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AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 12 / Issue 2 / April 2021
Legislation to Repeal Florida’s Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law Passes First Committee
Shops Stuck in the Middle in Battle Over OEM Vehicle Safety Inspections
The S enate Committee on Banking and I nsurance, chaired by S en. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton), on Jan. 26 passed S enate Bill 5 4 , Motor V ehicle I nsurance, by S en. D anny Burg es s (R-Z ephyrhills.) The legislation repeals Florida’s current motor vehicle no-fault law, which req uires drivers to carry personal inj ury protection coverage, instead req uiring that drivers carry bodily inj ury liability coverage. The bill also creates best practice standards for handling motor vehicle insurance claims. “For everyone’s protection,
by John Yoswick
drivers must be insured at su cient levels. Our goal is to lower the number of uninsured and underinsured drivers and provide a greater safety net in the event of an accident,” said S enate President W ilt on S im p s on (R-Trilby.) “Florida’s no-fault law has failed to signiﬁcantly reduce litigation. Meanwhile, the cost of PI P remains high, when compared to the beneﬁts it provides, said urgess. “S enate Bill 5 4 transforms this ineffective and outdated insurance structure, which we believe will lead to See Legislation to Repeal, Page 26
Auto Insurers See Greater Profitability, but Fewer Premiums by Ryan Smith, Insurance Business Magazine
Proﬁtability improved in the .S. private passenger auto insurance segment in the third quarter of , although premium volume declined, according to a new report from A M Bes t . The loss ratio of private passenger auto insurers improved by 9 .2 percentage points year-over-year to 5 7 .3% , according to the new Best’s Market S egment Report. The improvement was largely driven by a reduction in accidents due to a pandemic-induced reduction in the number of
cars on the roads and miles driven. Other prime factors were improvements that auto underwriters have made in recent years to enhance their focus on rate adeq uacy, improving auto repair management and making greater use of innovative measures, AM Best said. At the same time, the reduction of drivers on the road also led to a 1.7 % drop in direct premiums written through Q 3 compared to the same period in 19. With the lower loss freq uency, AM Best predicted a four percentage-point improvement See Fewer Premiums, Page 20
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Mik e A nders on is convinced the vehicle safety inspection procedures called for by automakers in the OEM electronic service manuals as part of collision repair work have become the single biggest friction point in the industry. “I t’s not scanning. I t’s not ‘ feather, prime and block.’ I t’s these safety inspections,” said training and consultant Anderson, of Collision Advice. “My heart bleeds for shops. There are some out there really trying to do the right thing. But they’re
An Illinois shop conducting safety inspections called for by the automaker found a broken dash carrier in a vehicle involved in a low-speed collision
getting stuck in the middle.” Anderson said virtually all of the automaker collision repair proSee Stuck in the Middle, Page 12
CCA, MSCRA and TCRA Kick Off 2021 with Combined Quarterly Meeting by Chasidy Rae Sisk
On Feb. 11, the Carolinas Collision Association (CCA), the Mississippi Collision Repair Association (MS CRA) and the Tennessee Collision Repairers Association (TCRA) held a j oint virtual q uarterly meeting to kick oﬀ 1, attracting more than attendees. J os h K ent , executive director of all three associations, kicked things oﬀ by welcoming attendees and introducing the evening’s guest speakers, J ohn Reeves of Parts Trader and N ick D om inat o of adasThink. Reeves began by discussing the amount of data Parts Trader has collected as a result of selling $ 12 million in parts daily and how that data can help shops. “S hops want to use as few alternative parts as possible for better, faster repairs, but they also want to make as much money as possible on parts. W riting for alternative parts and buying OEM to get a bigger discount isn’t uncommon in the industry, but how can you tell if your
team is doing it? Can you track this in your business today? ” he asked. D iving into an example estimate, Reeves demonstrated how Parts Trader is working to provide tracking for shops.
adasThink’s Nick Dominato shared information on the importance of ADAS calibration
The system shows how often a shop is uploading an OEM part to Parts Trader, which means they will not receive any back-end money from the manufacturer, as well as “a breakdown of your writers to see who does it right and who does it wrong, so you can reﬁne your focus See Quarterly Meeting, Page 24
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2 APRIL 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Electric Vehicle Population with Stand-Alone
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
Support Alabama Bill to Upgrade Distracted Driving Law ..................................................16 Boring Company Visit Inspires Fort Lauderdale, FL, Mayor to Explore Tunneling to Resolve Traffic ...........................................................18 CARSTAR Ace Sullins, Esurance Donate Refurbished Vehicle to Deserving Miami Recipient ........................................................8 Carvana Hiring for 150 Positions in AL ................6 Classic Collision Announces Second Multi-Shop Acquisition in Florida in the Last Month .........20 Firefighters Battle Blaze at FL Auto Shop .............8 Gerber Collision & Glass Opens Repair Center in Pensacola, FL............................................10 Gerber Collision of Jacksonville, FL, and Esurance Donate Refurbished Vehicle to Family in Need ..........................................20 Group Stealing Performance Cars from Carolina Dealerships .....................................18 HGreg.com Opening Regional Fulfillment Center, Dealership in Tampa Bay Area .........................6 KIRCHHOFF Automotive to Open Assembly Facility in Gwinnett County, GA, Create 73 Jobs ........................................................10 Legislation to Repeal Florida’s Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law Passes First Committee .............1 North Carolina Farm Bureau Tops Insurer Rankings for Second Straight Year ..................8 Poquoson, VA, Police Foundation Receives $1,500 Donation for K-9 Unit ..........................6 Steel Goes Up at Spring Hill Complex, Advancing GM’s All–Electric Future ...............14 Watch a Nissan 350Z Bring a Cadillac Dealership to Its Knee ...................................26
NATIONAL 3M Invests in asTech ........................................55 AAA: Today’s Vehicle Technology Must Walk So Self-Driving Cars Can Run........................48 Alex Goodemoot Named World Class Technician ....................................................54 Auto Glass Week™ Full Program Announced ....45 Auto Insurers See Greater Profitability, but
Anderson - Nissan Launches ADAS Calibration Course ........................................34 Attanasio - Symach Invents Game-Changing Technology to Create the Shops of Tomorrow..38 Attanasio - Who Says Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees? ......................................................46 Chess - Kool Tools: Past and Present ...................4 Phillips - Benefits of In-Process Quality Control
Catalytic Converter Thefts Skyrocketing Nationwide ...................................................55 CCA, MSCRA and TCRA Kick Off 2021 with Combined Quarterly Meeting...........................1 Cox Automotive Study Finds Car Buying Pandemic .....................................................52 Crash Champions Picks Procurement Supplier ..18
Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers .................... 53
Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers .......................... 49
Insta Finish ..................................................... 11
AutoNation Collision Part ................................... 9
Jim Cogdill Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram ........... 12
AutoNation Ford-Lincoln ................................. 31
John Heister Automotive ................................. 32
Benchmark Automotive ................................... 16
Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers ................ 47
BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ........................ 48
Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ...................... 50
Mercedes-Benz of Cutler Bay.......................... 10
Certified Automotive Parts Association .............. 8
Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers ........ 46
City Kia of Greater Orlando .............................. 42
Miami Lakes Automall..................................... 13
Classifieds ...................................................... 54
MINI of Charleston .......................................... 42
Colad/EMM Specialties ................................... 56
MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers.......................... 48
Eagle Abrasives .............................................. 25
MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers ..................... 33
Eckler’s Automotive ....................................... 22
NOROO Paint & Coatings ................................. 21
Equalizer Industries, Inc. ................................... 6
Pro Spot International ....................................... 2
Florida Filtration & Spray Booth Services......... 18
Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Naples ...................... 24
Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers .......................... 52
Riverside Ford-Lincoln .................................... 43
GM Wholesale Parts Dealers ........................... 45
SATA Dan-Am Company .................................. 19
Gus Machado Ford .......................................... 38
Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes ............ 15
Harper Volkswagen ......................................... 23
Southside Kia.................................................. 30
Hendrick Automotive Group............................. 37
Spanesi Americas ........................................... 35
Hendrick BMW/MINI .......................................... 7
Sport Durst Automotive Group ......................... 41
Hendrick Honda Pompano Beach .................... 20
Steck Manufacturing Company ....................... 14
Hendrick Kia Cary ........................................... 39
Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers...................... 44
Hendrick Kia Concord ..................................... 39
Tameron Hyundai ............................................ 34
Hendrick Volvo Cars of Charleston................... 42
Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers .............. 51
Cutting Out the Middleman on Electric Car Sales ......................................................53 Electric Vehicle Repair: No Room for Error .........40 EVs Could Enter a Golden Decade with Newly-Introduced U.S. Bill.............................22 Farmers Adds App Feature ................................14 Ford Recalls F-Series Trucks for Windshields that Detach ...................................................55 Kia Cadenza and Sportage Owners Should Park Outside .................................................53 Kia Reportedly Under Ransomware Attack With $20M Demand ......................................23 Mitchell’s Industry Trends Report Examines Ongoing Effects, Implications of COVID-19 ....49 Motor Vehicle Deaths in 2020 Estimated to be in Miles Driven ..............................................51 PPG Appoints Director .......................................50 SEMA Challenges EPA’s Motorsports Regulations in Court......................................54 Service King Supports 844 Teammates .............45 Shops Stuck in the Middle in Battle Over OEM Vehicle Safety Inspections.......................1 Toyota RAV4 Fires Originating at 12-Volt Batteries .......................................................50
Why Car Accidents Increase After Daylight
Yoswick - Artistic Auto Body Set for Expanding
3M Automotive Aftermarket Division ................. 5
Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Process Improved During COVID-19
Volvo Aims For All-EV by 2030...........................40
Data Access and Inaccurate Data ..................42
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. ©2021 Adamantine Media LLC.
CIF Announces Annual Donor Program ..............39
Technology Discussed by Lee Rush, Sisk - ASA Leaders Discuss Scanning, EVs,
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, Norman Morano, Griffin Reinhard (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bryan Malinski Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Permissions Editor: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray
Highest in 13 Years, Despite Dramatic Drops COLUMNISTS
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
Saving Time Begins ......................................51 WIN Announces 2021 Conference .....................55
Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers .27, 28-29
autobodynews.com / APRIL 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
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Hey Toby! with Toby Chess
Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Training specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his work with first responders and advocacy for body shops and consumers. He can be reached at email@example.com
Kool Tools: Past and Present As you are all probably aware by a MI G welder. The best is one can now, SEMA went virtual re- use .035 wire on 110 volts. named SEMA and it preventRyan S w ans on, training maned K ye and me from walking the ager for Pro S pot, and I welded 5 oor looking for those unique items mm coupons in a ﬁllet setup. Tothat we would obtain and test out tal penetration to the bottom plate, for our K ool Tools of S EMA annual and we could have welded thicker presentation. with David McClune pieces if they were available, as the The S CRS Education Commit- machine has a 6 mm setting. A part tee, chaired by A m b er A lley, asked welded to frame on a BOF vehicle its members to look at S EMA 36 0 can be done in a stall with only 110 for items for K ool Tools of S EMA. volts and this welder. I submitted a few items I found, but The welder sells for under I decided to check out some of the $ 2,000. Check pricing with your lopast tools and see what was new and cal distributer. exciting. My next item is a mobile estiS o here are the K ool Tools Past mating/AD AS stand-alone cart. and Present. John Yoswick ere is mywith ﬁrst item, from Pro S pot I nternational (Fig. 1):
comes as a base model no computer, printer and printer drawer, but with both computer screens to the most deluxe model with everything but the kitchen sink. S ee website for details. This unit is battery powered (not included) and can be moved anywhere in the facility. Y ou will not have to plug it in, as it has an inverter for 110-volt printer. Price range is $ 3,09 9 to $ 4 ,6 9 9 (Fig. 4 ). The other stand-alone cart is from Pro S pot I nternational. This station can also be moved anywhere in the shop and does not need electricity. I t has an inverter for 120-volt equipment. This unit does not come with the two screens as shown, but the mounting brackets are included. Battery, computer and printer are not included. MS RP is $ 2,7 5 0. Next is a battery charger/maintainer from PowerMax (Fig. 5 ).
