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38 YEARS

SOUTHEAST EDITIO N

AUTOBODY AL / FL / GA / MS / NC / SC / TN / VA / WV

AUTOBODYNEWS.COM

Vol. 10 / Issue 12 / February 2020

Volvo to Build Battery Assembly Facility at Its U.S. Plant

Shops Report More Success in Getting Paid for Frame, Mechanical Procedures

by Mark Kane, Inside Evs

by John Yoswick

According to the latest media report, as part of the $600 million investment project at its Ridgeville, SC, plant, Volvo will build a battery pack assembly facility to support upcoming BEV production. The other part of the investment is a second production line and Volvo Car University. The battery pack production facility should be completed in 2021, just in time for the first all-electric model that will be produced at the Ridgeville plant for global markets from 2022.

It will be an all-electric Volvo XC90 - the upcoming third generation of the model, based on an upcoming second-generation Scalable Product Architecture platform (SPA2). Currently, the XC90 is offered as an ICE and a PHEV with all-electric range of up to 18 miles (29 km). The first series-produced all-electric Volvo, the Volvo XC40 Recharge will enter the market by the end of this year. We thank Inside Evs for reprint permission.

Prevalence of Vehicle Scanning – and Insurers’ Willingness to Pay for it – Have Risen The industry’s adoption of vehicle scanning as an indispensable part of the repair process can be seen in the results of the “Who Pays for What” surveys conducted for several years by Collision Advice and CRASH Network. In the survey conducted this past fall, 11% of shops said they might skip a post-repair scan because no dash lights are lit – not a legitimate reason – but in the same survey in 2016, nearly half of all shops (44%) said that was a reason they might skip the scan. Likewise, three years ago, about 1 in 5 shops said they did-

n’t perform scans because they don’t have the tools necessary to perform the scans. In the latest survey, 2% used that as an excuse. Payment practices have evolved as well. Back in 2016, a “Who Pays” survey found more than 30% of all shops said that one of the reasons they didn’t perform a post-repair vehicle scan was that insurers didn’t pay them for the procedure. Three years later, just 12% of shops say a lack of insurer payment is one of the reasons they might not perform a vehicle scan. More than 97% of shops See Vehicle Scanning, Page 16

Something seemingly as simple as disconnecting and reconnecting a vehicle’s battery during the repair process may not sound like something that should require researching OEM procedures, and that might be why only 3 in 10 shops say they always do so, according to data from a recent “Who Pays for What?” survey. However, as Mike Anderson of Collision Advice, who conducts the “Who Pays” surveys in conjunction with CRASH Network, explained in a column in Autobody News last summer, increasingly complex or time-consuming procedures for battery disconnect-and-reconnects are becoming more common. “The procedure for the 2018 Chevy Cruze is seven pages long,”

Anderson said. “It includes that you need to inform the customer that the ‘start/stop’ feature on the vehicle will not be available until the vehicle is allowed to sit for at least three hours. I was analyzing the procedures called for by one Asian automaker recently, and found the OEM had 11 procedures required after reconnecting the battery. And most automakers say disconnecting the battery will set diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) that may be impossible to detect without completing a post-repair vehicle scan.” The good news is that 80 percent of the more than 650 shops responding to the “Who Pays” survey also said they are paid by the eight largest auto insurers “most” or “all of the time” for the procedures related See Getting Paid, Page 32

What We Know About US Jobs and Other Details of Fiat Chrysler, PSA Merger by Breana Noble, The Detroit News

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and French automaker Groupe PSA said their boards unanimously supported a binding agreement to merge and create the world’s fourth-largest automaker. The deal is one step further than Fiat Chrysler got earlier this year with Renault SA, another French carmaker. The combination of PSA and FCA is expected to provide cost savings, create a hedge against cyclical downturns and have the scale to invest and compete in an electric and self-driving future. Although the companies are calling the deal a 50-50 merger, PSA would hold a board majority and appoint six of the 11 board members. That includes PSA CEO Carlos Tavares, who is expected to lead the

combined company. Here is what else to know about the deal: What comes next? With the binding agreement signed, the automakers can pursue obtaining antitrust and regulatory approval from the companies in which it operates. They also must receive approval from their shareholders. The process is expected to take 12 to 15 months. “We don’t feel we have any concerns with antitrust” laws, Tavares said. “We’ve reviewed this topic and are very comfortable we have no problem on antitrust” regulations. What is the name of the new company? The name of the new company has not yet been announced. Information See US Jobs, Page 16

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FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com


CARSTAR Hosts Event in FL

CONTENTS Cameras at Collision Repair Shop in Mississippi Capture Tornado . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 CARSTAR Hosts Event in FL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 IGONC’s Triangle Chapter Hosts 2019 Christmas Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Knoxville I-CAR Committee Recognizes Golf Sponsors at December Meeting . . . . . . 12 Nashville I-CAR Committee Celebrates

Blind People Can See Through Ford’s New Car Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 CARSTAR Celebrates Banner Year . . . . . . . . . . 34 Chevy Shake Class Action Says Driveshaft is the Problem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Driver Assistance Systems May Cause Distracted Driving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires Nine CA Locations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

2019 Wins and Plans for Future

GM Sells Over 1 Million Crossovers Again . . . . 13

During Last Meeting of Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

GM, Tesla Head for New Year Without

NCACAR and SCACAR (NKA CCA) Hold Final Estimating Class in Year-End Series . . . . . . 14 NCACAR and SCACAR Merge to Form Carolinas Collision Association . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Volvo to Build Battery Assembly Facility at Its U.S. Plant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Woman Accused of Falsely Claiming Car Damage From Crash With Deer . . . . . . . . . . 12

Serving Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2020 Adamantine Media LLC.

Athens Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram . . . . . . . 9

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers. 23, 24-25

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 39

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 44

AutoNation Collision Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

IGO Insurance Agency, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

AutoNation Ford-Lincoln . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Innovative Tools & Technologies. . . . . . . . . 21

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Jim Cogdill Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . 12

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 45

John Hiester Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Braman Honda Miami . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . 43

Braman Honda of Palm Beach. . . . . . . . . . . 8

Matrix Automotive Finishes . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Certified Automotive Parts Association . . . 16

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 45

City Kia of Greater Orlando . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 45

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Montipower Americas, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Coggin Deland Honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 29

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . 28

NOROO Paint & Coatings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Radley Chevrolet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

in History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Equalizer Industries, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Naples . . . . . . . . 20

That’s It! He’s Had It, Part 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 47

Riverside Ford-Lincoln . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Top Automotive Industry Stories of

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . 41

SATA Dan-Am Company . . . . . . . . . . . . 5, 17

Grieco Ford of Fort Lauderdale . . . . . . . . . 27

Southside Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Gus Machado Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Spanesi Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Hendrick Automotive Group. . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Steck Manufacturing Company . . . . . . . . . 10

Hendrick BMW/MINI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 40

Details of Fiat Chrysler, PSA Merger . . . . . . . 1

Hendrick Honda Pompano Beach . . . . . . . 36

Sunmight USA Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

WIN Scholarship Program Opens Applications . 47

Hendrick Kia Cary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Tameron Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Hendrick Kia Concord . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 42

Electric Vehicle Tax Credits . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Industry Veteran Shares Insight About Future of Collision Repair Industry. . . . . . . . 26 Mercedes-Benz Recall Failures Lead to $20 Million Settlement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Need Body Work Done? Get Ready to Wait in Line. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Prevalence of Vehicle Scanning – and Insurers’ Willingness to Pay for it – Have Risen . . . . . . 1

COLUMNISTS Anderson - Reflecting on My Journey in the Collision Repair Industry . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Attanasio - “Booth Talk” is a Podcast Created by a Refinisher for Refinishers . . . . 28 Attanasio - First Paint Suits Designed for Ladies Announced at SEMA. . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Phillips - Industry “Disrupter” Launches Collision Industry Book & Patent-Pending Test-Drive Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Sisk - ASA’s Webinar Wednesday Addresses What’s Happening With Data Access Policy . . 35

NATIONAL 11th Circuit Court Dismisses Suit Alleging Conspiracy to Deflate Collision Repair Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 AirPro Renews Commitment to CIECA . . . . . . . 13 ASE Certification Registration Now Open. . . . . 31 Automotive Technology Department Head Stresses Life Skills First . . . . . . . . . . . 40

son, owner of Collision Advice and experienced collision repair consultant, this workshop provided attendees with key information to help drive their profitability. “I enjoyed collaborating with other owners to compare experiences,” said Jon Parmentier, owner, CARSTAR Bridgeton and CARSTAR Wentzville. “The importance of cross training employees to minimize disruptions and creating standard operating processes for every position were some of the key takeaways I look forward to applying to my facility.”

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk, David Luehr, Stacey Phillips, Victoria Antonelli, Gary Ledoux Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Bill Doyle, Norman Morano (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bill Pierce Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Alexis Wilson Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Editorial/Sales Assistant: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray

Rivian Announces $1.3 Billion Funding Round

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

REGIONAL

CARSTAR gathered over 30 multistore owners together in Fort Lauderdale, FL, for the first ever multi-store owner workshop. “CARSTAR is a family of family owned businesses, and several of our owners come in with multiple locations or aspirations to grow to multiple locations,” said Dean Fisher, president of CARSTAR. “With so many of these ambitious owners in one room, the event became quite powerful as we all discussed common goals in growing their facilities.” Moderated by Mike Ander-

Autobody News Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018; (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com news@autobodynews.com

Backed by Amazon and Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Rosen Law Files Lawsuit Against Towing Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Shops Report More Success in Getting Paid for Frame, Mechanical Procedures . . . . . . . . 1 Subaru Recalls 498,000 Vehicles for Takata Airbag Inflators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Tesla Autopilot Under Fire Once More From US Senator Following Accident . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Tesla Becomes the Biggest U.S. Automaker

the Decade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 UNIBODY AutoTech Collision Center Joins CIECA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 What We Know About US Jobs and Other

autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Tesla Autopilot Under Fire Once More From US Senator Following Accident by Joey Klender, Teslarati.com

A United States Senator who has been vocal about his opposition to Tesla’s Autopilot software is doubling down after a driver utilizing the driver-assist feature in his Model 3

rear-ended a police cruiser in Connecticut on the evening of Dec. 7, 2019. Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts has been vocal regarding his discontent for the alleged “flawed system” Tesla Autopilot offers to drivers. After The Today Show reported the recent accident on its Twitter account, Sen. Markey responded with his thoughts. “Autopilot clearly can’t be allowed to replace drivers on our roads. This tech will continue causing harm until Tesla takes action to fix its flawed system and make sure drivers

are paying attention. That’s why I sent a letter demanding Tesla take action to protect the public,” Markey wrote on Twitter. According to police, the accident happened because the Model 3 driver was checking on his dog at the backseat. Thus, the Tesla driver was unable to use the driver-assist system in an appropriate manner. In late November, Sen. Markey called for Autopilot to be disabled because some drivers were falling asleep behind the wheel while the software was active. It should be noted that Tesla has never encouraged drivers to take their attention off the road when utilizing Autopilot. The company has taken numerous steps to decrease the possibility of this happening by adding safety features to the software. Tesla’s official website emphasizes this point, reminds owners that “while using Autopilot, it is your responsibility to stay alert, keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times, and maintain control of your car.” Tesla has added features to stop the vehicle from driving if it senses the person controlling the car is not paying attention to the road. If the

Driver Assistance Systems May Cause Distracted Driving by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) may cause drivers to engage in distracted driving, even when using basic systems such as lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. Researchers at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found drivers with experience using driver assistance systems were nearly twice as likely to drive distracted compared to driving without the technology. Researchers at the AAA Foundation and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute looked at data from one group of drivers who owned vehicles equipped with advanced assist systems. Those drivers had more experience using the systems, but a second group of drivers were provided vehicles equipped with driver assistance systems. Those drivers normally didn’t have access to the systems, indicating they didn’t have as much real-world experience using the technology. During four weeks of testing, researchers found drivers who owned their vehicles were more familiar 4

with the systems and more likely to drive distracted. Drivers in this group were also more likely to play with the radios or use their phones for texting when the driver assistance systems were activated.

Credit: CarComplaints.com

But the drivers with less experience using the systems were more likely to pay attention to the job of driving. A lack of trust and knowledge of the systems likely cause drivers to not rely so much on the technology. But drivers who are comfortable with the systems rely too much on the technology and put too much trust in the systems.

FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

person operating the vehicle does not hold the steering wheel for an extended period of time, Autopilot will disable itself. Autosteer will also be

Credit: Facebook, Connecticut State Police

disabled for the remainder of the trip, forcing the driver to operate the vehicle normally. Autopilot is responsible for Tesla’s reputation for being involved in accidents over six and a half times less often than a traditional vehicle. Teslas that are utilizing Autopilot features were involved in an accident every 2,870,000 miles, according to the company’s Q1 report in 2019. This stands in contrast to the national average of one accident for every

Researchers determined these drivers are more likely to focus their eyes and attention on all kinds of things other than driving. AAA and Virginia Tech say the increase in distracted driving behaviors occurs because of an overreliance on the technology, or what can also be called automation complacency. Examples of this can be seen from multiple crashes involving semi-automated driving systems in Tesla vehicles. Even though Tesla’s owner’s manuals warn drivers to keep their focus and eyes on the roads and their hands on the steering wheels, the vehicles crash because drivers don’t pay attention. In December 2019, a Tesla driver allowed his vehicle to slam into a parked police car that had stopped to help a disabled vehicle. Although the investigation continues, the Tesla driver said the driver assistance technology known as Autopilot was engaged, so the driver felt comfortable enough to reach into the back seat to check on his dog. Other Tesla incidents include a

436,000 miles traveled by traditional vehicles without Tesla’s Autopilot software. Tesla has released updates and improvements to its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving software frequently. The company has been firm in the notion that it does not condone the practice of sleeping behind the wheel. Tesla also instructs drivers to always keep their full attention during driving to significantly reduce the possibility of an accident. Ultimately, Autopilot was not to blame in the case of the recent accident in Connecticut because the driver was admittedly checking on his pet in the back seat of the car. The police, for one, ticketed the Model 3 owner for Reckless Driving and Reckless Endangerment, according to the Connecticut State Police Facebook account. Now if only Sen. Markey could see the incident from this perspective. We thank Teslarati.com for reprint permission.

driver who was looking at her cell phone when the car crashed into a firetruck, and a crash of a Tesla SUV into a construction barrier after the vehicle traveled across the highway. Another Tesla SUV crash killed the driver when the vehicle crashed into a concrete barrier that could have been avoided, and then there is the case of another driver who was traveling 80 mph when the vehicle slammed into a disable car. The driver said he believed technology from Tesla would allow him to look at his cell phone while driving. In addition, a 40-year-old Tesla driver lost his life when his vehicle traveled under a truck trailer on a clear Florida day. We thank CarComplaints.com for reprint permission.

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NCACAR and SCACAR Merge to Form Carolinas Collision Association by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Dec. 10, the North Carolina Association of Collision and Automotive Repair (NCACAR) and the South Carolina Association of Collision and Automotive Repair (SCACAR) announced their imminent merger, effective Jan. 1, 2020, to form the Carolinas Collision Association (CCA). According to CCA’s news release, the merger will “[open] up members and sponsors to opportunities that were previously unattainable.” Josh Kent, the executive director of CCA, explained “Merging the two associations made a lot of sense strategically. Vendors can expand their reach without paying separate memberships for each state, and that allows us to organize bigger incentives for our member shops.” CCA has retained an attorney for members, plus they are seeking lobbyist representation for future legislative initiatives. By increasing the association’s reach, the merger provides a greater opportunity to develop relationships between shops and vendors as well as for the CCA to provide more educational programs to its members.

“As NCACAR and SCACAR have both made traction and gained momentum in their respective states, the time is perfect to reach an eager audience that is thirsting for knowledge and support,” CCA wrote.

Education is the most important benefit of the merger. “We’ll have more classes and training, more ways of getting information, and more vendor incentive programs than ever before,” Kent said. “We’ll still do a lot separately, such as quarterly meetings in NC and SC, but the merger allows us to combine resources.” Joining forces will allow CCA to host more educational programs in remote regions that NCACAR and SCACAR have not yet reached. “A lot of people don’t participate in the associations and events because of

the travel distance, but CCA promises to bring the education they need directly to them,” Kent stated. Ultimately, Kent hopes that CCA will be able to form local chapters across the association’s footprint, and those chapters would coordinate frequent training for local members. CCA will host its first official meeting on Jan. 24 in Charlotte, NC, where members can participate in the association’s first election of officers. Currently, NCACAR President Brian Davies is serving as CCA President with SCACAR President Sarah Myers-Daniels filling the role of vice president.

Kent stressed, “It’s important to hold an election of officers because we want our members to be involved in the association, and we want to make sure they have a voice.” Earlier this year, NCACAR and SCACAR collaborated on the Carolina’s Educational Collision Conference (CECC), and the opportunities

presented by the merger indicate the 2020 event, scheduled May 1-2, will see exponential growth. CCA will kick off the event on April 30 by collaborating with the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) for a NC/SC Career Fair. CCA has also invited other regional associations to attend in hopes of hosting an association forum on the first day of the CECC, similar to the Leadership Conference held at AASP/NJ’s NORTHEAST each year. The meeting would provide a forum for the associations to discuss their successes and struggles as well as provide consensus on the more important focuses for each group. Previously, membership dues were $350 and $400 in North Carolina and South Carolina, respectively; the membership fee will increase to $500, but the CCA believes the additional value provided through the merger will more than offset the increase in cost. For more information about CCA, visit carolinascollisionassociation .com or contact Kent at 704-9988553 or via email at oregon.josh .kent@gmail.com.

Nashville I-CAR Committee Celebrates 2019 Wins and Plans for Future During Last Meeting of Year by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Dec. 18, the Nashville I-CAR Committee held its final meeting of 2019 to review the year’s accomplishments, elect officers for 2020, and establish goals for the new year. According to Kyle Medeiros, chair of the Nashville I-CAR Committee, “We had an awesome meeting and a great meal, and we’re excited for the future!” The Nashville I-CAR Committee began by celebrating their wins in 2019, beginning with the accomplishment of being the first committee of the year to obtain platinum committee status by achieving all eight goals. Through its fundraising efforts, the Nashville I-CAR Committee was able to donate nearly $25K in grants to local high school and college collision repair programs. Medeiros noted, “Following the success of our Topgolf event in April, prior to CIC, there is now a nationwide agreement between I-CAR and Topgolf that allows other committees to follow the same format as our event; since then, many other committees across the country have 6

also hosted fundraisers at Topgolf. At SEMA 2019, we were recognized by CREF on several additional occasions for the efforts put out during the year.” Medeiros was re-elected as chair for 2020. David Martin will serve as vice chair of marketing, while Wildy Kerby will fill the role of vice chair of training. The Nashville I-CAR Committee also established its goals for the New Year. “The Committee’s main focus for 2020 will be executing another successful fundraiser at Topgolf in the summer, engaging more Nashville area shops to become involved with the committee, and getting more high school and college students in the area in front of local body shops to help them stay engaged, motivated and see the career opportunities that await them in the collision repair industry,” Medeiros shared. “We’re exploring the potential of hosting an open house with local school and shops, and we are encouraging our local schools to apply for CREF’s Benchmark Grants.” For more information on the Nashville I-CAR Committee, visit Facebook.com/ICARnashville

FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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Need Body Work Done? Get Ready to Wait in Line by Olivia Michael, WJHG News

Need to have auto body work done on your car locally? Well, get ready to wait - shops all over the area are struggling with long wait lists. Mike Horne, owner of Mike’s Auto Collision in Panama City, FL, said, “I have over 2,000 estimates waiting for hurricane work and we still have collision cars coming in regularly.”

Horne says his shop spent more than $50,000 trying to help locals get back on the road after Hurricane Michael. “We were trying to find a way to help the community besides clothes, water, food - we knew that was coming. So, what we did is we offered discounts to help people with their deductibles so they could use

Cameras at Collision Repair Shop in Mississippi Capture Tornado

those towards their homes instead of their cars but we take care of the cars,” said Horne. Mike’s Auto Collision repaired 1,800 cars as a result of Hurricane Michael, but Horne says 35,000 were damaged as a result of the storm leaving many people on a wait list. “Most cars, you know, you do a left side, right side, it’s out within a couple days or a couple weeks. With these cars having all over paint jobs on them you know it’s taking multiple hours, multiple time, tons of material to make these cars correct,” said Horne. And if you’re lucky enough to get your car in, be patient. He said, “There’s times we’ve had cars in here for a month, there’s times we’ve had cars in here for three, four months ... We don’t like it but we’re trying to find a way to fix that.” With thousands of cars still left to be repaired, Horne’s shop won’t be pumping the breaks any time soon. “But it’s going to be years until we fix the last hurricane car, and when we do it will be a very big party,” he said. We thank WJHG News for reprint permission.

by Chris Thies and Charles Herrington, WDAM 7 News

Surveillance cameras at an auto repair shop in Columbia, MS, captured dramatic video of an EF-2 tornado as it crossed the street and delivered a direct hit to the business. The cameras belong to Beal’s Collision Center on Old Foxworth Road. The business was in the direct path of the dangerous tornado as it tore a nearly seven-mile path of destruction through Marion County. The Beal’s Collision Center cameras filmed the approaching tornado from several angles outside the building. Another surveillance camera in the business office captured the

destruction from the inside. Beal’s Collision Center owner Blake Beal said about a dozen employees, managers and customers were at the business when the winds started to swirl. Beal said they knew they had to take action when they saw the tornado cross the Pearl River. “We took immediate action to get everybody down into a safe place and covered up, and we just started praying for protection,” said Beal. “It seemed like it took forever for it to hit us, but once it hit, it was quick and fast, and everybody was OK. We had a couple of people with some pretty bad bruising, but no life-threatening injuries.” We thank WDAM 7 News for reprint permission.

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GM, Tesla Head for New Year Without Electric Vehicle Tax Credits by Keith Laing, The Detroit News

General Motors Co. and Tesla are about to become the first automakers that will have to sell EVs without the benefit of a $7,500 federal tax credit. Congress failed to include legislation in a spending bill that would have tripled the 200,000 cap on the number of EVs per manufacturer that qualify for tax credits. The legislation would have allowed GM, Tesla and any other automaker hitting that ceiling to offer a slightly lower tax credit of $7,000 for another 400,000 plug-in cars. Now GM and Tesla, which pioneered the development of electric cars while other automakers sat on the sidelines, will enter 2020 at a disadvantage. Competitors such as Ford Motor Co., which has the batterypowered Mustang Mach-E SUV coming in late 2020, will effectively have a $7,500 discount over comparable GM and Tesla vehicles. “Seventy-five-hundred bucks less than your competitors is a good thing,” said Brett Smith, director of propulsion technologies and energy infrastructure for the Center for Automotive Research. “It’s a little bit unfair in that both of these companies went out and really developed and pushed this technology, and now they are not going to have any federal discounts to offer.” GM and Tesla might have to cut prices to make up the difference — but Tesla could be more insulated because of the high demand for its cars. “For GM, I think it’s a bigger deal than it is for Tesla,” Smith said. “The Volt is a very nice electric car, but it’s not really an aspirational car. It can be cross-shopped a little bit more than Tesla vehicles.” GM and Tesla both hit the lifetime ceiling of 200,000 electric vehicles per manufacturer that qualify for the tax break in 2018, triggering a phase-out process that saw the number of tax credits they could offer falling by half every six months until they hit zero on Jan. 1, 2020. Tesla, GM and Nissan accounted for 62% of the 1.18 million electric vehicles that were on the road as of March, according to the Edison Electric Institute, which represents U.S. investor-owned electric companies. 10

Carmakers sold 236,067 electric cars from January to September 2019, down from 361,307 in the same period of 2018, according to the Electric Drive Transportation Association, which lobbies for policies that promote electric-drive technologies.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment. Trump has tried to kill the EV tax credit entirely in the past, and he has expressed skepticism about GM’s large bet on plug-in cars. “This is a missed opportunity to further advance electrification in the United States,” GM said in a statement. “The EV tax credit provides a proven pathway to establish the U.S. as a leader in electrification, helping make electric vehicles more accessible for all customers.” Tesla did not respond to From 2010 through June 2019, GM sold 216,702 EVs; a request for comment. In Tesla sold 436,548, according to EVAdoption.com, which its third-quarter filing with tracks electric-car tax-credit use. Credit: AFP Contributor, the Securities and ExAFP/Getty Images, File change Commission, the Electric vehicles have been el- Silicon Valley automaker said it was igible for federal tax credits under likely the impending phase-outs a program that was first estab- caused some buyers to purchase a lished by the George W. Bush ad- Tesla sooner than they otherwise ministration. The program was might have. later expanded by the Obama adThe EV tax credit has been a ministration, raising the amount of point of contention since its establishthe tax credit from $2,500 to $7,500 and instituting the current 200,000 EVs per manufacturer limit. The incentives were intended to encourage EV development by sweetening the deal on vehicles that are typically more expensive. From 2010 through June 2019, GM sold 216,702 EVs; Tesla sold 436,548, according to EVAdoption.com, which tracks electric-car tax-credit use by manufacturer. Nissan is expected to become the next automaker to hit the cap in 2022 or 2023, according to the website. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, DLansing, who introduced the bipartisan legislation that would have raised the ceiling on tax credits, blamed President Donald Trump for blocking the measure from being included in the government funding bill. “President Trump promised to invest in Michigan workers, but just recently, we saw the opposite,” Stabenow said in a statement. “He blocked the next generation of vehicles and technology by saying no to the electric vehicle consumer tax credit. I want these clean energy jobs here in Michigan, not China.”

FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

ment 11 years ago. Conservatives have argued the federal government should not be propping up electric vehicles at a time when buyers have demonstrated a clear preference for gasoline-powered SUVs and pickups. EV supporters say the tax credit has helped spur the market for plugin vehicles. They argue that killing it would strip carmakers of a key incentive to convince drivers to cut dependence on gas pumps, and it would be harder for car manufacturers to hit government fuel-economy requirements. “The electric vehicle tax credit has helped to put more than a million clean cars on the road, creating thousands of jobs along the way,” Sierra Club Legislative Director Melinda Pierce said. “We must extend these investments for flourishing technologies like EVs to continue growing our economy and protecting the health of the planet.” We thank The Detroit News for reprint permission.


