to talk about anything other than the business at hand would help. Not all of them are out to get you. In fact if he would put down his sword and shield he might find the majority of them are just trying to do a difficult job the best way they know how. Interacting effectively with people is not only a skill; it is an art form that has to be mastered by anyone trying to run a business. There are many things to know about business. Understanding personal relationships and knowing how to negotiate is among the top items on the list. Very few people are born with these skills, they have to be learned. I asked him “What if you had the same ability in dealing with adjusters that you have in dealing with the cars? Where would you be?” He stopped dead in his tracks.
Two researchers demonstrated at a hackers conference that they could not only unlock a Subaru Outback but start up its engine using only an Android smartphone and some creative programming. They used a technique called “war texting” to intercept the password used by the car they hijacked, although that is not supposed to be possible. The concern is that car thieves will trade up for keyboards and smartphones, gaining entry to the newest models that haven’t been properly programmed to prevent hackers from gaining access.
Mitsubishi returns to profit with $55 million in quarterly net income. Mitsubishi returned to profit in the three months ended June 30, aided by selling more vehicles in North America, Europe and Asia. The automaker posted net income of 4.3 billion yen ($55.5 million) in the three months ended June 30, compared with a loss of 11.8 billion yen a year earlier, it said in a statement. The automaker raised its half-year profit to break even, from a loss of 10 billion yen announced on June 13. The automaker expects its retail sales in the six months to Sept. 30 to be at 518,000 units, up 8,000 units from its earlier forecast.
by Bob Spitz—Management Success
High Tech Devices Make Cars More Theft-Prone
Mitsubishi Back to Profitability
50 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
I continued, “You are a talented painter who only knows how to do the job one-way, the right way. You’re being upset with the adjuster is because you feel he is trying to get you to do the job in a lesser way—a way that will not satisfy you or the customer. You do not have the skill to get the adjuster to see it your way. This leaves you with limited choices of short-cutting, or accepting what is being offered which reduces your profit. Neither one of these is acceptable, nor should they be. You are going to do it the right way regardless.” “Two things need to happen here and happen quickly or you will burn out and never achieve your goals. The first is you have got to learn how to recruit, hire and train the right people so that you can get back out of the paint booth and run your business. You are killing yourself trying to do both. You can get short fused when you have to stop what you are doing to handle the insurance adjusters. Don’t start the conversation with the adjuster with a negative attitude.
“The second thing is you have to learn is how to deal with people and negotiate in order to get what it is you need to do the job right and put money in your pocket.” His shoulders sagged and he said to me, “Where do we start?” I am happy to report that this particular shop owner did not blow up his business and is now in a much better condition. He smiles more. He is well on the way to achieving his goals. Collision shop owners are in the people handling business. If you are not achieving your goals, feeling fed up and frustrated, give Management Success a call—we can help.
Management Success!, is a company that specializes in training and consulting the independent automotive repair shop owner. Bob tours the country as an educational speaker and writes numerous columns. Additional articles on management can be read online at www.managementsuccess.com ©2011 Management Success! All Rights Reserved.
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Parts Profiles Acura of Westchester with Larry Williams
always have the very best service. The last time I wrote about a dealership it was a California multi-line Their service manager has been there dealer near Sacramento. This time it is for 17 years, and there has only been one GM in the history of the store! As a single franchise dealer in the metro with Jeremy Hayhurst New York area. You would think that I said, this dealer is unique. they had nothing in common, but you would be mistaken. Both dealers are successful, and both have the same winning philosophy; customer service. with Jeremy Hayhurst Acura of Westchester is truly unique. They are an example of the word “commitment”. Since 1986, they have taken good care of their customers, and their customers know it. The dealership is not on Main Street The parts department follows the you have to know where it is in order same pattern. Jake Dildine is the parts manager, and he has been there for 18 to find it. Apparently, once found they are never forgotten. In 2010, they years. His commitment to customer service is amazing. Over and over, he were number one in the nation for stressed loyalty, relationship, attitude, Acura new car sales. This dealer is an example of the pride, and dedication, but never price. His crew is just as dedicated; they all benefits of stability. Customers see the pitch in to answer four direct telesame people, year after year. They become friends; confident that they will phone lines; keeping three delivery
Larry Williams is an innovative parts manager with national awards and over 30 years of experience in creating and managing profitable departments. He can be reached for consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org
trucks going full time. In response to increasing business, this dealer is open seven days a week! “Fast paced” is the description of this parts department, something I understand is normal in this area. Usually, this results in a belief that no growth is possible, all resources are already at maximum. Jake is proof that there is always room for improvement, always room for another customer. You can always find a way to improve your operation. Acura supports Jake, delivering daily orders and implementing the “Collision Select” program, allowing Jake to compete on pricing with aftermarket and used parts suppliers. Yes, price is still an issue with some shops; forced by cut-rate insurance policies to use the cheapest parts available. These insurance companies willingly force some shops to accept parts that void their customer’s warranties. Other shops, some in their second