California Autobody Association
Year in Quotes
Collision Repair Association of CA. with Richard Steffen Fig. 3 Fig. 1
ProS pot introduced its new PR220-MV . Just like its little brother, PR205 -MV , it can be plugged into 110 or 220 volts (Fig. 2).
Two manufacturers, Goliath and Pro S pot, introduced new selfcontained mobile carts for estimating and/or AD AS calibrations (Fig. 3). Goliath’s cart (goliathcarts.com)
Transition Planning with John Yoswick
Shop Showcase Fig. 2
with Karyn Hendricks
What is unique about this unit W ell, it has more than 200 amps and this welder will meet a number of the OEMs’ welder speciﬁcations for
uestion does your shop do ADAS calibrations And if you answer yes, do you have a battery maintainer There is a big diﬀerence between the two. A battery charger uses pulsed voltage, which goes up and down, whereas a battery maintainer, uses constant voltage. My friend C huck Ols on, vice president of all AD AS knowledge at Air Pro Diagnostics, gave me quick course on a battery maintainer as it pertains to AD AS . It is imperative to have su cient, consistent voltage during scanning and is critical for programming and calibrations,” Olson said. “There
are no written OEM scanning requirements to charge, test or apply battery support for diagnostics. “Performing diagnostics after a collision event produces multiple potential voltage issues ranging from discharged or damaged batteries, connector damage, etc. I t is a known fact that a voltage or base electrical problem renders all subsequent diagnostics useless, inaccurate and a waste of time, unless battery voltage addressed ﬁrst. He went on to say, “All control units are aﬀected by battery voltage and repairers need to be aware of and correct these issues before any repairs are performed. I f the voltage level is below 11.0 volts with the vehicle oﬀ, the need for battery voltage support and or battery inspection, charging and testing are indicated. “Many in collision repair are not aware low voltage from discharged, failing or damaged batteries will deliver false codes and/ or skewed data. Best practice is to check base electrical system, connect battery support to prevent excessive discharge if OK . Add labor operations for battery charging, testing replacement, etc., as needed.” Finally, he said, “Many shops use ‘ j ump boxes’ as opposed to battery maintainers. A ‘ j ump box’ can be used in some situations but they must be maintained and monitored closely. I must warn that ‘ j ump boxes’ discharge with use same as a battery and can also allow the voltages to drop causing possible false codes, improper readings or failed programming/calibration procedures. “I f your shop needs a new battery charger look for one that has a ‘ programming’ or ‘ maintain’ setting for use during scanning, calibration and programming procedures. S tandard battery chargers are OK for charging a battery, but are not recommended during scanning, programming or calibrations due to voltage uctuations that can produce voltages above or below module normal operating conditions. Continue reading on-line at autobodynews.com
4 APRIL 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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3/18/2021 10:04:39 AM
Carvana Hiring for 150 Positions in AL by WBRC Staff
Carvana is hiring for a variety of open positions at its Bessemer, AL , vehicle inspection center. The online auto retailer is hosting a two-day hiring event to ﬁll at least 1 positions for entry-level automotive technicians, and auto body and paint technicians for its vehicle inspection center in Bessemer. I nterested candidates are encouraged to come by and learn about Carvana’s culture, open positions, and participate in onsite interviews with hiring managers. ualiﬁed candidates can even get same-day ob oﬀers onsite. The two-day event was held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 16 and 1 at Lawson State College, Ethel all 11 9th Ave. SW essemer, AL . To learn more, schedule an interview and upload a resume, visit www.carvana obsal.com W e tha n k W B R C N ew s f or rep rin t p erm is s ion .
HGreg.com Opening Regional Fulfillment Center, Dealership in Tampa Bay Area HGreg.com, one of the fastest-growing automotive groups in orth America, has found a new home in the Tampa Bay, FL , area. S cheduled to open this spring, the new 1 -acre property in randon, FL, will allow reg.com to expand its service oﬀering, both digital and onsite, to car buyers throughout central and west coast Florida as well as out-of-state markets. Construction has already begun on the regional fulﬁlment center and storefront with an investment of more than million. “W e’ve been exploring an expansion into the Tampa Bay area for q uite some time,” said J ohn H airab edian, president and CEO of reg.com. We knew the right opportunity would come to set up a good base and couldn’t be more optimistic about the future.” Located at 1 E randon Blvd., in Brandon, Hillsborough County, the new location will feature a , -square foot building and showroom and an inventory of more than 1, pre-owned vehicles, each of which has passed
Poquoson, VA, Police Foundation Receives $1,500 Donation for K-9 Unit Maaco Hampton in V irginia proudly donated 1, to the Poquoson Police Foundation in honor of one of its -9 dogs, Rena, who passed away in late . Owners of Maaco Hampton, D ale and Reg ina Blank ens hip , have been in business for more than 35 years and consistently give back to various causes important to the community. As a local business owner, my husband D ale and I are engaged in the community and are always looking for ways to give back, said Regina Blankenship. “Although most of us may have never met Rena, she spent the maj ority of her time right here in our community, working to keep us safe.” O cer Mat t F ox works closely alongside his -9 dog with the Poq uoson Policy D epartment on the Tri-Rivers D rug Task Force. As a valued member of the team, K -9 s are certiﬁed drug detection dogs assigned to help the regional narcotics task force combat the opioid epidemic. “W e are animal lovers and think this is a great way to give back to our community while honoring
this -9 o cer, continued lankenship. These funds will go a long way in the training of a new -9 dog to provide the Tri-Rivers D rug Task Force the support they need.”
HGreg.com’s rigorous inspection program. Once a vehicle is moved to the virtual showroom, consumers have easy access to a wide assortment of vehicle-speciﬁc information and a seamless omnichannel experience regardless of whether they prefer in-person or online shopping.
As part of its culture, HGreg. com oﬀers a concierge-like customer experience that includes same-day delivery, contactless purchasing and a full refund within three days or miles. “I ’m incredibly proud of our culture and team,” said Hairabedian. “W e made a strategic decision, back in 1 , to put down roots in Florida and we could not have achieved this growth without the contribution of countless passionate and hard-working associates.
W e’re happy to continue to expand our team.” With as many as 9 positions to ﬁll, reg.com encourages anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for technology, cars and service to apply at HGreg. com/careers. The company stands apart from many in the industry by insisting that sales representatives do not receive a commission based on the value of a vehicle. HGreg.com is part of HGregoire, a network of 1 pre-owned and 1 new car dealerships throughout Canada and the .S. I n D ecember, the company announced the expansion of HGreg.com into the W est Coast with a ma or investment based in the Greater L os Angeles area. With more than years of continuous service to consumers and more than 1, associates, the company is determined to oﬀer a new world of customer convenience and care, both in-store and online, to redeﬁne the car buying experience. Source: H G reg . com
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Manager Gene Mingee, and Officer Matt Fox, with K-9 Rena
The Poq uoson Police Foundation was formed in 19 as the only organiz ation authoriz ed by the Poq uoson Police D epartment to accept donations and raise funds on the department’s behalf. The foundation is volunteer-based, with proceeds used for police department proj ects. V isit Maaco.com to learn more. Source: Ma a co
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3/15/2021 4:56:17 PM
CARSTAR Ace Sullins, Esurance Donate Refurbished Vehicle to Deserving Miami Recipient Recently, a deserving Miami woman experienced a life-changing event—the presentation of a vehicle to provide her independence and the ability to work and take care of her family—thanks to the CARS TAR Ace S ullins and car donor Esurance along with the ational Auto Body Council Recycled Rides program. The presentation was held at the CARS TAR Ace S ullins in Miramar, FL . The deserving recipient was selected by lory ouse of Miami. We always want to give back to our community and help those who are working to establish themselves and their independence,” said e harff, owner of CARS TAR Ace S ullins. “This young woman has overcome tremendous challenges to take care of her family and herself. I t’s an honor to be able to help her on her j ourney.” The recipient, a young woman with two children ages 1 and , received a 1 onda Civic, donated by Esurance and restored by
CARS TAR Ace S ullins. Originally from Honduras, the recipient escaped to the .S. under challenging circumstances. Glory House of Miami has been assisting her and her children for the last four years, providing medical, legal, life skills, mentorship and trauma counseling.
Today, she has her own business managing homes when her clients are out of town, as well as cleaning homes. S he is very conscientious and is a good provider for her kids. S he has a very old car that re-
q uires regular repairs. This donated vehicle will help her transport her children to doctor visits, school and school activities, and be used for her work and daily activities. NABC Recycled Rides is a unique program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals and families in need of reliable transportation. S ince the inception of the NABC Recycled Rides program in , members of the NABC have donated more than , vehicles valued at more than $ 36 million. Additional partners in the NABC Recycled Rides presentation included 1Charity Cars, Esurance, Auto Nation Honda, S t eve from W adadli Auto, Ron from Auto D iagnostics, BAS F and A lb ert K em p erle. Source: N A B C
Firefighters Battle Blaze at FL Auto Shop A structure ﬁre at a business in D eFuniak S prings, FL , temporarily shut down State Road from .S. ighway 9 to Walton Road.
Multiple fire departments responded to the blaze. Credit: Walton County Sheriff’s Office
The ﬁre broke out the afternoon of Feb. 1 at T on y ’ s P a in t & B od y Shop at 5 4 4 Morris D rive. Multiple agencies responded, including D eFuniak S prings Fire, L iberty V olunteer, Argule V olunteer Fire and W alton County Fire Rescue. Motorists were asked to avoid the area and use alternate routes as ﬁrst responders worked the ﬁre. W e tha n k N W F D a ily N ew s f or rep rin t p erm is s ion .
North Carolina Farm Bureau Tops Insurer Rankings for Second Straight Year W ith an A+ rating, North Carolina Farm ureau was ranked ﬁrst in the nation for ensuring q uality repairs and customer service for their automobile insurance policyholders, according to CRAS etwork’s 1 est Auto Insurers y ational rade Report Card. This was the third survey of its kind completed by CRAS etwork, and orth Carolina Farm Bureau has earned an A+ rating and the top position in each of them. For 1, orth Carolina Farm ureau was the only company to earn an A+ . The average grade of the 7 5 companies included in the survey results was a -. o one buys an insurance policy hoping that they may have to someday ﬁle a claim, said S haw n H arding , president of North Carolina Farm Bureau. “But accidents happen, and we have always made customer service our ﬁrst priority. W e are thrilled to be recogniz ed as the top insurance company in the country by the auto body shops who help put our customers back on the road after an accident occurs.” More than 1,1 automotive collision repair professionals from
all states were asked to grade the auto insurance companies with which they work. Earning the highest grade nationally means that collision repair professionals believe that the claims handling practices of North Carolina Farm Bureau are the best in the nation for ensuring q uality repairs and customer service for motorists. Based in Raleigh, NC, North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual I nsurance Co. (NCFBI NS ) is the largest domestic property and casualty insurance company in North Carolina. With a network of more than agents throughout the state, NCFBI NS provides insurance for farm and non-farm policyholders alike in all 1 orth Carolina counties. The company has more than . billion in assets, writes more than 1. billion of premium annually and holds an A.M. Best Company, I nc. rating of A (excellent). CRAS etwork was founded in 199 and oﬀers a weekly digest of news, views and information vital to the collision industry. Source: N orth C a rolin a F a rm B urea u
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KIRCHHOFF Automotive to Open Assembly Facility in Gwinnett County, GA, Create 73 Jobs Georgia G ov. Brian P. K em p announced March 1 that IRC HOFF Automotive, a German-based international supplier to the automotive industry, plans to invest $ 15 million in opening an assembly facility in winnett County. The new development in Lawrenceville will create new obs. I ndividuals interested in assembly positions at the company’s Lawrenceville facility are encouraged to visit www.kirchhoﬀ-automotive.com for additional information. K emp praised Georgia D epartment of Economic D evelopment (GD EcD ) Commissioner Pat W ils on for working to bring IRC OFF to winnett County. Wilson met with IRC OFF Automotive’s leadership during a D ecember 19 economic development mission in Europe about the beneﬁts of doing business in Georgia. “K I RCHHOFF Automotive choosing to open their assembly facility in Georgia is yet another example of Georgia’s robust automotive industry and our investment in workforce training programs de-
livering solid manufacturing j obs and opportunities to hardworking Georgians,” said K emp. “I t’s a pleasure to welcome IRC OFF Automotive to the No. 1 state for business, and I look forward to eorgia becoming a key player in their international success story.” K I RCHHOFF Automotive, a family-owned company headquartered in I serlohn, Germany, manufactures auto body components at facilities across 11 countries. Its worldwide customer base includes MW and Mercedes- en both of which have headquarters in the eastern .S., with Mercedes- en ’s headq uarters located in nearby S andy S prings, GA. K I RCHHOFF Automotive is a full-service supplier of complex metal and hybrid structures, crash management systems, chassis applications and cross car beams. A eorgia location will increase our opportunities to provide world-class service to our customers in the southeastern nited States, said K I RCHHOFF Automotive Global COO S t ef an L eit z g en. “W e appreciate the support provided by
the State of eorgia as we establish our sixth .S. facility and look forward to working with state and local resources to build a successful operation.” K I RCHHOFF Automotive’s new 1 1, -square foot assembly facility will be used for the ﬁnal assembly of metal body parts coming from other .S. plants. winnett County’s international business presence is already robust, said winnett County oard of Commissioners Chairwoman N icole L ove H endrick s on. “Adding another strong business like K I RCHHOFF Automotive shows the strength of diversity in our county.” Proj ect Manager F ernanda K irchner represented GD EcD ’s Global Commerce division on this competitive proj ect in partnership with Partnership winnett, eorgia uick Start and eorgia Power. Managing D irector for the State of eorgia’s Europe O ce S é rg io D om ing ues and Georgia Centers of I nnovation for Manufacturing D irector J ohn Morehous e also played instrumental roles in attracting K I RCHHOFF Automotive
to Georgia. “I n addition to our many tangible assets, K I RCHHOFF Automotive choosing to establish their assembly facility in winnett is another example of the ways our local and international partnerships translate into j obs and opportunities for Georgians,” said W ilson. “I thank Gov. K emp and the Georgia General Assembly for their unwavering support for our automotive industries and for continuing to prioritiz e our international economic development partnerships. I had the pleasure of meeting with K I RCHHOFF Automotive’s leadership team in Germany, and those types of personal connections continue to help us sei e new opportunities for our business and our state.” W e tha n k O C G p erm is s ion .
