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AUTOBODY CT / DE / ME / MD / MA / NH / NJ / NY / PA / RI / VT


Vol. 9 / Issue 9 / December 2018

2018 Legislative Roundup in California: It Was a Very Good Year

MSO Seeks Help for Paradise, CA, Auto Body Shop Staff in Wake of Camp Fire

by Ed Attanasio

by John Huetter, Repairer Driven News

There were a lot of proposed bills this year that could have either helped or hurt the collision repair industry in California. But by working hard to support or oppose them, CAA lobbyist Jack Molodanof was able to say it was a productive and successful year, legislatively speaking. “The state legislature adjourned for the year, and the governor finished taking action on many bills,” Molodanof said. “CAA had a very successful legislative year, which

included supporting new laws that require preventative maintenance facilities to be registered with BAR and allowing customer authorizations through text message and other electronic means. CAA was also actively involved in stopping several pieces of legislation, including bills that would have: 1.) allowed insurers to conduct labor rate surveys in a manner skewing results and suppressing market rates; 2.) treated auto repair facilities as debt collectors and 3.) created new tires fees.” Below is a summary of key bills See Legislative Roundup, Page 16

Automakers at OEM Summit Offer Updates on Certified Collision Repair Center Programs by John Yoswick

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ (SCRS) day-long OEM Col-

Nicole Riedel of Subaru said the automaker’s certified shop program will be opening up for independent shop participation

The Paradise, CA, location of the four-shop Collision Pros MSO has been destroyed by the Camp Fire raging in the California Sierra Ne-

lision Repair Technology Summit held in Las Vegas during SEMA included updates from a number of automakers on their collision shop certification programs. Nicole Riedel of Subaru of America, for example, said that independent shops will soon be added to her company’s shop certification program that was launched with dealership shops this past June. “We have a little over 600 retailers across the U.S., and of that, at most one-third have collision centers,” Riedel said. “That’s not nearly See OEM Summit, Page 20

Credit: Collision Pros via Repairer Driven News

vada area. The owner is seeking assistance for his employees’ families.

The industry can help in one of two ways. Collision Pros owner Brian Von Tress has created a GoFundMe page specifically for his team, seeking $30,000. As of Nov. 14 at 4:20 p.m., the shop has raised $30,500. The Collision Industry Foundation, created specifically to help anyone connected to the collision repair ecosystem following disasters, is also in contact with Collision Pros about aid. Unlike GoFundMe donations, contributions to the CIF are tax-deductible and can be used for other businesses too. “I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people who have reached out asking what they can do See MSO Seeks Help, Page 26

11th Circuit Considers Whether to Reinstate Auto Insurance Price-Fixing Claims

ices by agreeing among themselves to pay a preset “market rate” and to enThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the force compliance by “steering” their Eleventh Circuit heard arguments Oct. insureds to businesses that play ball, 23 leveled by a group of auto body re- effectively boycotting other shops. pair shops claiming State Farm InsurIn addition to State Farm, the defendants include Allstate, Progressive, GEICO, Nationwide, USAA, Liberty Mutual and Hartford, among others. Sitting en banc, the judges were considering whether to keep alive multidistrict litigation that was tossed out by a district judge for failure to Mark Shurtleff (left) and John Eaves. Republished with state a claim, then revived by permission. Credit: John Disney, ALM/Daily Report a split panel last year. ance and a host of other national The cases have been combined carriers are conspiring to fix prices. in Florida’s Middle District, and the The plaintiffs say the insurers instant appeals represent five of 14 have conspired to drive down the similar complaints combined in the prices they’re charged for repair servSee Price-Fixing Claims, Page 22 by Greg Land, Daily Report



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CONTENTS REGIONAL A.G. Underwood Announces Arrests Of Clinic

Sisk - The Next Generation Speaks Out on Their Collision Repair Careers. . . . . . . . . 50

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Owner, Doctor, And Attorney For No-Fault

AASP/NJ Donates $1,000 to John Theurer Cancer Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 ABAC Kicks Off Its 2018–2019 Meeting Season . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 ABRA Adds 2nd MD Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 ARANY Convention Brings 40 Yards Together for Education, Networking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Bloomfield, NJ, Woman ‘Conned’ Auto Dealers With Fraud Scheme . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Boston Auto Body Shop Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

NATIONAL 11th Circuit Considers Whether to Reinstate Auto Insurance Price-Fixing Claims . . . . . . . . 1 2018 Legislative Roundup in California: It Was a Very Good Year. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Automakers at OEM Summit Offer Updates on Certified Collision Repair Center Programs . . 1 AutoNation Embarks on New Parts Path . . . . . 70 AutoNation Launches New Theme Vehicle for Breast Cancer Awareness . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Man Burned, Woman Rescued From Parks Township, PA, Auto Body Shop Fire . . . . . . . 32 Mike Anderson and Friends Educate AASP/NJ Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Wantage, NJ, Collision Repair Shop Gains Training Recognition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Anderson - Toyota’s Training Website Offers Free Information for Collision Repairers. . . . 60 Attanasio - Industry Veteran Creates Vintage Wine Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Attanasio - PPG’s Jennifer Jarzembowski Discusses Impact of OEM Certifications . . . 56 Ledoux - The Fabulous ‘50s and Mr. O’Donnell’s Invention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Phillips - 5 Key Steps to Implementing Practical Production Processes . . . . . . . . . . 62 Sisk - CCRE’s Fall Seminar & Convention Teaches Body Shop Owners Another Way of Conducting Business . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Sisk - Dave Luehr Teaches WIN Members How To Develop a WINner’s Mindset . . . . . . 36 Sisk - RDA 2018 IMPACT Performance Conference Breaks Attendance Records . . . . 44

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Matrix Automotive Finishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 62 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

McGovern Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . . . . . 40

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2, 11

Mercedes-Benz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9, 23, 37

Bical Auto Mall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Mercedes-Benz of Atlantic City. . . . . . . . . . . 55

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

Mercedes-Benz of Fort Washington . . . . . . . 55

Cadillac of Mahwah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Mercedes-Benz of Paramus . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

CarcoonAmerica Airflow Systems. . . . . . . . . 19

Mercedes-Benz of West Chester . . . . . . . . . 55

Central Avenue Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . . 34

Mercedes-Benz of Wilmington . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Cherry Hill Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram . . . . . 26

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 71

Chicago Pneumatic Compressors. . . . . . . . . . 6

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

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 72

Collision Equipment Consulting, Inc.. . . . . . . . 6

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . 46-47

Colonial Automotive Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealer . . . . . 70

Criswell Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . . . . . . . 18

Northstar Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Dent Magic Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Nucar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Dominion Sure Seal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Polyvance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 60

Empire Auto Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Priority 1 Automotive Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Equalizer Industries, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

RBL Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Flemington Auto Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Robaina Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Jumps 47% Over Past Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

SATA Dan-Am Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

PPG to Acquire SEM Products, Inc. . . . . . . . . . 32

Fred Beans Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Schultz Ford. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Progressive Corporation’s Appeal Dismissed

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

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

GYS Welding USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes . . . . . 15

Healey Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram . . . . . . . . . 5

Spanesi Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 42-43

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . 69

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 64

Symach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Infiniti of Norwood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Tasca Automotive Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 66

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 67

VIP Honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Launch Tech USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . 73

Lexus Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . 72

Westbury Jeep-Chrysler-Dodge-Ram-SRT . . 21

Long Automotive Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

YesterWreck. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 CIF Elects Scott Walton as New Trustee . . . . . . 66 CREF Receives $100,000 Donation From Allstate Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Fake Recall Notices Get Car Dealers in Trouble With FTC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 IGONC Creates Disaster Relief Fund for Storm-Damaged Body Shops . . . . . . . . . . . 40 IGONC Triangle Chapter Learns About Big Ticket Items . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Mitchell Partners With VeriFacts . . . . . . . . . . . 53


Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and

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

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

Under Pilot Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Accounting for the Non-Financial

Features Fun for Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Maryland, Northern Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode Island,

Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney,

Malouf Chevrolet-Cadillac . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Gerber Opens Shop in Verona, PA . . . . . . . . . . 24

LIABRA’s 17th Annual Golf Outing

Serving New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware,

General Manager: Barbara Davies

Atlantic Hyundai. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

AWAF Workshop Focuses on Finance,

Program To Begin in Washington, DC. . . . . . 10

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst

Acura of Westchester . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Autonomous Vehicles May Hit U.S. Roads

Gerber Opens Shop in Turtle Creek, PA . . . . . . 18

Job Training Partnership With Ford’s AV


Medical Insurance Fraud Scheme . . . . . . . . 28

MSO Seeks Help for Paradise, CA, Auto Body Shop Staff in Wake of Camp Fire . . . . . 1 NABC, Faulker Collision Present Refurbished Vehicle to PA Veteran. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Number of Flooded Cars on the Road

by State Appeals Panel in FL . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 SeaTac, WA, Attempts To Get in Front of Autonomous Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Thieves are Stealing Airbags From New Honda Civics and Accords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Trump’s EPA Rattles Self-Driving Car Industry by Picking ‘Winners and Losers,’ Critics Claim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 WIN Announces Opening of Most Influential Women Nominations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

Lynnes Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 / DECEMBER 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Trump’s EPA Rattles Self-Driving Car Industry by Picking ‘Winners and Losers,’ Critics Claim by Joe Williams, Washington Examiner

Critics are blasting a new Environmental Protection Agency rule that they claim breaks the Trump administration’s commitment not to arbitrarily pick winners and losers in the self-driving car market. Tucked into the EPA’s proposed Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient, or SAFE, Vehicles rule released in August is language that would give companies credit toward emissions standards for producing cars that include vehicle-to-vehicle communication capabilities—technology that allows autonomous cars to exchange speed and position information with each other to prevent accidents. The EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are suggesting that the credit, which might be granted without a requirement for corroborating evidence that the technology reduces carbon dioxide output, be tied to a car’s ability to transmit data using dedicated shortrange communications, or DSRC, which relies upon a specific wireless spectrum to blast out signals. Shortly before President Trump

was sworn into office, the Obama administration released a controversial draft rule mandating that DSRC be used in autonomous cars. The Trump administration reportedly shelved the proposal, and some manufacturers are starting to use cellular communication instead, which proponents argue is more reliable and has a longer range. Companies such as Audi and Ford have embraced the technology and demonstrated it in vehicles earlier this year. Toyota and General Motors, meanwhile, have adopted DSRC, though it’s unclear why that system was chosen by the EPA. Neither manufacturer responded to inquires about whether it had lobbied for the provision. GM, which offered dedicated short-range communications in some 2017 Cadillac sedans, pledged in July to expand it to other vehicles. Other manufacturers such as Tesla and Mercedes-Benz raised concerns over the technology’s security vulnerabilities, however, and critics of the EPA proposal say the Department of Transportation, which encompasses the traffic safety administration and has repeatedly stressed that it would

take a technology-neutral approach to regulating self-driving vehicles, is reneging on its commitment. “If they were to go forward with this, this would violate the [agency’s] pledge to technology neutrality,” Marc Scribner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told the Washington Examiner. “What they are doing is picking technology winners and losers.” That might be happening at the expense of better, safer options. “It creates, inadvertently, technological lock-in,” Ryan Hagemann, senior director for policy at the Niskanen Center, said in an interview. “You are more likely to simply rest on your laurels and default to what the standard is rather than trying to improve on top of it.” Scribner said the provision could also spur other companies to “lobby to try to gain similar favors in the future for their particular technologies” and anger environmentalists who were already critical of the data EPA used to justify credits. “It could wind up putting a big target on the entire program’s back,” he said. The EPA directed inquiries to

Autonomous Vehicles May Hit U.S. Roads Under Pilot Project by Mario L. Major, Interesting Engineering

The U.S. DOT and NHTSA, two key agencies involved in the automotive industry, are both making efforts to be more inclusive of the emerging autonomous car industry.

Credit: Pexels

Autonomous cars, self-driving cars, unmanned cars, driverless cars ... Whatever we choose to name them, they are entering our lives in unprecedented numbers, with almost every major car company in the world dramatically stepping up efforts to enter the market or laying out concrete plans to do so via the ever-effective concept car unveilings. Although it is clear that the industry is on board with developing 4

autonomous vehicle technology, it is equally important to have healthy engagement and support from local governments. For this reason, the recent announcement of an autonomous vehicle pilot program being considered by the Trump Administration is drawing attention. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the powerful agency that serves as the final authority on deciding which vehicles get to hit the roads in the United States, it is behind the initiative. In the report on the program, which calls for collaborative research with the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), the agency indicated the program was developed to understand “how best to foster the safe development and implementation of ADS vehicle technologies on our nation’s roadways.” This move also coincides with the announcement of a new set of vehicle safety ratings. The NHTSA already has in place a clear set of the six levels of driver assistance tech-


nology advancements, which is another endorsement of the technology, but this new program would play a big role in helping reduce some of the technical obstacles (lack of pedals or steering wheels), which seem to place heavier restrictions on automated car use. Agency Support Is Shifting in the U.S. The support, though reserved, of the NHTSA represents a strong official endorsement of the growing influence of autonomous vehicles and more importantly, offers the symbolic meaning of government and industry coming together around this vital technology. It also helps to quiet the critics, lobbyists and various members of government who voice opposition to the vehicles based on concerns about safety. Another positive development is a U.S. DOT-supported effort to simplify the legal frameworks surrounding autonomous vehicles. The U.S. DOT provided an 80-page document titled “Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0.” “The safe integration of automated vehicle technology into our transportation system will increase

the Department of Transportation, which referred inquiries to the traffic safety administration. That organization said it would carefully consider all comments before enacting a final rule. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which counts GM and Toyota as members, also supported DSRC. Executives at the group met with officials from the transportation department, the EPA and the Office of Management and Budget in June to discuss the SAFE Vehicles rule. A spokesman for the group was unaware whether the provision was discussed. “If those types of credits were brought up, they would have played a very minor role in the discussion,” he said in an emailed response to inquiries. While self-driving technology is an unconventional means of reducing toxic emissions from vehicles, it is effective, he added. “The agencies should incentivize the adoption of these technologies and provide for possibly additional credit,” he said. We thank Washington Examiner for reprint permission.

productivity, facilitate freight movement and create new types of jobs,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao. The goal of the program is to (1) provide a framework for communication between industry and the U.S. DOT, (2) identify in greater clarity any existing policy issues and (3) create a blueprint of multi-modal safety that incorporates autonomous vehicles. The agency also makes clear its commitment to overhauling the language it uses in order to create standards that take into account the new technological reality of autonomous vehicles: “U.S. DOT will modernize or eliminate outdated regulations that unnecessarily impede the development of automated vehicles or that do not address critical safety needs. Whenever possible, the department will support the development of voluntary, consensus-based technical standards and approaches that are flexible and adaptable over time.” We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission. / DECEMBER 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Mike Anderson and Friends Educate AASP/NJ Members by Chasidy Rae Sisk

AASP/NJ hosted an educational seminar on Sept. 29 at Gran Centurions in Clark, NJ, with Mike Anderson of Collision Advice and friends. The event was well-attended by association members and non-members who enjoyed the powerful and motivational presentation. Anderson was joined by Dennis Rogers, Strongman World Records and Guinness Book of World Records setter; Ryan Taylor, CEO of Bodyshop Booster; and Brett Steele, regional sales director at Podium. As Anderson explored critical factors to a shop’s success in today’s collision repair industry, he stressed to attendees that it’s imperative to “be the best you every day.” Focusing on the items most important to today’s automotive technicians, Anderson and friends taught attendees which online and mobile tools can be used to improve communication with customers and staff and create a shop that thrives, instead of one that merely survives. Anderson noted, “Your employees will help you thrive, but if they don’t trust you, they won’t help you.” He said employees become dis-

street,” Anderson said. Anderson also pointed out that 36 percent of today’s consumers want to do business after a shop’s hours, so it is vital to use tools that allow customers to communicate with the shop online and schedule an appointment through the company website or a mobile app. Steele then discussed the importance of online reviews and noted that negative reviews can easily be rectified by responding to the review. Doing so proves to future customers that the shop is more concerned about customer service than being right. Collision Advice’s Mike Anderson poses with members Steele shared, “We trust reof AASP/NJ. (l to r Board Member Ted Rainer, Mike views even more than we trust Anderson, Executive Director Charles Bryant and our close friends. Customers President Jerry McNee) are your best sales people. Let Anderson then discussed how them speak for your shop.” While discussing how to effecto utilize online tools to improve a business. He demonstrated what im- tively market a shop to reach the ages a shop’s Yelp and Facebook proper audience, Taylor observed, pages should include as he explained “It doesn’t matter how much money how consumers see these pages when you spend on marketing; if it doesn’t apply to that customer, they will dissearching for a body shop. “Customers want to see what miss it outright.” Because technology is only going your business looks like from the trustful of management when promises are not kept. He suggested that all attendees ask their staff if they ever felt they were steered wrong and if so, how it could be made right.

