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Consumer Union Calls for Auto Safety Reforms, Toyota Controversy Heats Up Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, has issued a call Feb. 23 for urgent changes to strengthen U.S. auto safety regulation in the wake of the massive recall by Toyota. The influential consumer advocacy group said that the U.S. safety regulatory system should be reformed to become more transparent and that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should have more funding and the ability to impose tougher sanctions. The group also urged a number of safety mandates it said should be imposed on all automakers to address the risk of unintended acceleration of the kind now under investigation for Toyota. U.S. safety regulators should require that all cars have brake override systems, simple controls that turn off the engine in

an emergency, clear and simple labels on transmission shifters and a minimum clearance between floor panels and accelerator pedals, Consumers Union said. Toyota has faced criticism on all of those points in the run-up to a sweeping recall for accelerator-related problems that totals over 8 million vehicles globally. NHTSA says five deaths have been linked to the risk of loose floormats trapping accelerator pedals in Toyota vehicles. Another 29 fatality reports are under investigation. “Much of the ongoing debate and public outcry has centered on why these issues weren't caught or acted upon earlier,” Consumers Union said in its report on the Toyota recalls and proposed reforms.

In November of last year and January of this year, SCRS National Director and Autobody News columnist, Toby Chess, performed several demonstrations outlining comparative studies he had conducted between randomly selected OEM and Aftermarket Structural Replacement parts. See Hey Toby column, p. 37 this issue. The parts reviewed included items such as Front and Rear Bumper Reinforcement Beams, Radiator Core Supports, Bumper Brackets and Bumper Energy Absorbers. In every example tested, there were significant differences in both the construction of, and materials

used, in the aftermarket replacement part which can significantly impact the roles that these parts serve in the transfer of energy resulting from a collision. Each of these parts also directly relates to the functionality and response of the vehicle Safety Restraint System (SRS), and could have a resulting affect on how the airbag functions in the event of a loss. The presentation also detailed that in other instances where the manufacturer had paid particular attention to utilizing the same materials as the OEM, and employed credible third-party testing, the parts appeared to perform much better in

See AUTO SAFETY REFORMS, Page 39

SCRS and Others Alert Industry to Concerns Over Aftermarket Structural Parts, Insurers Act

VOL. 1 ISSUE 1 MARCH 2010

State Farm Says NHTSA Warned on Toyota State Farm said on Feb. 8 that it informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of a worrying trend of vehicle-caused accidents involving Toyota vehicles as far back as late 2007, based on claims data. State Farm said that it routinely tracks claim trend information and shares its data with NHTSA. “We voluntarily and routinely communicate with the appropriate government agencies when we see a product-related claim trend,” said State Farm spokesman, Jeff McCollum. “When you start to see significant claims activity that indicates that there may be widespread problems with a product, that’s when you go to the NHTSA,” said State Farm spokesman Kip Diggs. “There had to have been significant activity, a noticeable trend, for that to happen.” NHTSA spokeswoman Karen Aldana said State Farm sent the agency a

claim letter, dated Sept. 7, 2007, which was sent to Toyota concerning a crash involving a 2005 Camry. She said the report was reviewed and added to their complaint database. NHTSA officials have since responded that the State Farm report was reviewed and the agency issued a recall later that month. NHTSA said it received complaints about acceleration problems in Toyota vehicles as early as 2003, and congress is now investigating whether or not the government missed warning signs of the problems. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold the first of three congressional hearings on Feb. 24 which are expected to review the recall of about 8.5 million vehicles globally, first over floor mats suspected of trapping gas pedals, then over sticking gas pedals and brake probSee STATE FARM TO NHTSA, Page 4

See AFTERMARKET PARTS, Page 36

Understanding the Basics of the Waterborne Paint Booth BASF Answers Questions on Newer Refinish Processes Dan Am/SATA and Jobbers Provide EPA Painter Spray Gun Training How Compressors Can Affect your Spray Gun and Paint Appearance Technological Advancements in Overspray Collectors

— Continued in April, 2010

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Contents

AEGIS Tools Innovates Windshield Repair Systems . . 17

Hyundai Redesigns Corporate Website. . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Alabama Body Shops See Green after Snowfall . . . . . . 6

IGA, NGA and NWRA Co-Locate Events at Conference36

AkzoNobel is Exclusive Paint Sponsor . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Ask Dale - Parts and Car Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 ARA Adds Credit Card Processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

BASF Expands Lean Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

BASF Answers Questions on Refinish Processes . . . . 26 BBB Issues Warning on Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Brad Wilmoth, 2010 Best of Belron® Award. . . . . . . 8 Carsmetics Opens First Facility in Atlanta Area . . . . . . . 9

CARSTAR Collision Centers’ Top Celebrity Crashes . . 35 Collision Industry Foundation to Auction Donations . . 24

Collision Repair Students are Well-Prepared . . . . . . . 29 Consumer Union Calls for Auto Safety Reforms … . . . 1

Dan Am-SATA & Jobbers Provide EPA Training . . . . . 15 Data Recorders Now in Cars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 EPA Sets New NO2 Standard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Espersen - Proper Repair Strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Evans - A Remarkable New Product on a Shelby . . . . 11 Evans - Ultimate Vodka’s Shelby Series 1, Part 2 . . . . 13

Florida CFO Helps Customers Recover $22M. . . . . . . . 8 Florida Court: ‘No Retroactive Rule on No-Fault’. . . . . . 6 Ford and Hyundai Excel, Toyota Still No. 1 . . . . . . . . . 25

Franklin - Help Customers Avoid ‘Jackass Bends’ . . . 28 GEICO to Hire 150 Workers for Macon, GA, Office . . . 8 Gonzo's Toolbox - Early Morning De-Light.. . . . . . . . . 19

Hand-held Phone Bans Are Not Reducing Crashes . . . 16 Hey Toby! - Testing Aftermarket v. OEM Parts . . . . . . 37 Hyundai CEO Gets 2010 Automotive Citation . . . . . . . 31

I-CAR Announces 2010 International Board . . . . . . . 24

Iowa Collision Sponsors SSB 3180 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Kaizen Assembly Launches LEAN Webinar Series . . . 34

Kia Soul Named ‘Small Car of the Year’ . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Miss Teen Georgia is New Face Driving Program . . . . 33

Mississippi House Attempts Anti-Steering Bil . . . . . . . . 9

Mississippi May Become No Deductible State . . . . . . . 9 Mitsubishi Parts Departments in Southeast . . . . . . . . 30

New I-CAR Director for Curriculum Work . . . . . . . . . . 22

Pep Boys Acquires 10-store Florida Tire Chain. . . . . . . 9

Performance Parts Pioneer John Simmons, Passes . . 8 Performance Radiator Stresses Consistency . . . . . . . . 8

Publisher's Page - Autobody News in Southeast . . . . . 5 Replacement Safety Certification Labels. . . . . . . . . . . 18

Salvaged Airbag Bill, SB 209, Withdrawn. . . . . . . . . . 39 SCRS Alert Industry to Aftermarket Parts. . . . . . . . . . . 1

SCRS Expands Repairer Education at SEMA. . . . . . . . 24 Soaring Foreign Car Sales, Detroit and Aftermarket. . . 18

State Farm Says NHTSA Warned on Toyota.. . . . . . . . . 1 Technological Advancements In Overspray. . . . . . . . . 23 Tennessee House’s Anti-Steering Legislation . . . . . . . 29

The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) . . . 32

Toyota Testifies, Limiting Recall Actions. . . . . . . . . . . 21

Toyota May be Vulnerable to Conquests. . . . . . . . . . . 21 Understanding the Waterborne Paint Booth . . . . . . . . 10 Veterans Return to Class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Women’s Industry Network Seeks Candidates . . . . . 29

Serving Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and adjacent metro areas, Autobody News is a monthly publication for the auto body industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2010 Adamantine Media LLC.

Autobody News

P.O. Box 1400, Oceanside, CA 92051-1400 (800) 699-8251 (760) 721-0253 Fax www.autobodynews.com Email: news@autobodynews.com

Aegis Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Mattei Compressors . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . 33

Nalley BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Autoland Scientech . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Chemco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers

FL, GA, AL, MS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers . 30

Performance Radiator . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Reliant Finishing Systems . . . . . . . . 12

Replica Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

SATA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Global Finishing Solutions . . . . . . . . 16

SCA Appraisal Company . . . . . . . . . 24

Greenway Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Shoot Suits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Greenway Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep . . . . 3

Sherwin-Williams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

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

Soft-Sanders from Style-Line, Corp . 13

I-CAR Education Foundation . . . . . . 40

Taylor BMW. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 31 Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . 7

Tameron Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Verifacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

4 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

Continued from Page 1

State Farm to NHTSA

Southeast

Indexof Advertisers

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Contributing Writers: Tom Franklin, Stefan Gesterkamp, John Yoswick, Lee Amaradio, Toby Chess, Mike Causey, Dan Espersen Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Christina Shubert (800) 699-8251 Advertising Sales Assistant: Stephanie Bowling Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia

lems, and now potentially, over drive by wire throttle systems. State Farm is America’s largest auto insurer, with 42.4 million auto insurance policies. That gives it a U.S. market share of about 18%, according the Insurance Information Institute. Diggs said the company contacted the NHTSA in late 2007 and had been in touch with the regulator an unspecified number of times since then. Toyota has been hit by a huge recall of more than 8 million vehicles worldwide, (see story this issue) which has raised questions about the quality standards and credibility of the Japanese automaker. Diggs said that the models involved in the incidents State Farm had brought to the attention of the NHTSA were “consistent with the voluntary recall undertaken by Toyota.’’ Other insurers said they had not seen such a trend. “We have not seen such a pattern,’’ said Steve Witmer, a spokesman for Wisconsin-based American Family Insurance Group, the No. 10 U.S. auto insurer with a market share of 2.1 percent. However, Insurance Information Institute President Bob Hartwig said that few in-

surers beyond State Farm had a big enough auto insurance business to determine a trend like this. He added that State Farm’s insurance data had also been critical in tracking problems with tires made by Bridgestone Corp.’s Firestone unit to rollover incidents involving Ford Motor Co’s Explorer models a decade ago. “State Farm helped crack the problem with Firestone tires and few other (auto) insurers have the scale to do what they can,” Hartwig said. But other insurers are going back over accidents involving Toyota models to determine whether they may have been caused by a vehicle fault instead of the driver. “We’re currently reviewing claims that may be affected by the Toyota recalls,” said Leah Knapp, a spokeswoman for No. 4 auto insurer Progressive. “Right now it’s too soon to say how many customers may be affected, but at this point there’s no indication that it will be a significant number.” In a separate matter, federal safety officials said they will review complaints from Toyota Corolla drivers about steering difficulties on their vehicles. NHTSA said it has received about 80 complaints from drivers of 2009 and 2010 Corollas. Many said their cars could wander when they drive on the highway, making it hard to stay in lanes.


Publisher’s Page

publisher@autobodynews.com

Autobody News: Your Antidote for ‘Unintended Deceleration’ with Jeremy Hayhurst

First, a heartfelt welcome goes out to our new readers in the Southeastern United States, who are now getting the inaugural Southeast edition of Autobody News. We have just mailed our first issue to 6000 auto body shops in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, and that makes us officially a coast-to-coast publication in a Southern swath from California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and now Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

(R to L): Publisher and editor, Jeremy Hayhurst, Founder Leta Amick, and General Manager, Barbara Davies.

We’re very excited to be launching this, the third regional edition of our newspaper, and look forward to providing our new readers in the Southeast with the same in-depth national and regional news that we’ve been providing to shops in our other two editions, for over 28 years. Our Western Edition goes to 8,500 body shops in CA, AZ, NV, and the Southwest Edition is mailed monthly to 6,500 body shops in TX, OK, LA, and NM. Some have asked if we’re crazy to be expanding in a recession and our response to that is that in these challenging economic times, if you’re not moving ahead, you’re falling behind. Those shops and businesses that have survived over the last 18 months are in a unique position to build on their brands’ strength and get even stronger. That’s why we’re expanding into the southeast now. Any publication that competes for your valuable time and attention needs to speak for itself, but it may be of some interest to know where the paper came from; and why we proudly proclaim we’ve been publishing continuously for 28 years. Our paper was started by Leta Amick in California as a “very regional publication” in 1982. Joe Momber, our advertising sales manager, started working with Leta in the spring of 1996. When Rich and Debbie Neubauer bought Autobody News from Leta in 1999, Joe stayed on and worked with them until 2003, when he decided to try something new.

Barbara Davies and I bought the paper from the Neubauers, who had their hands full with other publications, in the summer of 2007 just as the recession was starting to bite into the collision industry. We soon experienced the market’s ‘unintended deceleration’ before we realized that that is pretty much the definition of a collision, and we were truly in an accidental industry. Shortly thereafter we found Joe Momber ready to resume his previous position in the spring of 2008. Expanding the paper at that time wasn’t an option and although the collision market is still depressed right now, we are learning from our readers and advertising clients that many see this as the opportune time to take advantage of the dislocations caused by distressed businesses and position themselves as new leaders with new products and services for the industry. In short—like them—we have decided not to participate in the recession. More relevant is why we’re doing a new print publication—a newspaper, on real, but environmentally friendly, newsprint instead of another on-line source trying to jam your email with yet another e-subscription. Of course, we offer that as well, but more on that later. It’s no secret that general newspapers have been on the decline almost everywhere as more and more people get their news from targeted on-line sources, but we believe in newspapers, because we believe in the editorial process. We believe that the selection of content is as important as the content itself to a businessman. After all, you can read the same wire story in a variety of sources, but you can’t assemble them into a convenient format online unless you know what you’re looking for. We also believe in the power of advertising, especially in print. It’s those companies who are financially viable, have products and services that have been successful for many years, who are able and willing to advertise that you should be doing business with. If a company cannot afford to represent itself in print, and has budgets and cash flow appropriate only for email, it likely will have other problems that you don’t want to learn about after they’re your supplier. We’re not talking about the size of the business here. A small company with a good product has every chance of success as its “cream rises to the top.” Similarly, a small newspaper or media source can be as useful as a big one, if it

sticks to its mission and makes a genuine effort to be original. There’s no shortage of unique media perspectives in the collision industry. And therein lies the dilemma for the news business. Every media outlet wants to cover the news as fully as it can, to be comprehensive and be the go-to source for its readers, but this leads to a lot of redundancy where you see the same content on different channels, sometimes at the same time. How else do you explain every television channel covering incidents like the balloon boy, or the Tiger Woods mea culpa, simultaneously? There is a herd mentality in the media that often makes the channel you’re watching irrelevant to the content being presented. Collision repair is fundamentally a local industry, since no one takes their damaged vehicle further than necessary for quality repair. When you combine that with state regulation, local market conditions, and the environment your shop is in, you need to know what’s going on locally. What happens elsewhere in the industry, especially with legislation and shop associations coast to coast, is relevant for in-

Joe Momber reunites with former owners Rich and Debbie Neubauer, in Oceanside, CA

formed shop owners and managers. That competitor down the street may be a much closer ally than you realized. The business news is not always good, but there’s a big difference between a good newspaper and a bad newspaper. A good newspaper doesn’t shy away from bad news, but bad news and bad coverage are very different issues. We’re in an age of instant news via the internet, and being talked at by bloggers of all stripes, as well as new media hubs providing video, chat, and social networking. All have their place, but what many readers need and want is an editorial perspective. That’s what we hope to provide. We know you’re busy so we try to keep

our content succinct and to the point. Every month in Autobody News you’ll see coverage of the harder news: the legislative back and forth, insurance-related actions, OEM auto dealerships and their parts distribution methods, and parts makers—whether OEM or the Aftermarket. We also provide technical content including information that many other publications don’t, such as I-CAR’s Advantage Online, and ALLDATA’s All OEM Information column. We have profiles of body shops in our ‘Shop Showcase’ stories, and other businesses in our ‘Company Connections’ articles. Of course we also cover the business aspects of running a body shop. We have a long-standing group of columnists who are some of the best in the industry. Check out Toby Chess, Rich Evans, John Yoswick, Tom Franklin, Dale Delmege, Lee Amaradio, Tom McGee, Dan Espersen, Stefan Gesterkamp, and many others for their ongoing insight. We cover the auto body associations as much as we can, because we believe they’re good for shop owners who should join them and support them more. A bundle of sticks is much harder to break in half than an individual stick broken one by one. We hope you like and support Autobody News with your valuable time and attention, because it’s your newspaper, and without your involvement as a reader, writer, or contributor there wouldn’t be much point in producing it. We want to hear what you want to see in the paper. In the unlikely event that you don’t like it, we want to know about that as well. As a regional publication, there’s always need for more local content and we are expanding our contributors to get more of that than any other comparable collision publication. We will add to our mailing list continuously as we are contacted by shops not already on it. Turn in your friends who are not getting Autobody News. They’ll thank you for it. We have a monthly e-newsletter which will go out in April when our current website is relaunched. Please sign up for at www.autobodynews.com in the next few weeks. When the site is relaunched you’ll be able to browse our backlist of 2000 articles. Contact me with any suggestions at publisher@autobodynews.com. We have mailed to every operating shop we know about in both of our other regions for 28 years. We hope your business will thrive for at least the next 28. We’re here to help that happen.

www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 5


Alabama Body Shops See Green after February Snowfall by Bryan Henry, WSFA

Throughout the day on Friday, [Feb. 12] Montgomery, AL, Police worked more than two dozen accidents. Some of those cars and trucks ended up at Chico’s Paint and Body Shop. “We’ve had 5 or so come in over the weekend,” said Wayne Tucker, Chico’s manager. It’s the same kind of story at Red Bazzell & Son Auto Body & Paint. The severity of the damage ranged from a broken axle to a car that struck a tree. The snow on Friday has so far provided a 25% increase in business at Chico’s, something body shops typically see when a major storm blows in. “The folks in Montgomery just don’t know how to drive in a winter storm like that. We hate it for them,” said Joe Orr, the Estimator at Red Bazzell & Son’s. The average cost of a storm-related repair job is anywhere from $2,500 to $4,500. The winter storm did a bang up job of delivering up to 7 inches of snow in parts of the WSFA 12 News viewing area. While the flakes are long gone, the storm’s calling card of dented and broken vehicles remains. Body shop owners told WSFA 12 News Friday’s snow was by far not the

worst storm they’ve dealt with in terms of repairing vehicles. Red Bazzell & Son’s says it repaired 4,000 vehicles after the hail storms in 1988 and ‘89.

©2010 WSFA. All rights reserved. This article is printed with the kind permission of the station.

Does your body shop have a weather-related story to tell?

E-mail us with photos at editor@autobodynews.com, and get your story in the paper. Or, if you submit your written shop profile for our Shop Showcase section, you’ll get a $50 gift card from Autobody News if it’s published.

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6 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

Florida Court: ‘No Retroactive Rule on No-Fault Insurance’ A 2001 amendment to Florida’s no-fault law that requires insureds to notify their insurer that they intend to sue cannot be applied retroactively to policies issued before the amendment was enacted, ruled the Florida Supreme Court. Before the presuit notice provision, the law did not require an insured to provide notice to an insurer before filing an action for overdue benefits. The amendment, known as the statutory presuit notice, constituted a “substantive change” to the statute and thus cannot be applied retroactively. This provision states that before filing any action for an overdue claim, the insurer must be provided with written notice of an intent to litigate. The high court’s action reversed a decision by the Third District court, which had held the notification amendment to be “merely procedural.” The case, Menendez v. Progressive Express Insurance Co., Inc., involved Progressive’s denial of personal injury protection (PIP) benefits to an insured who was injured in a car accident covered under a policy that was issued before the enactment date of the 2001 amendment. Justice Barbara J. Pariente wrote, “In our view, the statute, when viewed as a whole, is a substantive statute.” The presuit notice provision is “not procedural” and “should not be given retroactive application.”

The Supreme Court said that the Legislature intended for the provision to be applied retroactively, however, the court said that even where the Legislature has expressly stated that a statute will have retroactive application, the court will reject retroactive application “if the statute impairs a vested right, creates a new obligation, or imposes a new penalty.” The statute as amended in 2001 also mandates that the payment from the insurer must include interest and penalties not exceeding $250.Also, if the insurer pays within the additional time provided by the statute, the payment precludes the insured from bringing suit for late payment or nonpayment and shields the insurer from a claim for attorneys’ fees. The insured argued that the amendment created various obligations and burdens that are substantive and therefore could only be applied prospectively. The insured also argue that the statutory presuit notice provision, as a whole, affects an insured’s ability to retain counsel because there is no longer a right to reasonable attorneys’ fees if the insurer subsequently pays the claim within the additional time prescribed by statute. The Court said that the “most problematic provisions” of the statute are those which impose a penalty, implicate attorneys’ fees, grant an insurer additional time to pay benefits, and delay the insured’s right to institute a cause of action. The ruling could affect other PIP claims.

Hyundai Redesigns Corporate Website: Better Infrastructure

Kia Soul Named ‘Small Car of the Year’ by FAMA Magazine

Hyundai Motor America recently gained a new home page look and feel. The newly launched site at Hyundai.com now has completely revamped infrastructure. Officials from iCrossing worked with Hyundai Information Service North America to produce a site they say has better usability to connect users with the information they seek quickly and effectively. Executives from both Hyundai and iCrossing contend that consumers now should be even more informed about the automaker’s vehicle lineup. “Hyundai.com reflects Hyundai’s brand values and provides a widely accessible, high-performance experience,” noted Simon Cho, manager of interactive marketing for Hyundai Motor America. “These are the attributes that our customers have come to expect from Hyundai vehicles, and our refreshed site now provides that same experience online,” Cho continued. Domingos Vieira, Vice President, Automotive at iCrossing, added, “visitors to Hyundai.com typically have a specific need for key information.” “We designed and built the site to make finding that information as easy as possible,” Vieira concluded.

Adding even more recognition to its growing list of accolades, the 2010 Kia Soul was named “Small Car of the Year” by FAMA Magazine during an award presentation at the 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. Also named one of “10 Great and Safe Rides for Teens” by AutoWeek magazine, one of the “Most Exciting Cars of 2010” by TIME.com, given two “Top Safety Picks” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and named to the “Top 10 Back-to-School Cars” list by Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com, Soul was selected by FAMA for its extensive list of safety features, dynamic styling, impressive interior room and value. “Soul offers today’s consumer a practical and attractive option with a more than impressive package of vibrant styling, extensive safety features and standard amenities,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing of Kia Motors America (KMA). “In today’s economy we feel it’s important that buyer’s don’t have to sacrifice these necessities for overall value, and Soul delivers.” Each vehicle considered for the award possessed a long list of safety features, impressive styling, interior space and value.


BBB Issues Warning on Company Selling Truck Bed Liner Products The Better Business Bureau is issuing an alert regarding Clearline Coatings Inc., a Florida-based dealer of epoxy floor coverings and truck bed liner products. The company’s owner, Julius Lupowitz, formerly located in New York, has also used the names Ocean Spray Technologies and Hammerhead Spray In Liners. In a complaint filed with the BBB, an Omaha businessman, who applies epoxy floor coverings, states he was contacted by Julius Lupowitz and asked to “invest” in Clearline’s epoxy product. Lupowitz asked for an initial outlay of $2305 to open an account. He was directed to send a cashiers check, because the company does not accept payments by credit card. A few days later, the Omaha businessman received a call from a company named Hammerhead. The representative told him they had six trucks from Seattle which needed epoxy liners. All he would need to do was purchase the bed liner product and the vehicles would be delivered for the application. The business agreed to purchase the product based on the promise of trucks to work on and sent an additional $1068 to the company. He received the bed liner product, but the trucks never arrived. In another complaint filed with the BBB, a trailer business located in Shenandoah, IA, received a call from “Eddy

Lupe,” offering a distributorship for “the only clear epoxy product on the market” along with a guaranteed territory of a 150 mile radius. The price quoted for this distributorship was $16,000. After Lupe was told that the owner was not willing to make this kind of investment, he then added, “Your company will also be taking over the business records for another distributor.” He promised there would be jobs from that company. The owner then agreed to become certified and invest $9,500. The trailer company received the product, but could not get it to adhere or dry. The complainant states that the product does not work and a refund was requested. To date, there has been no refund and no additional jobs as promised. When confronted by the BBB, Lupowitz denied he had concocted the phony orders, and said he was unwilling to provide a refund but would retrain the companies in the proper use of the product. Additionally, Lupowitz stated that complaints against him are occurring as a result of a competitor who is persuading businesses to file complaints with BBB using false and misleading information. Lupowitz acknowledged to the BBB that he does use aliases regularly such as “Eddy Lupe” in his business dealings, but

Kia Genuine Parts Value Never Looked So Good

claimed he did not engineer the set ups as claimed by these two customers. BBB President Jim Hegarty has informed Lupowitz that the BBB is issuing an alert after it learned that in 2006, Lupowitz, while operating a company called Ocean Spray Technologies, was arrested in New York where he faced charges of grand larceny and scheming to defraud auto body shops nationwide. Lupowitz pled guilty to a first-degree felony charge and was sentenced to probation after making restitution of $54,322. The money was disbursed to 14 victims who had been refused refunds. According to the DA, “In order to induce auto body shops to buy his product, Lupowitz, posed as a fictitious owner of a fleet of trucks that needed to be sprayed specifically with his product. This fictitious company would enter into an agreement with auto body shops and based on this agreement, the shops would then purchase Ocean Spray’s product. After receiving the product, the shop would never hear from the fictitious truck owner again. Lupowitz would then refuse to refund the auto body shops.” Hegarty said, “The BBB has had additional contacts with complainants in six other states regarding Lupowitz and is presenting the complaints to the BBB in Orlando for further investigation of Julius Lupowitz and Clearline Coatings.”