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Knoxville I-CAR Committee Recognizes Golf Sponsors at December Meeting

Woman Accused of Falsely Claiming Car Damage From Crash With Deer

by Chasidy Rae Sisk

by Staff, WWAY-TV News

On Dec. 3, the Knoxville I-CAR Committee met for lunch at Calhoun’s On The River in order to elect officers for 2020 and recognize sponsors of the committee’s 2019 golf outing fundraiser to express appreciation for their support. During the meeting, the committee proudly donated $7,500 to Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) of Morristown and $7,500 to TCAT of Greenville.

The Knoxville I-CAR Committee was proud to donate $7,500 to TCAT Greenville. Credit: Knoxville I-CAR Committee

Fran Stidham, education chair for the Knoxville I-CAR Committee, stated, “This would not be possible without our sponsors for our annual golf tournament. These types

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of events help bridge the gap between different industry segments and are an important way for the entire automotive and collision repair industry to support students entering the field.”

The Knoxville I-CAR Committee was proud to donate $7,500 to TCAT Morristown. Credit: Knoxville I-CAR Committee

The meeting also featured a presentation by I-CAR’s Tom McFinch about the organization’s new format for designations and pro levels. “Attendees asked good questions, and Tom gave informative responses,” Stidham said. “We had a good turnout but would always like to see more industry professionals in attendance.” For more information about the Knoxville I-CAR Committee, visit Facebook.com/ICARKnoxville.

FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Columbus County, NC, woman is accused of falsely claiming car damage from crash involving a deer, the state said. North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced the arrest of Maxine Bracey Smith, 51, of Hallsboro, NC. Smith was charged with insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense, both felonies. Special Agents with the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division accuse Smith of trying to receive payment from an auto insurance claim with Peak Property and Casualty Insurance Co. by falsely stating that damage happened to her 2017 Hyundai Sonata when the car hit a deer on Sept. 23. According to the arrest warrant, the damage to the auto occurred on the morning of Aug. 30 when the vehicle had no insurance coverage. She added insurance

coverage to the auto later in the day, according to the warrant. Smith was arrested on Dec. 9 and released under a $10,000 unsecured bond. Commissioner Causey estimates fraud costs North Carolinians between 15 and 20 cents on every dollar paid on insurance premiums. “Insurance fraud affects our economy,” Causey said. “Not only does it damage insurance companies, it cheats businesses and consumers too. This kind of white-collar crime is unacceptable. That’s why I’ve doubled the number of Special Agents to investigate insurance fraud. Cracking down on fraud will put more money in the pockets of businesses and consumers.” To report suspected fraud, contact the NC Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous. Information is also available at www.ncdoi.gov. We thank WWAY-TV News for reprint permission.


IGONC’s Triangle Chapter Hosts 2019 Christmas Party by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Dec.14, the Triangle Chapter of the Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina (IGONC) hosted its 2019 Christmas Party at Flemings Steak House in Raleigh, NC. According to IGONC Associate Executive Director Tricia Sauls, “The event went well with many of our regular members in attendance along with many vendor members. Attendees really enjoyed this year’s party. We changed to a new venue with a larger space and a more diverse menu. IGONC members were invited to bring along a gift for a White Elephant fun exchange after lunch. Attendees were very happy

with the new venue, and everyone had a great time.” IGONC’s annual Christmas party is one of two yearly events the association holds “just to build relationships and support within our industry,” Sauls said. “The holidays are a great time to bring shop owners together with our vendors and just have fun. With this event in particular, it’s all about creating a solid community base that our members turn to for support and advice. Instead of seeing each other as competitors, they realize they can grow faster and stronger when they work together.” For more information about IGONC, visit igonc.com.

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GM Sells Over 1 Million Crossovers Again

General Motors Co. (GM) announced that it delivered 2,887,046 vehicles in 2019 in the United States. The total included more than 1 million crossovers for the second year in a row, an increase of 12.7 percent compared to 2018, and more than 1 million full-size pickup trucks and SUVs. “We’ve focused our resources on what our customers want – crossovers and trucks – and that has paid off,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. “In addition to our industry leading crossover sales, our full-size truck franchise is unmatched.” Fourth quarter North American wholesales declined an estimated 25 percent year over year, due to the 40-day United Auto Workers work stoppage. “Our fourth-quarter stocks were leaner than we wanted, but as we get ready to launch our all-new full-size SUVs, we look forward to another solid year in 2020,” McNeil added.

AirPro Renews Commitment to CIECA

AirPro Diagnostics renewed its commitment to CIECA and the CIECA Standards. AirPro Diagnostics is headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. The company’s primary area of focus is to deliver OEM-level diagnostics, calibrations and systems services to the collision repair community in North America. Chuck Olsen, AirPro’s SVP Operations & Automotive Technology Solutions, said the company joined CIECA to ensure it had access to the CIECA Standards as well as to participate in the important work of standards in the scanning, calibrations and programing arena. “Standards continue to develop in all segments of the collision repair industry including diagnostics, calibrations and vehicle safety systems,” said Olsen. “As the various stakeholders continue to learn and adjust to properly and safely repair motorists’ vehicles, it is imperative we have standards for communication.”

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NCACAR and SCACAR (NKA CCA) Hold Final Estimating Class in Year-End Series by Chasidy Rae Sisk

In their final act as two individual associations before merging to form the Carolinas Collision Association (CCA) on Jan. 1, 2020, the North Carolina Association of Collision and Autobody Repair (NCACAR) and the South Carolina Association of Collision and Autobody Repair (SCACAR) hosted the third and final estimating class in their year-end series. Held at Kemperle in Charlotte, NC, who sponsored the event, the seminar featured BASF’s John Shoemaker who delivered a presentation on “Effective Estimating.” CCA Board Member Casey Starnes stated, “John is an exceptional speaker and did a great job explaining effective estimating. Effective estimating has been turned

BASF’s John Shoemaker presented “Effective Estimating” on Dec. 7 at Kemperle in Charlotte, NC. Credit: CCA

into blueprinting which is used as a tool for the estimating process. The class went well, and we discussed pertinent information that’s valuable for the entire collision repair industry.” Shoemaker explained how to document the estimate by line item to clearly explain what’s required at each stage of the process. He demonstrated how to extract necessary information from the p-pages and other resources in the collision repair toolbox, such as DEG, SCRS, asTech, OEM One Stop and others. “In the collision repair industry, we say that we repair the car to preaccident condition, but John stressed that we are restoring crashability, not pre-accident condition. That stuck with me. He also taught us valuable tools to set up and measure the frame 14

machine, demonstrated frame machine steps for each pull, and explained how to properly document each pull with pictures to help us get paid by insurance companies for what we do,” Starnes recounted. “The biggest thing the industry needs to know is how to get paid for what we do. A lot of shops are performing these functions and not even asking for compensation. Learning how to ask for it by providing proper documentation to get paid for our work is important for all shops because we deserve to get paid for the work we perform, and proper documentation ensures that we tell the story that will help us get paid,” Starnes added. “The whole point of the seminar was best estimating practices. Putting itemized line notes under the appropriate field, just placing them throughout the estimate, instead of lumping them at the bottom of the estimate builds a profile, and this is a best estimating practice to improve efficiency in the shop.” CCA members are looking forward to SCRS’s release of a blueprint optimization tool that will scrub the estimate, and there was also some discussion about OEM v. aftermarket scan tools. Starnes said, “Factory scan tools tell us exactly what has to be done to make the car safe when it leaves the shop.” On the topic of OEM and aftermarket products, Starnes also pointed out, “It’s important to use OEM equipment, even down to antifreeze. You may have to explain to the insurance carrier why it’s necessary to use OEM antifreeze, but it’s actually in the owner’s manual a lot of time so you can provide that literature for them and that will help you get paid for what you’re doing to make these cars safe for our customers.” Attendees also discussed the need to educate consumers on their right to ask their insurance company for an OEM rider so they don’t have to use aftermarket parts. “It costs extra money but is well worth it to make sure their car is safe,” Starnes said. “We want to educate our customers about it when they come into the shop, and we also educate them on what to expect during the process. I also like to encourage them to read their insurance policy; they should

FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

know what they are paying for and what they will get if something happens. It’s empowering for the customer to understand their rights.” Approximately 50 collision repair industry professionals attended Shoemaker’s presentation, and according to Starnes, “The association

Around 50 collision repair industry professionals attended the third installment of NCACAR and SCACAR (NKA CCA)’s 2019 estimating series. Credit: CCA

members I’ve spoken with found the seminar helpful. I believe that you can always learn something new from an estimating class, no matter how many you take. There’s always something to implement at your shop

– I’ve learned a tremendous amount personally in the past four years by taking classes, and it’s allowed me to improve my business for my customers and my employees. Joining the association has offered great learning experiences.” Education, such as the estimating series, is a vital benefit of belonging to the CCA for association members. “We want to educate each individual shop asking how to get paid for a safe and proper repair that requires proper documentation. It’s crucial that you repair the vehicle according to OEM specifications. You have to build a case for each individual vehicle to protect the customer, the shop and the shop employees,” Starnes said. “In order to move forward as a solid industry in the Carolinas, we want to learn as much as we can,” Starnes continued. “Knowledge is power and requires educating the other groups and shops in our market. We network together to help each other grow, become better and See Year-End Series, Page 16


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Would Fiat Chrysler retain its headquarters in Auburn Hills? The current Italian American automaker is incorporated in the Netherlands, headquartered in London and retains major operations in Auburn Hills and Turin, Italy, the home of the Fiat brand. Likewise, the combination of FCA and PSA would be domiciled in the Netherlands and continue to have operational headquarters in Auburn Hills, Paris and Turin.

combination will benefit its members and it is looking forward to hearing more details. The labor contract that UAW members ratified a week ago with FCA continues to include job security provisions in the instances of a merger, a union spokesman previously said. FCA’s previously announced investments, including the construction of a new assembly plant in Detroit, will not be affected. As for salaried employees, 20% of the expected $4.1 billion in cost savings is expected from the combination will result from redundancies in marketing, information technology, logistics and other areas, the companies said. But Groupe PSA does not have a retail presence in North America. Most of the cuts are expected to occur in Europe where there is overlap.

Are Fiat Chrysler employees’ jobs in jeopardy? Executives repeated statements from October that there would be no plant closures or loss of manufacturing jobs as a result of the transaction. United Auto Workers Vice President Cindy Estrada said the union hopes the

What does this mean for Fiat Chrysler buyers? The combined company is expected to maintain all 13 brands that Fiat Chrysler and PSA currently operate. The companies, however, plan to shrink the number of vehicle platforms they operate. Two platforms

Continued from Cover

US Jobs

provided to investors refers to the entity colloquially as “DutchCo,” but Fiat Chrysler representatives assured that is not the official title.

Continued from Page 14

Year-End Series

improve efficiency. We’re all very excited for the educational offerings at the 2020 Carolinas Collision Education Conference starting April 30.” Starnes also shared his personal experience as a member of CCA: “I’m a second-generation body shop owner, and I’ve been in this business a long time. Our shop has always done a good job, but I’ve learned so much about what it means to make sure these cars are fully safe when they leave. I can’t emphasize it enough – education is empowerment and improvement. CCA members are working together to grow the industry in NC and SC; it feels amazing to lay my head on my pillow and sleep at night because I know I did the right things for my customers. Joining the association has been a great experience. We’re very passionate about what we do.” For more information about the CCA, visit www.carolinascollision association.com. 16

FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

are expected to be the basis twothirds of the combined entity’s run for small and compact/mid-size vehicles. The convergence of these platforms could been seen starting in 20 months following the deal’s closure, the executives said. U.S. consumers could see the implementation of PSA’s technology and electrification platform in Fiat Chrysler vehicles, Manley said. The combination perhaps could speed the introduction of brands like Peugeot, Citroën, Opel and Vauxhall into North America. In 2016, PSA had established a ten-year goal to reenter the U.S. retail market. “We see the strength of FCA in North America,” Tavares said. “We have 12 months ahead of us to think what we would do after closing. So far it is premature. This is something that we will have to consider.” We thank The Detroit News for reprint permission.

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Continued from Cover

Vehicle Scanning

now say they are at least negotiating to be paid for vehicle scans, and 88% say they are being paid regularly when they do. “There are very few shops not seeking to be paid, particularly for post-repair scanning.” said industry trainer and consultant Mike Anderson of Collision Advice. “This is different from some of the other ‘not-included’ procedures where a significant percentage of shops aren’t getting paid because they’re not seeking to be paid. But the industry also needs to keep in mind that an insurer refusing to pay for a scan does not remove a shop’s liability for not conducting one.” The first of the four 2019 “Who Pays for What?” surveys, which focuses on “not-included” refinish operations, is open now through the end of January at: www.surveymonkey .com/r/JHPCT8B. To find the results of previous survey, please visit crashnetwork .com/collisionadvice.