N ew s f or rep rin t
Gerber Collision & Glass Opens Repair Center in Pensacola, FL The Boyd Group I nc. announced the opening of a collision repair center in Pensacola, FL . This newly constructed facility was designed to allow for maximum e ciency and is situated with great visibility to travelers on a ma or roadway, in proximity to many new car dealerships.
Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle, the county seat of Escambia County and the principal city in a metropolitan area of more than , people. The aval Air S tation Pensacola, located j ust outside the city limits, is the training base for naval aviators and aircraft maintenance staﬀ. “The opening of this repair
center expands our brand in the Florida Panhandle, allowing us to better serve customers and insurance partners in this region,” said K evin Burnet t , COO of Gerber Collision & Glass. “W e remain committed to adding locations throughout North America to provide high-q uality repairs and outstanding customer service.” The Boyd Group is continuously looking to add new collision repair locations to its existing network in Canada and the .S. Interested collision repair center owners are asked to contact J as on H op e, vice president of business development and strategic pro ects, at ( ) 38 8 7 or j ason.hope@boydgroup. com. Source: T he B oy d G roup
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10 APRIL 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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inspections are req uired only if an airbag deploys, but there often are inspections required even when airbags don’t deploy.” cedures he’s reviewed include a S ubaru, for example, is among variety of safety inspections a shop the automakers that call for safety needs to do on vehicles involved in inspections following any collision a collision. These inspections can repair of its vehicles. S peaking at an include checking seat belts, measur- industry event in late 19, N icole ing the steering column, checking Riedel of S ubaru of America reitersupplemental restraint system con- ated the automaker’s stance. “Every time,” Riedel said of when the inspections are req uired post-repairs. Even if you are in ew Y ork City and vehicles are ust getting sideview mirrors clipped, you still have to do it. We will not deviate from that procedure. W e are having conversations with apan to review that. ut at The broken dash carrier was discovered in a 2018 Silverado with only moderate damage this time, we need you to do it every single time.” nectors, looking for damage to knee Anderson said S ubaru is hardly bolsters or seat components and oth- alone in this. He points to OEM proer procedures j ust to gain the access cedures for the 1 eep Cherokee needed to perform inspections. that state, “I f a vehicle is involved These inspections will vary by in a front-end collision, or the airbag OEM and by the year and model of has deployed, or both, the steering the vehicle,” Anderson said. “S ome column must be replaced.” Continued from Cover
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He shares examples of similar OEM safety inspection procedures called for by Ford, Mercedes-Benz , Toyota, Audi, BMW , Fiat Chrysler and Hyundai. “The OEM procedures for the 1 Chevrolet Silverado include four or ﬁve pages of things a shop is supposed to inspect if a vehicle is any collision,” Anderson said. “A shop owner sent me photos of a Silverado he repaired, and when they removed the dash as part of the req uired safety inspections, sure enough, they found that the dash carrier was broken. That shop owner, T im Paap of P a a p A uto B od y in Mattoon, I L , said that damage occurred even in a relatively low-speed mph accident in which the occupants were wearing seat belts. My only conclusion was their lower extremities were propelled forward into the lower dash, which absorbed the impact,” Paap said. “W e have found several steering columns collapsed in what would seem like low-speed collisions. This is the reason the req uired inspections need to be done.” Anderson said another shop he
works with has measured steering columns in one automaker’s vehicles, as called for in its procedures following collisions. Of those, 11 had collapsed. That’s a rate, Anderson said. The friction arises because such inspections can potentially req uire a doz en or more labor hours. S hops doing the procedures can experience push-back from insurers. But there’s also some shops pushing back because the added labor can lead to vehicles being declared total losses. “I recently got some shops really angry with me at some virtual meetings when I polled them why they weren’t doing the procedures, Anderson said. “I asked them if it was because they were unaware of the need to do these procedures, if they thought they were smarter than the engineers and don’t think it was necessary, or if they’re j ust afraid it will create an issue with an insurance company. It was about onethird each.” Anderson said he’s not going to argue about whether the inspections are necessary or not.
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“But I ’m certainly not going to second-guess the OEM engineers who say they are, he said. Every time we ﬁx a car, we’re playing Rus-
don’t do it, and somebody gets hurt, you’re liable. Y ou can’t say, ‘ The insurer wouldn’t pay me.’ An insurance company refusing to pay you to
BMW lays out damage that warrants replacement of a steering box on its 2020 330i, noting if a customer or insurer refuses “for cost reasons, a memorandum to that effect must be drawn up and countersigned by the party bearing the costs of the accident repair.”
sian roulette. If we don’t do these things, is it going to come back to haunt us? W e’re playing the odds. “At the end of the day, if you
do it does not remove you from the liability.” That said, Anderson also thinks insurance companies need to rec-
ogniz e the tough position they are putting shops in when they refuse to pay for necessary inspections. “I t’s not fair, and it’s not right, for the shop or the consumer,” he said. “I nsurers need to step up and be part of the solution to this issue, not add to it.” Anderson said his goal in challenging shops on the safety inspections isn’t to make anyone angry or add to the friction, but to create awareness about the safety inspections and work toward some resolution to the issue. He’d like to see automakers, shops and insurers come together to ﬁnd ways to reduce the friction. He sees a number of things he thinks could help. First, automakers could reﬁne the safety inspection req uirements by better deﬁning when they are needed. S ome call for some of the inspections only when there’s been an airbag deployment, which is helpful, Anderson believes. “But others use such phrases as ‘ minor to moderate collision.’ I think we need to get a better deﬁnition of what qualiﬁes as a minor to
moderate collision,’” Anderson said. As an example, he points to a deﬁnition the ational ighway Tra c Safety Administration has developed of a “minor crash” in relation to when child safety seats must be replaced. S ome automakers may be headed in that direction. L ast summer, eneral Motors said it was reviewing its published req uirements for inspections it currently says must be completed “after any collision.” Those procedures include inspection of the steering wheel and column, the instrument panel mounting points and brackets, and seat and seat belt mounting points. “W e recogniz e that the req uirements and processes we had laid out… are extremely labor intensive and vehicle invasive,” GM’s J ohn E ck said during an online industry meeting. One proposal Eck said was under consideration would establish inspection req uirements for each of four levels of collision severity, ranging from j ust visual inspections and diagnostic conﬁrmation without any part removal for the most minor
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crashes involving no structural damage, up to the existing req uired procedures as part of repairs involving airbag deployment. “Once we explain to the engineers the realities of what’s going on in the collision industry and the challenge that repairers are facing, the light bulb goes on and they get
spection req uirements. For example, one OEM told me they put a plastic bushing in the steering column that’s made to collapse under inertia forces,” he said about the req uirement to measure the steering column. “I f so, let’s spell that out so everybody knows why the inspection is critical.”
“My heart bleeds for shops. There are some out there really trying to do the right thing. But they’re getting stuck in the middle.” — Mike Anderson it,” Eck said. “S o far, everybody has been very understanding of the need to readdress this and see where we can make changes that will help repairers.” But like S ubaru’s Riedel, Eck emphasiz ed that prior to new procedures being ﬁnali ed, M’s current post-collision inspection req uirements remain in place. “U ntil then, nothing has changed,” Eck said. Anderson said the automakers also could help by providing more of the “why” behind the safety in-
Anderson said a document from Toyota also oﬀers another way automakers could provide more information and ustiﬁcation for the inspections. I t shows, for a list of replacement parts, the necessary procedures that must be completed and lists the possible negative eﬀects if that procedure isn’t done. “The automaker spells out, ‘ I f you don’t do x, then y will not work properly,” Anderson said. “This is a very clear statement.” S ome automakers suggest in their documentation if a called-for proce-
dure isn’t done, it should be noted in writing and signed by the insurer and customer as a sort of hold-harmless agreement. One automaker suggests noting inside the vehicle’s owner’s manual, where service and maintenance records are documented, if a procedure wasn’t done. Anderson said he understands legal reasons for this, but still has some concerns with it as a solution. “I f you don’t do it, and that customer sells that car to somebody else, they certainly didn’t waive their rights to that,” Anderson said. “The hold-harmless would need to indemnify the repairer as long as that vehicle is on the road.” Anderson said he’s open to hearing from anyone who is interested in working on resolving the issue. He’d also like shops to help him compile data on what they do and do not ﬁnd when conducting the safety inspections. “I don’t know the solution, but if we get the right people in the room, including insurance companies and the OEMs, we could come up with some solutions that keep shops from being stuck in the middle,” Anderson said.
Farmers Adds App Feature Farmers Insurance on March 9 announced the launch of CrashAssist, a new feature included within the S ignal app that helps connect drivers with emergency services in the event of an accident and oﬀers help in reporting a claim, if desired. The crash detection feature will be available via app update to all S ignal customers by midMarch. U sing the same phone sensors already in use by the S ignal app, CrashAssist will deliver a push notiﬁcation if a crash is detected. Customers will be prompted to conﬁrm whether or not a crash occurred and if they are in need of emergency services. D rivers can also access additional support services including tips to document the crash, share their location, req uest roadside assistance or report a claim. For more information, visit Farmers.com/S ignal. Source: F a rm ers I n s ura n ce
Steel Goes Up at Spring Hill Complex, Advancing GM’s All–Electric Future S teel construction for a new body shop is underway at the eneral Motors Spring ill Complex in Tennessee.