Georgia House Lawmakers Studying Texting Ban Bill

Georgia lawmakers are taking a closer look at texting while driving legislation proposed in the week of Jan. 18. Representatives on the House public safety committee debated the bill. At the end of the hour-long hearing, the bill was referred to a study committee for further consideration. At issue was how law enforcement would be able to determine if a driver is texting or using their cell phone for another purpose. State Rep. Amos Amerson urged his colleagues not to focus on how the proposed law would be enforced. Supporters of the bill said its main purpose will be as a deterrent to would-be offenders, who may be broken of the habit with the threat of a hefty fine and driving penalties.

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www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 7


Florida CFO Helps Customers Recover $22M from Insurers

The Department of Financial Services helped recover over $22 million for Florida’s insurance consumers in 2009, according to officials. The $22 million represents an increase from $14 million recovered in 2008. Florida CFO Alex Sink said one recent success story was the recovery of more than $516,000 for 998 customers of Household Finance Co. The department was tipped off by an Orlando resident who discovered monthly premiums of $4.93 being deducted from her account two years after her policy had expired. A $60,000 recovery occurred after a Sarasota resident was sold an annuity that did not meet the requirements he set. Richard Foster of Temple Terrace, who was frustrated because he could not get a call back from his insurance company regarding a claim, was able to recover $12,160 within days after calling the department’s insurance consumer helpline, according to Sink.

Brad Wilmoth, 2010 Best of Belron® Best Technician Award

Vehicle glass technician Brad Wilmoth of Hartford, MI, took first place at the biannual Best of Belron® competition held recently in Orlando, FL. Started by Safelite AutoGlass’ parent company Belron®, twelve competing technicians were tested on all facets of their job including quality, safety and efficiency, while demonstrating windshield and body glass replacement, windshield repair and customer service. Wilmoth was the 2008 runner-up and this year recorded the first-ever perfect customer service score. As the champion, he took home a $10,000 prize and will travel to Paris, France in June 2010 to compete against representatives from 30 other countries in the international Best of Belron® competition. The international competition holds a purse of a year’s salary and the title of best technician in the world. “It’s really a dream come true,” said Wilmoth. “When I got home from the competition two years ago I immediately started working toward this one, and here we are. It took a lot of practice and hard work, but I’m ready to go to Paris.” Columbus, Ohio technician Mark Jackson took second place. As the national runner-up, he received $5,000 and will travel to Paris as an alternate. “The Best of Belron® is an important event for our company because it showcases the high quality work that our technicians provide to our customers every day,” said Tom Feeney, president and CEO of Safelite AutoGlass®. “Having the opportunity to watch up close the work our technicians do creates great pride among our associates and appreciation for their work by our customers.”

Performance Parts Pioneer and SECO Founder, John Simmons, Passes Away Alabama native, SEMA Hall of Fame member, founder of SECO Equipment and SECO Performance Centers, John Simmons, passed away on Sunday, February 14. SECO Performance Centers is well known in the Southeast and has outlets in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, and Montgomery AL as well as Panama City, FL. “John Simmons was more than my mentor for more than 20 years,” said SEMA Chairman of the Board Rick Rollins. “He was like a father that you could always go to for the answers, and not the answers that you wanted to hear, but the ones that came from his many years of experience, and more importantly from his heart.” Simmons started his own warehouse distribution business for performance parts in 1962. He began by selling parts from a trailer that he hauled to race tracks on weekends. By 1967, Simmons was committed to the performance parts business, but he also owned and operated the Helena Dragstrip. Soon after the track was closed in 1967, due to noise, Simmons and several partners acquired Lassiter Mountain Speedway, which they ran for 10 years. Simmons joined SEMA in 1969 in what was the beginning of a fruitful re-

GEICO to Hire 150 Workers for Macon, GA, Office in 2010

GEICO’s Macon, GA operations center opened in 1974, and the office has since grown to employ more than 4,340. GEICO is actively recruiting and plans to hire more than 150 new associates in its Macon office in the first quarter of 2010. “GEICO has been in business for 73 years and the Macon office celebrated its 35th anniversary this year. We expect continued growth in 2010 and are looking for well-qualified associates who want to grow with GEICO and be part of our success.” GEICO’s Macon office has doubled in size in the last 10 years. The company has many career opportunities and is hiring for its sales, customer service, claims and centralized services departments. GEICO provides paid training for entry-level associates and positions are available for high school and college graduates, applicants with some college and experienced professionals. “This is a great time to build a career with GEICO,” said Shawn Burklin, the regional vice president in Macon. GEICO has been named a top employer for college graduates by CollegeGrad.com. To submit an application online, go to http://careers.geico.com/.

8 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

lationship. Simmons served three terms on the SEMA Board of Directors from 1978–1982 and he chaired the

Performance parts pioneer and SEMA Hall of Fame member John Simmons is remembered.

SEMA Finance Committee in 1981. He served on the Awards Judging Committee from 1984–1986, chaired the Person of the Year Award in 1987 and also served as Membership Committee chairman. In 1980, Simmons was named SEMA Person of the Year and was inducted into SEMA’s Hall of Fame in 2004.

In addition to his SEMA efforts, he was elected and served as a Performance Warehouse Association (PWA) Area Director from 1974–1991, served two terms as PWA treasurer and two terms as national director of the PWA. He received the PWA Pioneer Award in 1993 and was one of the founding members of the AAM/Parts Pro group. All along the way, Simmons made it a point to help others grow and succeed in their businesses, and he always encouraged people to join SEMA, urging them to get involved. He was never shy about explaining how SEMA could benefit them and their businesses. “John didn’t have time for the modern day marketing surveys or 30,000-ft. views of what was going on, because he knew,” Rollins added. “He stayed in touch with what was going on in the streets, on the race tracks and at the car shows. As a manufacturer sales manager, I made very few decisions concerning selling into distribution or running promotions without first consulting John. I will miss him.”

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Pep Boys Acquires 10-store Florida Tire Chain

It was announced in January that The Pep Boys—Manny, Moe & Jack, acquired Florida Tire, Inc. in October 2009. The March Group, a Coral Springs-based leading private merger and acquisions firm, worked with both parties for about a year before the purchase was finalized. Florida Tire, Inc. is a chain of 10 automotive service and tire stores in central Florida. Its first location was established in Orlando in 1987 by its former president, Doug Bolt. It has three Orlando stores. Other Florida stores include Apopka, Winter Park, Leesburg, Sanford, Clermont, Celebration and Eustis. The company sells Goodyear and Dunlop tires and provides a wide range of maintenance services for most cars and trucks. Pep Boys is the nation’s leading automotive aftermarket service and retail chain. It is the only aftermarket retail and service chain in the nation that serves all four segments of the automotive aftermarket: do-it-yourself, do-it-for-me, buy-forresale and replacement tires. “Selling my company was one of the biggest decisions of my life, but The March Group gave me all the information and support I needed to sell it with confidence,” said Doug Bolt. “Now I look forward to working with Pep Boys to help it grow, knowing that my employees and

customers are in good hands.” Doug Bolt remains with Pep Boys, focusing on its expansion plans and its relationship with Goodyear. “We are leading our expansion with our service business, growing through new Service & Tire Centers,” said Joe Cirelli, Pep Boys’ senior vice president of corporate development. “The 10-store Florida Tire chain presented the perfect opportunity to grow within a market where we have existing Supercenters that can help support these smaller, neighborhood-based Service & Tire Centers. The 10 Florida Tire stores accelerated our expansion program this year, providing a model for our future growth.” In addition to a new Supercenter, Pep Boys will have opened 24 new Service & Tire Centers by the end of the Company’s fiscal 2009 (January 2010); the Company expects to add another 40 in 2010 and 80 in 2011. Pep Boys has approximately 6,000 service bays within over 580 stores located in 35 states and Puerto Rico. Along with its full-service vehicle maintenance and repair capabilities, the company also serves the commercial auto parts delivery market and is one of the leading sellers of replacement tires in the United States.

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Mississippi May Become the Next No Deductible Auto Glass State if SB 2395 Passes

A Mississippi senator has introduced legislation in the state (SB 2395) that would make deductibles no longer apply to windshield damage covered under comprehensive insurance policies. If passed, the bill, which was introduced in January, would become effective on July 1 for any policies issued or renewed after that date. It currently is under the review of the Senate’s insurance committee. The text of the bill’s deductible provision is as follows: The deductible provisions of any policy of motor vehicle insurance, delivered or issued in this state by an authorized insurer, providing comprehensive coverage or combined additional coverage shall not

be applicable to damage to the windshield of any motor vehicle covered under such policy. SB 2395 was introduced by Sen. Robert Jackson (D). Co-sponsors include Sen. David Jordan (D), Sen. Alice Harden (D), Sen. Eric Powell (D), Sen. Bennie Turner (D), Sen. Kenneth Wayne Jones (D), Sen. Sampson Jackson (D), Sen. Willie Simmons (D), Sen. Johnnie Walls (D), Sen. Kelvin Butler (D), Sen. Deborah Jean Dawkins (D), Sen. Bill Stone (D), and Sen. Ezelle Lee (D). Several other states have enacted such legislation, including the state of South Carolina. Last year, the Alabama legislature considered a similar law but it did not ultimately pass.

Mississippi House Attempts Anti-Steering Bill, HB 390 The Mississippi House has undertaken an anti-steering initiative just one week into the 2010 legislative session. Rep. Henry B. Zuber (R) introduced a bill, HB390, which would amend the state’s insurance code to read as follows: (1) No insurer may require as a condition of payment of a claim that repairs to a damaged vehicle, including glass repairs or replacements, must be made by a particular contractor or motor vehicle repair shop; provided, however, the most an insurer shall be required to pay for the repair of the vehicle or repair or replacement of the glass is the lowest amount that such vehicle or glass could be properly and fairly repaired or replaced by a contractor or repair shop within a reasonable geographical or trade area of the insured. (2) In connection with the repair of damage to a motor vehicle covered under an automobile insurance policy, an insurer, an employee or agent of an insurer, an insurance adjuster, or an entity that employs an insurance adjuster may not: (a) Solicit or accept a referral fee or

gratuity in exchange for referring an insured or third-party claimant to a repair person or facility to repair the damage; (b) State or suggest, either orally or in writing, to an insured that the insured must use a specific repair person or facility or a repair person or facility identified on a preferred list compiled by an insurer for the damage repair or parts replacement to be covered by the policy; or (c) Restrict the right of an insured or third-party claimant to choose a repair person or facility by requiring the insured or third-party claimant to travel an unreasonable distance to repair the damage. (3) The insurer of a motor vehicle shall clearly and prominently display the provisions of subsection (1) and (2) of this section on the face of the insurance policy or certificate in lieu of an insurance policy. (4) Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).

Carsmetics express accident repair has opened the first Carsmetics of Georiga facility with its new location at 1675 Alpharetta Highway in Alpharetta, Ga. Carsmetics comes to Atlanta under the ownership of Craig Gonzales, who has overseen the growth of 17 Florida and Southern California locations. “Carsmetics will provide Atlanta car owners with an affordable, high quality repair in 24 hours that will make their car look new again,” Gonzales says. “We are pleased to offer the Atlanta market perfect auto body repairs on vehicles that have light collision or ‘drivable damage.’” Consumers are able to get damage fixed on vehicles at a lower cost than most

auto dealerships and major collision shops charge, the company claims. “We concentrate on repairing cars that weren’t involved in a serious accident, therefore we eliminate the high overhead costs of tow trucks and other expensive mechanical repair equipment,” says manager Eric Sagro. “We pass these savings onto our customers.” The benefit of one-day repairs has influenced insurance providers to recommend Carsmetics, which saves them rental car costs and long repair delays, the company said. Carsmetics outlines various services from cosmetic to functional repairs, fender benders and auto color matching and repainting. They offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

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www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 9


Understanding the Basics of the Waterborne Paint Booth Imagine it has just rained. There are puddles on the ground, and everything is coated with droplets of water. On a cool, overcast day with no wind, that water will take quite a bit of time to disappear. Now imagine the clouds part and the sun emerges. Those puddles will evaporate faster, right? Now what if a stiff breeze kicks up. That water will be gone pretty quickly. Everyone knows if it’s hot and windy, a puddle of water will be evaporated a lot faster than if it’s cool and still. This is the same principle that gets applied when we’re talking about curing and drying the latest in advanced waterborne paints.

Naturally though, things get a bit more complicated when we’re talking about drying paint under very controlled conditions, such as those on an automated finishing line, or in an automotive body shop. Modern coatings are incredible examples of chemical engineering. They can be designed to withstand the harshest of conditions, while maintaining their desired appearance much longer than coatings of the past. However, in order to achieve the best possible results with these coatings and maximize their effectiveness, they need to be applied under very specific environmental conditions. This is where the modern paint booth comes in. Modern paint booths contain more technology than most people would expect. Gone are the days of the simple ‘big metal box’. New paint booths are designed to provide not only a better painting environment, but also a more efficient working space for the painters. Things like automated temperature control and shadowfree lighting make the painters’ job easier than ever. Yet there is no one individual factor that can be singled out as the key to working with waterborne paints. It’s the combination of several technologies that allows you to effectively spray and cure most waterborne paints with maximum results. Going back to our ‘rain and puddle’ analogy, the two things that are absolutely essential when we’re dealing with waterborne paints are heat and airflow. Granted, you CAN cure waterborne paints without extra heat or accelerated airflow, but it’s inevitably going to take much longer. This is not something most modern businesses are ‘okay’ with. After all, why spend more time when you can spend less? This is why it’s so important to make sure that your

booth is set up properly for waterborne. First, let’s talk about heat. There are two basic types of paint booth heaters: Indirect-fired and Direct-fired. With an indirect-fired air heater, the gas burner is built inside a large metal drum within the heat unit. The burner heats the drum, and as the air moves over the drum it becomes hot before it is forced in to the cabin. The inherent inefficiency in this design is the drum itself. Since the drum needs to be heated first before the air can be heated, indirectfired heat units take much longer to come up to optimum temperature when compared to the direct-fired variants. Direct-fired heaters utilize a much simpler and more effective heattransfer design. In these types of heaters, the burner is placed directly in the path of the moving air. This allows for nearly 100% of the heat generated by the burner to be transferred directly in to the air. The result is much better heat-rise, and lower gas consumption over the duration of the paint process. Direct-fired heaters are generally accepted as the more effective and efficient choice for modern paint booths, especially when dealing with waterborne paints. The second part of the heat issue is control over the temperature itself. Every coating has unique curing and drying properties. Different paints can require a higher temperature for less time, or a lower temperature for more time, or even different temperatures over the course of one cure

cycle. These temperature variances can be a nightmare for the painter if they have to do everything manually. This is why some paint booth manufacturers have developed pre-programmed control panels that are specifically designed to automate the drying cycle. Some of the more advanced control panels are programmed for specific brands and models of coatings. This programming simplifies the operation of the booth by allowing the user to push a single button to begin the cure cycle, and the booth does the rest. Automatically controlling the temperature of the air based on the pre-determined times in the cure cycle. This allows for the fastest drying times by

10 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

using the best possible cure cycle for that specific paint, and gives much better consistency with each finished product. Next, we’ll look at airflow in the paint booth. While simply increasing the CFM of air moving through the booth does give some improvement in the drying times, the key thing to remember here is that we don’t necessarily just want MORE airflow, but what we do want is SMARTER airflow. What we mean by smarter airflow is more control over the airflow in the cabin. This is accomplished in two ways: with variable frequency drives and with an accelerated airflow system. Variable frequency drives (VFD’s) are electrical control units that are integrated in to the heat units to provide enhanced control over the motors. VFD’s regulate the flow of electricity to the motors, and allow the motors to run at any speed, from 1% to 100%. Typically, electric paint booth motors only operate at 100% speed, which requires mechanical dampers in order to control the airflow generated by the fans attached to the motors. By utilizing VFD’s, the motors can be adjusted to any speed in order to control the airflow, which drastically reduces energy consumption since the motors are only spinning as fast as they need to at any given time. This control over the motor speed allows virtually infinite adjustments to the air speed in the booth, allowing the operator to customize the air movement for optimum performance. Accelerated airflow systems are very common in modern auto body shops, and are becoming more prevalent in industrial applications as waterborne coatings become more popular. These devices can come in several different forms, including hand-held compressed air blowers, simple fans, or more advanced booth-mounted air blowers. Regardless of the type of accelerator equipment, the concept remains the same: increased airflow on the painted surfaces. There are two reasons that this increased airflow is important: Heat stratification and low-pressure micro-climate. First, let’s explain heat stratification. This is basically a fancy word for ‘layering’. We all know that warm air rises, and that in any paint booth, the air near the ceiling will be warmer than the air near the floor. This causes the upper surfaces of the painted object to dry faster than the lower surfaces. Accelerated airflow systems are designed to mix up the airflow in the booth and force more air on to the painted surfaces. While some systems focus air on specific spots for smaller jobs, the more advanced systems will turn the whole booth in to one big convection oven. This

allows for the heat to be distributed over the entire painted object, and provides much more even and consistent curing results. Next, when we say ‘low-pressure micro-climate,’ we’re not talking about the weather. This refers to the way the air moves over the surface of an object. As air moves over an object in a linear way, even at high speeds, there is a barrier of slowmoving air between the fast moving air stream and the painted surface. This barrier or ‘micro-climate’ is a low-pressure area that acts as a buffer, preventing the water or solvents in the paint from being drawn out, therefore slowing the drying process. By introducing additional fastmoving air, these acceleration systems create a controlled turbulence on the painted surface in order to break up this micro-climate and draw out the water and solvents from the coating. This drastically reduces the time required to achieve a finished product. We can begin to see a trend here, almost hidden amongst the time savings we’ve been talking about. The benefit you’ll notice when you reduce the time required to cure your coatings is reduced en-

ergy consumption. By minimizing the time required to dry the paint, the paint booth is operating for less time for each job you complete. The less time the booth operates, the less natural gas is fed through the burner, and less electricity is used by the motors. That is the mark of a truly ‘green’ paint booth. Not only do they allow for the effective use of environment-friendly waterborne coatings, but they also require less electricity and gas in order to complete the same job as a regular paint booth. So as we can see, in order to minimize the drying times of most waterborne paints you really need both controlled heat and accelerated airflow. This combination will yield the fastest possible drying times with modern waterborne coatings, and enable your shop to push past the slow, cold, wet days of inefficient waterborne drying and achieve the increased productivity and profitability that you are looking for, with the added benefit of knowing that your paint booth is helping you minimize your impact on the environment.


Custom Corner with Rich Evans

Rich Evans is the owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks and an award winning painter and fabricator. He offers workshops in repair and customization at his facility to share his unique talents. For contacts and design samples visit www.huntingtonbeachbodyworks.com

Using a Remarkable New Product—and Several Older Reliable Ones—on a Shelby I’d like to welcome the 6,000+ shops now getting Autobody News’ new Southeast edition in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi for the first time. You can always download or read my previous columns on my projects, including this one, at www.autobodynews.com. Also, check out Rich Evans designs at www.huntingtonbeachbodyworks.com or richevansdesigns.com. This is a three-part article—the first two parts are in this issue, the rest will continue next month. I’m going to describe several truly great and useful products here that enabled me to refinish this Shelby. I got a call from Ed Blinn who runs the Patron Tequila operation for Paul Mitchell, the owner. He’s got a really cool car—a Shelby Series 1—that I worked on briefly last year. Now it’s back here for me “work

This is the car with a wrap done last year.

my magic” as they put it. There aren’t too many Shelby Series 1’s around. This car has a lot concept built into it, really cool-looking body lines, with unique curves and radiuses. I started removing the wrap that I put over a black base paint with rally stripes to create a “Patron theme” last year. They’ve got a new product now called Ultimate Vodka which is going to be this year’s theme. We start with the basic tear down, covering all the different preps and steps that we have to take. Then we’ll move into the paint part (part 2) and then delivery (next month’s article). First off, I remove the wrap leaving the rally stripes and the gold leaf stripes on the car.

The wrap is removed

I always individually remove all the parts and hardware and bag them, using a zip-lock back to divide parts so it makes it easier when you’re putting the car back to-

gether. So if I am taking apart the door I have a zip-lock bag labeled ‘left door’ etc. If I break clips or notice bolts are missing,

Hood and front bumper removed.

I have a running list so I have all the pieces to my puzzle, and I’m not waiting for parts to finish the project. When you work on multiple projects you can forget things and a missing part can delay a project by weeks, especially on a rare car like this. With the wrap off and accessories off, I now remove all the body parts. I start with the hood and take an 1/8 inch drill bit and mark two holes on either side of the hinge. Drill two holes on each hinge, that way when you go to put it back together, you just position a 1/8 in dowel through the hinge and into the body, insert it to get the correct alignment, put nuts on and tighten them, remove the dowels; back to where you were. That will position the hood exactly where it was when I took it off. So I don’t have fitting problems or time delays.

everything but if I remove these they might break—more time, more money. With everything else removed, I used a Chicago Pneumatic DA Sander 3/16 orbital sanding pattern to remove the rally stripes. I’m able to block the surface as I’m removing it. Not to get a perfect block but enough to massage it and not dig in past the gel coat. Having a straight block and a hard block is good, but neither of these is going to work on this project. Luckily, I found a perfect product/tool for this job that I’m excited to tell you about.

Remove door decals.

I’ve been working with an innovative new product called Soft-Sanders, made by a company called Style-Line™ Corp. out of Georgia. This company makes 5-inch,

8-inch, and 11-inch sets of soft sanding blocks (from a pliable spongelike material) that can mold to practically any shape you come across in any sanding situation, in-

Completely stripped

cluding something like a bowling ball or baseball bat or a boat hull. These blocks and their special Super-Flex® sandpaper are amazingly durable and resistant to most solvents. They have a tapered edge for sanding any hard-to-access areas. You can use any of six blocks in the kit, with three different densities, that vary in firmness but are all soft enough to be compressed into places that are otherwise hard and timeconsuming to sand. The 8-in and 11-in

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Aircraft stripper on the front bumper

Time is money and this is an easy trick that will help you get your hood back where it was. I call it a ‘panel alignment tool’ and it can save hours and hours. Now I remove the rally stripes starting with the hood and use aircraft stripper to strip it down. When we pull the wrap off, we’re pulling up paint. Whoever touched this vehicle before me had not done a proper prep repair and I don’t know if it was factory or some individual, but I spent a lot of time removing these stripes. The gold leaf is right down to the gel coat. After about 12 hours of stripping we can mask off the lights with plexiglass light covers because they are not safely removable. I have to be very cautious not to damage those. It could be very expensive. I usually remove

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Parts Manager: Gary Lazenby Toll Free: (800) 622.2021 (404) 297.9134 Fax

www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 11


blocks sand large curved (high crown) areas with ease, and the blocks, being flexible, conform to the surface being sanded. The key to these blocks’ effectiveness is the special adhesive-backed Super-Flex® sandpaper. This high quality paper is available in grits from 40–3000 and in different sizes (to match the block you choose) and quantities (packs of 4 to 24). You simply conform the paper grit down on the vehicle surface first and then press the blocks to the adhesive backing. The adhesive holds the block securely in place then maintains the curvature on the block until the job is done and the sandpaper is removed. These blocks are really a brilliant innovation, and especially useful for this kind of car with its unique curvature. I was able to hit a lot more surface without damaging the panels. Flat blocks just wouldn’t work on this car. If you are going to hand sand with a standard 5-inch block you’re just not going to get the panels as true as they need to be. So, after sanding with the orbital DA, I come back across with an 8 in. Soft-Sander block. The Soft-Sander blocks are colorcoded in green, purple, yellow (two sizes), red block in different sizes and densities. You just find the size and density that you need press it to the adhesive paper and go. You save a lot of time and get truer work. I used the blue 8-in. block and the 80 grit sandpaper to true the area where the rally stripe was where I DA’d. I dug into the gel coat a little bit and feathered it out. I followed the same process on the doors, on the rear panel, on the front bumper, on the rear deck lid and also on a panel that goes inside, behind the driver seat and passenger seat. There are a few photos here to show how flexible and how sturdy the blocks are. Don’t let the lightness of the blocks fool you. They become very rigid and durable when you add the adhesive sandpaper to them. To get a large solid block for power work you apply a second sheet of paper on the opposite side to keep it flat and straight. Even the longest soft block becomes super rigid. This is also now reversable if you need to use the other side but the paper is durable and goes a long way. These blocks work so well that they’ve become the go-to for me for every job since I tried them because they’re quicker, more efficient, and do a better job. They feel like a carwash mitt and they glide without flipping or flopping. I don’t think there is another block out there that you can sand a ball or tubular surface with. These blocks can do that. Go to www.soft-sanders.com to visit their site and see what I’m talking about, or call Style-Line™ Corp. at 800-7529863 to find a dealer. Do yourself a favor and order some for yourself. Their kits are very inexpensive, especially when you see what you can do with them, and the sandpaper is excellent quality. I guarantee you are going to find yourself using them a lot.