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Shop Secrets and Strategies with Stacey Phillips

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

Industry “Disrupter” Launches Collision Industry Book & Patent-Pending Test-Drive Technology Many in the collision repair industry and implemented leading-edge techare familiar with Frank Terlep, an nology for the automotive, collision experienced executive, entrepreneur, repair and claims industries. Autobody author and self-proclaimed “dis- News recently sat down with Terlep to rupter” of the automotive industry. In find out what prompted him to write December 2019, Terlep launched his his book and learn more about the new book, “Auto Industry Disruption, patent-pending test-drive technology Who and What is Being Disrupted he and his team are launching. and What to Do About It!” How did you get in“I started disrupting volved in the collithe auto aftermarket in the sion repair industry? mid-1980s when I raised $100,000 from an angel inBefore attending univestor to develop a software versity in the late application for the automo1970s, I was in the United tive aftermarket,” said TerStates Army. A friend of lep. “It was one of the first mine was attending Southsoftware applications of its Frank Terlep launched his new ern Illinois University (SIU) kind that helped automotive book in 2019: and often sent me pictures aftermarket companies man“Auto Industry from the school. I always age their businesses using Disruption, Who liked cars and SIU was one of computer software.” and What is Being Since then, Terlep has Disrupted and What the only universities at that to Do About It!” time offering a four-year dedesigned, developed, sold

Q: A:

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FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

gree in automotive technology, so I enrolled. Although I originally planned to be a civil engineer, I earned my degree in automotive management and technology in 1980. After finishing school, I worked as a service advisor at a Chevy dealership. Throughout my 40-year career, I’ve spent time as an auto mechanic, service manager, shop owner, salesperson, software designer, chief technology officer, senior executive, entrepreneur, author, educator, industry volunteer and disrupter. When the Apple IIe came out in 1983, I got hooked on computers and began selling automotive diagnostic equipment to repair vehicles. I launched a company and built my first software after raising money from an angel investor. I eventually sold that business, but the experience started my long history as an entre-

preneur. From 1999 – 2001, I helped raise tens of millions of dollars from venture capitalists on Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley, CA, to design and develop one of the automotive industry’s first online parts procurement platforms for the collision industry. For the next 16 years, I built my second and third companies, Summit Software Solutions and Summit eMarketing Sherpas, developing software to help the automotive businesses market, manage, and operate their businesses. At the end of 2016, I sold my software companies and joined asTech as their chief technology officer to help build their online and mobile app platform. I recently left asTech after finishing that project to write my book and start a new company—Auto Techcelerators, LLC.


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What prompted you to write “Auto Industry Disruption … Who and What is Being Disrupted and What to Do About It!”?

Q:

I wrote my first book for the collision industry in 2007. It was called “The Digi-Lean Collision Repair System, Combining Lean Thinking, Processes, and Digital Tools to ‘Find’ $10,000 or More per Month in Your Collision Repair Business.” The concept was how to use digital technology to implement lean processes in your business. I’ve always been intrigued by software and computers and how to dramatically improve business performance with the right processes. During the two-and-a-half years I worked at asTech, I was dealing with a lot of vehicle technology. I started to do a ton of research on what was coming down the pike and realized that the whole industry is going to change … every aspect of it. I looked into what companies and car manufacturers are doing in response. That’s what prompted me to write the book because I was so interested in the changes expected to happen. Technology is going to be rampant across all industries and everyone is going to be affected, not just the collision repair industry. The book is written for anybody in the automotive industry, including CEOs, dealer owners, shop owners, shop businesses, and those in manufacturing.

A:

Without giving away too much, what is the book’s main takeaway?

Q:

The message I want readers to walk away with is if you are in the business, whether you are an employee, manager or owner, you are going to experience disruption of some type. My book is the CliffsNotes version of some of the things that businesses should consider addressing to handle the disruption that is coming their way.

A:

Can you tell us about the new company you started—Autotechcelerators?

Q:

I’ve worked with a lot of shops over my career, especially during the last few years. One of the things I kept hearing over and over

A:

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again is that cars are not only becoming harder to repair, but they require calibrations. I also kept hearing that taking a car out for a test-drive is not the same as it used to be. Technicians and shop owners would tell me, “Frank, you can’t just take the car out and drive it around the block and make sure the car goes straight and there is no noise anymore.” After I left asTech, I filed a patent on vehicle repair test-drive processes and technologies. During the upcoming Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Palm Springs,

Frank Terlep, executive, entrepreneur, author and self-proclaimed “disrupter” of the automotive industry

CA, my team and I will be launching a solution for performing, managing and documenting test-drives. The patent-pending product and service will change the way test-drives, road tests and dynamic calibrations are performed, managed and documented forever. The Test Drive CoPilot event will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 5 p.m. at the Palm Springs Hilton in California. To R.S.V.P for the event, visit https://www.testdrive copilot.com/launch-party-rsvp.

Q: A:

What can attendees expect to see at the event?

We’re going to introduce new technologies and processes to those in attendance that will allow businesses to fully document every test-drive, road test or dynamic calibration as well as generate detailed reimbursement documentation. They will also provide employees with the detailed test-drive recommendations, track and manage costs, implement quality controls, and create documentation to reduce an organization’s liability. If you think about it, the only place left today that isn’t being measured, managed or documented is the test-drive. It’s the only time a vehicle typically leaves a shop during or after a repair. The idea was to create something simple and inexpensive for a shop to quality control

FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

test-drives, ensure they are being done according to OEM recommendations and get reimbursed for their work processes.

What are some of the changes you predict will occur in the automotive industry?

Q:

One of the major things I see coming is that I don’t think a typical independent collision repairer is going to be able to be a generalist anymore. The growing complexity of the vehicles is going to force them to become part of something bigger and become specialized. The vehicles are too complicated to repair. I also think the rise of remote technician services is going to be huge. I say that because there is a shortage of people joining the industry, as most of us already know. With that being the case, cars are becoming more complicated. I believe that you’re going to see technicians from other countries helping us diagnosis and repair cars remotely over the Internet. That’s going to be a big opportunity and the industry itself is going to shrink. We’ve been saying this for years.

A:

You can look at any service business industry, for example, in terms of a pyramid organizational structure. At the top of the pyramid, you have the best and the biggest companies, which is a small percentage. At the bottom, you have a larger number, but they are usually not the best and revenue is small. A typical service business is in the middle. What happens is a business either moves up or down and eventually, there is no middle and the pyramid becomes an hourglass shape. I think that’s happening in our industry as well. I cover these ideas in more depth in the book. I am scheduled to talk about five major disruptions the collision industry will face in 2020 and beyond during a Dave Luehr’s Elite Body Shop Academy webinar on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. CST. To register for the free webinar, visit https://events.genndi.com/channel /Jan2020EWS. “Auto Industry Disruption, Who and What is Being Disrupted and What to Do About It” is published by BookBaby and is available from the BookBaby store as well as Amazon.com in paperback and ebook versions.

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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.

Reflecting on My Journey in the Collision Repair Industry I often talk about the need to look ahead, but in recent weeks, I found myself reflecting. My desire to reflect started forming during SEMA in Las Vegas. SEMA is a great opportunity to catch up with those in the industry who we may not have seen in some time. I turned 57 that week, and certainly most of us get reflective as we get older. There is a book that summarizes my journey well called, “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer. The narrator of the story is on a pilgrimage, and as he walks, he is joined by dozens of others – a knight, a squire, a weaver, a monk, a cook, a merchant – all of whom enrich and influence his journey. “The Canterbury Tales” resembles how I’ve been feeling as I reflect on how appreciative I am for those whom I have encountered on my journey in this industry. There’s

been those who have led the way ahead of me, folks like Jeff Hendler, Hank Nunn, Sheila Loftus, Mark Claypool, Elainna Sachire and so many others. These leaders have encouraged me along the way, and sometimes called me out when I wasn’t doing the smartest thing or when I let my mouth override my brain. There are amazing young leaders in the industry who keep me motivated, such as: Will Latuff, Tiffany Driggers, Tracy Dombrowski, Danny Panduro, Josh Kuehn, Jake Rodenroth and Cody Rinaudo. I’m grateful for the people who have gone ahead of me, the people with me on my journey, and those who are traveling with me and who will be the future leaders of this great industry. As I’ve been reflecting, I was thinking about one of my mentors, Jerry Dalton. Dalton died 20 years

ago, but he was one of the founders of Craftsman Auto Body in northern Virginia. I remember one time when I was young, I walked into a Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association meeting feeling frustrated.

Credit: Mike Anderson

I had a bad day, and I was griping to Jerry about one of my employees. He started laughing, and I told him I didn’t really think it was funny. “I’m not laughing at you,” he assured me. “You’re just kind of where I used to be.” I asked him what he meant. He

said, “Mike, you need to realize if other people had the same passion and energy as you do, they wouldn’t be working for you. They’d own their own business.” That was an eye-opener for me. I realized we have a right to expect that people will show up for work on time and do a good job; but, not everyone has the same level of passion. There are many people I’ve been blessed to meet on that journey who are every bit as passionate about this industry as I am. They’ve enriched my life, and I’m so grateful. Is there someone who has stood by you in this industry, past or present, who you should reach out to and thank? Don’t delay. Do it today. I am thankful for you – for reading my articles, for showing up to my seminars, and most importantly, for doing the right thing every day to ensure safe and proper repairs.

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

FLORIDA

FLORIDA

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Freeway Honda

Classic Honda

South Motors Honda

Honda of Newnan

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Orlando

Miami

Newnan

800-987-0819 205-949-5460

888-893-4984 407-521-1115

888-418-3513 305-256-2240

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Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 8-4 parts@classichonda.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-7 mfranceschi@southhonda.com

Coggin Deland Honda

FLORIDA

AutoNation Honda Clearwater C l e a r wa t e r

Union City

Deland

800-758-0007 386-626-1811

770-985-1444

Snellville

888-205-2564 727-530-1173

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-5 gbennett@cogginauto.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7-6 gperkins@careypaul.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 8-5; Sun 10-3 santosr1@autonation.com

Headquarter Honda

Ed Voyles Honda

AutoNation Honda Hollywood

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H o l l y wo o d

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Braman Honda

Marietta

800-334-3719 770-933-5870 Direct Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7-6 hondaparts@edvoyles.com

Hendrick Honda Bradenton

Gerald Jones Honda

Bradenton

Augusta

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Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-7; Sat 8-4 Kris.kitzman@hendrickauto.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-5 tdunn@geraldjoneshonda.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7-4 calvarez@bramanhonda.com

Hendrick Honda Pompano Beach

Honda Mall of Georgia

Braman Honda of Palm Beach

P o mpano Beach

Miami

305-266-1915

G re e n a c re s

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954-425-8244 Dept. Hours: M-Fri 7-6; Sat 7-5; gerardbruno@hendrickauto.com

Rick Case Honda Davie

877-544-2249 Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7:30-4 robbutton@rickcase.com

866-362-8034 770-306-4646 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-7; Sat 8-5 hondawp@nalleycars.com

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800-748-8676 601-957-3400 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-5 pmartin@pattypeckhonda.com NO. CAROLINA

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FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

VI

Leith Acura

Acura of Orange Park

Duval Acura

24

FLORIDA

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nt

NO. CAROLINA

SO. CAROLINA

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A n d e rson

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Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-5 swhite@piedmontcars.com

Dept. Hours: M-Sat 7:30-6 honda.checkeredflag.com

Metro Honda I n d i a n Tra i l

866-882-9542 704-220-1522 Dept. Hours: M-F 6:30-6:30; Sat 7-4 www.copytk.com

Vann York Automall High Point

336-841-6200 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-3 SO. CAROLINA

Breakaway Honda G re e n v i l l e

800-849-5056 864-234-6481 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-5 fmarshall@breakawayhonda.com

TENNESSEE

Airport Honda A l c oa

800-264-4721 865-970-7792 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6:30; Sat 7:30-5 parts@airporthonda.com

AutoNation Honda West Knoxville K n o x ville

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Colonial Honda Chester

800-564-9836 804-414-1960 Dept. Hours: M-F 8-7; Sat 8-4 rreese@i95honda.com

Hall Honda Virginia Beach

800-482-9606 757-431-4329

800-824-1301 865-218-5461

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-7; Sat 8-5 fox@hallauto.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6 rossd1@autonation.com

Valley Honda

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B r i s tol

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800-868-4118 423-652-9545

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30; Sat 9-5 bwimer@myvalleyhonda.com

Easley

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West Broad Honda

888-513-5869 864-850-1200

Wolfchase Honda

Hendrick Honda Easley

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 8-5 christopher.gagnon@hendrickauto.com

Midlands Honda Columbia

Richmond B a r t lett

800-982-7290 901-255-3780

800-446-0160 804-672-8811 Dept. Hours: M-Fri 7:30-6:30; Sat 8-5 wbhonda@aol.com

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7 ekerr@wolfchasehonda.com

877-273-4442 803-691-8585 Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 7-4 www.copytk.com

VIRGINIA

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Radley Acura F a l l s C h u rch

800-550-5035 703-824-5785 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-6; Sun 10-5 jimgraf@radleyauto.com

autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS

25


Industry Veteran Shares Insight About Future of Collision Repair Industry by Stacey Phillips

During a recent VeriFacts Guild 21 webinar, industry veteran James Spears talked about the future of the collision repair industry. Spears, an insurance and automotive consultant and founder of Spears Consultant Group, talked about the largest autonomous and connected car testing facility in the country, the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and the OEMs’ involvement in First Notice of Loss (FNOL) reporting. Throughout his 30-year career, Spears has assisted the top ten property and casualty providers across the country. His experience includes leading the USAA Auto Experience and the USAA Global Auto Physical Damage operations and strategy. Prior to that, he headed the Strategic Initiatives team at Farmers Insurance and worked for Nationwide Insurance. Currently, he assists the American Center for Mobility as well as a number of other clients and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Collision Repair Education Founda-

tion (CREF). The following is a summary of Spears’ comments during the webinar, which was facilitated by professional speaker and consultant George Avery. Avery: As an advisor and consultant for the American Center for Mobil-

and connected car testing facility in the country. Located near the Detroit airport, the center is built on more than 500 acres at the Willow Run site in Southeast Michigan. This is where bombers were built for WWII. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been put into building the tremendous facility. Supporters include the State of

The American Center for Mobility (ACM) is the largest autonomous and connected car testing facility in the country. Credit: Guild 21

ity, can you tell us about the organization? Spears: The American Center for Mobility (ACM) was established about 18 months ago. It is the largest and most sophisticated autonomous

Michigan, the University of Michigan, Michigan Department of Transportation, Subaru, Hyundai, Ford, Toyota, Intertek and Microsoft. The mission of the organization is to enable the rapid, safe development and deployment of future trans-

portation systems by offering leading programs in testing, standards, and education as a national technology innovation center. The facility focuses on testing vehicles with Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS). You might be surprised to hear that these technologies perform differently on models. They do not all stop the same or act the same. A lot of consumers believe ADAS technologies are all equal, but some far outshine others. We’re very fortunate to have the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) provide star safety ratings; however, there are no such ratings when it comes to ADAS platforms. The two organizations have different focuses. The American Center for Mobility is where manufacturers and tier one, two and three parts suppliers test their equipment during the development stage. In contrast, IIHS conducts testing once the equipment is already in vehicles. I think our industry needs to align with the American Center for

d Nee em u o Kia ts Y eed Th r d a P N nts ate ists u The n You c i o c e l ed ry Wh Dis f D ecia nto

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FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com


Mobility. We currently don’t have any collision repairers or insurance companies that are represented, and they can really have an impact on the vehicles before they go to market. I encourage collision repairers to reach out for more information: https://www.acmwillowrun.org/.