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generation, are strong enough to resist these pressures and insist on quality repairs. The strong partnership between Jake and these shops - always putting their customer first - contributes to their mutual success. There are over 20 million people in the area, and the pressure on the body shops and dealers after a hail storm is unbelievable. Jake and his crew take inclement weather in stride, always answering the phone with a smile and a welcoming attitude. There are five other Acura dealers within 20 miles, offering some competition, but Acura of Westchester is obviously the best choice. I am proud to include Acura of Westchester in my list of Distinctive Dealerships. Larry Williams is a former parts manager and consultant with national awards and over 30 years of experience in creating profitable departments. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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Estimators – The Front Line in the Battle for Profitability New car in the shop – front end looks itability of the job. Of course, profit is like it ran into a tree. It did! So, what’s not the only concern. Your primary it going to take with to get itDan backEspersen on the mission is to deliver a vehicle that is road? Well, it starts with you, the estisafe to drive. That’s really the bottom mator. As an estimator, you need exline, isn’t it? perience, good judgment, diplomatic Here are some of the questions skills and accurate information. you may have to wrestle with: As far as experience, judgment • How do you determine the types and diplomacy with go, you either have of construction materials? Mike Causey them or you don’t. I can’t really help • Is the part you are repairing made you there. But, when it comes to infrom high-strength steel? Ultra highformation, that’s a different story. Today, every model year brings innovations: Materials technology, electronic systems,Causey with Mike finishes, vehicle drivetrains, steering and suspension… the list goes on. Can you develop a repair plan just by looking? How about an educated guess, calling Chaney withorJanet your friend who worked on one of these vehicles once? Sorry, the old ways just don’t work anymore! strength steel? Dual phase steel? High strength low alloy steel? (Figure B.1). Information is the key with Tom McGee • How do you know for sure if the But not just any information. You need manufacturer’s information. OE manufacturer says it is safe to section procedures and guidelines are ab- a particular component? solutely required to efficiently and • Do you follow the insurance eseffectively repair today’s vehicles. timator’s procedures about where to You need it to with write aTom repairMcGee plan. section? If you don’t comply with the Your Parts Manager may need it to estimator’s recommendation, who is order the correct parts the first time. liable for damage in the event of a fuAnd of course your technicians need ture accident? OE information to make accurate re- • Do you have all the information pairs in the shortest amount of time you need for a safe, reliable – yet effipossible. cient – repair, including electronic syswith Ed Attanasiotem reset or reprogramming procedures? • Will your estimate comply with Back to the car in the shop You start to build your repair plan. As your shop’s DRP agreements if you an experienced estimator, you probaparticipate in such a program? bly have a good sense of how deep the • Does your technician have the damage goes. But what about that precautions he or she needs to work with Ed Attanasiosafely. What are the special safety frame rail? Can you section it? (Figconcerns for hybrid vehicles? With hybrids, the safety of the technician AND the vehicle needs extra attention. (Figure C). • Will the shop make money on the job?
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CAUTION: Pressing the power switch with the brake pedal depressed causes the system to enter the READY-on state. This is very dangerous because high voltage may be applied to the inspection area.
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collision and mechanical repairs • Identify proper repair procedures to reduce supplements • Provide required documentation to customers and insurers • Increase sales and consumer confidence with a professional explanation of necessary repairs
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Manage costly vehicle returns
Here is an excerpt of an OE repair article for a 2011 Buick® Regal® A-Pillar – Front Hinge Pillar Body Sectioning (Upper) Always refer to ALLDATA® for safety See Battle for Profitability, Page 58
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ure A). Are you sure? Can you tell what kind of steel is used in each location? Those are just a couple of factors that will make a difference in the estimate… and in the ultimate prof-
OE information is the gold standard for collision repair When developing a repair plan, OE repair information helps you: • Increase estimate accuracy for
52 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
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Legislation and Regulation Committee Eileen Sottile. “OEs cannot credibly argue that only their branded parts
can provide safety, especially when it comes to components that play a very small role in crash energy management. If car company safety systems cannot handle a wide range of real world crash conditions and material differences in minor replacement parts
then they are not robustly engineered and as such are a significant threat to the consumers.” “Rather than relentlessly smearing our industry in an attempt to gain a competitive business advantage on replacement parts, our biggest corpo-
I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair announced August 9 that James Roach of American Honda Motor Company has joined the I-CAR International Board of Directors as a Board Member. James Roach has been part of the collision inter-industry for over thirty years and has been employed by American Honda Motor Company since 1978. Currently, Mr. Roach is Senior Vice President – Parts and Service Division of American Honda Motor Company. He manages a workforce exceeding 2,000 employees which are geographically placed throughout 18 locations in the United States. Roach oversees the areas of automobile customer service, parts and accessories marketing, service marketing,
parts inventory procurement and distribution, technical operations, and the improvement of Lifetime Owner Loyalty and CSI for both Honda and Acura automobile customers. He is also responsible for the distribution of service parts and accessories for motorcycle, power equipment, and marine products. Roach has successfully integrated four previously separate business divisions into one. Through identifying gaps in communication processes, developing countermeasure plans, and introducing strategic communications channels to defined audiences, employees of the Parts and Service Division are more engaged and productivity is higher. Elise Quadrozzi, Chair of the ICAR International Board of Directors
stated, “Alongside his extensive experience at American Honda Motor Company, including operational, training, and marketing experience, Jim’s broad knowledge-base and proven leadership in the collision inter-industry will truly be of value in his role on the I-CAR International Board of Directors.” The Board of Directors sets the overall strategic direction for the organization and assists in obtaining resources in support of the I-CAR Mission. The Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from each of the following six industry segments—collision repair; insurance; equipment, tools, and supplies; education, training, and research; vehicle manufacturers; and related industry services.
Continued from Page 49
I-CAR Board of Directors Welcomes New Board Member, James Roach, American Honda Motor Company
rate critics would do well to focus on reducing their own recalls and delivering high-quality, robustly engineered products for the motoring public.” Ford’s crash test video can be viewed at www.autobodynews.com.
Chevy Volt Sales Slow to Grow, Nissan Leaf Worse
Chevrolet has sold only about 3,200 Volt plug-in hybrids through the end of July. A survey of Volts on the market found 116 available nationwide. A new CNW marketing study suggests that potential Volt buyers are losing interest. Volt’s $41,000 sticker price is the big problem although it qualifies for $7500 tax credit. The 2012 price for Volt will drop to $39,995. GM officials remain convinced Volt will meet their sales expectations which are projected to grow to 40,000 in 2012. The Nissan Leaf trails behind with only 1,044 units sold.