Back to the project. I’ve hit all these panels with 80 grit. The car is completely apart so I can paint everything individually. Now I am going to mask up the areas that I don’t want to apply primer to. I want to plug another great product here. I use a PCL primer which is in 2 parts: hardener and primer. I like the PCL primer a lot. It has been working for me for years, so I tend to use it on everything. I don’t have any problems with shrink back, or lifting and cracking, and coverage and build is phenomenal. Pricing is right as well. Go to www.pclautomotive.com for more info. They have black and gray available and they’ve always got new product coming 11” yellow Soft Sander block. out. Like you, what I use is what works for me. It goes on top of fiberglass, metal, whatever you’re working on. On this project I use the black PCL primer. I’ll put on a quart, or two quarts, depending on the area we’re sanding—in this case, the rally stripes. I put four coats on and then feather out another two coats over the whole project. This seals it in and locks it down. Once it’s hardened, it’s hardened, and easy to sand. I don’t even really need a guide coat with the black PCL. I come back with the 80 grit and true out the panels to get rid of any deep scratches, any low spots, flaws, waves, especially focusing on where the rally stripes were. I don’t want to have a problem with the rally stripes coming back. I use the 8in. and sometimes the 11-in. block on the bigger areas, easily following the curvature due to superbly fitting the contours. It’s all about blocking correctly. You don’t want to apply excess pressure when you are block8” Soft Sander red block. ing because you can create low spots. You want to let the block do the job; you are just the power source. I run over the surface and look for imperfections, low spots and high spots and true them out from there. For high spots I always block in an X pattern cross-cutting with a bias one way and then follow up with the other bias. It tends to cut a lot quicker. We are using the PCL primer so I’m able to see where it’s shiny, usually a low spot, until it becomes a dull black, which is when I know I’ve trued my areas.

12 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

After the 80 grit, I blow everything off, wipe it down, and then I’ll tack it and put two more coats of PCL on it. At that point, I’m ready for 400 grit. These softsanding blocks work great wet or dry (again, the Super-Flex® sandpaper is the key), so I’m coming back using 400 wet and blocking one final time before paint. After the 400 wet, we’re going to get two batches and using House of Kolor, which has been around for close to 60 years. House of Kolor has additives you can put into the product to make it VOC compliant in California. You remove the solvents and replace them with a product called KV1 reducer and add in the KV150 which will break it down. Use 1 part paint, 1 part KV1 reducer and 1 part KV150. When you are buying this product, you are going to be spending a little bit more money, but with the mixing ratio you will get more paint coverage by mixing it this way. The House of Kolor sealer that we are going to be using (KS210), comes in white, black or silver. Next month we will finish this project up and get the paint tips and procedures. Acknowledgements As always I’d like to thank the people and products who helped me get this done. I really was amazed at the time that the new blocks and sandpaper saved me. Dave Walsh at Style-Line™ is an amazing body

guy and has been around this industry a long time as a shop owner in Georgia. This new product that he and his brother Michael developed is phenomenal. Dave from Coast Airbrush in California. Dave can be reached by email at kustom@coastairbrush.com. Microflex puts out such a great product, with many selections of different types of gloves. The Diamond Grips and the Midknights™ are the ones that I use. Safety is number one! Visit their site at www.microflex.com. Thanks to Chicago Pneumatics. Their sealant tool is one of many products they create that are just getting better and better. These guys are taking the time to find out what the end users need when they develop these products. Visit them at www.cp.com. I’d like to thank SATA as well for providing me with the number one guns in the world. I am using their 1.9 HVLP primer gun and it allows me to just lay the PCL down and control it. I’m using 27 psi with primer and stretching my fan as much as I can and I can really just walk that product on. See their site at www.sata.com. Tony Lammer is my connection over there. Make the commitment to invest in your own safety and in quality tools, which will last you forever. I don’t endorse anything I don’t believe in. Nobody has time for cheap tools or inferior products.


Custom Corner

Rich Evans is the owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks and an award winning painter and fabricator. He offers workshops in repair and customization at his facility to share his unique talents. For contacts and design samples visit www.huntingtonbeachbodyworks.com

Ultimate Vodka’s Shelby Series 1, Part 2 with Rich Evans

We’re back on part two of three on our Shelby Series 1 project that we started in the last issue. We left off last month having the car ready for our base color. I chose a House of Kolor Orion Silver paint. Now a lot of guys think it’s only waterborne that we can use in California, but there are companies such as House of Kolor that have additives we can use to make it [low VOC] compliant. To do that we’re going

House of Kolor Orion Silver Base with Transtar top coat sanded with 3M 800 grit sand paper using the Quick Cut sanders followed by Soft-Sanders

to use one part paint, one part KU150 catalyst, and two parts KV1 reducer. This way we can use these familiar custom colors

and still be compliant with the low VOCs. Of course this will also work in shops outside California, who want to be more envorionmentally conscious and safe. A word or two about safety because making something compliant doesn’t mean it’s 100% safe. I always wear the MicroFlex Midknight™ gloves for the booth area and things I’m doing. I can go through 100 pairs or more easily on a project like this, but it’s worth it. I also always use my shoot suits which keep me nice and clean and away from the lacquer thinners and other solvents that can get into the pores of your skin. I also use a fresh air system from SATA which keeps me safe. I want to be around for another 40 years and still be painting without worrying what any refinish product can do to me over a long period of time. We’re going to end up with two batches in the booth, with applying three coats of Orion Silver base coat, but before that we have to hit it with the sealer. I am using House of Kolor KS210. It comes in a white and a black and I mixed 50% of each to get a gray color so I can apply silver over top of it. First I apply two light

coats of the sealer over the surface and the parts. I’m going to apply three coats of the orion silver total. I’m using my SATA gun at 27 psi when I’m applying base color. We’re getting our silver base on with a topcoat. I like TranStar and I’m using 6531 to 2.1 low-VOC clearcoat. For my hardener I use the 6894HT and that allows just a little bit more flow time. It is better for what I do—graphics and custom work.

graphic design touch; and the airbrush skills all in one. I don’t have to sub-source anything. He’s a real talent and I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of his work out there.

Matt Van Wingerden, Air brush artist extraordinaire.

House of Kolors Orion Silver Base coat with Transtar top coat

I’ve been using Transtar topcoat for about 14 years and I’ve never once had it bite me or go wrong. A lot of guys out there might not apply enough material so don’t skimp. It’s all about how you apply your material. I’m putting two coats on because I know I’m going to go back and sand it down with 800. I’ve chosen to use a topcoat versus an SG100 (Intercoat clear) because of all the taping. Instead of using the SG100 and having to use the KU150 and the KV1 to get this compliant—to me, it’s better to put a low-VOC clearcoat on and skip the SG100 system. We get the two coats on and I’m going to come through with 800 grit 3M wet and dry and I’m going to use the Soft-Sander blocks and Quick-Cut sanding DAs on the flatter areas. There aren’t many of those on this car. The Soft Sanders are a huge help because the multiple lengths of sanding blocks fit the body contours. The blocks are all color-coded so as you use them more you find out which ones help you most. Obviously they’re saving me a lot of time and give me a better result. A straight block really doesn’t work on this project because of all the contours going on. I can use any of the Style-Line Super-Flex® sandpapers up to 3000 grit. We’re cutting this with 800 grit and then we’re going to bring it in and do a mock-up for graphic layout. I’ve called in Matt Van Wingerden to do the airbrushing on the project. You might remember him from his Marilyn Monroe headliner that we did for the ‘57 Chevy last year. Matt is very creative. He’s young but very well-rounded as an artist. He wears three hats: having the plotter skills; the

What we want is the real subtle graphic layout and Matt’s doing the Ultimate Vodka bottle that I explained in the last column. We want this bottle to look real and it represents the company, so Matt is my design and concept to place it on the hood in the rally stripes.

Graphic lay out.

Matt puts about 20 hours into getting the bottle looking great and we’ve got the car mocked-up, sanded down with the 800 grit and ready for the second color which is going to be True Blue Pearl (part number PBC36.Q01) from House of Kolor. I used a panel-alignment tool before I tore the car down. I take an 1/8-inch drill bit and drill into the hinge areas of the hood, doors, fenders, the rear hatch; just so I have a reference so I can put those panels back exactly where they were. I know where I am all the time instead of wasting a lot of time trying to line things up. You experienced guys know what I’m talking about. I’ve designed my own panel alignment tool which is just a set of 6 screwdrivers with an 1/8-inch dowel of different lengths to get into different areas. So you can make your own, or I’ll make them available soon for others. Sometimes we need to make our own tools, but these tools work for me. I’ve saved a lot of time with them and time is money. So now that we’ve got everything mocked-up, our graphic design is going to include some rally stripes, striped down the left and right hood right before it meets the fender. We’re going to break it off in the front to make it look racy and add some check-

www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 13


ered-pattern designs. I collaborated with Ed Blinn—with Patron Tequila, the owner—on the layout. I really want to give them what they’re looking for and represent their company and their brand as best we can. I use Photoshop to mock-up the vehicle in a picture to get on the same page with the company. When they give me the thumbs up then we need to make that picture real. That’s the way that works for us here at Rich Evans designs. We’ve got all the graphics layed out and then we mask everything up ready for the True Blue Pearl second base color. I like 3M tape and masking paper, which is a real

Vodka lettering look really deep so that it’s really popping off that Orion Silver. We’re going to shadow where the checkerboards meet the graphic on the fenders and give it a natural rollover so it looks like it’s rolling underneath that graphic and disappearing. It’ll be real subtle with a couple of little highlights here and there that’ll make sense to separate the blues (where it meets blues) especially on the front where it comes around and meets the rally stripe. We want that stripe to go underneath the rally stripe to look like they’re really diving underneath it. You don’t have to overdo it to get the look. We’re not going for a

House of Kolor True blue pearl.

Ready for Transtar top coat

good quality tape that doesn’t leave residue behind, especially when you’re doing graphics. Make sure you pre-clean all your panels before you mask them. Using the MicroFlex gloves keeps your fingerprints off the car. Use a nice hard mask, applied tight, so it’s easy to unmask. All of those steps really count when you’re trying to put out a highquality commercial product. It takes a little longer but your end results are better. So after tear down, we have two batches. It could easily be three batches but if I do three it could cost another six hours of time waiting between coats. It’s a little crowded but I have enough room to walk around and apply the True Blue. I’m using a 1.4 tip on my SATA gun and my comfort zone is 27 psi so it atomizes the paint and I don’t have a really high build. I might get a two-mill build with this project’s six coats, half-triggered to just give me coverage with the second base color. You want to make sure that you are not creating more work for yourself and don’t get a high build on your second base color. When you’re doing graphics you can extend yourself for more color, sanding and buffing to make it smooth, where you can’t feel the lines. With the left to right doors we’re adding the Ultimate Vodka image on and we got those laid out to where they look natural and not crowded. I just used the House of Kolor white base color, two coats, with just enough for coverage. We put on the white before we applied the True Blue, then re-masked so when we’re done with the True Blue graphic part we can de-mask everything and add our shadows to give it a three-dimensional look. It’ll make the Ultimate

bunch of wavy effects or anything like that. This car needs to look like it’s going 100 miles an hour standing still. We’re using six True Blue coats throughout the two batches and then demasking. You really need to spend your time cleaning up making sure everything is right. Blow off everything, tack it off, walk around, check it and make sure that everything is blown out before you apply your TranStar clear topcoat. I’m going to apply five coats and one tack coat. I like to use the tack coat to make sure I’m covering it and creating a foundation for my clear that I’m going to apply pretty heavily on. I’m going to come back and cut two of those coats off so I really want to leave a minimum of 3–3½ coats of clear for a protective coat throughout its lifespan. I have a system when I’m spraying my clear with my RP gun, which is a 1.4, and I recommend everybody get an RP gun with a 1.4. I’ve been using one for about six years and I use it about 35–37 psi, about 3 inches away. I usually shoot at about 3 inches and I like to control the product when it goes on and make sure it’s flat. I want to make sure that I’m in control and the paint is not controlling me and there’s really no room for double lapping. You’ll create a comfort zone for yourself. A word about keeping it clean. Go to shootsuits.com and pick yourself up a Rich Evans shoot suit (ad adjacent). I’m walking around in a shoot suit all the time they’re washable, they last forever, and the price is right. Cleanliness and safety go hand in hand because they show care and attention to detail. It’s nice to walk out of the booth and see everything right and

14 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

clean. You’re happy, you don’t have dirt flying around, and you don’t have to repeat steps. Once again, time is money. So five coats of clear, one tack, that leaves me a lot of room to color, sand, and buff. For that, I am going to start with 800 grit and we will finish this in the third stage of this article. I really want to get the steps and procedures across to you guys so you can try what I’m doing, or maybe you’ll come across one or two things that you’re not doing that you might try that might help you save time. I’m going to hit some of my flat areas with the Quick Cut sander with 800 grit.

Second batch with clear coat ready for color sand and buff

That’s what I start with then I really keep my focus on the second topcoat (True Blue) and it works those areas down because I know they’re going to be two mills higher than everything else. So as I applied my topcoat I really pounded on the five coats. Find

Phone: (360) 687-3451

a system that works for you but 15 minutes in between each coat works for me. By the time it’s tacking and is starting to set up, I pile it on again. You know that you have a window of 24 hours between coats so some of you guys out there are doing extra by putting 3 coats on, sanding, cleaning everything up, putting it back in the booth and putting another three coats on. Take your time to read up on your product to see what your windows are. You can put three coats on, and come back the next morning, without sanding, and put another three coats on. The more you dig into the product details and the more you use it,

Blocking with the Soft Sanders 1000--1500 grit

the more it will work for you the way works for me. It’s worked for me for years. Breaking out the Soft Sanders, I’ve got about five or six blocks that I’m using on this. They’re different sizes and lengths and See SHELBY PART TWO, Page 39


Dan Am-SATA & Jobbers Provide EPA Painter Spray Gun Training Autobody News recently attended a 3-hr. evening training session for about 35 painters, informally called a “SATA EPA clinic,” held at Sacio Enterprises in San Diego. The Jan. 20 event was hosted by the jobber, Tri City Paint, headed by Steve Ellis, Sales Manager, and assisted by Wayne Morrison and Felipe Contreras. Also present was the local representative, Gerry Carter, from Total Sales & Marketing. The featured presenter was Steve Treutel, national industry relations and training manger for Dan Am/SATA, who covered the theory behind the EPA regulations, the compliance requirements, and some critical, but often overlooked, maintainance issues for spray guns. The training included hands-on booth spraying before the painters could be certified in the course. We asked Treutel about training painters in light of the new EPA rule, and what refinish companies—including hardware manufacturers—and jobbers can do, and are doing, to help them get up to speed. Steve Treutel ◄ Two things are happening in the collision industry right nowthat are huge, the EPA rule and waterborne, and I’m not sure which is the larger. First, the EPA put into the rule what so many of us wanted to do for some time

Steve Treutel, right, talks to a San Diego group of motivated painters seeking national certification for EPA mandated painting operations.

which is basically educating the painter. What we’ve done at Dan Am and SATA is set up a training program with our 39 reps doing evening clinics on this. We cover how the gun operates works, volume, air, from HVLP to RP technologies: they all fall into this rule. We teach them how to achieve the very best transfer efficiency Then we turn around and physically do it. Every student in the class sprays and is graded on it. In the past if you tried to hold a workshop for painters about how to use their own spray gun nobody would show up. They thought that they knew everything there was to know. It’s because everybody learned by watching someone else, not by knowing the principles behind the painting process. Now they say “thank you.”

Every paint manufacturer out there and their brand of waterborne basecoat is working to make that operate and dry the way they want it to with color match and everything else. Understanding how that gun is set up is critical. Starting with California, now every paint company is releasing their waterborne nationally, some more effectively and aggressively than others. But now you’ve got the OTC group in the North-

Steve Treutel reviews protective equipment and explains some of the potential health hazards the EPA rules are designed to prevent.

east, and the Great Lakes group also, which are working on their waterborne law for 2012, only two years away. I think it could all happen nationally within 5-10 years. That’s a lot of painters—bigger, even, than the California waterborne launch because we’re talking about changing

primers and clears (to match the 1151 rule) and everything that goes with that. As we’re doing these evening clinics and I’m working with our reps we hear that everybody wants to know how soon until I have to do it? Across the street that shop might’ve already changed over to water, or is seriously planning for it. ABN ► So what percentage would you say are doing it voluntarily?

Steve Treutel ◄ So far, it’s a small percentage that have changed over voluntarily but it’s bigger than many people think. In many cases it’s a shop that wants to stand out from its competition more. For some of them it’s just for marketing; others are saying “it’s going to come anyway” and I don’t want to be waiting in line for jobbers and reps to help me. ABN ► We know about two large MSO body shops that are planning a “flip the switch” date to transition to waterborne.

Steve Treutel ◄ Yes, there are a lot of proactive shops that are gearing up their equipment and they have the plan in place. They understand that new equipment can make it a lot easier. You can spray water See DAN AM/SATA EPA, Page 35

www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 15


Hand-held Phone Bans Are Not Reducing Crashes, Distraction is an Attention Problem

Distracted driving is an attention problem not a manual operation problem, so it’s no surprise to many that laws banning the use of hand-held phones while driving have failed to reduce crashes, according to research conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute. HLDI, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), said its findings were based on a comparison of crash damage insurance claim rates in four U.S. jurisdictions before and after the phone use bans. The research showed claim rates remained steady compared with nearby jurisdictions that have not passed such bans. “The laws aren’t reducing crashes, even though we know that such laws have reduced hand-held phone use, and several studies have established that phoning while driving increases crash risk,� said Adrian Lund, president of the IIHS and HLDI. In New York, HLDI noted, there was a decrease in collision claim frequencies relative to comparison states, but that trend began “well before the state’s ban took effect.� HLDI added that trends in the District of Columbia, Connecticut and California did not change. Mr. Lund said, “So the new findings don’t match what we already know about the risk of phoning and texting while driving. If crash risk increases with phone use

and fewer drivers use phones where it’s illegal to do so, we would expect to see a decrease in crashes. But we aren’t seeing it. Nor do we see collision claim increases before the phone bans took effect. “This is surprising, too, given what we know about the growing use of cell phones and the risk of phoning while driving. We’re currently gathering data to figure out this mismatch.� Mr. Lund said a possible reason for the finding may be that drivers are switching to hands-free phones, which presents about the same risk as hand-held phones. “Whatever the reason,� he said, “the key finding is that crashes aren’t going down where hand-held phone use has been banned. This finding doesn’t auger well for any safety payoff from all the new laws that ban phone use and texting while driving.� On January 11, 2009, The National Safety Council advocated a total ban on cell phone use while driving, stating the practice is clearly dangerous and leads to fatalities. The group’s president likened talking on cell phones to drunken driving. She said cell phone use increases the risk of a crash fourfold, and that hands-free cell phones are just as risky as hand held phones. The council examined more than 50 scientific studies before reaching its decision. For more see autobodynews.com

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Autobody News’ Online Feedback Following are some responses posted on this story as it ran online at a number of media sites, including autobodynews.com. These are anonymous responses, not news sources, and do not represent any kind of survey results or, necessarily, majority opinion. —Editor � Accidents are not decreasing because the law is not enforced by police. Actually I see police on the road using cell phones as motorists. Police look at people talking on phones and do not even pull them over. � This new study result simply can’t be accepted. I question the baseline and quantifiable information, and perhaps the limited span of the time period from which data has been grabbed. Regardless, personally and from others are many accounts of hazardous driving behaviors of persons in deep phone conversation or texting. Laws belong on the books with stiff penalties for violations.

� I’m amazed that so many still think the problem lies in a driver having a cell phone in their hand. It’s the fact that people’s minds, not their hands, are preoccupied when using a cell phone in any fashion while also driving a car. The ban needs to be on any usage, not just texting.

� In July of 2008, California banned the use of cell phones while driving for all persons under the age of 18 years. The State also banned the use of hand held cell phones for persons over the age of 18 while driving. All cell phone users have to utilize hands-free devices, either corded or cordless, such as Bluetooth, to be within the law and avoid fines. That law is a huge joke! Every day I watch dozens of people with their cell phones glued to their ears and yapping away. There are a number of possibilities for their idiotic behavior: 1) They don’t care about the law; 2) They don’t care if they get caught; 3) They would rather pay the fine than shut their mouth. They think whatever they have to say is more important than safe driving; 4) They think they can talk and drive but they can’t chew gum and walk So, brilliance aside, what did the lawmakers think these rocket scientists were going to do to dial their cell phones? Not all of them have voice dial, so here we now have motor mouth tethered to the cell phone by their new hands-free ear bud and microphone combo, holding it up in front of him or her, trying to see the keyboard and dial a number. Or holding a piece of paper and a pen and the cell phone, while trying to write down a number that has appeared on the screen, and must be of utmost importance.