With this eﬀort, the assembly plant begins the transition to become the company’s third vehicle manufacturing site to produce electric vehicles, j oining Factory Z ERO in D etroit and Orion Assembly in Orion Township, MI. In , M announced a billion investment in S pring Hill
to build fully electric vehicles, including the all new Cadillac L RI Q . The new body shop will consist of 324 ,000 sq uare feet dedicated to building maj or sheet metal components for that vehicle. The new building, along with new tooling, eq uipment and automation will comprise the advanced body structure for the L RI . “This is a historic moment for Spring ill and the ﬁrst ma or building expansion for our vehicle assembly space since initial opening in 19 9 0,” said Jeff Lamarche, plant executive director of S pring Hill’s vehicle assembly plant. The L RI will be the ﬁrst of many EVs to be produced at S pring Hill and we’re honored and excited to be a part of M’s all-electric future.” The Spring ill Complex builds both vehicles and engines and has more than 3,200 employees. The facility will produce traditionally powered vehicles along with EVs. Source: G M
14 APRIL 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety Support Alabama Bill to Upgrade Distracted Driving Law On Feb. , Advocates for ighway and Auto S afety sent a letter to the Alabama Committee on Public S afety and Homeland S ecurity in support of ouse ill ( ) 9 . The legislation would improve safety on Alabama roads by broadening the current prohibition on drivers from using wireless communication devices to read, write or send text messages while operating a motor vehicle to include distracting viewing of non-navigational content and manual use. The letter was sent to Rep. Allen Treadaway and Rep. A llen F arley, chair and vice chair of the Committee on Public S afety and Homeland S ecurity: A d v oca tes f or H ig hw a y a n d A uto Sa f ety ( A d v oca tes ) , a n a llia n ce of con s um er, s a f ety , m ed ica l, p ub lic hea lth a n d la w en f orcem en t g roup s , a n d in s ura n ce com p a n ies w ork in g tog ether to p a s s hig hw a y a n d a uto s a f ety la w s tha t p rev en t cra s hes , s a v e liv es , red uce in j uries a n d curb cos ts , urg es y ou to s up p ort H ous e B ill ( H B ) 9 0 . T his leg is la tion w ill im p rov e s a f ety on A la b a m a roa d s b y b roa d en in g the curren t p rohib ition on d riv ers f rom us in g w ireles s com m un ica tion d ev ices to rea d , w rite or s en d tex t m es s a g es w hile op era tin g a m otor v ehicle to in clud e d is tra ctin g v iew in g of n on - n a v ig a tion a l con ten t a n d m a n ua l us e. C on s id erin g the p rev a len ce of d is tra cted d riv in g cra s hes , this leg is la tion is critica l, res p on s iv e a n d tim ely . I n 2 0 1 9 , 9 3 0 p eop le w ere k illed on A la b a m a roa d s , a ccord ing to the National Highway Traﬃc Sa f ety A d m in is tra tion ( N H T SA ) . W ireles s com m un ica tion d ev ice d is tra ction , w hich in clud es m a n ua l, v is ua l a n d cog n itiv e com p on en ts , is a s erious is s ue con trib utin g to cra s hes a n d d ea ths . A ccord in g to the N H T SA , the p ercen ta g e of d riv ers v is ib ly m a n ip ula tin g ha n d - held d ev ices w hile d riv in g in crea s ed b y
2 5 0 %
b etw een 2 0 0 9 a n d 2 0 1 6 . T he N H T SA s urv ey , N a tion a l T elep hon e Surv ey on D is tra cted D riv in g A ttitud es a n d B eha v iors - - - 2 0 1 5 , n oted tha t tw ice a s m a n y res p on d en ts a d m itted to ta lk in g on a cell p hon e or tex tin g w hen they w ere in v olv ed in a cra s h or a n ea r cra s h in 2 0 1 5 a s com p a red to 2 0 1 0 . A d d ition a lly , a s urv ey p erf orm ed b y N a tion w id e I n s ura n ce f oun d f our out of 1 0 res p on d en ts cla im ed to ha v e b een hit or n ea rly hit d ue to a d is tra cted d riv er. T he I n s ura n ce I n s titute f or H ig hw a y Sa f ety ( I I H S) relea s ed a roa d s id e s urv ey in 2 0 1 9 tha t f oun d m a n ip ula tion of d ev ices w hile d riv in g is up 5 7 % ov er the p rior 2 0 1 4 s urv ey w hile ha n d held us e d ecrea s ed . More ca n a n d s hould b e d on e to era d ica te d riv er d is tra ction . A s w ireles s com m un ica tion techn olog y ha s d ev elop ed f rom cellp hon es to s m a rt p hon es , a n d the ra n g e of electron ic com m un ica tion p la tforms has signiﬁcantly broadened to in clud e a p p s , ca m era s , s ocia l m ed ia , g a m in g , etc. , la w s curb in g d riv er d is tra ction m us t b e up d a ted to k eep p a ce w ith the techn olog y a n d en s uin g d is tra ction . A 2 0 1 6 s urv ey con d ucted b y Sta te F a rm f oun d tha t a cces s in g the in tern et, rea d in g a n d up d a tin g s ocia l m ed ia n etw ork s on a cell p hon e w hile d riv in g m ore tha n d oub led f rom 2 0 0 9 to 2 0 1 6 , a n d a b out 1 0 % of thos e s urv ey ed in 2 0 1 6 w ere a ls o p la y in g g a m es on a cell p hon e w hile d riv in g . P rov is ion s in H B 9 0 to res trict us e of the “ ca m era , v id eo or g a m in g f ea tures or f un ction s f or v iew in g , record in g , a m us em en t or other n on - n a v ig a tion a l f un ction s , ” w hether the d ev ice is ha n d held or d a s h m oun ted , w ill help to curb v is ua l d is tra ction , a s res triction s on ha n d held us e a n d en terin g in f orm a tion in to a d a s h m oun ted d ev ice w ill curb m a n ua l d is tra ction .
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T he A A A F oun d a tion f or T ra f ﬁc Safety found the use of devices w hile d riv in g ca n res ult in m en ta l d is tra ction s tha t ca n p ers is t f or up to 2 7 s econ d s a f ter return in g to the d riv in g ta s k . A ccord in g to res ea rch on d riv er cog n itiv e d is tra ction com p iled b y I I H S, “ res ea rchers ha v e f oun d tha t b ra in a ctiv ity a s s ocia ted w ith v is ua l p roces s in g a n d a tten tion is s up p res s ed w hen d riv ers a re cog n itiv ely d is tra cted ( B ow y er et a l. , 2 0 0 9 : Stra y er et a l. , 2 0 0 6 ; J us t et a l. , 2 0 0 8 ) . ” A s a res ult, “ cog n itiv e d is tra ction s ca n lea d to s o- ca lled ‘ in a tten tion b lin d n es s ’ in w hich d riv ers f a il to com p rehen d or p roces s in f orm a tion f rom ob j ects in the roa d w a y ev en w hen they a re look in g a t them ( Stra y er et a l. , 2 0 0 3 ) . ” L im ita tion s on ha n d held a n d ha n d s - f ree d ev ice us e p rov id ed in H B 9 0 w i ll help p rev en t d riv ers from taking their eyes oﬀ the road and their mind oﬀ the task of driv-
in g .
D is tra cted d riv in g n ot on ly res ults in cra s hes , d ea ths a n d in j uries , b ut it a ls o un n eces s a rily ex p en d s ta x p a y er d olla rs . C ra s hes in w hich a t lea s t on e d riv er w a s identiﬁed as being distracted cost $ 4 0 b illion a n n ua lly ( N H T SA ) . N a tion a lly , d is tra cted d riv er cra s hes cos t b us in es s es $ 8 . 2 b illion in 2 0 1 3 (Network of Employers for Traﬃc Sa f ety , 2 0 1 6 ) . T he a n n ua l econ om ic cos ts of a ll cra s hes in A la b a m a a re n ea rly $ 4 . 5 b illion ( N H T SA ) . E a ch d is tra cted d riv in g d ea th a n d s erious in j ury irrev oca b ly cha n g es the liv es of f a m ilies a n d com m un ities in A la b a m a a n d a cros s the n a tion . W e urg e y ou to s up p ort H B 9 0 , a critica l m ea s ure to curb d a n g erous a n d d ea d ly d is tra cted d riv in g . S incerely, C at herine C has e, president. Source: A d v oca tes f or H ig hw a y a n d A uto Sa f ety
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Crash Champions Picks Procurement Supplier Crash Champions, L L C, an established leader in automotive collision repair, announced March 9 it has selected Overall Parts S olutions, I nc. (OPS ) and OPS Technologies as its preferred parts procurement platform. Enterprise-wide implementation of the OPS Technology S uite will allow Crash Champions to leverage a standardi ed parts ordering solution to help accelerate the company’s growth in sales. Crash Champions has worked with OPS to achieve a successful implementation of its parts procurement tool. W hile Crash Champions’ management system allows shops to manage repairs and accounts and communicate with all of their customers, the OPS suite of products provides online access to parts ordering, parts availability, order status updates, return processing, parts credit tracking and delivery notiﬁcations. Source: C ra s h C ha m p ion s
Group Stealing Performance Cars from Carolina Dealerships by Steven Symes, Motorious
Three men are suspected of stealing performance cars from dealerships in North and S outh Carolina and police, along with other agencies, are on the hunt.
The trio has swiped some impressive vehicles, like a 2018 Chevrolet Camaro Z L 1, 2017 Chevrolet Corvette S tingray and a 2020 RAM 15 00 Rebel, using a simple tactic. They also used one of the lamest getaway vehicles known to man, and that might have been part of the point. At least two of the men would go to a dealership and ask to test drive the targeted vehicle(s). U pon completing the test drive, they
Boring Company Visit Inspires Fort Lauderdale, FL, Mayor to Explore Tunneling to Resolve Traffic by Maria Merano, Teslarati
Fort L auderdale, FL , Mayor D ean T rant alis visited The oring Company’s (T C) tunneling pro ects in L as V egas and L os Angeles.
The Florida mayor left the oring Company’s tunnels on a positive note. “I t was a very productive trip,” Trantalis said Feb. 21 on Twitter. “W e are coming home with a lot of ideas about the commuter rail pro ect other ways that tunneling could be put to use in resolving our tra c congestion. I t seems Trantalis left The oring Company’s tunnels with a better understanding of how the startup works and what it could do for Fort L auderdale. Trantalis
and his companions invited Elon Musk’s oring Company team to Fort L auderdale to continue their conversation from the visit. The mayor visited the tunnels to see the potential of one in New River. The startup estimated a tunnel in downtown Fort L auderdale would cost between $ 30 million to $ 6 0 million to build. Trantalis and other Florida o cials seem open to exploring the beneﬁts of building a transport tunnel. The Florida D epartment of Transportation (FD OT) seems to oppose the idea, and instead proposed building a 5 5 -foot-high bridge with an estimated cost of $ 4 4 5 million. Miami Mayor F rancis S uarez is also in talks with The oring Company for another tunneling pro ect in Florida. Suare was supposed to accompany Trantalis on his recent trip to L as V egas and L os Angeles, but it seems Suare could not oin Trantalis, and will pay a separate visit. W e tha n k T es la ra ti f or rep rin t p erm is s ion .
would return a lookalike key fob, retaining the one programmed for the car. This is an old trick, carrying extra keys you turn over to the dealership and keeping the real one, then returning at night to take the vehicle. All dealerships should have safety protocol to prevent this tactic but they obviously don’t. W hat’s great is even though the suspects were caught on camera inside one dealership showroom when the arrived for their test drive, they aren’t easily identiﬁed. oth are wearing masks and hats, so thanks to COV I D -19 measures criminals are better able to hide their identities these days. Also, 4 K resolution on the dealership cameras sure would’ve helped, but oh well. These guys seem to gravitate to performance vehicles, no doubt because they can get more for the whole vehicle or the parts on the black market. Those are the cars dealerships should be especially careful with, especially in these times when theft is rampant.
As for the getaway vehicle, which has been spotted multiple times, police say these three guys are rolling hard in a late-model silver Toyota Highlander. Y ep, hardened criminals are using a mommy mobile to pull oﬀ their heists, but maybe that’s on purpose. After all, who would suspect anyone in a Highlander is up to no good? According to police, the three men are suspected in q uite a few car thefts spread around both states. Obviously they’re building a case against them, but ﬁrst they have to be caught. There’s a reward of up to $ 1,000 for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects by police in Creedmore, NC. The caller can remain anonymous, so if you know anything you might be able to collect the reward and nobody would be the wiser. W e tha n k Motorious f or rep rin t p erm is s ion .