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My Take On the I-CAR Training Issue by Charles Bryant, Executive Director, AASP/NJ
There is no doubt that ongoing training in the collision industry is a must in order to keep the technicians up to date on proper methods of repair and safety related issues. The questions are Why isn’t the cost of such training being considered by the insurance industry when determining the labor rates that they are willing to pay for repairs? and Why isn’t I-CAR pushing or at least supporting this? Safe Charles Bryant repairs equal fewer future claims, both in property damage and personal injury, especially on the type of vehicles on the roads today. Rather than taking the high road and take the cost of training into consideration, the insurance industry appears to be taking the low road by attempting to force shops to maintain I-CAR Gold Class Status in order to get on or stay on Direct Repair Pro-
grams without any consideration for the associated cost. I-CAR too appears to be taking the position that insurer’s should simply force collision shops to maintain I-CAR Gold status, rather than attempting to take steps to help make training more affordable for shops. Back in March, I-CAR representatives, including the new I-CAR CEO, John VanAlstyne met with numerous representatives from various automotive trade associations from multiple North East States where an offer was proposed to I-CAR for the associations to get behind I-CAR and encourage their members to participate in I-CAR Training, including taking on the task of assisting with setting up and advertising training meetings in return for a discount for the members of the participating associations. I-CAR was supposed to consider the proposal and get back to the parties that participated in the meeting. To date and to my knowledge, the representatives of ICAR, including Mr. VanAlstyne, have not responded back even to say “no thank you.” This is not the first time
that this proposal has been on the table and not the first time that I-CAR has failed to follow through. What makes things even worse is that I-CAR appears to be accepting insurance industry representatives as the acknowledged experts over the collision industry people that are actually repairing the vehicles. The fact is that simply taking I-CAR classes doesn’t make anyone an expert. To back up this statement one only need to go to court on an automotive related insurance claim issue in dispute and watch the process of qualifying the experts that are going to testify in the court proceedings. Usually the first question that is asked of the person being offered as an expert is how many vehicles have you ever repaired in your lifetime? Most of the time when an insurance appraiser is the party being presented as the expert, the answer is “none.” Or, that they have never actually repaired an automobile—as opposed to the average auto body shop owner who almost always grew up repairing automobiles. Naturally, the body shop is the only one that can be
fully qualified as an expert on any judgment call issue such as a repair or replace issue. The appraiser’s testimony is usually limited to issues such as the price for parts listed in the estimating program along with the hours to perform the operation listed in the books or program. In other words, the testimony of the appraiser without any hands on experience in repairing automobiles is usually limited to the cost of the repairs rather than the proper method of repair. Ultimately, the industry will get the training necessary to make the repairs on the complicated vehicles on the roads today. Unfortunately, it may not come from I-CAR, which would be a shame. Obviously, the training issue revolves around the associated cost. If the insurance industry is going to require specific training, including the level of training, they should also consider the related cost, either by increasing the labor rates to assist with cost or create or support programs to help lower cost such as the program offered by the trade associations refSee I-CAR Training, Page 59
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Martin Zurada is a San Francisco-based attorney who regularly advises and litigates on behalf of California’s auto body repair businesses. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Body Shop Law
Tips for Negotiating a Commercial Lease For Your Body Shop with Attorney Martin Zurada
Signing a commercial lease is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, financial commitment your auto body repair business will make. Commercial leases are easy to commit to, full of traps for the unwary, and very hard to get out of without significant pain and expense. When you consider that a commercial auto body lease (five year lease at a rental rate of $5,000) is a $300,000 commitment, it really pays to develop a basic understanding of commercial leases and to learn how to avoid common pitfalls.
Commercial leases are binding: A commercial lease is a specific type of contract. In a commercial lease, the owner (landlord) of a building or land grants your body auto body repair business (tenant) the exclusive right to use some or all of the building or land in exchange for monthly payments of rent. Commercial leases can be oral,
though almost always the terms are spelled out in a very long written contract. Many commercial leases use pre-printed forms that are then further modified in the landlord’s favor by the landlord’s lawyer through an addendum attached to the back of the lease. Commercial leases can be enforced in court and the landlord almost always has the advantage in a lawsuit because the contractual language favors him.
to figure out the different ways in which you and the landlord may end up in a dispute. Then negotiate the potential disputes with the landlord before signing the lease so that the two of you can figure out how to allocate responsibility in the written lease. It is always better to negotiate a resolution of potential problems before signing the lease rather than signing the lease and then fighting in court over unclear or unfavorable provisions.
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Rent isn’t the only lease obligation: Many business owners bargain hard over the rent and then happily sign any rental agreement given to them by the landlord thinking that they got a great deal. This is understandable. The written lease contract is usually difficult for a business person to digest because it is very lengthy, contains small type, and is commonly packed with legal terms that are hard to decipher. When you are signing the lease, it is hard to image that there will ever be any dispute between you and the landlord. The tenant may be excited about the new premises, the landlord is on his or her best behavior, and all the fine print in the lease seems irrelevant. Many business owners dis-
cover that the fine print in the lease obligates them not only to pay monthly rent but to also pay significant property taxes as well as maintenance and utility expenses on top of the rent.