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16 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

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Company Connections

AEGIS Tools Innovates Windshield Repair Systems Worldwide Bob Birkhauser, owner of AEGIS Tools International, has 34 years experience in the automotive glass industry, as a second-generation owner/operator/product developer whose father started an auto car glass specialist company 48 years ago. “My parents started their auto glass business in 1961 and I became an S.O.B. AEGIS Tools Owner (Son of the Boss) after Bob Birkhauser I graduated from Unigrew up within his family’s auto versity of Wisconsin specialist business, in 1975,� Birkhauser starting in 1961. said. “My dad wanted me to commit to the family business, so he made me sign a five-year commitment agreement. I never looked back or hesitated for a minute.� In 1982, Birkhauser invented the first AEGIS windshield repair system for Auto Glass Specialists, Inc., to be used in his family’s chain of auto glass installation

centers headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. “In the earlier days of this industry, windshield repair was an emerging service available primarily from repair-only franchises. Viewed as a serious threat to the auto glass replacement industry, windshield repair reduced the demand for replacement and directed referrals away from replacement shops.� Never slowed by a challenge, the Birkhauser family decided to offer repair as an additional service, but needed highquality tools without franchise fees. Within a short time, the AEGIS windshield repair system was designed, tested and awarded two patents. Over the years, AEGIS designed innovative glass installation tools and refinements to the windshield repair system. In 2005, the Birkhausers sold the Auto Glass Specialists installation centers to Belron North America but retained AEGIS Tools International, which is now a separate corporation. “AEGIS Tools International Inc. is a small, family-run business still located in

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Madison,� Birkhauser said. “AEGIS tools and equipment are sold worldwide through a network of distributors and our Web site. Our specialties are in custom-configured windshield repair kits and tools to make glass installations safer and more ef-

three decades ago, AEGIS has sold its products to more than 17,000 auto glass shops, Birkhauser said. AEGIS Tools has designed many of the most popular auto glass repair systems in the market today, Birkhauser said. “Auto glass techs from all over the world provide us with valuable feedback, telling us what products want manufactured and how these tools can be designed or re-designed in order to make their jobs easier,� he said. “We tap into our customers’ extensive knowledge regularly and it makes for better tools.� AEGIS Tool’s windshield repair systems are AEGIS Tool’s staff assembles one of the company’s patented windshield inthe company’s largest stallation tools. sellers, Birkhauser said, ficient. Constantly innovating, a staff en- popular with auto glass shops, collision regineer brings new ideas from concept to pair facilities, new car dealerships and design, while a talented group of cus- wholesale distributors. tomer/field testers assist us in making our The company’s newest leading product tools the most well-designed in the indus- is the patented dry vacuum-hydraulic prestry. Most of our components are made in sure system for AEGIS windshield repair, the Upper Midwest and assembled at and featuring the QuikSilver Technology, which shipped from our Madison production fa- allows repairs in as little as five minutes, cility.� Birkhauser explained. Dry vacuum allows In 1990, Birkhauser became president all moisture and air to be evacuated from the of AEGIS Tools and assumed complete break, while hydraulic pressure forces resin control of the company when his father re- completely and quickly into the break. tired several years later. The company is One of Birkhauser’s main goals is flourishing today, with seven employees helping auto glass companies doing a betand selling more than 1,000 repair wind- ter quality job by using superior products shield kits annually, he explained. and bettering efficiently, ergonomics and overall safety, he said. Even with better tools and training in 2009, there are still a wide range of safety and quality issues in this industry Birkhauser said. “I would guess that 80 percent of the same types of mistakes happen when auto glass work is performed,� he said. “Some errors are small, AEGIS Tools headquarters is located in Madison, Wisconsin. but others are significant, It’s a worldwide business today, but we don’t have any sympathy for compaBirkhauser said. “Half of our business is nies who take shortcuts using inferior materiinternational right now. We’re currently als and engaging in unsafe practices. If you selling to 50 countries and growing this violate the standards, you’re running a risk of rapidly expanding market, to shops and giving the customer an unsafe product.� wholesale distributors in South and Central America, France, Germany, Nether- AEGIS Tools International lands and sections of Eastern Europe.� 2810 Syene Road AEGIS Tools sells primarily wind- Madison, Wisconsin 53713 shield tools, repair kits and related com- (608) 274-9266 ponents. Since opening its doors more than www.aegistools.com www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 17


Service, Service, Diagnostic Diiagnostic D gnostic and an d Mechanical M e cchanical h aniccal al NEWS nd Mec echanical Mech ech ec hanical ca

www.autobodynews.com

Soaring Foreign Car Sales Shape Both Detroit’s and the Aftermarket’s Future Autobody News

by Jim Lang, Aftermarket Insights

Annual 2009 vehicle sales are in, and the picture is clear. Foreign vehicles (imports and transplants) have gained control of the U.S. new vehicle market. Foreign cars and light trucks captured 55.8% of dwindling 2009 new vehicle sales, up from 52.5% of the 2008 market and much stronger than their 48.9% share in 2007. This is phenomenal growth since 1999, when foreign models totaled only 29% of new vehicle sales.” “Americans purchased 16.2 million vehicles in 2007. By 2009, new vehicle volume slumped to 10.4 million (down 36%), as foreign cars and light trucks increased their sales share more than one-seventh in two years. Skyrocketing foreign share of new vehicles is reshaping the aftermarket.” Domestic share of new vehicle volume (not including transplants) plunged from 51.1% in 2007 to only 44.2% by 2009. General Motors sank from 24% of 2007 sales to only 20% of the 2009 market. Ford held at 16% share from 2007 to 2009; while Chrysler saw its share fall nearly one-third, from 13% to just 9%. GM unit sales dropped 41% between 2007 and 2009; while Chrysler sank 51%. Ford achieved a Pyrrhic victory (among the Detroit Three), as its volume receded a mere 27% from 2007 to 2009. Toyota passed Ford in 2009 volume, capturing second position, as Honda pushed Chrysler from fourth place. Reshuffling Foreign Vehicle Share Hyundai and its Kia division sold 735 thousand new vehicles in 2009, within 10 thousand units of all German carmakers combined and pulling close to Nissan in a bid to take sixth position in total sales. The Hyundai Kia group is on track to pass Nissan as well as all German carmakers in 2010 U.S. volume.

Aftermarket Impact The foreign new vehicle surge is a future which has already happened. Its impact on the aftermarket in the next five to ten years is inevitable. Here are just a few aftermarket changes coming from this ongoing seismic shift in carmaker sales mix. 1. Manufacturers, Distributors, Retailers and Installers which cannot adapt

March 2010

to the changing mix of vehicles on U.S. roads will not hold their competitive positions. 2. Domestic cars and light trucks will generate one-tenth less aftermarket product share in six years than they do today, and their volume of aftermarket products will steadily decline. 3. Foreign cars and light trucks will increase their aftermarket product share more than one-fifth over the next six years, and they will generate all aftermarket product growth during that time. 4. Aftermarket volume will disproportionately be captured by product brands which are deemed “appropriate” for use on foreign cars and light trucks (imports and transplants) by Installers and DIYers. 5. Service outlets perceived by consumers as “qualified” to repair foreign cars and light trucks will disproportionately gain market share. 6. Retail Parts Stores as well as parts distributors which sell brands perceived as “appropriate” by DIYers and Installers for use on foreign vehicles will disproportionately increase their aftermarket sales share. Foreign Vehicle Aftermarket Gains Foreign cars and light trucks will set the course of aftermarket growth and development over the next ten years. By 2020, foreign vehicles will generate the majority of aftermarket use of many (if not most) product categories.

Domestic Woes Affect the Aftermarket Over the past three years, the number of domestic cars and light trucks (not including transplants) sold in the U.S. dropped a total of over four million units, reflecting lower overall new vehicle sales and plunging domestic car and light truck share. Domestic cars and light trucks sank to 44% of 2009 vehicle sales, down from 51% of the 2007 market and off more than two-fifths from their 78% share of the 1998 new-vehicle market. While January 2010 vehicle sales seemed to show stabilizing Detroit Three volume, there are some problems in the January numbers. For example, despite General Motors posting a sales gain, its January share was only two-thirds what it was 11 years ago. Although Ford is showing sales strength, its share is down nearly one-third

18 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

from 1998; and the future of Chrysler remains cloudy. Unless Chrysler can stage a comeback, with the assistance of Fiat, Chrysler's sales could plummet and take the Detroit Three's combined share into the basement. Change Is In The Pipeline However, things can change rapidly, as shown by Toyota's recent headaches, and the Detroit Three could stage a comeback. Nevertheless, even if things stay about where they are over the next several years (or even improve a bit), significant aftermarket changes are already in the pipeline. Less General Repair Shop Volume Growing legions of foreign cars (imports and transplants) on U.S. roads means that general repair shops (Service Stations and Garages), which traditionally depend on domestic vehicles for a majority of their volume, could shrink substantially in repair share over the next several years.

More Specialized Repair Specialty Repair Shops (outlets conducting a limited menu of repair) and Foreign Specialists (outlets focusing on imports and transplants) stand to ring-up big repairvolume gains at the expense of Dealers and general repair outlets.

DIFM versus DIY Repair As domestic vehicles on U.S. roads grow older, they will generate an increasing portion of DIY volume. At the same time, the Service market will continue expanding its product share, bolstered by the growth of foreign vehicles, which are much more often taken by their owners to professional shops rather than be repaired by DIYers.

Foreign Vehicle Strength With domestic cars and light trucks losing new vehicle share, foreign models will expand their portion of the Service market, which will generate most if not all car and light truck aftermarket growth over the next several years. This means all car and light truck product expansion for the foreseeable future will be generated by foreign vehicles (imports and transplants). Their aftermarket product sales will continue

expanding at an unprecedented rate.

OE Brands And OE Distribution The strength of OE brands and OE distribution will differ substantially between domestic and foreign vehicles. OE distribution and OE brands for foreign cars and light trucks will continue ringing-up strong sales; while thousands of domestic Dealer closings and declining domestic vehicle sales will severely undercut the domestic segment of the OE channel and the domestic OE brands it distributes. This will provide opportunities for independent (non-OE) aftermarket distribution and non-OE brands. Aftermarket Changes How well the Detroit Three perform over the next several years has significant consequences for many aspects of the aftermarket. These changes will widen the gaps between aftermarket winners and losers. From Aftermarket Insight™ by Jim Lang, President of Lang Marketing Resources, Inc., www.langmarketing.com. Replacement Safety Certification Labels Gaining Wider Usage More body shops are taking advantage of ordering replacement safety certification labels online. The Federal Safety Certification label and the Tire and Loading label are required by law to be permanently affixed at the time of manufacture. The Federal Safety Certification label indicates compliance with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and includes the month and year of manufacture which is important for recalls. The Tire and Loading label contains several key pieces of information such as the manufacturer’s recommended PSI for the vehicle’s tires, the maximum weight (“load”) recommended for the vehicle, and the recommended tire size. These labels provide the vehicle owner with valuable information and should be replaced if damaged or removed. Body shops also benefit from replacing these labels with a standard part mark-up and labor rate. All major insurance companies accept these labels, so shops are paid to replace the label rather than tape the old one back on. Shops can log on to www.AutomotiveID.com.


Gonzo’s Toolbox

Excerpted from Scott “Gonzo” Weaver's New Book, “Hey Look! I Found The Loose Nut”, which provides a Good Laugh for Mechanics of Any Age. For more information, Contact Scott Weaver at Gonzosae@aol.com and see his website at www.gonzostoolbox.com.

Early Morning De-Light and Nursing Ingenuity with Gonzo Weaver

Here’s another true story from my book. It reminded me that the true sign of a craftsman is no wrinkles in the duct tape.

A few years ago a nurse dressed in her scrubs came into my Tulsa auto-electric shop early one afternoon. She had just finished her morning shift at the hospital. She told me that things were kind of tight at her house financially, and she didn’t have a lot to spare for car repairs. I told her I would help her out as much as I could. Her problem was that her headlights didn’t work, and she really needed to take her old Datsun (Dats before Nissan) to work in the early morning hours, regardless whether or not she got a ticket for having no headlights. She explained that she had to leave for work at ‘Oh-dark-thirty,’ as we used to say in the Marines, so I was thinking she had some sort of lighted route that would keep the prying eyes of the law off her tail. “I get the picture, Ma’am. I’ll take a look at it,” I said. Now I’m no car snob but I was genuinely suprised at how decripit this hasbeen automobile she was driving was. It

should have been crushed years earlier, although it looked pretty much all biodegraded already—completely rusted and dented up with not much left of the interior. But as it was, this was this nice lady’s only ride to-and-from work. Yes, she would wait to see what I found. Rather than surveying the outside any longer than necessary, I popped the hood and got right to work on finding the problem. It wasn’t that hard to find. At the positive battery post on this type of car was a series of fusible links that powered up different systems in the car. One of them was corroded off the terminals. It just so happened to be the one that powered the headlights. I grabbed the trusty baking soda and cleaned off the crud from the positive post of the battery. After replacing the corroded end of the fusible link, I attached it back onto its proper post. One flick of the headlight switch and she was in business.

I went into the lobby and told the nurse, who was waiting anxiously, what I had found. I told her that it was going to be a cheap fix, and not to worry about having to get a car-fix loan (as she had worried aloud to me). I then asked her how long had she been driving around with no headlights. She told me with an air of satisfaction, “Oh, I had headlights all the time. I just wanted the factory ones to work because I was getting tired of changing the batteries in the other ones.” Say what? Factory ones? Batteries? What other ones? Did I miss something? I just stared at her for a few seconds. I thought that by now I was pretty good with electrical systems. What did I miss on this old Datsun’s electrical schematics that involved alternate headlights that she was aware of, but I wasn’t? “Really?” I said. “Can you show me what you are talking about?” We walked out to the car and there on each edge of the front bumper were two 9-

volt flashlights duct-taped around the bumper with what could have been a whole roll of tape. She walked up to them and pushed the button on each of the right and left flashlights. Then she turned around to face me with both arms out stretched like a TV ad model; pointing one toe and all. And wouldn’t you know it… she’s got headlights, sort of. “I just thought it was going to cost so much to fix them that I have been putting it off for months,” she said. “But I had to buy so many batteries I thought it would be cheaper to find out what was really wrong with the factory ones.” Now I’ll admit I’ve never seen ducttaped flashlights attached to a bumper before. And I haven’t seen them since... But I’ll tell you this, if I’m ever in need of a nurse in an emergency, who can get the job done till the cavalry comes, she is my choice. Way to go girl. You got my vote for duct-tape engineer of the month.

You can order Gonzo’s book, Hey Look! I Found The Loose Nut, from Amazon and other sources. Gonzo is working on a second volume now. Contact him at the banner address.

www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 19


ALL OEM Information

Dan Espersen is ALLDATA® CollisionSM Program Manager. Dan is a Gold Pin Member of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and holds an AA Degree in Automotive Technology. He has 17 years of experience in the collision industry and 17 years of experience in the automotive industry.

Proper Repair Strategies and the Sectioning Mystery with Dan Espersen

With all of the new vehicles being developed and introduced every year, your staff may have questions about how to develop a strategy or a proper repair plan for adequately repairing a vehicle to a safe and quality standard. Among the many decisions you will have to make will be whether to repair, replace or section a structural component. The answers will depend primarily on what the industry currently recommends. This knowledge will be the most important tool that you and your staff will have available to them on a daily basis. Collision business management practices, as well as KPI demands from insurers, are often confusing and misunderstood by estimators, technicians and sometimes the management team. By obtaining and referring to manufacturers’ or industry-accepted repair procedures in the pre-production phase, your staff will have the knowledge necessary to repair the vehicle up front, rather than after or during production. Ask yourself this: If we had proper repair information up front, could we: ● Lower cycle times? ● Reduce out-sourcing? ● Increase hours per day? ● Develop or enhance insurance or customer relations CSI? ● Reduce costly returns? ● Improve efficiencies? ● Increase overall shop revenue? ● Enhance our staff’s knowledge? I am guessing the answer is yes! How are you currently gathering critical repair information? Current information gathering techniques are often time-consuming, cumbersome and more often than not, unsuccessful. Estimating systems offer labor times, parts pricing and very limited diagnostic information, but they do not offer comprehensive repair procedures or “how to” information, such as current manufacturers’ sectioning and repair procedures. When asking collision repair shops how they obtain repair information, I have been told: ● Technical experiences ● Training programs ● Co-workers ● Dealerships contacts (when available) ● Technical manuals ● Industry training instructors ● Manufacturer-supplied installation instructions ● OE websites ● Educated guesses

Most of these sources are time-consuming to research, sometimes outdated or incorrect, incomplete—and most importantly, not all in one place! The authority regarding proper sectioning procedures and practices is the vehicle manufacturer. Best practices should always be the recourse when a manufacturers’ procedure is not available. The decision to section or replace an entire component on a damaged vehicle should be a systematic process involving: ● Readily available, up-to-date repair documentation from the most reliable and reputable source ● An educated and qualified staff that understands current Industry repair practices and theories ● A method or process to gather repair information in the pre-production stages ● A proper teardown or disassembly process to perceive all hidden damages ● A working knowledge of available tools, techniques and talents within your facility ● Parts availability ● Insurer program requirements (If applicable) With all of these elements in place, your staff should have the critical tools in place to develop a proper repair plan. The sectioning mystery doesn’t have to be a mystery. Manufacturers publish many procedures that we may not know exist when it comes to structural repair recommendations. Without the proper procedures we could be setting ourselves up to fail. Resource the manufacturers repair procedures first to determine the best course of repair. ● Educate your staff on industry theories and applications. ● Develop a preproduction plan to gather reputable repair information in a timely manner. ● Develop an

20 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

evaluation or disassembly stage, or a method to properly identify hidden damages. ● Provide your staff with manufacturers’ recommended guidelines and current industry-recommended repair information. ● Refer to Industry Best Practices if the manufacturer does not publish repair information for a given oper-

ation. While the manufacturers may not always provide all the information you need, they provide a lot. We need to be aware of the information they do provide. I learn of new sectioning and repair procedures every day on all makes and models. You and your staff can too—through effective communication, proper guidance and education. The effort will help make your business stand out above all the rest. Here is the manufacturer’s procedure for sectioning the front lower frame rail on a 2008 Dodge Caliber: 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT-4— Front Lower Frame Rail 1. With vehicle mounted to appropriate pulling and 3-dimensional measuring equipment, complete the following procedure paying particular attention to body dimensions while fitting and welding panels.

2. Remove bumper components, cooling module, headlamp, and all other components for clear access to repair area.

3. Remove front rail cap panel on damaged rail. 4. Remove welds holding lower radiator crossmember to damaged rail (if crossmember is damaged, remove completely).

5. Remove welds holding FESM structure to rail (if damaged, remove complete assembly). 6. Mark existing rail as follows: a. Right side i On inner rail, mark at 50mm forward of the leading edge of flanged hole in rail. ii On outer rail, continue mark from inner rail.

7. Mark replacement part in same location.

8. On left rail, remove bracket located on inner rail.

9. Using a cut-off wheel, reciprocating saw, or equivalent: a. Cut all existing parts on the forward side of the scribe line using care not to damage the material that will not be removed. i. Right rail section location: When installation of new tip is complete, there is a 6mm hole on the inner rail at the forward edge of the section joint which may need to be recreated or restored. ii. Left rail section location: When installation of new tip is complete, there is a 10mm hole in bottom horizontal surface of rail which may need to be restored. b. Cut all replacement parts on the rearward side of the scribe line again using care not to make any additional damage but do not discard any material yet. 10. Clean all sharp edges and create a slight taper for weld purposes.


Toyota Testifies, Documents Show Savings by Limiting Recall Actions

Under sharp and at times hostile questioning, the president of Toyota's U.S. operations told a Capitol Hill hearing on Feb. 23 that even the massive recall by the world's biggest automaker may “not totally” resolve safety problems implicated in accidents in the United States that have killed nearly three dozen people. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. President James Lentz defended the embattled Japanese auto giant's safety record, but conceded that the company had failed to meet its own high standards in responding to the crisis. The company was too slow to respond to the safety issues that have led at least three congressional committees to begin what is likely to be a long and exhaustive investigation, Mr. Lentz acknowledged. “Put simply, it has taken us too long to come to grips with a rare but serious set of safety issues, despite all of our good-faith efforts,” Mr. Lentz told an oversight panel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Lentz insisted that Toyota's engineers had identified “two specific, mechanical causes” of sudden unintended acceleration, which has been associated with at least 34 deaths, according to complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “We are confident that no problems exist with the electronic throttle control

system in our vehicles,” Mr. Lentz said. “We have designed our electronic throttle control system with multiple fail-safe mechanisms to shut off or reduce engine power in the event of a system failure.” Toyota President Akio Toyoda, the grandson of the company founder, will testify Feb. 24 before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In documents obtained by the Detroit Free Press, Toyota’s leading U.S. executive ‘boasted’ to the automaker’s Washington staff last summer that they had saved the company more than $100 million by actions which limited any regulatory action on sudden acceleration to a recall of equipment such as floor mats, according to documents turned over to a key U.S. House committee which will hold hearings on the issue Feb. 24. In the documents, the deal with the government was listed among “Wins for Toyota” in an internal presentation by Yoshimi Inaba, chairman and CEO of Toyota Motors Sales U.S.A. in Washington last July 6. The documents were among thousands of pages turned over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. A second committee will met on Feb. 23 to discuss the Toyota recalls. “The question this raises is was the bottom line factored into Toyota’s decision

making,” said Kurt Bardella, a spokesman for the committee’s ranking Republican, Rep. Darrell Issa of California. Issa has acknowledged that his family owns four Prius models. “Did regulators do their due diligence once problems were brought to their attention? Did Toyota raise potential safety problems with regulators as soon as they knew a problem existed?” Toyota defended its commitment to safety. “Our first priority is the safety of our customers and to conclude otherwise on the basis of one internal presentation is wrong,” the company said in a prepared statement. “Our values have always been to put the customer first and ensure the highest levels of safety and quality.” Toyota has recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide in recent months because of sudden acceleration problems the company and regulators have connected to entrapped floor mats and potentially sticky accelerator pedals. A third recall covered more than 400,000 hybrid vehicles, including the popular Prius for faulty brakes. Earlier this month, before the hybrid recall, Toyota executives estimated that the unintended acceleration recalls would cost $2 billion in lost sales and cost of extra parts for repairs. Toyota stopped produc-

frame rail repair area. b. Inside the rail, inject a creeping wax based rust inhibitor compound through the existing holes in the frame ensuring 100% coverage including the space between the original frame rail and the reinforcing sleeve; using Mopar Cavity wax kit (part #68042969M) I Undercoating kit (part # 68042967AA) or equivalent. c. Apply a durable top coat to the outside of the repair area.

rail, centering them on cut edge. Clamp and tack the weld in position when proper fit is confirmed.

11. From the remaining replacement part, cut a 19mm strip from both the inner and outer rail. Clip off the weld flanges, top and bottom, and dress edges. These pieces will be the weld-backer. 12. Prepare welding equipment per the weld chart.

13. Install the weld-backers into the frame

14. Weld using a skip-stitch method until the full length of the joint is completed on both the inner and outer rail. To avoid excessive heat buildup, move between inner and outer rail during welding. 15. Dress welds without removing any base material paying particular attention to the mounting surface of the outer rail.

16. Reinstall bracket removed from left rail.

ing eight models in the U.S. from Jan 26 until Feb. 8. Analysts have said the cost could be higher. Toyota has said repeatedly that no malfunction in any of its vehicles’ electronic throttle system contributed to any incidents of unintended acceleration, which has been cited in hundreds of accidents, including 34 fatalities, according to NHTSA. But the automaker has offered a brakeoverride software remedy on 2007 through 2010 models of the Toyota Camry, Avalon, Lexus ES and IS models. Brake override ensures that the brakes will slow the vehicle if both accelerator and brake pedals are pressed at the same time. Toyota is making the brake override standard equipment on all Toyota and Lexus models by the end of 2011 model year, but it has refused to offer it on many of the 5 million vehicles covered by the floor mat and sticky pedal recalls. The estimated cost savings of more than $100 million was among nine points that Inaba’s presentation labeled as “Wins for Toyota.” In addition to the savings, Inaba made note that NHTSA had found no defect. That was before the Jan. 21 recall that found a possible defect in the gas pedals among 2.3 million vehicles, and the braking recall on Prius and other hybrid models.

17. Either install new or reposition the lower radiator crossmember and FESM structure and clamp in place and weld. 18. Install new front rail cap panel.

19. Dress the welded area and apply corrosion resistant coatings inside and out. a. Apply etch-primer to the inside of the

Note: Use Mopar Cavity wax kit (part # 68042969AA) I Undercoating kit (part # 68042967AA) or equivalent.

©2010 ALLDATA LLC. All rights reserved. All technical information, images and specifications are from ALLDATA Collision. ALLDATA is a registered trademark and ALLDATA Collision is a mark of ALLDATA LLC. All other marks are the property of their respective holders.

www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 21


Paint Management

Stefan Gesterkamp is a Master Craftsman and BASF representative who has been in the automotive paint industry for 27 years. He started his career in a custom shop before turning to collision repair. Stefan graduated from the University of Coatings and Colorants in Germany and is the author of “How to Paint Your Show Car.”

Compressors Affect your Spray Gun and your Paint Appearance with Stefan Gesterkamp

After my February column on spray-gun choices appeared in Autobody News, I was asked to clarify a point I made on CFM availability in the shop during peak air consumption. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and a spray gun’s peak performance is depending on proper air volume. Each spray gun is engineered and tuned, just like a carburetor, for a specific CFM consumption. Some spray guns ask for 89 CFM and others want 17 CFM or more for optimum performance. Less CFM consumption doesn’t automatically translate into a better quality spray gun; it simply means that it could be the better choice for your situation. Most manufacturers’ spray guns will consistently perform well and do exactly what they are designed to do, as long as you provide them with their basic pressure and volume requirements.