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Gerber Collision of Jacksonville, FL, and Esurance Donate Refurbished Vehicle to Family in Need Recently, a deserving Jacksonville, FL , family experienced a life-changing event—the presentation of a vehicle to provide them independence and the ability to work and take care of their families—thanks to Gerber Collision of Jacksonville, FL , and car donor Esurance, along with the National Auto Body Council Recycled Rides program. The presentation was held at Gerber Collision of Jacksonville. The deserving recipients were selected by Family Promise of Jacksonville. The recipients, J am es and S t ep hanie D uPont , were presented a 2016 Maz da CX 5 . The D uPonts are a hard-working couple that have struggled since COV I D -19 . James’ family lost their j obs, home and transportation due to this situation. He has a j ob now, teaching CPR, but struggles due to not having transportation. S tephanie also works, but must use U ber or L yft to get to work.
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Fewer Premiums in the segment’s combined ratio for 2020, from 9 4 .4 to 9 8 .8 . At the start of last year, personal auto insurers had been beneﬁting from a couple of years of positive underwriting and operating performance momentum. This re ected the robust risk-adj usted capitaliz ation of most writers and the positive impact of technology and data analytics on their underwriting, ratemaking and claims handling, AM Best said. These factors, along with the unexpectedly positive impact of COV I D -19 on auto travel, improved the sector’s proﬁtability signiﬁcantly. Twenty-one insurers generated
Having this car means James will be able to teach many more classes in areas not reached by the bus lines. Plus, the D uPonts can save money on U ber and L yft. They have continued to improve their situation, and this car donation allows them to be totally self-su cient. NABC Recycled Rides is a uniq ue program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals and families in need of reliable transportation. S ince the program’s inception in 2007 , members of the NABC have donated more than 2,6 00 vehicles valued at more than $ 36 million. Additional partners in the NABC Recycled Rides presentation included 1-8 00 Charity Cars. Source: N A B C
more than $ 1 billion in private passenger auto direct premiums through the third q uarter. However, for 10 of those 21, their topline premium showed a decline compared with the prior-year period. Three experienced premium growth of 1% or less, and most of the sector’s leading auto insurers offered premium discounts, rebates or refunds during the COV I D -19 surge. U .S . roads are expected to remain less congested than normal for an indeterminate period in 2021, which could extend the favorable loss freq uency trend, AM Best said. However, cars traveling at faster speeds on less congested roads can cause more serious accidents, increasing the severity of claims. W e tha n k I n s ura n ce B us in es s Ma g a z in e f or rep rin t p erm is s ion .
Classic Collision Announces Second Multi-Shop Acquisition in Florida in the Last Month Classic Collision, L L C, a leading national multi-site collision repair operator based in Atlanta, announced its second multi-shop acq uisition in less than 30 days, with the acq uisition of both O rla n d o’ s Sup ercen ter A uto B od y R ep a ir locations in Orlando, FL . Classic Collision now has 20 Florida locations and operates 6 2 centers total in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, S outh Carolina and California. Orlando’s S upercenter Auto Body has been providing friendly and q uality repairs to the Orlando community for almost 20 years. Centrally located near Orlando I nternational Airport, now Classic Collision Orlando S upercenter and Classic Collision Orlando
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Airport will serve Orange and Osceola communities. “W e are excited to be part of Classic’s expansion into new markets and look forward to the opportunity to serve the community under the Classic name,” said K evin Beat t ie, former president of Orlando’s S upercenter. “Orlando’s S upercenter Auto Body has an impeccable reputation in Orlando and we are pleased to welcome all of the team members to the Classic Collision Family,” said T oan N g uyen, CEO of Classic Collision. “W ith this acq uisition, we enter a new Florida market and we continue to advance our presence and growth across the country.” Source: C la s s ic C ollis ion
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EVs Could Enter a Golden Decade with Newly-Introduced U.S. Bill by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati
Electric cars may very well enter a golden age of sorts in the U .S ., if a newly-proposed bill makes it through. D ubbed the Electric CARS Act, the bill aims to update the EV tax credit by extending it for 10 years and removing the number of eligible vehicles per manufacturer. The bill also seeks to support the buildout of more electric car charging infrastructure. A federal tax credit of up to $ 7 ,5 00 is currently available for customers who purchase an electric vehicle. However, the current system phases out this credit after an automaker sells its ﬁrst , electric cars. Tesla and General Motors have both passed this threshold, which means buyers of both companies’ electric vehicles no longer receive a credit. W ith this system in place, the U .S . practically makes incentives for car buyers to purchase imported EV s instead of those from local automakers like GM. Tesla has been pushing its electric vehicles without the $ 7 ,5 00 tax credit since the end of 1 —reduced credits were implemented over 19—when the company passed its , -vehi-
cle threshold. Fortunately, Tesla’s vehicles like the Model 3 and Model Y have stood well on their own merits, garnering critical and consumer support even without tax credits. I f the Electric CARS Act passes, companies like Tesla could make an even stronger push into the automotive sector. The Electric CARS Act aims to improve the federal tax credit through the following means: • The elimination of the cap for EV makers. The bill would allow consumers access to the tax credit for the next 10 years, regardless of the manufacturer they buy their EV from. U nder these terms, Tesla and GM electric car buyers would be able to get their tax credits once more. A ﬁve-year use period. The bill would allow buyers to use their respective tax credits over a ﬁve-year period, meaning EV customers could apply the credit either at the point of purchase or later on. S uch a system would make the tax credit more applicable to buyers without large tax liabilities. • Charging infrastructure support. The bill would provide a 10-year extension of tax credits for alternative
fuel vehicles and charging infrastructure. This incentiviz es the buildout of EV charging systems like Tesla’s S upercharger Network and other rapid charging services like Electrify America. The Electric CARS Act is sponsored by U .S > S en. Jeff er e (D -OR) and U .S . Rep. e er e ch (D -V T), both of whom highlighted the importance of the electric vehicle sector in the .S. In a statement to Channel 1 News, Merkley said the bill is apt, considering the ongoing climate chaos. He also highlighted the importance of supporting EV s made by American workers in American factories. “As climate chaos continues to ramp up with record-setting winter storms, violent hurricanes and catastrophic wildﬁres, it is imperative that we transition away from gasoline-powered vehicles, which are fanning the ames of the crisis. Consumers are already looking for electric cars, and this bill will help drive adoption faster— and make sure more of those cars are made by American workers in American factories,” Merkley said. W elch explained supporting electric cars would be a common-sense win for consumers, especially considering
EV s are practical to own. “W e need to q uickly and aggressively invest in electric vehicles to combat the global climate emergency that threatens all of our local communities,” W elch noted. “Owning an electric vehicle can be cheaper and oﬀers signiﬁcant public health and environmental beneﬁts, but for many Americans, they are unaﬀordable at the dealership. This bill makes the next generation of electric vehicles accessible to more people by allowing them to receive the electric vehicle tax credit right away. “Encouraging electric vehicle adoption is a common-sense win for consumers, the environment and American workers.” L ed by Tesla and its S 3X Y line, electric vehicles have disrupted the automotive industry, even without the presence of the $ 7 ,5 00 tax credit. W ith the Electric CARS Act in eﬀect, companies like Tesla could reach an even bigger consumer market, bringing EV s further into mainstream buyers. U ltimately, the newly-proposed bill has the potential to usher in a golden age of electric cars in the U .S . W e tha n k T es la ra ti f or rep rin t p erm is s ion .
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Kia Reportedly Under Ransomware Attack With $20M Demand by Chris Bruce, Motor1.com
A group of hackers attacked K ia Motors America and subj ected the automaker to ransomware that has allegedly shut down vital services like its U V O L ink apps, payment system and the sites dealers use, according to Bleeping Computer. The hackers are req uesting 4 04 .5 8 33 bitcoin to decrypt the data, which at current values, is eq uivalent to $ 20,8 9 9 ,5 5 9 .5 3. I f K ia doesn’t pay q uickly enough, then the ransom increases to 6 00 bitcoin ($ 30,9 9 4 ,200.) Bleeping Computer also obtained the alleged ransom note the hackers sent to K ia. The letter says if K ia doesn’t make any attempt to contact the attackers within three days, a portion of the obtained data would be made public. The demands don’t speciﬁcally say what type of data this hack stole. Motor1.com reached out to K ia for info about the current status of this attack and the company’s intention. I n a statement to Bleeping Computer on Feb. 17 , the automaker denied it was subj ect to ransom-
ware. “W e are also aware of online speculation that K ia is subj ect to a ‘ ransomware’ attack. At this time, we can conﬁrm that we have no evidence that K ia or any K ia data is subj ect to a ‘ ransomware’ attack,” the announcement said. S omething odd is the letter addresses Hyundai Motor America, which is closely related to K ia. At this time, it doesn’t seem Hyundai is aﬀected by the attack, but Motor1. com is reaching out to the automaker for conﬁrmation. As automakers use increasingly networked technology, hacks and ransomware attacks become a larger risk of disrupting their business. For example, ransomware in 2017 forced Renault to stop production in France temporarily, and Nissan had to do the same in the U K at the time. U PD ATE: An anonymous tip to Motor1.com alleges Hyundai dealership technicians are unable to access part of the system for using diagnostic eq uipment. This has allegedly been the case since Feb. 13, according to the person who contacted us.
W e’ve contacted Hyundai and K ia with these new details for conﬁrmation. U PD ATE 2: K ia responded Feb. 18 with a statement regarding the issue:
“K ia Motors America, I nc. has been experiencing an extended systems outage since [ Feb. 13] but can conﬁrm that the VO app and owner’s portal are now operational,” the statement said. “W e anticipate remaining primary customer-facing aﬀected systems will continue to come back online within the next 24 -4 8 hours, with our most critical systems ﬁrst in line. “W e apologiz e for the inconvenience to aﬀected customers, especially those impacted by winter storms, who felt the outage of our
remote start and heating feature most acutely. K ia is wholly focused on fully resolving this issue and would like to thank our customers for their continued patience. “W e are aware of online speculation that K ia is subj ect to a ransomware attack,” the statement concluded. “At this time, and based on the best and most current information, we can conﬁrm that we have no evidence that K ia or any K ia data is subj ect to a ransomware attack.” U PD ATE 3: Hyundai also responded to our req uest for comment. L ike K ia, it is denying the allegations of a ransomware attack. “Hyundai Motor America is experiencing an IT outage aﬀecting a limited number of customer-facing systems,” Hyundai told Motor1. “Those systems are in the process of coming back online. W e would like to thank our customers for their continued patience. At this time, we can also conﬁrm that we have no evidence of Hyundai Motor America or its data being subj ect to a ransomware attack.” W e tha n k Motor1 . com f or rep rin t p erm is s ion .
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Quarterly Meeting on educating the employees who are doing it right,” Reeves said. “This is actionable insight that you can use to manage your business day-to-day and see something you’ve never seen before. There are two aspects to winning on Parts Trader,” Reeves said. First, you have to write for alternative parts. Second, you must write for the most cost-eﬀective alternative parts. Eﬀectively procuring parts is important for your business, and doing this the right way allows you to unlock price support on the parts, if it’s available from the manufacturer.” Reeves substantiated this with an example of a shop that wrote for a reconditioned bumper cover on a Volkswagen etta for , sent
John Reeves of Parts Trader discussed how shops can “win” on Parts Trader by writing for the most cost-effective alternative parts
it out for q uotes and purchased it for , a savings of . When Reeves researched data on that part number, he found another shop had written for a cheaper cover at 1 and was able to purchase the exact same part for . The reporting we created at Parts Trader shows the diﬀerence in OEM lists the shop is writing, and you can view your shop’s stats in relation to all of our data, data in your state and your shop’s speciﬁc information, including a breakdown by team member,” Reeves said. “The platform lets you keep track of your parts selection, showing how much money you’re making on the j ob. y writing for alternative parts, you often get bigger discounts, allowing you to purchase OEM parts cheaper than you could get alternative parts.” Although Reeves recommended purchasing all OEM parts, he acknowledged, It’s a business de-
cision, and you have options Parts Trader’s platform allows you to see and evaluate your proﬁt margins. Of course, what you sell parts for will depend on your relationships with insurers and customers, but either way, you want to make sure you’re feeding the right data into the marketplace to enable you to make the correct purchasing decisions.” S tarting the associations’ presidential addresses, CCA President K yle Brads haw challenged attendees with growth, not ust in your business but also personally. L ook to continuously grow. With CCA, we have really taken oﬀ, and more people are getting involved in the association. The biggest thing we can do is lean on each other. D on’t ust be a silent member we want you to be involved,” he encouraged. MS CRA President T racy L ew is added, “To get anything out of your association, you have to put something into it. L et’s all go into this with a positive attitude and looking how we can improve our shops and help others improve. W e haven’t had this kind of opportunity in MSCRA in a while, and I’m really excited about this! ” K ent turned the metaphorical mic over to T ony Y es s o of W &M Sales and Service, who questioned why the industry misses so many AD AS repairs and calibrations, noting 9 of new cars produced in 19 had at least one ADAS feature, yet only of the country’s , shops calibrate in-house. There are a lot of diﬀerence sources to obtain this information, but traditional methods can take a bit of time,” Y esso pointed out. ow, we have autonomous vehicles coming at us like a freight train this isn’t a revolution, it’s an eruption! There’s so much technology coming at us every day that it’s hard to keep up, but if we’re working on automated vehicles, why not use an automated product to identify the systems on these vehicles? “Education is key, and the amount of education that adasThink has put on its platform is incredible. This neat product could be a tremendous help to all of us,” Y esso added, before introducing D ominato. adasThink is a software company that helps collision repair professionals understand what ADAS is
eq uipped on a particular vehicle and which ADAS procedures need to be performed. The platform also provides the documentation needed to substantiate the calibrations, D ominato explained. He then dove into the freq uency at which shops should be seeing AD AS calibrations, noting it depends on the OEM since some have narrow requirements, while others are broader.
