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Florida Legislative Preview 2020: Industry Calls on Lawmakers to Reform Lawsuit Abuse by Amy O’Connor

The Florida Legislature started its 2020 legislative session this week and lawmakers are set to consider a number of insurance-focused issues

over the course of the 60-day period. At the top of the list for industry and consumer advocates are reforms to curb what they say are abuses of the state’s legal system that are hurting insurers’ bottom line. The issue is of particular importance to industry stakeholders in light of recent news about financial issues in the state’s insurance market. Last session, the insurance industry scored a big win with the passage of property insurance reforms addressing the abuse of a policyholder benefit known as assignment See Legislative Preview, Page 3

Alliance for Automotive Innovation Formed from Merger of Two OEM Trade Groups by Chasidy Rae Sisk

The Association of Global Automakers and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers recently announced their merger into a single trade association, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation (AAI), covering the OEMs that manufacture “nearly 99 percent of all light-duty vehicles sold in the United States,” AAI wrote in a release. “The organization will be the acknowledged automotive industry resource and will focus its advocacy work on creating a safe and transformative path for the industry’s growth.”

AAI will “work to speed the safe deployment of advances in personal transportation through effective public policy, stakeholder engagement and greater public understanding” by “leveraging the expansive history of both organizations while creating a single, unified industry voice.” AAI will be led by President and CEO John Bozzella, formerly President and CEO of the Association of Global Automakers, who said, “As the singular, clear and respected voice of the automotive industry, it will be the role of this organization

AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 11 / Issue 1 / March 2020

CCA’s Inaugural Meeting Focused on Improving Safety and Efficiency of Collision Repair Industry by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On January 25, the Carolinas Collision Association (CCA) met in Charlotte, NC, for the first time since it

formed from the merger of the North Carolina Association of Collision and Autobody Repair (NCACAR) and the South Carolina Association of Collision and Autobody Repair (SCA-

CAR). According to CCA President Brian Davies, the meeting “showed the connection and strength we have as a collective unit focused on improving the safety and efficiency of the industry. I truly enjoyed seeing the conversations and connections made between professionals of different trades, as it highlights the common gratifications and frustrations among us all. We hope that everyone enjoyed the event, and we plan to build upon and grow from it for future meetings.” The meeting featured Ronald See CCA’s Inaugural Meeting, Page 14

CIC Subcommittees Offer Competing Suggestions on How to Deal With “Opt-OE” Parts by John Yoswick

Heated exchanges that erupted during the “Parts and Materials Committee” presentation at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Las Vegas in November sounded “exactly what committee meetings feel like,” Aaron Schulenburg, committee co-chairman joked, and demonstrated, according to

See Merger of Two Trade Groups, Page 10

Ken Weiss said six definition labels his subcommittee defined help make clear the nuances among part types. Credit: John Yoswick



Change Service Requested P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018

PRESORTED STANDARD U.S. POSTAGE Southeast_Issue_0320.indd 1


co-chairman Ken Weiss, “why we ended up with two subcommittees.” The committee about a year ago inherited from another CIC committee the task of trying to resolve the is-

sue of a variety of types of parts being listed as “opt-OE” on parts platforms or estimates. Weiss and Schulenburg said the committee had been so polarized on the issue that they decided to break into two “more like-minded” work groups to each form a proposal on how to most clearly describe parts available in the marketplace for those making parts decisions. Weiss said his work group came up with six different categories of new parts that differentiate, for example, an “OEM dealer” part from the exact same part sold in the same packaging but outside the automaker’s dealer network (described by his sub-committee as an “OEM non-dealer” part). Two other of the six categories would differentiate a certified non-OEM part from one that is not certified. In between were two other categories for parts produced by the same manufacturers that produce the same parts for the vehicle manufacturer; Weiss’ subcommittee dubbed those as “Tier 1 OEM” parts if they bore the same branding as the See “Opt-OE” Parts, Page 22

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Continued from Cover

CONTENTS Anderson - Understanding and Performing

ARA Gathers for 2020 State Legislative Summit��8

Required Test Drive Procedures Isn’t

Arlington Toyota receives permits for

an Option������������������������������������������������������44

$12 million dealership project�����������������������16 Authorities Bust Large Indoor Marijuana Grow Operation in Lenoir City, TN, Arrest Auto Body Shop Owner���������������������������������18 CCA’s Inaugural Meeting Focused on Improving Safety and Efficiency of Collision Repair Industry���������������������������������1 Collision Repair Education Foundation Hosting

Attanasio - Automotive Artwork Adds Class to Your Waiting Room������������������������������������34 Ledoux - The 1980’s – The Evolution of the “Patch Panel”������������������������������������������40

Florida Council On Economic Education Honors Crown Automotive Founder At Tampa Bay Business Hall Of Fame������������12 Florida Legislative Preview 2020: Industry Calls on Lawmakers to Reform Lawsuit Abuse��������1 Florida’s Senate Introduces AOB Bill for the Second Time���������������������������������������������8 GEICO Seeks More Than $144,000 Through Auto Glass Lawsuit�����������������������������������������6 IGONC’s Triangle Chapter Explores New Ways to Support Apprenticeship Program���������������16 March 2020 Association Announcements����������12 State Farm donates two vehicles to school division repair classes�����������������������������������18 Symach to Develop New UVA-LEDtronic Technology���������������������������������������������������10 Two Mississippi Men Sentenced for Roles in Automotive Fraud Scheme������������������������15 United Technical Institute Visits Midway High’s Automotive Shop�������������������������������������������12

Yoswick - MSOs Hear Positive Outlook for 2020, Discuss Mixed Impact of Photo Estimating����������������������������������������������������24

NATIONAL AirPro Diagnostics Launches 24/7/365 Service���10 Alliance for Automotive Innovation Formed

Anderson - Few Collision Repairers Are

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

Serving Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2020 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax

Athens Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram�������������������� 9

Innovative Tools & Technologies���������������������� 41

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 47

Jim Cogdill Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram����������� 26

AutoNation Collision Parts������������������������������� 19

John Heister Automotive��������������������������������� 22

AutoNation Ford-Lincoln��������������������������������� 40

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

Axalta Coating Systems������������������������������������ 8

Launch Tech USA�������������������������������������������� 55

BASF Corporation������������������������������������������� 21

LKQ Corporation����������������������������������������������� 2

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers������������������������ 50

Lusid-General������������������������������������������������� 13

Braman Honda Miami������������������������������������� 15

Malco������������������������������������������������������������� 20

Braman Honda of Palm Beach������������������������� 15

Matrix Automotive Finishes������������������������������� 5

Car-O-Liner���������������������������������������������������� 25

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers�������� 52

CARSTAR�������������������������������������������������������� 17

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 50

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

Montipower Americas, Inc.������������������������������ 30

City Kia of Greater Orlando������������������������������ 24

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers��������������������� 33

Classifieds������������������������������������������������������ 54

Motor Guard Corporation����������������������������������� 6

Father and Son Win Maaco Cup Award��������������52

Coggin Deland Honda������������������������������������� 42

NOROO Paint & Coatings.�������������������������������� 56

From Prison to Collision: The Jabari Hayes

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet���������������������������� 44

PPG Refinish��������������������������������������������������� 11

Eckler’s Automotive���������������������������������������� 35

Radley Chevrolet��������������������������������������������� 46

ECS Automotive Concepts������������������������������� 32

Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Naples���������������������� 24

Equalizer Industries, Inc.��������������������������������� 18

Riverside Ford-Lincoln������������������������������������ 39

Collision Repair Industry�������������������������������31

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������������� 52

SATA Dan-Am Company���������������������������������� 23

More Bad News at Nissan���������������������������������53

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

Southside Kia�������������������������������������������������� 38

Grieco Ford of Fort Lauderdlae������������������������ 34

Spanesi Americas������������������������������������������� 31

Gus Machado Ford������������������������������������������ 45

Stateline Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram��������������� 14

Hendrick Automotive Group����������������������������� 43

Steck Manufacturing Company����������������������� 10

Hendrick BMW/MINI������������������������������������������ 7

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers���������������������� 53

Hendrick Honda Pompano Beach�������������������� 46

Sunmight USA Corporation������������������������������ 37

Hendrick Kia Cary������������������������������������������� 36

Symach���������������������������������������������������������� 12

Hendrick Kia Concord������������������������������������� 36

Tameron Hyundai�������������������������������������������� 44

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers�27, 28-29

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������� 48

from Merger of Two OEM Trade Groups�����������1 Allstate Asks Court to Deny Latest Motion to Compel�����������������������������������������������������49 Amazon’s First-Ever Electric-Powered Delivery Fleet Set for 2021 Launch���������������50 Audi Recalls Vehicles Equipped with Takata Non-Azide Inflators����������������������������50 CIC Subcommittees Offer Competing Suggestions on How to Deal With “Opt-OE” Parts������������������������������������������������1

Story������������������������������������������������������������46 Leading the Ethical Revolution in the

Rivian’s Partnership with Ford will Bring Lincoln its First Luxury Electric Vehicle������������������������4 Tesla’s Focus on Batteries is Being Proven Right,


See Legislative Preview, Page 18

That’s It! He’s Had it! Part 2������������������������������38

a Topgolf Fundraiser During April’s Jacksonville Industry Meetings�����������������������6

of benefits (AOB) after seven years of failed attempts. While the reforms have already begun to curb the abuse that experts said was causing an insurance market crisis, its effects in the short term haven’t yet reached the balance sheets of Florida carriers who are still dealing with past inflated claims. In his Tuesday “State of the State” address to the Florida Legisla-



Legislative Preview

ture, Governor Ron DeSantis thanked lawmakers for passing AOB reform and said the legislation has already led to lower rates for 44,000 policyholders of the state-run insurer, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. He urged Florida lawmakers to target other lawsuit abuses. “The legal system is supposed to be used for redressing concrete injuries and disputes,” DeSantis said. “It is not a game and shouldn’t be used as such. Reforms such as AOB that improve the legal climate

and Other Carmakers are Paying the Price������4 Universal Technical Institute’s Core Automotive

Separating Out Scanning Time Versus

Program Outfitted With Volvo’s Advanced

Diagnostic Time��������������������������������������������34

and Electrified Vehicles���������������������������������52

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers�������������������� 48 / MARCH 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS 3

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Rivian’s Partnership with Ford will Bring Lincoln its First Luxury Electric Vehicle by Joey Klender

Rivian has teamed up with Ford to develop and produce an electric vehicle for Lincoln: Ford’s luxury brand that has produced comfortable and stylish sedans and SUVs since 1917.

Rivian R1T in Blue. CREDIT: Revian

The vehicle will be Lincoln’s first attempt at an all-electric car, but not its first attempt at battery-operation in its vehicles. Lincoln has manufactured two plug-in hybrid SUVs in the past and is aiming to take on a project that would create a vehicle that would not operate on petrol-based products.

The vehicle will be manufactured on Rivian’s “skateboard” platform that is comprised of the Lithium-ion batteries being packed in the car’s floor. Rivian will produce the skateboard design at its plant in Normal, Illinois. However, neither company would confirm if the Lincoln EV would be produced in a Rivian or Ford factory. Ford has broken into the electric car market by producing a number of its own battery electric vehicles (BEV). The company stated in March 2018 that it would be creating 16 electric vehicles and 40 electrified vehicles by the end of 2022. After unveiling its F-150 EV in July and the Mach-E in November, Ford seemed to be transitioning its product line toward more sustainable options. However, the company decided to put a hefty $500 million investment into Rivian. When Ford joined forces

with the Plymouth, Michigan-based electric car maker, they stated the companies would work jointly to produce an electric car. Rivian CEO RJ

Scaringe stated the partnership would help move the world toward environmentally-friendly modes of transportation. “This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility. Ford has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, with Bill Ford being one of the industry’s earliest advocates, and we are excited to use our technology to get more electric vehicles on the road,” Scaringe said in a company press release. Ford is not the only large company to inject a large sum of money into Rivian’s future plans to produce sustainable electric cars. Amazon decided to contribute with a $700 million investment into the company,

along with the purchase of 100,000 electric vans that will eventually deliver the company’s packages. In the company’s most recent investment round, Rivian rallied a total of $1.3 billion in total investments. The partnership between Ford and Rivi-

an will do what RJ Scaringe intends it to do: accelerate the transition to sustainable forms of transportation. While Tesla continues to hold a sizeable lead in the electric vehicle sector on the heels of its Q4 2019 earnings call, Rivian seems to be gaining some momentum through the support of some of the world’s biggest companies. We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.