How do you know how much CFM you have available? The following is not a 100% scientific answer to that question, there are simply too many unknown (to me) variables in every shop’s situation, but it is a fairly reliable rule of thumb and it beats buying highly expensive equipment you are likely to use only once. Just look at the tag on your compressor for the necessary information and do the following math. A standard two-stage piston compressor produces about 4 CFM per HP (horsepower) and a screw drive compressor generates about 4.7 CFM per HP. Multiply your compressor’s HP rating by the appropriate CFM and you get your maximum CFM output. To have all of the potential CFM available to you, the air should be delivered to your work area in a 1½–2 inch pipe. Make sure that the connections from the compressor to any filter or dryer is also properly sized. Whenever possible, the pipe should be a closed loop system. The moment you close the pipes in a looped system, the pipe becomes a very effective storage reservoir. It also evens out the air

In January I-CAR appointed William (Bill) Stage to fill the newly created position of director of marketing & distribution. Stage will report to John Edelen, president and CEO of I-CAR. Stage arrives at I-CAR with more than 20 years of experience in the collision inter-industry and previously served as I-CAR director of Field Operations, Marketing and Product Development from 1990 through 1994. In addition to his previous experience with I-CAR, Stage most recently served as manager, Network Support Services for AkzoNobel Coatings, a position he held since 2007. From 1994 to 2006, Stage was vice president & director of Field Services for Mitchell International. Stage also owns SSR Collision Center in Alpharetta, GA. “I am very excited to join I-CAR at this time to assist in implementing the new programs developed under John Edelen's leadership,” said Stage. “The I-CAR staff and volunteers are a dedicated group of individuals committed to improving the industry and I am proud to be a part of the team.” In his new role as Director of Marketing and Distribution, Stage has been tasked with taking a body of work two years in the making to the next level. The role-based training curriculum known as

the Professional Development Matrix realigns the I-CAR curriculum into a framework for industry training based upon an individual’s role and level of experience and responsibility. “It’s important to me that we engage every segment of the industry around this body of work. Central to this curriculum model is the I-CAR vision that every person in the collision industry, current and future, has the necessary knowledge and Bill Stage skills relevant to their position to achieve a complete and safe repair,” said Stage. “I’m very excited to serve I-CAR and the inter-industry at a greater capacity as a member of I-CAR’s leadership team.” “I want to reassure our volunteers and instructors that they play a key component in our role-based training curriculum, as they administer and deliver training to the industry,” said Stage. “ICAR’s history and 30 year legacy was built by volunteers and instructors many of whom are still involved with I-CAR today, it is our vision that we continue to be defined by the industry that is our future.”

The Relationship between your Compressor, your Spray Gun and the Final Appearance of your Paint Finish

New I-CAR Director for Curriculum Work

22 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

availability to each work station. All of your quick-disconnect couplers in the paint department should be 3/8 of an inch in diameter. Many shops are still using ¼ inch couplers or wall regulators with too low of a CFM rating and can’t figure out why the paint jobs are not as nice as they hoped for. Leave the rest of the shop on ¼ inch couplers. Nobody in your shop is as dependent on CFM as your painter and he deserves to get preferential treatment when it comes to air supply. Most shops don’t have a dedicated compressor for the paint department. In that case, you must deduct the air consumption of all other air tools that could potentially be used at the same time from the total CFM produces. By deducting all of the potential air tool CFM consumption from the total volume produced, you get a good idea what type of spray-gun you can consistently support in your shop. Be sure to consult the air tool owner’s manual for the actual CFM consumption of each tool. Following are some general figures for the most frequently used tools in our industry. A standard DA sander consumes about

10–15 CFM and an air buffer 20–25 CFM. A wide-open air blower could use as much as 35–40 CFM. The length of your air hose is also a factor in the calculation; you can lose an additional 1 CFM for each 10 feet of hose over the standard 32-foot length. Depending on the type and the manufacturer of your quick-disconnect couplers, you may lose as much as 7 CFM for each quick-disconnect coupler the air has to travel through. One last comment about CFM. Your air supply is only as good as the weakest link in the system. If your air volume is restricted anywhere between the compressor and the gun, your available volume can’t be more than the restriction allows to pass through. For example, if the compressor is hooked to the main line with only a ¾ inch pipe, it doesn’t matter what you do after that restriction, you can only access the volume that passes through that pipe. Whether it’s 100 HP or 10 HP compressors wouldn’t matter. Last but not least, all pressure regulators and filtration systems should be rated for sufficient CFM pass-through.


Technological Advancements In Overspray Collectors, part one by Rand Schweizer — Chemco Mfg. Co. Inc.

This is part one of a two-part article condensed from a longer article by Rand Schweizer. You can read the full article courtesy of Chemco Mfg at their website: www.chemcomfg.com/ articles/articles-tipsoverspray-collectors.html

Introduction From today’s vantage point, the industrial finishing industry’s technical challenges of the 1960s through most of the 1980s were pretty straightforward. Conventional air spray equipment was the predominant application technology. Most finishers were spraying low-solids, solvent-based coatings. Frequently, production painting was done in waterwash spray booths that operated for weeks, sometimes even months,

Fig. 1. Expanded paper paint overspray collector.

with little maintenance. Over time, the booth’s water tank would fill with the captured overspray solids. The water-saturated sludge cake was manually removed from the tank over a weekend and production resumed the following Monday morning without a hitch. Intermittent or batch spray painting was generally done in dry filter spray booths. Typically, these booths were equipped with either expanded paper (see Fig. 1), accordion-style pleated paper, or spun fiberglass paint overspray collectors. Depending on the finishing process particulars, these collectors were capable of capturing 85–97% of the overspray entrained in the booth’s exhaust air stream. Most of the remaining overspray was deposited in the booth’s back section, on the exhaust duct’s interior walls, and on the exhaust fan blades. Any residual overspray still entrained in the exhaust was emitted to the atmosphere.

How Do They Work? Overspray is the paint mist produced as a byproduct of spray application processes. As the cost of industrial coatings has increased, finishers have worked to maximize their application process transfer efficiency. They have a double incentive to minimize overspray. By definition, over-

spray isn’t applied to substrates; therefore, it is wasted. Additional expense is incurred to capture and dispose of this wasted atomized paint. In spite of the use of higher transfer efficiency spray technologies, such as HVLP, electrostatic air spray, and automatic rotational atomizers, more than 30% of all spray-applied liquid industrial coatings end up as overspray. During 1998, U.S. industrial finishing operations produced more than 90 million gallons of liquid paint overspray. Recent advancements in collector testing procedures have produced laboratory test data that challenge the accepted rules-of-thumb on how collectors actually capture overspray. The arresting process is more complex than previously thought. Most modern collectors utilize a combination of physical principles to capture and retain overspray from spray booth exhaust air streams. At the end of the 20th century almost all overspray collectors utilize one or a combination of several types of mechanical filtration. Traditional air filtration technology teaches us there are three mechanical filtration processes that may be used to remove foreign particles from a moving air stream. 1. Impingement, also known as impaction 2. Interception 3. Straining Impingement is the process by which the larger (typically 0.10 microns) overspray particles are captured. As the oversprayladen exhaust air stream approaches the face of the arresting media, the individual air molecules begin to align themselves with the openings in collector face. The larger overspray droplets have too much forward inertia to follow the surrounding air molecules as they zig and zag through the collector’s staggered openings. Figure 2 shows an overspray droplet about to be impinged on the front face of an expanded

Fig. 2. Impingement.

paper collector even as the air shifts laterally to pass through the openings in each

ply of the media. Depending upon the process dynamics of a given spray booths, as much as 80% of the total mass of the entrained overspray may be impinged on the collector’s face. An additional 15 to 18% of the overspray is removed as the exhaust air stream passes through the successive stages or layers of the filter media. The remaining 2 to 5% (the smallest droplets) pass into the exhaust plenum to be deposited on the fan blades or the exhaust duct. Droplets making it past these impediments pass into the atmosphere. Interception is the primary process utilized in spun fiberglass collectors. It is also a secondary capturing process at work in many impingement collectors. The effectiveness of the interception process is directly proportional to the number of intercepting surfaces in the media. Arrestance by interception occurs when overspray droplets make accidental contact with a media element while entrained in the exhaust air stream passing through the media pad. Interception requires the individual overspray droplets to remain at-

Fig. 3. Interception.

tached to the filter element for the remainder of the collector’s functional life. Although many overspray droplets are relatively sticky, most interception collectors are tackified—coated with a sticky substance, usually an oil or a pressure-sensitive resin by the media manufacturer. Interception collectors are more effective in capturing larger overspray droplets than smaller ones. Experience shows that smaller fibers are more likely to retain droplets than larger ones. Additional factors having a positive impact on the performance of interception media include the air velocity—slower is better than faster, the depth of the media—thicker media increases the probability that a droplet will make contact with a fiber, and the fiber density— the closer adjacent fibers are to each other the greater the likelihood that interception will occur. Figure 3 depicts an overspray droplet making contact with a fiber element as the exhaust air carries it through the collector. Read part two in April’s Autobody News.

www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 23


SCRS Expands Repairer Education Presence at SEMA—ASRW will be Mid-week in October

In a move that will fuel the contest for the hearts and minds of collision repairers between ASA (which sponsors the NACE/CARS events) and AAIW (which supports AAPEX and SEMA)—the 2010 SEMA Paint & Body Equipment (PBE) area will be growing due to a new affiliation between SEMA and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). SCRS will be collaborating with SEMA as the host of REPAIRER DRIVEN EDUCATION, which will be premiering this year within the show and resulting in a larger SEMA footprint dedicated to the collision repair industry. “We look forward to working with the SCRS to develop a valuable and relevant educational program,” said SEMA VP of marketing and member services Tom Myroniak. Typically featuring 50–60 sessions throughout the week, the educational program is one of the cornerstones of the annual trade-only event. “As more and more attendees at the SEMA Show become interested in the paint and body market, it is becoming increasingly more important to incorporate seminars targeted specifically to this audience,” said Myroniak. “Working with the SCRS will be instrumental in helping us deliver value to this growing group.” REPAIRER DRIVEN EDUCATION at SEMA will feature a wide array of topics

and course selections focused on bringing education and information covering relevant issues that impact collision repairers across the nation. In addition to the educational offerings and collaborative work in the PBE wing of the show, SCRS will be holding their fall board meeting at the SCRS headquarter hotel, the Las Vegas Hilton. These meetings will be held in conjunction with other industry events, such as the Collision Industry Conference (CIC), to be held at the same location. “SCRS’ longstanding mission has been to educate, inform and represent the collision repair professional,” stated SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg. “A venue such as this certainly provides a stimulating and exciting environment to build upon the educational focus of our activity, and we are looking forward to a bright future of possibilities for our industry as we collaborate to bring enhanced collision industry offerings to the SEMA Show.” “Responding to our membership’s needs and desired direction has always been one of the strong traits of SCRS,” added SCRS Chairman Barry Dorn. “Through ongoing discussions with our membership, it is obvious that there is a strong desire to participate, and have representation, in this event. Partnering with SEMA to significantly enhance the offerings available to our indus-

I-CAR Announces 2010 International Board of Directors

I-CAR announced its 2010 International Board of Directors and Executive Committee following the I-CAR Annual Membership Meeting in Torrance, CA. The 2010 Executive Committee consists of: Chair Tom Moreland, AkzoNobel; Vice Chair Elise Quadrozzi, Crawford & Company; Secretary Dustin Womble, Roger Beasley Collision Center for SCRS; Treasurer Bob Keith, CARSTAR; Past Chair Robby Robbs, NuCon Services Inc.; MemberAt-Large Bruce Bares, Hi-Tech Collision & Glass Centers; and Member-At-Large William Brower, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. “Over 30 years ago, I-CAR was created to educate the industry on the proper repair of unibody vehicles. As today’s vehicles are complex and roles in the industry are diverse, it only makes sense for I-CAR to pursue a role-based curriculum model to better serve the collision inter-industry,” said Moreland. “The I-CAR International Board of Directors appreciates the work staff, instructors, and volunteers are doing to develop, implement, and deliver continuous improvement of the curriculum that is truly relevant and beneficial to industry professionals.”

The remaining directors include: Farzam Afshar, Verifacts Automotive; Terry W. Angell, Warren Tech; Rollie Benjamin, ABRA Auto Body & Glass; Bruce Cooley, DuPont Performance Coatings; William DeGrocco, GEICO Insurance; Ronald Doerr, General Motors Corp.; Chris Evans, State Farm Insurance Education Foundation Rep; David Henderson, See Progress, Inc.; Joseph Laurentino, Esurance; John Norton, Ford Motor Company; Sam Pezzullo, State Farm Canadian Representative; Greg Potter, Dearborn Group Technology for Equipment & Tool Institute; Monica Rivers, BMW of North America, LLC; Mike Schoonover, Schoonover Bodyworks for Automotive Service Association; and James Spears, USAA. The board of directors sets the overall strategic direction for the organization and assists in obtaining resources in support of the I-CAR Mission. The board of directors is comprised of representatives from each of the following six industry segments: collision repair; insurance; equipment, tools, and supplies; education, training, and research; vehicle manufacturers; and related industry services.

24 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

try makes a lot of sense, and we are ecstatic to build upon what is shaping out to be a very strong foundation between SCRS and the SEMA Show.” “We’re constantly adapting to changes in the industry,” notes Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO. “We challenge ourselves to deliver high value to both exhibitors and attendees, all with the goal of providing them with a show that is current and relevant.” Manufacturers interested in exhibiting at the SEMA Show will be able to access space rental agreements in mid-March. Attendee registration for the event opens in May. Updated information is available at www.semashow.com. The third annual Automotive Service & Repair Week, ASRW 2010, announced that Jerry Burns will return as the event chairman for the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE); and Mitch Schneider will serve as the event chairman for the Congress of Automotive Repair & Service (CARS). The ASRW 2010 events will take place Oct. 11–13 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas (no longer during AAIW). ASRW will now be a stand-alone event specifically created for all automotive service and repair professionals. Eucational programs are scheduled Oct. 1013, a Sunday through Wednesday. Exhibits will be open from Oct. 11–13.

Collision Industry Foundation to Auction Donations for Charity The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) is planning to continue its success of raising funds through its online EBay Store to benefit the charitable causes of the collision repair industry by having a 2010 drive to collect items for the online auction. Last year, the EBay efforts raised $12,000 towards the Blanket the City Detroit project, giving to local food banks in need for the hardest hit region of our country. As a continuation of the many good works of CIF, the goal of this drive is to fund projects, new and established, such as Recycled Rides title transfer grants, industry grant assistance, disaster relief funding, and more. The CIF EBay Store needs donations of any item that can be auctioned through the popular bidding website EBay such as tickets to sports games, hotel stays, memorabilia, or any other item that could have value. It is not required to be related to automotive; there is no limit to the possibilities that can be donated to the program. The CIF EBay store is perpetual, but a major push for a group of items will be due by March 31st. To donate an item please contact the CIF Admin Office at (804) 427-6982, email: collisionindustryfoundation@gmail.com (no hyphen).

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Ask Dale

Dale has been Collision Industry Conference Chairman 1999–2000; a Lifetime Member (since 2001) of Society Of Collision Repair Specialists. He is a National Auto Body Council Founding Member and Director; a C.I.E.C.A. Founding Member, Director, and Chairman. Contact Dale at DaleSR@cox.net.

Parts and Car Sales, City Vehicles, Standards for Associations with Dale Delmege

The dealer owner where we buy most of our parts for a certain line of cars approached us with a proposition. In return for an extra discount on parts, he wants us to pass along customer names as new car sales prospects. Anything wrong with that?

Not for the dealer. He’s entitled to use whatever information he can dig up. But without the customer’s unequivocal prior permission it’s a foolish risk for you, no mater what the additional discount is worth. Your knowledge of the customer’s identity is not your property to use to your benefit. In any case, in this age of privacy sensitivity, sooner or later a customer will claim to have been damaged somehow by your “unauthorized” disclosure. Incidentally I know of some DRP’s where even a first offense in this department will result in immediate and irreversible termination. Our competitor seems to have just about all the city and county vehicle collision repair business pretty well locked up. Does this traditionally go up for bids? How do we go after it? Don’t you have enough in your life to de-

press you already? This is highly political, low-profit, low-quality, shop-clogging business. Unless you like doing $2000 jobs for $1600, leave it to the guys that fix taxis. Try this instead: Go make some good sales calls on the HR departments of at the one or two non-profit agencies in your area with the most employees. Provide them with special cards for them to give their employees that will produce an automatic $10 or $25 contribution to the agency for each employee’s car fixed at your shop. Dale, Settle a bet. My brother says me driving my most expensive car to my shop every day makes the employees resentful. I say that good employees are motivated by seeing the material benefits of hard work. You lose. I hope you bet him the car.

We have been a dues-paying member of our state trade association for many years. It’s been beneficial learning and sharing best practices. But recently the association has become very aggressive politically, hiring a lobbyist to confront insurers with

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the Insurance Commissioner and publishing “consumer education” materials that have an anti-insurer flavor. Is our membership going to cost us business? Not unless you’re a conspicuous spokesman for the new aggressiveness. But at some point you will have to ask yourself whether everyone your dues are supporting are worthy fellow members of your profession. If you can’t remember the last time your association kicked out somebody for not being up to its standards, what’s the point of being part of it?

We used to belong to a paint company “20 group” where we compared numbers three or four times a year. What are considered good basic operating numbers these days?

Circumstances and regions vary, of course, but you really need to be at least in the low 40’s at the gross margin line to have enough left over for sufficient retained earnings to keep strengthening the business. Nobody on the property should be cashing a bonus check for a month below 40%. With margins on parts typically below 30%, you need your gross margin on direct labor at 60% or more including benefits. Also, if your paint & materials sales are less than 10% of total sales in any quarter, your estimators need some more training. Indirect labor needs to be at or below 12% of sales, and rent shouldn’t get much beyond 5% of sales unless you’re the landlord. Get back in a 20-group, but pick critically. They range from pointless to priceless.

Ford and Hyundai Excel in Brand Loyalty, Toyota Still No. 1

Ford Motor Company vehicles accounted for four of the top five vehicles for customer brand loyalty, according to recent industry analysis from Experian Automotive. The analysis, compiling industrywide automotive trends for the third quarter of 2009, also saw Hyundai performing strongly with gains in overall market share and increased new vehicle registration. From the second to third quarter of 2009, Ford customers continued to show strong loyalty for the Ford brand. Ford’s Fusion, Edge, Flex and Five-Hundred models were all within the top five vehicles for customer brand loyalty at 61.8 percent, 57.8 percent, 57.6 percent and 56.3 percent, respectively. Ford Freestyle had the 10th highest brand loyalty at 47.6 percent. Hyundai performed strongly in the third quarter by gaining 2.2 percentage points in overall market share and experiencing a 30.1 percent increase in new vehicle registrations. Ford also saw improvements in market share, growing by 1.1 percentage points, and in new vehicle registrations, growing by 5.1 percent for the quarter. “Given the extraordinary challenges in the current economy, Ford and Hyundai showed positive growth,” said Jeff Anderson, director of Consulting and Analytics for Experian Automotive. “Both were able to pick up market share gains and improve on their customer loyalty. This gain in momentum should see these companies well-positioned for success when the market turns around.” While Ford had a strong presence in brand loyalty, Toyota’s new Venza model was No. 1 in brand loyalty at 63.2 percent. Toyota’s Prius (51.8 percent) and Camry (48 percent) came in at numbers

seven and nine, respectively. When it came to corporate loyalty, Toyota moved ahead of GM to take the top spot. Ford followed closely in third place. Other insights from Experian Automotive’s analysis included: ● Hyundai’s corporate loyalty rose to fifth overall to nearly tie with Honda at almost 40 percent loyalty. ● The Cash for Clunkers program (July 1, 2009, to Aug. 24, 2009) accounted for a quarter of Q3 2009 new vehicle registrations. Toyota led brand loyalty among participants, with 41 percent of those who disposed of a Toyota purchasing another Toyota vehicle. ● Cross-Over Vehicles and Small Car– Economy were the two fastest-growing vehicle segments, gaining 50,747 and 49,698 more registrations, respectively, year over year. Full-Size pickup trucks saw the largest decline with 114,613 fewer registrations than in the same quarter for 2008. “For several quarters now, the industry has worked diligently to better understand the ever-evolving landscape of consumer tastes in vehicles,” said Scott Waldron, president of Experian Automotive. “The recent shifts in consumer loyalty, corporate market share and vehicle class preferences show that building future success will come from increased knowledge of the changes in consumer buying habits today.” However, the brands seeing the biggest upswing in owner loyalty during the initial aftermath of the Toyota recalls are Korean and Big 3 automakers, according to Kbb.com, which also pointed out that brand consideration and loyalty for Toyota has eroded. Kia and Hyundai appear to show the steepest upward movement.

www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 25


a s n -

Company Connections

BASF Responds to ABN’s Questions on Newer Refinish Processes Autobody News was recently able to ask Hans Kempf, Regional Training Instructor in charge of Course Development at BASF Automitive Refinish, for some observations about recent trends in waterborne and other refinish issues. ABN ► What is the approximate growth rate of BASF waterborne product sales? Has it plateaued or is it growing steadily in non-mandated waterborne areas?

HK ◄ Growth continues to be strong in all areas and we expect it will continue to increase.

ABN ► Is consumption of waterborne product becoming more efficient with experience and training, i.e., do painters and their shops get cost benefits as they get more experience? HK ◄ We have found the learning curve to be very short for both the Glasurit 90Line and the Onyx HD product lines. The degree and type of benefits that are associated with switching to waterborne are both shop and technician dependant. It can be said that at some shops do in fact experience speed and material use efficiencies once they have completed the transistion to a low VOC portfolio.

ABN ► Is air management more or less critical with newer formulations of BASF product? Can you be specific about how important air (humidity, cleanliness, and temperature) is to proper application of the product? HK ◄ There have been few changes in the formulations of our waterborne basecoat over the last several years, which is to say that things remain the same. The drying mechanism of all waterborne paints require good airflow, this importance increases as the relative humidity rises. BASF recommends a clean and temperature controlled environment for all our paint systems, not just the waterborne products. Just like for higher VOC systems, we have developed products and procedures for spraying our low VOC products over a broad range of temperatures. ABN ► How involved is BASF with the data providers and their cost estimates?

HK ◄ Because we understand the importance of accurately estimating material cost, BASF is willing to provide the appropriate information necessary for data providers to create accurate estimating systems. ABN ► Let’s just “air” some issues with

current refinish processes and get your initial thoughts:

Color matching and mixing HK ◄ Color adjustment and tinting is a necessary evil in our industry as OEM color variations continue to be problematic. The OEM color palette continues to expand bringing more complex colors that must be adjusted at the shop level. So many painters have had little to no real training that creates an understanding around color adjustment. Certainly, the training centers around BASF Color Tools and information: ColorMax, SmartTrak, SmartSCAN and how to use these tools most effectively. When colors still need to be adjusted, our training’s approach is to distill color into its basic components that are analyzed individually and corrected separately. It also instills into the painter what toner characteristics to consider when adjusting and their effects. This is a straight forward, step by step process that replaces the old confusing “trial by error approach” so many painters have struggled through. Spray gun operation and cleaning HK ◄ Throughout all of our technical courses there is a strong emphasis on proper usage of any spray gun regardless of what brand. Students are coached with the basics: overlap, distance, speed and proper pressure, but also on more effective techniques of application such as back-blending and proper clearcoat blending. An understanding of gun set up and tip/cap choice is taught, which is absolutely critical for any painter. Through the new EPA regulations, cleaning is limited to using enclosed gun cleaners or hand disassembly, both aspects are thoroughly reviewed with painters.

Spray booth maintenance and management HK ◄ The properly operating spray booth defines the heart beat of any collision shop, but it can also be the “Achilles Heel” as well. BASF training covers the basics of booth operation and maintenance including filter change-out schedules, filter media requirements, proper velocity testing, balancing and troubleshooting. Clear and primer training HK ◄ Although a large amount of effort goes into proper training of waterborne basecoats to meet new VOC regulations, clearcoat and primers are also being affected by these same rules. Proper instruction into both VOC compliant products and National Rule is conducted covering topics such as: prep and sanding, cleaning, application, film build, equipment, dry

26 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

time, productivity and blending/repairing. New products are continuously being introduced to make our customers more profitable. What better way to learn about these than where the expertise really lies, in a BASF training class.

Low VOC, solvent-based product HK ◄ With the established and impending low VOC legislation, it is crucial for our customers to feel comfortable with BASF’s compliant product portfolio. Although many application and performance aspects of these products are superior to traditional solvent based products, people resist and fear what is unfamiliar to them, this is understandably just human nature. Developing an understanding around these products is done to ease this transition. Although BASF continues to lead the industry’s development with low VOC products, many products have been successful in the collision industry for many years already. BASF Training highlights these products and presents a digestible approach to transitioning to compliancy.