CCA President Kyle Bradshaw challenged attendees to focus on growth in 2021, both professionally and personally
Dominato then broke down the calibration-to-estimate ratio that adasThink sees by manufacturer: “Overall, we see a calibration-to-estimate ratio across all makes and models, but those are j ust numbers, so does that
mean most don’t req uire a calibration, but a few have several We also looked at how many times the procedures on an estimate req uired at least one calibration, and shops should be performing AD AS calibrations on at least half of their estimates. If your shop isn’t, why D ominato cited a study previously conducted that showed only 1 of needed ADAS calibrations had been identiﬁed. “The industry is doing terribly when it comes to ADAS calibration identiﬁcation, he said. Scanning the vehicle won’t help you ﬁnd a calibration or tell you if you need one because whether it’s needed depends on the operations performed, not the codes that show up. Why are we doing so bad The resources aren’t that great estimating systems usually don’t tell you that you need to do an AD AS calibration, and while service information from the manufacturers have lots of great information, it’s usually not that easy to ﬁnd or use. adasThink has already done that research.” D ominato then provided evidence of exactly how important
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AD AS calibration can be, using several examples, such as a windshield camera. Although the camera in his example was designed to work at distances of 200-plus meters down the road, a 1-degree deviation will only permit the camera to see 130 meters in the other lane. “W e all need to be pulling OEM specs and getting the calibration done,” Bradshaw interj ected to stress. “Make sure you’re doing your due diligence. Y ou’re the collision repair professional, and you need to be informing everyone the consumer, dealership, insurer about what’s req uired on that vehicle! ” D iscussing industry trends, D ominato talked about L iD AR sensors, which are critical for autonomous vehicles and are much more sensitive and susceptible to damage due to being exposed on the vehicle’s exterior. “L iD AR req uires calibrations much more freq uently, and as OEMS look to make autonomous vehicles, we’re going to see multiple L iD AR sensors on vehicles, and it’s likely that they’ll need to be recalibrated after any collision,” D ominato predicted. “AD AS is here, and we’re go-
ing to see more AD AS calibration in the future as the OEMS broaden calibration req uirements, and property functioning of AD AS becomes more and more important,” D ominato concluded. “adasThink can turn an estimate from CCC, Audatex or Mitchell into a full calibration report that provides what AD AS is eq uipped on the vehicle, what AD AS calibrations are req uired and links to the OEM documentation.” Before dismissing attendees, K ent announced the associations’ q uarterly meeting will be held separately in the future, though their training will be combined. The next training opportunity will take place March 18 , when Collision Hub’s K ris t en F elder and L arry Mont anez will teach an estimating class, and on March 25 , L ee Rus h from S herwin-W illiams will provide training on “W hy I gnoring C Will Cost our Proﬁt and Sales. For more information on CCA, visit carolinascollisionassociation.com. For more information on MS CRA, visit mymscra.com. For more information on TCRA, visit mytcra.com.
Continued from Cover
property damage • Revises req uired coverage amounts for garage liability and commercial motor vehicle insurance, and increases the cash deposit amount required for a certiﬁcate of self-insurance establishing ﬁnancial responsibility for owners and operators of motor vehicles that are not for-hire vehicles • Repealing the no-fault law eliminates the limitations on recovering pain and suﬀering damages from PI P insureds, which currently req uire bodily inj ury that causes death or signiﬁcant and permanent inj ury
Legislation to Repeal a more stable insurance market and better outcomes for insured Floridians when they face the unfortunate and in some cases tragic circumstance of being involved an a serious vehicle accident.” Repeals No-Fault, Requires Bodily Injury Liability Coverage S B 5 4 repeals the no-fault law, which req uires every owner and registrant of a motor vehicle in the state to maintain Personal I nj ury Protection (PI P) coverage. The bill enacts financial responsibility req uirements for liability for motor vehicle ownership or operation, as follows: •
For bodily inj ury or death of one person in any one crash, $ 25 ,000 S ubj ect to that limit for one person, $ 5 0,000 for bodily inj ury or death of two or more people in any one crash Retains the existing 1 , ﬁnancial responsibility req uirement for
Requires Medical Payments Coverage S requires insurers to oﬀer medical payments coverage (MedPay) with limits of $ 5 ,000 or $ 10,000 to cover medical expenses of the insured. Insurers may also oﬀer other policy limits that exceed $ 5 ,000, and may oﬀer deductibles of up to . The bill req uires insurers must reserve $ 5 ,000 of MedPay beneﬁts for days to pay physicians
Watch a Nissan 350Z Bring a Cadillac Dealership to Its Knee by Steven Symes, Motorious
A Nissan 35 0Z driver who crashed while reportedly street racing early in the morning in January in the Tampa, FL , area absolutely devastated a Cadillac dealership. The collision took out seven crossovers, the very thing Cadillac depends on so greatly for sales, as well as the dealership sign. I t’s a potent lesson in the stupidity and dangers of street racing, although we know some people still won’t listen. I t’s obvious the Nissan was really ripping down the road when the driver lost control. W hile 35 0Z s aren’t exactly lightweight cars, the fact it was able to take out the sign and so thoroughly demolish seven crossovers is a testament to extreme speed being a factor. This is why racing on the drag strip, where there are safety measures, is always the better choice. The person who posted a video claims the driver of the Nissan 35 0Z walked away from the crash with only some minor scratches. A
or dentists who provide emergency services and care, or who provide hospital inpatient care.
Creates Best Practice Standards for Claim Handling S B 5 4 creates a new framework to govern all third-party bad faith actions for failure to settle related to motor vehicle insurance. The bill req uires insurers to follow claims handling best practices standards based on long-established good faith duties related to claim handling, claim investigation, defense of the insured and settlement negotiations. The bill establishes that it is a condition precedent to bringing a third-party bad faith failure to settle action that the claimant serve a demand for settlement. The demand must: I dentify the date and location of the loss, the claimant and insured • S tate the legal and factual basis of the claim • D etail the claimant’s inj uries, medical treatment and the amount of current and reasonably anticipated
search for news about the wreck returned no local stories, so we have no way of conﬁrming if that was the case. However, if true, it’s a miracle there were no serious inj uries, not to mention a fatality. V ideo of the aftermath of the wreck shows the ipped on its roof, barely recogniz able, and it’s not much better for most of the Caddies. A ﬁre broke out, torching some of the vehicles and leaving plenty of charred debris on the ground. Mixed into the mangled crossovers are pieces of the dealership sign. Hands down the best part of the video is at the beginning, with the service center employees pointing out parts of the cars they think are salvageable. Considering all the cars will likely be involved in one messy insurance claim, they’re all probably sitting on a Copart lot right now. I n other words, if you want to pick up the pieces of this accident and try to make something out of the situation, it might turn out to be a proﬁtable venture. W e tha n k Motorious f or rep rin t p erm is s ion .
future damages • D emand a settlement amount, which may not exceed the insured’s policy limit • Release, if accepted, the insured from any further liability • Not provide conditions on the settlement other than payment of the demand and the ability of the claimant to take an examination under oath of the insured The bill allows the third-party bad faith claimant to condition the demand for settlement on taking a twohour examination under oath (EU O) of the insured limited to discovering recoverable assets. The bad faith claimant may withdraw the demand for settlement after the EU O. I f the insured refuses to submit to the EU O, the insurer may tender policy limits without obtaining a release of the insured and may not be held liable if there is an excess j udgment against the insured. The bill provides that in a third-party action for bad faith failure to settle, the insurer is not liable See Legislation to Repeal, Page 48
26 APRIL 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com
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with Erica Schroeder
—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 www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
with John Yoswick
Artistic Auto Body Set for Expanding Electric Vehicle Population with Stand-Alone EV Center
“I can already see that specialCount A rtis tic A uto B od y among the shops geared up and ready for the iz ing makes sense not only from coming wave of electric vehicles what we’re doing today, but certainwith Ed Attanasio ly as you look to the future,” Mostul (EV s). said. That’s what we’re trying to do anticipate where things are going, and try to get there before we have to, shop owner T erry Mos t ul said, standing outside the 1, -square foot stand-alonewith EV center he’s esEd Attanasio tablished next to his company’s original shop in Tigard, OR. “I like to be proactive rather than reactive.” e acknowledges some of his colleagues have questioned whether his investment in an EV -only Technician Kyle Liddane performs a structural repair on a Tesla Model 3 in one of the three center almost two years ago wasn’t with Ed Attanasio aluminum bays at Artistic Auto Body’s location premature, at best. ut the growth in Tigard, OR of EV vehicles in Mostul’s PortArtistic Auto ody’s two shop land area market, coupled with the nearly weekly automaker announce- locations had ample experience with ments in recent months of new elec- EV s prior to segmenting those vetric-powered models, indica- hicles to a stand-alone center. The with are Edan Attanasio company, which has had I-CAR tion he made the right move.
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Gold Class designation for 18 years, holds a do en automakers’ certiﬁcations including some from OEMs such as Audi, Jaguar, Nissan and Tesla that produce EVs. I t’s that experience trying to incorporate EV repairs into the company’s production that prompted Mostul to think about segmenting it out. There’s a long list of things we learned that motivated this,” Mostul said. “One of those things centers around parts. ere we have space and loading docks to receive all our parts for this location, even the EV parts that arrive by semi truck. W e have a couple golf carts with beds on the back where we can deliver parts from here right to the technician, j ust in time. And when you take an EV apart, you often have to remove much of the interior to disconnect certain
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things. S o there are lots of interior parts that have to be taken out of the car and stored. Previously, all those parts were put on carts, and that’s j ust not a safe place to put seats and trim, or the glass you may need to remove j ust to get door handles out.” The Artistic EV center includes a large storage area of stacked and labeled bins where such parts can be safely stored and kept clean. D amaged parts to be replaced are stored on carts near the parts delivery area all the Tigard location parts are now delivered to the EV center, reducing truck and part congestion at its two other buildings to be mirror-matched as new parts are delivered. The space the EV center oﬀers also enables Artistic to expedite repairs by stocking some of the most common EV vehicle fasteners and other parts even some bumpers,
The right part makes the difference.
with Stacey Phillips
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with Victoria Antonelli
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rebars and fenders that may not be immediately available locally for some models. Parts delays, though far less of an issue than they were in the past, were another consideration Mostul had in mind when adding the EV center.