Tesla’s Focus on Batteries is Being Proven Right, and Other Carmakers are Paying the Price by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

As more and more automakers begin the transition to electric vehicles, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Tesla’s intense focus on batteries was right all along. Tesla’s strategies have always been criticized and examined under a microscope, and the company’s decision to build Giga Nevada, a facility dedicated to battery production for the Model 3, was no exception. But as veteran automakers like Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz are now finding out, investing tons of effort and resources on batteries matters a lot. Tesla is among the industry’s most vertically-integrated companies. Similar to Apple’s consumer electronics and SpaceX’s rockets, most of what goes inside a Tesla electric car is designed and built in-house. Tesla is so serious about this; the company actually made its own seats. The same is true for the electronics that goes inside every Tesla. They are so different and superior to off-the-shelf components that teardown expert Sandy Munro compared them to the electronics of

a literal fighter jet. A lot of Tesla’s resources are dedicated to its battery improvements. Teslas stand tall among their rivals in the EV marketplace today primarily due to their efficiency and range, and this is made possible by the company’s battery tech. The company is not showing any signs of stopping too. Tesla has acquired several companies that could further improve its batteries, such as Maxwell Technologies and Hibar Systems. The electric car maker is even looking to produce its own batteries, with reports indicating that work is already underway to develop custom cells for Tesla’s next generation of vehicles and products. It’s a difficult pill to swallow, but veteran automakers have reached a point where they must honestly admit that when it comes to batteries, Tesla has a notable lead. The very representation for this idea is the Porsche Taycan, an otherwise excellent high-performance electric vehicle whose ~200-mile EPA range is an Achilles Heel. Porsche, similar to other EV makers, opted for off-theshelf batteries for the Taycan, and it

shows. The car performs beautifully, and it’s arguably the only EV that can beat a Model S fair and square in a race, but it simply does not have the range or the efficiency to beat Tesla’s flagship sedan on all metrics. It’s not just about the battery tech and specific cell chemistries either. Over the years, Tesla also had the foresight to secure ample battery supply for its vehicles and products. From Panasonic, which has been Tesla’s partner since its early days, to CATL, which is the company’s partner for Giga Shanghai, the electric car maker has made careful preparations to ensure that its vehicles and products will always have enough batteries. Other EV makers are not as fortunate. This is one of the reasons why the Jaguar I-PACE, one of the most decorated vehicles in modern auto history, actually stopped production for a week. Just like the Taycan, the I-PACE is actually a pretty decent EV, with its plush interior and aggressive exterior. But behind the I-PACE’s looks lies off-the-shelf batteries that are also used by other companies. This meant that when LG

Chem could not supply enough cells for the vehicle, Jaguar had no choice but to stop the vehicle’s production temporarily. The Mercedes-Benz EQC is in the same boat. Once deemed as a potential “Tesla Killer,” the EQC’s production target for 2020 was halved by the German automaker from 60,000 vehicles to just 30,000 units. The reason was something that is pretty familiar: Daimler just could not secure enough batteries. Even companies like Dyson and Aston Martin, both of which had plans to make EVs, eventually suspended their efforts to enter the electric car market. Tesla is not a perfect company by any means. CEO Elon Musk would be the first to admit that the company has made many mistakes over the years. But for all its delays and production issues, there is very little that can be criticized about Tesla when it comes to its batteries and the company’s foresight in improving them and securing their supply for years to come. We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.


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GEICO Seeks More Than $144,000 Through Auto Glass Lawsuit by Emmariah Holcomb

Government Employees Insurance Co., Geico Indemnity Co., Geico General Insurance Company and Geico Casualty Co. (collectively Geico) has filed a federal lawsuit in Florida’s middle district against the following parties: Smart Ride (originally organized under the name Chipio Windshield Repair, LLC), Andrew Baker, Gerald Salko, Lawrence Tenebaum, and Michael Meryash (all of whom controlled Smart Ride), the Baumer Group LLC, Stealing Home LLC and Rekaba LLC. The insurance company alleges that the group is responsible for a “fraudulent scheme” by submitting hundreds of unlawful auto glass claims. “This complaint seeks to terminate an ongoing fraudulent scheme committed against Geico and, more broadly, the Florida automobile insurance industry, and to recover more than $144,000 that the defendants wrongfully obtained from Geico through the submission of hundreds of fraudulent and unlawful claims seeking reimbursement for phony, unnecessary, unlawful, and otherwise

non-reimbursable windshield repair services allegedly provided to individuals who were eligible for glass repair coverage under comprehensive automobile insurance policies issued by Geico,” a portion of the complaint reads.

According to the insurance company, Baker, Salko, Tenebaum, and Meryash owned and controlled Smart Ride through Stealing Home and Baumer. Geico alleges the group worked with Rekaba, LLC (Rekaba) to produce fraudulent claims for auto glass services that were submitted through Smart Ride. “In addition to money damages, Geico seeks a declaration that it is not legally obligated to pay reimbursement of more than $65,000 in outstanding claims for purported glass services that have been submitted or caused to be submitted

by the defendants through defendant CHWR, LLC d/b/a Smart Ride Windshield Repair (Smart Ride),” a portion of Geico’s complaint states. The company sites the followingreasons to support why it should not be responsible for paying reimbursement for the claims: The claims involved phony glass services that were not necessary, reparative, or in some cases actually performed; The claims were the product of illegal, deceptive, unfair, and manipulative conduct directed at Geico insureds; and The claims were submitted through Smart Ride, which never actually performed the services, never obtained valid assignments of insurance benefits from the insureds, and was ineligible to seek reimbursement from Geico for the claims in the first instance. According to the filed complaint, Geico believes the alleged scheme began no later than 2016 and has continued uninterrupted through the present day. The complaint further alleges that Smart Ride defen-

dants at no point “maintained any vehicles or tools for use in providing glass services, and did not maintain any glass inventory.” As a result, Geico alleges that the defendants were never able to provide auto glass services to its insureds. “As a result of the defendants’ scheme, Geico has incurred damages of more than $144,000, including more than $75,000 in damages incurred by GEICO General Insurance Company, more than $19,000 in damages incurred by GEICO Indemnity Co., more than $40,000 in damages incurred by Government Employees Insurance Company, and more than $9,000 in damages incurred by GEICO Casualty Co.,” a portion of the complaint reads. Geico is currently seeking to recover the full extent of those alleged financial damages, equating to more than $144,000. At press time, the defendants hadn’t responded to requests for comment from glassBYTEs. Check for continuing coverage of the suit. We thank for reprint permission.

Collision Repair Education Foundation Hosting a Topgolf Fundraiser During April’s Jacksonville Industry Meetings HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL (February 6, 2020) – The Collision Repair Education Foundation invites industry supporters to tee up “fore” some hole-in-one style fun on Tuesday, Apr. 7, 2020 at Topgolf in Jacksonville, Florida. The golf fundraiser will be held in conjunction with the Collision Industry Conference meetings taking place later that week in Jacksonville and offers a prime opportunity to help support future collision repair industry professionals. Christen Battaglia, Director of Strategic Partnerships, stated, “Take your customers and your team out for some fun during the week of the Collision Industry Conference, while supporting the next generation entering the field to ensure that they receive the proper education to repair vehicles for your customers. We already have quite a few sponsors lined up: Insurance Auto Auctions, Advanced Automotive Equipment, AirPro Diagnostics, BASF, Lord Fusor, S/ P2, Spears Consulting, GEICO and Tom Bush Collision.” Proceeds from the event will

benefit local Jacksonville high school collision programs as well as other high school and college collision programs around the country. In addition to a fun night of hightech golfing, participants will enjoy an unlimited buffet and drinks (beer, wine and soda). Golfers can register to attend the Foundation’s Topgolf Fundraiser on Apr. 7th for only $150 by visiting, under News and Events. A variety of sponsorship opportunities are now available, starting at just $500. For more information on sponsoring this event, or to learn about other opportunities to support the Foundation’s efforts to help future collision repairers, contact Christen Battaglia at (302) 377-5202 or via email at Christen.Battaglia@ed-foundation. org . The Collision Repair Education Foundation, founded in 1991, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting collision repair educational programs, schools, and students to create qualified, entry-level employees and connect them with career opportunities.


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Hendrick BMW Northlake 10720 Northlake Auto Plaza Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28269 Mon-Fri: 7:30am-6:00pm Sat: 9:00am-5:00pm


Hendrick BMW 6950 E. Independence Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28227 Mon-Fri: 7:30am-6:00pm Sat: 9:00am-5:00pm



©2020 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks.

Hendrick Mini

7036 E. Independence Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28227 Mon-Fri: 7:30am-6:00pm Sat: 9:00am-5:00pm 877.317.9568

©2020 MINI USA, a division of BMW of North America, LLC. The MINI name, model names and logo are registered trademarks. / MARCH 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS 7

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ARA Gathers for 2020 State Legislative Summit by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Jan. 8, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) held its 2020 State Legislative Summit at the Nashville Airport Marriott in Nashville, TN. According to ARA Executive Director Sandy Blalock, “Over 40 professional automotive recyclers gathered for the annual State Legislative Summit. The recyclers discussed anticipated legislative activity for the year and strategized on a variety of issues impacting the recycled original equipment parts market.” “The event was well received,” Blalock continued. “Attendees enjoyed the summit, which was moved to Nashville from Washington, D.C., where it had been held the past several years. Attendees also enjoyed the earlier timeframe, meeting in January rather than April or May, to strategize before legislation was introduced.” The goal of ARA’s Annual State Legislative Summit is to provide a forum for sharing information, discussing legislative issues, and strategizing to “ensure all recyclers speak with a common

voice,” Blalock explained. “It is important for automotive recyclers from across the country to get together and share their experienc-

During ARA’s 2020 State Legislative Summit, Tom Tucker, director of state affairs for the Auto Care Association, asked, “If you knew someone was talking about your business in a way that would make it difficult for you to do business and continue to provide for your family, would you speak up? This is where we are. This is the time for all of you and your employees to speak up.” Credit: ARA

es. Despite geographical and/or local market differences, many of the issues impacting recyclers on the legislative and regulatory level are the same.” ARA’s 2020 State Legislative Summit took place the day after the association’s strategic planning meeting on Jan. 7. For more information about ARA, visit

Florida’s Senate Introduces AOB Bill for the Second Time by Emmariah Holcomb

The state of Florida has introduced assignment of benefit (AOB) legislation for the second time after it was defeated in the Senate Banking and Insurance Subcommittee last year on a split 4-4 vote. The proposed legislation, also known as S312 would prohibit motor vehicle repair shops or their employees from offering anything of value to a customer in exchange for making an insurance claim for motor vehicle glass replacement or repair. S312 was first introduced in September 2019 and was revised following several comments from the public, who found issue with the original version. Proponents say the bill would help decrease alleged auto glass repair and replacement fraud. The amended version also included possible changes regarding calibration. “Pursuant to the repair or re-

placement of motor vehicle glass for vehicles equipped with safety-related systems requiring calibration, [it is unlawful not to] provide written notice to the consumer that repair or replacement will require recalibration of safety-related systems. … and, if recalibration is not performed or not completed successfully, written notice to the consumer that the vehicle should be taken to be recalibrated by a professional capable of performing a recalibration that meets or exceeds the manufacturer’s procedures or specifications,” a portion of the amended bill reads. This year’s Florida legislative session ends on March 13, 2020. We thank for reprint permission.


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to help guide our members and partners through the exciting technological advances and transitions in the industry. With deep industry roots and expertise, we will be the voice that advocates for policies supporting our industry’s efforts to develop cleaner, safer and smarter mobility options for the American public.” The current members of both groups will remain in the merged organization, and members have expressed a desire to actively recruit new personal mobility and technology companies, specifically those focused on self-driving, electric and connected vehicles. Determinations regarding such trends by OEMs and regulators could have a significant impact on OEM procedures and collision repair industry businesses. Bozzella said, “Bringing new technologies to market requires legislative actions and a regulatory environment that allow us the freedom to innovate. It is critical our organization work to ensure elected officials

and regulatory bodies understand how key technological improvements can help improve the health, safety and well-being of our customers, their constituents, and the ten million workers involved in the auto sector. This combined organization will help guide the industry, bringing new innovations and policies to market.” AAI expects no change to the rapid advances in automotive technology and noted, “Globally, automakers spent more than $125 billion on R&D in 2018 alone. The industry is granted nearly 5,000 patents each year, all while meeting or exceeding hundreds of government safety and environmental regulations, per vehicle, in the U.S. alone. With automotive technology advancing at rates unequalled since the industry’s birth, the next few years will impact the U.S. automobile industry for decades to come. New sensing and imaging technologies, advancements in artificial intelligence, and ever-increasing connectivity will make personal transportation safer, smarter and more efficient than ever—saving lives, resources and money.” Over the past decade, both the Association of Global Automakers and the

Symach to Develop New UVA-LEDtronic Technology

AirPro Diagnostics Launches 24/7/365 Service

We are excited to announce that Symach has developed a new UVA-LEDtronic technology for drying and curing UV coating products. It is a new and unique technology compared to those known on the market today, because it is more powerful with low energy consumption, only 90 W, and more than double drying speed compared to the most known systems. Our LED story began three years ago when Symach developed the first LED light technology PowerLED, but the exclusive development on UV technology began in 2017. Symach's R&D division, especially the Ingenier Fabio Francesconi, researched with a team of two lighting experts how to create a UV technology with low environmental impact, fast and efficient  in drying of UV coatings. Today, we are proud to announce that we have currently made the best product on the market.

AirPro Diagnostics, LLC the leader in remote diagnostics, scanning, programming and ADAS calibration solutions, announced the company’s official launch of its 24/7/365 service to the automotive aftermarket world-wide. “Knowing the importance of timely service to the repair community, we want to make sure whenever there is a need, we are there,” stated Josh McFarlin, AirPro Diagnostics vice president of strategic business operations. “AirPro has consistently delivered industry leading service and industry-first solutions to the repair community to increase shops’ efficiency and lower their costs while reducing cycle time with OE level repairs.” The launch of the 24/7/365 service is the natural next step in the company’s commitment to providing cutting-edge technology and service to repair facilities throughout the US and Canada.