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6 Ted Dinnella 516-361-9220


to advance as time progresses, Anderson emphasized the value of improving a shop’s WiFi, technology and training in these areas. Projects indicate that 70 percent of estimates will be processed by virtual app or photo by 2020. Rogers’ presentation focused on the concept that everyone has the strength to be whatever they want to be. He performed a series of Strongman demonstrations and shared that he was bullied when he was young because he was so small before discovering that he had an inner strength and cultivating that talent to set records in the “Guinness Book of World Records.” He admitted, “I believed what everyone had told me originally: That I was too small. Too young. We wind up believing we can’t do something when we really can.” As the day concluded, Anderson encouraged attendees to participate in his quarterly “Who Pays for What?” surveys and to attend his free OEM webinars. For more information on AASP /NJ and future events, visit / DECEMBER 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Northeast Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

ARANY Convention Brings 40 Yards Together for Education, Networking On Sept. 27–29, the Automotive Recyclers Association of New York (ARANY) held it 57th Annual Convention and Trade Show at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, NY. This year’s theme was “Working Together, Achieving More.” The association definitely achieved more this year, attracting 40 ARANY yards from all over New York state as well

Friday evening featured ARANY’s Annual Celebration Banquet. (l to r Paul Hand, Randy Howard, Daniel Marks, Casey Cornell and Eric Wilbert)

as Canada, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island. The goal of the annual event is to provide attendees with “the latest information related to automotive recycling, hold the Annual Business Meeting for the association and elect the new officers. There were also ample opportunities to engage with supporters and celebrate the industry,” shared Dan Marks, president of ARANY. Thursday’s networking activities included a golf outing during the day, followed by the evening’s welcome/ kick-off party at Wilbert’s Lakeside. Friday morning featured the 5th Annual Summit for Automotive Recycling Leaders. Marks noted, “In a moderated forum, we discussed and debated several topics affecting the automotive recycling industry, including credit card fraud, the Wayfair Decision and environmental regulations. The Summit is especially important, as it allows attendees to share what is going on in their yard [and] their state and how best to tackle the problem 8

with a room full of industry experts.” During lunch, ARANY held its Annual Membership Meeting and the election of officers. The afternoon’s educational offerings were “Improving Your Bottom Line with URG Technologies,” “NYS Updates” with David Vitale from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, “Active Shooter – What Would You Do?,” “Yank That Bag,” and “Get More from Your Bottom Line.” The trade show floor was open from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. and featured a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. The evening proceeded with the annual celebration banquet and auction. Following the auction, the annual raffle winner was selected and given the chance to choose from a Polaris Razor 900S, two Polaris 570 four-wheelers and $10,000 in cash. The evening concluded with an after-hours party on the hotel rooftop. Saturday began with breakfast, followed by the morning keynote presentation “The Ins and Outs of Managing Four Generations in the Workforce” with Jeff Butler. The trade show was again open from 10 a.m. until noon.

Plenty of networking opportunities were available during ARANY’s 57th Annual Convention and Trade Show

Educational seminars available on Saturday morning included “HR – Hot Topics/Trends,” “Understanding How to Get the Most for Your Converters: Selling by Number and Grade v. Toll Refining/Clarifying Terms Agreements,” “Sales,” “FMLA and NYS Paid Family Leave,” “Automotive Recycler Sales Panel,” and “Powerlink™: Evolving to Meet the Needs of Tomorrow.” Lunch featured entertainment from comedian Sky


Sands, and the trade show reopened from 2–4 p.m. According to Marks, “It is important for the association to hold

fering training for members and their employees and an opportunity to be exposed to companies that support the industry.” Although the association was hoping for more involvement with this year’s show, Marks remains optimistic. “It has only given us a stronger reason to advocate for our next Convention & Trade Show being held in Albany, NY!” he said. ARANY’s 2019 Convention and Trade Show will ARANY’s golf outing kicked off the convention’s festivities take place at the Albany Capon Thursday afternoon ital Center from Sept.19–21, this annual event, as well as smaller 2019. events throughout the year, for our For more information, visit arany members to bring everyone together. .com. For the latest updates on everyAt the annual meeting, we conduct thing the association has planned, business for the association and cel- follow ARANY on Facebook by ebrate the profession while also of- searching Autorecyclersny. / DECEMBER 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Job Training Partnership With Ford’s AV Program To Begin in Washington, DC On Oct. 22, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Sherif Marakby, CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, announced a new partnership between Ford and the DC Infrastructure Academy to train DC residents for jobs and careers in the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry. In February, the Bowser Administration announced efforts to explore an AV program by establishing the Interagency AV Working Group, proactively preparing the District for AV technologies and working to ensure that advances benefit District residents and visitors. In announcing that they had chosen Washington, DC as their second city to set up a self-driving business, Ford highlighted the District’s commitment to safety and equity. “As Washington, DC continues to grow, we remain committed to exploring innovative approaches to mobility, connecting residents to job opportunities in our thriving technology scene and building a safer, stronger DC,” said Mayor Bowser. “Through this partnership with Ford, we can ensure that as self-driving technology advances, we’re introducing it in a way that works for our com-


munity and our residents.” Through the partnership with the DC Infrastructure Academy, Ford and Argo AI, an artificial intelligence company, will train District residents for jobs in testing and operating autonomous vehicles. Vehicle operators will learn about the underlying technology and provide detailed feedback to engineering teams on vehicle per-

city working with Mayor Bowser and also the Infrastructure Academy to grow the local talent to support a new self-driving industry.” Going forward, Ford will work closely with the District to design a commercial service that continues to improve transportation equity in Washington, DC. With Argo AI, Ford will conduct business pilot programs

formance. Additionally, Ford will work with area dealerships, the DC Infrastructure Academy and Excel Automotive to prepare DC residents for in-demand auto technician jobs. “As the capital of the free world, DC is a showcase for the city and nation’s leadership in self-driving technology and how we can use these technologies to better serve people,” said Marakby. “This year, and into 2019, we will build the backbone of a self-driving vehicle business in this

to understand how self-driving vehicles can enable an improved customer experience, which includes increasing the affordability of ride hailing services and expanding delivery options available to local and small businesses. Ford and Argo AI will have a terminal in Ward 5 where their vehicle operations will be managed and will develop AV technology across all eight wards. Established by the Bowser Administration, the Interagency AV

“Through this partnership with Ford, we can ensure that as self-driving technology advances, we’re introducing it in a way that works for our community and our residents.” — Mayor Bowser


Working Group—composed of DC Government agencies focused on transportation, disability rights, environmental issues, and public safety— has been developing guiding principles for the District to maximize benefits and proactively address challenges. The core principles are: • Safety – reduce driver, passenger and pedestrian injuries and fatalities and protect consumer data • Equity – improve access across geographies and populations and improve accessibility • Efficiency – reduce the inefficiencies and negative externalities of congestion, reduce costs, reduce pollution and improve movement • Sustainability – improve environmental impacts, increase financially sustainability and adapt to changes

Operated by the Department of Employment Services, the DC Infrastructure Academy offers high-quality, specialized training and programs in green technology, automotive skills, construction and more. To learn more about the academy, visit: service/dc-infrastructure-academy.

LIABRA’s 17th Annual Golf Outing Features Fun for Members

The day began at 10 a.m. as volunteers welcomed more than 100 On Sept. 12, the Long Island Auto golfers who enjoyed brunch and had Body Repairmen’s Association an opportunity to warm up on the (LIABRA) hosted its 17th Annual practice green and driving range. The Golf Outing at the Baiting Hollow day’s forecast indicated it would be Golf and Country Club in Baiting 75 degrees with intermittent light showers. The scramble golf outing Hollow, NY. kicked off at noon with a shotgun start, but within an hour, a thunderstorm forced players to take shelter. Although continued storms prevented the round of golf from continuing, attendees continued the day’s festivities, moving directly into the cocktail hour. A practice mat was set up on the patio behind the clubhouse for a LIABRA members enjoyed a fun day of golf at the Baiting chipping contest, which Hollow Golf and Country Club on Sept. 12 was won by George of A to Z Autobody. In another According to LIABRA Execu- activity, attendees paid to write their tive Director Ed Kizenberger, “This name on a card from a deck that was is a great opportunity to have a fun circulated among the group. Once all day, get out of your shop, enjoy the cards were sold, a random winner was fresh air and sunshine as well as the selected from the deck. Volunteers company of your friends and fellow Debra Parente, Celeste Kizenberger, Flo Pratt and Alex Kizenshop owners.”

by Chasidy Rae Sisk

berger sold raffle tickets during the afternoon. This year’s buffet dinner included a popular sushi station. After dinner, Kizenberger began the raffle drawings for hundreds of prizes donated by Donaldson’s Subaru and Single Source, plus a 32-inch Toshiba television provided by LIABRA. The grand prize was a four-day, threenight golf outing for four to Myrtle Beach, SC, donated by Donaldson’s

LIABRA Executive Director Ed Kizenberger calls out the winner of one of the event’s hundreds of raffle prizes

Subaru and won by Mike Murphy of Selden Autobody. LIABRA is grateful to all the players, sponsors and volunteers who made this year’s golf outing another success. The association is particu-

larly thankful to Golf Committee Chair Paul O’Connell for his tireless efforts. Proceeds from the event benefit LIABRA and its efforts to improve conditions for the auto body industry in Long Island. LIABRA will not hold an October meeting, but the association reminded members that New York passed legislation pertaining to annual workplace harassment training requirements that went into effect on Oct. 9 and requires all employees to receive training by the end of the year. Information is available at files/atoms/files/StandardsSexual HarassmentPreventionPolicies.pdf LIABRA’s next meeting will be held on Nov. 13 at Eagle Chevrolet in Riverhead, NY, and will feature a three-hour GM structural collision repair seminar focused on repairing and replacing structural components on GM vehicles. The clinic will cover three relevant topics: measuring, cutting and welding as well as how each area relates to the repair’s performance. For more information about LIABRA, visit / DECEMBER 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Northeast Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

ABAC Kicks Off Its 2018–2019 Meeting Season On Sept. 11, the Auto Body Association of Connecticut (ABAC) kicked off its 2018–2019 meeting season at Seasons in East Haven, CT. The well-attended event featured educational information from FCA and a presentation by Tony Lombardozzi, president of Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence and co-founder of Superare Marketing. After recognizing meeting sponsors, ABAC President Bob Amendola welcomed attendees. “I’d like to thank everyone that took the time to attend tonight and everyone that is part of this great association as we try to move forward to make everything better for our industry,” Amendola said. “Our goal is

ABAC President Bob Amendola welcomed attendees to the first meeting since his induction

to educate and make sure that everyone can move in a positive direction for their business. There have been many great people that have been at the helm of this association, and I hope to be one of them.” Before getting down to business, the group observed a moment of silence to reflect upon the events of 9/11 and honor the memories of those who were lost. Amendola noted that ABAC plans to offer additional seminars in 2018–2019 throughout the state to educate ABAC members about daily situations they encounter in their businesses. He then read the anti-trust statement and recognized new ABAC members and ABAC news advertisers. Next, Amendola introduced Lombardozzi, who acknowledged special guest Lucky Papageorg, executive director of AASP/MA, before discussing the 2018 CCRE seminar that was held in Atlanta, GA, on Sept. 12

28–29, 2018 (see this issue for indepth information about this informative seminar).

CCRE President Tony Lombardozzi provided a synopsis of the CCRE seminar in Atlanta and stressed the importance of attending

After dinner, Amendola introduced Dan Black, collision repair specialist for the FCA Group, who discussed increased advanced and technical repair requirements, increased tool and equipment requirements, increased business performance accountability and market overcapacity, which results in less available repair volume. Black also discussed the impact of social media and technology influences, industry consolidation, the increased dependency on DRPs to provide work, the importance of satisfying customers and the pressure that shops feel to process claims and repairs faster.

FCA’s Dan Black delivered an informational presentation during ABAC’s Sept. 11 meeting

Black pointed out that manufacturers are concerned about consumers choosing the wrong shop, because a poor repair results in negative brand association. In fact, when a repair goes poorly, 60 percent of consumers trade their vehicle within 12 months, and 62 percent of those individuals switch brands. Poor repairs lead to increased passenger


safety concerns as well as shop liability. FCA believes the solution is owning the customers for life because it offers a competitive advantage. Additionally, Black noted that FCA’s certification process never ends because the manufacturer constantly strives to improve. Black also talked about FCA’s wiTech tool and benefits of using it, the Companion app for Mopar owners, how FCA promotes certified shops, the value of partnering with a dealer, and the pros of OEM certification over DRP relationships with insurers. Attendees learned about Tech Authority, FCA’s increasingly robust technical resource, and Black emphasized the importance of pre- and post-repair scanning and discussed some of the challenges associated with repairing

advanced high-strength steel. His presentation concluded with a detailed look at the 2019 Dodge Ram

ABAC’s Sept. 11 meeting was well-attended as the association kicked off its 2018–2019 meeting season

1500 and the 2018 Jeep Wrangler before he took questions from attendees.

The ABAC is grateful to primary meeting sponsor Bald Hill DCJR & Kia as well as co-sponsor Enterprise Rent-A-Car. For more information about ABAC, visit

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NABC, Faulker Collision Present Refurbished Vehicle to PA Veteran someone who valiantly served our country,” said Bill Garoutte, president and CEO of the NABC. “We are inspired by his commitment to returning to independence, and we thank him for his service. And we thank all of our partners for their generosity and hard work in making this car presentation happen. Together, our industry can make a difference in the communities where we live and do business.” Faulkner Collision and the NABC presented a 2011 Chevrolet Impala to Walton, who served nine On Oct. 18, Justin Walton was presented with a refurbished years in the U.S. Army and Chevrolet Impala as part of NABC’S Recycled Rides program is currently a disabled combat veteran. He comThe donation was made thanks pleted one tour as part of Operation Ento the National Auto Body Council’s during Freedom in Afghanistan from Recycled Rides™ program, Faulkner 2009–2010. He is the proud father of Collision of Lancaster and State four amazing daughters. Through a seFarm. The presentation took place at ries of unfortunate events—some of his the TLC/Veterans’ Victory House own doing, some out of his control— fundraising event at the Eden Resort he found himself homeless and without his daughters. After several years of in Lancaster. “It is an honor to work with our struggling, Walton put himself in Vetcollision repair industry partners to erans’ Court, which set him up with help make a difference in the life of TLC/Veterans’ Victory House. On Thursday, Oct. 18, Lancaster, PA, veteran Justin Walton experienced a life-changing event: the presentation of a car to provide him independence and the ability to work and reunite with his family.



“It’s wonderful to have so many businesses and individuals come together to help this family adjust to life on their own,” said April Lausch of Faulkner Collision Center of Lancaster. “We congratulate Justin on his future and hope this gift of transportation eases his commute and provides many opportunities for his family to continue on the road to independence and self-sufficiency.” TLC, which nominated him for the NABC program, provided Walton a case worker and support team to help him get back on his feet. Today, he is working toward reuniting with his daughters and gaining employment. The gift of reliable transportation will be a major asset in accomplishing both of these goals. Veterans’ Victory House provides temporary housing and supportive services for veterans at TLC’s location at 105 East King St. in Lancaster. The goal of the VVH is to provide veterans experiencing homelessness with an opportunity to develop an individualized housing plan that will enable them to obtain permanent, sustainable housing. In 2016, 79 percent of those leaving the VVH were successfully housed (19 out of 24). VVH has

served over 250 veterans since inception.

This NABC Recycled Rides™ presentation was made possible with partners:

• Faulkner Collision of Lancaster, whose employees volunteered personal time to refurbish the vehicle • State Farm, which donated the 2011 Chevrolet Impala

• TLC and VVH, which nominated the veteran for the NABC Recycled Rides™ gift • Enterprise Rental Car and Colours Inc, which donated gas cards

NABC Recycled Rides™ is a unique program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals and families in need of reliable transportation. Since the inception of the Recycled Rides™ program in 2007, members of the National Auto Body Council have donated 1,800 vehicles valued at more than $24 million. / DECEMBER 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

Legislative Roundup

that CAA worked on this year, along with BAR activity. AB 2276 (Burke). Labor Rate Surveys. Oppose. The bill allows insurers to conduct “alternative labor rate surveys” but eliminates important standards set forth in Department of Insurance regulations that produce consistent, accurate and reliable labor rate survey results and instead allows insurers to skew the results in a manner that would suppress market rates. It died on the Senate floor, but is expected to be reintroduced next year. “This was the biggest bill of the year for CAA and the one we really worked hard to defeat,” Molodanof said. “The insurers were trying to create alternative labor rate surveys, but the way they drafted the bill, it would have led to a whole new set of problems. CAA stepped up and took an active role fighting this one, and that helped to defeat it. This was a reintroduction of a bill from last year, and we’re fairly confident that it will be coming back in one form or another next year, but we’ll be prepared if and when that happens.” AB 2825 (Jones-Sawyer). Debt Collectors. Oppose unless Amended. The bill treats auto repair shops, including body shops, as “debt collectors.” Customer communications would be regulated and would potentially subject shops to strict liability, fines and frivolous lawsuits. Status: The bill died in the Senate Appropriations Committee but is expected to be reintroduced next year. “This one is definitely going to come back next year in some form or another,” Molodanof said. “The bill was very complicated [and] farreaching with many unintended consequences. It would have treated the industry as debt collectors. Auto repair businesses are not debt collectors; they service and repair vehicles for their customers. It’s good that it was defeated because otherwise it would have turned the industry upside down.” AB 3141 (Low). BAR. Support. This bill would include currently exAUTOBODY


empted maintenance service providers under BAR jurisdiction while maintaining oil changers’ business model. The bill also does not require a written estimate for preventative maintenance services as defined, if certain conditions are met. Status: Approved by governor.