Blueprinter Sophia Goodrich prepares an estimate on a Tesla in for repairs
“I j ust don’t like having an electric vehicle sitting outside in the wet and the cold, even if covered in plastic,” Mostul said. “I t’s bad for the battery. S o having inside storage here in the EV center has been wonderful for keeping them much, much safer. And the customers love knowing the vehicles are stored inside too.” Mostul said EV repair production also has a slightly diﬀerent
tempo than work on other vehicles. There’s more involved in disassembly for blueprinting and more diagnostic work upfront, for example. For everyone involved in working on the vehicles estimators, technicians, parts staﬀ and even detailers there’s a learning curve that only steepens if they’re working on EVs only occasionally amongst a regular ow of other vehicles, he said. The EV center allows those employees to specializ e in those vehicles. We started with a blueprinter, taking them out of the other building and saying, ‘ Y ou’re j ust going to focus on these vehicles,’” Mostul said. And the minute we did that, boom, things really started getting traction.” The EV center includes ﬁve stalls for blueprinting, allowing for a mid-tech to be disassembling one vehicle as an estimator prepares the paperwork for another. Parts and OEM procedure research can be completed on the other vehicles before they are moved to storage or into production. All the cars can be fully charged via charging stations in that area, as well as connected to the automaker
via a standalone WiFi network, separate from that used to run the business or to provide connectivity for customers. We want to leave them there in that area until we are done with all those preliminary processes,” Mos-
The EV center includes a large storage area of stacked and labeled bins where interior parts that must be removed can be safely stored and kept clean, separate from parts that will be replaced
tul said. aving it separate allows us not to j eopardiz e accuracy by trying to maintain the same ow we use elsewhere in production. S cheduling of EV s is also done diﬀerently. “Every incoming drivable j ob gets put on a list, and instead of scheduling by date, we’ll notify
them when we have all the parts, and then bring them in for repairs,” Mostul said. “That may mean an EV written later may ump ahead of one brought in earlier. ut we keep in contact with our customers throughout the process.” W hile actual repair and paint work are currently done in the shop’s other buildings, that will change as the company plans to build the capability to do it within the EV center, Mostul said. W hile some of the company’s other mechanical work is done it in its other buildings, its lead mechanic, and its scanning and calibration work, are in the EV center. We want to do as much as we can in-house, both so we can control it to make sure it’s done right, and also for cycle time, so we don’t have to take something to a dealership, which has extra days and costs associated with it, Mostul said. The EV center’s charging stations are programmable, allowing charging to generally take place overnight, when energy rates are lower. All vehicles are fully charged the See Artistic Auto Body, Page 36
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with Stacey Phillips
Tips for Busy Body Shops
Stacey Phillips is an award-winning freelance writer and editor for the automotive industry. She has 20 years of experience writing for a variety of publications, and is co-author of “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops.” She can be reached at email@example.com.
with Stacey Phillips
Benefits of In-Process Quality Control Technology Discussed by Lee Rush, Sherwin-Williams One of the universal issues in the defects, comebacks, poor q uality collision repair industry and a pain and missed opportunities. W ith the point on every production oor is a introduction of new technology, that with Stacey Phillips lack of in-process q uality control, is starting to change. according to L ee Rus h, manager I n his presentation, he shared of business development for S her- insight about the beneﬁts of using win-Williams® . q uality technology to help identify “I n-process q uality control has and correct issues throughout the reeluded this industry for years and pair process long before the ﬁnal continues to do so today,” said Rush. inspection. “Not only is it awith huge Victoria liability risk, Those who don’t incorporate Antonelli but it can cost every collision shop in-process q uality validation can proﬁt and sales. suﬀer greatly, said Rush. This could mean poor elp reviews, restrictions put into place by insurance programs, an impact on the q uality of employees hired and inwith Ed Attanasio creased liability for not performing a proper repair. Rush discussed the importance of validating in-process uality has a broad impact quality and many ramiﬁcations on D uring a virtual presentation your business,” said Rush. “By progiven as part of the S ociety of Col- viding a process in which a repaired lision Repair with S pecialists CRS ) vehicle is returned to the customer Gary(S Ledoux Repairer D riven Education (RD E) free of defects, safe and the overall S eries, Rush discussed the impor- crashworthiness is restored, it allows tance of validating in-process q ual- us to reduce and eliminate in-process ity and explained how it diﬀers from q uality delays.” quality control ( C), typically done Rush said it also increases the in many shops across the country to- number of q uality inspectors. day. with Stacey Phillips Instead of one or two people W hereas q ua lity con trol occurs in the business being responsible at the end of the repair cycle when for inspecting vehicles, everyone in the vehicle is inspected before being the business becomes a q uality inreturned to the customer, Rush said spector,” he said. “This can greatly in - p roces s q ua lity v a lid a tion is live reduce the amount of time manageon the production oor, where ad- ment spends addressing and readj ustments can be made throughout dressing q uality delays.” the repair cycle.with Mike Anderson The key, said Rush, is to incorRush used the analogy of a porate digital tools that help achieve sports team where the coach gives these goals. an overview of the game and what This means moving away from went wrong. paper checklists and “check the box” A review at the end of the game procedures, as well as electronic standoesn’t do anything to improve per- dard checklists that do not relate to the formance,” he explained. repair. Rush has spent more than Shop owners and managers who years managing collision centers do incorporate technology to validate and MS Os and has extensive expe- in-process q uality typically experirience in business center expansion ence numerous beneﬁts. These could using lean and process-driven oper- include cost reductions, more consisations. tent repair q uality, reduced vehicle Over his career, he has found comebacks, improved cycle time, reshops lacked the technology to mea- duced liability and overall customer sure the dollar value of in-process and employee satisfaction.
OE Shop Certification
Rush shared 1 best practices when implementing quality validation technology. The technology should: Electronically verify, validate and measure q uality from any device. Oﬀer digital features that can be implemented at a low cost. ave high mobility and be simple to use so every employee can easily adopt. Communicate to all employees in real-time to help them stay on task. ave the capability to increase the number of q uality inspectors in the business. Provide a quality check and validation for each phase of the repair process prior to ﬁnal inspection. ave robust reporting features that track performance so all failures can be resolved q uickly, minimiz ing
delays and improving on-time delivery. Focus on eliminating the maj or reasons for production delays including parts mistakes, supplements and in-process delays due to errors and defects. Electronically document the repair for all stakeholders, including the vehicle owner, insurance company, certiﬁed repair program, etc. Capture photos and allow for an audit of the shop’s standard operating procedures (S OPs). We’re going to ﬁnd that many of the OEM certiﬁcation programs are going to be gravitating toward these expectations,” said Rush. p until recently, Rush wasn’t aware of a method that was available to consistently and predictively measure the impact of in-process See Quality Control Technology, Page 36
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with Stacey Phillips
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.
From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson
Nissan Launches ADAS Calibration Course Advanced driver assistance system (AD AS ) calibrations are an increasingly important part of a safe and proper repair, and that may prove a challenge for collision shops that lack relevant training and eq uipment. For those ready for some OEM hands-on training, Nissan recently launched an AD AS calibration course. ust as some automakers oﬀer training on how to work with their particular aluminum structural components, AD AS and calibrations are j ust as important and uniq ue to each automaker. Certainly, more shops are wanting to do a greater share of this work in-house because subletting it can add complications and negatively impact cycle time. S ometimes there are even concerns whether those doing the sublet work are doing it properly. I know shops are eager for more OEM training related to AD AS . We surveyed nearly shops last summer and found would be interested in hands-on calibration training oﬀered by an automaker. One respondent said after months of being holed up because of COV I D , the training could be in Antarctica and he’d still want to go. Even among those who said they weren’t interested at the time, many said this was only a temporary view because of COVID concerns or because they’d taken a revenue hit last spring. I shared my ﬁndings with some of my contacts at various automakers, and Nissan j umped right on it. I asked Mark Z ob a, manager of Nissan and I FI ITI’s Certiﬁed Collision Repair etworks, if I could publish our conversation about his focus on OEM-speciﬁc advanced training. Full disclosure: My company worked with issan and asTech to adapt this training for the collision industry.
Tell me more about how issan views ADAS, and how important it is for shops to know how to repair this advanced technology.
AD AS is an important element of Nissan’s I ntelligent Mobility (NI M) initiatives to deliver real beneﬁts to drivers. As a result, Nissan is pushing to make more AD AS technologies accessible to all of our vehicle owners. Safety Shield is now standard across many models, and breakthrough technologies like ProPI L OT Assist . is debuting on our upcom-
ing electric crossover ARI Y A. S hops, like our dealers, need OEM-speciﬁc advanced training to properly ensure that all safety and AD AS systems are functioning as designed. Thus, collision shops must be able to identify the systems present on a speciﬁc vehicle. AD AS components also may be disconnected or moved during the repair process, req uiring a calibration. This is why a post-repair vehicle scan is also essential to help assess AD AS system functionality and resolve all diagnostic trouble codes.
I s this training the same that dealer technicians receive?
I t is similar, but not exact. I invited Collision Advice and asTech to attend the hands-on AD AS and calibration training that Nissan currently oﬀers to our dealerships’ service technicians. We then worked together to “translate” that training for the collision repair world. All of the calibration processes are the same, but issan wanted this training to focus on what collision techs encounter when working on Nissan and I NFI NI TI vehicles after an accident. Our collision-tailored
ADAS training includes what shops need to know about paint thickness over sensors, for example, or calibration issues related to the unibody alignment and specs.
W hat does the training look like Where is it oﬀered
Although the collision industry oﬀers many courses online, we felt that this needed to be hands-on training. I t’s about classroom training, but the maj ority is devoted to actually setting up and performing calibrations on real vehicles. W e originally thought the training needed to be three days given the amount of information. ut we understand it’s di cult for techs to be out of the shop, so we wanted
to condense the in-person training as much as possible. W e piloted the course and found we could get it down to two days, though they are two very full days. Part of what makes that possible is the pre-work that is required before the course. For those in the industry who said they wished there was more meat in OEM training programs, we deliver it with this class. Even before setting foot in the training center, students complete e-learning modules on navigating Nissan TechI nfo for repair procedures, on understanding AD AS components, etc. They have to know how to use TechInfo before they show up. Students work on ﬁve new issan and I NFI NI TI vehicles; each has been bugged with an ADAS problem that needs to be diagnosed and resolved. S tudents rotate through the vehicles, working in pairs, do-
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ing ﬁve hands-on calibrations. Then each student has to do three calibrations by themselves to pass. There may be some students who may not pass this class. In fact, many that have taken the class have acknowledged that this is the most advanced and intense OEM training they have ever attended.
ow has issan addressed COV I D -related concerns?
I understand the concerns, and I also know shops need the information to work with our vehicles’ AD AS systems. S hops can’t j ust tell customers, “Come back in a year and we’ll calibrate your vehicle’s systems then.” I f shops are performing these operations, Nissan wants to help ensure they have the proper training within a safe environment for learning. Nissan has COV I D -related controls, which everyone must follow. issan worked with asTech to create a dedicated training facility for the course in Jacksonville, FL . There are ust 1 students at a time, working with two instructors, within
Continued from Page 32
Quality Control Technology q uality failures and dollariz e them. The failures may be related to paint, body work, mechanical, parts defects or detail and delivery. “These are real issues that cause you proﬁtability and impact your ability to produce additional revenue every day, every week and every month,” said Rush. “W e’ve become desensiti ed to them we accept them and tolerate them, saying that it’s ust how we do business. owever, it costs us proﬁtability and additional revenues.” Today, it is estimated failures such as starts and stops, reworks, comebacks, reversals in production, etc., may represent a potential revenue constraint of of a shop’s monthly revenue. We know time is money, especially on the production oor, said Rush. “Every minute of every day, we produce a product, or we don’t. He stressed the importance of using q uality technology to help re-
a , -square foot space, so social distancing isn’t a problem. Everyone wears a mask and gloves. Everyone gets their temperature taken in the morning before they enter the classroom, and everyone is using their own factory scan tool. That reminds me: One of the things we do in the class is let students scan vehicles ﬁrst with their choice of aftermarket scan tool, then scan that same vehicle with the CO S LT factory scan tool. Everyone has their opinion on factory versus aftermarket scan tools. W e challenge them to compare the tools themselves, and students can see the results ﬁrsthand.
W ho is eligible to attend? I s the training req uired by Nissan or I NFI NI TI ?