Do your homework: Most landlords will not guarantee that the rented premises are suitable for the type of business you are planning to run. The lease may permit you to run “an auto body repair business” or more broadly a “car repair business” but not other businesses. However, this is not a guarantee that the city or county will permit you to run an auto body or any auto repair business in the rented location. You must check city and county records to determine whether the landlord has received any notices or warnings related to the property and talk to the zoning officials. An auto body repair use that was permitted 20 years ago may no longer be permitted today. Prior body repair shops at the premises may have been granted an exception (been “grandfathered in”) and this exception may not extend to you. Do not assume anything and whenever possible make the lease contingent on your business obtaining a use permit for your auto body repair business. You may be taking the premises “as is”: Most of the time the owner will give you the rented premises “as is” meaning that they are not making any guarantees or warranting about the condition of the premises. Other leases may provide for a very limited warranty meaning that the landlord will fix certain problems but only if they are reported within 30 or 60 days from the beginning of the lease. Most auto body repair businesses may not look like palaces but the structural condition of the leased premises does matter. Have a good contractor inspect the premises you want to rent before committing to the lease and either get the landlord to commit in writing to fix items at the landlord’s expense or agree to fix the items yourself but ask for a rent credit. Common problems include cracking foundation, damaged walls, leaking roof, non-functioning HVAC, and lack of compliance with See Commercial Leases, Page 60
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 55
Hey Toby! with Toby Chess
Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Welding specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his charitable works, worthy causes, and magic tricks. He can be reached at email@example.com
Confusion over Certified Parts at CIC This July I did a presentation at the my stomach. The entire inside of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) reinforcement was filled with rust. I in Salt Lake City on the need for OEM included this part in my demonstradata prior to estimating and repairing tion. today’s cars. I also included some adIn my presentation, I never menditional discussion and presented extioned CAPA or NSF, but a member amples of bumper reinforcements. I of the audience stated that the front received a letter from a CAPA bumper from Diamond Standard was with David McClune spokesperson stating that my demoncertified and I corrected my statestration “caused members of the colliment. I also thanked the Automotive sion repair industry to believe, Body Parts Association (ABPA) for mistakenly, that the part used in your the effort in making sure that the parts demonstration was CAPA-certified.” they sell can be traced. I think that is I think that it is important that I give important for you to see what I prereaders an accurate account of what sented so you can understand why I really happened. I want to make this made this subject matter part of my clear. I am not against the use of qualpresentation. ity aftermarket parts in the collision Let’s look at the Diamond Standard repair process, with but I am very much and OE front bumper reinforcements. John Yoswick against being told to use substandard parts and then assuming all of the risks for their use. A couple of months ago, a shop in the Midwest received an estimate from a major insurance company calling for a certified front bumper I proceeded to take a piece of reinforcement for a 2008 Hyundai metal out of both parts to check the Sonata. The shop had ordered from metal strength with a metal analyzer the A/M supplier a certified front- from Europe (Bor-On). bumper reinforcement, but they rewith Richard Steffen ceived a non certified front bumper reinforcement. The shop’s tech did the right thing—he compared the damaged OE part to the A/M part and showed it to the owner. The was a considerable weight difference beThe Diamond Standard part had tween the two parts. He ordered an a reading of 36.1 which translate to OE part and sent the A/M part to me. Ultra High Strength Steel. I purchased a new part and compared them. I found that A/M was not like, kind and quality. About the with John Yoswick same time, I received a bumper reinforcement made by Diamond Standard for a 2003 to 2008 Toyota Corolla that was certified by NSF. The reading of the OE part was Again, I compared the two. This 48.1 which translates to Ultra High was an OE part and it was extremely Strength Steel. Both parts were ultra difficult to distinguish between the high strength steel, but the OE part two parts. I thought that it was nec- had a higher strength. Also the OE had essary to ship both sets of bumpers a series of ribs stamped into back side reinforcements to the CIC audience, whereas the A/M did not. I put both so I sent all four parts to Salt Lake parts on a table at the CIC meeting withboxing Karyn City. While I was upHendricks the and asked the audience to look at them parts, I had an A/M reinforcement and select the OE part. About half of sitting outside for the past year (I the people misidentified the A/M part live in LA and we do not get much as the OE. A shop owner, who sits of rain) and I decided to throw it away. the CAPA technical committee, told I cut it in half and what I saw turned me that the OE part was not an origi-
nal equipment part, but a replacement part and I should not be calling it an OE part (the only OE part comes on the car). The letter I received from CAPA states the “CAPA has yet to see any reinforcement bars or bumper parts that meet CAPA certification standards.” A representative from a OE manufacturer stated that the OE high strength was probably needed to pass the fed-
California Autobody Association
eral safety crash standards. Let’s look at the A/M reinforcement with the rust. The part had some sort of finish on the inside end of the rail, but bare steel on the rest of the inside of the rail. I asked a CIC participant “what does rust do to the part?” His response was that the part was weak-
Year in Quotes
ened. You don’t have to be an engineer to understand that if the strength of the steel has deteriorted, it See Certified Parts Confusion, Page 59
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Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance technical writer from Wilmington, Delaware, who works in a variety of fields and subjects, but grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
NACE/CARS Receiving Renewed Enthusiasm from East Coast Shops with Chasidy Rae Sisk