“Any company that does even minor services now has to be registered with BAR, which is good for consumers and the automotive industry,” Molodanof said. “We supported this bill because it protects consumers by unifying the automotive maintenance and repair industry in the state under the jurisdiction of BAR while preserving access to cost-effective preventative maintenance services.” AB 2908 (Berman). Tire Regulatory Fee. Oppose. The bill gives CalRecycle the ability to create a new tire fee up to $1, on top of the current $1.75 per tire fee already charged. The bill was amended to allow a tire retailer to separately charge the new fee on the invoice. Status: Vetoed by governor but expected to be reintroduced next year. “CAA opposed the bill because CalRecycle has a surplus, so they don’t need the money,” Molodanof said. “We believe that recycling tires is a good thing and that the current $1.75 per tire is fair; there is no justification for giving CalRecycle the ability to add a new tire fee. CalRecycle should spend its existing money responsibly rather than impose a new tire fee on consumers.” AB 2392 (Santiago). Vehicles: Towing and Storage. Neutral. This bill requires all towing and storage fees to be reasonable and establishes criteria and presumption for reasonable towing and storage fees. Status: Approved by governor.



“This bill was in reaction to the fact that some towing and storage facilities were gouging people,” Molodanof said. “We heard stories where people were illegally parked and their cars [were] towed, and when they went to get them out, it cost $2,000 more, which was ridiculous. We had some concerns with the bill and wanted some amendments made to it, so we were neutral on it, but it did pass.” SB 993 (Hertzberg). Sales Tax: Services. Oppose. This bill is intended to make major tax reforms, including expanding the sales tax to services. A series of hearings on the measure are being planned that will include experts to do a “deeper dive” into the issue of taxing services. Status: The bill is dead for the year but expected to be reintroduced next year. “This one comes back every year, and we continue to oppose it,” Molodanof said. “It died again, but it will be coming back and we will fight it again. If this passed, it would definitely hurt the collision repair industry. Cars that are now repairable would be tipped over into the total loss category and increase the cost of

fixing cars significantly. In California, we used to make things, but now we’re a service industry and they’re losing that tax base as a result. They want to recoup some of that money by taxing services like some other states do, but we fight it every year and will continue to do so.” Electronic Documents and Authorization Approved. The BAR. Support. Electronic estimate and invoice authorization regulations took effect on Sept. 13, 2018. The regulations allow for electronic estimates and authorizations, transmission and storage of repair transaction documents; reorganization of estimate, work order and invoice provisions to more closely align with automotive repair transactions; and clarification of language as necessary. “This is a good thing because now electronic signatures and other electronic communications such as text message from consumers are legal and binding and help streamline the repair process,” Molodanof said. “It’s a faster and more convenient way to get customer authorization, and that’s a big reason why CAA supported it.” / DECEMBER 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Gerber Opens Shop in Turtle Creek, PA

Gerber Collision & Glass recently announced the Oct. 15, 2018 opening of a collision repair location in Turtle Creek, PA.

This center previously operated as Johnny Mock’s FAuto Body Shop, a second-generation business that has served this market since 1952. It has served from the current location since 1981. Turtle Creek is a suburb of Pittsburgh, with an overall metropolitan population of nearly 2.4 million. “This repair center, located nine miles from our Pittsburgh/Prospect Rd. location, will allow us to grow our brand and better assist our insurance clients,” said Tim O’Day, president and COO of Gerber Collision & Glass. “We are pleased to be building Gerber’s presence in Pennsylvania and expanding our capacity to serve our customers in the area.”


AASP/NJ Donates $1,000 to John Theurer Cancer Center the John Theurer Cancer Center. It was quite a humbling experience to On Oct. 3, AASP/NJ President Jerry walk through the facility and see McNee visited John Theurer Can- the type of hope they offer, which cer Center at Hackensack Univer- is a blessing to those in need. The sity Medical Center (HUMC) to state-of-the-art equipment, treatpresent a $1,000 donation from the ment, support and health & wellness programs are truly life-changing,” association. The funds were raised during McNee noted. AASP/NJ has held an annual AASP/NJ’s 2018 Race Night, which fundraiser for the past several years to raise money for the fight against cancer. This year’s recipient was chosen based on its comprehensive program for cancer care. It treats all cancers, including prostate and pancreatic cancers. During his visit, McNee received a tour of the facility and met with Nancy Karole Kennedy, director of development at AASP/NJ President Jerry McNee presents the association’s John Theurer Cancer Center at HUMC, to present $1,000 donation to Nancy Karole Kennedy, director of development at John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack the $1,000 donation. Kennedy shared, “On University Medical Center behalf of the Hackentook place in June 2018 at RPM sack University Medical Center Foundation, I’d like to thank the Raceway in Jersey City. “AASP/NJ is proud to support Alliance of Automotive Service by Chasidy Rae Sisk


Providers of New Jersey for their generous donation in support of cancer research at John Theurer Cancer Center.”

John Theurer Cancer Center is the state’s largest center dedicated to diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screenings, preventative care and survivorship of patients. With 14 specialized divisions covering the complete spectrum of cancer care, the specialized staff provides focused, advanced patient care within the 775-bed, not-for-profit teaching, tertiary care and research hospital. For more information, visit jtcancer For more information on AASP/NJ, visit

Boston Auto Body Shop Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud The owner of a Hyde Park auto body shop pleaded guilty Oct. 15 in federal court in Boston, MA, in connection with preparing false tax returns for his company, Automotive Specialties Inc. Richard Poillucci, 62, of Easton, pleaded guilty to three counts of aiding the preparation of false tax returns. U.S. Senior District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. scheduled sentencing for Jan. 22, 2019. Poillucci was the owner of Automotive Specialties Inc. (ASI), an auto body shop specializing in the repair of high-end vehicles. Between Sept. 30, 2012 and Sept. 30, 2015, Poillucci cashed millions of dollars in checks from the business at check cashing establishments in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and willfully failed to report that income, or expenses that he paid for in cash with the proceeds from those checks, on ASI’s tax returns. As a result, Poillucci failed to report approximately $569,367 to the IRS, thereby avoiding the payment of approximately $215,552 in federal income taxes.

Each of the counts of aiding the preparation of false tax returns provides for a sentence of no greater than three years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.

Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston, made the announcement Oct. 16. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Miron Bloom of Lelling’s Economic Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

Wantage, NJ, Collision Repair Shop Gains Training Recognition Town II Auto Body & Towing recently announced its achievement of Gold Class status, the industry standard for training that contributes to complete and safe repairs. Only 10 percent of collision repair businesses currently meet the rigorous training requirements necessary to earn the Gold Class designation, according to I-CAR, a not-for-profit training organization. The Gold Class designation is awarded by I-CAR, which is dedicated to improving the quality and safety of auto collision repair for the ultimate benefit of consumers. Town II Auto Body & Towing is located at 97 State Route 23 in Wantage, NJ, just north of Hamburg. The business was established by Joseph Pastore in 1956 in Montclair. Town II is run by his son, Tom, and his wife, Tammy. Gold Class shops are required to have every technician involved


in collision repair take training that is specific to their roles. They must continue with ongoing training each year for the business to maintain its Gold Class recognition, including classes in new technology. Today’s vehicles are increasingly sophisticated devices featuring an ever-growing number of components, parts and advanced lightweight materials. The constant introduction of new vehicle technologies can result in repair procedures changing significantly from year to year, making current repair knowledge critical for the achievement of complete, safe and quality repairs. “Town II Auto Body & Towing is honored to be a named a Gold Class collision repair facility,” Tom Pastore said. “We are proud of our commitment to training because it is a symbol of our commitment to professionalism and to the safety of our customers.”



Continued from Cover

OEM Summit

enough to cover the [Subaru] unitsin-operation in this country, so we will have to depend quite heavily on independent collision centers.” She said the requirements for the program—including KPIs that Subaru will be monitoring—are “relatively stringent” but do not include being sponsored by a dealership. “That was a very intentional decision,” she said. “As long as there are enough units-in-operation to go around, to make it worth being a certified collision center, we want any-

Mark Zoba of Nissan North America said that about 1,900 shops are in or have applied for the automaker’s certified collision shop program, but Nissan needs only about 1,650 shops in the program

one qualified who wants to raise their hand to be able to join. We want the best people on this initiative.” She said Subaru is working to ensure its “Starlink” vehicle telematics system will be integrated with the certified shop program to “make sure our customers feel the ‘Subaru love’ when they’ve been in a crash [and] have the help and guidance they need to get their car fixed to the way it was when they bought it.” Dealership shops, she said, will not be given priority over independents in the program when customers are told about certified shops. “There’s nothing in any kind of contract that says that dealers get first dibs,” Riedel said. “We’re doing it by proximity. And in the event that you [and the dealer are] both exactly 4.125 miles from [the customer], we’ll have to figure out what that secondary plan is to break that tie. But I imagine that will be more about your KPIs rather than whether you’re a Subaru retailer or not.” To request information on the program, send an email to info@ 20 Nissan May Cull Number of Shops in Program Mark Zoba of Nissan North America said his company’s certified collision network has grown from fewer than 500 shops in 2014 to more than 1,500 today, with about 400 more applications in process. But, he said, 1,900 shops is more than the program likely needs or will maintain. “I don’t have a specific number, but what I need for full network buildout, to make sure there’s a light in every market, is about 1,650 shops,” Zoba said. “So I’ll be culling the herd a little bit, I think over time ending up at about that 1,650 number.” What will determine which shops are added or remain on the program? Zoba said the automaker is developing scorecards to “hold shops more and more accountable” on such metrics as documented research and use of Nissan repair procedures, OEM parts usage, cycle time and CSI. “The shops that are performing, obviously we want to keep in the network,” Zoba said. “If they’re not performing, we’re probably going to ask them to step aside.” He said the automaker is working to bring more value to the program for certified shops as well, including a refined shop locator and more Nissan-specific training. Zoba said Nissan worked with trainer Mike Anderson to develop a multiday “Collision Estimating Essentials” required course—launching this month—that covers researching Nissan procedures, technical aspects of Nissan vehicles that affect estimating, identifying single-use parts, etc. Also, as of January, any Nissan paint warranty claim must be handled by a certified collision center, even if that means a non-certified Nissan dealership shop has to send the work to a certified independent shop. Volvo To Require All OEM Parts Ken Park, manager of Volvo’s certified collision program, said that one important change in the program next year involves parts. “Currently, we require 95 percent OEM parts on all repairs. In 2019, we will require 100 percent,” Park said, drawing applause from attendees at the summit. “We do not allow any aftermarket or LKQ utilization, or reconditioned parts, on our vehicles.”


He said that even though salvage parts may often be “OEM,” Volvo can’t know the history or condition of the part and so can’t stand behind its use. Park said the automaker’s re-

350. The goal, he said, is to have a certified shop within 10 miles of its customers, although its roadside assistance program will tow a vehicle up to 50 miles after an accident. Unlike the Subaru program, Volvo does require independent shops to be sponsored by a Volvo dealer to join the program. He said the program includes audits of participating shops. That can include pulling 10 to 20 random repair files, for example, to check to see if Volvo repair procedures were researched and documented within the file. Ken Park (left) of Volvo and Ben Cid of Mercedes-Benz responded to questions about their companies’ certified “When we look at the data shop programs at the Society of Collision Repair on how many [shops in the Specialists’ OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit industry] are actually rein Las Vegas during SEMA searching the repair procesearch has found that 85 percent of dures, it’s pretty dismal,” Park said. Volvo drivers search online for a cer- “But as shops research the procetified facility online after an accident. dures more and more, they find they “That’s a huge opportunity for get very proficient at it. Right now, I think it’s more of a hurdle just beour facilities,” he said. There are currently just over cause they’re not regularly doing it. 200 Volvo-certified shops across the As shops spend the time actually United States, but Park said he hopes doing it, it’s going to become easier to expand the network to as many as See OEM Summit, Page 24 / DECEMBER 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

Price-Fixing Claims

action. The body shops in the MDL are in Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey and Virginia. Although there are certain variations in the individual complaints, in general they allege the insurers have all agreed to follow a market rate established by State Farm, which is accused of using a method of ranking body shops by criteria, including number of employees, number of work bays and area density, which it then “manipulates” as it solicits businesses to be part of its direct repair program. If a body shop in the program tries to charge rates higher than those demanded by State Farm, they are met with an “ongoing pattern of coercion and implied threats” to enforce compliance, according to court filings. Shops not complying are dropped from the program, and customers are “steered” away by the insurer. In 2016, the five complaints at issue were dismissed for failure to state a claim, but a split panel reversed that ruling last year. The ma-


jority opinion was written by Judge Charles Wilson with the concurrence of Washington Western District Judge Barbara Rothstein, sitting by designation. Judge R. Lanier Anderson dissented. According to Wilson’s opinion, the complaints claimed that State Farm and the other defendants used unverified and manipulated market rates to depress costs. “They use tactics such as requiring a body shop to repair a faulty part rather than installing a replacement part, even when the shop strongly recommends against continued use of the faulty part; requiring a shop to install a used or recycled part, even when a new part is available and would be best; and requiring a shop to offer discounts and concessions, even if doing so will force the shop to operate at a loss,” Wilson wrote. The opinion noted that claims of horizontal price fixing based on inferred agreements rather than evidence of such deals must be bolstered by other evidence, or “plus factors.” Among those cited by the plaintiffs were routine notices from the other insurers that they would not pay any


more for repair work than State Farm paid. Anderson said in a dissent that he agreed the described behavior might be “objectionable,” but that didn’t make it illegal. “With regard to the antitrust claims,” he wrote, “binding case law indicates to me that the allegations of these complaints do not give rise to the necessary reasonable inference of agreement or conspiracy and, therefore, fail to state a claim.” On Oct. 23, attorney Mark Shurtleff represented the lead plaintiff, Quality Auto Painting Center of Roselle Inc., along with colleague John Eaves of John Arthur Eaves Law Offices in Jackson, MS. Shurtleff began by arguing that the complaining body shops were acting in the best interest of their customers, while “the others’ loyalties lie with the insurance companies.” Several judges were skeptical, with Chief Judge Ed Carnes asking how the insurance companies’ behavior in matching each others’ rates was any different from other businesses. “It happens in about every case,” said Carnes. “One raises it, they all

raise it.” Shurtleff pointed to the “uniformity of prices” demanded by the insurers, noting that uncooperative body shops were targeted for criticism and boycotted. Judge Stanley Marcus wondered whether commonplace business activity, such as an insurer recommending one shop and disclaiming another, was enough to “nudge your case across the line” into illegal price fixing. Under questioning, Shurtleff agreed that the insurers did not necessarily prohibit their policyholders from utilizing a particular shop and that simply showing that the prices demanded by State Farm and then demanded by other carriers did not necessarily prove collusion in itself. The insurers were represented by three lawyers: Alston & Bird partner Michael Kenney for State Farm, Dentons partner Rick Fenton for Allstate, and Daniel Goldfine of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie for GEICO. The defense lawyers argued there was no direct evidence showing the insurers’ alleged action constituted price-fixing and urged the judges to hew closely to the U.S. Supreme / DECEMBER 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Court’s 2007 decision in Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly. That decision toughened the standards for bringing price-fixing claims and established that a simple showing of “parallel conduct” was, without evidence of an an actual agreement, insufficient to support such claims. “There is no way here to show that what is alleged is anti-competitive activity,” Kenney said. Copyright 2018. ALM Media Properties, LLC. All rights reserved.

Republished with permission from the Daily Report.

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Gerber Opens Shop in Verona, PA

Gerber Collision & Glass recently announced the Nov. 1, 2018 opening of a collision repair location in Verona, PA. This center previously operated as Flagship Collision. Verona is located on the bank of the Allegheny River, approximately 13 miles northeast of downtown Pittsburgh. “This location will help us strengthen our position in the Pennsylvania market and better serve our insurance clients in this metropolitan area of approximately 2.4 million people,” said Tim O’Day, president and COO of Gerber. “We are pleased to be building upon Gerber’s presence in Pennsylvania and our capacity to serve our customers in the area.”