BASF Expands Lean Education

BASF has dramatically expanded its Lean educational program for customers. BASF’s Lean program used to offer a half-day introduction to Lean, giving collision centers a high-level overview of Lean concepts. BASF’s Lean education component of VPU now includes three additional programs. ● Launching Lean (VPU-031) is a twoday workshop that demonstrates fundamental concepts. This is the first step in implementing a continuous improvement business model. ● Lean Implementation (VPU-032) is a three-day workshop centered around a body shop simulation that guides customers in identifying non-value added activities, exploring methods for reducing waste and developing ways to measure success. ● Leading a Lean Culture (VPU-033) is a seminar for those considering a lean business model in which customers assess their individual businesses and establish a plan for Lean implementation.

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Company Connections

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Performance Radiator Stresses Consistency of Product and Service With 57 warehouses in the U.S. and Canada, Performance Radiator has grown steadily since opening its initial location in 1988. Owner and CEO Mike Carr, 50, founded the company out of a duplex in Seattle, Washington, after working for a radiator retailer for five years.

Performance Radiator carries an inventory of $15 million in radiators, A/C condensers and vacuum parts, as well as various related radiator, exhaust and A/C components.

“When I saw a need for a radiator distribution company that could deliver a quality product on a consistent basis to shops throughout North America, I knew I

could fill a void in the market,” Carr said. “I was convinced that my concept would work if I could get the right products and the right people, and it has proven to be a solid business model.” Over the years, Performance Radiator has added an average of five new warehouses per year. In 2002, the company purchased PWI, Inc., and took over their nationwide locations. Performance now has warehouses located from Miami to Anchorage. Performance Radiator employs more than 400 people and carries an inventory of $15 million in radiators, A/C condensers and vacuum parts, as well as various related radiator, exhaust and A/C components. The company owns a fleet of over 200 delivery trucks. Consistency of product is a big reason for the steady growth of Performance Radiator. “We use the same suppliers for all our locations,” Carr said. “Our approach is simple—we get the best parts we can from highly reliable sources that meet even the most stringent OE specs. We will never

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purchase inferior parts just to re-sell them at a profit.” With more than 28 years of experience in the radiator and A/C industry, Carr knows a quality part from an inferior one instantly. “A lot of aftermarket manufacturers claim that they make parts that are OEM-compatible,” he said. “But, they’re certainly not what I would put in my car. We’ve found many of the aftermarket radiators use lesser grade materials or are poorly designed.” Performance Radiator purchases its parts from reputable sources only and has been using many of the same vendors for 22 years. “We get the majority of our parts from the same OE plants in Thailand that make all of the parts for Suzuki, Kawasaki,

With 57 warehouses in the U.S. and Canada, Performance Radiator has grown steadily since opening its initial location in 1988.

Honda and Mitsubishi. The main difference between what we buy and the aftermarket is that the companies we deal with build 98 percent of their own parts, including oil coolers, tanks, tubes and header design, using all of our tooling. And we don’t use 50 different companies for our parts, either. 70 percent of what we sell is made in one factory. By doing it that way, we can monitor the quality from start to finish.” When it comes to competing against the recycled/remanufactured industry and the aftermarket, Performance Radiator is confident in how they stack up. “We feel we have better coverage and a superior product overall,” Carr said. “We think we know the business better. We realize that price is very important, but we don’t ever undercut our competition on price. We see the value of the job hinging not just on price, but also on service, availability and the overall quality of the part. The lowest price is not always the smart buy.” A large part of Performance Radiator’s business comes from body shops who respect the company’s quality products, reasonable prices, quick delivery and industry experience. “We particularly pride ourselves on our knowledge and service. We have a ton of tenured employees working for us, with

more than 20 people who have been with the company for a minimum of 15 years in this industry. Same-day delivery is another convenience we offer our body shop customers. With cycle times as a priority, shops appreciate the fact that we can get them their parts within four hours, in most cases.” Performance Radiator markets itself to shops through a variety of methods, including their Web site (www.performanceradiator.com), outside sales reps, and direct mail. Knowing specifically what shops need and meeting those needs is a major priority for the company. “We know how important it is for body shops to get the right parts for a job, on time and within their budget. Time spent waiting around for parts that end up not fitting can kill a shop, because while they’re sitting around, it’s costing them money and skewing their cycle times. Money can evaporate quickly in this industry—and we know thatso we’re always trying to find new ways to serve our shop customers better,” Carr said. Business has been uneven recently but Carr sees a bright future for Performance Radiator once the dust created by the recession settles. “People are taking the insurance money and keeping it,” Carr said. “Plus, cars are being totaled out by the insurance companies much easier nowadays, which has directly affected us in a major way.” What does the immediate future look like for his industry? Carr is hopeful, yet understandably cautious.

Performance Radiator owns a fleet of over 200 delivery trucks.

“There will be a nationwide shakeout, where some companies fall by the wayside while others consolidate their operations. We’ll survive, but it will be rocky for a while until the credit market opens up. The market will stabilize at some point, but there will be fewer players in this segment. In many ways, it’s a natural progression.” Performance Radiator 3901 First Avenue South Seattle, Washington 98134 (877) 723-4286

www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 27


On Creative Marketing

Tom Franklin has been a sales and marketing consultant for forty years. He has written numerous books and provides marketing solutions and services for many businesses. He can be reached at (323) 871-6862 or at tbfranklin@aol.com.

Help Customers Avoid ‘Jackass Bends’ by Creating Channels with Thomas Franklin

In the 1940s, in the Spring the Missouri River, in the vicinity of Kansas City, would overflow from heavy Winter snows and Spring rains. The result was serious flooding of the surrounding land. One factor that made the flooding worse was the meandering nature of the river, and one of the worst meanders was locally called “Jackass Bend” where severe flooding was nearly an annual event. To resolve this situation, the U.S. Corps of Engineers dug a straight new channel several miles South of the old one called the Liberty Bend cutoff, and dammed up the old channel. And they built a new bridge across the new channel called the Liberty Bridge. I’ve noticed that a number of shops put their customers through a few “Jackass Bends” just to get their vehicle repaired. Forms must be filled in and a customer may have to wait for an estimator and then wait for a rental car. The popular buzzword of the day is “Lean Procedures,” with a focus on eliminating unnecessary steps and delays. Much of the emphasis is placed on lean production, but lean customer processing is equally important. Many shops thrive on customer referrals and a customer subjected to a series of “Jackass Bends” is not likely to go out of the way to refer the shop. A recent survey of health care systems in other countries noted that countries that use a health care data card similar to a credit card, can keep many doctor visits to just a few minutes. All of the patient’s medical and physical information is on the card and can be accessed in seconds. The card is updated after the visit, so the patient need never fill in a form on the next visit. Today most drivers licenses have a magnetic strip like a credit card. Using a card reader may enable a shop to capture much of a customer’s information from the drivers license without having a form filled out. But this concept opens the door to even better time savings along with a marketing advantage. If a shop acquires the technology to create a collision customer data card of its own, the customer can walk away with a piece of plastic that identifies everything about his or her vehicle plus all of the repairs and parts installations that have been made. The next visit will require practically no data capturing at all. Will the customer keep this card in his or her purse or wallet? Possibly not, but most astute shops now provide every customer with an accident information pamphlet or booklet to keep in the glove compartment. It’s a simple move to add a slot or pocket to hold the data card. People are naturally inclined to follow the easiest path. This strategy alone

can incline most customers to return to the shop to get handled more quickly and avoid tiresome form filling. But there is a way to get even more mileage out of the data card. By adding a master code number to the card and keeping that master code along with this customer’s data on the shop’s computer system, the customer need not even come into the shop to begin the process of getting set up for the next repair. The code could be sent by e-mail, fax, phone, or entered into a preset area on the shop’s website. When the customer arrives, he or she simply drops off the vehicle.

28 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

If this was all of the value a shop could get from providing a data card, it would be well worthwhile, but this is only the beginning. The card can now be used for additional sales and marketing advantages. If a shop also has a vehicle maintenance division, tires, brakes, air conditioning service, tune-ups and other reminders can be programmed in. If a shop sells accessories, winterizing products and other seasonal items can be promoted. Today’s credit cards have enormous data storage capabilities. These items won’t even begin to overload the card’s capacity.

Finally, for the shop owner who is really serious about getting the most out of a data card system, there is the added possibility of links. The Internet is filled with websites that earn all revenue from advertisements on the site. A shop can offer promotional connections on the card to a local car wash, car rental facility, automatic transmission repair shop and other related businesses. All of these advantages can be had by simply eliminating “Jackass Bends” and creating a new channel for data to flow. By the way, I really hope the current snowfalls in the east and southeast don’t cause serious flooding.


Collision Repair Students are Well-Prepared for the Real World by Dustin Henggeler, NNL writer This article is reprinted with the kind permission of the Nodaway News Leader, Maryville, MO.

They don’t have desks or written tests to take each week, but you’d better believe these students are learning something everyday. The new collision repair class at the Northwest Technical School [in Maryville, MO], taught by Ron Wiederholt, gives the students just what they need to learn; hands-on experience on real vehicles. “What’s so great about this type of work is that you’re not working on an assembly line, doing the same thing everyday,” said Wiederholt. “You face a new project every day. Even if it’s the same spot on a vehicle, you will need to do different types of repairs in order to get a car looking new again.” From fender benders to complete restoration of older cars, Wiederholt’s students never see the exact same project twice and are always kept busy. Students come to the class from as far away as Mound City, Craig/Fairfax and North Andrew, or as close to home as Northeast Nodaway and Maryville. Adults are welcome to take the class, too; in fact, two are currently in the class: one is 63 years old, proof that it’s never too late to learn or pick up a hobby.

Completely needing restored, one of Wiederholt’s own muscle cars is a project many of the students are working on with hopes that it will be finished

by the end of the school year. Earlier in the year, the students also completely rebuilt a military vehicle that is now being used by local volunteer firefighters. And on top of just repairing cars, the students are also constructing and painting vehicles that they give away for those who cannot afford a fully-operational car. Having owned his own auto-body shop for 10 years, Wiederholt knows the importance of keeping up with the times and does his best to offer these new techniques to his class. Learning about the care and repair of hybrid vehicles is something his class takes part in, keeping their expertise on anything from old school to cutting edge. “The kids in here aren’t your typical students who enjoy science or math, but

Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) Adds Credit Card Processing Discounts to Member Benefits In an effort to boost their value-added membership benefits, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) announced a new benefit program designed to reduce credit card processing fees for Member companies. Joining with First National Merchant Solutions, ARA members can expect low rates, money savings, stability, excellent customer service, and no hidden fees. This program offers discounted rates for Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards, and also works with debit cards. ARA members can rest assured knowing that First National Merchant Solutions is one of the top ten credit card processors in the United States. It is owned by the First National Bank, Omaha, which is a family owned bank since 1857. They began processing credit cards in 1953 when credit cards were first established. First National Merchant Solutions is offering a free analysis of a facility’s credit card processing and will customize a program for the facility based on their needs. They will either save you money or tell you honestly that your current plan is better. There is no obligation attached to a free analysis, and it is worth the time to see if you can save hundreds, even thousands right to your bottom line. “We are excited to add yet another program to our strong line-up of valuable member benefits,” says Michael E. Wil-

son, ARA’s executive vice president. “Our goal is for members to keep as much money as possible in their pockets, and not have to pay out unnecessary fees. This is a reliable, safe and secure provider of credit card processing, and we are pleased that they have joined with the ARA to serve our members.” For more information, call ARA Director of Member Services, Kelly Badillo, at (888) 385-1005. Or, contact First National Merchant Solutions Senior Account Executive Paul Niss: Toll-free: 1 (800) 228-4411 x 6897 main office In Boston: (508) 740-7734 In Florida: (954) 247-4644 E-mail: pn01@comcast.net Or visit www.firstnationalmerchants.com for more information. About ARA Established in 1943, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) represents an industry dedicated to the efficient removal and reuse of “green” automotive parts, and the proper recycling of inoperable motor vehicles. ARA represents over 4,500 auto recycling facilities in the United States and fourteen other countries around the world. To learn more about the Automotive Recyclers Association, visit ARA online at www.a-r-a.org or call (571) 208-0428.

enjoy the hands-on experience,” Wiederholt commented. “When I show them something new in here, they’re always wide-eyed and ready to learn.” Though his class can handle 30 students, Wiederholt has only 15, but the plan is for more students next fall. And since this is his first year of offering the class, it’s hard to say where his students will be after graduation. Wiederholt knows that some of his students plan to come back next year, even if it’s post-secondary. The collision repair curriculum is a two-year program, so future students may plan to take it their junior year if the school district allows. Collision repair, a field that could only become extinct when we don’t use cars, will be a growth area. Wiederholt makes sure his students learn everything from the basics of the shop to the various techniques any repair project requires of a Mr./Mrs. Fix-it. “I make sure that the students know that a clean shop is the most important thing in terms of safety,” said Wiederholt. “I also give them new project partners everyday so they can get used to working with new people all the time. Students need to know how to work safe as part of a team, keeping the work area clean and safe as well.”

Women’s Industry Network Seeks Candidates for Board

The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) is seeking candidates to fill upcoming vacancies on the WIN board of directors in conjunction with WIN’s annual conference being held May 2–4, 2010 in Orlando, FL. Each seat will be for a period of two years, with the ability to be reelected to a second, two-year term. Although WIN membership is not required to be considered for a board position, preference in the selection process will be given to current WIN members. Prospective board members may join WIN at any time. For a downloadable board seat application and requirements go to WIN’s Web site at www.womensindustrynetwork.com or send an email to Margaret Knell, chair of WIN’s governance committee at margaret.knell@i-car.com. Completed applications should be submitted by Feb. 26, 2010. Applications may be sent via mail, fax, or e-mail (preferred) to the following: Margaret Knell, c/o I-CAR, 5125 Trillium Blvd, Hoffman Estates, IL 60192, Phone: (847) 590-1198 x222; Fax: (888) 422-7222 WIN is still accepting sponsors for 2010. For more details on becoming a WIN sponsor go to: http://www.womensindustrynetwork.com/WINCorporatesponsors/tabid /59/Default.aspx (no hyphens).

Tennessee House’s Anti-Steering Legislation

Both the Tennessee House of Representatives and the state’s Senate currently are reviewing bills that would require insurers to inform claimants of their right to choose a repair facility. The bill also would prohibit insurers from requiring insureds or third-party claimants to use a certain business for their vehicles’ repairs. The bill is labeled H.B. 3488 in the House, and S.B. 3455 in the Tennessee Senate. H.B.3488 is sponsored by Rep. Dennis Ferguson (D), while S.B. 3455 is sponsored by Sen. Ken Yager (R). Like many other recent consumer choice bills that have been filed throughout the United States in the last few months, the bill would add language to the state’s insurance code defining the term “deceptive referral” (known as the practice of steering by many). The bill would define a deceptive referral as “any trade practice by which

an insurer attempts to persuade, convince, coerce, or intimidate a claimant into changing the claimant’s choice of repair facility after the insurer has been informed that the claimant has selected a repair facility.” The bill reads as follows, “An insurer shall inform a claimant upon initial notification of a claim that the claimant has the right to choose the repair facility of his or her choice to repair a damaged vehicle.” It continues: “An insurer or any of its representatives shall not request or require any insured or third-party claimant to use a specific person or business for the provision of automobile physical damage repairs, automobile physical damage appraisals, automobile glass replacement, automobile parts, or glass repair service.” Both pieces of legislation were filed on January 28 and assigned to House’s Consumer and Employees Affairs Committee.

Data Recorders Now in Cars

Re: “What Went Wrong With My Toyota?” (letters, Feb. 6): The letter recommending a data recorder in cars like those in airliners to help the diagnosis of problems like those being experienced by Toyota owners is right on. But little known to the driving public is the fact that in many cars computers are already constantly recording vehicle

speed, throttle position, braking application, air bag deployment and a host of other vehicle operating characteristics. This information is routinely downloaded by law enforcement after serious accidents. If this information were made available to an impartial investigator in addition to Toyota, the mystery might be taken out of the current situation.

www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 29


Distinctive Dealerships

Mitsubishi Parts Departments Show Responsiveness to Body Shops The recent news on Mitsubishi is very positive. The manufacturer has established a strong brand for nearly 30 years making distinctive, well-designed, and solidlybuilt cars for American consumers. The brand is thriving, despite unsettled economic times, with over 3,000,000 vehicles manufactured and sold in the U.S.

The company’s employees’ hard work and innovative approach has paid off by earning the allegiance of an ever-growing loyal customer base and by unveiling a wide range of new products, including the IMiEV, their new new-generation electric vehicle, which hit the Japanese market late last year. Recently Mitsubishi has been getting consumer attention with its 2010 Outlander featuring state-of-the art electronics, including a communication system called Fuse, which is a credible rival for Ford’s Sync.

In October 2009, Mitsubishi recognized a milestone when the company celebrated the rollout of its three-millionth car at their North American facility in Normal, IL. Greeted with cheers by a crowd of over 800 Mitsubishi employees, the Rally Red 2010 Eclipse GT personified Mitsubishi's enduring commitment to its place in the American automotive market. Autobody News recently talked to parts managers at Mitsubishi dealerships in Florida and Alabama to find out how these encouraging indicators have affected their sales of collision parts. We wanted to find out how Mitsubishi is producing positive numbers in a tough market. Bill Penney Mitsubishi, Huntsville, AL Bill Penney Mitsubishi’s parts manager, Kerry Fitch, has been with the dealership since 1996, so he’s learned the brand from top to bottom, inside and out. He runs a small department with 1.5 employees and carries a bare bones inventory for several reasons. “A few years ago, our owner decided to reduce our inventory from approximately $160,000 to $50,000,” Fitch said. “With three stock deliveries every week

from Mitsubishi’s distribution center in Atlanta, we’re able to get pretty much anything we want within 1-2 days max.” Many dealerships throughout the country have become leaner overall, by reducing their parts inventories in the past year, and the change has worked well for Fitch. “We cut back because the thinking now is we can get anything we want quickly from the manufacturer, rather than sitting on parts that may not move quickly enough,” Fitch said. “If they take up space, why let them sit in our facility?” The fact that Mitsubishi builds cars to last is a Catch-22 situation for dealership service and parts departments nationwide, Fitch said. “These cars don’t break down as a rule,” he stated. “I’ve seen several Mitsubishis with more than 300,000 miles on them and they’re not even slowing down. I’ve owned three Mitsubishis, so I know how reliable they truly are. “And that’s one of the main reasons why we carry primarily crash parts and maintenance-related mechanical parts, as opposed to larger parts like engines and transmissions. We don’t need them here because these cars are so well-designed and built that it’s a rarity when we need one.” Carrying a smaller inventory doesn’t hamper Bill Penney Mitsubishi’s effectiveness in the wholesale game either, Fitch explained. “Our fill-rate is right around at 100%, because we’re very responsive to all of the shops we sell to. Body shops are focused on making money, and we know that. So, I’ll do anything I can to get that particular part in their hands. Our shop customers know we’re dedicated to performing for them and we’ve built a reputation of coming through over the years.” Like any other parts department, Bill Penney Mitsubishi is concerned about how to stay competitive with the aftermarket/remanufactured parts industry, Fitch said. “Our wholesale body shop customers tell us time and again that they prefer using OEM parts from the factory over the aftermarket, but our hands are tied. The insurance companies will lean toward the aftermarket or remanufactured/used parts right off. We don’t even get a chance to compare prices, in many instances. If I do get an estimate, I’ll always try to get as close as I can price-wise while still making a decent profit. Because in the end, we obviously have to make a profit to survive.” Fitch is optimistic about the future for body shops in his region, adding,“I talk at

30 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

length to our wholesale body shop customers, and they’re keeping busy most of the time. People still get in accidents and they need their cars fixed soon and that isn’t going to change.” Daytona KIA Mitsubishi, Daytona Beach, FL Ron Braithwaite, 61, has been the service manager at Daytona KIA Mitsubishi in Daytona Beach, Florida for seven years and possesses 43 years of total experience in parts and service at the dealership level. Braithwaite has been around cars his entire life and is proud to announce that Daytona is the #1 Mitsubishi dealership for sales in the United States. “I have always been a motorhead,” Braithwaite said. “I was raised in a mechanical world, working on outboard motors and any kind of engine you can imagine. That’s why I’m still having fun here. I don’t have any plans to retire, that’s for sure. “We’re proud of being the best, and we work very hard to stay number one. There’s a great attitude here that comes

from the ownership and affects every single employee. There’s a great environment here and it makes it a pleasure to come to work every day.”

Parts Manager Tim Hitchcock (left) and Service Manager Ron Braithwaite run the parts department at Daytona KIA Mitsubishi in Daytona Beach, Florida, the #1 Mitsubishi dealership in the U.S., based on new car sales.

Braithwaite supervises a parts department consisting of 2.5 employees (two full-time and one part-time counter person). Last year, Daytona KIA Mitsubishi did $276,000 in parts sales and carries an inventory of $180,000, split

Parts Parts you you Need. Need. People People you you Trust. Trust. Genuine Geenu nuin ine Mitsubishi Miittssubi M ubiisshi ub hi replacement rep epla epla lacceem meentt Crash Cra rash sh Parts Paarrts ts are are re close cloose se at at hand hanndd through ha thhrroouugghh the the he following follllow fo owing inng quality qual qu alit i y dealerships. deal de aller ersh er shiipps. They Thheey offer ooff offe ffer er exceptional exc xcep epti tioonnaall customer custo tom meer service, serv se rviicce, ce,, wide widde selection sseele lect ction ioon of of in-stock inn-ssttock oocck parts ppaarrtts and aannd the the experience th expe ex exp perriien enccee necessary enc nec eceesssa sary ry to to ensure enssuure ens en re your yoouur repairs rreeppaair irs proceed irs prooccee pr cee eed smoothly. ssm mooooth mo thly ly.

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equally between mechanical and crash parts. Auto body shops in his region of Florida are doing well, but there has been a shakeup over the past few years. “The little mom and pop shops that weren’t getting enough insurance work couldn’t survive,” Braithwaite said. “The bigger fish have swallowed some of the smaller ones, but the shops that are still here are doing quite well. Some of my larger shops have 50-60 vehicles in their facilities right now, while a handful of smaller independents are still thriving, doing 10-12 cars per week. It all comes to networking and establishing strong relationships with the community and the insurance companies.” Braithwaite has a stellar right hand man, Tim Hitchcock, who knows the local market and has the experience to reach out to the major players while not forgetting about their smaller clients. “Tim is a seasoned pro and he really knows the business climate here in this area,” Braithwaite said. “He’s worked on the dealership level in parts for more than a decade. Shops are always comfortable working with people who know them and Tim knows all of them. He’s our go-to Mr. Everything and he reaches out to the body shops in our neck of the woods on an ongoing basis. Our customers appreciate the extra efforts and Tim is ideal for that position.”

As a parts veteran, Braithwaite respects and appreciates the new technologies that have made the whole industry more efficient and responsive to shops’ needs. “In the old days, if you wanted to locate a part number, you had to pull out the microfilm and the catalogs,” Braithwaite said. “Now we have everything available to us and accessible within seconds and minutes instead of hours or days. We’re only as effective as the information we have and today we have so much more than we did even ten years ago. In the end, it helps the body shops, because they can drastically improve their cycle times and provide a better product. So everyone— dealerships, shops, insurance companies and car owners—work better and easier due to the newest technologies.” Crown Mitsubishi, Saint Petersburg, FL At Crown Mitsubishi, Steve Olinger, 43, oversees the parts department maintaining an inventory of approximately $100,000, split equally between mechanical and collision parts, he told Autobody News. Olinger is a youngster in the parts management field, but he has logged more than 18 years in the parts industry overall. Olinger runs a top crew with an assistant parts manager who’s been with Mitsubishi for over 13 years. “My right hand

Think About It

DO THE RIGHT THING ENOUGH TIMES, AND PEOPLE BEGIN TO NOTICE. Hyundai Sales Up More than 14% (year on year). In 2008 Hyundai became the world's fifth-largest automaker, with 7% market share in the United States.

The Hyundai Genesis— 2009 North American Car of the Year.