Continued from Cover

Merger of Two Trade Groups

Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers have been involved in the progression of documents important to the collision repair industry. In 2014, both agreed to provide independent collision repairers with the same information and tools available to dealers by signing the “Right to Repair” memorandum, and in 2019, they both formally aligned with collision repair trade groups when they declared that all “post-collision vehicle repairs” must adhere to OEM repair procedures. A statement in early 2019 clarified the groups’ stance on the matter: “All post-collision vehicle repairs must be conducted in accordance with the repair procedures issued by the vehicle’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM), specific to that vehicle’s year, make, and model. This includes any directives contained therein relative to pre- and post-scanning of vehicle systems. OEMs develop repair procedures to help safely restore vehicle systems to proper conditions. The processes follow service and structural engineering practices that have been tested by the manufacturer through crash simulation, actual crash testing, and real-world validation of

the repair methodology. “Beyond the simple reinstallation of vehicle hardware, OEM repair procedures provide the measurements and tolerances to correctly recalibrate advanced driver safety and assist systems increasingly found on today’s vehicles, including lane departure warnings, emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring,” the statement continued. “Failure to follow OEM repair procedures in the course of a post-collision repair should be considered an unauthorized modification of a vehicle and its systems, introducing the potential for bodily injury and death to any future drivers and occupants of the vehicle, as well as occupants in other motor vehicles on the roadway.” In 2019, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers also collaborated with collision repair groups to campaign for legislation to force insurers to pay for OEM repair procedure operations. AAI’s headquarters are in Washington, D.C., and the organization also has offices in Detroit, MI and Sacramento, CA. For more information on the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, visit


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March 2020 Association Announcements CCA’s March Meetings On March 5, the Carolinas Collision Association (CCA) will host a meeting at Carolina Collision Equipment in Mooresville, NC. The meeting is free of charge to members and non-members. Doors open at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. The South Carolina Quarterly Meeting is scheduled for March 24 at Blue Ridge Color Company in Duncan, SC. The meeting will feature a presentation by 3M’s Jason Gulley on their CRIMP program as well as Chris Helmer, Business Development Manager for Blue Ridge Color Company, who will speak about “Current Challenges and Future Changes in the Collision Industry.” Doors open at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. The meeting is free to members, and non-members can attend for $25. For more information about CCA, visit carolinascollisionassociation .com.

United Technical Institute Visits Midway High’s Automotive Shop by Chase Jordan

Inside the automotive shop at Midway High School, a group of students gathered around Battle Wilson as he revved up a Kawasaki KX250, while gripping the handlebars. Thanks to visitors from the Universal Technical Institute (UTI), the fun and education did not stop with the motorcycle. Mario Pennycooke, local area marketing manager for UTI, spoke about the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and opportunities in the field. Pennycooke was joined by Chris Bitzenhofer, UTI admissions representative for eastern North Carolina, during the visit. UTI is associated with the NASCAR Technical Institute. “Often, high school students are under the impression that if they’re not going to go to a four-year college, they don’t need to stay awake in science class, math class, engineering class,” Pennycooke said. “What I’m emphasizing is that you do need STEM in our industries to be able to work on cars, bikes, boats, and diesels.” UTI partners with Kawasaki for training purposes to educate students

on the technology on them. It’s a misconception that motor bikes don’t have it. He’s interested in bikes and owns one at home and enjoyed learning about possible job opportunities through UTI.

“I think it’s a great program that people should be involved in,” said Wilson, a freshman at Midway. Pennycooke also presented a 2017 Ford Focus RS, a project car made in collaboration between UTI, Ford and Pennzoil. The debut was made at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. It was a big honor for UTI to bring the car to Midway to educate students. “You have to understand math and the amount of computing power that’s in today’s car,” he said. “The average car today has more computing power than the capsules we

sent to the moon 60 years ago. We need technicians who obviously like working with their hands, but like using computers to diagnose these vehicles. “There’s a huge need for technicians because the average person can’t work on their own car in the backyard anymore,” Pennycooke added. “You need specialized equipment, so that what’s creating this demand, but we want to make sure students that are coming to us are prepared to take that next step.” After the presentation in the garage, Bitzenhofer spoke about career opportunities through the institute, which has 12 locations nationwide. Some of them include include automotive, diesel, welding, collision repair, and Computer Numerical Control Machining Technology Training. It provides an alternative to community or four-year universities. “Some students just want to come and do the career specific training,” he said. “That’s what our school is providing and that’s what we’re here showcasing.” We thank The Sampson Independent for reprint permission.

Florida Council On Economic Education Honors Crown Automotive Founder At Tampa Bay Business Hall Of Fame Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas are home to many prominent civic and business leaders. Each year, the Florida Council on Economic Education (FCEE) honors only a select few of those who contribute so much to these Tampa Bay Communities. This year Dwayne Hawkins, founder and CEO of Crown Automotive Group, is among those being honored for their years of dedication, leadership and resolve to give back to the Tampa Bay community. “I’m absolutely thrilled to see him honored,” said Kevin Hawkins, Executive Director at Crown Automotive. “My father has spent most of his life giving to our community. Seeing him recognized with so many great leaders here really means a lot to me, Dwayne and our family.” The FCEE has been honoring local business leaders from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Pasco, Manatee and Sarasota counties for over 33 years. Those nominated and honored have formed the backbone

of the dynamic and vibrant Tampa Bay area community in place today and serve as inspiration and examples for the leaders of tomorrow. Jim Myers, President and COO of Crown Automotive Group, added, “I can’t tell you how proud all of us here at Crown are of Dwayne. His dedication and vision continue to inspire us to reach new levels as individuals, and as a company.” The award celebration will be co-chaired by Oscar Horton (class of 2010) and Darryl LeClair (class of 2015) and will be held on Thursday, March 26, 2020, at the Tampa Convention Center. Over the last 50 years, Crown Automotive Group has grown into one of the largest privately-owned dealership groups in the nation with operations in Florida, Ohio, and Tennessee. Visit http://www.crowncars. com for more information on Crown Automotive Group and The Better Way To Buy®.


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CCA’s Inaugural Meeting Pierce, the Republican candidate for Insurance Commissioner in North Carolina, who “gave an enthusiastic, inspirational, and informative speech about his dedication to clean up and organize our industry into a more just and straight-forward one; we wish him the best of luck and offer our support for his goals,” Davies shared. “The event was a blast with lots of comradery and a level of networking that I don’t think we’ve seen before in our region. This was an awesome opportunity to loosen up and really converse with people we’ve known for years. Some of these shops are creating friendships that go beyond our industry,” Brian Shaw, Member-at-Large contributed. “Association-sponsored events give us a platform to create a voice. There’s no sense of relief from complaining at home about an issue in the shop – being able to meet with like-minded collision repair professionals who can relate to the difficulties one faces

is invaluable. We all can learn from each other, and that is proven each time a group of shops come together for an event or meeting.” “The focal point of the meeting was to celebrate our successes as a newly combined association and the personal successes of members that went above and beyond our expectations. Secondly, we wanted to provide everyone involved an opportunity to relax and enjoy food, drinks, and the company of our peers. We believe the night revealed the beautifully diverse personalities of our members and added depth to each of the attending companies,” Davies said. Last year was a year of change, growth and creation for both NCACAR and SCACAR, but by combining the two groups to share resources and more effectively direct their efforts, CCA hopes to see even more progress in 2020. CCA’s goals this year include developing a consumer education and marketing campaign to drive customers to pay attention to the quality and safety of repairs, as well as the prevalence and danger of steering and giving the collision repair industry a voice through leg-

islative efforts. In addition to establishing a firm budget to ensure every dollar invested into the association benefits members, vendors and the industry as a whole, CCA plans to create and implement a code of ethics and conduct to “ensure we maintain a superior standard of business and a standard of repair guided by the OEM standards,” Davies noted. CCA also plans to form regional chapters in both states to reach more “rural localities,” Davies said. “We hope this will allow us to more efficiently share resources for training, knowledge and general support for everyone involved.” During the meeting, CCA also held an awards ceremony. Josh Kent, Executive Director of CCA, explained, “We honored vendors whose support exceeds expectations with the Above and Beyond Award, and we are also recognizing the most improved shop from each state this year. The Most Improved Award is judged based on a visual inspection and conversations with the shop owner throughout the year, and the winner received a plaque and lunch to celebrate their hard work. Our 2019

winners were Mitch Dean of Dean’s Automotive in Cheraw, SC and Casey Starnes from KC Starnes Autobody in Charlotte, NC. Congratulations guys, we are so proud of your dedication to the industry!” Davies added, “Our members and partners showed up in force, and we were thrilled with the number of people that made the time and effort to join us for the night. It was a terrific opportunity to enjoy the fruits of our labors and create genuine connections with professionals involved in similar and complementary trades; many folks brought their spouses and families, which created a more intimate environment for us to share stories about our careers and lives. We hope everybody enjoyed themselves at the event, and we look forward to more in the future!” “This event definitely exceeded my expectations!” Shaw added. “The venue, the comedian, the food, and the information from the speakers were all swell, but the relationships forged were the real goal and highlight of the meeting. By looking around the room, it was obvious this goal was exceeded. Hope-


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fully, everybody who attended left with the feeling that the Carolinas are blessed to have such an awesome group of collision repairers that are dedicated to doing the right thing. The fact that they show up to the events and classes month after month proves that. Workdays, evenings, Saturdays, and sometimes entire weekends get sacrificed for the good of the industry.” CCA’s next meeting will be held on February 20 at Mobiletech in Wilmington, NC. Pierce will again share his campaign speech, and the meeting will also feature John Shoemaker, Business Development Manager at BASF, who will present “Practical Production Processes: How to Remote the Chaos from Collision Repair by Careful Production Management.” Attendance is free to members and non-members. Shaw said, “I personally can’t wait for the next opportunity to get together and meet with this amazing group! The Carolinas Collision Conference is going to be epic this Spring!”

Two Mississippi Men Sentenced for Roles in Automotive Fraud Scheme Two Long Beach, Mississippi men were sentenced today for their roles in a long-running odometer tampering scheme, the Department of Justice announced. U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. sentenced Oscar M. Baine, 42, to 36 months’ incarceration and ordered him to pay $619,200 in restitution. Jeffrey Lyn Savarese II, 36, was sentenced to 15 months’ incarceration and ordered to pay $320,000 in restitution. Both men pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to alter odometers. Baine also pleaded guilty to odometer tampering. As part of his guilty plea, Baine admitted that he purchased high-mileage vehicles from wholesale automobile auctions, dealerships, and individuals, and arranged to alter the vehicles’ odometers to reflect false, lower-mileage readings. Baine admitted that he paid Savarese and others to change or alter odometers at his used car lot in Gulfport. Baine then sold the rolled-back vehicles to unsuspecting consumers for inflated prices. He also admitted that he and a co-conspirator caused at least 387 vehicles to be rolled back between 2011 and 2014, which

For more information on CCA and its future events, visit carolinascollision

resulted in consumer losses of more than $600,000. Savarese admitted that he began altering odometers for Mississippi and Louisiana used-car dealers in 2011 and reset the odometers on at least 200 used vehicles for Baine. “The Department of Justice has long been committed to prosecuting automobile dealers, wholesalers, and mechanics who defraud consumers by selling vehicles with unlawfully altered odometers,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “Vehicle mileage is critical to consumers who rely on that information to evaluate the value and safety of a used vehicle.” “These criminals not only defrauded hundreds of people but they directly put families and the general public at risk,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst of the Southern District of Mississippi. “We will continue to do all that we can to protect our citizens from fraudsters who endanger others just to make a quick buck.” Senior Litigation Counsel Linda I. Marks of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Jones

of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi prosecuted the case. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of Odometer Fraud Investigation (NHTSA), assisted by the State of Mississippi Office of the Attorney General, investigated the case. NHTSA estimates that odometer fraud in the United States results in consumer losses of more than $1 billion annually. Individuals with information relating to odometer tampering should call NHTSA’s odometer fraud hotline at (800) 424-9393 or (202) 366-4761. More information on odometer fraud is available on the NHTSA website at https://www. and tips on detecting and avoiding odometer fraud are available at www.nhtsa. gov/staticfiles/nvs/pdf/811284.pdf . For more information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts, visit its website at civil/consumer-protection-branch. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi, visit https://


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IGONC’s Triangle Chapter Explores New Ways to Support Apprenticeship Program by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On January 7, the Triangle Chapter of the Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina (IGONC) held a meeting at the Mecca Restaurant in Raleigh, NC. Guest speakers Cindy Sisson, Super Connector with Tech Force, and Connie Nyholm, owner and CEO of Virginia International Raceway, shared ideas on ways to support the North Carolina Automotive Apprenticeship Program. The meeting drew 32 attendees eager to learn how they could support future repair technicians. IGONC Triangle Chapter President Paul Morro shared, “Our first monthly meeting of 2020 was held at a new, centrally-located venue in downtown Raleigh, and that seemed to pull in some new faces with a good mix of garage owners, parts and marketing professionals present. Most attendees were enthusiastic about the venue, and the speakers generated a lot of energy. There were a lot of good questions and answers, resulting in increased interest in the apprentice program.” The Automotive Apprenticeship

Program provides tuition at a local community college for high school students interested in pursuing an automotive career. “Finding good technicians is one of the biggest problems in the transportation repair industry,” Morro said. “IGONC is lucky to be approved by the state to offer the apprentice program to students.

Presenters Connie Nyholm (left) and Cindy Sisson (right) with IGONC Triangle Chapter President Paul Morro (middle). Credit: IGONC

Basically, if a high school student chooses a career in automotive repair before they graduate, the tuition at a community college will be paid for by the NC Automotive Apprenticeship Program. The student will also be employed at a sponsor IGONC repair facility while in school – we call

this ‘growing our own.’” During the meeting, Sisson discussed the ways that Tech Force promotes a similar path to encourage technician training, and she shared tools that Tech Force offers. Nyholm offered the use of the Virginia International Raceway to reward and encourage apprentices. In fact, she offered 30 complimentary passes to a prestigious race in August for a NC Apprentice Appreciation Day. Morro explained, “The students will tour several high-tech monitoring stations during the race. We are trying to demonstrate that auto repair is a STEM education path, not just manual labor.” “Our meeting exceeded my expectations,” Morro stated. “Everyone interacted with the speakers, and several folks commented on how much they enjoyed the presentation. I thought it was pretty cool to see two women engage and captivate an audience in this industry which is usually perceived as being predominantly male. We need techs, and we need to remember that 52% of the work force is female. One of the female apprentices in our program is showing excellent prom-

ise in the repair field.” Morro was particularly pleased with the promise of action during the meeting. “I have attended a lot of association meetings throughout the years, but what I really like about this one was the follow through. A vendor didn’t just talk and answer some questions, and then everyone went home. Since the meeting, people are getting things done. We left with a call to action: get more techs trained! Members are excited about the apprenticeship program and are actively recruiting candidates. Sisson and IGONC President John Hill will be attending a career fair in Greensboro, NC in February where they will be promoting the apprenticeship program to local high school students. Students and shops interested in participating in the North Carolina Automotive Apprenticeship Program can contact IGONC Marketing and Communications Director Tricia Sauls at The program’s Facebook page can be found at More information about IGONC is available at

Arlington Toyota receives permits for $12 million dealership project by Karen Brune Mathis

Arlington Toyota will transform its Jacksonville dealership property near the northeast corner of Atlantic Boulevard and St. Johns Bluff Road. The city issued five permits Jan. 29 for Stellar Group Inc. to build a new dealership showroom and ren-

ovate existing structures at 10939 Atlantic Blvd. at a construction cost totaling almost $11.9 million. Permits show Arlington Toyota will build a two-story dealership comprising 50,170 square feet of enclosed space and 9,017 square feet of unenclosed space; renovate its existing 36,381-square-foot dealership; renovate the collision center; and make other improvements.