is a more family-friendly environment For the first time since 2003, the NACE expo will be held somewhere than Las Vegas, and therefore more other than Las Vegas. October with From Chasidy Rae likely Siskto attract attendees who can cor5-8, 2011, NACE will take place at the relate the trip to the expo with a famOrange County Convention Center in ily vacation to Florida. His absence from NACE in the past has often been Orlando, FL. As of July, attendee regdue to the distance between Maine istration for 2011 surpassed double the and Las Vegas, and he likes the idea registration of 2010, a fact largely attributed to the new east-coast location. of toggling the location between the Kathleen Moyer of Rex’s Body east and west coasts. Mike Morgan of Mike’s Paint Shop and Garage Inc. in Vincennes, IN is very excited that NACE is being held and Body in Crawfordville, FL also in a new location in 2011 and hopes approves of the new location. He last attended NACE in 2003 with his son, they continue alternating locations. Luckily, this is what NACE has but in prior years, he took his emannounced they intend to do, rotating ployees and their families when the expo was held closer to home, such as the expo to different locations around Orlando, New Orleans and Atlanta, the country in upcoming years in because it “was a great morale booster order to attract new attendees. Though he and his wife attend for the shop.” Now, he hopes SEMA will follow NACE’s example of alterNACE every other year, Shawn H. nating locations. Moody of Moody’s Collision Centers Shawn H. Moody also finds in Maine is also happy for the change SEMA fascinating to attend when it of scenery, pointing out that Orlando
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runs concurrently with NACE, but he feels NACE has made a wise decision by not competing with SEMA because “we need to keep our industry focused”. He is currently completing his newest facility and needs to “tool up”. He is particularly anticipating the exhibits about frame machines, CCC, measuring and resistance welders. Kathleen Moyer also prefers the separation of the two events, and she is eager to see the new products in the industry, particularly in the computer line, as she likes to keep her shop thoroughly stocked and up-to-date with the newest and most effective technology. Audra Fordin of Great Bear Auto in Flushing, NY will be attending NACE for the first time this October. She is excited to see what new technology is available or will be soon to “make the auto body shop run more smoothly with less footprint on the environment and to work on an auto body program with the Girl Scouts of America”. When discussing what NACE could do to attract new attendees, Shawn H. Moody believes NACE has made two critical decisions that, if continued, will have a positive effect on attendance: “having NACE the first week of October is perfect timing…November is too late” as well as no longer competing with SEMA. He does suggest “if you really want to restore attendance, you need to lower exhibitor costs and also bring the paint manufacturers back.” Mike Morgan contributes “there should be a national discussion on how to fairly set labor rates by some
independent entity agreed upon by all”. Overall, most auto body shop owners that do not plan to attend cite distance and cost as a reason, as well as the implicit cost of time away from their business. Domenico Nigro of Nigro’s Auto Body in Philadelphia, PA states “I think NACE would be a wonderful and worthwhile trip for my body shop business. Unfortunately, I just cannot get away from my shop for that length of time, nor do I have anyone that I can spare. This pains me because I know how helpful NACE could be.” The NACE expo is a portion of Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW) which includes the International Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE) and the Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS). ASRW is widely considered the industry’s leading event. In 2011, it will include over eighty educational sessions as well as exhibits showcasing products, services and on-floor competitions. The ASA Marketplace will showcase current car technology. Participants in NACE include BASF, DuPont and many other well-known brands. Kathleen Moyer plans to attend the expo with two employees in 2011. She has been in the auto body industry for 37 years and has attended NACE every year since the expo began. Moyer finds NACE extremely educational and claims “I’m going to try to attend as many years as I can.” Shawn H. Moody’s opinion is “We’re in the Collision Repair business so for us, the choice is clear, and it’s NACE. The educational component of NACE alone make it worth attending.”
LKQ Corporation Reports 23% Increased 2nd Qtr, Record Reveue
LKQ Corporation reported a 23 percent increase in second quarter income to $46.7 million on record revenue of $759.7 million, a 29 percent increase over the second quarter 2010. “All of the operating groups performed well during the quarter,” stated Robert Wagman, President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of LKQ Corporation. “Alternative parts usage
continues to grow, our fill rates are at historical highs, and we continue to see strong insurance support,” Wagman said.
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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS 57
Continued from Page 52
Battle for Profitability
tory welds of the front hinge pillar body. Note: Record the number and loca-
procedures, identification of material types, recommended refinish materials, removal and installation procedures. Always refer to the vehicle manufacturer for questions relating to applicable or non-applicable warranty repair information. Removal Procedure Warning: Sectioning should be performed only in the recommended areas. Failure to do so may compromise the structural integrity of the vehicle and cause personal injury if the vehicle is in a collision.
The body side outer panels are available in one-piece side frames. You can perform any one of these replacement procedures separately or in any combination, depending upon the extent of damage to the vehicle. Sectioning must take place in specified areas only. Stay away from the door and window opening radius areas. Perform sectioning only in straight areas of the openings.
1. Disable the SIR system. 2. Disconnect the negative battery cable 3. Remove all related panels and components. 4. Repair as much of the damaged area as possible. 5. Remove the sealers and anti-corrosion materials from the repair area, as necessary. Note: Sectioning can be done anywhere in the straight area along the rocker panel. 6. On the “A” Pillar Measure down 100 mm from the door wiring conduit hole lower edge (1). Mark this cut location on the front hinge pillar (2). Mark a cut location in the straight area on the rocker panel (3) (Figure 1). 7. Cut the front hinge pillar body
where sectioning is to be performed (1) (Figure 2). 8. Locate and mark all the necessary fac-
8. Fit the backing plates halfway into the sectioning joints, 25 mm (1 in) at the “A pillar” area and 50 mm (2 in) at the rocker panel areas. Clamp the plates in place, and plug weld to the section joint. 9. Position the outer front pillar to the vehicle using 3-dimensional measuring equipment (1) (Figure 5). Clamp the pillar in place.
tion of welds for installation of the service assembly. 9. Drill out all factory welds (1) (Figure 3). 10. Remove the damaged front hinge pillar body. Installation Procedure
1. Cut the replacement hinge pillar in corresponding locations to fit the vehicle (1) (Figure 4). The panel should be trimmed to allow a gap 1 1/2 the metal thickness at the sectioning location. 2. Create a 50 mm (2 in) backing plate from the unused portion of the service
10. Plug weld accordingly (1) (Figure 6). 11. Stitch weld the butt weld locations (2) (Figure 6). 12. To create a solid weld with minimum heat distortion, make a 25 mm (1 in) stitch weld along the seam with gaps of 25 mm (1 in). Go back and complete the stitch weld. 13. Clean and prepare all of the welded surfaces. 14. Apply the sealers and anti-corrosion
materials to the repair area, as necessary. 15. Paint the repaired area. 16. Install all of the related panels and components. 17. Connect the negative battery cable. 18. Enable the SIR system.