Avery: How is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) impacting the collision repair industry?

Spears: We’re now seeing AI being used in a number of ways, such as the appraisal process. I hope we’ll continue to see a shift using AI technology in the blueprinting of appraisals. However, I’m concerned about how claims are adjusted and protecting the consumer. When breaking the vehicle down, we need to make sure we cover all the components that are important after an accident and ensure the customer’s car is repaired properly. We might also start using AI with the parts ordering process so shops can order major components quickly. I’m fortunate to work with a company that uses AI to generate prospects over social media. I rec-

ommend that shops take a closer look at using AI in their businesses and reach out to companies that specialize in this area to help find customers in an unconventional fashion. I don’t believe we’ll be 100 percent reliant on AI software in the future; however, AI can expedite the industry.

Avery: What are some of your predictions in terms of OEM involvement in First Notice of Loss (FNOL) reporting? Spears: There is an absolute battle in positioning going on right now in regard to the way that the models of vehicle ownership will change over time, particularly as the middle class abort their own cars or a 7-8-year loan becomes the norm. In cases such as these, people will never own their vehicles, because they are not paying them off but rolling them into the next loan. This lays the groundwork for manufacturers to keep connectivity to the automobile. When I first came into the industry, the average age of a car was 5-6 years old. Today, vehicles are an

average of 9-11 years old. It’s not uncommon for a loan to be stretched out that long. When you take a look at the new Car-Net mobile app Volkswagen recently debuted, the information needs to stay active as long as the person is paying for a subscription. If there is a collision and the airbags deploy, the Car-Net service will report if there is an accident. Certified shops that focus on having the right tooling, facility and training, are going to do much better than facilities that don’t. I believe we’ll see OEMs own FNOL in the future. They will be able to call a carrier to report an accident, let them know which store it was towed to and find out if the carrier wants to have someone look at the vehicle or if the OEM should do the appraisal. That’s going to give them time to break the car down and not just do a rudimentary digital evaluation. They will be able to have a much more processed, highly detailed blueprint-type of appraisal… and customers won’t know the difference. Companies such as Enterprise, with its Entegral program, are starting to get into post-accident process-

ing. Consumers could very well be a fan of that program, being able to have a replacement car readily available. By offering alternative transportation and being able to meet that immediate need, it will have higher payoffs for carriers.

Avery: Will it become more common for vehicle owners to allocate a repairer of choice?

Spears: An OEM could open up the possibility for customer choice and we may very well see owners being able to assign themselves to a repair shop, particularly through a manufacturers network, like Volkswagen’s Car-Net mobile app or GM’s OnStar system. However, customer choice might lie beyond the customer’s geography in some cases. For example, if a consumer has an Audi or a complicated Volkswagen to be repaired and there isn’t a certified shop nearby, the car will have to be towed to a certified shop outside of the area the carrier offers. For more information, email Spears at James.spears@gmail.com.

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27


Social Media for Shops with Ed Attanasio

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

“Booth Talk” is a Podcast Created by a Refinisher for Refinishers In the old days, we were almost always stuck with whatever was on the radio. But, now with Sirius/XM satellite radio, Pandora and the growing number of podcasts, we can listen to content that is both relevant and specialized to our interests. As a result of this podcast evolution, there are now a handful of different podcasts and more in development. Many deal with collision-repair related topics like parts, painting, training, new products and repair processes, just to name a few. The podcast universe is growing with no end in sight. There are more than 700,000 active podcasts and more than 29 million podcast episodes. In 2018, these numbers stood at 550,000 and 18.5 million respectively, according to Edison Research. To connect with experts within the collision repair industry from different capacities, Jeremy Winters, a

start a weekly podcast to unite refinishers together to share stories and information. At the outset, he broadcast the show using the Instagram live feature (@that_ painter_fella) for the first three months and subsequently found a new home @boothtalk. Every Saturday night at 8 p.m. EST Booth Talk is recorded live, but each episode is saved so people can listen to them at their leisure. Winters said 200-300 people listen to the live with more than 2,000 downloads every month. “We are doubling our audience every year, as more and more folks find out about it,” he said. “It’s a thrill every time I get some positive feedback from a fellow painter or a tech or a company rep about the podcast.” Winters is always excited every time he hears about a new listener. “We get people from literally every aspect of this industry, including celebrity painters, reality show stars, car rebuilders, hot rod people, company reps and even students and apprentices who want to learn more. With zero experience in the world of podcasting, Winters had to do extensive research and learn by doing, he said. “I invested in some Jeremy Winters, a veteran painter with 17 years of experience hosts Booth Talk, a podcast whose mission recording equipment and is to unite refinishers and share valuable information. asked my friend Tony Credit: Ed Attanasio Larimer from Dan-Am if refinish technician with years of ex- he would be my first guest. Tony is perience started ‘Booth Talk.’ It’s a so highly-respected in the industry podcast for the automotive refinish and everyone knows SATA, so getcommunity by the refinish commu- ting him on the first show was a nity, according to its founder. good move looking back.” It all started when Winters, a vetAfter re-connecting with Mike eran painter with 17 years of experi- Miller, an old high school friend ence from Bonaire, GA. decided to with experience as an audio engineer,

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Winters was able to take Booth Talk to a whole new level. “We started gaining momentum and got more and more guests from the industry, like

such as Polyvance.” Winters never went to voiceover school, but many listeners think he’s a seasoned professional. “I was a little comfortable on camera at first, but I eventually learned that if I just jump into a conversation with a guest, it works well. It takes focus and you have to avoid crowding your mind with too many things and now have it down. Now that I have done 120 episodes, it’s like second nature.” What does the future At SEMA, Winters interviewed Charley Hutton for Booth hold for Booth Talk and its Talk. Credit: Ed Attanasio creator? “If I could do this Ron Clan, Charley Hutton, Kristen full-time eventually, that would be Felder, Kevin Tetz, Tim Briggs, great,” Winters said. “I’m trying to Gabriel Merino and others,” he said. get a major sponsor and partner with “Now I also interview companies some paint companies. We are growthat manufacture equipment or prod- ing rapidly, so hopefully that can hapucts for the collision repair industry, pen sometime in 2020.”

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29


Product Innovation

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

with Ed Attanasio

First Paint Suits Designed for Ladies Announced at SEMA Fear not, ladies—the Behind the Gun paint suit is made just for you and is finally here! If you’re a female refinisher or technician, this is great news and much needed, according to its creator Connie Manjavinos. Several years ago, Manjavinos, a head painter at Kiddy’s Classics in Jensen Beach, FL, and the person behind Girls Behind the Gun began approaching SATA about producing a paint suit designed specifically for women. As more and more ladies move to the forefront of this industry and gain respect for being top-performing technicians, Manjavinos is driven to play a meaningful role. With a mission of connecting to other females in the collision industry, Manjavinos created an outlet on social media: Girls Behind the Gun. It’s a place of appreciation for all women in the refinishing and collision repair industry. Manjavinos is

now connected with thousands of other female refinishers and technicians. The movement started four

At SEMA 2019, Connie Manjavinos unveiled her Behind the Gun paint suit, designed specifically for women. Credit: Ed Attanasio

FORD

years ago and has already reached an impressive 20,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram. Hilary Ann (@autobodybarbie) came to me with an idea to start “an exclusive Facebook page called Auto Body Gals and I responded with go for it! We have almost 1,100 women from all over the world who use it and share tips, tricks, and techniques while ultimately networking and celebrating each other. It’s going to take an army to make a difference for women in this industry.” Manjavinos has received national acclaim for her work and has participated in many events including 3M’S PPS World Cup. She also received second place in last year’s SATA Gun Design Competition for SEMA, and also participated in two all-female builds featured at SEMA. It’s still a male-dominated industry, but things are getting better,

Manjavinos said. “Yes, there are still a few guys out there who have issues with women, but they aren’t going to stop me from what I am doing. In a way, it’s inspiring and most of the men I encounter are so supportive, to be honest. That’s why networking with other female painters and techs is so needed, because there’s power in numbers.” When Tony Lartimer at DanAm Company and CHOKO Designs, a clothing manufacturer, gave her paint suit concept two thumbs up, it was go time, Manjavinos said. “In November 2018, the people at Choko approached me and after a while all three parties came together to do this. It was fate and pretty amazing. I was excited and we began the design process right away. We started with a rough draft and then it changed and evolved during the development stage.”

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Most paint suits are made for men and this one acknowledges women,” she said. “Before this suit existed, we had to use a log of tape to get a good seal around the ankles and wrists—it’s a hassle. We got a lot of valuable feedback from female painters and we determined that it takes 15 minutes to tape up. In

straps replace tape and the Girls Behind the Gun logo is emblazoned on the back of the suit. The goal was to create a suit that will help us to be more efficient without completely sacrificing style.” Over the years, several companies came out with paint suits that were allegedly designed for women,

“The goal was to create a suit that will help us to be more efficient without completely sacrificing style.” — Connie Manjavinos addition, men’s suits are normally way too big for us, and we don’t want all that extra material that can touch the paint when we lean in, for example.” Other modifications make the suit ideal for women, Manjavinos said. “With our suit, we insisted on knee pads that might eventually be removable in future designs. We also got rid of the pocket on the chest, so we could use the princess cut design to achieve that feminine look. We also learned that most ladies don’t use their pocket anyway. Velcro

Manjavinos said. “There was no other women’s paint suit out there on the market. Other brands came out with pink suits as a special edition, but it would still be a men’s suit. When I first began thinking about the Girls Behind the Gun paint suits, I Googled it and when I saw that there was nothing out there, it inspired me even more.” Available in every size from extra small to triple extra large, the Girls Behind the Gun paint suit features a breathable full poly-cotton back; built-in padded knees; hook

and loop cuff closures; ergonomically shaped sleeves, easy to slip on wide paint legs adjustable hook & loop leg closures and underarm twoway zippers. Unveiling the suit at SEMA 2019 was an incredible experience for Manjavinos. “Every woman who saw it at the SATA booth loved it and every single one didn’t hesitate to try it on. This suit represents opportunity and I really believe that this is only the beginning, as more and more doors start opening up for us. The new Girls Behind the Gun is part of this revolution and proud to be part of it.” “I just want to help the women be able to walk in that paint booth with confidence,” she added. “I want to eliminate the stress or anxiety in the back of their heads to make sure that their paint suit isn’t in the way. That way, we can truly focus on our work and achieving a fantastic paint job. This is for all women with all backgrounds behind the gun who needs a protected paint suit!”

www.autobodynews.com

ASE Certification Registration Now Open

ASE winter registration is now open through March 31. Those registering will have 90 days to schedule an appointment to take the selected ASE tests. ASE tests are conducted days, nights and weekends at nearly 500 secured, proctored test centers. Each test costs $45, except L1, L2 and L3 tests which are $90 each. For recertification, a one-time $36 registration fee is paid during the registration period, and tests are $45 each, except L1R and L2R tests which are $90 each. “From entry-level certification to master status, ASE offers a broad range of test series covering automotive, collision, medium/heavy duty, school bus, transit bus and truck equipment repair,” said Tim Zilke, president & CEO of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). “The prestigious ASE blue seal patch identifies service technicians as knowledgeable, proficient and committed to excellence.”

autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS

31


Continued from Cover

Getting Paid

to disconnecting and reconnecting a battery. Less than 1 in 10 shops said they are “never” paid when they bill for this “not-included” procedure.

that participate in the surveys. For the two dozen procedures asked about in the survey, 7 percent more shops are negotiating to be paid for the procedures, and an average of 8.5 percent more shops are reporting being paid “always” or “most of the time” for them compared to five years ago.