See these Hyundai dealers below for all your collision parts needs! FLORIDA

MISSISSIPPI

Bill Seidle Hyundai

Wilson Hyundai

MIAMI

JACKSON

305-635-4871

800-486-6871

305-633-5671 Fax

601-914-4200 601-914-4292 Fax

Mon-Fri 7am - 7pm Sat 8am - 3pm parts@billseidlehyundai.com www.billseidlehyundai.com

Mon-Fri 7am - 6pm parts@wilsonautos.com

guy, Mike Constantine, is the backbone of this department. He’s our point man when it comes to the brand and his knowledge, experience, and feel for the region really makes him invaluable.”

Parts Manager Steve Olinger (left) and Assistant Parts Manager Mike Constantine work hard to provide top-tier customer service to its wholesale collision clients at Crown Mitsubishi KIA in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

Olinger believes the quality of the Mitsubishi brand has helped his dealership holding its own while some other automakers throughout Florida have downsized or closed dealerships. “Mitsubishi owners are very loyal to the brand,” Olinger said. “They want [us] to fix them instead of replacing them. They will repair them at body shops, through independent shops and through our service center, because they know that these cars will last them and perform well for them in the long-term.”

With a fill-rate of 89%, Olinger said he can get all of his customers their parts fast, regardless of what they need and whether the items are in his inventory or not. “We’re in a ‘now’ society, so we have to think that way in everything we’re doing,” Olinger said. “If the other guy can beat my delivery by even a couple of hours, he’ll get the advantage and could win over some of my customers. But, now with three stock orders every week, it’s tough to beat us. Back in the old days, we received only one stock order from the distribution center per week. But now, with three, we’re providing better service and that’s the key. It gives us more flexibility and allows us to act quickly, which is the name of the game in this business.” Daytona KIA Mitsubishi 510 North Nova Road Daytona Beach, Florida 32114 (386) 252-7000 Bill Penney Mitsubishi 4810 University Drive NW Huntsville, Alabama 35816 (256) 837-1111

Crown Mitsubishi KIA 5500 34th Street North Saint Petersburg, Florida 33714 (727) 525-4990

Hyundai CEO Gets 2010 Automotive Hall Of Fame Citation The Automotive Hall of Fame awarded its 2010 Distinguished Service Citation to John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America president and CEO, on January 15. Hyundai’s long list of achievements in 2009 include sales growth of eight percent, outpacing the industry in market share gains, successfully piloting Hyundai Genesis to the company’s firstever North American Car of the Year honors and launching the innovative Hyundai Assurance vehicle return program. “The Distinguished Service Citation is aptly named, for it recognizes those leaders who have distinguished themselves for the outstanding service they provide to the motor vehicle industry and to their respective organizations,” said Jeffrey Leestma, president, Automotive Hall of Fame. “It’s a rare honor indeed. In 70 years, just 431 industry executives have received Distinguished Service Citations.” The

Automotive Hall of Fame honored four additional executives with its Distinguished Service Citation, including: Timothy M. Manganello, chairman and CEO of BorgWarner Inc.; Rodney O’Neal, CEO and president of Delphi Corporation; Jack Roush, chairman of the board of Roush Enterprises, Inc.; and Mary Ann Wright, vice president and managing director of Johnson Control’s Business Accelerator for Advanced Energy Storage Solutions. In addition, Alan Mulally was recognized as the Automotive Hall of Fame’s 2009 Industry Leader of the Year. “To be included by the Automotive Hall of Fame with this distinguished class of leaders is an honor and it speaks to Hyundai’s success not just in 2009, but over the past several years,” said Krafcik. “This award represents the exceptional team at Hyundai, the support and success of Hyundai and our outstanding lineup of great vehicles.”

Give us your opinion on matters affecting the industry. www.autobodynews.com CHECK IT OUT!

write us! publisher@autobodynews.com

www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 31


The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) Takes the Lead by Rachael J. Mercer

Steering. Supressed Labor Rates. Capping of Repair and Refinish Materials. Got your attention? If you’re a collision industry professional, these hot-button topics are hurdles you’re facing in your business as you work to serve your customers and keep your business profitable. These are some of the tough issues the Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) is currently addressing. As Executive Director of the GCIA, Howard Batchelor serves the collision industry and consumers in an effort to “promote professionalism and consumer awareness of the Automotive Collision Repair Industry in the State of Georgia.” Since its founding in 1997 the GCIA has worked toward reaching that goal Howard Batchelor through education of its members as well as collision professionals around the state, while also engaging consumers by educating them about their rights. The GCIA was founded by a group of collision industry professionals who wanted to address the issues concerning the industry, according to Batchelor. “Mainly the group wanted to promote consumer awareness concerning the collision industry and promote professionalism within the industry,” he said. While the GCIA serves the state of Georgia as a whole, its member base is primarily comprised of collision repair businesses in the Atlanta metro area. “Often it’s hard for people outside the perimeter of metro Atlanta to make it to meetings after a day at work,” said Doug Dorsey, Body Shop Manager for Honda Carland in Roswell, Ga. For this reason, people who are located close to the base of operations for the GCIA in Marietta tend to be the most involved members. The GCIA has tried to address the issue of serving an area as large as metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia. “We try to meet all over the metro Atlanta area,” said Batchelor. “At one time we met in the Smyrna Convention Center for each meeting, but now we move around so we can make the meetings more convenient for collision professionals to attend.” Meetings are held every other month, and the topics of discussion and education are varied from month to month. Batchelor said, “We try hard to feature ‘hot topic’ speakers at each meeting, and often the hotter the topic, the higher the attendance at the meeting.”

The 6H Rule In the state of Georgia, one hot topic issue is environmental regulations and compliance. The GCIA is working with the Georgia Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) to educate collision shops about a new federal air emissions regulation, known as the 6H rule. The Georgia SBEAP is a non-regulatory program of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division that provides free assistance to small businesses to help them comply with environmental regulations. Rachel Cochran, Public Affairs Coordinator for the Georgia SBEAP, explained the role the GCIA is playing in educating Georgia collision businesses about the new regulation and compliance. “The Georgia SBEAP is a small program of mostly environmental scientists and engineers,” she said. “and we have limited ability to communicate to 3,000 Georgia collision shops efficiently on the subject of the 6H Rule.” Instead of mass mailings with invalid addresses and misdirected communication, the GCIA has helped communicate the requirements of the 6H rule to its members and to collision shops in the Atlanta area. The GCIA has also facilitated educational classes where its members and other collision industry technicians have been able to learn about the regulatory requirements of the 6H rule. “The GCIA has hosted two rounds of training, where one of our technical staff has presented an environmental training presentation on 6H.,” said Cochran. “Although the presentation itself is fairly short, there are always many questions from attendees who are concerned about how the new regulations will affect their business. Because of the GCIA, we have been able to reach these people in ways we could not otherwise.” Each collision repair technician in the state of Georgia is to be formally trained on the regulations in the 6H rule by January 10, 2011. For new shops, technicians must be trained within 180 days of hiring. New regulations include how to apply paints in a way that reduces air emissions, how to properly clean a spray gun and reduce air emissions, and more. “We have a really valuable stakeholder group,” said Cochran. “It includes people in the collision industry, companies like Akzo Nobel, Sherwin-Williams, FinishMaster and PPG, and groups like the Georgia Collision Industry Association.” In addition to its help with communication, the GCIA has assisted the Environmental Assistance Program with staging mock inspections. Cochran said, “We used the collision repair shop of a member of the GCIA, where collision shop owners and managers could use compliance checklist tools.”

32 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

“For many of these collision shop owners and managers this was their first foray into compliance regulation,” she said. “This mock inspection setting gave them an better understanding of Rule 6H re-

offers are numerous. In addition to the classes concerning the 6H rule that GCIA has facilitated, GCIA members have had the opportunity to learn under the teaching of Mike Anderson, AAM; the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SRCS) has also taught a class on lean operations for the GCIA. The GCIA offers member benefits—some which are suited to independent collision repair facilities and some that are better-suited to dealerships. “We offer credit card service agreements, the ability for our members to purchase office supplies at a discount, to purchase apparel for their employees and GCIA board at Nov. 09 golf tournament. At left— Founding more,” said Batchelor. “Another Member and current GCIA Board Member, Gene Hamilton; important benefit area involves 2nd from the right—Founding Member and past executive Difinancial planning and succesrector, David Bourne; At right—Current Board Member Rusty sion planning for repair shop Walker. owners—giving them the tools quirements, and will help them be prepared their need to make sound financial deciin the event of a compliance inspection.” sions.” This year the GCIA is involved in its fourth annual labor rate survey, in which Insurance Regulation Because steering, the capping of repair and metro Atlanta-area collision body shops refinish materials costs and suppressed are asked questions about their business. labor rates are such hot-button topics, the The survey, conducted by a third party, is GCIA is becoming more active in govern- provided to about 850 shops, and asks ment issues. A relationship is being formed questions about labor rates, how much between the office of the Insurance and business it takes to cover costs and make a Fire Safety Commissioner of the State of profit, and more. “Each year more and Georgia and the association. In December more shops respond,” said Batchelor. 2008, Commissioner John Oxendine came “And each year, the information we reto the bi-monthly meeting to discuss in- ceive is better and better.” In addition to surance regulation and the rights of con- being posted on the GCIA Web site, the sumers and collision repairers as they survey results are provided to members relate to automotive insurers. and forwarded directly to the Office of the Batchelor said, “Very quickly, Mr. Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner Oxendine realized he did not know very of Georgia. much about the collision industry and its relationship with automotive insurers, or Fostering Camaraderie the problems collision repairers face. He “One of the biggest benefits to a memberasked the association to help educate him ship in the GCIA is the opportunity to neton these issues.” work with other shop owners and In 2009, Batchelor and three other managers,” said Dorsey. “Many times I GCIA members visited the Commis- can spend time at the bi-monthly meetings sioner’s office to present him with an talking with people I wouldn’t come into overview of the pressing concerns of col- contact with otherwise.” Dorsey continued lision repairers. “We gave our presenta- by explaining that the bi-monthly meetings tion, and then we came back to meet with give collision professionals a chance to him again; we were able to suggest offer pointers to each other, and an opporchanges to how insurance companies settle tunity to make suggestions to each other collision repair claims, and we offered concerning repair procedures or working ideas about ways to strengthen some rules with customers. “The real-life knowledge regulating automotive insurers,” said we gain from each other at these meetings Batchelor. He commented that the associ- can make business life a little easier,” he ation is continuing to work with Commis- said. Dorsey has been a GCIA member sioner Oxendine and his office to make since its founding in 1997. changes that strengthen the automotive inGCIA hosts an annual golf tournadustry, adding: “change doesn’t happen ment—this year is the 14th annual overnight.” event—which gives members who participate an opportunity to network and meet other industry professionals. In fact, Assisting Collision Repair Shops The education opportunities that the GCIA many Georgia collision industry profes-


sionals who are not GCIA members participate yearly. The proceeds from the event are donated to various charities, and the location changes from year to year. More information on the upcoming 14th annual tournament is available on the Web site.

Community Involvement and Consumers’ Rights “It is important that the general public understands that the GCIA is not just an association that represents collision shops and businesses,” said Batchelor. “We are committed to educating consumers about their rights in the event of an accident.” The GCIA Web site (www.GCIA.org) offers information that consumers can use as they work with their insurance company toward a quality, complete repair. The Web site recommends questions that consumers should ask their insurer before and during the repair process concerning subjects like aftermarket parts versus OEM parts. “Ultimately, we as collision professionals are here to serve the consumers,” said Batchelor. “Without the consumers our businesses would not succeed. Working together, collision repairers and consumers can achieve a high-quality repair following an accident.” In addition to consumer rights education, the GCIA has projects through-

out the year that demonstrate their loyalty and support of their customers and communities. One such project takes

Informational Presence The GCIA Web site was developed and is maintained by a GCIA member who now has his own marketing and consulting business. Richard Arnold, owner of Key Concept Services, began working on the original GCIA Web site in 2000. To keep up with changing technology and to ensure the GCIA Web site is at the forefront of industry information, a new site was developed and unveiled in the spring of 2009. “For an industry web site, the GCIA Web site stays very up-to-date,” said Arnold. The team from European Auto Collision won first place “I am always looking for hot at the last tournament. Pictured are: Tommy and Antopic stories that will generate drew Suggs, Matt Lawson & Mike Shelton, (not necconversation or provide inforessarily in that order). mation to GCIA members, colplace in the spring each year during lision professionals or consumers.” prom season, with a vivid demonstration The GCIA Web site offers consumers aimed to keep teenagers from drinking print outs about their rights, and gives and driving. GCIA will place a crashed them the opportunity to find GCIA memcar at the entrance to several high ber collision repair shops. It provides colschools in the Atlanta area, hoping to lision repairers with schedules for training show the results of horrific crashes— and opportunities for seminars and classes, even if the human losses are not seen. and gives GCIA members information on “If it makes a kid take a second thought upcoming meetings, their locations, speakabout drinking and driving, then [the ers and topics. display] has done its job,” Batchelor The GCIA is excited about the opsaid. portunities for growth and education that

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Miss Teen Georgia is New Face of Teen Driving Program

Motor Age Magazine has reported that Fear This, Inc., a nonprofit organization, has announced that Caroline Wade, Miss Teen Georgia, has become a spokesperson North County BMW for the company’s driving program. Fear This, Inc. is directed at helping inexperienced teen drivers gain a better unwww.ncountybmw.com (800) 564-8222 derstanding of accident avoidance skills. Based on the Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC), which is internationally known for police training for all North County BMW levels of law enforcement, the Teen Vehicle Operations Course (TVOC) uses Peace Officers Standard and Training Council www.ncountybmw.com (800) 564-8222 Certified EVOC instructors. By learning first-hand from police academy instructors, licensed teens learn North County BMW how to react in an accident situation. The course also teaches teens how to safely rewww.ncountybmw.com spond in other emergency situations, (800) 564-8222 something Miss Teen Georgia will be participating in herself. Two days after Wade had been crowned she was en route to an interview. Due to a flat tire, she lost control of her car at 70 mph. With her father, who was in the car ahead of her, watching in his rearview mirror, Wade spun out of control, striking the guardrail, bouncing back into the highway and back into the guardrail again before coming to a stop. Fortunately, neither she nor any other motorists were injured. (800) 564-8222

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are ahead in its 14th year of organization. For more information about membership, visit the Web site at www.GCIA.org or contact GCIA Executive Director Howard Batchelor. If you are a member of the GCIA, now is a great time to really get involved as the association works to achieve its goals. Any association is stronger with more members who are active and passionate about its principles, and the GCIA is no different. The next opportunity for members to really get involved is at the March 18th meeting at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta. From 6:30–9:30 that night, the GCIA will hear from several of the candidates who are running for the office of Georgia Insurance Commissioner—just one more way the association is working to benefit collision professionals and consumers alike.

“This is exactly the type of situation that can happen to anyone,” Dan Wade, a LieuToAtlanta advertise tenant with the Police Department call Advertising Sales at:been and Caroline’s father, says. “I have with city800-699-8251 of Atlanta Police Department for 28 years and have done course study in e-mail: traffic accident inadvertising@autobodynews.com vestigations on teens involved in acciwww.autobodynews.com dents, so I know how devastating this can be to parents. Georgia ranks No. 5 in the nation involving teens in traffic fatalities. We are very forCaroline Wade tunate that nothing serious happened to Caroline, but it’s the perfect example of a young driver not having the experience to handle a situation that requires quick thinking.” “I was very, very lucky,” Wade says of her accident. “I could have just as easily been killed. If I can help kids learn how to be safer and more prepared drivers, I will feel a huge sense of accomplishment.” Schools and youth groups facilitate the workshops, and the programs have caught the attention of various municipal courts in the Atlanta area. Wade will attend numerous events throughout the year on behalf of Fear This, Inc.

www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 33

C


Veterans Return to Class—Not Just Older Northeast Georgians Filling Classrooms at Athens Technical College veterans to transfer benefits to dependents. Military veterans also are returning to And when state benefits such as school, thanks in part to a newly expanded the HOPE Grant and HOPE ScholarGI Bill that may provide the best veterans' ship factor in, veterans can earn almost benefits in history. as much by going to school as working. As with older students, veterans, even young ones, may return to school with strong work habits that can compensate for academic deficiencies. “Because of the training they've received, they're very straightforward and highly motivated,” said Greg Thomas, an instructor Scott Reed, right, and Jordan Wooten, an Iraq war veteran and corin Athens Tech's auto colliporal in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, repair dents on a Mazda MXsion repair program. 6 during a recent auto collision repair class at Athens Technical Two tours of duty in College. Photo credit: Richard Hamm Iraq helped change Jordan About 150 veterans or their depend- Wooten, a corporal in the U.S. Marine ents are using the GI Bill to attend Athens Corps Reserve. In Iraq, he learned a new attitude Tech; another 300 are at the University of Georgia and 132 at Gainesville State Col- about responsibilities, he said. lege. “Everything you do is a big accomVeterans can get not only tuition plishment. You're in charge of people's and fees, but a housing allowance lives,” said Wooten, 22, who finds himunder the GI Bill. New rules also allow self nowadays making friends with peoby Lee Shearer@onlineathens.com

AkzoNobel is Exclusive Paint Sponsor for the Allure of the Automobile Exhibition in Atlanta AkzoNobel Car Refinishes Americas announces that they will be the exclusive automotive paint sponsor for “The Allure of the Automobile”. The exhibition will present 18 of the world’s rarest and most brilliantly conceived cars ranging from the 1930’s to the mid-1960s, including masterpieces by Bugatti, Duesenberg, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Ferrari. The exhibition will be held March 21–June 20, 2010 at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. This exhibition is the first to focus on the stylistic development of the automobile. It is also the first of its type to correlate auto design with major design period movements such as Art Modern and Postwar Modernity. “AkzoNobel is pleased to have this unique opportunity,” commented Tim Loden, Director of Marketing for AkzoNobel Car Refinishes Americas. “Each of the cars that will be exhibited is a one-of-a-kind custom built design. Collectively these vehicles document a history of extraordinary advances in automotive styling and engineering. Their flawless quality represents the best of both European and American design. This exhibit is a story that reflects a passion for perfection…a passion that AkzoNobel shares.”

In addition to AkzoNobel other key sponsors include Porsche Cars North America, Auto Trader Classics, Manheim, and NAPA. The exhibitions guest curator is Ken Gross, writer, automotive historian and former executive director of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Ron Labaco, the High Museum’s curator of decorative arts and design, is the managing curator. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color catalog.

Kaizen Assembly Launches LEAN Auto Body Webinar Series

Kaizen Assembly has announced the LEAN Auto Body Webinar Series—a 4-course live online seminar training series specific for the auto collision repair industry. Conducted by Chris Ortiz, this series provides a hands on approach to lean auto body. “This webinar series will allow body shop owners and their staff to take advantage of our lean auto body seminars and eliminate the cost of travel,” says President Chris Ortiz. The webinar series can be an ongoing schedule or can be scheduled for one specific company. Contact patriciabrunhirl @kaizenassembly.com or 360-715-2129.

34 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

ple older than he. His military service has created a kind of gulf between Wooten and many people his age, who are more interested in partying than studying, said Wooten, who lives in Farmington. “I got that out of my system a long time ago,” he said. Kelley Smith of Athens, a classmate in the auto collision repair program, also learned new habits while serving in the U.S. Navy. “Everything you do has a purpose,” said Smith, 33. “Here, you might go home and turn on some crappy TV show.” College not only is the place to get training for a future career, but a good way to re-enter the nonmilitary world, Wooten said. “The civilian world is a different world. You have to adjust to it, and college is the best place to do it,” he said.

Reprinted with the kind permission of the Athens Banner-Herald. Originally published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Sunday, February 21, 2010.

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EPA Sets New NO2 Standard

EPAhas tightened the one-hour standard for measuring emissions of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), but left the annual standard unchanged. The long-term exposure remains at a maximum of 53 parts per billion (ppb) while an acceptable short-term exposure limit is now 100 parts per billion. Short-term concentrations of NO2 were previously allowed to range from 100–200 ppb. The EPA believes NO2 exposure has been linked to respiratory problems. The primary manmade sources for NO2 are motor vehicles, coal-burning power plants and factories.According to the EPA, concentrations of nitrogen dioxide dropped 41% between 1980 and 2006. The agency will now, however, require more monitors along busy roads and in large urban areas by 2013. It will then collect data for several years to determine which areas are not in compliance with the new standard and whether additional steps are necessary.

Toyota Vulnerable to Conquests

Buyers who would have looked at Toyota vehicles are now considering other brands after the automaker's series of safety recalls. Analysts from Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com and J.D. Power say Ford, Honda, Hyundai and Chevrolet are grabbing Toyota customers, based on sales tracking data and surveys on their Web sites. Mazda, Subaru and Volkswagen are also getting upticks in buyer interest.


CARSTAR Collision Centers Toasts Top Celebrity Car Crashes, 2009 Celebrities can make great customers for collision repair centers, with frequent crashes in their cars and clashes with the paparazzi chasing them. In their honor, CARSTAR Collision Centers, the nation’s largest chain of collision repair experts, are kicking off the inaugural CARSTAR’D Awards to recognize the top of the charts in dings, dents, crashes and collisions. And the winners are..... 10. Nicole Richie: On October 5, 2009 a paparazzo rear-ended her car and caused her to have to go to the hospital for observation in Beverly Hills, Calif. (TMZ) 9. Michael Jackson and family: The Jackson clan made the list twice in 2009, first when MJ’s kids Prince Michael, Paris and Prince Michael II were driving with their nanny Grace Rwaramba in Encino, Los Angeles on October 21, and a photographer rammed their security vehicle, and second with a hit-and-run incident with a photographer in London on October 23, 2009. (ANI)

8. LeAnn Rimes: Rimes was questioned Continued from Page 15

Dan Am/SATA EPA

with whatever you have today, but it gets much easier and better with the right equipment. We look at what they have already. You have a primer gun, a sealer gun, and a clear gun, but is it ready for tomorrow’s product? Is in good working condition? Just because it’s a good and relatively new gun, if you haven’t maintained it correctly it might not be working well enough for the new product. Now the EPA wants to make sure that you have the right transfer efficiency, and that’s important for both shop profitability and the environment. If you’re just starting with waterborne and you don’t keep your equipment clean, you’re going to have much bigger problems than you ever had with the solvent. But guess what, if you do it right, and maintain and adjust your equipment, things work better. The paint dries the way it’s supposed to, your color match is correct, and you’re right with the EPA, because you kept your gun clean.

ABN ► So, that isn’t the product’s fault, it’s yours? Steve Treutel ◄ Yes. All of a sudden painters are learning the hard way that they need to keep my gun cleaner than they ever have before. You could have one of our SATAjet 3000 (HVLP and RP) that we’ve had out for 3-4 years. If you bought it then and you’ve never replaced the noz-

by the Los Angeles Police Department over her possible involvement in a hit and run car accident August 20, 2009, in Brentwood, Calif. Rimes reportedly rear-ended a car that was stopped in the left turn lane. There were no injuries and minor damage to the cars. She also had a run-in with a security golf cart at The Commons in Calabasas, Calif., on December 4, 2009. (TMZ) 7. Anne Hathaway: The Devil Wears Prada star was involved in a car collision in LA on December 17, 2009. The star’s boyfriend Adam Shulman was driving the car when he collided with a bicycle on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. (RadarOnline) 6. Renée Zellweger: Zellweger was in a car accident in Beverly Hills on August 31, 2009. The actress was fine and there were no injuries—her car was towed away from the scene. One of the headlights from Renée’s car was shattered and one of the cars lost a license plate in the smash. (TMZ)

zle set, it’s already worn out to some point, and then do you really have the right nozzle set up or whatever you are going to be changing to? For waterborne I like to look at it a little differently. We do a true evaluation of a shop. Do we have enough air volume to run the equipment you need. Do you have enough to run the blowers. Are you planning HVLP? But how much air does that take? Are you doing overalls or just bumper jobs? Figure out the CFM required. Then look at the quality of your air. Just because you got a lot of air doesn’t mean it’s clean enough. If you might have oil droplets or oil vapors. This creates another contamination. Is it breathable? Think about making your air breathable quality. Now we can look at the guns—the difference between HVLP and RP technology is how much air do they use? If you don’t have enough air for HVLP, it doesn’t matter how good a painter you are. You’re never going to be able to get the same job that the paint company training center will do. Typically for HVLP we like to see 15–18 CFM and 29 lbs pressure. For RP technology you’d be around 10 CFM, about a third less air volume, which is the make or break point. For a shop that has maybe a 10 hp compressor serving three prep people and a painter, you’re right on the edge. At that point the RP might be the better choice. The quality can be maintained even at the lower volume. That’s why we have the two kinds of guns and the EPA has said that if

5. Olympic medalist Michael Phelps: Better in water than behind the wheel, Phelps was involved in a three-car accident in Baltimore on August 13, 2009. Phelps was not injured, but a woman in the other car was shaken up and taken to a local hospital, due to “head and arm pain.” (TMZ) 4. Lawrence Taylor: The NFL legend had an illegal tackle with hit-and-run on November 9, 2009, allegedly ramming his Escalade into a 1984 Ford van two separate times before driving off. (TMZ)

3. George Michael: The singer was involved in a car collision August 14, 2009, in London. In a statement released Aug. 15, Michael claimed that statements by the driver that Michael appeared “dazed” after the accident and had been “weaving all over the place” before crashing were false.