NOTE: This repair/service procedure is excerpted from information published by the vehicle manufacturer, and intended for the purpose of promoting OE collision repair information to trained, professional technicians with the knowledge, tools and equipment to do the job properly and safely. Before attempting the repair described, refer to the complete article in ALLDATA Collision S3500. It is recommended that this procedure not be performed by “do-it-yourselfers.” tC 2011
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part for the “A” pillar area. 3. Create a 100 mm (4 in) backing plate from the unused portion of the service part for the rocker area. 4. Trim the backing plates as necessary to fit behind the panel at the sectioning joint. 5. Drill 8 mm (5/16 in) plug weld holes along the sectioning area in the service part, and at the locations noted from the original panel. 6. Prepare all mating surfaces as necessary. 7. Apply 3MTM Weld-Thru Coating P/N 05916 or equivalent to all mating surfaces.
58 SEPTEMBER 2011 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
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Continued from Page 56
Certified Parts Confusion
will perform in different way. The strength category of this steel was high strength-low alloy (slightly higher in strength than mild steel), where as the OE part was ultra high strength steel. Let’s look at the A/M Hyundai Sonata Reinforcement.
The OE part is on the top and A/M is on the bottom. I asked another CIC participant to feel the weight difference, which was considerable, and she picked the OE because it was heavier. I compared the thickness of
Continued from Page 54
erenced above. If I-CAR wants their
both parts and you can see that there was a significant difference. My question to everyone is this— If the OEMs can make a part that will meet safety standards with a lesser strength material, don’t you think that they would? As the strength of the steel increases, so does the cost. You be the judge. I have a few more questions— Why do repairers have to be the beta testers for these substandard parts? Are the repairers being compensated for their time and expense in testing these parts? Are repairers being penalized for greater cycle times for installing the parts, taking off the parts, sending the parts back and ordering different parts? I have been told by a number of shops that a particular national insurer will not allow a shop to substitute an OE part for the aftermarket part even though the OE has priced matched the aftermarket price. WHY? What can repairers do?
training to be the accepted training, they need to work with the trade associations that work hard educate, assist and speak for their members. If the
Aftermarket—.93MM / High Strength Steel
Aftermarket—27.7 / High Strength Steel
OE—1.42MM / Ultra High Strength Steel
Next month, you will be able to post on Facebook-type blog any aftermarket or OE parts that do not fit, have poor quality or are not of like, kind, and quality. You are probably already taking pictures of these
cost of I-CAR training could be reduced as the result of the increase in volume through trade association participation, it would be a win, win for
OE—40.7 / Ultra High Strength Steel
parts, so it will be a snap to add them to the blog page. More to come in the next issue of Autobody News.
all. Once again, I encourage I-CAR to consider and act on the opportunity recently offered by the numerous trade associations referenced above.
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ADA (lack of handicapped access). These issues can be very pricy to fix.
You may have to fix everything: Most commercial leases place the burden of fixing the premises mostly or entirely on the tenant. You may be obligated to fix all problems with the premises if the landlord does not provide a warranty or the warranty expires, and the lease makes fixing all problems at the premises your responsibility. Read the commercial lease carefully to determine whether the landlord is taking any responsibility for repairs and whether or not these responsibilities expire shortly after the lease begins. Negotiate so that the landlord agrees to fix any problems
with the roof, walls, foundation, and the parking lot throughout the duration of the lease.
Get a shorter lease with options: Try to avoid signing a long term lease unless you are absolutely sure that you can get the same length of lease with a shorter initial term followed by several options. A 10 year lease is not as good as a 5 year lease with an option for another 5 year extension or a 3 year lease with two 3 year extensions. Options give you flexibility because near the end of the term you can choose to either exercise the option or to let the lease expire and move to another location. Use CPI index for rent increases: If possible don’t tie the annual rental increases to a fixed percentage per year unless the fixed annual rent increase is less than 3% per year. A low initial rent
may grow significantly over time if the rental increases each year outpace inflation. It is advisable to tie the rental increases to the local Consumer Price Index that tracks the actual inflation in your area. This means that the rent will track inflation and therefore remain constant in today’s dollars. Good attorneys are useful: A good attorney, like a good doctor or car mechanic, can be your best friend. It is always advisable to consult an attorney before signing any significant contract and this is especially true for a commercial lease. Anyone who has gone to court over a written contract will confirm the old saying that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. No matter how hard you negotiate you may still sign a commercial lease that favors the landlord. However, given today’s poor economy and
high vacancy rates, you owe it to yourself to get the best deal possible not just on the rent but on the entire lease. Martin Zurada regularly advises and litigates on behalf of California auto body repair businesses. Please contact him at: Zurada Law Group 785 Market Street, 16th Floor San Francisco, CA 94103 (415) 637-8483 www.SFLawyer360.com m.zurada@sflawyer 360.com
Please remember — this article only provides general legal information but not legal advice. You should consult a lawyer who will provide you with legal advice by applying the specific laws in your state to your specific factual circumstances.
Use of Black Boxes in Vehicles Increased Over the Last Decade Though event data recorders (EDR) have been around since the 1970s, the number of vehicles equipped with the devices, also known as black boxes, has increased over the last decade. While data recorded on an EDR can greatly enhance an auto accident investigation and subsequent liability determination, privacy, data retrieval, and even spoliation issues still need to be addressed, according to W. Scott Palmer, president and chief executive officer of Injury Sciences LLC in San Antonio, TX. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that as of 2008, 65-90 percent of the vehicles manufactured today have EDRs. Despite this, the data is not consistently available to third parties. According to Palmer, the Bosch technology crash data retrieval unit is one that offers consumers this option because the unit can plug into a variety of makes and modules. “For example, the Bosch unit can download data from GMs, Fords, Chryslers, and Toyotas. There are other manufacturers that have EDRs but the data is not available to third parties yet. Those manufacturers are able to use their own special tools to plug into the vehicle and download the data,” said Palmer, who has 20 years of experience in the forensic evaluation of auto accidents. In 2006, NHTSA started requiring that 2013 vehicle models equipped with black boxes must capture the
same data in the same format. In addition, NHTSA mandated the availability of a commercial tool to access the data. Palmer said that while the location of EDRs varies by manufacturer; in most cars, the EDR is located under the driver’s seat and is wired to various other parts of the vehicle, like the air bag. That’s because the primary purpose of the EDR is to trigger the airbag in the event of accident.