Two retail and office-flex buildings facing Atlantic Boulevard will be demolished for the project. The dealership was built in 1999. The shopping center and office-flex space, purchased by Arlington Realty LLC, was built in 1984. The city and the St. Johns River Water Management District reviewed plans and permit applications for the 12.41-acre site. The district issued a permit in April. Matthews Design Group told the district in a Feb. 19 letter that the office-warehouse buildings will be removed, and a new dealership and showroom will be constructed with associated parking and stormwater conveyance revisions. We thank Jacksonville Daily Record for reprint permission.



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State Farm donates two vehicles to school division repair classes About 100 students are enrolled in the Fauquier County School Division’s auto body repair and auto technology classes. Now they have a couple more cars to work on. On Dec. 6, Carmen Rivera of State Farm Insurance met with Craig Canard, collision repair instructor and Scott Freeman, auto technology instructor, and students

The donated vehicles are a 2014 Nissan Cube and 2015 Chrysler 200.

Rivera requested that the two salvaged vehicles be donated to the Fauquier County Public School Collision Repair Training Program. Canard said that State Farm donated three vehicles last year as well. The students learn to take parts out, cut out and reweld, work on the electronics. “Some cars run, some don’t; we are grateful for the donations. We’ll take Brandon Lane, Nick Heroux and Caden McIntyre on just about anything to help check out the two cars donated to the school division’s our students. We are about 80 auto repair department at Fauquier High School. percent hands-on.” CREDIT: Robin Earl He added that students from Liberty, Kettle Run, and Fau- work toward certifications and sequier high schools to formally pres- niors can even take part in an intern program, where they put in hours at ent the vehicles to the school.

a garage. With advancements in vehicle technology – including high strength steel, sophisticated electronics and multiple airbag systems – knowing where and how to efficiently hone repair skills on later model vehicle vehicles provide the best training outside the classroom, said a press release about the gift. “Vehicle donations like these provide a valuable hands-on opportunity to practice techniques specifically on newer and more intricate model vehicles,” the release said. Rivera added, “With limited budgets, schools welcome the opportunity to receive additional practice, especially on newer vehicles equipped with the most current systems. This hands-on practice enables students to best prepare for their future in the automotive field. These same skills are also valuable assets to learn for future auto insurance adjusters.” We thank the Fauquier Times for reprint permission.

Legislative Preview here in Florida are welcome.” William Large, president of the Florida Justice Reform Institute, praised the governor’s remarks. “As Governor DeSantis said, Florida’s legal system is supposed to address real injuries and disputes, not to be used as a game. Those games clog the courts and frustrate Florida’s growth,” he said. The explosion of AOB claims over the last several years and other market forces, including excessive litigation and losses from Hurricane’s Irma and Michael, have created a hazardous financial environment for many insurers, according to Demotech, which rates 46 Florida-based carriers. As a result, Demotech said last week that many of Florida’s domestic insurance carriers face rating downgrades in the coming days and weeks. Industry advocates and consumer groups are urging the Florida Legislature to pass legislation this See Legislative Preview, Page 20

Authorities Bust Large Indoor Marijuana Grow Operation in Lenoir City,TN, Arrest Body Shop Owner Authorities in Lenoir City have discovered a large marijuana grow operation in two downtown locations and arrested a local business owner. After an eight-week investigation, officers with the Lenoir City Police Department and the 9th Judicial Drug Task Force executed search warrants at a home on 911 W. Broadway and on Dr. Marty’s Car Care located at 400 E. Broadway, both owned by 38-year-old John Nicolas Rebori III. In the home, they found a “significant” marijuana grow operation utilizing both hydroponics and potted plants. Lenoir City Police Chief Don White said there were at up to 85 mature high-grade marijuana plants, each capable of producing at least a pound of pot. At $3,000 to $4,000 a pound, that current crop was worth more than $250,000 dollars on the streets. White said the grow was located in the house but Rebori was selling marijuana out of both locations. They were particularly con-

cerned because the auto repair shop was located right across the street from a park and playground. Rebori was arrested and will be charged, though the exact charges have not yet been determined. Authorities are not sure how long the operation has been underway, but White said it appeared that Rebori had gone through “several cycles” of growth. Officers found some older plants that were no longer producing. “No matter who are, if you’re dealing with drugs in Lenoir City, you will be arrested,” Mayor Tony Aikens said. White said if you see any suspicious activity around a home or business, to report it to law enforcement. One thing to look for is lots of people coming and going, and not just at night. He also said blacked-out windows are another indicator something could be going on inside a building. We thank WBIR 10 News for reprint permission.


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Legislative Preview year that would help the state’s private market, including reforms to the excessive litigation. “Market factors such as Florida’s crumbling legal environment and lawsuit abuse have had significant consequences in the insurance marketplace and made it challenging for companies to maintain A ratings,” said Logan McFaddin, Vice president of state government relations for the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA). “The Florida Legislature needs to implement meaningful reforms during the 2020 Legislative Session that reduce lawsuit abuse and restore fairness to Florida’s legal system. APCIA looks forward to working with lawmakers during the upcoming session to address these critical issues.” Paul Handerhan, president of the Federal Association for Insurance Reform (FAIR), said two bills have been introduced, both sponsored by Senator Jeff Brandes, that would

target first party litigation abuses. Senate Bill 914 would provide that for certain attorney fees awarded for claims arising under property insurance policies, the maximum fee a court may award is a lodestar fee and prohibit the court from considering contingency risk or using a contingency risk multiplier.

the Florida Senate Banking & Insurance Committee, also sponsored SB 924 that would target civil actions against insurers. That bill provides that in third-party bad faith actions against insurers, insureds and claimants have the burden to prove that an insurer acted in reckless disregard for insured rights which resulted in

“As Governor DeSantis said, Florida’s legal system is supposed to address real injuries and disputes, not to be used as a game. Those games clog the courts and frustrate Florida’s growth,” — William Large The other bill, SB 1634, would revise requirements for the civil remedy notice provided to insurers and the Department of Financial Services; delete a requirement for certain persons acting on behalf of an insurer to provide certain notice before scheduling a meeting or onsite inspection for certain purposes; and require named insureds to provide insurers with a specified notice as a condition precedent to filing suit under a property insurance policy. Brandes who is a member of

damage to the insured or the claimant, according to the bill summary. It also would require in these claims that insured or claimant actions or inactions are relevant in bad faith actions; provide that an insurer is not liable if certain conditions are met; and provide that an insurer is not liable beyond available policy limits as to certain competing third-party claims if it files an inter-pleader action within a certain time frame. APCIA’s McFaddin said bad faith reform in Florida is a top legis-

lative priority for the association this year. “Florida’s legal climate is one of the worst in the country, and rampant lawsuit abuse fueled by some plaintiffs’ attorneys is dramatically driving up costs for consumers and businesses,” she said. “Consumers’ rights to seek legal action will remain protected, but it is past time to implement reforms that will reduce lawsuit abuse, curb frivolous tactics, and begin to restore fairness to Florida’s legal system.” Another issue that the APCIA and other industry and consumer advocates will be focused on this year is reform for auto glass claims abuse. This scheme also uses AOBs but instead targets windshield claims where policyholders sign over their insurance benefits for quick repairs to attorneys or auto shops who turn around and sue the insurer in order to collect fees. According to a November report from the Florida Justice Reform Institute, there were 17,000 auto glass suits in 2017, up from about 400 in 2006. The number of suits peaked in 2017 with 24,000. See Legislative Preview, Page 48


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Continued from Cover

“Opt-OE” Parts OEM (i.e., “if the BMW part has a BMW logo on it, then this part will have the BMW logo on it”), or “Tier 1 with Branding Differences,” such as one lacking the automaker logo. Schulenburg’s subcommittee took much of the same approach in terms of determining different part attributes (who makes the part, how it is packaged, who distributes it, who backs it with a warranty), but concluded that only a two-pronged way to classify the parts is needed. An “OEM part,” the subcommittee said, is one manufactured by or for the automaker, sold in the automaker’s packaging and within the automaker’s authorized supply chain, and warranted by the vehicle manufacturer. Any part not meeting all four of those attributes, Schulenburg said his subcommittee decided, is a “non-OEM part.” “We really tried to approach it like: Here’s ‘OEM.’ Anything that doesn’t meet that definition is ‘nonOEM,’” Schulenburg said. “That’s super clear for a consumer to understand. It doesn’t make [non-OEM] bad or wrong or an unacceptable option. There are thousands and thousands of non-OEM parts that are legitimately chosen every single year. But we first defined ‘OEM,’ and anything that doesn’t meet that definition from our vantage point is a ‘non-OEM part.’” Weiss said he’s not necessarily opposed to the other work group’s proposal, but said he thinks those making parts decisions would need more information about all the different parts designated as “non-OEM,” such as who manufactured a particular part, not just the supplier. Tier 1 suppliers to the automakers, such as Denso and Bosch, he said, produce quality parts that consumers on the mechanical side

of the industry regularly choose. “There are companies out there that have a well-respected name, and it can mean more to you to know you’re getting it from that manufacturer as opposed to a company that may not use the same quality and may not have the same reputation,” Weiss said. Weiss also noted that the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), which has said terms like “optOE” and “alt-OE” cannot be used, has said an OEM part not purchased from a dealer can be called “OEM.” “We have one very large state that has decided that warranty has nothing to do with the part [designation],” Weiss said. Schulenburg acknowledged that Weiss is correct about the BAR’s decision but added, “Just because California got that one attribute wrong isn’t reason enough for us not to try to define it correctly for the other 49 states. Then California might rethink their position.” He said that currently a part may get dubbed by the seller as “OEM surplus” when it wasn’t made for the automaker and isn’t in the automaker’s packaging. When there’s no matching line for “OEM surplus” in the parts platform where the part is listed, it gets described as “opt-OE,” and then if sold in California, it is switched to “OEM.” “What ends up on the estimate to the consumer is not at all reflective of the part that comes in the box or what goes on their vehicle, and that’s what we’re trying to get away from,” Schulenburg said. But given that “opt-OE” has been a “catch-all bucket” for multiple types of parts, wouldn’t lumping in all parts not meeting the subcommittee’s definition of “OEM” result in a variety of types of parts under the “non-OEM” label, Schulenburg was asked.

“I think there are ways for us as an industry to figure that business-to-business piece, and to differentiate them [within the parts platforms],” Schulenburg said. “But I think what is more important is the consumer understanding.” The six labels the other subcommittee proposes for the parts, he said, won’t be clear to consumers. “I think they serve to validate parts that a consumer should understand aren’t OEM,” Schulenburg said. He said the two subcommittee’s proposals remind him a little of the 2017 internet meme in which different people, looking at the same photo of a pair of shoes, see them as either pink and white or mint and gray. “The way we are each wired to perceive it is going to be how our brain determines what color that shoe actually is,” Schulenburg said. The parts debate, he said, is a challenge because everyone approaches it from their own vantage point and their own business objectives. Instead, he suggested, the industry might want to think of it more from the perspective of Marcia and Matthew Seebachan, the Texas

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couple who earlier in the CIC meeting in Las Vegas had shared what the impact of a poorly-repaired vehicle had on their lives. “My personal opinion is at the end of the day, we need to look back at that presentation and think about that rather than our own personal vantage points,” Schulenburg said. “What do we do to make all of this clear to [consumers like them], so they never have to sit in that seat and tell that kind of story.” Several CIC participants in Las Vegas voiced heated condemnations of one or both of the subcommittees’ approaches. Schulenburg said those exchanges demonstrated the dilemma the committee faces, “where we each have defined our perspectives but haven’t found a middle ground, or a roadmap to get to it.” He said the committee has “experienced professionals within the industry who just vehemently disagree with one another,” trying to determine where to go next. “I don’t think we have an answer,” Schulenburg said. “I think the point here was to establish where we are today. I think we’ve done that.”