Autobody News 24

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OEM Summit

and easier … One thing I have seen work very well for some shops is assigning one person in their office to [be the one] who looks up these procedures. As they get more familiar with it, it becomes easier for them to navigate through it.” Mercedes-Benz Looking To Add More Shops Ben Cid, collision business manager for Mercede-Benz, said that like Volvo, it is looking to expand its certified shop network, which currently includes about 280 shops. “There are some areas where we need coverage,” he said. “We’re looking to be somewhere around 400 to 420 shops.” He said Mercedes has begun using its roadside assistance program and other means to connect its customers with certified shops in the event of an accident, so his main focus this next year will be to build the network as needed to accommodate that. He said unlike some of the au-

Abra Adds 2nd MD Shop

Abra Auto Body Repair of America is pleased to announce the addition of a new repair center in Aberdeen, MD. Located at 1110 S Philadelphia Blvd, the 9,800-square-foot center comes to Abra from the acquisition of T&S Auto Body’s business operations in a deal that closed Nov. 5. T&S had been operating in the same location for more than 40 years and was known in the community for quality, friendly service and being backed by a lifetime warranty. Members of Abra’s leadership team will be heading to Aberdeen to welcome the center’s 10 employees to the Abra team. “We look forward to introducing Abra to the Aberdeen community and continuing our growth in the state of Maryland,” said Jim Kessler, Abra’s chief operating officer. This is Abra’s second location in the state of Maryland; the company acquired a single location in Rising Sun in January 2018. Together, these centers complement Abra’s operations in the greater Philadelphia, Delaware and South New Jersey areas and help introduce the Abra brand to new communities.


tomakers, Mercedes has defined what a “certified repair” is, and repairers on the program can offer the customer “signed proof” that they followed Mercedes repair procedures. GM Defends Required Use of Mitchell Estimating John Eck of General Motors said more than 1,000 shops have already applied for its broader collision shop certification network, which officially launches next year. He defended the program’s required use of the Mitchell International estimating system, saying GM wanted a partner that could integrate the automaker’s repair procedures into the estimating system, eliminating the shop’s need to research those procedures as a separate process. (He noted those procedures are available for all Mitchell estimating system users, not just those in the certified shop network.) He said GM also needed an estimating platform available throughout North America. (CCC Information Services’ estimating system, for example, is not available in Canada.) Eck said efficiencies, rebate op-

portunities and other benefits for certified shops can also help offset the cost of adding another estimating system if a shop wishing to join the program needs to do that. “We made a choice and a business decision, and I think every repairer is in that same position,” Eck said. “They have to make the decisions that make sense for their business.” He said GM will be measuring and scoring certified collision shops based largely on their documented research and use of those procedures, along with customer satisfaction and cycle time. John Yoswick, a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988, is also the editor of the weekly CRASH Network ( He can be contacted by email at john@Crash


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MSO Seeks Help

to help,” Von Tress wrote in his GoFundMe description. Von Tress wrote that the shop employs members of eight families who lost everything in the devastating fire. By Nov. 12 at 10:45 a.m. ET, the Camp Fire had burned 113,000 acres and was 25 percent contained. It destroyed 6,453 residences and 260 commercial structures and threatened 15,500 locations. “I have donated to each of them and will continue to support payroll, but I can’t do this all by myself,” Von Tress wrote. “I’d love to help them meet their immediate need or for those with no insurance to make an effort to restore their lives. Please help me make a difference and show these people we are here to help.” He vowed to donate “100 percent of these funds” to the victims. “If we could raise these funds this week, I’m sure it could change lives,” Von Tress wrote. Von Tress also planned to post a list of other items the families might


need. “I’m trying to help the employees through stuff,” Von Tress said in an interview Nov. 12. The business itself is struggling too. Von Tress said he has discovered “we’re grossly underinsured” on the shop’s contents and learned that his landlord let the insurance lapse on the structure. “There’s no building anymore,” he said. The shop had only purchased the facility (formerly known as Classic Auto Body) two years ago, according to Collision Pros’ website. Even if Collision Pros were to rebuild, the fire also took away its customer base, Von Tress said. “Nobody lives there” following the fire’s devastation—nor would they for years, Von Tress said. “It’s just a horrible situation,” he said. His employees’ tools were all contained within the facility. “There was no getting anything out,” he said. Representatives delivering the evacuation order said occupants couldn’t gather their things. Von Tress said he’s attempting to


wade through the insurance situation and wasn’t sure if his employees’ tools were covered or if working at another Collision Pros facility would affect their claims. Even if the staff were transferred to another Collision Pros, it would mean the site’s regular employees would lose hours, he noted. “We’ll keep ‘em on payroll somehow,” he said. He said seven of the families were confirmed to have lost houses in either Paradise or nearby Chico, CA. The eighth likely did as well, but the more rural location of the home prevents the employee from confirming the loss, according to Von Tress. Three of the families were renters and lacked renter’s insurance, he said. The other five were insured but don’t know how fully they’ll be covered, according to Von Tress. Either way, the loss inevitably “costs something,” he observed. The shop has given each family a $1,000 gift card to buy necessities, and Von Tress’ church has also responded to help donate clothes and diapers and take the children shopping for toys.

Von Tress said his shop handles the vast majority of the business in the area, but three other smaller collision repair facilities also serve the market. He said he assumed his competitors’ were destroyed as well. Their people and other individuals with ties to the collision industry might need help after both the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire in Southern California, though CIF board member Michael Quinn (AirPro) said Nov. 12 that Von Tress was the only one to have reached out at that point. The Woolsey Fire has burned 91,572 acres and is only 20 percent contained as of 12:29 p.m. ET Nov. 12. At least 370 structures have been destroyed—only 15 percent of the damage has been examined—and 57,000 threatened by the fire. CIF is a good resource for donors and victims of shops lacking Von Tress’ initiative or employee support. CIF memorably contributed about $250,000 in donations and helped about 150 households following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It provided more than 80 tool sets during that storm—often more important than other donations, as technicians

felt, “‘If I had tools, I could work,’” according to board member Jordan Hendler (Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association). Those affected by disasters such as the California fires or this year’s hurricanes can request aid themselves online, email collisionindustry or call 855-424-3243 or 804-427-6982. Donate to CIF at https://www donate.html. Also, don’t forget that the Collision Industry Foundation is on Amazon Smile. If you designate them as your charity and buy products on instead of the regular Amazon website or the app, the retail giant will donate a little bit to the foundation every time you buy one of millions of designated products. We thank Repairer Driven News ( for reprint permission.


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Bloomfield, NJ, Woman ‘Conned’ Auto Dealers With Fraud Scheme by Eric Kiefer, Bloomfield Patch

A Bloomfield, NJ, woman pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining insurance identification cards as part of a scheme to steal luxury used vehicles from dealerships in New Jersey and New York, state prosecutors announced Oct. 30. Paige Hunt, 27, of Bloomfield, pleaded guilty to second-degree insurance fraud in a hearing before a superior court judge in Union County, according to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. Under the terms of the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend that Hunt be sentenced to five years in state prison. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 20. According to an investigation by the OIFP, Hunt fraudulently obtained at least nine auto insurance identification cards in order to provide proof of insurance when purchasing—by fraud—high-end used vehicles from dealerships. Hunt was able to drive off with at least three vehicles, for which no down payment was required at the time of purchase and for which no subsequent payments were ever made, prosecu-

tors said. “The defendant used fictitious bank account information to con insurance providers into issuing the coverage for vehicles targeted in this elaborate fraud scheme,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said. “We will aggressively prosecute those who fraudulently manipulate the insurance system for personal gain,” said Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Tracy Thompson. “They’re not just breaking the law; they’re driving up the price of premiums for honest policy holders.” According to prosecutors, “Between June 2016 and April 2017, Hunt fraudulently obtained at least nine auto insurance policies totaling more than $21,605 for coverage on late-model luxury used vehicles that included a Lexus SUV, two Honda Pilot Touring SUVs, a MercedesBenz SUV and five Mercedes-Benz sedans.” Last year, in a case brought by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ), Hunt and four others were charged with first-degree conspiracy and money laundering and other offenses in connection with a similar auto-theft-by-fraud

scheme involving at least 25 vehicles between June 2012 and March 2016, prosecutors said. In June, Hunt pleaded guilty to second-degree theft by deception. Under the terms of the plea agreement, which was contingent upon Hunt’s guilty plea in the OIFP case, DCJ will recommend Hunt be sentenced to five years in state prison to run concurrently with her OIFP sentence, prosecutors said. According to an investigation conducted by the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crime Bureau, the five defendants allegedly purchased or had others purchase vehicles on credit. They then allegedly forged letters purporting to be from the creditor stating that the loan had been satisfied, and used those letters to obtain new titles from the MVC without liens. The vehicles were subsequently sold without disclosing the liens, prosecutors said. We thank Bloomfield Patch for reprint permission. / DECEMBER 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


A.G. Underwood Announces Arrests Of Clinic Owner, Doctor, And Attorney For No-Fault Medical Insurance Fraud Scheme Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood today announced a 61count indictment charging David Safir, 48, of Brooklyn; Dr. Alexander Haselkorn, 78, of Franklin Lakes, NJ; Roberta Haselkorn, 61, of Franklin Lakes, NJ; attorney Nadezdha Ursulova, 63, of Brooklyn; and Theron Grinage, a.k.a. Timothy Russell, 52, of Brooklyn for their alleged participation in an auto insurance fraud scheme that cheated no-fault insurance carriers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Code-named “Operation Dr. Know,” a joint investigation by the Attorney General’s Auto Insurance Fraud Unit and the New York City Department of Investigation revealed that Safir, aided by his co-conspirators, allegedly illegally incorporated and operated Brooklyn-based clinic Jamaica Wellness, P.C., encouraged patients to fabricate and exaggerate their injuries, and submitted fraudu-

lent claims to insurance carriers for treatment provided and prescribed by unlicensed individuals. “As we allege, the defendants illegally operated a medical clinic and took advantage of car accident victims in order to line their own pockets,” said Attorney General Underwood. “We have zero tolerance for those who try to scam New Yorkers and take advantage of our insurance and healthcare systems – and my office will continue to prosecute those who break the law.” New York City Department of Investigations Commissioner Mark G. Peters said, “Medical insurance fraud drives up costs for everyone. This investigation exposes how one scheme resulted in a spectrum of fraudulent conduct, including money laundering, grand larceny and the unauthorized practice of medicine, according to the charges. DOI is pleased to have partnered with the State Attorney General’s Office on 28

this important investigation.” “The National Insurance Crime Bureau would like to applaud the staff of the New York State Attorney General’s Office for their continued efforts in addressing insurance fraud in New York,” said Kevin Gallagher, Regional Director of the Northeast Region of the National Insurance Crime Bureau. “The cost of insurance fraud is shared by all consumers and this investigation sends a strong message to others who may be contemplating engaging in insurance fraud. We look forward to our continued partnership in combatting insurance fraud for all New Yorkers.” In New York State, a person injured in a motor vehicle accident is automatically covered by the Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Insurance Reparations Act, commonly referred to as the “no-fault” law. No-fault insurance provides for payments for all medical expenses to persons injured in automobile accidents, up to a total of $50,000 per person, when such services are deemed medically necessary and provided by a duly licensed medical professional. Under New York State Law, only a medical clinic owned and controlled by a licensed medical professional can bill for no-fault reimbursement. According to the Attorney General’s indictment filed today in Kings County Supreme Court and statements made by prosecutors at arraignment, between July 2016 and July 2017, David Safir, who is not a licensed physician, allegedly unlawfully owned and controlled Brooklyn-based medical clinic Jamaica Wellness Medical P.C. Safir allegedly directed treatment protocol for motor vehicle accident (“MVA”) victims, encouraged MVA victims to fabricate or exaggerate their injuries, and paid runners, including co-defendant Theron Grinage, to solicit MVA victims to the clinic. To entice unsuspecting victims, Grinage allegedly misrepresented to MVA victims that he was an attorney. Prosecutors further allege that attorney Nadezhda Ursulova, Esq. aided Safir in illegally incorporating


Jamaica Wellness by engaging in a sham transfer of clinic ownership from one incapacitated medical doctor to another. Co-defendant Dr. Alexander Haselkorn was an owner of the clinic in name only and allegedly did not actually treat patients at the clinic. Instead, patients were allegedly diagnosed and referred for thousands of dollars of treatment, diagnostic testing, and medical supplies by Dr. Haselkorn’s wife, Roberta Haselkorn, who is not a licensed medical provider. Ursulova also allegedly concealed Safir’s illegal ownership and Alexander Haselkorn’s incapacity from insurance companies. Between July 2016 and July 2017, Safir and his co-conspirators allegedly fraudulently obtained over $1 million through their operation of Jamaica Wellness. To further conceal his illegal ownership of the clinic, Safir allegedly cashed over $380,000 in checks payable to Jamaica Wellness at a Brooklyn-based checkcasher in a one-year period.

The Attorney General’s 61-count indictment, unsealed today in Kings County Supreme Court, charges various defendants with Money Laundering in the Second Degree (a class C felony), Insurance Fraud in the Third Degree (a class D felony), Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a class D felony), Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree (a class E felony), Unauthorized Practice of a Profession (a class E felony), Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree (a class E felony), Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (a class E felony), and Practicing or Appearing as Attorney-at-Law without being admitted and registered (a class A misdemeanor). If convicted of the top counts charged, David Safir faces up to 5 to 15 years in prison. The Haselkorns, Ursulova, and Grinage each face up to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison. David Safir and Theron Grinage were arraigned on November 13, See Insurance Fraud, Page 32 / DECEMBER 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


AWAF Workshop Focuses on Finance, Accounting for the Non-Financial Manager by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Oct. 19, the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation (AWAF) hosted its Fall 2018 Professional Development Workshop at the VisTaTech Center at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, MI.

Titled “Finance and Accounting for the Non-Financial Manager,” the four-hour workshop was taught by Jean Stenger, CPA and senior manager at DKSS CPAs and Advisors as well as treasurer for AWAF. Stenger’s educational, interactive and fun workshop focused on understanding the fundamentals of accounting and finance. She discussed how to read and understand critical financial reports as well as how to spot red flags and how to

use these reports to answer key questions about investments, business growth and more. Stenger also taught attendees to budget to add value, covered KPIs and lectured on projecting cash flow. Stenger stressed, “Own your financial statements. Know your number, talk your numbers and use your numbers to define your future—both professionally and personally. Become confident in your knowledge of the numbers, and never be afraid to ask questions!” Attendees included small business owners, professionals and managers in engineering, sales, program management, finance, purchasing, education and training. Participants agreed that the information Stenger shared was valuable, and interest was expressed in scheduling a fullday workshop on this topic. For more information about AWAF and its events, visit awafoundation .org.

SeaTac, WA, Attempts To Get in Front of Autonomous Technology by Ted Land, KING 5

Carmakers and tech companies are racing to build self-driving vehicles, which they hope will transform the way people get around. The city of SeaTac, WA, sensing change is looming, started developing an action plan last year for deploying autonomous cars, trucks and buses on its roads. “We think that the industry would be interested in a place like SeaTac that’s easy to reach as a place to show their capabilities,” said John Niles, executive research director at the Seattle-based Center for Advanced Transportation and Energy Solutions. Niles helped the city develop the plan, which explores whether self-driving cars are feasible on its roads. “The city is not interested in being a test track or a lab center; what they’re interested in is understanding the applications of automated vehicles in the city that would benefit their citizens,” Niles said. One idea is to launch a selfdriving shuttle service to ferry com-

muters from bus and rail stations to neighborhoods within a few miles. The service could be a public-private partnership to help offset costs to taxpayers. “I don’t think new lanes need to be painted; a few traffic lights might need to be changed to give priority to these vehicles. These are vehicles that move no faster than 25–30 mph,” Niles said. The SeaTac City Council approved a measure Oct. 23 expressing support for autonomous vehicles. Niles said the team working on autonomous vehicles is talking with Tukwila and Des Moines about developing a similar framework. A state group is also hammering out a plan. The Autonomous Vehicle Work Group met Oct. 24 to talk about how to adjust the rules of the road, licensing and transportation infrastructure, anticipating that within a few years a lot of drivers will put their faith in a computer, transforming the way they get around. We thank KING 5 for reprint permission.

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PPG to Acquire SEM Products, Inc.

PPG announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire SEM Products, Inc. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter 2018, subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed. SEM is a leading manufacturer of repair and refinish products used primarily for automotive and other transportation applications. The company is known for various flagship products that offer convenience, including Color Coat, the original flexible coating and mixing system; Bumper Coater, the first product to restore original equipment manufacturer (OEM) finishes on plastic bumpers and cladding; and Dual Mix, a two-part cartridge system for adhesives, fillers and sealers. “PPG’s acquisition of SEM will complement our current automotive refinish product offering and add specialized, value-added products that address the needs of distributors and body shops,” said Gary Danowski, PPG vice president, automotive refinish. Continued from page 28

Insurance Fraud

2018. Dr. Alexander Haselkorn, Roberta Haselkorn, and Nadezhda Ursulova were arraigned today in Kings County Supreme Court. The Honorable Judge Danny Chun set bail in the amount of $1 million bond or $250,000 cash for defendant Safir; $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash for defendant Ursulova; $15,000 bond or $7,500 cash for defendants Dr. Alexander Haselkorn and Roberta Haselkorn; and $10,000 bond or $5,000 cash for defendant Grinage. The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. The Attorney General thanks the New York City Department of Investigation, the New York City Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau, the New York State Department of Financial Services, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, and insurance carriers Met Life & Home, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, and Amica Mutual for their assistance in this 32

Man Burned, Woman Rescued From Parks Township, PA, Auto Body Shop Fire by Chuck Biedka, Trib Live

A man suffered burns to his face and hands in a fire the morning of Nov. 10 at a Parks Township, PA, auto body shop. Firefighters rescued a woman who lived above the shop. “Now I’ve lost everything except this,” said Betty Wolfe, 66, as she clutched a 5-by-7-inch framed photo of her mother.

The fire on Dime Road started just after 11 a.m. North Apollo Assistant Fire Chief Cliff Rearic said he was driving across the Vandergrift Bridge on his way home from picking up medicine for his dog when he saw thick, black smoke and called Armstrong County 911. A short time later, Rearic and other firefighters helped Wolfe from her apartment above Walton Auto

matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Carey Spitalnick and Sarah Cohen of the Auto Insurance Fraud Unit, with the assistance of Supervising Legal Analyst Paul Strocko, Legal Analyst Caitlin Carmody, and Legal Analyst Yuriy Kurbatov. The Auto Insurance Fraud Unit is led by Unit Chief Gabriel Tapalaga. The Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton and Deputy Bureau Chief Joseph G. D’Arrigo. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Margaret Garnett. The case was investigated by OAG Investigator John Roman, under the direction of Supervising Investigators Edward Keegan and Natalie Shifrin and Deputy Chief Leonard D’Alessandro. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Dominick Zarrella. Audit work was performed by Forensic Auditor Andre Hartley of the Forensic Audit Section. The Forensic Audit Section is led by Deputy Chief Sandy Bizzarro and Chief Edward J. Keegan.