Type of Data Recorded The type of data recorded also varies by manufacturer and even by model. As a result, NHTSA mandates that all vehicles that capture and record data must have minimal data sets recorded and available to third parties. “That really applies to all 2013 model year vehicles, but since you can get a 2013 model year late in…the preceding year, that’s when the law goes into effect,” said Palmer. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) lists the data required to be recorded by EDRs as of 2013. The list includes: ●Change in forward crash speed ●Maximum change in forward crash speed ●Time from beginning of crash at which the maximum change in forward crash speed occurs ●Vehicle speed prior to impact ●Percentage of engine throttle, percentage full (how far the accelerator pedal was pressed)
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●Whether or not brake was applied ●Ignition cycle (number of power cycles applied to the EDR) at the time of the crash ●Ignition cycle (number of power cycles applied to the EDR) when the EDR data were downloaded ●Whether or not driver was using safety belt ●Whether or not frontal airbag warning lamp was on ●Driver frontal airbag deployment: time to deploy for a single stage airbag, or time to first stage deployment for a multistage airbag ●Right front passenger frontal airbag deployment: time to deploy for a single stage airbag, or time to first stage deployment for a multistage airbag ●Number of crash events ●Time between first two crash events, if applicable ●Whether or not the EDR completed recording “Now, the misnomer is that these event data recorders are tracking driving behaviors and patterns,” said Palmer. “That couldn’t be further from the truth. What these technologies are capturing is accident-related data.” There are two ways to access the data. One is a plug-in port, which is a standard connecting plug that’s typically located under the steering wheel of the vehicle. “If the vehicle post-accident has power you can download the data by plugging into that port,” Palmer said. “If the vehicle does not have power, you have to directly plug
into the event data recorder itself, usually.” The EDR does not need to be in the vehicle in order to download the information. Privacy Issues Given the number of vehicles on the road already equipped with EDRs, there is a good chance that at least one of the vehicles involved in an accident will have recorded accident data. “In a two car collision there’s almost a certainty that one of the vehicles is going to have downloadable data,” said Palmer. “Given the laws of physics, if you know the kind of information that we’ve talked about that’s downloaded from one vehicle, you can calculate a lot of the similar information for the other vehicle.” With any collection of personal information comes a privacy concern. That’s where state government has stepped in and enacted procedural guidelines for extracting the data. Thirteen states—Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington – have already enacted legislation that requires obtaining the vehicle owner’s permission in order to download the data. Palmer advises that an auto carrier should be concerned with two primary issues relating to data collected by EDRs: the applicable state legislaSee Black Boxes, Page 62
Rich Evans is the owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks and an award winning painter and fabricator. He offers workshops in repair and customization at his facility to share his unique talents. For contacts and design samples visit www.huntingtonbeachbodyworks.com
This Year’s Entry for the SEMA Pinewood Derby 2011 with Rich Evans
On Creative Marketing with Thomas Franklin
Specially crafted, uniquely designed pinewood cars, built by a talented class of hot rodders, are featured in the HRIA Builders Challenge race held on July 29 in Long Beach, CA. These creations will be on display at the SEMA Show before being placed on eBay for auction.
Some readers will remember that last year I built a Pinewood Derby model car, raced it at SEMA, and took second place. I told myself last year that this year I was going to really stay withPinewood Dick Strom within the traditional Derby build using a single block of wood. A ‘Celebrity Pinewood Derby’ build is what they were calling it. It’s all about
having fun and auctioning off the cars to benefit Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp. I’m all about charities and fundraising and whatever I can do to give back. This year I decided to get creative and came up with a pretty cool design. There are rules in Pinewood Derby racing and building and so “maximum weight limit of this car cannot exceed 24 ounces, overall length shall not exceed 8˝ , overall width of the car shall not exceed 2.75˝ including wheels. The car must have approximately 3/8˝
clearance underneath the body of the You know, kind of create my own car, the car must have 4 wheels, all body and have fun with it, utilize that cars must display at least one HRIA complete piece of wood. decal on the car.” Obviously the piece of wood itThe organizers provide a basic self doesn’t weigh 24 oz. so I’m going pinewood car kit including a block of to add lead underneath the car. I carved wood, 4 wheels, and two axles. “The it out and melt the lead into it and get only required component is a piece of it to where I’m at about 23 ounces, the wood block which must be visible leaving about an ounce for the paint, on the car. You are not required to use additional hardware, and wheels. I’m any wheels or axles provided. Any going come as close to that 24 oz. as I materials may be used for the body of can. If I go over 24 ounces I can alyour car.” So that’s cool, but for me, ways drill some weight out. For the for a Pinewood derby build, I want to capsule I’m going to take half of a stay traditional and use a hand tool to deep sea fishing weight cut in half. carve it out. To me that’s the fun of I sanded it down and used a building a pinewood derby car. 08115 body panel adhesive, which Last year I lost by like one inch, sticks to wood, plastic, metal, aluso I’ve got this crazy idea that I’m minum, lead, anything. It has a 24going to bring. I’m sure I’m going to hour dry period, but you can accelerate raise a lot of commotion on “no, you it with a heat gun. For my headlights, can’t doaffecting this, or can’t doindustry. that” but I I’m going Want to use ato manual antennae to Give us your opinion on matters the Contribute just read the rules and I don’t see anythat collapses (and extends). I found Jr. thing about this. It says no rules (exone with a nice little round knob on it cept the