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with Erica Schroeder

Industry Insight with John Yoswick

—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit Contact him by email at

MSOs Hear Positive Outlook for 2020, Discuss Mixed Impact of Photo Estimating

Shop Showcase

A positive forecast for the collision more of an impact on frequency and she added. repair industry in 2020 was among severity, she said. But Gotsch also echoed those the presentations at the eighth annual “Even if the vehicle doesn’t who have said autonomous vehicles with Ed Attanasio “MSO Symposium” held in Las Ve- avoid the accident, [emergency brak- aren’t going to put collision repairers’ gas during SEMA. Susanna Gotsch, ing] may at least minimally reduce the livelihoods at stake any time soon. director of industry analysis for CCC damage incurred if the speed of the She cited Apple co-founder Steve Information Services, said with new- vehicle is mitigated before impact,” Wozniak, now age 69, who said last car sales in 2019 again at 17 million fall that fully self-driving vehicles units for the fifth year in a row (a likely won’t be ready for the real first), and scrappage rates at historic world “in my lifetime.” with Ed Attanasio lows, a growing vehicle population In the meantime, Gotsch said, on the roads should mean “we will automakers are looking for new ways see the overall number of vehicles in to generate revenue from vehicles accidents grow.” such as in-console ads or announceAdvanced driver assistance sysments promoting (while potentially tems (ADAS) will likely continue to distracting drivers) easily-accessible have a modest with impactEd on Attanasio that, she gas stations or doughnut shops the acknowledged. About 56 percent of driver and vehicle are approaching. 2019 model year vehicles include “So despite all the talk about vehifrontal crash warning with emergen- Susanna Gotsch of CCC Information Services cle autonomy changing our landscape cy braking (up from 29 percent for sees other factors offsetting some of the and eliminating the need for personal downward impact ADAS has on accident model year 2017), meaning an esti- frequency in the short term, and collision auto insurance and vehicle repairs in mated 60 million vehicles on U.S. repair costs rising healthily this year. Credit: the future, I think most of us, as I look with Ed Attanasio roads have that technology. That’s John Yoswick around the room, are probably pretty only about 20 percent of the total vehicle population, but a much higher percentage of vehicles that are 3-yearsold or newer, which have previously accounted for a third of the estimates CCC processes. with Stacey Phillips Gotsch calculates if emergency braking cuts those vehicles’ likelihood of a front-to-rear collision by 50 percent, that technology is reducing • Delivery to 100 Mile Radius of Naples overall frequency between 2 percent and 5 percent. There’s some potenwith Stacey Phillips PARTS HOURS: PARTS DIRECT LINE: tial offset; however, vehicles with M-F 7am to 6pm 239-734-3215 2 39 734 39 734 3215 21 emergency braking have a 20 percent Sat 8am to 5pm Fax: 239-591-3051 higher frequency of being rear-ended 5665 N. Airport Pulling Rd. / Naples, FL 34109 by another vehicle when the emergency braking kicks in. That’s the At Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Naples, upside for collision repairers during with Stacey Phillips we we’ e’re e ’re re re yyou yoour oneee-stop -sto stop op sho shop for for this period when there are still plenty of vehicles without much in the way of ADAS. In the short run, she said, the industry can expect to see slightly fewer but more complex and expensive repairs. with Stacey Phillips “We expect repair costs to accelerate about 5 percent [in 2020] on average, versus about 3 percent growth two or three years ago,” she said. As more driver assistance systems are introduced and work better in more situations, there should be

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safe with a career in this industry, at least until we retire,” Gotsch said. Virtual Claims Handling Will “Normalize” Repair Costs In another presentation during the MSO Symposium, Allstate’s Clint Marlow said he believes “virtual inspections” will continue to become more common. “It costs an awful lot of money to have staff that gets in a car in the morning and travels from repair facility to repair facility,” Marlow said. “From the studies we did, they spent half that time driving, sitting in traffic, etc.” He said cutting back on staffing costs is part of what’s driving the push for virtual inspections, but he also said more and more consumers are finding it an easier and faster process, and shops are seeing faster supplement approvals using Allstate’s “Virtual Assist” rather


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than waiting for in-shop reinspections by an adjuster. However, Marlow did acknowledge that some challenges with virtual inspections still exist. With just photos, he said, you “can’t get under the car or lift the hood.” “And the consumer may come in [to the shop] thinking this is a minor loss, and all of a sudden at teardown it’s like, ‘Wait a minute. Why is the repair this much? Who is trying to get one over on me? Is it the insurer or is it the repairer?’ When really, it’s just additional damage,” Marlow said. But increased use of “big data” will help resolve more of those issues, he predicted. “What are the parts that you’re not seeing [in a virtual inspection] that you think may be damaged,” Marlow said. “You can start to [use historical claims data] to put a confidence weight on that. No one likes [parts] returns. But if I said [based on data] there’s a 90 percent chance of you needing this part, how many people would not order that part in their initial parts order? And you might even do it at 80 percent. Lower than that,

people may start to get squeamish. So, you’ll start to see these types of predictions on the damage you don’t see to augment the virtual estimate.” Marlow predicted that one outcome of the shift toward photo estimating and remote or “virtual” handling of supplements will be that

Allstate’s Clint Marlow predicted “big data” increasingly will help offset current limitations of photo estimating. Credit: John Yoswick

“repair costs are going to normalize across the industry.” He said when companies such as his had local claims offices throughout most markets, “different market practices evolved over time” in each of those markets. “Judgement times,” for example, evolved differently, particu-

larly in areas like California where labor rates vary from market to market. “They all still kind of get paid the same money to fix the car [despite the differences in labor rates] because the judgment times have evolved a little bit differently,” Marlow said. “That probably isn’t going to be a good model going forward when California claims are handled [remotely] by someone in Atlanta or somebody in New York. That’s my hypothesis on why you’re going to see things normalize across the industry, because you’re losing local market knowledge.” Mixed Views of Photo Estimating MSOs themselves offered a little less enthusiasm for photo estimating during a panel discussion at the event. Vince Claudio of the Gerber Collision chain did say his company has run almost 10,000 photo estimates last year, but he sees it mostly as a customer convenience or a way for the company to potentially handle a “catastrophic event where you have resources strained” and could “work with a central review team to

complete some estimates.” Mark Sanders, president and chief operating officer for the Caliber Collision chain, said his company also offers photo estimates as a customer service, but only “for very small claims, where we can write an estimate, have the customer accept repairs, and we pre-order the parts,” enabling the customer to make only one trip to the shop before repairs begin. “But I do think you’re seeing [photo estimating] getting abused, where it’s being used as a cash-out tool for a lot of customers, some with pretty significant hits,” Sanders said. “To me there’s a risk there of writing an estimate for a customer with what appears to be minor bumper damage, but without notifying that customer that the vehicle could be unsafe to drive because the [sensors or ADAS] systems are knocked out of calibration.” Claudio concurred. “It feels like it makes it easier for them to interact and do business [with you], but by the same token you could be creating significant risk,” he said.


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Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-6; Sun 10-5 / MARCH 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS 29

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Leading the Ethical Revolution in the Collision Repair Industry by Stacey Phillips

When Jeff Peevy was named chairman of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in 2019, he placed an empty chair on the stage at each meeting. The chair represented “the consumer,” those who are in accidents and have their cars repaired. During the last CIC meeting of 2019 in Las Vegas, Peevy filled that empty chair with special guests Marcia and Matthew Seebachan. The Seebachans were the owners of the Honda Fit that was in the accident resulting in a $42 million lawsuit. Peevy and his wife, Marie, interviewed the couple about their experience as well as the human impact of poor repair decisions. Following the impactful interview, Dave Luehr, owner of Elite Body Shop Solutions, invited Peevy to talk about the personal impact of the interview during an Elite Body Shop Academy webinar. Peevy’s presentation also included recommendations on how collision repair businesses can lead the ethical movement in the industry.

“Listening to the discussions at CIC, I started to realize that more times than not, the consumer, the motoring public and their families are riding in vehicles our industry repaired and get very little consideration during our discussions,” said

Jeff Peevy, chairman of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and president of the Automotive Management Institute (AMi)

Peevy, who is also the president of the Automotive Management Institute (AMi). “I thought it would be important for us to keep the people riding in the vehicles that our industry repairs at the forefront of our decisions and discussions.” Peevy realized how a cross-sec-

tion of the industry began to refer to the chair. “I’m really proud of attendees at CIC for respecting what that chair represents,” he said. Many have read industry publications and heard presentations about the Seebachans’ experience and Peevy said the young couple was often looked at as people out of a storybook. “My goal with the empty chair was to make the people who have impacted our industry real,” he explained. What Peevy didn’t realize when he set up the interview was how it would impact him personally. He soon learned that his daughter and son-in-law are the same age as Marcia and Matthew, and had purchased a preowned Honda Fit vehicle around the same time as the Seebachans. Also, Peevy’s daughter is going to school to become a licensed clinical social worker—the same job held by Marcia. These parallels resulted in the experience becoming more personal to Peevy and he recognized that the accident could have happened to

anyone. “I don’t think I was fully prepared for what it would do to me and I probably have become a little less compromising around doing the right thing and making sure we think about the vehicles we are repairing,” said Peevy. Leading the Ethical Revolution During the Elite webinar, Peevy asked attendees to consider whether they place the value of human life at the top of everything. “We’ll typically say ‘yes,’ but then follow up with a ‘but’ and blame some other segment of the industry,” observed Peevy. “We always need to put the value of human life above all else. I believe it’s unethical if we do anything that jeopardizes anyone in the cars we repair.” Peevy shared a quote from Marcia Seebachan that she said during the interview at CIC. “One of the things drilled into us from day one in any social work course is our code of ethics and part of that is only using evidence-based


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practices with our clients…” she said. “We are trained to look into practices and theories and methods that are supported by evidence and there has been research and proof showing why this intervention is effective with this specific diagnosis or need with a client and I just can’t fathom practicing any other way.” Peevy said the same is true in many professions. “Somehow, in our industry, we’ve taken liberties and not always used evidence-based practices and OEM procedures,” said Peevy. “I think OEM procedures are probably the closest thing to evidence-based procedures that we have. We can all agree there is a lot of research and design that goes into the design of vehicles.” As a result, he recommended that collision repair businesses ready to help with the ethical revolution in the industry, start with OEM procedures. An essential part of this is educating consumers. “The law says consumers have the right to decide where to take their car … they often get help from family and friends,” said Peevy.

However, he pointed out that the majority of those making the recommendations are unqualified and as a result, the consumer’s life can be put in risk. “We need to do what we can to educate consumers because they are put in the position to make a decision and more than likely will be uninformed,” said Peevy. Then, after making that choice, consumers are asked if they are happy with the repair. Although cycle times and Customer Satisfaction Indexing (CSI) are important, Peevy said just because consumers say they are happy with the repair and received the car on time, the carpet is vacuumed and the paint is shiny, those are not assurances the vehicle was repaired correctly and safely. “We don’t really have any good measurements,” said Peevy. He encourages collision repairers to think about how to best address this in the future. During the interview, Peevy said Marcia shared a vital observation. “She said that getting hit by a car was an accident; the extent of the injuries were not but based on deci-

sions made by others,” said Peevy. As a result, Peevy said the lives of this young couple will be changed forever and they won’t have the quality of life they should because of these decisions. Marcia also made another statement that resonated with Peevy. “We were fortunate that we got the answers that we have because I think it would be intentionally naïve to pretend that there aren’t people who have been injured or had fatal accidents that weren’t impacted by something like this,” said Marcia. The bottom-line, according to Peevy, is to recognize that it’s all about choices and the decisions made by those who repair vehicles. Rather than beginning to work on a car as soon as it arrives at the shop, repairing it as best and as fast as possible, moving it through the shop and trusting it was done correctly, Peevy stressed the importance of following OEM procedures and doing everything possible to repair the vehicle safely and correctly. This extends beyond liability and the economics of running a business.

Peevy said that in some countries, there are bad accidents and vehicle owners still drive around because they are just trying to survive. If the cars are repaired, they are often patched up rather than repaired properly. However, in the United States, he said shops can afford to do it right without compromise. He recommended that anyone involved in the collision repair industry watch the video and digest what the young couple shared. “We need to stop some of the stuff we’re doing and really be sincere in reviewing everything we do to ensure human life is placed above all else,” he said. To watch the free replay of this webinar, visit https://daveluehr. -s-elite-webinar-series/categories /1931663/posts/6467462. The entire Elite webinar series is available by signing up for free using the following link: www.elite / MARCH 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS 31

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with Stacey Phillips

From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

Few Collision Repairers Are Separating Out Scanning Time Versus Diagnostic Time It’s been just over a year since I wrote about the inconsistency in how shops are billing for scanning, and it’s still an issue that concerns me. The results of our “Who Pays for What?” survey this last October related to scanning charges are similar to those from a year earlier. In 2019, among the more than 800 shops responding to the survey, about 1-in-4 of those who perform scans in-house charge a flat fee. Nearly 50 percent charge up to 1.0 labor hour at a mechanical labor rate; but, the remaining 25 percent of shops scanning in-house were all over the map. There was similar variety in how shops bill when they use a remote scanning service. The real problem, I believe, is the inconsistency in what shops are including in that scanning charge. Shops need to separate scanning time from their diagnostic time. Scanning involves performing

the output or functionality test on the vehicle to gather the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). The diagnostic time begins once the scanning is complete. For example, say I scan a vehicle and it has seven DTCs. For each of those codes, I have to search for that code in the OEM repair procedures. I have to find out what it means. In some cases, it may be simple and clear, an indication that a certain part needs to be replaced. Oftentimes, the diagnosis is more complicated. The OEM information may site four to six or eight potential causes for that DTC, and I must go back to the vehicle and go through that list, one-by-one, to see which is the cause on that vehicle. The OEMs sometimes offer a flowchart for this process and navigating that takes some time. So, that vehicle with seven DTCs

will require ‘x’ amount of diagnostic time, far more than the vehicle where the scan finds no DTCs, but less than the vehicle where the scan finds 50 DTCs, each of which needs to be researched. It’s that variation in research or diagnostic time that I think many shops are missing. Here are some tips that may help with the diagnostic step. First, be aware that across manufacturers, DTCs begin with a letter that helps point you to the origination of the code. A DTC that begins with a “P” is powertrain-related. One that starts with a “B” is body-related. A “C” at the start of a DTC indicates it is chassis related. The one that’s a little less obvious is a DTC that begins with a “U,” which indicates it is network related. This refers to network communication, and collision repair work frequently causes such codes. It hap-

pens, say, when we unplug a component when we remove a door mirror or handle, remove a headlight, or then drive the vehicle from the body shop to the paint department. The control module is looking for that component we’ve unhooked and can’t find it, so it stores a “U” code for lost communication. These codes need to be cleared, much like a dirt nib needs to be taken out of the refinish. Such codes are sometimes referred to as a “cyber fingerprint,” because if you don’t scan the vehicle post-repair and clear those codes, someone down the road who scans the vehicle will be able to see what you’d removed without clearing the codes. The other tip I would offer is whether you are scanning vehicles inhouse or using a third-party provider, make sure you collect and save the See Scanning vs. Diagnostic, Page 50