A rising percentage of shops are using the automaker information websites to research OEM procedures

Even among the subset of respondents that the survey found is least likely to be paid for it – namely, Geico DRP shops – almost 3 in 4 (73 percent) of those shops said Geico does pay for this “always” or “most” of the time. (By comparison, more than 90 percent of DRP shops for State Farm and Farmers Insurance reported being paid “always” or “most” of the time when they itemized the procedures on invoices). There are four “Who Pays for What?” surveys a year, each focusing on different aspects of the collision repair process. The latest survey,

Some operations, like draining fuel tanks, have changed little over the five years of survey results, with one-third of shops still not negotiating for that procedure; about two-thirds of those who do, report regularly being paid for it. But the surveys also have found slow but steady improvement in billing and payment practices for several of the operations. In 2015, 81 percent of shops said they were not negotiating to be paid for performing destructive test welds – that has dropped dramatically to just 52 percent in 2019.

nostic alignment,” shops’ success in getting paid for it has increased steadily over the past five years. “Every shop is different and negotiates differently, but the “Who Pays” surveys have shown over and over again that shops won’t be paid for something they have done if they don’t at least know that it is ‘not-included,’ if they don’t determine a fair charge for it, and if they don’t put it on their estimates or invoices,” Anderson said. The surveys ask about shop practices beyond the labor procedures. Anderson has argued for some time that many shops lump far too many

Pays” survey found that more than 81 percent of shops with a flat charge for frame set-up and measure said that fee included pulling the vehicle into the shop and lifting it up. In the same survey in 2019, fewer shops – about 75 percent – said that was included. In an even larger shift, only about 1 in 4 shops charging the flat fee for “set-up and measure” said it includes removal of wheels; in 2016, nearly 38 percent of shops included the time to remove wheels in their set-up and measure fee. “I think as an industry we need to move away from the flat two hours, and start line iteming every single

Even something as seemingly simple as disconnecting and reconnecting a battery can involve multiple pages of important OEM procedures that should be reviewed, according to Mike Anderson

procedures into a flat fee charge for “set-up and measure.” The 2019 survey found some indication that his calls for more itemization of the procedures involved are taking hold. Back in 2016, for example, a “Who

thing we need to do for each vehicle, because it’s very vehicle-specific,” Anderson said. Among shops that are researching OEM repair procedures, the surveys have found a steadily rising

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Among shops billing for post-repair test drives of vehicles, 31 percent reported being paid “always” or “most of the time” by the eight largest auto insurers in 2019, up from about 25 percent in 2018

which asks shops about their billing practices – and insurer payment practices – related to “not-included” refinish labor procedures, is open throughout January. Shops can click here to take the current survey before Feb.1. The battery disconnect/reconnect data was from a 2019 “Who Pays” survey related to “not-included” mechanical and frame labor procedures. It was the fifth year the survey was conducted, and it found some realworld improvement among the shops 32

Perhaps because performing post-repair test drives is becoming increasingly necessary (and complex) because of advanced drivers assistance systems (ADAS), that is also being added to estimates at a higher rate than five years ago; nearly 1 in 3 shops now report being paid “always” or “most” of the time for such test drives, up from just 13 percent five years ago. Although roughly the same percentage of shops as five years ago are seeking to be paid for “pre-diag-

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percentage are going directly to the automakers’ websites for that information. Five years ago, just 32 percent of repairers said they used the automaker websites to obtain repair

“That’s an improvement, but this should still be done 100 percent of the time,” Anderson said. “You need to research that information every time, and save it on file, so if you ever get

Among shops charging a flat fee for “set-up and measure,” a recent “Who Pays” survey found shops tend to be including fewer specific procedures in that fee

information, while a majority (67 percent) said they researched repair procedures through ALLDATA. Although a slightly smaller majority (63 percent) of shops still use ALLDATA in 2019, the percentage of shops using the OEM sites has nearly doubled to 59 percent in the 2019 survey. (The percentages add up to more than 100 because shops could indicate if they use multiple sources). About 54 percent of survey respondents said they are OEM researching procedures all or most of the time compared to about 42 percent five years ago.

audited for whatever reason, you can say, ‘The reason we did this procedure was because this is how the OEM said to do it at that time.’” Shops can take the current “Who Pays for What?” survey (or

sign up to be notified about future surveys) at www.crashnetwork.com/ collisionadvice. The four different surveys, conducted one per quarter, each take about 15-25 minutes, and Anderson said they can be completed by any shop owner, manager or estimator who is familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of the largest national insurers. Individual responses are not released in any way; only cumulative data is released. At the website, shops can also download the results of previous surveys, reports that break the findings down by region, by insurer and by DRP vs. non-DRP. The reports also include analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented.

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CARSTAR Celebrates Banner Year

CARSTAR owners experienced an average of 20 percent sales growth across North America, which translates into over $1 billion in profitability. “Consistently putting customer experience and repair quality first, while giving back to the communities we serve are the founding values from 1989, that got us to this position we are in today,” says Dean Fisher, president, CARSTAR. The brand celebrated its 30th anniversary by doing something unique each month to thank its customers, franchise family and colleagues for their continued support throughout its history. “We are grateful for our customers and franchise family, so it was such a joy to take a moment each month to celebrate our valued relationships,” continues Fisher. “We are excited to close out the year on such a high note and motivated to raise the bar for excellence even higher 2020.”

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

ASA’s Webinar Wednesday Addresses What’s Happening With Data Access Policy On Dec. 18, ASA’s monthly Webinar Wednesday featured a discussion on “What’s Happening With Data Access Policy” with Robert L. Redding Jr., ASA Washington, D. C. representative and Greg Scott from the U. S. Vehicle Data Access Coalition. The webinar began with ASA Vice President of Industry Relations Tony Molla welcoming attendees and introducing Redding and Scott. Redding began with a review of service information and vehicle data access which started with the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments which required independent repairers to have access to the same information as dealers. Subsequent EPA regulations, what Redding called “attempts at getting it right,” proceeded to the ASA and Automaker Service Information Agreement which facilitated the creation of OEM websites and landed the industry where it currently

is today. “The Massachusetts Right to Repair led to a memorandum of understanding with aftermarket and automaker associations. Finally, in the 115th Congress passed Autonomous Vehicle Legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, but AV legislation containing Vehicle Data Access stakeholder language failed to reach the U.S. Senator floor,” Redding explained. Moving on to data access, Redding asked Scott when the U. S. Vehicle Data Access Coalition was formed, and Scott said, “In 2017, as Congress began looking at autonomous vehicle legislation, European automakers threatened to shut down data access due to autonomous vehicles. The Coalition was founded and is comprised of members of the automotive industry, the aftermarket repair industry, consumer groups, insurance industry groups and others who believe

the owner of the vehicle should control the data generated by that vehicle and be able to grant permission to repairers to access that information.” “At the time, there was a belief that the data belonged to the OEMs who could then grant access to the vehicle owner,” Scott continued. “The Coalition was formed as a necessary political animal because our voices are stronger together and allows us to offset the power of motor vehicle manufacturers.” Explaining that the Coalition is now examining a broader set of data, Scott discussed how data impacts consumers and insurers. “Consumers need to be able to know where their vehicles are, and insurers are involved in this topic as they reconstruct accidents or try to write policies. There is all sorts of data that different parties need access to. Telematics companies pull data that’s important to fleet man-

agement companies but irrelevant to a collision repair shop. ASA members are most interested in only one data set that vehicles pull, and the many other data sets are important to other groups, but we all agree that the owner should control data access.” The Coalition became involved with the subject when the House was moving the autonomous vehicle legislation which talked about cybersecurity being housed with National Highway Safety, and the Coalition managed to secure two legislators willing to sponsor the Coalition-backed amendment in the fall of 2017. The autonomous vehicle legislation did not move to the Senate floor based on issues unrelated to data access. “We need to talk about the issue of data access, including who controls it and what use cases are allowed,” Scott said. “We moved from

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having discussions with OEMs to thinking that’s insufficient and deciding that we’re going to need to do affirmative legislation.” Redding noted that the collision repair industry has relied on thirdparty providers and OEM websites for years, and he pondered what path should be taken to move forward, identifying this as a critical concern for the second session of the 116th Congress. “We need a path for vehicle data access because there’s too much at stake,” Redding stressed. “We want to keep our small businesses viable and allow them to plan for the future. It’s important for their strategic planning that we figure this out.” Referencing the California Privacy Act, Redding questioned why shops in other states should be concerned. Scott explained, “We need to start by dividing access to data with usage of data. How can you use sensitive, personal data? California has adopted this law that goes into effect on Jan. 1, but the use of data is irrelevant to an ASA member, fleet operator or consumer if they don’t have access to that data. We need to begin by regulating data access, and then

it’s appropriate to regulate use of that information.” Scott also hypothesized about which pieces of legislation could include data access issues, besides legislation pertaining to autonomous vehicles. Addressing NHTSA’s role in data access, Scott noted, “The NHTSA’s concern is safety. Data access is related to privacy and competition. If data is restricted, competition disappears, and prices increase for consumers. Congress hasn’t given NHTSA the authority to regulate data access; as of 2019, the Federal Trade Commission regulates data access.” Anticipating that 2020 will see the introduction of data access legislation that the Coalition will be supporting, Scott predicted, “We’re going to shake up the OEMs on this topic. At the end of the day, as ASA members well know, negotiation will always include a bit of a confrontation, but if we can reach an agreement between the OEMs and vehicle owners to ensure data access for everyone who needs it, that would be the preferred outcome. The Coalition wants everyone to know we are out here beating the drum on this.”

“If you’re not at the table, you tend to be on the menu,” Scott continued. “We have to push our way into this debate and line up our champions. Legislators need to hear from their constituents to know they care about this issue. We need to make as much noise as we can so that OEMs and legislators have to pay attention. If we don’t speak up together, we won’t get the attention we need; it’s up to us to affirmatively pass legislation to prevent OEMs from shutting it down … As vehicles advance, there will be more data, and repairers will need more access. We are trying to cover current and future vehicles as we strive to address the data access issues facing the industry.” ASA’s next Webinar Wednesday will occur on Jan. 15 at 1 p.m. EST and will feature Becky Witt, AMAM for George Witt Service, as she presents “Would You Take a Job for $200 an Hour?” Witt will apply accounting principles to demonstrate how pricing should be determined, thereby providing attendees with the tools necessary to increase profits. For more information or to register, visit asashop.org/webinars/.

Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires Nine CA Locations

The Boyd Group Inc. announced that it has entered the state of California via two acquisitions representing nine locations in the suburban Los Angeles area. Six of the shops are in Corona, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Moreno Valley, Murrieta and Palm Desert and previously operated as International Auto Crafters. The locations in Newhall, Santa Clarita and Valencia operated as Centre Pointe Collision. All of these shops are located east of Los Angeles in Riverside County, the fourth-most populous county in California and 11th in the U.S. “We are excited to enter a new state and expand our footprint on the West Coast, reinforcing our brand and providing the high-quality service customers in this region have come to expect,” said Kevin Burnett, COO of Gerber Collision & Glass. “With these acquisitions and our new locations, we also look forward to better serving our insurance partners with their West Coast needs.”

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That’s It! He’s Had It, Part 1 by Gary Ledoux

Social media has changed the way we interact with each other, with our peers, and with the world. The originators of Facebook thought it’d be fun to share a good experience you had at your favorite restaurant or share a picture of your little leaguer hitting the winning run, but it’s gone beyond that. Monitoring the various collisionrelated Facebook pages, hardly a week goes by when some shop owner doesn’t create a post, lamenting their seemingly hopeless situation, dealing with insurance companies, dealing with customers that want everything “thrown-in,” including the deductible, and trying to find and keep good help. The post usually ends with “That’s it. I’ve had it!” Then, the conversation usually goes like this: “I could close my shop, but then what would I do … work as a line tech for another shop? I’m still in my 40’s but the challenges of body work have wrecked my back and standing on concrete all

day has wrecked my legs. This is the only job I’ve known since I was 16. What do I do now?” The answer is – there’s plenty to do. Being a shop owner, you have experience and knowledge that is transferable to other corners of the collision repair industry. Stop and think of all the companies that produce products and services that support your efforts as a collision repair shop, and all the managers, representatives, and other workers they employ. Your experience as a shop owner (or technician, or painter) is invaluable to them. Here are a few to consider:

HD Truck Repair: Consider the heavy truck and specialty vehicle industry if you enjoy working with your hands and seeing the physical results of your efforts. This includes repairing tractor-trailer rigs or specialty vehicles like fire trucks or ambulances. The work is no less strenuous than working on automobiles, but insurance adjusters rarely question an estimate. The labor rate runs $100 to

$150 per hour, and with a guesstimated 2,000 heavy truck shops in the country, there is less competition as opposed to the 35,000 auto collision shops. Insurance Adjuster: Yes, it almost feels blasphemous to work in a corner of the industry you have cursed since day one. How many times have you said, “I wish these guys knew something so I didn’t have to train them!” Now, you can be that rare adjuster that truly knows the business and can relate to the shops. MSO Field Manager: Depending on the MSO, it might be necessary to manage anywhere from six to eight shop locations to hundreds of locations. This requires coordination, manpower, and an intricate knowledge of the industry. A former shop owner or manager could be invaluable in any number of positions in an organization as such. Equipment Manufacturer / Distributor: Tim Morgan, a former body

shop owner, and former training manager for another equipment maker, and trainer for a technical college, is now the chief operating officer for Spanesi Equipment for North America. Asked about the role a former shop owner could play in his organization, Morgan noted, “We, and our independent distributors, need people to sell, install, demonstrate and train people on the use of Spanesi equipment. We sell everything needed to outfit a shop including pulling and measuring equipment, welding equipment, spray booths and so forth. Former shop owners, managers and techs make excellent candidates for this kind of work. I have hired several since 2012 … and wish I could find a few more.” Estimating Company: What better person to conduct training or serve as a field rep for an estimating system than someone who has worked, probably with all the different systems, and different generations of systems, than a former shop owner or manager?