following), so I’ve got this that looks like a chrome headlight. idea where I’m going to have a pair of I’ve got everything carved out, email@example.com publisher@au headlights that extend out. So the I’ve got my antennaes ready to go, I’m whole idea behind that is when I’m up going to go back to the 08115 3M behind the starting gate, the post is panel bond and I’m going to glue busines going to come up in the middle of the those antennaesPromote in. I run your that panel car and I’m already going to have a 6 bond around thean lead so it fills inarticle some fe exclusive inch lead. of the gaps. Then your I sand products it with 80 grit, or ser So I’m going To to advertise use the old and give it a good 3 or 4 coats of my The source for timely call Joe Momber at: information that every school way of building this, I’m going preferred PCL Primer. I let it dry, then to bring this car800-699-8251 all the way up to 24 guide coat it, sand it with some 150 body shop needs! ounces, as it is laid out in the rules. So grit, re-guide coat it, and hit it with e-mail: what I’m firstname.lastname@example.org doing is carving out the 400 grit dry. ICALL: don’t want any mois- for Joe Momber CALL 800-699-8251basic silhouette of the body, and then ture to get into the wood. Then sealer 800-699-825 to buy myself some lead and base. The PCL Primer I’m using Start Your FREE I’m going www.autobodynews.com weight, and with this car I’m going to is the 901 Poly Prime High Build and Mail Subscription. make it more of a flat, roadster style. I’m shooting that with a SATA spray
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gun with a 1.9 tip. I’m also using a 3M Respirator, I’m not putting on the full paint suit because I’m only painting an 8 inch by 2 inch piece of wood. So, what am I going to do for the wheels? I’ve located some .0937 x .1875
tle more time on the wheels, but right now I’ve got to finish and make sure I have a car to race. So after gluing all the washers together and the bearings in. I’m using a stainless steel rod cut up to make axles about the size of a
x .0937 stainless steel precision bearings. Now I’ve got to hunt down wheels and I’m running out of time because I’m going out of town. I find a washer that this bearing will fit into. I want a bigger wheel so it doesn’t have to turn as much to get moving. I’m using a washer so there’s less drag when the car’s going down the track. The less contact with the track, the less drag you’re going to have. (Think train wheel.) I use the 08115 Panel Bond and glue the bearing in, gluing two washers together. Next year I’ll spend a lit-
nail. I’m need spacers to keep the wheels away from the body so I’m going to use heat-shrink tubing. On the very end I use a Staples’ push pin for a hubcap because they’re chrome. I’m going to glue those in also with the 08115 3M panel bond, and let that dry. Then I’ll have the wheels ready to put on after I’ve completed my paint. After sealing it, I put a black base on it, I’ve got a my Rich Evans logo for brand awareness. It also gives the car a finished look. I’m just going with black, I’m not doing any two-tone or
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tion and the development of data collection procedures.
Spoliation Aspect The data recorded by an EDR may be definitive enough to establish liability in an auto accident claims investigation. If not, Palmer said it will lead the claims adjuster to ask more specific questions while investigating the claim. One caveat is that during the claims process, damaged vehicles get repaired. Sometimes those repairs result in the replacement of the EDR. A discarded EDR isn’t the only spoliation concern. The data contained within an EDR is only temporarily stored, based on the number of times the ignition key is turned on and off. Permission is not needed to save a unit, rather permission is needed to read it. Thus, insurers should think about the type of claim scenarios that would justify collection and preservation of an EDR, according to Palmer. Despite privacy, data retrieval and spoliation issues—the data captured by an EDR will alter current auto accident claims investigation practice.
any heavy graphics. Plain and simple, the car looks cool, it’s coming out the way I want it to. The best features on it are the headlights and the stainless steel washers, just like a poor boy build, but, we’ll see how it performs. The day of the race I’m going to be in Canada so I’m sending a buddy down there to race it. Now I know some people will say “oh, you can’t do that, (with the headlights)” but when there are “no rules, except...” You have to push the limits to come up with a new design for anything. So, this year the Rich Evans entry is going to do it. Next year it might be in the rule books that you can’t, but this year I’m going to innovate. I guarantee next year, if it’s not ruled out, other people will be doing it too. My design philosophy is to pay attention, learn something new, try to better yourself at what you do. Just have fun at what you’re doing. That’s what I do. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small or big project. I’m always taking on a design challenge. I honestly think I’ve never worked a day in my life. I’m just having fun. Mine and other design creations will be on display at the HRIA booth during the 2011 SEMA Show, No-
vember 1–4, in Las Vegas, before being placed on eBay for public auction. All of the proceeds from the auction will go to the Childhelp and Victory Junction Camp children’s charities. So what can be better? Guys look into this, bid on the cars, help these charities out, and we’ll have another article for you next year on this. Hopefully next year... This year I was out of the country to go build a car in five days in Canada. So I was just glad to be able to get this in for a good cause and also take a little time away from real cars and have fun with the Pinewood Derby. Thanks to all my sponsors, I can’t build cars without you: 3M, SATA Guns, HRIA Pinewood builders, and every other builder out there that took time to take this challenge on, thank you. Visit me at Richevansdesigns. com also like my Facebook page Rich Evans Designs if you want to follow my week to week projects. Also visit HuntingtonBeachBodyWorks.com and watch for my new wheels coming out. UPDATE: Rich’s car took 2nd place in the HRIA Builder’s Challenge on July 29. First place went to Street Vizions. Genuine Nissan and Infiniti OEM Wholesale Parts are superbly crafted to strict quality standards. The following dealers proudly stock genuine parts. Call your local distributor today!
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