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with Stacey Phillips

Shop Management

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

with Ed Attanasio

Automotive Artwork Adds Class to Your Waiting Room During my career as a journalist co- But, what’s on the walls? vering the automotive repair industry, What I often find are pictures of Little I have probably been in more than League teams, I-CAR and OE certifi600 body shop’s waiting rooms, and cations, rusty old traffic signs, plaques with Bruce Roistacher unless it’s an MSO, they’re all diffe- for the Employee of the Month or other forms of community or professional recognition. These types of things can reinforce your already stellar reputation, but are they really pleasing to the eyes? Putting all of these things on your with Gary Ledoux walls is nice, but in the end, many waiting rooms look like mini-museums or large bulletin boards. Remember that when any Alan Fearnley focuses on classic and racing cars that feature individual enters your facilipeople, architecture and landscape to accent the images ty, he or she can potentially rent. Some shops go over the top, with become a customer for life. Stand fountains, beverage bars, contempora- out and impress them and begin the ry furniture and big-screen TVs, etc. process on the right foot. Of course, Others hire interior designers to create you’ll have to do a great job on their with Stacey Phillips a customer-friendly environment. car, but that’s given. In a world whe-

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re social media can help or hinder a business overnight, a good first impression is more important than ever. There are a handful of options for decorating your walls in an attractive and uncluttered manner. In some waiting rooms, I’ve seen a series of black and white photos of their town featu-

and then had them nicely matted and framed. It’s a smart move because the message is that you’re connected to your community and hopefully vice versa. Another cool way to give your waiting area that “wow” factor is with a mural. You can hire a local artist and come up with a concept that is unique and suited for your shop and your story. Many shops have murals on the exterior of their buildings, so why not one inside? The only thing is you better like the finished product, because changing it isn’t as easy as moving a couple paintings or posters around. Paul Chenard is well-known for his racing images drawn I once wrote an article by using pencils and pastels about Luscious Garage in ring different scenes throughout the San Francisco, that converted part of years. They went to the local library, its shop into an art gallery featuring made high-res copies of the photos, the works of local artists. They cura-

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te it carefully, rotate the images every few months and the owners must have good taste, because the art is always A-List. If you want to do something that’s a little more conventional, hanging automotive art is always a winner, in my opinion. Whether it’s a giclee or a print, it won’t be cheap but you won’t need to apply for a small business loan either. A giclee looks more like the original and costs more, but digital prints are extremely affordable. I have chosen four painters of automotive art whose works appear in body shop waiting rooms all over the world. I like their work and have chosen four with differing styles. When I was in Italy recently visiting shops, I saw images created by at least two of the artists that I’m featuring here. Alan Fearnley: The paintings of British artist Alan Fearnley focus on classic and racing cars that feature people, architecture and landscape to accent the images. He has created more than a 100 automotive paintings on this subject, and 70,000-plus copies of his works sold worldwide, as well as three books published of his work. Fearnley’s style has been descri-

bed as impressionism, and I would bet that you’ve seen his images on prints, posters, albums, calendars, etc. Paul Chenard: Canadian artist Paul Chenard’s fine drawings using pencils and pastels have been popular for more than 25 years. His passion is for the history of automobile

ling that the spectator has watching the race, their favorite driver in battle or the classic racecar at rest,” Chenard said in his artist’s statement. “I’m also trying to feature the stories that give racing history depth and texture.” Michael Irvine: Working primarily with watercolors, Irvine is known for creating clean and sharp images that are alive with “color and narration.” This approach to watercolor, together with his background in illustration and his love of classic cars, has turned Irvine into a major player within the world of automotive art. “My goal is to continually challenge myself. I want to give the viewer something they cannot see in ‘real life,’” Irvine said. David Snyder’s images have been described as alive with “I always want to draw “color and narration.” the viewer into a painting, racing, which eventually led to col- giving them more, the longer they lecting vintage toy racecars and then look.” his illustrations. Irvine’s work has appeared on ‟Through my motorsports art- the covers of the Mopar Collectors work, I’m trying to capture the fee- Guide and Muscle Car Enthusiast.

He offers reproductions of all of his paintings as limited edition prints, artist proofs and gallery edition canvases. David Snyder: David Snyder started drawing cars, airplanes and trains at the age of six. His passion for transportation history continues today. Snyder’s art portrays memories of growing up with cars from the ‛50s through the American Muscle era. He takes you down memory lane inviting you to ‟step right in” to his paintings and visit the past. The period architecture, signage, oil cans in the garage bay - no detail is too small for Snyder. Known for his detailed images, he spends countless hours on research before beginning a painting. Other popular automotive artists of note include Kelly Telfer (pastels), John Ketchell (semi-abstract), Tim Layzell (30s and 40s cars), James Hart Dyke (watercolors), Dan Gwinnett (large canvases), Bobbie Crews (murals), Bill Bravo (commissions for classic car owners), Dan Reed (realism) and Tony Sikorski (sculptor).

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That’s It! He’s Had it! Part 2 by Gary Ledoux

Owning and operating a collision shop today is a daunting task. It’s not uncommon to hear some owners say that they would just as soon get out and close their shop… but then, what would they do? In last month’s edition of Autobody News we produced part one of this two-part series on alternatives to operating a body shop. Here are a few additional ideas on alternative but related options and the conclusion of this series. Work For an OE: Car makers have a lot of people on the payroll - a lot of people with many talents, levels of education, experience and expertise. OE’s, at the national level, specialize in establishing dealerships, distributing cars, administering sales programs, warranty administration and ensuring a steady flow of spare parts. To do this they spend the majority of their time concentrating on their dealership network. Up until fairly recently, they spent little to no

time on the collision side of the business and thus have few people who are well versed in it. A former body shop manager could provide expertise in any number of areas including field work, training, producing training or service materials, or ad-

defects. In addition, he manages shop inspections for OE shop certifications programs for Subaru and several other OEs. To do this he employs over 20 associates…many of them former shop owners. Olson says, “I would like to have ten more former shop owners.

“If someone is looking to get out of their body shop and do something else, they first must be engaged with what they are doing now and where the industry is headed in order to be valuable to someone else.” — Frank Terlep ministering body shop certification programs, just to name a few. Third Party/Consulting: Vehicle Collision Experts LLC, better known as VECO Experts, owned by industry icon and former shop owner, Mark Olson, offers a number of different consulting, training, coaching and auditing services to body shops. He also serves as an expert witness for court cases including collision and vehicle

Someone with 10 to 15 years in the business knows what they are doing… and do a good job at it.” Independent Consultant: It is not uncommon for a former shop owner to lend their expertise to any number of different related companies who need a consultant on a part time basis, or to conduct a special project. Two that immediately come to mind, and are both former shop owners are

Lou DiLisio of Automotive Industry Consulting, Inc. and the ever-popular Mike Anderson of Collision Advice. Technical Instructor: Doug Irish is the Department Chair for Collision Repair and Refinish Technology for the Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) in Fayetteville, NC. “People become instructors for colleges, tech schools or high schools for a number of different reasons and in a number of different ways” says Irish. “But it’s good to have someone with several years’ experience and someone who knows the industry.” Irish notes that an instructor’s position will not command the paycheck that a shop owner’s will, but in many ways the job is less demanding, but, like any job, not without its challenges. Magazine Reporter: Since the 1970’s, scores of shop owners have authored magazine articles, some even had their own monthly column. Some did it while they were still running their shop, some after retirement. They wrote about everything from spray painting technique,

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to how to buy the correct equipment to tips for running an efficient front office… and everything in between. One thing they all had in common as writers – credibility. Representative for Other Industry Related Products: If you have never attended the ever-growing collision section of the SEMA show, take a few days next fall, book a room in Las Vegas and check it out. Just about every product you have ever used, or wanted to use in your shop is represented there. Find a product that you like, one that you believe in and can be passionate about, and talk to the booth representative. If they are not looking for new people, they probably know someone who is. In either case, it’s a great place to network. Website Design, Social Media and Promotion: To be “alive” in the business world today requires a well-designed and constantly updated website and appropriate social media presence. Some people are good web designers but know nothing about the collision business or how to relate to people. As a former shop manager, you definite-

ly know the business, and know what to say (and what not to say) to potential customers. If you know how to produce websites and manage social media, or know someone who does and you can manage their efforts, you have a ready-made and very lucrative business. Engage in Emerging Technologies: Industry veteran and author of the new book, Auto Industry Disruption, Who and What is Being Disrupted and What to Do About It, Frank Terlep notes, “If someone is looking to get out of their body shop and do something else, they first must be engaged with what they are doing now and where the industry is headed in order to be valuable to someone else. The future in this industry is electronics and you must watch the trends.” This includes autonomous cars, artificial intelligence, and alternative motive power and fuels. “AirPro Diagnotics is a good example of this emerging technology” noted Terlep. “They are diagnosing vehicle electronics from a remote location.” Industry veteran, former chairman for the Collision Industry Con-

ference and former shop owner Mike Quinn now serves as the Senior Vice President for Business Development for AirPro Diagnostics. Quinn said, “We can all see which way this industry is going. The future is in those companies that service a car’s electronics. Right now, this is handled by people who are more versed in the mechanical side of the auto repair business because they have had to deal with it longer. What they may not be as familiar with is the protocols and nuances of the collision repair business. That’s where the collision industry veterans could help.” To amplify comments from Frank Terlep and Mike Quinn above, Tim Ronak, industry veteran, former shop owner and now a business consultant for AkzoNobel noted, “One of my favorite sayings is ‘Learn or die.’ Everyone’s role in the collision industry is changing and evolving. Whether you are staying in your shop, or going somewhere else, you need to keep up with the industry and the technology.” Bruce Cooley, now retired, has over 40 years in the collision repair industry having worked for DuPont and Sherwin Williams, and has called

on hundreds of body shops. Cooley maintains that, among shop owners there are those that are self-employed, and those that are entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs tend to concentrate on business concepts and business models. They employ people to do the actual work, as opposed to doing the work themselves and thus are quite adaptable to alternative but related businesses. Cooley says, “It is the entrepreneurs, those who are really engaged in the industry who will have the easier time transitioning to a different but related business. But because of their entrepreneurial spirit, may have a more difficult time simply working for someone else – especially when they have been the sole decision maker for their business for so long.” Leave your shop – or stay? It’s a harrowing question. With fast-changing technology and an ever-evolving business and socio-economic climate, it’s a challenge either way. Have you “Had it?”

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with Victoria Antonelli

In Reverse

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

with Gary Ledoux

The 1980’s – The Evolution of the “Patch Panel” In the early 80’s, the term “patch pan- available were fenders for the Chevy el” was still being used to describe Chevette and Citation. non-OE sheet metal body panels used Fueling the “patch-panel” market, primarily to replace rusted-out rocker a number of aftermarket parts suppliers with Garybuckets Ledouxbegan to emerge. panels, floor pans, headlight and the like. (In the 50’s, 60’s and Some sold direct to shops, while 70’s, rust was a major problem. A car some sold through jobbers. Some could be only three years old, be me- claimed that their parts were better than chanically sound, but with rust holes OE, while some claimed some really already poking through rocker panels poor-fitting parts were in the supply and fender wells, hence the need for stream – but “not carried by their company.” Some suppliers noted that they “patch panels.”) concentrated more on service rather trade magazine An early 80’s with Stacey Phillips article noted that when the Big 3 than the part’s quality. Some suppliers were changing sheet metal design noted that they offered a longer warevery model year, it didn’t make fi- ranty than the OE to relieve any apprenancial sense for the aftermarket to hension that a potential customer may make fenders for such a short-run have. It was the “Wild West” days of of a vehicle model. However, with the “patch panel” market. Chevy pick-ups keeping the same By 1984, “patch panels” were with Ed Attanasio basic body design for many years, it starting to have an impact. One trade now made sense to invest in tooling magazine noted “Crash parts used to to make the fenders in the aftermar- be a one source buy-OE parts from ket. Also cited as recently becoming the local dealership. But seemingly,

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overnight, alternative buying sources have become available to collision shops… It’s a growing business that someday is going to be big business.” Also, in 1984, an ad for Collision Parts Distributors of Grand Rapids, MI touted availability for hoods, fenders, doors and grills for Datsun, Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Volvo, Audi, BMW, Fiat, Peugeot, Mercedes, Renault and Volkswagen as well as popular Chevy, Ford and Chrysler applications. A mid-1984 ad for Keystone body parts promoted front fenders for 80-84 Ford pickups, tailgates for 73-80 Chevy pick-ups and front fenders for 80-84 Oldsmobiles. The aftermarket body repair panels market was rolling. During that time, conspicuously absent from the growing number of trade magazine articles dedicated to the burgeoning body repair panel market was the mention of insurance companies and their insistence that

the shop use more aftermarket parts. But that wouldn’t last long. By 1985, insurers began to prescribe aftermarket parts as a way to reduce severity and cost. In the summer of 1986, a trade magazine article about the difference and growing controversy over OE versus aftermarket crash parts notes that it is “…the touchiest and most controversial situation to hit the collision repair industry many years.” The article notes that some people see no difference. The OE’s claim that the aftermarket parts do not measure up, do not fit properly, are not properly rust-proofed and have less then desirable primer on them. The aftermarket claims that their parts are comparable to OE at lower prices and saves consumer’s money. The article notes that the controversy about aftermarket VS OE did not really start until body shops were forced, by the insurance