Body. They led her away from propane tanks near the burning building and down a steep hillside made slick by leaves. By then, two firefighters in the Leechburg ladder truck were directing hoses onto the second floor of the burning two-story structure as other firefighters worked to put out the fire from the ground. Volunteers from nine fire companies responded and helped prevent the fire from spreading to the shop’s spray paint booth and the Shawn Audino Construction company, also in the building. Medics from as far as Murrysville assisted Lower Kiski medics. “This was a major team effort, and they made a great stop,” Parks Fire Chief Jay Start said. Start did not know what caused the fire, but said it likely started in the repair shop. Denny Walton, owner of the auto body shop, suffered burns to his face and hands and was taken to Armstrong County Memorial Hospital. The auto body shop and apartment appeared to be a total loss. Firefighters who went inside Wolfe’s apartment found the framed photo of

her mother and gave it to her. “I loved being there. There were three deer that I’d seen regularly,” said Wolfe, who had lived in the apartment since March. Firefighters faced several challenges. Among them was the lack of hydrants in that area of Dime Road. Hoses had to be run from hydrants at the top and bottom of the steep, winding hill, about three-quarters of a mile in each direction. “We had a good water supply in less than a half-hour,” Start said. Flammable solvents and paint inside the shop and propane tanks outside it also presented risks. Firefighters directed hundreds of gallons of water onto a large commercial propane tank and at least two smaller ones to prevent an explosion. We thank Trib Live for reprint permission.




National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

CCRE’s Fall Seminar & Convention Teaches Body Shop Owners Another Way of Conducting Business On Sept. 28 and 29, the Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE) held its Fall Seminar and Convention at the Embassy Suites at the Atlanta Airport. According to CCRE President Tony Lombardozzi, “Attendees hailed from all parts of the country, including Utah and Alaska. The room held a full house of eager-to-learn collision repair shop owners and other guests who wanted to learn another way of conducting business in our industry. Many of them have realized that the present system is not working and is not a profitable method of operation.” The weekend commenced with Lombardozzi’s opening introduction, followed by a presentation on how the industry ended up in its current condition, where it is today and where it is headed in the future. He shared, “We spent a great


deal of time discussing how we let go of the control of our industry and how we let insurers into the repair process.” Lombardozzi’s “An Educational and Networking Experience with Industry Peers” began by focusing on

to develop a systematic resolution of day-to-day business issues, a network of attorneys for assistance in business-related situations and consumer issues, continued educational opportunities for shops and the teaching of the importance of docu-

Steve Behrndt presented on job costing during CCRE’s Fall Seminar in Atlanta

who CCRE is, how it has influenced the industry and what its future plans will entail. Future plans include development of state-by-state programs


mentation as the group strives for collision repair excellence and the right to operate as independent business owners without being influ-

enced by a third-party entity. The presentation then continued to explain that the industry fell into this state through apathy, poor business management skills, inappropriate behavior, insurers’ influence and the industry’s poor image. Lombardozzi emphasized that the correct alignment of contracts is a repair shop having a contract with the vehicle owner while the vehicle owner has a contract with the insurance company. When the contractual relationships become a “terrible triangle,” the repairer loses. Discussing insurer interference in the collision repair industry, Lombardozzi touched on hold harmless agreements that insulate insurers from liability, specified vendor purchasing, insurer supplements, the required use of crash guides for estimating and much more, predicting that the industry is in for an even tougher future if shops do not establish contracts with

the vehicle owners directly, educate consumers, and remove the insurer’s third party influence from their businesses. One way to do this is by creating necessary procedures, for which attendees discussed some options. Lombardozzi shared some rules and tips for everyone to follow to take control of their businesses. He also advised, “Stop sharing information on social media, and quit bragging and boasting online; Big Brother watches everything! We are trying to solve a difficult puzzle, but the goal is attainable; if you learn the process, the pieces will all fit together. It’s time to begin making money, not just repairing vehicles!” Next, Jeff Bryant of Autosport Body Works delivered a presentation on billing paint and materials using a cost accounting program. Lombardozzi recalled, “One of the highlights of his discussion was how he discovered that almost 50 percent of the materials he was using were never being billed or accounted for. After using a P and M invoicing program, the shop’s profits on those materials being used increased substantially.”

Bryant explained that paint and materials are the cost of doing business, but that any costs incurred to produce repairs should be a profit center for the business. He explained, “The rate per hour system has no real basis in reality and is not profitable, so why do we still use and accept it? Because the insurance companies like it because it benefits them. You will never win as long as you play their game by their rules on their field!” Exploring the cost of the rate per hour method, Bryant walked attendees through some financial scenarios. He shared, “The first year Autosport implemented paint and material cost accounting and proper collecting, the results were an additional $67,000 collected. A 6–8 percent increase is huge considering most shops operate on a less than 5 percent net profit margin.” Bryant shared how to account for paint and material costs in the shop, how to account for allied materials and how to assist the vehicle owner in getting reimbursed from their insurer. “You have to be willing to hold the customer accountable for the

charges. It is hard to argue with facts, so make it factual and be willing to defend it,” he said. The last presentation on Friday was “Managing Customer Expectations: CCRE Guide to Implementation,” delivered by Shane Coker of Cokers Auto Body in Alabama. He “discussed his new method of business and front office management that has made it easier and more relaxing for him and his family while at their facility. He also discussed the many documents and forms he has created and shared those documents with all those in attendance, and additionally, word tracks and proper nomenclature of operations were discussed,” Lombardozzi shared. Coker began by asking, “What does consumer choice mean to you? What should it mean? It’s not just about choosing your shop … It’s choosing in everything!” He went on to talk about scheduling your day, refusing to negotiate with the insurance company and the value of educating the consumer. “If the customer ‘hears’ what the insurer may say beforehand, they are prepared to counter, plus it builds


credibility for the shop when the customer is prepared for insurance company attempts to steer,” he said. Moving on to integrating customer forms, Coker talked about estimate authorization, including prequalifying the customer, recording the vehicle owner’s intentions, the level of repair and how the entire conversation with the customer presents an opportunity to educate them, even if they choose not to repair at your shop. He went on to discuss disassembly, diagnosis and the repair contract, which “sets the rules of the repair and expectations for payment, protects the customer and shop and explains the contract of insurance is between the vehicle owner and insurer. The repairer is not party to the contract of insurance.” After discussing how his shop now handles interactions with insurance companies, Coker advised, “Start with one or two customers each day, not everyone. Don’t kill yourself in the beginning by trying to educate everyone that comes through the door. Learn your script; become comfortable with your techniques and maSee CCRE’s Fall Seminar, Page 38

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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

Dave Luehr Teaches WIN Members How To Develop a WINner’s Mindset On Wednesday, Oct. 10, the Women’s Industry Network (WIN®) hosted a webinar featuring Dave Luehr of Elite Body Shop Solutions, who presented “Developing a WINner’s Mindset (Pun Intended!).” “Right now is the greatest time to be in the collision repair business, but only for those with the right mindset,” he said. “But, what IS the right mindset? “When I think of the word ‘limitless,’ I’m immediately inspired by the beauty of human potential. It makes me think of a childlike quality that dares to dream big and live life to the fullest. No one said this business was going to be easy. Many people fail, but it’s those people who honor the struggle and dig deep to find the great opportunities that exist within the difficulties—it’s these people who are creating a life of their choosing. “Building a great business is an art. In the collision industry, great men and women have created great businesses through the power of their imaginations. I believe everyone has the power to create greatness. It has very little to do with a person’s situation in life compared to their attitude toward their situation. Bring back that child within you. I can promise you it won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. With a structured approach and a childlike imagination, you truly are limitless.” Luehr welcomed attendees, thanked WIN for the forum and encouraged any non-members to join the organization. Beginning his presentation, he noted that there are two fundamental problems in the industry: Everyone seems to be looking for a magic solution to their problems instead of looking within themselves, and many people believe they can have anything they want in life as long as they work hard enough. “Hard work does not make you successful… working hard on the right things makes you successful!” he said. After sharing a story about his background in the industry, Luehr


talked about losing his first business after his mother’s death and how it shook his confidence for many years. He recalled difficult times in the industry during the first decade of the new millennium and noticing so many people who were succeeding. This led to him starting Elite Body Shop Solutions.

However, he said, “I still had to get out of my way. The only limitations that are keeping you from where you want to get in life are the ones you’re creating yourself. That was one of the greatest things to ever happen to me.” He identified four factors that contribute to developing a winner’s mindset: confidence, challenging limiting beliefs, personal responsibility, and finding the positive within the negative. Confidence “truly is at the foundation of whether we’re going to be successful or not. If you think you can be successful, you can because we get what we think in life, and confidence is at the very core of that,” Luehr emphasized. “You can have doubts and still have confidence that you’ll succeed. It’s really what you do in those moments of doubt that makes all the difference between success and failure. Why not you?” Confidence is only gained by doing—especially actions taken outside your comfort zone. Being afraid does not eliminate courage as long as you do it anyway. Explaining the confidence-competence loop, Luehr noted, “Every time you take an action that you’re a little fearful of, you become a little more competent. You know that you can do it and become better each time you do it. Don’t let your lack of knowledge about a certain subject


keep you from starting.” The second step to developing a winning mindset is to challenge limiting beliefs. Luehr observed that there are a lot of old beliefs that keep people stuck. “The majority of beliefs in our brains today were in place by the time we were 4 years old, so there could be faulty information in there. But many of us identify so much with our beliefs that it becomes part of who we are and can be difficult for people to swallow. Challenging your belief system does not make you wishy-washy; it makes you wise!” Luehr said. Moving on to personal responsibility, Luehr shared three tips for discovering your best self: exploring outside your current “truth,” determining the origin of those truths, and

avoiding the status quo. “Real freedom comes when you’re being your best authentic self,” Luehr encouraged. “Take responsibility for your successes and your failures.” He then discussed three types of people: Card players, who play the hand they’ve been dealt; card haters, who act like victims and complain; and card fighters, who “make it their personal mission to go out and fight what’s wrong in this world.” Finding the positive within the negative is the final step to developing a winning mindset. This means finding the opportunity in each chapter. “Every time something bad happens, we have to find the good hidden in it,” Luehr advised. “Failing is OK, but fail brilliantly! Once you know it’s okay to fail, that changes See WINner’s Mindset, Page 45 / DECEMBER 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Page 35

CCRE’s Fall Seminar

terials, find out what your customer wants and decide if you can deliver. Long-term, we need to separate the shop from the insurance company by taking control of our shops [and] educating customers so they become advocates of our shops and make the insurance company irrelevant in our businesses.” On Saturday morning, Steve Behrndt of Crawford’s Auto Center in Pennsylvania presented “CCRE Job Costing.” Lombardozzi explained, “Steve presented a job costing program that provided the reasons for using this type of system and how it could be implemented in even the smallest size shop. Knowing your costs will allow you to know what price to sell your services for and be profitable at doing so.” Asking how shops determine hourly rates and how they know the cost of doing business, Behrndt encouraged attendees to engage in job costing on each and every repair order. “Every other industry realizes


the need to job cost. Manufacturers need to calculate labor, materials, administrative, research and development costs, as do other businesses, to find their gross profit,” he said. “Why not body shops, or do we not want to know? Not wanting to know seems to be the normal reaction in the industry because we have been programmed to accept less, but the answer is right in front of us ... If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you always got.” He questioned how shops can know that estimating databases are accurate if they do not job cost. In order to know an employee’s actual wages, shops need to track an employee’s individual labor tasks and then calculate their true labor cost, which includes their hourly rate as well as all benefits. Discussing the difference between an estimate and a repair order, Behrndt identified an estimate as a third-party’s supplied document, which is “a guesstimate of damages sustained, a rough calculation only.” He also emphasized that automated estimating programs are only guides. “These programs do not write repair orders,” he said. “They are only


guides! The first step in taking control of your business is realizing you cannot operate your business profitability following an estimate prepared by a third party. The second step is to eliminate the third party’s estimate from your business, and the third step is knowing you cannot use an estimate as your final invoice. You cannot job cost by estimating, and you cannot estimate your job costing.” Reiterating that it is possible to make a profit in the industry, Behrndt told attendees that it begins with job costing each and every job. He explained how to calculate a shop’s average gross profit by tracking every order, including labor tasks performed, all parts utilized in the repair, sublets, mark-ups, return items and sales tax amounts. He said, “We want to help shop owners grasp the importance of tracking expenditures and become more profitable by helping you understand the true costs within your business vs. your operating costs.” Behrndt walked through examples and calculations to show how many shops operate at a financial loss. He talked about a variety of ways to

track technicians, and he concluded by elaborating on the importance of accurate, complete documentation. The final presentation, “Autosport Testimony and Customer Expectations,” was delivered by Shey Knight and Bryant, who shared their experiences working for Autosport Body Works, a former DRP shop that they eventually ran according to the CCRE philosophy. Lombardozzi noted, “They discussed how to meet your customers’ expectations and listen to what they are really asking of you. They discussed repair contracts and other documents that are in use at their facility and how these documents and processes have made them a more profitable business.” Autosport Body Works became a DRP for State Farm in 2001. The business enjoyed increased business and a good partnership until State Farm started expecting more and more for less money. According to Knight, “Our ‘partnership’ with State Farm started to look more like a dictatorship, and we started to hate the business we once loved.”

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Despite the belief that it was the way the industry had always been, Knight and Bryant believed there had to be a better way. So, they started talking to other shops and got involved with CCRE to create a system that worked for them. Bryant shared, “So, what’s the problem with our industry? We all have different ideas and practices, but instead of working together, we fight amongst ourselves. We are all too busy to take the time to step out of our business so we can work ON our business. We are all at different stages in running our business, but I urge you to take your first step in becoming truly independent.” Knight and Bryant then went on to explain how they run their business. Vehicle owners contract with the shop, and insurance adjusters are not permitted to enter the shop or work areas; only after a vehicle has been disassembled and moved out of the shop can an adjuster sign in to see the vehicle on their lot. They refuse to accept insurer estimates and will not negotiate with the adjusters. Rather than write estimates in rates and hours, they bill in dollars, and they will not supplement


insurer estimates; however, at the vehicle owner’s request, they will provide a Notice of Deficiencies. Knight stressed, “The key to it all is the customer! You have to become customer-focused and remove the third party influence.” The presentation continued to cover customer expectations, the customer service process, obtaining the commitment, rejecting excuses and keeping the customer involved throughout the repair process. At the end of it all, Knight and Bryant emphasized that shops can get paid, saying, “Simplify. Educate yourself. Educate the consumer. Be persistent. Be patient. Get support. Have fun.” The seminar concluded on Saturday afternoon with breakout sessions and open discussions on a variety of topics pertaining to the industry, and attendees shared their challenges and the solutions they had found. Lombardozzi stated, “Judging by the feedback from those who attended, this was a very successful event for all.” For more information on CCRE, visit


IGONC Creates Disaster Relief Fund for StormDamaged Body Shops by Chasidy Rae Sisk

In response to the devastation seen along the eastern shore of North Carolina and South Carolina following Hurricane Florence, the Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina (IGONC) created a disaster relief fund to help shops that were hit by the storm. IGONC Executive Director Bob Pulverenti stated, “Many of the shops are underinsured; even those that had coverage will still be hit hard financially. The Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina has been serving the owners of independently owned shops since 1959, and we know that our members who came out OK after the storm would love to support the shops who didn’t end up as lucky. Please help us to help those in our industry get back on their feet as quickly as possible.” RepairPal and AutoShop Solutions have partnered with IGONC by pledging to each match donations up to $5,000. Shops that were impacted can contact IGONC with their name,

name of the business, address, brief description of the loss and photos. Both member and non-member shops are eligible for this assistance. Non-member shops will receive $250, which will become $750 after funds are matched, while IGONC member shops are eligible for $500, which increases to $1,500 after matching funds. Members will also have their 2019 dues waived. The association will begin issuing checks in late October until funds are depleted. To donate, visit https://www.go IGONC also encourages impacted shops to contact the Collision Industry Foundation for additional assistance at www.collisionindustry Pulverenti reiterated, “As members of the independent repair shop community, we encourage you to support shops in need. Thank you for being a force for good. Donate today!”

Progressive Corporation’s Appeal Dismissed by State Appeals Panel in FL by Emmariah Holcomb,

Progressive Corporation’s appeal was dismissed by the state appeals panel in Florida in early November. The auto insurer has been accused of piling windshield replacement companies with the cost of insurance appraisals, according to court documents. Two years ago, four companies sued Progressive in a county court, claiming the company was in breach of contract for only paying a portion of covered windshield repairs. The four windshield replacement companies are: • SHL Enterprises LLC, • Shazam Auto Glass LLC, • Glassmetics LLC, and • Lloyd’s of Shelton Auto Glass LLC According to Progressive, its company policy includes an appraisal provision that works to resolve repair cost disputes. The windshield replacement companies claimed the appraisal provisions violated state law.