2. Weezer: While on the way to Boston via Toronto on December 7, 2009, Weezer’s bus slid off the road just outside of Albany, NY, after hitting a patch of ice.

you have the transfer efficiency, you can maintain high quality at the lower volume. Nothing wrong with that. If you have enough volume, HVLP is a good way to go because you have all the atomization, and shaping of the pattern, and drying with 10 pounds or less at the air cap. There is a lot of tooling done on an HVLP gun to get all that working. With RP type technology you have a higher air cap pressure,which does a lot of the work for you so RP can actually work very nicely for you, especially if you don’t have enough volume of air to run HVLP. ABN ► Do all the large shops run, or prefer, HVLP? Steve Treutel ◄ No. It’s not always the large shops that are better off using HVLP. Sometimes they have so many painters and technicians running air tools that they’re not really able to run HVLP efficiently. Many large, and good, shops use RP. With the paint companies doing more conversions, they’re learning more about where those lines are. They saw shops that were kind of right on the edge of not having enough air, and they allowed them to try it and they found out they don’t have enough air. I think we’re seeing our entire industry getting smarter about this. As paint companies continue to improve their products, you’re going to see different nozzle generations, increased transfer efficiency and probably even less air required. You need to have guns that do the atomization, but then also have the increased transfer efficiency

Lead singer Rivers Cuomo was quickly transferred to the hospital. Drummer Josh Freese explained on Twitter that there are “some injuries, but everyone’s alive and in one piece.” (PerezHilton.com) And the leading celebrity car crash of 2009 made headlines around the world......

1. Tiger Woods: The world’s number one golfer was injured early Friday, November 30, 2009 when he lost control of his SUV outside his Florida mansion. A local police chief said Woods’ wife used a golf club to smash out the back window to help get him out. Tiger took the blame for an “embarrassing” car crash that gave him cuts, bruises and public scrutiny like never before. Soon after, news of Woods’ having over 12 alleged mistresses came out. (Perezhilton). I guess he didn’t think to blame it on unintended acceleration. —Ed. Surprisingly absent from the 2009 list are top contenders Brittany Spears and Lindsey Lohan, who have earned spots on the CARSTAR’D All-Star list for their past vehicular performances.

The training includes hands-on, in booth, demonstrations and tests.

so that the shops are still profitable. Now the painters understand why they need to do it. If you have a bit of time for people to relax and listen to you. Education is becoming, once again, important. All the players are changing how they’re doing their training. They’re taking the time to explain it.

ABN ► How do you see waterborne moving across the country. Is it smooth and uniform or is it patchy? Steve Treutel ◄ It’s a little bit patchy. Some companies have especially motivated regional people who are moving aggressively, and pushing hard for it. The rate of conversions in Texas percentagewise, is actually quite high. In the training centers that’s what they’re teaching in Texas. If you combine how EPA and waterborne is working hand in hand, it’s a great opportunity for everybody. Some people are just old school, and they’re not goin to want to change. One day, we’re going to look back at this and say “that was huge.”

www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 35


Continued from Page 1

Aftermarket Parts

subsequent crash test video demonstrations. As a result of these studies, the Auto Body Parts Association (ABPA), who represents more than 150 manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of aftermarket crash parts, has taken what SCRS views as a responsible first step, stating to their members that if sufficient testing is not available they recommend “discontinuation of the production and sale of these part types as well as immediate notification to the estimating systems to eliminate these parts from their database.” These studies were performed after receipt of concerns from various members’ shops that there has been an increase in utilization of these aftermarket structural replacement parts in the claims settlement practices of certain insurance carriers. SCRS urges the collision repair industry to understand the magnitude of this issue, and to heed warning as well. SCRS recommends that collision repair professionals use exceptional caution when performing repairs to consumers vehicles, and to only

use parts that will perform with the same expectation of quality and safety, both upon installation, and for the life of the vehicle. SCRS also recommends that repair facilities understand the liability associated with utilization of inferior parts, and to avoid being unduly influenced to utilize any replacement part that has not undergone credible independent testing to ensure it meets quality and safety based standards. “This is a serious issue, that has not received enough attention from the industry in the past,” reiterated Chess. “These parts are critically affecting the structural design of a vehicle in its post-repair state. I think the ABPA has shown their leadership through their release, and we need to hold their members, the people and organizations that manufacture and supply these parts, accountable for the quality and safety of their product. The OEMs put a lot of money into research and development to ensure that the end product operates reacts and sustains damage in very specific way. Any replacement part made available to the market should be required to have that same expectation of performance.” “This issue is concerning on so many levels,” stated SCRS Executive Director

Aaron Schulenburg. “Obviously our members have to understand the liability implications they have when making critical repair decisions such as part selection. The problem with many of these parts is that a visual inspection at the shop level often can’t uncover significant differences, like material or alloy variances. We can’t visually see the difference in weight, or that one part is .25 mm thinner than another; especially when the two aren’t side by side for comparison. It should also not be the responsibility of the shop to make a determination on which part is equivalent, or not. If it is not quality, if it is not safe, it shouldn’t even make its way to the market; but they are. We have too many examples, even with current internal ‘quality assurance programs’ in place, that they are being manufactured, sold, and utilized, despite not meeting the most basic of requirements such as material composition.” “Most importantly, there has to be a way to address the individuals who already have parts that have now been deemed ‘inferior’ on their vehicle. It is not enough to accept that suppliers will deal with the issue on case by case bases if, or when, there is a problem. If the process and infrastructure are not in place, to support the

ability to notify consumers when a problem has been identified, then we need to significantly fix that infrastructure before more parts are sold. If there is a parts problem generated from the OEM, there is an elaborate recall process in place. Every consumer is notified and their vehicle is corrected. These critical safety parts should not be treated with any less urgency. This is an issue that requires a proactive solution, rather than reactive; the motoring public deserves more,” Schulenburg added. SCRS has made the presentations prepared by Chess available on their website at www.scrs.com. We encourage every member of the industry to ensure you are familiarized with this issue. It is important for the repair industry to understand the subject matter, and it is also SCRS’ hope that the insurance industry will exhibit equal concern over the seriousness of an issue that impact both industries, and the customer base we each serve. This will continue to be an area of significant focus for the association in the upcoming year, and will continue to share information on the subject as it develops. See Hey Toby article next page for details on the demonstrations Toby did.

Iowa Collision Repair Association (ICRA) Sponsors SSB 3180

IGA, NGA and NWRA To Co-Locate Events at Spring Auto Glass Conference

In its 09/10 goals, the ICRA stated it is working towards introducing legislation that would allow reimbursement to end-users of sales tax on paint materials. This is a law that has been on the books since 1934 in Iowa. The ICRA says it needs to be changed. In January, Scott Weiser met with Senate Ways and Means Committee Chair Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City) to discuss the ICRA’s tax issue. After serious consideration, Senator Bolkcom agreed to sponsor a Senate Study Bill to begin the process of consideration of legislation. ICRA will assist in the preparation of the Legislative Fiscal Note that will detail the positive or negative impact of the legislation to the Iowa General Fund. SSB3180, exempting from state sales and use taxes the sale of paint and other consumed materials at an auto body shop, is sponsored by Senator Bolkcom. The proposed legislation is written to charge sales tax on the retail price of paint supplies so that body shops would no longer pay sales tax on that cost. This means an immediate increase in net profit of 7% because they are not paying sales tax on the cost of the materials.

www.autobodynews.com CHECK IT OUT! 36 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

The Independent Glass Association (IGA), the National Glass Association (NGA) and the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) have agreed to co-locate their auto glass events in 2010 around the IGA Spring Auto Glass Show to be held May 21-22 at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa in Fort Myers, FL. Both the IGA and NWRA will host their annual conferences there; the NGA will host its auto glass related committee meetings there. These will be the only auto glass events for all three groups in 2010. “We are pleased to be bringing the auto glass industry together,” said Dave Zoldowski, IGA president. “IGA will extend every courtesy to the other groups joining us.” “This will be the only auto glass event the NGA will participate in this year,” said Steve Mort, immediate past chairman of the NGA. “It is a delight to see all segments of the industry coming together in one location, especially in such tough economic times.” “NWRA members will be able to participate in the programming from other groups such as the IGA as well,” said NWRA president Mike Boyle. “It will be great to expose our members to this type of cross programming.” All meetings will be held around the Spring Auto Glass Show, May 21-22 at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort and Spa. Attendees will be able to attend either or both conferences and the show.


Hey Toby!

Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Welding specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his charitable works, worthy causes, and magic tricks. He can be reached at tcspeedster@yahoo.com

Testing Aftermarket v. OEM Parts Side-by-Side with Toby Chess

My problem in doing this demo is that most Volvo dealers do not stock the reinforcement and I have trouble taking it on a plane flight. I recently did an Extrication Training Seminar at Kniesels Collision Centers in Sacramento, CA, and I asked Hey concerned owner. The answer is ‘no’. Tom Kniesel if he could order a front No OEM allows for bumper reinforcements bumper reinforcement for a 2009 Toyota to be repaired. In this case how is a bumper Corolla. I teach I-CAR’s POP 01 class and with David McClune reconditioned? Usually with heat and weld- it demonstrates that the front bumper on ing. If an end had a small amount of dam- that particular vehicle is made from UHSS. age and you can restore it to its original I was able to pull the same stunt with this shape without heat, it would probably be part as I had done with the Volvo “B” pillar. OK, but don’t quote me on that. I think that Last October, a shop owner had comeveryone needs some more background in- plained to Aaron Schulenburg, the Execuformation on this subject and I will devote tive Director of SCRS, that one of his DRP the rest of this column to vehicle structural coordinators specified an A/M core support components. The ideas in this article started to be used on a 2007 Toyota Corolla repair. with my firefighter extrication training. Aaron contacted me (I am on the education I have been teaching firefighters for and training committee of SCRS ) and asked the last 18 months about hybrids, airbag that I get in touch with the shop owner. I with John systems, and vehicle structure withYoswick an em- asked the shop to order me the same A/M phasis on ultra-high-strength steels part that his carrier had specified on their es(UHSS). I usually use a “B” pillar rein- timate and I also purchased a new OEM part. forcement from a 2004 and a new Volvo I was told by Joe DiDonato, the lead trainer XC90 for my demo. from Toyota University that the OEM core support is made from high-strength-steel. More on these parts later, but I wanted to know why there was such a major difference in price between the Aftermarket and OEM part (Nearly $300). About the same time I purchased an A/M bumper reinforcement and an OEM reinforcement for a 2009 Toywith Richard Steffen ota Corolla. These two parts started the ball rolling, but before I detail what I found, let me remind you a little about metals, strucFor a little fun, I put a $100 bill on the table. To win it, I challenge a volunteer to cut through the part in less than 90 seconds with a reciprocating saw. They jump at the chance and it’s fun to watch them try, but they all fail because the steel is harder than the saw blade. Hey Toby—I had an insurance company put ‘reconditioned bumper reinforcement’ on their estimate. My question is: should I use it? — Concerned owner, San Jose.

MPa — PSI

California Autobody Association Front Section

Passenger Section

Rear Section

200 270 590 610 700 980 1180

— — — — — — —

29,000 39,100 86,000 88,500 101,000 147,000 171,000

Year in Quotes

curs onCA. side and rollover impacts and it is Collision Repair Association of achieved by making the parts stronger

Transition Planning with John Yoswick

ture and energy movement. There are two types of energy movements during a collision. One type is energy absorption; the other is energy transfer. Energy absorption occurs in the front and rear of the vehicle. Energy is dissipated by the deformation of the parts. As the parts start to deform, energy is reduced as it travels from the front or Hendricks rear collision to the opposite end of the collision impact. Energy transfer moves energy away from the point of impact to other parts of the car. Energy transfer oc-

Shop Showcase with Karyn

Shop Showcase with David M. Brown

(UHSS in the passenger section reinforcements). These parts include the front windshield post reinforcement, “B” pillar reinforcement, door intrusion beams, rocker panel reinforcements, floor reinforcement, “A” pillar reinforcements and roof reinforcements. Note that the bumper reinforcement is made from highstrength steel or ultra-high-strength steel. Vehicle manufacturers are making vehicles using a higher percentage of the highstrength and ultra-high-strength steels to continue to increase the safety of the passenger compartment and it is our job to know how to replace or repair to keep the passenger section as safe as if it was never damaged and that means using parts of the same design, thickness, and metal hardness as the original. Here’s what I found when I compared aftermarket structural parts to OEM parts recently. Let’s go back to the front bumper reinforcement on the 2009 Toyota Corolla. Remember that bumper reinforcement is part of the vehicle structure, the airbag system, and also part of the energy absorption

system. I purchased both reinforcements and this is what I found. A/M

OEM

The A/M reinforcement has a rough texture compared with the OEM.

Note the damage to the bottom of the A/M Bumper reinforcement. If this part was ultra high strength steel as is the OEM, it would take a tremendous amount of energy to damage it. The steel used for See Next Page

www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 37


and the passenger compartments integrity to be compromised.

the A/M is probably mild steel (more on this later). OEM

A/M

Check out the mounting holes.

The next part that I compared was a front bumper reinforcement from a Honda Civic. The shape of the A/M bumper reinforcement was totally off. Note how the A/M reinforcement was formed compared to the OEM in the photo. Again, I ask: Would the aftermarket part perform in the same manner as the OEM to protect the driver? You make the call.

A/M

The next part that I compared was the bumper reinforcement from a Toyota Prius. You will note that the A/M bumper reinforcement was bent to form its shape and by doing it this way, the reinforcement had 2 large bumps and 2 large craters. The A/M reinforcement would not channel or

absorb impact energy in the same manner as the OEM, thereby causing SRS system

Polystyrene — A/M

The difference, according to Ford engineers, is that magnesium is 38% stronger than aluminum weight for weight. The core support is considered by Ford to be structural and, if the A/M part is substituted for the OEM, what will happen in frontal impact when compared with an original part? The last part was a foam impact absorber from a 2004 Toyota Corolla. An OEM impact absorber is made from high impact polypropylene foam, but the A/M was manufactured using polystyrene foam.

OEM

I used a standard 18T general purpose hacksaw blade on the aftermarket bumper reinforcement. Notice how much I cut into it after only 5 seconds. I change to the super duty extrication blade and I was only able to scratch the surface of the OEM reinforcement. At NACE, in a similar demonstration, I was able to actually cut right through the A/M part, but I was only able to cut about a ½ section on the OEM. I know this was a crude test, but the only way that I could cut through the A/M Bumper reinforcement was if the part was made from mild steel.

strate that the metal was different between the OEM and the A/M part. The next to last part that I compared was a core support from 2004–2008 Ford F150 core support. The OEM part is made from magnesium, but the A/M part was made from aluminum.

The next part that I compared was a front bumper bracket for a Nissan Xterra. The A/M part looked identical to the original, but the A/M part was 1.4 mm thinner than the original. Being thinner and lighter, would it behave in the same manner as the OEM? Again, I don’t think so. Nissan and other OEMs are constantly trying to save vehicle weight. If Nissan could have made it thinner with the same integrity, would they not have done so? Let’s look at the core support from the Toyota Corolla. Again, the A/M was close in appearance. The bends were not as sharp as the OEM and a through hole was used instead of a threaded insert (OEM). The problem is the metal on the A/M part was different than the OEM. I determined this by doing a hardness test on two samples taken from the core support. The A/M part had a reading on the A scale of 20 and the OEM had a reading of 30 on the A scale. A better test would be to do a tensile strength test (PSI) to get a better metal analysis, but this test did demon-

38 MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com

I next conducted a flame test on the parts. Polystyrene is highly flammable, whereas the polypropylene did light on fire, but melted from the heat. As you can see they look alike, but these two parts will obviously function differently.

The OEM absorber (black) and A/M (white) look very similar, but the OEM was much stiffer. I took the following description from free patents online— “Increasing the stiffness of an energy absorber generally increases the efficiency of the absorber since a stiff energy absorber builds load more quickly than a less stiff absorber. In addition, there generally is less intrusion with a stiff energy absorber than with a less stiff energy absorber.” What I

found was the polystyrene was softer foam than polypropylene. I put a sample of both foams into a press and it took significantly more pressure to compress the polypropylene than the polystyrene.

Polypropylene — OEM

It should be noted that there is a company that makes absorbers, reinforcements and brackets that it has tested. Diamond Standard Brand reinforcement is manufactured using the same materials and processes that are employed by the OEMs. They test all their reinforcements (same family of parts) by the same testing company that the OEMs use—MGA Research Corp. Go to the Diamond Standard web site, www.diamondstandardparts.com and view the testing of the front bumper reinforcement. Pay particular attention to the end of the reinforcement and watch what happens to the aftermarket reinforcement. If you are still thinking about using an untested reinforcement, this will change your mind in about 15 seconds. They also use the same high impact polypropylene foam as the OEMs in their manufacturing process of the bumper absorbers. I have not compared their bumper brackets, but I was told by a company representative that they use the same materials as the OEM and use special jigs for measuring for hole placement accuracy. Understand that I purchased 8 different products in both types (two types of core supports, four types of bumper reinforcements, one type of bumper brackets and one type of bumper absorber). Eight were OEMs and eight were aftermarket. I chose these particular parts because I had knowledge of these products from teaching I-CAR classes. Magnesium core support for F150—WCA 01, and the ultra high strength steel front bumper reinforcement for the Toyota Corolla-POP 01. My point is that many of the A/M structural parts from across the Pacific are not the same as the OEM when it comes to materials, shape and function. I need to stress is that these parts were not CAPA-certified parts. CAPA does not See HEY TOBY!, Page 39


Salvaged Airbag Bill, SB 209, Withdrawn by Maryland State Senator

After strong opposition by repairer organizations at the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), a model airbag bill, although amended, was still passed for use in individual states. The model bill establishes criminal penalties for fraudulent installation of an airbag; requires shops to maintain detailed records of airbags they purchase, sell or install; mandates that a repair facility submit an affidavit to a vehicle owner saying that an airbag was installed properly; and sets forth guidelines regulating the use of salvage airbags. The bill, intended to provide a documentation process for the use of new and salvaged airbags to protect consumers from airbag fraud, had been proposed in Maryland. On Feb. 5, the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) sent out an urgent notice to repairers to oppose this bill, citing many reasons that repairers and consumers could be harmed. Many repairers had taken the initiative to contact their representative if they were on the Senate Finance committee who was hearing the bill first. Though these actions were taken immediately, WMABA was unsure of the response that would be seen in the bill hearings. Rep. Robert Damron of Kentucky, who is the NCOIL president, wrote, in an open letter to WMABA: Although we do not wish to comment on specific Maryland activity, we do wish to weigh in on some general statements regarding the NCOIL model law on which the Maryland bill was based.

The Model Act Regarding Auto Airbag Fraud, adopted overwhelmingly by NCOIL on November 22, 2009, neither encourages nor discourages the use of salvaged airbags. Rather, in adopting the model law, legislators set forth a comprehensive approach to fighting airbag fraud—an approach that acknowledges today’s installation, however frequent or infrequent, of both salvaged and new original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. The purpose of our model is to ensure that any airbag installed in a vehicle is safe. On Feb. 15, Senate Bill 209, proposed by Senator Delores Kelley (D-Baltimore County) was voted down unanimously by the Senate Finance Committee to have the bill withdrawn without foreseeable reintroduction. “This outcome was no doubt the result of WMABA, our lobbyist group Alexander & Cleaver and our Maryland constituents giving useful and pertinent information to the Senators, so that they could make an informed and consumer-conscientious decision,” said Brad Whiteford, WMABA President and owner of Whiteford’s Collision. “All of the WMABA membership should be proud of the efforts of the association to head-off such a possible disaster for repairers throughout the country, because we all know how bills like these increase the chances for other special interests to attempt this in other states.” For more information contact the WMABA at: (804) 789-9649.

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Continued from Page 14

Shelby Part Two

they’ve got 40 grit to 3000 grit sandpaper you can use. It’s all good for wet sanding. The blocks will take you from A to Z processes. They’re a great tool to add to your collection; not for everything you do, but they’re a great tool to have in your arsenal for time-saving and better quality. Every job is different every job is a different panel that needs to be sanded so these are a great product to complement the rest of your toolbox. They’ve saved me a lot of time and money. They pay for themselves on the first job I used them on. I also just found out that PPG has adopted them for their training programs, which is a great endorsement. We’ll talk about the color sanding steps and procedures next month along with the delivery of the car. And we’ll see where this project goes on tour and see how many thousands of people will put their eyes on it. You always want to make sure that you keep your quality high and have a good product. I don’t use or endorse anything I don’t believe in. I always thank my sponsors. I cannot create or build cars without them. Thanks to Chicago Pneumatic™ for my pneumatic tools. MicroFlex™ for the safety of the latex gloves that they provide. I want to thank Shoot Suits for providing a comfortable safety suit. Quick Cut Sanders for providing a tool that is

a very efficient product which is well thought out. House of Kolor for putting out such great products. I want to thank TranStar for such a great topcoat. I look forward to trying out some of their new products will be writing more about those in future. I also want to thank 3M for all the support they’ve given me over the years and the great products that they keep coming out with.

Rides of Rich Evans—iPhone App I have a new free iPhone app game called Rides of Rich Evans that you can download through iTunes. It’s a fun app. Try to beat the game. You can google ‘Rich Evans’ or ‘Rides of Rich Evans’ to learn more. I’m always trying to put something new out there and this app showcases a good selection of about 80 different vehicles I’ve done. It shows some diversity, but isn’t everything. We’ll probably add hundreds of more cars to this game over time. It’s also a learning app to recognize makes, models, and model years of different projects that came through my shop.

Continued from Page 38

Continued from Page 1

certify bumper absorbers, bumper reinforcements, bumper brackets. Core supports are considered structural and CAPA does not certify these parts at this time. A number of insurance companies are requiring their DRP shops to use these parts. Insurers have language in the DRP agreements that you (body shops) will hold them harmless. If one these aftermarket non-certified parts is used in a repair and someone gets seriously hurt or dies, you could be left holding the bag. You cannot go into a court of law and say that the insurance company told you to use the parts. All of the responsibility falls solely on you, the body shop owner or manager. I was told by one major body shop chain that they have notified all of their managers to stop using these non-certified parts. We as an industry need to band together and say no to the insurance industry when it comes down to safety issues when repairing today’s cars. I know it tough to make a decision when a carrier says you will use these parts or you will be taken off their DRP program, but think of the safety of the consumer who puts his/her faith in you to repair his or her vehicle properly. Do the right thing and just say ‘no’ to using non-tested parts. Send me feedback at the email address in the banner.

“While the U.S. has arguably the best automotive safety net in the world, these types of infrequent problems are the hardest to catch and the most difficult to diagnose, in this case with deadly consequences.” The recommendations come as the U.S. Congress begins the first of two days of hearings that will feature a grilling of both safety regulators and Toyota on the question of why red flags were missed. Separately, Consumer Reports released its annual ranking of the most reliable auto brands. Honda Motor Co. topped the list for the fourth consecutive year in a tie with Subaru. Toyota was No. 3, although Consumer Reports suspended its recommendation for the eight models recalled for sticky accelerator pedals. Hyundai Motor, one of the automakers expected to benefit most in the shortterm from Toyota's woes, jumped to fourth place from ninth a year earlier. The annual report is considered an influential benchmark among consumers. Many automakers set internal targets to make the magazine's list of recommended vehicles since the endorsement is seen as valuable in advertising and in supporting auto resale values.

Hey Toby!

Auto Safety Reforms

www.autobodynews.com | MARCH 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 39


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Southeast March 2010  

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first Southeast issue of Autobody News