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companies, to use aftermarket VS OE. Prior to that, aftermarket parts were not given a second thought by most. Once they discovered aftermarket parts and the cost savings, more and more insurance companies began to call for aftermarket parts on an estimate. This, according to some, has caused a cost decrease for aftermarket parts. Aftermarket parts tend to be lower in cost for a number of reasons including, economies of tooling, labor costs (being made in countries where unions don’t exist), and priced at a niche-carving rate. And while the lower costs affect how much an insurance company has to pay for a claim, it also reduces the amount of money a body shop makes on parts. Shop owners maintained that aftermarket parts are not the same quality. They say they have to slot aftermarket fenders and other parts to make them fit. Aftermarket proponents note that slotting must be done on some OE parts, the result of a bad body pull. (Let the sniping begin!) Aftermarket parts were also criticized for inadequate rust-proofing. Ford Motor Company tested parts under a 500-hour salt spray test. Ford

noted that generally, the aftermarket parts did not hold up. They said that OE’s use a superior rust-proofing treatment that is not economically feasible for aftermarket suppliers. Aftermarket opponents say that aftermarket parts are available only on a limited scale. While General Motors may carry 17,000 designated collision parts, aftermarket suppliers will have about 420 part numbers.

dealer for better parts prices. It didn’t take long for dealer parts managers to figure this out and reduce the discount extended to a shop that only bought “dealer-only” items. What was left out of the argument, in many cases, is the consumer. Insurance companies claim they save the consumers money by using aftermarket parts. Detractors of this idea claim that insurance premiums

“We are getting parts with certified stickers and the parts still don’t fit. When people promote something that it is not, it is fraud in any other industry.” — John Loftus Aftermarket suppliers carry only the most popular parts while the OE has to have every possible part available, something that also contributes to the higher overall price of an OE part. Having limited availability of aftermarket parts causes other problems for shops. A shop may be put at odds with their OE parts supplier if they only use that supplier for the hard-to-get parts. This could put them at an economic disadvantage if the shops want to negotiate with the OE

were never reduced because of the use of aftermarket parts. OE’s maintained that their reputation was at stake and at the very least, consumers have a right to be informed what parts go on their cars. A GM spokesperson said that ninety-nine out of one hundred customers have no idea what parts are being used in the repair of their car. In 1986, some in the industry tried to get I-CAR to take a stand on the use of aftermarket parts. In the fall of 1986, I-CAR announced

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that it will take no position regarding aftermarket versus OE parts. Jeff Silver, then I-CAR’s executive vice president noted that “I-CAR can best serve its constituency by providing a forum for discussion” and not taking a position for or against aftermarket parts. Many in the industry were dismayed, but understood the reasoning behind the decision. In response to the growing tide of aftermarket parts, General Motors took out a full-page ad in a collision trade magazine condemning the use of aftermarket parts and at the same time announcing a price reduction on many fast-moving body parts. In yet another full-page industry ad, Nissan made a stance against the use of aftermarket parts. Among other things, the ad emphatically noted, “Nissan believes that until a law is passed requiring imported imitation parts to be inspected and certified, the use of such parts should be discouraged.” In December, 1987, the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) was formed as a non-profit corporation. CAPA acquired the Aftermarket See Patch Panel, Page 45

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with Stacey Phillips

From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

Understanding and Performing Required Test Drive Procedures Isn’t an Option In a recent column, I talked about why I believe shops need to separate out their charge for vehicle scanning from their diagnostic labor to address the results from those scans. Another key item I feel a lot of shops are overlooking is conducting, documenting and potentially invoicing for is the increasingly complex process of performing required test drives. Our “Who Pays for What?” survey last summer, for example, found that while almost one-third (31%) of shops that bill for necessary test drives they conduct post-repair say they are paid for that procedure “most” or “all the time,” about 2 in 5 shops (38%) say they have never sought to be paid such test drives. The statistics are even worse for test drives that are done diagnostically prior to repairs; 1 in 5 shops (19%) said they are paid regularly for such test drives, but two-thirds of shops have never billed for those.

I want to emphasize that my concern here is not whether shops are billing for test drives. My concern is that they are performing them as a required step to safe and proper repairs.

“Test drives” aren’t what they used to be. In the past, you took a repaired vehicle out for a brief drive to check for wind noise, pulling conditions or vibrations. Now you’re doing that but also doing the drives to calibrate and confirm the function of ad-

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vanced vehicle features and systems like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors lane departure warning systems, satellite navigation and traction control. That’s why a Collision Industry Committee has adopted a new definition for this type of test drive that they are calling a “dynamic systems verification road test.” The automakers vary somewhat in what the terms they use for what we generally call “test drives.” Some use that term, but others talk about “road tests,” or “actions tests.” Some automakers reference it by saying vehicles must be “brought up to operating temperature.” Despite terminology differences, it’s important to understand what specific requirements an automaker has for the vehicle you are test driving. Does the OEM procedure, for

example, specify: ▪ How far the vehicle needs to be driven; ▪ How much time the vehicle needs to be driven; ▪ At what speed(s) the vehicle needs to be driven; ▪ What driving pattern needs to be followed; and or ▪ What road conditions are necessary. I recently was writing an estimate on a vehicle, and the OEM procedures said after I reinstalled the blind-spot monitors on the rear bumper assembly, I needed to test drive the vehicle in a straight line for two miles above 20 mph. On another vehicle, after we disconnected and reconnected the battery, an initialization required us to drive the vehicle for at least 15 seconds above 20 mph on a road that had


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clear lane markings. If you replace a windshield on a vehicle with a compass in the rearview mirror that may require that you drive the vehicle in a circle, or in a figure-eight, to recalibrate that compass. I have seen a procedure for one automaker’s vehicle that requires six different test drives at six different speeds and stopping patterns to see if the seat belts are working properly. Unlike the relatively simple test drives we did for free in the old days, these can be exacting and time-consuming procedures. Depending on whether your shop is in an urban or rural area, you may need to drive miles away in order to meet the road and speed conditions required. Getting paid for them requires good documentation. I recommend estimators or repair-planners have dual monitors so they can copy the test drive requirements from the OEM procedures and paste them into a line note on the estimate or invoice. Some shops are using a cell phone camera or GoPro to document the test drive. Even the owner’s manual for many vehicles talk about necessary

test drives. The last thing you want is a vehicle owner asking about a required test drive in their manual and not being able to show them that you did it. It’s also important that you let the customer know in advance about the test drives you will need to perform as part of repairing their vehicle. One side note: When I owned my shops, once a year I would submit my employees’ driver’s license information to our company’s insurance company to ensure they could be allowed to drive vehicles on behalf of my company. You can’t risk having test drives conducted by someone with a suspended driver’s license. As always, what you decide to charge for is a business decision; but, understanding, performing and documenting the required vehicle test drives isn’t an option for safe and proper repairs.

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Continued from Page 42

Patch Panel Body Parts Association’s existing certification program with the intention of increasing its scope. The testing and quality assurance program used for certifying the aftermarket parts was developed in cooperation with the Detroit Testing Laboratory (DTL). By August, 1988, the legislative fight over OE parts versus aftermarket parts was in full swing. A trade magazine article notes that, at that time, some sort of collision parts legislation was pending in 30 states, and recently enacted in 12 states ranging from simple consumer disclosure to more complex regulations. Many states required disclosure to the consumer but did not require consent. Most laws did not require independent certification of the aftermarket parts to determine whether or not they were of like kind and quality to the originals. Some laws required that non-OE parts carry a warning to consumers, most did not. The article ended with, “Pending legislation and enacted regulations

have begun to appear in some states; however, it is still too soon to tell if they will provide any answers to this ongoing controversy.” Despite the question of a consumer’s rights to have non-OE parts, a bigger issue of fit, finish and safety was broiling in the body shops and within many shop associations; and the fact that there were so few aftermarket parts that were CAPA certified. John Loftus of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists said, “Our members continue to report aftermarket sheet metal that doesn’t fit but the insurance companies continue to promote the parts. We are accused by the insurance companies and by others of not wanting to use the parts because of the money, but the fact is, the parts don’t fit. It comes down to fit and aftermarket parts manufacturers have failed miserably to bring the parts up to a standard. We are getting parts with certified stickers and the parts still don’t fit. When people promote something that it is not, it is fraud in any other industry.” Today, some 35 years later, many of the same questions and issues exist – and may never be solved.

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From Prison to Collision: The Jabari Hayes Story by Ed Attanasio

From being a highly-recruited collegiate track star to a convicted felon, Jabari Hayes’s journey was a surprise to many people who knew him. He didn’t look like a gangster and everyone was impressed by his intelligence and engaging personality. But he got involved in a drug trafficking operation, which eventually led to a lengthy sentence in federal prison. And that’s where the story begins. Upon his release from prison, Hayes landed a job at a body shop and learned an industry he knew nothing about before acquiring a shop himself. Today, he is the co-owner of Bavarian Collision in Atlanta, GA, a shop that repairs 30-40 cars every month out of a 10,000 sq. ft. facility with 11 employees. Hayes’s life story is featured in Miles in the Life: The Story of a BMF Drug Trafficker, a documentary that can be seen on Amazon Prime and has received excellent reviews. In 1994, Hayes was on top of

the world as an All-American track athlete, a graduate of Morehouse College, and an up-and-coming entrepreneur with a highly successful valet service. Things were going well especially for a kid who was raised by a crack-addicted mother in the infamous Gowanus Projects in Brooklyn, NY.

Jabari Hayes’s life story is featured in Miles in the Life

Five years later, his life took a sudden and dangerous turn when he got involved in a drug trafficking operation. It was run by the infamous Black Mafia Family (BMF), known then as the largest African American drug organization in the Southeast.

Driving a limousine and posing as a legitimate limo company, Hayes was moving huge amounts of cocaine. With so many quick money opportunities lying at his feet, he gradually found himself slipping more and more into the drug-running lifestyle of high-end vehicles, pricey real estate and more money than he could possibly spend. His bosses liked him because he was punctual and reliable and soon Hayes was taking bigger and bigger risks. This caught the attention of BMF’s kingpin, Duke, who then persuaded Hayes to transport one thousand kilos of cocaine in a luxury RV across the country. With a fiancé and their first son on the way, Hayes wants to make this his final run and exit the game once and for all. But every tragic hero has a tragic flaw. Without spoiling the story, Hayes got caught and that’s when things began moving in the wrong direction. When he was sentenced to 87 months, it rocked his world, but he decided to turn it into a positive experience, he said. “God has been

watching me the whole time, even when things looked really bad. I got a good lawyer and the judge could see that I was non-violent and a firsttime offender. Otherwise, I might still be sitting there. I look back at it and I’m blessed, happy and grateful.” While serving his time in a minimum-security facility, Hayes wrote a book, took 22 classes and actually taught two himself. Upon release, Hayes landed a job as an estimator for a body shop, and immediately hated it. “Working for that shop was more stressful than living in a crack house in Brooklyn in the 1980s—there was no comparison. The owner just threw me in there and figured I would just deal with it because I was fresh out of prison. People treat ex-offenders like infants because they figure we have no ability to discern right from wrong. They forget that before you were incarcerated, you owned successful businesses, so you have to start all over again in many cases.” But, amidst the chaos, Hayes began learning as much as he could


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about the collision repair industry before his entrepreneurial spirit kicked in. “Like they say, if you fail to plan you plan to fail. After two years, I was tired of all the sleepless nights, but I thought I could do this myself and the right way.”

Hayes (left) and his partner Mike Lembcke opened the doors at Bavarian Collision in Atlanta, GA in 2012

That’s when Hayes met Mike Lembcke who owned a mechanical repair shop right across the street from where he was working as an estimator. “I was telling him about my ideas and how to approach the body shop business and he said let’s do it here. So Bavarian Collision opened in 2012 and we haven’t looked back since.”

Without guardian angels helping him every step of the way, Jabari wouldn’t be where he is with a flourishing body shop and a great future. “People stepped up and literally saved me,” he said. “My dad came and pulled me out of Brooklyn when I was a kid, because it was a crazy environment there,” Hayes said. “My mother was addicted to crack, so he brought me to live with him in St. Louis to get me away from it all. Then years later I met Mike, my business partner and we’ve worked hard to build a great business.” Hayes is also embarking on a whole new career as an inspirational speaker with a positive message. “I want to talk to inmates and show them what I’ve done,” Hayes said. “I want to show them that they’re not destined to fall in the same traps as other inmates. They don’t have to be a stat. I made it in this industry, but it wasn’t easy. I made a commitment to myself and was willing to work harder than everyone else and I want to share that with others.”

Continued from Page 20

Legislative Preview Last year, auto glass was removed during negotiations from the AOB reform bill that passed. For this session, the industry backed a House bill that would have called for prohibiting motor vehicle repair shops and employees from offering anything of value to customers in exchange for making insurance claims for motor vehicle glass replacement and repair, but its sponsor withdrew it (HB 169) last week. A Senate version (SB 312) was voted down. Still, McFaddin says the industry will keep pushing for legislation to be passed this session. “The Governor and Florida Legislature took steps last session to protect homeowners from AOB property scams, and now lawmakers have an opportunity to bring similar protections to Florida motorists,” continued McFaddin. “APCIA urges Florida lawmakers to put a stop to AOB auto glass abuse during the 2020 Legislative Session.” FAIR is also hoping to see leg-

islation regarding the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund’s ratemaking formula, which it says does not adhere to required standards because its underlying catastrophe model results are unidentified and there is no way for peer review or audit of the FHCF’s Ratemaking Formula Report. “The FHCF takes in nearly $100 million in premium a month from policyholders,” FAIR said in a statement. “Shouldn’t Floridians have the right to know exactly how the FHFC rate is calculated?” FAIR said legislative action could require more transparency into the FHCF’s ratemaking process. “FAIR is asking state regulators and legislators to develop and pass balanced and meaningful reforms to provide relief to Florida’s policyholders.” We thank the Insurance Journal for reprint permission.