According to the panel, the county court agreed and considered the provisions unenforceable because it requires windshield companies to pay for appraisal costs. The court claimed this was equivalent to a deductible. The appeals panel claimed the lower courts, who had previously viewed the case, misunderstood state laws after these instances: • The lower courts referred to the company’s cost-shifting as a deductible, and • Accused Progressive of not citing appellate case law before it rejected the appeal. “By improperly restricting the scope of its own certiorari review, the circuit court did not engage in a meaningful analysis of the county court’s order and thus could not have concluded that there was no departure from the essential requirements of the law,” the panel said in court documents. We thank for reprint permission.

IGONC Triangle Chapter Learns About Big Ticket Items by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Oct. 2, the Triangle Chapter of the Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina (IGONC) gathered for its monthly meeting at Buffalo Brothers Pizza in Raleigh, NC.

These meetings are held “to foster community amongst our members and share useful information,” shared Bob Pulverenti, executive director of IGONC. “Relationships are a big part of what makes our association valuable to our members.”

In addition to handling general association business, the meeting featured a presentation titled “Big Ticket Items,” delivered by the evening’s host, Austin Green of Jasper Engine/Transmissions. Green discussed how to sell remanufactured engines and transmissions to the customer. He also delved into the age of the car and other points that can be used to demonstrate the pros and cons of rebuilt engines and transmissions compared to buying a new automobile when broaching the topic with a consumer. According to Pulverenti, “This meeting was a good one—very informative and well-attended. Attendees all thought this was good information and responded with some good questions for the Q&A period of the discussion.” For more information on IGONC, visit

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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

RDA 2018 IMPACT Performance Conference Breaks Attendance Records On Oct. 1–3, the Refinish Distributors Alliance (RDA) hosted its second 2018 IMPACT Performance Conference in Louisville, KY. Attendance for the event exceeded 100 industry professionals.

RDA Executive Director Robert McKenzie Jr. opened the IMPACT Performance Conference by welcoming attendees and encouraging complete engagement throughout the event

According to RDA Executive Director Robert McKenzie Jr., “The recent RDA IMPACT Performance Conference held in Louisville broke

previous attendance records with every member and manufacturer represented. “The purpose of the event is to create an opportunity for RDA members and supporting manufacturers to come together and strengthen their relationships. We achieve this by providing high quality speakers presenting relevant topics that benefit all attendees. We purposefully include a significant amount of time for networking and team building. Lastly, it is always a good thing to include a degree of ‘fun’ activities. If we make the meeting enjoyable, it is so much more valuable to all who attend.” This biannual event, held in April and October, is important to association members because it reinforces the message that “we are stronger together than we are apart,” McKenzie stressed. “The PBE industry is in a period of consolidation.

RDA members and PBE distributors, in general, are experiencing the financial impact of this consolidation. By coming together, RDA members are better able to leverage resources for the benefit of each other. The in-

Gene Marks of the Marks Group P.C. presented “The Latest Political, Technological, Economic and Management Trends That Will Dominate Your Business Over the Next Two Years.”

dustry at-large benefits from having strong PBE distributors to complete the supply chain necessary to support collision shops all across the U.S.”

The conference began on Monday with an optional “Shop Data Collection” workshop facilitated by John Halstead, RDA Business Support. During the General Session at 3 p.m., McKenzie kicked things off by welcoming attendees and facilitating the member and manufacturer roundtable discussions. The day concluded at Churchill Downs with the welcome reception and dinner, allowing everyone to enjoy an evening track tour and exciting virtual racing. Tuesday’s agenda commenced with a presentation delivered by Jim Webber on workplace issues. Webber conducted a fun game show of HR, RDA and Louisville trivia. Following lunch, business guru Gene Marks provided the latest data and information relevant to attendees and their businesses before the RDA shareholders meeting. The afternoon ended with an IMPACT product dis-

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play and discussion with attending manufacturers, followed by a reception and dinner that included “some surprising entertainment and lessons! Prizes were handed out throughout

a workshop titled “Why Change?” which will continue during RDA’s next conference. McKenzie noted, “The meeting received the highest reviews of any

RDA members and manufacturers pose in front of Churchill Downs during the October 2018 IMPACT Performance Conference in Louisville, KY

the day to several lucky winners,” McKenzie shared. The final day of the IMPACT Performance Conference was open only to RDA members. Corporate Visions’ Steve Zelechoski presented

meeting we have had to date. Many positive comments were received, such as: ‘Thank you all for a great time in Louisville! From the first evening until the last, not only did I enjoy, but learned quite a bit as well. Excellent

presenters all around. Looking forward to the next conference!’; ‘I don’t know how you do it, but you always raise the bar to the next level. Each meeting is better than the last;’ and ‘We all get so much out of the conferences and I always walk away learning new things and keep my focus on thinking ‘outside of the box.’ “The event exceeded my expectations. All RDA members and supporting manufacturers were in attendance. The agenda was filled with top-rated speakers, providing all attendees with valuable takeaways. When you bring together the best PBE distributors and manufacturers, you can expect a meeting full of exuberant conversation and the sharing of market strategies. In addition, it never hurts to have a reception and dinner at the Kentucky Derby facility.” RDA’s next IMPACT Performance Conference is scheduled for April 1–3, 2019 at the Omni Hotel in Frisco, TX. For more information about RDA, visit or contact Robert McKenzie, Jr. at 731-2179081 /

Continued from Page 36

WINner’s Mindset

everything in your life. Failure is a necessary part of the success process. You can’t have real success in your life unless you fail.” Concluding the webinar, Luehr shared a poem called “Our Deepest Fear,” written by Marianne Williamson. It begins, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” Luehr reiterated, “Right now is the best time in history to be in the collision repair business!” before opening for questions from attendees. For more information on WIN, visit For more information on Luehr and Elite Body Shop Solutions, visit elitebody / DECEMBER 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS





In Reverse with Gary Ledoux

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

The Fabulous ‘50s and Mr. O’Donnell’s Invention The decade of the ‘50s marked a golden era in the auto industry. American servicemen were back from the war. No longer were factories turning out bombs and bullets. It was time to build some cars that were destined to be classics—and time to introduce some new automotive technology. Mainstay models like the Chevy Corvette and Ford Thunderbird were introduced. The 1957 Chevy Bel Air became the quintessential classic car. Ford’s 1957 Fairlane became forgettable. It was also the decade that saw the emergence of the import car with names like VW, Triumph and Jaguar. Typically at the time, import cars were first characterized as vehicles that were difficult to repair and difficult to find replacement parts and refinish paint for. That stigma would remain until the 1970s. In 1950, with so many people hitting the roads after being limited for so long by gas and tire rationing and simply lacking a vehicle, vehicle miles traveled and the accident rate began to soar. In 1950, 34,763 highway deaths were reported. It was time to implement some safety measures. Wide curved-glass windows, front and rear, gave drivers an extra measure of safety to avoid accidents … and offered replacement window re-installers a new challenge. The new Chevy small-block V8 gave drivers safety in the way of more power on the new interstate freeways to pass and merge into traffic. Safety became more of an issue in the 1950s for body repairers, the motoring public and civil and safety engineers. Vehicle safety meant greater use of seat belts and padded dashboards. The concept of automotive safety airbags was developed in the 1950s, but they were not very practical. To deploy an airbag, a driver or passenger had to anticipate a collision and flick the “deploy” switch in time. Most people weren’t quick enough. Roads became safer with new legislation that called for more signs and lane separation. Civil engineers


designed roads with a crown in the middle, allowing rain water to run off to the edges, leaving a better, less slippery surface. It was also the start of the interstate highway system, which promoted driving and led to more accidents and more need for body shops.

Some key events in the 1950s would lead to the industry’s first voice in the 1960s. In June of 1955, Emil Stanley founded Stanley Publishing, which produced two magazines: Transportation Supply News and Jobber Product News. Little did he realize, he would later be an innovator in the world of publishing for the collision repair industry. In 1962, Stanley would produce the first nationally distributed collision trade publication, Auto Body News and Good Car Care magazine. Finally, the collision repair industry in general, and shops in particular, had a voice. Auto body painters finally learned that breathing toxic paint fumes all day was just not good for their lungs, and great strides were made in the world of paint application and the paint-application environment. It was around this time that German engineers developed downdraft technology for rapid air movement and adapted it for use in paint booths. During the war, people and soldiers in Germany worked underground for protection and secrecy. German engineers devised a method of pushing fresh air underground to soldiers and workers and pulled spent air out the bottom along a trench and then exhausted to the outside. When


the industrial infrastructure of Europe was rebuilt, engineers turned to the downdraft method. This was a technology whose time had come because painter health and safety became more of an issue in the 1950s. The downdraft system could quickly and efficiently suck fumes and spray away from the painter and into a floor trench. Fire prevention also became more of an issue, which promoted improvements in spark and fume control and spark containment within the booth. However, not every shop had a booth or saw the need for a booth. Lacquer was the paint of choice in the ‘50s, a product that dried so fast that overspray didn’t go nearly as far as enamel. Besides, lacquer needed to be polished to a shine, so a little overspray that




See The Fabulous ‘50s, Page 66


m G t the e a g K i fit to

ty uali

settled on a freshly painted surface was not a problem. In the early 1950s, the average hourly rate for collision repair was $4 to $5 per hour. The average hourly wage for a body man was $1.75 per hour. This seems ridiculous today, but back then, bread was $0.12 per loaf, and 3 pounds of hamburger cost $0.89. An article appearing in a 1969 trade journal provided one long-time shop owner’s vision of the collision business over the past 20 years. He noted that 1949–1954 were the best years of his operation. There were few shops and plenty of work. He employed 15 body men—a huge shop for the time. Intrusion from the insurance companies was almost non-existent, and in fact, the insurance appraisers seemed most amiable.

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The Next Generation Speaks Out on Their Collision Repair Careers by Chasidy Rae Sisk

It is common knowledge in the collision repair industry that there is a shortage of incoming technicians. Over the past few years, many articles, educational seminars and programs have been dedicated to this dilemma. However, while many industry professionals have spoken about what shops can do to engage millennials and Generation Z (those born between 1995 and 2009), rarely does this information come with feedback from the young people in these age groups who have decided to join the industry’s workforce. Why did these young people pursue a career in the collision repair industry? What factors are most important when considering a company for which to work? What misperceptions have they encountered about the industry, and how can the industry’s image be improved to attract more of their peers? These are some of the questions that several young industry professionals graciously answered for Autobody News. Their responses will help their more seasoned peers better understand their generation in order to attract and maintain new employees. Like any other group, no two individuals are the same, and their responses vary as much as their personalities. However, there are some underlying similarities and themes across their responses. Most of those interviewed were interested in the industry from a young age. Travis Jeske, a UTI graduate who works for Caliber Collision, grew up in the automotive industry with a mechanic for a father, and he decided to pursue collision repair training so that he could open his own mechanic and body shop one day. Alex Casillas-Mendoza, another UTI graduate and Caliber employee, shared “I have a passion for cars and have always been intrigued by the engineering, assembly and disassembly of any vehicle.” Nineteen-year-old Meghan Grant worked in the garage with her dad when she was younger and developed a “passion for cars, trucks, bikes—you name it. Typical fatherdaughter stuff. My mom, on the other 50

hand, was very artistic, so I was always painting and doing arts and crafts with her. I love being able to create things on my own, so I figured, why not mix the two? I started dabbling in the collision repair industry when I was around 13 and started seriously pursuing the field when I was 15.” Shiloh Taft, an employee at Julian’s Auto Body and Frame, has “always enjoyed working with my hands and fixing things. It’s amazing to get

nothing but increase. I was excited to find out there was a one-year vocational school I could attend to put me in a career I actually wanted to do. [When seeking employment,] the most important factor to me was getting my student loans paid off within the next five to 10 years, so I didn’t apply to companies that don’t offer student loan benefits, but luckily, I found a company that has decided to help me repay my student loans once my probation period ends.”

Casillas-Mendoza agreed that the most important factor when considering a place of employment is “the opportunity to grow and build my career path progressively.” For others, the work environment plays a vital role in their decision-making. Taft stated, “A good group of people can really make work flow more efficiently. It’s very important for me to work with people who have the same goals as I do so we can get

something that’s broken and restore [it to] its original form.” ABRA’s Mackenzie Hanberry found the industry a little later in life when she was working in the car wash industry and became interested in learning body work as a response to customers asking her how to repair issues with their vehicles. Looking at what’s most important when considering a job, the young industry professionals were given five categories to prioritize: company culture, compensation and benefits, charity and community involvement, training opportunities and potential for advancement. Overall, training opportunities were the most important factor. Potential for advancement tied in second place with compensation and benefits, followed by charity and community involvement; company culture came in last. For Jeske, “All of these are about the same importance. What’s most important is a good process because without it, work becomes a nightmare. How the shop is managed and that quality repairs are being performed outrank everything else.” Student debt assistance was a very important consideration for Ashley Cambern of Woodlands Collision Center after she graduated school and began looking for employment. “After high school, I wasn’t prepared to go to college and study four more years when I could be out in the world doing something I love and making money,” she said. “Plus, college tuition prices have done

Potential for advancement is also vital to Cambern, who stated, “I don’t want to work anywhere that I can’t get a better-paying job in the long haul. I understand starting at the bottom and working your way up, but if you have the skills and they hold you back—you don’t need to work for a place like that.”

the job done in a timely manner and do it right the first time.” Grant added, “I already love what I do, so the only thing that extremely concerns me is the work environment. I wouldn’t want to work somewhere that management was horrible and made me feel like I didn’t want to be there.”

“I already love what I do, so the only thing that extremely concerns me is the work environment. I wouldn’t want to work somewhere that management was horrible and made me feel like I didn’t want to be there.” — Meghan Grant


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These young professionals shared a lot of opinions about misperceptions of the industry. Cambern said she feels that many people believe “you have to be trained your whole life to work on a wrecked vehicle, but it’s really just about getting familiar with the types of materials used, understanding how they fit on the vehicle and learning how to do the repair.” Hanberry takes the opposite view. “One big misperception about this industry is that anyone can do this, and while technically that’s true, I feel it takes a certain type of skill set that needs to be required as a technician becomes more and more advanced,” she said. The largest misperception Grant has noticed “revolves around women in the industry. I’ve experienced firsthand people saying women can’t do it, and they’re awful at it and not strong enough. It really breaks my heart but also fuels it… whenever someone tells me women can’t work in this industry, I do my best to prove them wrong. The collision repair industry needs more women because women

in this industry are amazing at what they do!” Taft shares a similar experience. “I always hear, ‘You don’t look like a collision repair technician.’ What is a technician supposed to look like?” she said. “Some men in this industry have also told me I shouldn’t be doing a man’s job. The only way to combat that is by proving them wrong and showing that we women can do just as well as they can.” The general consensus for improving the industry’s image is making sure the job is done well and the customer is happy. As Cambern pointed out, “Just one positive thing can go a long way.” Hanberry added, “The better the repair, the more work will come in and the more money will be produced.” Public image is also a major factor that needs improvement. Casillas-Mendoza noted, “We are often portrayed as the bad guys. When insurance companies fight about repairs being done per OEM requirements, it delays vehicles getting repaired in a timely manner and results in customers getting upset with the shop. We need to regain control

of our industry and not let insurance companies dictate how vehicles should be repaired to improve turn-around time and provide a better customer experience.” When asked how to attract more young people to the industry, Cambern and Hanberry agreed that money talks. According to Cambern, “People my age are going to college or just getting out, and paying for their student debt is the biggest thing on their mind. Also, tools are very expensive, and you can’t make money without them. I think more people would be interested in this industry if employers offered a $2,000 voucher for tools that could be repaid slowly through monthly payments.” Hanberry added, “I understand starting at the bottom, but as a technician gets better and learns more, their pay should increase. More people are flocking to work on computers, and few people see manual labor as rewarding.” Jeske believes the industry needs to work on attracting fresh blood at a younger age. “Most people my age have al-

ready decided what they want to do in life. We need to get kids interested in cars and ensure high schools keep having shop programs – that’s how I got into this industry,” he said. A big deterrent to pursuing a career in the industry is the view that more experienced professionals have of the younger generation. Hanberry shared, “Being a millennial, we have a really bad reputation of being lazy and not wanting to work for our money. That’s how the older generation sees us, but if they’d sit down and work with us, they’d realize we are driven by hard work and being rewarded for that work.” Casillas-Mendoza believes the older generation should recognize “that we have a fresh outlook on the industry, and we’re ready to work hard and grow in experience to become the next great generation of technicians. One major thing older guys do is underestimate the new generation techs. They think we don’t have the drive it takes to succeed in this industry, but I work hard to achieve OE-approved repairs and prove to myself and others that our generation of technicians can do as well or

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better than the older generation of industry veterans.” According to Grant, “The biggest thing the older generation should know about us is that there are lots of us out here with a thirst for knowledge who want to get dirty, work hard and learn. Some of us might take a little more time than others to learn, but most of us have that drive, thirst and hunger for more knowledge so we can become the best we can be.” Cambern hopes that established industry professionals will also recognize her generation’s need for advancement. “We’re capable of doing things they’ve been doing for a long time,” she said. “Many places that hire people from my generation often lose them because there’s no room for advancement. It seems that younger technicians are only promoted when an older guy retires or passes away. My generation likes to feel wanted and important; they strive to do their best when they feel like they have purpose, but if their job doesn’t provide those things and offers no room for advancement, they’ll move on because there’s no reason to stay in

a job that gives them no purpose.” Brandon Eckenrode, director of development for the Collision Repair Education Foundation, agrees that the industry needs to focus on getting students involved in collision repair and showcasing the industry in a better light at middle school and high school levels. “The industry needs to take on responsibility. Many misperceptions about collision repair can be rectified simply by making shops and schools look professional,” Eckenrode suggested. “We need to address this at a local level by getting local employers involved to demonstrate the need for these programs. Career fairs are also helpful for showing there are plenty of jobs available for those who are properly educated.” Offering an example of a local industry-led program that has effectively engaged local students, Eckenrode noted, “Since the Atlanta I-CAR Committee got involved with their local high school, they’ve raised nearly $400,000 to reinvest in the programs, and enrollment has doubled. The Committee’s involvement with local collision repair programs

and students has had a drastic impact on the school.” Gerry Poirier, chair of the Atlanta I-CAR Committee, recalled, “We got involved because we needed to do more than just try to get more techs into the industry. We reached out to Maxwell High School of Technology around seven years ago and approached the faculty to explain our goals. They had around 20 kids in their collision program at the time. We established an Advisory Board and started fundraising for them. We’ve donated nearly $100,000 in grants, scholarships and supplies, and their program now attracts around 80 students each year.” The Committee is also involved with Athens Tech, Chattahoochee Tech, Atlanta Tech and North Georgia Tech, all of which have received CREF’s Makeover Grant. Their next phase will include a signing day program that guarantees employment to good students. Poirier said, “We want to define career paths, help the schools determine if the paths are a good fit for their students and encourage students to follow the path.”