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Paint Manufacturer: John Bosin, now retired but formerly a representative with AkzoNobel and DuPont paint companies noted, “Initially DuPont wanted people with a bachelor’s degree in business. Eventually what they, and other paint companies realized was, they needed people who were versed in the business and the products they represented. Today, former shop owners not only make great account representatives, but paint companies also need people to serve in training and consulting roles to manage their body shop programs such as Akzo’s A-Coat program.” PBE Jobber Rep: Gay Bargnes, one of the principals for Painter’s Supply, a paint and body supply jobber with 52 stores in eight states is well known in the industry and is the immediate past chair for the Collision Industry Conference. He said there are many positions on this side of the industry that can be and are filled with former shop owners, techs and painters. Bargnes added, “Being a rep or a trainer for a paint jobber is a quasi-technical position. It requires a combination of technical skill, sales

skills, and people skills.” Bargnes “guesstimates” that there are about 1,500 Paint Body and Equipment (PBE) jobber companies in the country with a total of 4,000 locations. This is not counting the many auto parts jobbers who also carry PBE products. According to Bargnes’ estimation, “This provides former shop owners, painters and technicians with the most opportunity of any shop employment alternative in the industry.”

Consumer Advocate: Consumer advocate is an all-encompassing way of describing a professional who will conduct post-repair inspections and assist in diminished-value claims. Many consultants do this, but some, like Collision Safety Consultants based in North Carolina and Wreck Check Car Scan (owned by a former shop owner) based in Las Vegas specialize in it. With cars becoming more sophisticated and people becoming more litigious, post repair inspection, and looking after the rights of the consumer is a growing business. Given the John Eagle case of two years ago, the stakes could not be higher.

sion shop owner who saw several needs within the customer-experience initiatives for body shops, mechanical shops and dealership service departments, and is working hard to fill those needs. He operates a company called Update Promise, providing a suite of products to help shops build business and profits and enhance the customer experience. Among these are verified third-party shop reviews, integrated payment systems, data analytics, and customer contact. Be sure to check Autobody News next month for part two of this two-part series with a few more ideas on related alternatives to shop management, and the conclusion of this article.

Executive Director of an Auto Body Association: In 1982, John Loftus owned a body shop in Hawthorne, CA, and was already active in his state’s auto body association. He knew something more was needed – something on a national scale. Long story short, he, and a few other shop owners were responsible for founding what is known today as the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). Loftus became a paid “employee” of the organization serving as executive director for 19 years. Is there a body shop association or similar organization in your area that needs an executive director? Industry-Related Technology Company: Curt Nixon is a former colli-

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Rivian Announces $1.3 Billion Funding Round Backed by Amazon and Ford by Nursah Ergü, Interesting Engineering

Electric vehicles are in great demand now and Tesla is leading the way. But it seems like Tesla will have a big competitor in the electric vehicle game; Rivian, which is an electric truckmaker. The company was founded in 2009. And the start-up has closed an investment round of $1.3 billion. The investment round included participation from Amazon, Ford Motor Credit: Rivian Company, and funds managed by Blackrock. Rivian Founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said, “This investment demonstrates confidence in our team, products, technology, and strategy – we are extremely excited to have the support from such strong shareholders.” This new investment is the fourth round of the company in 2019. In February 2019, a $700 million funding round led by Amazon. In April 2019, Ford Motor Company invested $500 million in 38

Rivian and the companies would collaborate on a vehicle project. which would utilize Rivian’s skateboard platform. In September 2019, Cox Automotive announced that it invested $350 million in Rivian, and the companies have plans to collaborate on logistics and service. Apart from these investments, in September 2019, Rivian announced that it was collaborating with Amazon to develop an electric delivery van by using Rivian’s platform technology. Rivian’s launch products R1T and R1S aren’t on sale yet, just like any other products of Rivian. However; the cars will enter the market with customer deliveries expected to begin at the end of 2020. By then, we’ll follow the brand and its activities closely, but it seems like Tesla has a strong component coming to town, which is supported by Amazon and Ford. Let the race begin. We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.

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Automotive Technology Department Head Stresses Life Skills First by Ed Attanasio

Collision repair facilities today demand that technicians are well-trained and know how to repair sophisticated automobiles using modern techniques. Dayne Hosier, assistant professor at Vincennes University in Vincennes, IN, aims to do just that,

Student Derek White (left) and Dayne Hosier, assistant auto tech professor at Vincennes University, working at the basics. Credit: Ed Attanasio

but maybe even more importantly, he also strives to instill foundational life skills in his students as they progress through their technical training. He stresses soft skills like communication, punctuality, accountability, thoroughness, and an eye for detail in

every class he teaches. As a 2011 Vincennes University collision repair graduate himself, Hosier prides himself in providing education and instruction to the next generation of auto body technicians. He knows that imparting the basics is essential, but it’s only the beginning. “As an educator, I feel that I have an obligation to make my students as employable as possible,” he said. “We can show students how to apply fillers, paint, weld sheet metal, estimate cost, and blueprint vehicle repair, but can we also condition our students’ attitudes? How about their vision of a project when it’s in pieces or maybe their perseverance when struggling to resolve a problem that has a complicated solution?” Being a collision repair professor offers up many challenges, Hosier said. “Students can be distracted by all the communication opportunities offered by the cell phones they carry. Although the phones can be a distraction at times, they can also be a handy tool in the collision repair industry. They are great for

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lision repair industry for several reasons, Hosier said. “Having so many available career paths in collision repair keeps me on my toes, in order to make sure that all my students find value in what I teach and get exposure to as many aspects of collision repair in the time we have together. I

Hosier, at age 19, studying collision repair at Vincennes University. Credit: Ed Attanasio

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graduate, who completed Vincennes University (VU) dual credit through the career center and entered its program as a second-year student. His willingness to learn and persevere earned him the Indiana Vocational and Technical Education Award for Excellence, an internship at Gerber Collision in Evansville, IN, and graduated VU with his Associate Degree while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Three other students, Zac Lewis, Landon Vannatta, and Jose Enriquez continued their education in the BMW STEP Body and Paint program, which only accepts 20 students per year nationwide. Lewis and Vannatta also went into a secondyear leadership role for BMW. These students are some of the top performers out of Hosier’s program, but others find success in many other aspects of the collision repair industry or other careers, he said. “I would say 40%-50% of my students like these gentlemen are allin and passionate about making a career out of their training with me. They will get hired at shops, and many of them will have fantastic careers. 50% of them are interested,

but not 100% dedicated to making a career out of it, and they may or may not enter the collision repair industry directly. A small percentage of my students find that the collision repair industry is not what they had envisioned and decided to pursue other career paths, and that is okay.”

Hosier’s classes focus on employability and stress life skills at Vincennes. Credit: Ed Attanasio

In every class he teaches, Hosier emphasizes the bigger picture and the responsibility that’s associated with collision repair. “Hands-on training that is put into practice will make students money,” he said. “Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and texting are all distractions in our industry. Those are the types of distrac-

tions that can lead to poor repair quality, employee turnover, and substandard customer service. We teach our students to be responsible and technically proficient and what it means to be accountable for their repairs. Lives are on the line in many cases when vehicles are put back into service. Just because a technician thinks a repair is good enough doesn’t mean it meets the manufacturer’s specifications.” Hosier wants the next generation of collision repair technicians to know that the things he is teaching them today may not be applicable in five-ten years, he said. “The collision repair industry is changing nearly every day, and graduates must be willing to adapt and embrace change to maintain their earning potential. This industry can be very rewarding and profitable for those that have the drive to succeed, manage time effectively, are well organized, and have the willingness to put hands-on skills and broad-based technical knowledge together. Technicians that are compassionate about the needs of the customer and take pride in what they do will always be in great demand.”

Rosen Law Files Lawsuit Against Towing Company

A complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York against a towing company which the complaint claims has overcharged consumers who required towing services from a towing company that is the exclusive towing company authorized by the New York City Police Department to tow vehicles on seven highways. According to the Complaint, instead of charging New York’s consumers and businesses $125 to have their cars towed up to 10 miles off of the seven New York highways, Runway Towing Corp was charging up to $400 for the tow that they are only permitted to charge $125 for. It is alleged in the complaint that the New York City Police Department and the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs knew that Runway Towing Corp. was overcharging consumers and businesses, but Runway Towing Corp. was permitted to continue their scheme to overcharge. Obtained via PR Newswire.

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Top Automotive Industry Stories of the Decade by Tara Taffera, glassBYTEs.com

As we head into 2020, glassBYTEs .com took a look at the most popular stories of the 2010s. Five of them had to do with shattering or faulty sunroofs—a big topic of the past decade. The top ten may not be what you expected but they were the most read based on page views. 1. Honda Requires OE Replacement Windshields for Some Models With Driver Assist, Safety Systems It may seem as if ADAS technology has ramped up in the past few years, but back in 2014, Honda was already requiring original equipment replacement windshields for certain Honda and Acura models equipped with ADAS features. “While non-OE parts may look the same and fit in the same physical space on the vehicle, their use may present unforeseen circumstances causing the driver assist or other safety systems to operate abnormally or not at all,” according a statement by Honda. 2. NHTSA Receives More Complaints of Shattering F-150 Back Lites Reports of shattering sunroofs were also extremely prevalent back in 2014 when more than 30 owners of the 2010 Ford F-150 model complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that an alleged glitch in their rear defrosters had caused their back lites to shatter or spiderweb in cracks. 3. Can Repairs Be Successful in Cold Weather? With the cold weather already hitting many areas of the country, perhaps you will want to refer back to this article from 2014 which talks about tips for performing repairs and replacements in cold weather. 4. Dwyer-Owens Steps Down as CEO of the Dwyer Group In 2014 Dina Dwyer-Owens left her role as CEO of The Dwyer Group, parent company to Glass Doctor, a position she held for 15 years. She then moved into the role of executive chairwoman of The Dwyer Group. 5. Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Chrysler Over Alleged Sunroof Defect 42

Before 2014 ended, six Chrysler owners filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against the automaker in U.S. District Court of New Jersey alleging that a defect in the sunroofs caused them to leak.

daycare, I heard a large pop and then smelled burning rubber. I looked and saw the right rear glass shattered and it was shortened out by the heating element,” reported one owner to NHSTA on Dec. 15, 2013.

6. Is This the Beginning of the End of the Giant Glass Brand? In November of 2015, three years after purchasing North Andover, MA-based Giant Glass Co., Safelite AutoGlass moved to co-brand its name with the company. Prior to this, Giant Glass’ five locations continued to operate under the existing name, and Safelite rebranded its Falmouth, MA, store into the Boston brand. “We have leveraged the local brand position held by Giant Glass for almost three years,” said Tom Feeney, Safelite Group president and CEO. “While all the people became Safelite associates operating with Safelite systems and tools, Giant and Safelite operations remained separate. It has now become clear that bringing all our resources in the market together is best way to serve our customers in the future.”

9. BMW Asks Court to Dismiss Lawsuit Over Alleged Sunroof Defect Just three months prior to publishing our number eight story, BMW asked the U.S. Northern California District Court to dismiss a class action lawsuit in which the plaintiffs, two BMW owners, claimed that drainage tubes installed to pull water away from vehicles’ sunroofs did not properly work, leading to water damage. “Recognizing that there is no warranty coverage for water leaks in their used BMW vehicles, plaintiffs (Monita) Sharma and (Eric) Anderson seek to impose on BMW NA an obligation to fix their cars for free, ad infinitum, by claiming that they— and a large group of owners and lessees of BMW vehicles sold in the United States over more than ten years—were ‘defrauded’ by BMW

7. Cadillac Hit With Lawsuit Regarding Leaking Sunroofs In 2017, Cadillac Automobile Company, a division of General Motors (GM), was hit with a lawsuit alleging the company manufactured and/or designed 2010-2013 Cadillac SRX models with leaking sunroofs and had denied warranty coverage for certain year models. Plaintiff Kelley Gaines, a resident of California, claimed the vehicles were manufactured or designed with defective sunroof seals or drains, allowing water to enter the passenger side of the vehicle. 8. Several Ford F-150 Owners Report Shattering Backlites to NHTSA A story in 2013 detailed more than 20 F-150 Ford owners of the 2010 model year who complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that an alleged glitch in their rear defrosters had caused their backlites to shatter or spiderweb in cracks. “On a 40-degree morning, I turned the rear defroster on to clear the windows and mirrors. As I was driving my son to

FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

NA through an alleged design defect in their sunroofs that may result in water leaks,” BMW’s attorneys claimed in court documents. 10. GM Extends Headlamp Module Warranty You never know what will appear in the top stories, and this number ten of the decade may be a surprise. It was the story following a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation, stating that General Motors (GM) had extended its headlight warranty to cover problems related to its headlamp driver modules recall. The initial recall was for defective low-beam headlights and daytime running lights on certain GM makes and models that were prone to failure. After receiving 128 consumer complaints following the recall, NHTSA opened an investigation on April 30, 2017, to see if the recall fixed the affected vehicles. We thank glassBYTEs.com for reprint permission.