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2/18/2020 8:54:21 PM

Allstate Asks Court to Deny Latest Motion to Compel by Emmariah Holcomb,

Yesterday, Allstate Insurance Company (Allstate) filed a response to a motion to compel filed by Auto Glass America LLC (AGA) and its owner, Charles Isaly, alleging that the insurance company needs “to provide better answers to AGA’s first set of interrogatories served.” Allstate disagrees and has asked the court to deny that motion. Allstate filed the lawsuit last year, alleging AGA and Isaly, “tried to pressure Allstate’s insureds into hiring them for windshield replacements.” “AGA is improperly attempting to use the discovery process in this case to obtain documents and information that it can use in the hundreds of cases it has filed against plaintiffs (Allstate) in Florida’s state courts,” a portion of Allstate’s response reads. According to the motion’s response, the insurance company believes AGA and Isaly are attempting to broaden the scope of discovery in this case. Allstate also claims the information requested is irrelevant to the lawsuit.

“The amended motion to compel seeks documents that are entirely irrelevant and unrelated to the claims and defenses at issue in

this case, particularly with regard to Allstate Insurance. It also does not comply with the requirements of the local rules, with regard to the formatting and conferral requirements. Thus, Allstate requests that the court deny the amended motion to compel in its entirety,” a portion of Allstate’s response reads. Allstate also stated the previously requested W-2 forms were overbroad, when responding to one of the questions in the motion to compel. “Request No. 20 sought copies of 1099s or W-2 forms generated by

Allstate Insurance for services performed by AGIS…for conducting appraisals for the years of 20102018. As an initial matter, this request seeks documents that exceed the four-year statute of limitations (the parties have generally agreed that the relevant time period, for the purposes of discovery, is January 1, 2014, to date). Further, amounts paid to AGIS also are irrelevant because, as discussed above, no Florida court has recognized that as a basis for finding an appraiser to be disinterested. Also, this request is overbroad,” a portion of Allstate’s response reads. Case Background The case began last December when Allstate filed a complaint, alleging that AGA and Isaly, “tried to pressure Allstate’s insureds into hiring them for windshield replacements, obtaining assignments of benefits (AOBs) from insureds, submitting invoices to Allstate for excessive and unreasonable amounts and fil[ing] over 1,400 lawsuits for recovery of excessive and unreasonable amounts.” The court responded to a previous motion to dis-

miss, along with setting a mediation date for March 2020. Following the setting of a mediation date, AGA and Isaly filed a motion to compel in order to get answers for some of its outstanding questions, to which Allstate responded. In Allstate’s response several of the questions were deemed irrelevant from the insurance company and were not answered fully, according to AGA. From there, AGA and Isaly filed another motion to compel that if granted would require the insurance company to provide “better answers to its first set of interrogatories.” Currently Allstate has filed a response to AGA and Isaly’s motion to compel, asking the court to deny. Look to a future edition of glassBYTEs for continued coverage of the suit. We thank for reprint permission.


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2/17/2020 5:07:21 PM

Audi Recalls Vehicles Equipped with Takata Non-Azide Inflators by David A. Wood

Audi TT, A8, A6 and A4 vehicles need new inflators because airbags may underinflate.

Audi is recalling more than 116,000 vehicles equipped with non-azide driver inflators as part of Takata airbags at risk of not deploying properly. 2000-2001 Audi TT Roadster 2000 Audi TT Coupe 1999 Audi A8 1998-2000 Audi A6 1999-2000 Audi A4 Nearly 107,000 Audi vehicles are recalled in the U.S. and more than 9,100 are recalled in Canada. Owner recall notifications are expected to begin March 27, 2020, but concerned customers may call 800-253-2834 and ask about recall number 69AE. We thank CarComplaints. com for reprint permission.

Amazon’s First-Ever Electric-Powered Delivery Fleet Set for 2021 Launch by Brad Bergan

Amazon is developing 100,000 electric-powered delivery vehicles in Detroit, due to hit the road by 2021. Amazon is pushing 100,000 electric-powered delivery vans, due to hit the road in 2021. Production

Credit: Amazon News

of emissions-free electric vehicles is underway in Plymouth, near Detroit. Part of The Climate Pledge, this massive order is Amazon’s push to meet conditions stipulated by the Paris Agreement 10 years early. The pledge obliges signatories to become net-zero carbon across their entire businesses by the year 2040, 10 years ahead of the 2050 goal of

the Paris Accord. “We’re trying to build the most sustainable transportation fleet in the world,” said Ross Rachey, the director of Amazon’s fleet and products. “It also needs to be the most functional, the highest performing, the safest.” For 18 months, Amazon’s transportation team meticulously assessed a variety of electric vehicle options for the lowest carbon footprint. But since Rachey’s team had to move at lightspeed to meet their deadline, they dispatched conventional options in favor of a totally new and customized electric vehicle. You could say their designs beyond convention are the state of the industry. Next-gen delivery and zero emissions If successful, this next-gen delivery van will reduce carbon emissions, improve driver safety, and bring technology and other design elements up to par for best-in-class

driving experience. Constructed in Rivian’s plant in Normal, Illinois, the vans come in three sizes, and work with multiple battery types, to suit the disparate demands of specific delivery routes. “We are focused on driving efficiency into every aspect of the vehicle design — everything from cabin heating to driver ergonomics to drivetrain design has been optimized for time and energy,” said R.J. Scaringe, CEO of Rivian. “And then the echo effect of this, of causing other logistics players in this space to also look at how they drive up efficiency within their fleet, will have a very large impact.” As a world community, we’re only on the cusp of the biggest industrial revolution ever — rivaled only by the last, in the 1900s. But the unique synergy of ambition, innovation, and global awareness could make the next few decades the most exciting time to be alive. We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.

Continued from Page 32

Scanning vs. Diagnostic “freeze-frame” or “snapshot” data. This varies by vehicle manufacturer. Some automakers capture “freezeframe data” that tells you the exact date, time and mileage when the fault code occurred. This can clarify what was crash- or repair-related, and what DTCs may be unrelated. Other manufacturers capture “snapshot” or “key-cycle” data, which tells you only how many times the keys have been turned on and off since the fault code occurred. This can be a little less definitive in determining what is claims related, but is still helpful to have. Capturing this data when you do a scan, or having your scanning-provider capture and provide it to you, can be a critical resource in billing for your scanning and diagnostic labor. I hope a year from now to be able to say I’m seeing more consistency in the industry in terms of separating the time for scanning and the time for the resulting diagnostic work.

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Universal Technical Institute’s Core Automotive Program Outfitted With Volvo’s Advanced and Electrified Vehicles Volvo Cars USA LLC has announced it will contribute 36 new vehicles to include twin-engine plug-in hybrid vehicles to Universal Technical Institute’s core automotive training program as part of its national Vehicle Lease Program for Schools initiative. The effort supports Volvo’s strategy to work directly with UTI and other educational institutions to put stateof-the-industry technology into the hands of students training for transportation careers, and ultimately increase the number of skilled technicians in the field. “For nearly 20 years, Volvo has trusted Universal Technical Institute to train the technicians who maintain and service its products across the nation,” said UTI Executive Vice President of Campus Operations Sherrell Smith. “This new program will give more students the opportunity to work on the latest technology in the market – ensuring they graduate from UTI ready to hit the ground running in a fast-evolving industry with high demand and earning potential.” The new cars – to be delivered across 11 UTI campuses nationwide – will support UTI’s hands-on train-


Father and Son Win Maaco Cup Award Jim Powell's son Jamie became his partner 10 years ago and the father-and-son team has delivered year-over-year sales increases the last eight years, while achieving Maaco Diamond Certification status. Diamond certification is the premier level within the Maaco system, meaning that the center has all the equipment and training necessary to repair the complex vehicles that are on the road today. Diamond certification also means the center and its technicians are I-CAR® Gold Certified and are qualified to participate in an insurance company DRP (Direct Repair Program) as well as Maaco’s national fleet program. The Powell’s commitment to excellence and continuous improvement, as demonstrated by their Diamond certification, is one of the reasons that they were selected as a Maaco Cup Winner. “Becoming Diamond Certified was very important to us and our objectives for continued growth,” said Jim and Jamie Powell.

ing with Volvo’s advanced technologies, such as collision avoidance and advanced electrical diagnosis. In preparation for this unique access to these state-of-the-industry vehicles, UTI is revising its core curriculum to ensure that all students have the opportunity to experience learning on the Volvo cars in the lab.

have the option to continue their studies through the 14-week Volvo Service Automotive Factory Education (SAFE) program, exclusively offered at UTI’s campus in Avondale, Arizona. Successful MSAT applicants often are sponsored by Volvo and local dealerships to cover the cost of tuition. After two years of

“This new program will give more students the opportunity to work on the latest technology in the market – ensuring they graduate from UTI ready to hit the ground running in a fast-evolving industry with high demand and earning potential.” — Sherrell Smith “Volvo Cars sees an increasing demand for qualified technicians as the company is rapidly adopting electrified powertrains across its entire lineup,” said Jeffrey Jennings, Senior Manager, Technical Training at Volvo Car USA. “Getting our hybrid vehicles in the hands of future technicians is critical to the growth of our business.” Upon completion of UTI’s core training programs, UTI students who wish to specialize in Volvo vehicles

employment, and ASE Master Certification, they’re eligible for Master Technician status. UTI is unique for its 11 automotive Manufacturer Specific Advanced Training (MSAT) programs. The specialized manufacturer training and certifications that students receive through UTI’s MSAT programs, including the Volvo SAFE program, are acquired in just a few months and can often take two years

or more to garner in the field. With more than 220,000 graduates in its 54-year history, Universal Technical Institute, Inc. (NYSE: UTI) is the nation’s leading provider of technical training for automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians, and offers welding technology and computer numerical control (CNC) machining programs. The company has built partnerships with industry leaders, outfits its state-of-the-industry facilities with current technology, and delivers training that is aligned with employer needs. Through its network of 13 campuses nationwide, UTI offers post-secondary programs under the banner of several well-known brands, including Universal Technical Institute (UTI), Motorcycle Mechanics Institute and Marine Mechanics Institute (MMI) and NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech). The company is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information, visit www. Like UTI on www.facebook. com/UTI or follow UTI on Twitter @ UTITweet, @MMITweet, and @NAS CARTechUTI.

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2/17/2020 5:07:26 PM

More Bad News at Nissan by Rob Stumpf

Nissan is shrinking again. Not in the sense that it plans to build smaller cars, but that the Japanese automaker is downsizing its workforce in an attempt to stabilize a company at risk of circling the metaphorical drain.

On Tuesday, Nissan announced that it will reduce its U.S. workforce of 20,000 employees by offering buyouts to workers across its core and luxury brands. The automaker says that the buyout offer will be voluntary, available to both hourly and salaried workers aged 52 years and older. Nissan doesn’t specify

the number of employees that it plans to target, nor if there will be mandatory layoffs should that number remain unmet. This news comes just months after the automaker announced a nine-percent cut to its global workforce, placing 12,500 total jobs on the chopping block worldwide. It’s unclear if this round of buyouts is related to that decision. In summer 2018, Nissan reduced its North American production capacity by 20 percent due to declining sales. “Like many other automotive companies, Nissan North America is taking proactive steps to assess our structure, workflow, and operational efficiencies amid a challenging industry environment,” wrote Nissan’s head of sales and senior VP, Airton Cousseau, in a letter sent to dealers obtained by Automotive News. “This reorganization will create office synergies that will enable a leaner organization while still focusing on dealer profitability and your ability to continue providing a quality customer experience. You will continue to receive all the support you need.”

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Buzzwords aside, this move is Nissan’s response to not only its own slumping sales figures but also an industry-wide downturn after a momentous decade of growth and positive cash flow. The auto industry as a whole is beginning to watch as consumers realize that they’ve had their fill–especially with new car sales not do-

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ing so hot right now. According to CNBC, this downward trend means that manufacturers exited 2019 with one of the worst sales years since the 2008 recession. Restructuring is a sign that Nissan is looking to resize its company to a more appropriate proportion aligned with its current sales figures, a number which drooped nearly 10 percent last year. Forward-looking projections don’t look so great either. Nissan



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has also announced that it plans to switch its financial and sales reporting from monthly to quarterly. The automaker says that this move is to “provide a clearer picture of sales performance over a longer period of time,” permitting it to smooth out its sales over a three month period rather than report up-and-down trends, effectively removing the sting of poor numbers month-over-month. This is a method that has been adopted by other industry players (including Fiat-Chrysler, Ford, GM, BMW, and Porsche) over the past year to help investors look past declining month-to-month sales. Will smoother financial reporting and reduced costs be enough to save the automaker from itself and the market? Carlos Ghosn, the brand’s former CEO-turned-fugitive, has reportedly claimed that the writing has been on the wall for years, foreshadowing a company-wide bankruptcy by 2022. Meanwhile, dealers are begging Nissan for increased support and a better brand image before it all boils over. We thank The Drive for reprint permission.

Jim Armstrong Subaru Hickory (888) 905-6135

Wilmington (800) 424-9434 (910) 793-8710 Fax Mon.-Fri. 7-6; Sat. 8-2

Subaru Concord Concord (888) 387-1377


Peacock Subaru Hilton Head Hardeeville (866) 539-6293 TENNESSEE

Kelly Subaru

Chattanooga (423) 490-0181 (423) 385-7269 Fax Mon.-Fri. 7:30-5:30; Sat. 8-2 / MARCH 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS 53

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