Mitchell Partners With VeriFacts

Mitchell announced it has signed a partnership agreement with VeriFacts Automotive for it to provide audit and inspection field services in support of Mitchell's OEM Collision Repair Network solutions, which are offered to auto manufacturers (OEMs), fleets, and other industry participants. The partnership will promptly help facilitate the launch of the General Motors Collision Repair Network, administered by Mitchell. VeriFacts will remain the verification company for the Cadillac Aluminum Program. Interested repairers can find more information about the GM program requirements and application processes on genuinegmparts .com. “VeriFacts has a solid reputation and vast experience in the field of vehicle manufacturer repair programs, and we are delighted to work with Mitchell to provide services for its OEM Collision Repair Network Solutions,” said Andy MacDonald, VP Sales & OEM for VeriFacts.

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

with Ed Attanasio

PPG’s Jennifer Jarzembowski Discusses Impact of OEM Certifications National Account Manager, OEM After Sales Jennifer Jarzembowski from PPG advises shops all over the country on the advantages of attaining OEM certifications and helps shops obtain them.



Are OEM certifications important to insurance compa-

mand marketing, smart phone apps and the increased use of vehicle telematics give the OEM the advantage of the first notice of loss. OEM certification training, equipment and tooling can be costly. If a shop is dedicated enough to meet the requirements of a certification, a consumer can be reassured that the facility is doing safe and proper repairs.

OEM certification continues How can OEM certifications to grow, and existing prostrengthen shops’ relationships grams are becoming more and more with their DRPs? refined. The availability and required OEM certification can make a use of repair procedures and position facility less dependent on the statements make certified shops the authority on collision repair. The in- insurer. It can help leverage the insurance company authority is be- surer to allow the facility to repair coming less of a factor and there is the vehicle to the manufacturer standards (and in a timely manmore emphasis on the repair ner), allowing them to use method, OEM compliance OEM parts and get paid a and liability exposure rather fair rate. While a certified than alternative parts usage facility may still need to exand severity. I believe that plain the necessary costs to consistency in estimates and insurers, automakers are safe and proper repairs is bedoing a good job of educatcoming important to the inPPG’s National ing and keeping the insurers surance companies, and Account Manager, OEM After Sales informed regarding their challenging certified shops is therefore decreasing. They Jennifer Jarzem- certification requirements. bowski said that are showing interest in ac- OEM certifications Customers are being influcessing network manage- are an investment enced by the automakers to that many shops go to a certified facility, and ment systems that provide certified shop information might have to make they are much less likely (if and KPIs. Knowing who the to stay competitive at all) to be influenced to certified facilities are and knowing take the vehicle to a shop that is not the quality of their repairs makes it certified. Their trust has already been more likely that they will send work attained. Emerging legislation in several states will also drive consumer to them. consent and appropriate repair rates. Why are OEM certifications important to consumers? Shouldn’t a shop be discerning when pursuing an OE cerOEMs, consumer advocacy tification? organizations and media are When pursuing an OEM cereducating consumers on the importification, many factors need tance of identifying shops that meet OEM requirements, can assure a to be considered. It is absolutely esproper and safe repair of their vehicle sential that diligent research is done and will restore them to pre-collision, to ensure that there will be a return factory condition. OEMs are giving on investment (ROI). While I believe vehicle owners the level of confi- that ultimately it is an investment dence that they have identified quality that many shops might have to make shops at the point of vehicle purchase. to compete long-term, the proper exCertified shop locator sites, on-de- ecution of choosing a particular pro-


Q: A:

Q: A:

Q: A:



gram or programs is essential. Some major points to consider are vehicles in operation in their market, relationships with the area dealers, and initial and ongoing investment for equipment and training (and budgeting for it) based on the program requirements and ROI, etc.

them make decisions in the process. Interested facilities should express interest with their local PPG territory manager, and we will work with that shop on a case-by-case basis to help them make informed decisions in pursuing certifications.

What role do you play at PPG in helping shops get signed up for OE certifications? What’s the process?

You recently made an offer at a CAA meeting that you would help shops in the certification process, even if they don’t use PPG. Is that true and if so, why?




Our OEM after sales team in PPG automotive refinish works with the manufacturers and their administrators regarding the growth of their programs, and we remain educated on the program requirements. While it is the responsibility of the shops to pursue certification, we can certainly provide them with the knowledge and tools to help


PPG is dedicated to working creatively to help solve not only our customers’ challenges, but those of our industry as a whole. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with all shops where it makes sense, as well as all other industry associations in the interest of, and as an end goal of, producing a safe and See Jennifer Jarzembowski, Page 61

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From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

Toyota’s Training Website Offers Free Information for Collision Repairers One of the occasional frustrations I experience is seeing the industry fail to make use of some of the great (and free!) resources shops have at their disposal. When you find, for example, something is missing or seemingly inaccurate in one of the estimating systems, please take a few minutes to submit an inquiry to the Database Enhancement Gateway ( In October, for example, someone questioned why there was no paint time for the fender bracket for the 2017 Toyota 4Runner in the CCC estimating system; within a day, CCC responded that it was adding two-tenths of an hour of paint time for the part. The entire industry benefits from the few minutes it took someone to submit that inquiry to the DEG. If every shop in the country were to submit even just one or two inquiries a year, the estimating sys-

tems would be far more complete and accurate. Can’t find some specific collision repair information? There’s “Ask ICAR,” an excellent, searchable database of questions submitted by your colleagues and answered by the great

sion beams or bumper reinforcements? The answers are right at “Ask I-CAR” ( /ask-icar.html). If your question isn’t there and already answered, you can submit it to be answered for you – likely helping others as well. (Full disclosure: There’s a subscription fee for I-CAR’s Repairability Technical Support resources, but it’s waived for any shop that is regularly training with ICAR.) But perhaps the free resource I most often see shops scribbling down in their notes when I talk about it in my classes is Collision The Toyota training website offers sections of information Repair & Refinish Training both for body technicians and painters (www.crrtraining .com), folks at I-CAR. Wondering if Hyundai which is packed with tools to help or Kia has sectioning procedures, for you repair Toyota and Lexus vehicles. example? What does I-CAR say It’s not a substitute for subscribing to about repairing damaged door intru- Toyota’s repair information website,

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but it offers tons of great information. Here are just a few portions of the website that I think shops should check out: • Start with the “News” tab at the top of the homepage. On the righthand side is a list of categories of content, including “Tech TIPS.” Divided up between “Painters Corner” and “Body Corner,” the Tech TIPS offer Toyota’s information and advice for your technicians on such topics as blending, decoding paint codes and sensor recalibration. • The “Training News” category is divided up further by topics including “paint,” “body,” “electrical” and “safety.” I usually suggest starting with the “recommended procedures” topic because you’ll probably find something of immediate use and interest, such as articles on zero point calibration, calibrating bird’seye view cameras and welding tech-

are offered online through the website, and you can also find a complete schedule for the instructor-led courses Toyota offers at its three training facilities around the country. (A fourth location is “coming soon.”) • I also encourage shops to sign up to receive Toyota’s “Collision Pros” magazine. It’s a free quarterly publication that offers repairer information on Toyota’s newest vehicles, advice on finding the Toyota information you need and tips such as how to Videos on the site offer information on such topics as order replacement vehicle scanning Toyota vehicles information labels. You can Eric Mendoza walking you through sign to receive it using this link: the proper procedures for conducting a “health check” (a diagnostic scan) But until you receive your first copy on a Toyota vehicle. (or if you ever want to see articles • If you haven’t already done so, from previous issues), some of the use the “CR&R Info” tab from the magazine’s content is available at the home page to register for the “Se- Toyota training website. cure Personal Identification Number” (SPIN) that you need to register I commend Toyota for creating all for any of the collision repair train- the content that they have to help the ing courses Toyota offers for both industry. Now it’s up to you to put dealership and independent shop the website to use to help your techtechnicians. Many of those courses nicians and your business. niques that minimize heat-effect. • The “Video” category includes about a dozen brief videos. One of the best videos features Toyota trainer

Continued from Page 56

Jennifer Jarzembowski

quality repair for the consumer.

Jennifer Jarzembowski joined PPG automotive refinish in May 2018 as national account manager, OEM after sales. She works with OEMs on the growth of their certified collision programs, PPG product approvals and identifying opportunities for their field sales organization. Jarzembowski has more than 10 years of experience working with facilities on a national level and assisting them with achieving OEM certifications. She brings a wealth of knowledge in certification requirements, including equipment and training. Her goal at PPG is to help bring value and profitability to already-certified shops and those seek-

Don’t Miss the Weekly Industry NEWS Your Shop Needs. Sign Up Free Today!

ing certification. Prior to joining PPG, Jarzembowski worked with Assured Performance Network (APN) as director of certification integration and OEM account manager. Before APN, she spent 24 years with Axalta Coating Systems as a national account manager. In this role, she was responsible for various aftermarket collision programs, including building and maintaining program materials and managing a network of inspectors. She also held positions in managing color & technical service, regulatory, health & safety and product management. Her career also includes eight years as a Russian linguist and U.S. Naval petty officer, as well as four years as a licensed Part 135 and 121 aircraft dispatcher. She studied languages and world business at Eastern Michigan University.


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Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

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

5 Key Steps to Implementing Practical Production Processes “Sometimes I think pushing a repair through a collision center is like putting a bag into the security scanner at the airport,” said John Shoemaker, business development manager for BASF Automotive Refinish Coatings North America. “You put the bag on the belt and hope it comes out the other end without any complications.”

John Shoemaker, business development manager for BASF Automotive Refinish Coatings North America

Shoemaker spoke to a group of body shop owners and managers during NACE Automechanika in Atlanta, GA, this past summer about practical production processes and how critical it is to incorporate them into your business. When Shoemaker walks into a body shop, he often notices half-repaired vehicles waiting for a missed part or sublet vendor to arrive. During his presentation, he stressed the

he said. “There are little things you are going to need as you work on that vehicle, and if you don’t have those things, your technicians are just staying busy working on cars but not being productive—completing repairs and getting them out the door.” His advice: “Don’t put a vehicle in production until you are 100 percent sure that it’s ready to be repaired and will go through the shop without any stoppage.” Shoemaker said that careful production planning can reduce the “chaos” of collision repair. Experience has shown that it can also help with productivity and reduce cycle time, improve touch time and ultimately improve overall customer service and a shop’s key performance indicators (KPIs). Shoemaker shared five key steps to repair production planning: 1) Systematic damage appraisal inspection – itemizing all operations necessary to repair the vehicle

The first step is to review the vehicle using a damage appraisal as a guide and disassemble the car to ensure all of the damage is identified. As you disassemble the vehicle, systematically list the parts that will be needed for any identified repairs. “A certified tech and damage appraiser should identify every single step that’s involved in repairing that vehicle on day one,” said Shoemaker. 2) Focus on all parts, materials and sublet identified on the damage appraisal

Next, Shoemaker said to determine the type of part to be used, whether it’s OEM, aftermarket or recycled. “Not only should you have the parts necessary, but you should also have everything related to replacing that part,” he advised. This includes accessory items

John Shoemaker stressed the importance of putting a vehicle in production when you are 100 percent sure that it’s ready to be repaired

importance of ensuring that everything needed to repair the car is organized in advance. “Just because you have an estimate and a technician doesn’t mean that the car is ready to be repaired,” 62


such as fasteners; decals, emblems and labels; seam sealers, corrosion protection and sound pads; and pinstripes. He said to pay close attention

going to be needed for the repair and to reference Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) from companies such as 3M. Another option is asking the dealer selling the parts to obtain the OEM procedure. “If you order a roof panel from somebody, ask them to send the repair procedures with it,” he said.

3) Validate available reference materials that were used to capture repair process operations During Tim Rousseau, technician, at Tom Bush Collision Center this stage, Shoemaker said in Jacksonville, FL. Credit: Tom Bush Collision Center in it’s critical to capture all Jacksonville, FL operations using P-Pages, to validating internal/external repairs information from ALLDATA, the such as glasswork, key coding, me- SCRS Guide to Complete Repair Planning, the vehicle manufacturer chanical repairs and framework. Shoemaker encouraged attendees repair specifications and/or refinish to follow OEM repair procedures procedures. every time to learn exactly what is See 5 Key Steps, Page 66

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Day Job/Night Job

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

with Ed Attanasio

Industry Veteran Creates Vintage Wine Furniture He’s got mad skills when it comes to making furniture out of wine barrels and old wood that he finds or purchases for his creations. It’s something he does when he isn’t meeting with insurance companies as the director of insurance relations for Cook’s Collision. Frank Quadrato has 37 years of experience in the collision repair industry in northern California. He credits much of what he learned about the industry to Peter Lock, the former head instructor at Contra Costa College, where he graduated in 1986. After working for several independent shops as a technician to learn every facet of the industry, Quadrato was hired by Cook’s Collision nearly 20 years ago. Seven years ago, Quadrato began building furniture and other items such as tables, fire pits, chairs and other items that are in high demand. But his first creation was something completely different.

Frank Quadrato’s wine furniture gets rave reviews and sells quickly

“My son Chris (then 14) and I wanted to buy an old truck and restore it,” Quadrato said. “To raise the money, we designed and manufactured what we called ‘Dream Falls,’ a water feature made out of metal and slate. It was a nice father-and-son project and an opportunity to teach Chris how to weld. We built a few of them and took them to the Clayton Wine Festival, and they were a hit. We did it the following year and got enough money to buy the truck. After 64

we restored it, I was looking around for other projects, and that’s why I started making things out of wood.” To make the fire pits, Quadrato takes old wine barrels and re-purposes them. They’ve become a pop-

Lisa (left) and Frank Quadrato work together to make tables, fire pits, chairs and other items out of old wood and wine barrels

ular item and many of Quadrato’s friends and associates now have them on their patios and in their backyards. “I cut a hole in the barrel and put a fireplace insert in there and then make a small door for the gas hookup,” he said. “Then, I take winery box tops and attach them in a ring around the outside of the fire pit. People who love wine really appreciate the skills and craftsmanship that go into these fire pits, and I think they also like the fact that I am taking these old barrels and making them useful again.” The wine barrel fire pits take 8-10 hours on average to make and retail for $950. Quadrato sells them at wine festivals throughout the Bay Area and gets a lot of satisfaction with great reviews for his work. In addition to designing and building a wide range of other items, he is always looking for that next project and challenge. “I’ve made thousands of things now, including large tables, candlesticks, chairs, stools, cabinets and all types of furniture using old, stressed wood,” he said. “I recently made an 8-foot table out of wood that I got from an old barn. I build everything from scratch in my garage and then


we sell them at shows. I was an iron worker for three years before I became a body man, so I know how to build things, which allows me to creatively combine wood and metal in many of my pieces.” Building furniture is a family affair at the Quadrato house in Clayton, CA, because Frank’s wife, Lisa, helps him with the staining and finish work. “She is great and has an eye for detail. We work very well together,” Quadrato said. “We always seem to have at least one project going on here. Recently, we made wine tables and chairs and sold them at four East Bay wine shows. We have the best wine in the world right here, and people love the fact that we are repurposing wine barrels to make furniture.” A winery in St. Helena recently contracted Quadrato to make furni-

ture after designing and building the vineyard’s sign. “I found an old barn in Martinez, CA, and disassembled it,” he said. “Then I took the wood and made picnic tables for AXR Vineyards out of it. I love using old and distressed wood because it has a distinct look and character.” Quadrato just turned 59. When the time comes for him to step down at Cook’s Collision, he knows that building his furniture will play a major role in his retirement. “It keeps me busy, and I like making things after fixing things for so many years. When I get a positive response from someone for a fire pit or a table, for example, it’s very satisfying and fulfilling,” he said.