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Blind People Can See Through Ford’s New Car Window

Mercedes-Benz Recall Failures Lead to $20 Million Settlement

by Nico Ylanan, motor1.com

by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

We all know that Ford hasn’t been at the forefront of the best news recently, but we stumbled upon a little story that will definitely bring a smile or tear down your face. Personally, I’ve never known anyone that was born blind or lost their sight at some point in their lives, but it’s something that I would

never wish upon anyone. We often take the gift of seeing and visualizing our experiences and daily lives for granted, our brains playing back our memories in color and motion, able to make out all the tiny details in our cherished memories. It’s hard to imagine someone who cannot see what we see, and have feel the emotions connected to that moment in time. Ford is making a huge difference, and it’s pretty darn close to making sure everyone can see the world in their own way. Called “Feel the View,” it was

conceived and developed by Ford and GTB in Italy, in collaboration with a local start-up called Aedo that creates devices for the visually impaired. It works by creating the sensation of sight through 255 vibrations sent through a vehicle’s window glass that the hand can feel an interpret. All you must do is press the button and the device takes a picture of the scenery. This picture is a high-contrast monochrome image, the picture converted into greyscale, where the machine can translate every shade of grey into a unique vibration of varying intensity on the car window. This allows the visually impaired to “feel” the scenery by making out details and depth through touch, essentially being able to rebuild the landscape in their minds. Another neat touch is an integrated virtual assistant that can help add context to the image by saying key words about the image through the car’s speakers. This is the kind of stories about the future of motoring that we should all get behind; good on you, Ford. We thank motor1.com for reprint permission.

Subaru Recalls 498,000 Vehicles for Takata Airbag Inflators by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

A Subaru Takata airbag inflator recall has been issued for nearly 498,000 of these vehicles to replace the passenger frontal airbag inflators.

• • • •

2009-2013 Subaru Forester 2003-2006 Subaru Baja 2004-2011 Subaru Impreza 2004-2014 Subaru WRX (including STI) • 2003-2014 Subaru Legacy • 2003-2014 Subaru Outback • 2006 Saab 9-2X The action is part of a recall of 10 million Takata airbag infla-

AUTOBODY

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tors in vehicles manufactured by at least 14 automakers. The vehicles had their passenger airbag inflators replaced during previous recalls. It may be the final Subaru recall to replace Takata inflators after multiple automakers were forced to replace the inflators after deaths and injuries caused by exploding inflators. Takata airbags contain metal inflators which can explode into shrapnel when the airbags deploy. The Subaru recall is expected to begin in January 2020. Subaru owners may contact Subaru at 844373-6614, and Saab owners may call 800-955-9007. Subaru’s recall numbers are TKC-20, TKB-20 and TKA-20.

We thank CarComplaints.com for reprint permission.

www.autobodynews.com

UPDATED DAILY

FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Mercedes-Benz recall failures have cost the automaker $20 million to settle federal allegations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to the government, Mercedes signed the settlement agreement admitting mistakes were made during the recalls of 1.4 million vehicles. NHTSA opened an investigation in October 2018 alleging Mercedes failed to follow regulations concerning recalls ordered in 2017. Safety regulators alleged the automaker didn’t inform customers about safety recalls within the 60day period mandated by law. The government also alleged Mercedes committed other sins by failing to mail recall notices to owners in the required time periods and by failing to file proper quarterly recall reports. Even the automaker’s website came under scrutiny when NHTSA said failures occurred with the vehicle identification number lookup tool that may have prevented customers from learning about safety recalls.

Mercedes had additional problems with notifying dealerships about planned recalls and even misestimated the percentage of vehicles affected by recalls. In addition, the automaker ignored questions from NHTSA and didn’t provide important information concerning the 2017 safety recalls. Safety regulators further complained they had trouble investigating alleged safety problems because Mercedes failed to perform its legal duties. According to the $20 million settlement agreement, MercedesBenz will pay a $13 million civil penalty now, but an additional $7 million will be deferred and could become payable if specified conditions are not satisfied. The Mercedes agreement will be in effect for one year with the option for NHTSA to extend for an additional year under certain conditions. We thank CarComplaints.com for reprint permission.

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Chevy Shake Class Action Says Driveshaft is the Problem

UNIBODY AutoTech Collision Center Joins CIECA

by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

UNIBODY AutoTech Collision Center joined CIECA as a corporate member. Established in 2008 by Michael Chong, the company offers auto repair and maintenance in Honolulu, Hawaii. Chong said that he is continually looking to expand his knowledge of the industry so he can bring information back to Hawaii and his team at UNIBODY AutoTech Collision Center. “Today’s vehicles are like smartphones on wheels,” said Chong. “CIECA seems to be ahead of the game when it comes to technology and I look forward to gaining knowledge and meeting great people at CIECA.” Chong said that with technology and safety systems growing every day, he and his employees recognize the importance of refocusing on how vehicles are repaired today while consumers are demanding instant satisfaction. “CIECA standards are important,” said Chong. “As technology continues to evolve and collision repair businesses adapt, standards help us better communicate and evolve in our changing industry.”

A so-called “Chevy Shake” classaction lawsuit alleges GM vehicles suffer severe vibrations because the automaker uses aluminum driveshafts. The GM class action includes all consumers in the U.S., except Florida, who purchased or leased any of these GM vehicles. • 2015-2020 Cadillac Escalade • 2014-2019 Chevrolet Silverado • 2015-2020 Chevrolet Suburban • 2015-2020 Chevrolet Tahoe • 2014-2019 GMC Sierra • 2015-2020 GMC Yukon/Yukon XL Florida consumers are not included because a separate Chevy Shake lawsuit (Weiss v. General Motors) was denied nationwide class action certification, but the judge said the lawsuit could proceed for GM customers in Florida. According to the two plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit, the aluminum driveshafts cause severe vibrations that cause drivers to lose control of the vehicles. The plaintiffs claim the problem occurs while driving high-

way speeds, and over time the driveshaft can deteriorate and finally drop to the ground. GM allegedly sells and leases the vehicles while knowing the aluminum driveshafts will cause violent and dangerous vibrations that can send the vehicles off the roads. Instead of warning customers about the dangers, the class action alleges General Motors conceals information about the Chevy Shake to continue selling and leasing the vehicles. The automaker also has allegedly refused to recall the vehicles to replace the driveshafts and hasn’t offered to reimburse customers who spent their money for repairs. One of the plaintiffs purchased a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and claims the truck experienced the so-called Chevy Shake when about 25,000 was on the odometer. According to the plaintiff, the “center console aggressively shakes left to right such that if a cup were placed in the console without a lid, it would spill.” The plaintiff also says she has paid more than $1,400 in an effort to fix the truck but the vibrations and shaking continue. The dealer-

ship allegedly finally said the vibration was normal and no repairs were needed. The class action says owners have replaced the aluminum driveshafts with custom-made steel driveshafts which completely fixed the problem. The lawsuit says it’s clear GM knows about the so-called Chevy Shake because dealerships have been issued technical service bulletins (TSBs) related to the driveshafts. GM issued TSB PI1354A in 2014 and TSB PI1354C in 2015 which said, “There have been many cases of dented propeller [drive] shafts.” GM told each dealer to inspect the driveshaft and replace it if damage was discovered. However, the lawsuit alleges the aluminum driveshafts were replaced with equally defective aluminum driveshafts. The automaker also sent dealerships TSB PI1354I in 2019 entitled, “Information on Vibration Analysis and Diagnostic,” something the class action alleges is proof GM is still having problems with the driveshafts. We thank CarComplaints.com for reprint permission.

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11th Circuit Court Dismisses Suit Alleging Conspiracy to Deflate Collision Repair Changes by Jim Sams, Insurance Journal

A federal appellate court affirmed a decision to throw out a racketeering lawsuit brought by a group of 126 auto body collision repair shops against seven of the largest U.S. insurers. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta agreed with the district court that the repair shops failed to state a valid claim that the insurers had conspired to commit a fraud by demanding that they accept lower rates for their work in order to participate in their repair networks. The 11th Circuit noted that the 9th Circuit had rejected a similar pleading brought by small business owners against Yelp for allegedly manipulating user reviews to “extort” advertising revenue. “The Ninth Circuit’s reasoning fits the facts here well, and we conclude that, at most, these defendants drove a hard bargain,” the 11th Circuit panel said in an opinion written by Judge William Pryor. The case is titled Crawford’s Auto Center v. State Farm Mutual Insurance Co. Allstate, Geico, Progressive, Farmers Insurance, Liberty

Mutual, and Nationwide were also named as defendants. The repair shops first filed the lawsuit alleging an insurer conspiracy in a Chicago federal district court in 2014. The case was assigned as multi-district litigation to U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell in Orlando, FL. The body shops alleged that the insurers used third-party information providers — ADP Claims Services Group, CCC One and Mitchell — to establish “prevailing rates” for auto body repair work. The carriers referred policyholders to repair shops that agreed to accept the prevailing rates. The lawsuit alleges the insurers conspired to suppress the rates charged by their industry be creating deflated prevailing rates, a violation of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. What’s more, the carriers violated antitrust laws by working together to lower their costs. In its analysis, the 11th Circuit noted that a group of auto body shops has filed a similar lawsuit that was also rejected. In Quality Auto Paining Center of Roselle v. State

Farm, the appellate court dismissed a suit that alleged that insurance carriers were violating anti-trust laws by colluding to improperly pressure body shops to accept lower repair prices. The court said in order to pursue a claim under the RICO act, the repair shops would have to show that they there were the victim of a fraud or extortion. The fraud alleged in the complaint, however, consisted of nothing more than “vague allusions” to misrepresentations made by the insurers. There was also no allegation of extortion, which means to use force, violence or fear to obtain property. “Plaintiffs could have refused to perform the requested repairs at the rates set by defendants, but they did not,” the panel said. “They went ahead and performed those repairs. This is not extortion.” The panel also rejected plaintiffs’ arguments that the district judge erred by not entering several exhibits into evidence and by refusing them an opportunity to amend their complaint a third time. We thank Insurance Journal for reprint permission.

WIN Scholarship Program Opens Applications Women’s Industry Network (WIN) is committed to supporting females who demonstrate their desire to excel in the field of collision repair through the WIN Scholarship Program. Applications for the 2020 program will be accepted now through Jan. 31, 2020. The program for 2020 will offer the College Student Tuition and Conference Scholarship Award. This scholarship is presented to students enrolled in a post-secondary collision repair technology program. Each recipient will receive a $1,000 scholarship to continue their post-secondary education and a one-year WIN membership. “WIN understands that the cost of education, or continued education, has the potential to be a hurdle for students,” says Debbie Menz, 2020 co-chair of the Sponsorship Committee. “But with the support of our sponsors and members, WIN is able to offer scholarships to multiple female students each year to help them advance in the collision repair industry.

Tesla Becomes the Biggest U.S. Automaker in History by Loukia Papadopoulos, Interesting Engineering

Tesla just became the biggest automaker in history. Its market capitalization on Monday, Jan. 6 was valued at $81.4 billion, beating Ford’s peak market value of $80.8 billion.

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UNION CITY

Beating the Competition It was already bigger than General Motors but now also surpassed Ford’s. “They caught their competition in the U.S. just dead flatfooted,” Paul Holland, a general partner at Foundation Capital, said Tuesday, Jan. 7, regarding Tesla on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley.” “I don’t think it’s quite going to be the same in China … but nonetheless, a terrific day for Tesla and well-deserved because they’ve innovated with a product that many of us love.” Tesla shares have had a very promising beginning of 2020. They increased by almost 10% in the first week of the year as the first Model 3 sedans rolled off the assembly line at the firm’s China factory. The firm also boasted a record number of deliveries in the fourth quarter. Tesla delivered an impressive number of 112,000 vehicles during the

final three months of 2019. Tesla CEO Elon Musk spent the New Year working at the Fremont, CA, factory to deliver the last few cars of the year. A Good Year This year also saw the introduction of the Cybertruck. The car received 146K orders just two days after its unveiling. The firm also delivered China’s Model 3s early on Jan. 7. “China is by far the largest market for mid-sized premium sedans. With Model 3 priced on par with gasolinepowered mid-sized sedans (even before gas savings and other benefits), we believe China could become the biggest market for Model 3,” said Tesla in its third-quarter earnings report. Although Tesla’s toppling of these two American auto giants may come as a surprise to some, it was already predicted a Bloomberg article of 2014. Entitled “Tesla Can Topple the Car-Dealer Monopoly,” the article attributed the firm’s success to Musk’s desire to “build a retail network free from the franchise-dealer monopoly.” We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.

autobodynews.com / FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS

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FEBRUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Profile for Autobody News

February 2020 Southeast Edition  

Auto body information for industry in southeast United States.

February 2020 Southeast Edition  

Auto body information for industry in southeast United States.