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CIF Elects Scott Walton as New Trustee

The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) recently elected Scott Walton to the Board of Trustees to carry on the foundation’s initiatives throughout the coming years. Walton has been in the industry for more than 15 years. He joins CIF from Sherwin-Williams, where he has worked for more than 20 years in various responsibilities. Sherwin-Williams is a long-time supporter of philanthropic activities for organizations such as CIF. Trustee Casey Steffen (SaintGobain Abrasives) said, “Scott has been a supporter of CIF for quite some time, and we are happy to have him on board. His experience in strategic planning, budgeting and being well-connected in the industry will surely add to CIF’s ability to assist collision professionals in need. He will be fully involved in CIF’s gala, which is scheduled for Jan. 17, 2019 in Palm Springs, CA.”


4x Monthly E-Newsletter. Continued from Page 62

5 Key Steps

“Make sure you have them attached to your damage appraisal,” Shoemaker recommended. “They should be systematically documented and work hand-in-hand so there are no questions down the line.” He said this outlines to everyone involved exactly what steps have to be taken for the repair and the process that is going to be used. The information can also be helpful in the event of litigation. 4) Review damage appraisal with paint team leader to validate refinish requirements The reason this is important, according to Shoemaker, is that team members often have differing opinions about what needs to be painted and how it should be accomplished. This may be related to paint code, validating blend areas and verifying the refinish process—whether it’s single stage, base/clear, tri-stage, four-stage 66

Continued from Page 48

The Fabulous ‘50s

As the industry as we know it today was taking shape, it was composed primarily of skilled auto body craftsmen—artisans who knew how to work metal. However, many lacked the leadership and professional skills to deal with the more business-savvy insurance companies and the changing landscape. They were craftsmen, not businessmen. According to a report done in 1969, almost 10 percent of those in business during the 1949–1954 period refused to change with the times and the changing industry dynamics. Instead of changing, they became bitter and frustrated, allowing the industry to be permeated with low-paying or no-paying work. This later paved the way for early industry leaders, such as Silvie Licetra, to conduct business training courses in the early 1960s, which became popular. Then, according to the industry veteran, from 1954–1959 things started to go downhill. Insurance or matte finish. By having everyone involved from the onset, Shoemaker said, you’re closing the loop and ensuring all employees have a voice at the beginning of the process. “Using this method, you’re able to confirm everything that has to happen on that repair the first day of the repair,” he said. “This allows everything to move steadily through the shop without stopping.” 5) Validate with the production coordinator, parts specialist and lead body technician

After the repair has been validated, Shoemaker said it’s time to develop a repair plan for the management system. “Having an accurate repair plan will help you create timelines for each step, monitor the progression and allow all involved to understand what needs to be done,” he said. “Having a solid repair production plan will help keep your customers properly informed and is the first step in having them completely satisfied when the job is complete.”


companies found it difficult to find good appraisers. They were illtrained and not experienced. They became argumentative. Out of frustration, this was the period auto body associations, some around since the early 1940s, began to be more prevalent. The only problem was that those shop owners in the association would say one thing at the association meetings and do the opposite at their shops the very next day. Shop owners began to ask insurance companies to be their “shop of choice,” setting the stage for the future DRP concept. As an incentive to the insurance companies, some shops offered a 10 percent parts discount on claims. However, many made the offer “tongue-in-cheek,” knowing that they would increase the labor charges to make up for it. Thus, the insurance company demand for parts discounts was on. Prior to this time, body lead was required to fill small imperfections in sheet metal. The lead was sold in 1pound bars, 20 bars to a box. It was heated and turned into a molten form, then worked into a fender or other sheet metal panel with a wooden

spoon. It worked pretty well. But by about 1955, health and environmental issues raised with the use of lead spelled its demise. A Mr. J.C. O’Donnell invented body filler in 1955, but it would take another year before it was referred to as plastic body filler. Next to the development in 1956 of acrylic lacquer by DuPont Company and Rinshed-Mason, plastic body filler was one of the most profound developments of the collision repair world in the ‘50s. It didn’t take long before many simply referred to all plastic fillers by one of its most popular trade names: bondo. Plastic fillers were easier to use, enabling the shop to make a cheap and fast repair. The problem was, however, that early plastic fillers sometimes fell off the car, prompting either a redo of the repair or a very angry customer—or both. O’Donnell went on to found the Unican company on July 31, 1962, which is wellknown for its variety of body filler products. By the mid-1950s, the collision repair industry as we know it today was in full swing.



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Number of Flooded Cars on the Road Jumps 47% Over Past Year That figure is a 47 percent increase— more than 150,000 additional cars— from 2017, when hurricanes Harvey and Irma devastated the Gulf Coast and Southeast. With two major hurricanes impacting the U.S. this year, the number of flooded cars cleaned up and resold will likely grow. CARFAX estimates that at least 107,000 vehicles were damaged during Hurricane Florence. To help protect consumers, CARFAX is letting them check for reported flood damage free of charge at Vehicles reported as flood-damaged by a state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Canadian province, insurance companies and more are in use in every state. These 10 states have the most flood-damaged vehicles (percent increase over 2017): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Texas – 168,600 (230%) Florida – 34,400 (79%) Pennsylvania – 22,100 (11%) Kentucky – 21,700 (36%) Louisiana – 16,800 (-42%) Illinois – 15,500 (3%) South Carolina – 13,500 (4%) North Carolina – 12,400 (-5%) New Jersey – 11,900 (5%)

10. Michigan – 11,600 (6%)

The top five metropolitan areas with the most previously flooded cars back in use are Houston, New York City, Miami, Philadelphia and Dallas. “Our data suggests that severe weather events, especially historic ones like Harvey and Irma, have a nationwide impact. This surge in flood cars also underscores the importance of identifying these waterlogged wrecks before it’s too late,” said Dick Raines, president of CARFAX. “Flood cars can resurface no matter where you live, so we urge car buyers and sellers to use the resources available that will best protect them. Vigilance is key; start with a vehicle history report, mechanic’s inspection and thorough test drive to help prevent con men from ripping you off.” There are safety, health and financial concerns about flooded cars. Water can compromise the mechanical, electrical and safety systems of a vehicle, turning them into ticking time bombs. Hazardous mold and bacteria may develop in the soft parts of the car. Additionally, unsuspecting buyers often pay thousands more than a flooded car is worth.


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Fake Recall Notices Get Car Dealers in Trouble With FTC by David A. Wood,

We thank for reprint permission.

Fake recall notices have caused DCarea car dealers to settle a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint that accuses the dealerships of mailing more than 21,000 fake “urgent recall” notices to consumers in 2015 and 2017. According to the FTC, the dealers and a marketing firm agreed to settle the deceptive advertising charges that allege the notices were mailed to convince car owners to visit the dealerships. The car dealers do business as Passport Toyota, Passport Nissan of Alexandria, VA, and Passport Nissan of Marlow Heights, MD. The marketing company, Temecula Equity Group, LLC, does business as and is located in California. Considering the huge number of vehicles on the roads that have open (unrepaired) recalls, the government has taken measures to combat fake recall notices sent by companies to convince owners to visit dealerships.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates 30 percent of drivers completely ignore recall notices, even if the safety defects could cost lives. In 2014, NHTSA announced that all manufacturers must use distinctive labels for recall mailings to consumers, using white, uppercase letters against a red background.

According to NHTSA, the recall label is intended to “help protect consumers from misleading sales and marketing materials that mimic, in their wording and presentation, legitimate safety recall alerts from manufacturers that can lead owners to purchase costly products and services that have no connection to a le-

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gitimate safety recall.” However, the FTC says the DCarea car dealers sent fake recall notices that used the same color scheme as official notices sent by automakers. The government says the vast majority of vehicles covered by the fake recall notices did not have open recalls, even though the notices said, “URGENT RECALL NOTICE” in large, boldfaced uppercase letters. On the reverse side, it said, “VEHICLE RECALL NOTICE” and “WARNING” in large red and black boldfaced, uppercase letters on a white background. The FTC complaint alleges Passport first sent about 7,000 Toyota fake recall notices in 2015, and then the dealers sent about 14,000 notices to Nissan customers in June 2017. Those fake notices were mailed even though numerous complaints were made after the first notices were sent in 2015. The government says hundreds of vehicle owners contacted the Passport dealerships and were told the cars needed to be brought to the dealers to learn whether the cars had



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unrepaired recalls. In addition, the FTC says some of those car owners paid for repairs that had nothing to do with recalls. While the FTC alleges the notices were mailed to increase business at the service departments of the dealerships, Passport claims the fake recall notices were mailed in an attempt to “correct unrepaired vehicles subject to a recall and it was not our intention to mislead anyone.” But although Passport says it mailed the notices to “correct unrepaired vehicles subject to a recall,” the company also says “open recalls were unavailable to Passport or other dealerships.” Passport further says the language used on the fake recall notices “was not created by Passport—it was originated by a California company unrelated to our business.” By agreeing to settle the allegations, Passport and Temecula Equity Group are “permanently prohibited from misrepresenting, expressly or by implication: 1) whether any motor vehicle is subject to an open safety recall or service campaign, or 2) certain other material facts about motor vehicles.”

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The following dealerships are eager to serve your needs. Call your local Subaru collision parts specialist today! / DECEMBER 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


AutoNation Embarks on New Parts Path by Gary Ledoux

The current dynamic for the collision repair industry is that parts have always been sourced from separate OEM & aftermarket providers. As a result of growing utilization of aftermarket parts, franchise dealers may have seen erosion of their OEM parts sales. “When an OE dealer’s parts department receives a collision parts order from a body shop, they only get 50 to 60 percent of what that car needs for replacement parts. The rest of the order, and the parts profit it generates, goes to the aftermarket or salvage,” said Tom Calloway, Vice President of Customer Care and Corporate Operations for AutoNation in a recent interview with Autobody News. AutoNation wanted to capture a greater share of the wholesale collision parts market, so it embarked with a new vision and business model to serve the collision repair industry. The goal: leverage its scale and expertise to deepen its market share by complementing the current OEM collision parts offering with aftermarket parts as well.

So in 2017, AutoNation set off to build the structure for its new offering – from sourcing and transporting parts from overseas to expanding its current wholesale distribution network to serve its cus-

Tom Calloway, Vice President of Customer Care and Corporate Operations for AutoNation

tomers. In keeping with the moniker of America’s largest automotive retailer, AutoNation continued to put

AutoNation Launches New Theme Vehicle for Breast Cancer Awareness by Gary Ledoux

Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. AutoNation has a deep commitment through its Drive Pink initiative, and is committed to drive out cancer, through awareness and critical research. AutoNation is a proud supporter of the Breast Cancer Re-

Robin Adkison, also known as “Robin1000,” a street artisan turned custom vehicle painter, stands with this year’s AutoNation theme truck.

search Foundation and other cancer-related charities. Since 2013, AutoNation has raised and donated over $16 million to fund cancer research and treatment from coast to 70

coast. This year’s Drive Pink themed vehicle is a new Toyota 4Runner painted with … of all things … spray cans. Debuting such a vehicle at SEMA seems almost odd in a world of high-quality paint and exotic application processes. But you can’t argue with the results. Texasbased Robin Adkison, better known in the world of street artisans as “Robin1000,” was busy painting street murals on sidewalks and on the sides of buildings when he was selected by celebrity and vehicle builder/designer Jeff Allen with Flat 12 Gallery to paint AutoNation’s themed vehicle. “I’ve been painting and drawing since I was a little kid,” said Adkison. “I’ve used pencils, oil paints on canvas and spray cans on brick and concrete, but this was the first time using ‘rattle-cans’ on steel.” The vehicle was completely stripped of its finish, then, over the course of three days, Adkison went to town with spray cans. “[There’s] a fine line between graffiti and art,” Adkison said. “This is definitely art.”


its scale to work in expanding its parts network. “With over 300 locations nationwide, representing most major brands, we were well positioned to take the business to the next level when we expanded both our distribution network and our parts offering,” Calloway said. In early 2018, AutoNation launched its expanded aftermarket parts distribution network in Washington, Northern California, Phoenix, Memphis, Dallas-Fort Worth and Orlando, with more markets scheduled for 2019. They also integrated into the industry’s top electronic ordering platforms. Along with the two-pronged offering of OE and aftermarket parts, AutoNation is supporting the new offering with single, consolidated deliveries. Although there are myriad logistics playing out behind the scenes, they will all be invisible to the shop ordering the parts. All they will see is the AutoNation truck delivering both their OE and aftermarket parts. Calloway explained that this will have a positive effect on a shop’s cycle time and margin improvement. Calloway commented that the

expanded OE/aftermarket parts solution has also helped its own collision network become more efficient. “One of our biggest customers to benefit from this is our own network of 80+ collision shops.” How has the industry embraced the new solution? Calloway explained that its own AutoNation collision centers, as well as current customers, like the new consolidated concept of OE and aftermarket, and early adoption is already demonstrating tangible benefits. Customers now reap the benefit of a new solution in the marketplace, supported by a backbone of experienced parts experts providing worldclass service. Calloway explained AutoNation’s reason for making this pioneering change. “With the marriage of OE and now aftermarket parts, we feel like we’ve created a winning combination for our customers, from MSOs to independents. By offering this new solution in the market, our network is creating efficiencies for doing business and enabling customers to lower costs. When they know ‘One Call Does it All,’ that’s a powerful partnership.”

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The Women’s Industry Network (WIN®) recently announced that nominations for the prestigious Most Influential Women (MIW) awards will open on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 and be accepted through Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. The winners will be recognized at a gala during the 2019 WIN Educational Conference being held May 6–8, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Nominations of women working in any segment of the collision repair industry across the United States and Canada are welcomed. “I’d like to encourage you to nominate the women in our industry who you know are making a positive difference in their companies, communities and/or the industry at large,” requested Cheryl Boswell, who co-chairs WIN’s MIW Committee and was also named a MIW in 2015. “The MIW nomination process is a great way to recognize deserving women and let them know they are making a difference.” Since its inception in 1999, the Most Influential Women program has recognized more than 90

women who have enriched the collision repair industry with their leadership, vision and commitment to excellence. WIN acquired stewardship of the Most Influential Women program in 2013 and continues to evolve the program to align with WIN’s mission of “driving the future of collision repair by attracting, developing and advancing women.” “It is important to recognize women for their leadership. This award focuses on four areas: industry influence, professional accomplishments, mentoring and support for others in the collision repair industry, and going beyond the requirements of their professional lives to give back to their communities,” commented Michelle Sullivan, WIN chair and 2016 MIW honoree. Additional information about the MIW program and the 2019 nomination form can be found on the WIN website at http://www

CREF Receives $100,000 Donation From Allstate Insurance

Allstate Insurance Company has continued its strong commitment to the future of the collision industry by contributing $100,000 to the Collision Repair Education Foundation.

Industry donations such as Allstate’s assist the Foundation in its ability to support high school and college collision school programs, instructors and students nationwide. “Collision repair education is exceptionally important in preparing the next generation of technicians,” said Allstate Claims Vice President Dave Prejna. “Contributing to the Collision Repair Education Foundation is an investment in the future and something we take great pride in at Allstate.” “Allstate’s continued support 72

has allowed the Collision Repair Education Foundation to support collision schools that graduate students who are productive, efficient and capable staff members [from] day one on the job within the collision industry,” said Clark Plucinski, executive director of the Collision Repair Education Foundation. “As repair facilities are seeking the next generation of technicians who will be safely repairing consumers’ collision-damaged vehicles, Allstate’s support assists in our ability to help high school and post-secondary collision instructors provide a quality technical education to their students.”

Industry members interested in joining the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s roster of supporters to assist high school and post-secondary collision school programs and students should contact Brandon Eckenrode, the Education Foundation’s director of development, at (312) 2310258 or


Why Are Thieves Stealing Airbags From New Honda Civics and Accords? by Jay Traugott, CarBuzz

If you own a late-model Honda Civic or Accord, or any relatively new Honda or Acura model, you might want to pay attention to this. Perhaps it’s already too late for some. According to USA Today, criminals across the U.S. have been stealing airbags out of late-model Hondas to resell on the black market, be it online or to shady local repair shops. Both the driver and front passenger airbags are being targeted. Law enforcement agencies in cities such as New York, Miami and the Washington DC area have noticed an increased number of Honda airbag thefts lately. However, this is also a nationwide issue. Unfortunately, this type of theft is not easy to track because both the FBI and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration don’t track airbag theft. The National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates about 50,000 airbags are stolen every year. However, the NICB doesn’t track specific trends, such as Hondas specifically being targeted for their airbags, so it’s

unable to provide an answer as to why this automaker is a higher risk. In Miami-Dade County, for example, thieves stole 875 airbags last year. In 2013, only 13 airbags were stolen. In the Virginia suburbs around DC, thieves recently smashed the windows of 10 Hondas at an apart-

ment building complex for the specific purpose of stealing the airbags. Turns out, some Honda airbags can go for as much as $500 a pop at chop shops. “Because of their portability, airbags can be easily removed and installed as ‘new’ by unscrupulous collision repair shops,” the NICB said. “These dishonest operators will then charge the vehicle owner or their insurer the full price for the replacement, thus committing insurance fraud.” We thank CarBuzz for reprint permission.

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December 2018 Northeast Edition  
December 2018 Northeast Edition