The course is currently open to Nissan and I NFI NI TI certiﬁed collision centers, and we’re working on a solution to make it available to the industry in the near future. W e’re prioritiz ing our certiﬁed shops, but we also want to help educate as many shops as possible.
duce and eliminate in-process q uality-related delays and defects. To help measure a shop’s success, Rush said the industry is now using a new key performance indicator (K PI )– sales per labor hour sold. This is the total sales divided by the total labor hours sold. For example . million in total sales, divided by 1 , total labor hours sold equals 1 . . Once the impact and cost of in-process q uality are understood, Rush said shops can then work toward eliminating waste and improving proﬁtability. Rush highly recommends focusing a shop’s q uality program on labor optimiz ation to help dollariz e the cost of failures and improve q uality and outcomes for all parties involved in the claim. p until the early s, we thought about q uality as right or wrong it looks good or doesn’t, it functions or doesn’t function,” said Rush. ow, we look at quality from the perspective of labor optimiz ation.” Rush used the example of a
I t’s important to Nissan to help make sure our vehicles are ﬁxed correctly. For our certiﬁed shops, the training is not required, although we strongly recommend it to shops that want to perform in-house calibrations. One thing I found interesting after we did the pilot class was that some shops said they wished they had sent both a technician and an estimator. I t’s helpful for them both to experience ﬁrsthand how to use TechInfo and see what’s involved in the calibration processes. This can lead to writing a more complete initial estimate.
So how does a shop get more information or sign up?
S hops can contact my team at NNACollisionRepairNetwork@nissan-usa.com for more information. For Nissan and I NFI NI TI certiﬁed shops, support may also include help registering for the course. on-certiﬁed shops will be added to our current waitlist, and we will contact them once we open up the course to the industry.
shop bringing in , in monthly revenue. I f there are 1.5 failures per day per technician, and the shop has eight technicians, that eq uates to 1 failures per day. If you multiply that number by an average of minutes per failure, it equals minutes or nine hours of unproductive time per day. At 1 sales per labor hour, multiplied by nine hours, that is 1, in lost revenue per day at 1 technician e ciency. 1, in lost revenue per day multiplied by 1 working days equals , per month in missed revenue , annually. ased on your labor e ciency, every dollar spent on in-process failures is a labor hour not spent generating new revenue, he said. ou can begin to calculate what the cost is to your business due to in-process failures because they can be measured.” Rush advises shop management to implement a well-deﬁned set of individual or departmental responsibilities for each step of the repair process and then ensure employees
Continued from Page 31
Artistic Auto Body night before they are to be delivered. ecause of how we’ve positioned ourselves, it’s not unusual to have someone come from or miles away have their car ﬁxed here,” Mostul said. “S o it’s important we return the EV to them fully charged, and triple-checked to make sure everything is like new. Mostul said he sees his company’s EV center as a logical step in the changing nature of the collision industry’s work. eing a body man is now so much than it used to be,” he said. “A bigger and bigger portion of the bill is related to the work you do with a computer at the diagnostic rate. Y ou really need the right facility with people who are good at that. That’s what we’ve tried to build here.
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know exactly what is expected of them. “This is revolutionary for our industry,” said Rush. “This type of quality validation tech is a win for everyone, improving production and labor eﬀectiveness, customer and employee satisfaction, proﬁtability, cycle time and reducing liability.” For more information, email L eroy.v .email@example.com. The presentation is part of the curriculum from Sherwin-Williams’s A-Plus niversity, which focuses on education and the ability to deliver it when and where it is needed. The courses and workshops are designed around the company’s core ethos: “labor optimiz ation and connecting metrics for demonstratable improvement.” Visit www.ecoleanuniversity.com. www.autobodynews.com
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with Victoria Antonelli
Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
with Ed Attanasio
Symach Invents Game-Changing Technology to Create the Shops of Tomorrow Every year at S EMA, the industry other day. For more than a decade, S ymach gets to see all the newest technology, and if you’ve been in it for any in Bologna, I taly, has been producing signiﬁcant amount of time, youLedoux have innovative body shop solutions for with Gary witnessed the development of new the collision repair industry. They design and manufacture everything tools and eq uipment at a rapid rate. I t’s no longer an evolution, but more like an explosion! Innovators have always led the way in every industry by taking chances and pursuing ideas others with Stacey Phillips thought were outlandish. When Edison unveiled the lightbulb, people called it a “conspicuous failure.” When bicycles ﬁrst hit the market, someone wrote they would doom the popularity of the wheel forev- Owner Osvaldo Bergaglio’s company is well er. And when the ﬁrst cheeseburger known for its products that have helped to take Anderson was invented inwith 19 , Mike one critic de- the collision repair industry into the robotic age scribed it as “biz arre” and predicted the concept would op. they sell, rather than using third-parut, obviously, we now use ty companies to assemble packages lightbulbs, ride bikes and eat cheese- of tools and eq uipment. burgers in fact, I did all three the W hen you sign on the dotted
OE Shop Certification
line with Symach, it’s like taking on a very sophisticated partner, because they play a maj or role in literally every aspect of your production. For years, Symach has helped shops switch from conventional repair processes to an innovative lean process using leading-edge technology. Owner Os valdo Berg ag lio founded the company two decades ago to embark on a research proj ect that led to the development of the DryTronic system, which uses cutting-edge technology to dry automotive paint. It was an immediate success and today, body shops all over the planet use it. S ymach’s D ryTronic drying technology allows automotive paint to cure in less than a minute. I n , Symach started the production of RoboDry, its ﬁrst robot for automotive body shops, and developed a
From the Desk of Mike Anderson
quick new process to spray and dry every brand and type of automotive paint, S ymach Paint Application Process (S PAP). S ymach’s curing systems are well-known for being green and can reduce a shop’s energy consumption by up to 9 . It reduces a vehicle’s actual time inside the shop by up to , and will signiﬁcantly reduce an average of three to four hours in labor cost per repair. In 1 , Symach began featuring a new repair process, FixLine, which reduces the actual throughput time inside the shop by 1. to two days, while eliminating three to four hours in labor costs per repair. S ymach’s FixL ine process is slashing cycle time like never before. “W e have developed a system where it moves the car through the process without interruption, as opposed to the stop-and-start conven-
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tional way of ﬁxing vehicles, ergaglio said. “I n your standard shop, cycle time is four to six days and we do the entire repair in one day.” Everything the company makes, including spray booths, drying robots, V lamps, LED shop lighting, paint mixing rooms and the FixL ine conveyor system, is designed and built using the highest q uality components. All eq uipment is produced
Once a body shop owner decides to become a S ymach shop, the company manages the body shop conversion from a conventional process to the FixL ine process. S ymach is more than a simple eq uipment manufacturer; it is a collision repair solution provider with a profound understanding and knowledge of the automotive collision repair process. Symach knows every shop is
At Symach’s headquarters in Bologna, Italy, the company has manufactured more than 2,600 robots and more than 150 complete new automotive body shops with their Symach FixLine process
at S ymach’s headq uarters and subseq uently installed by the company’s trained experts and followed by onsite personaliz ed training. In 1 , Symach moved into its new 1 1, -square foot factory in Calderara di Reno, Bologna, I taly. Today, the company has more than employees as part of its international team, which includes installers, engineers and trainers.
diﬀerent, so ergaglio ﬁrst analy es the business before devising a custom solution based on the types of cars it repairs. We break it down into four categories classic cars, prestige cars, reconditioning or eets, ergaglio said. We can work for any body shop or collision center in those categories, but they are completely different in some ways. Our approach
is to look at the business model, look at their data and the activities in the shop. W e’ve developed some software that allows us to do the math and design the shop oor for optimum e ciency. If you want to get a glimpse into the future of the collision repair industry, all you have to do is look at what Symach is doing today. Currently, S ymach has sold more than , robots and more than 1 complete new automotive body shops with the new Symach FixLine process in Europe, the Middle East, Australia and North America, starting in 1 . Bergaglio and his team are passionate and driven to innovate and invent new products that can wow the industry and change the way we ﬁx cars. We unveiled seven new products this year and hope to continue at this pace,” he said. “Everything we do is new and diﬀerent and like nothing else on the market. Once you are a Symach customer, you won’t be able to go back to the old ways. We create technology that doesn’t follow trends it begins new ones.
CIF Announces Annual Donor Program The Collision I ndustry Foundation (CIF) has launched a new initiative to recogniz e organiz ations and individuals who make tax-deductible donations annually in support of the CI F mission of assisting collision repair professionals impacted by catastrophic life-changing events. The “CI F Annual Donor Program oﬀers speciﬁc beneﬁts to donors, depending on the level of support they wish to commit to for annual funding. CI F depends solely on the generosity of donations to conduct its work, and numerous donors within the industry provide funding year-over-year. Traditionally, the annual January CI F Gala is the main driver of fundraising. This year, CIF was unable to host the gala, but donors have expressed their desire to continue supporting the organiz ation. To become a CI F annual donor, visit www.collisionindustryfoundation.org or reach out now via email to email@example.com. Source: C I F
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Electric Vehicle Repair: No Room for Error by Gary Ledoux
V ehicle technology has seen some tremendous changes and developments in recent years, including the use of high-strength steels, aluminum and magnesium, along with AD AS systems and all the intricate technology that includes. And while the industry is still learning how to cope with that, we are on to the next hori on the fast-growing adoption of electric and electric-hybrid motive technology. Only a few years ago, car makers were more focused on diﬀerent fuels, leaner-burning internal combustion engines (I CE) and more exotic transmissions. Today, the trend is toward full and hybrid electric. In 1, there are fully-electric vehicles in , there were 9. Tesla is the name most people come up with when electric cars are discussed; they command a large share of the market and are top-ofmind in the electric car world. ut most every legacy car manufacturer has a dog in the hunt, and new technology brings with it new players, such as Rivian and L ucid. Driving the growth of this market is the expanding vehicle choice. Ford has an all-electric Mustang now available for order, and an all-electric F-1 truck will soon be here. GM recently announced an EV Hummer. Another growth-driver is eet adoption. S tartup electric vehicle maker Rivian will produce an entire delivery eet for Ama on. Pres ident J oe Biden plans to replace all , government-run gas and diesel vehicles with electric vehicles, 35 % of those belonging to the .S. Postal Service. And EV driving range is getting progressively longer. That, together with exhilarating performance and
lower costs, will soon start to change the face of the American eet. ut who will work on these cars and how will technicians be trained and educated, especially those at independent mechanical garages and techs at collision repair shops? On a conventional I CE vehicle, a technician may get away with a slight olt touching a wrong wire. On a high-voltage EV , touching the wrong wire at the wrong time could
ucation. I n Europe, they learn more about why the problem manifested and why the vehicle must be repaired in a certain way. In the .S., training is solution-based diagnose a problem and ﬁx it as quickly as possible. In a production shop, time is money. Another cultural diﬀerence is how training education for a technician is viewed. In Europe, shop owners don’t
“We need to all get on the same page because with the new high-voltage electric vehicles, there is no room for error.” — Dirk Fuchs have serious conseq uences. According to D irk F uchs , recently-appointed director of program services for I -CAR, it is one thing for a dealership technician to work on an electric vehicle all in one piece where proper procedures can be followed and all on-board appliances and switches are accessible and working. It is quite another thing to work on a piece of twisted metal where switches may not be accessible, or may not work, or loose or ripped hot wires are exposed. D uring the most recent CI C virtual meeting, Fuchs, who has a degree in electrical engineering and has spent considerable time in Europe, explained the European model for training and educating technicians for working on electric vehicles. A utob od y N ew s followed up with an additional interview. To start, there are several social and cultural diﬀerences between Europe and the .S. which foster the dramatic diﬀerences in training, how it is delivered and how it is viewed. Typically, Fuchs explained, the European training model is not really training as such, but more an ed-
think twice about sending a technician oﬀ for 1 days of training at some remote location. The cost and production schedule are adj usted to allow for it. In the .S., getting a tech to any oﬀ-site training is tough and is always an imposition on productivity. The biggest diﬀerence in training education for technicians working on electric vehicles between the .S. and Europe is government regulation. First, there is European regulation ECE R 1 . This covers the most basic information concerning electric vehicles, and safety while working on them. Then, as a second step, every individual country in Europe has its own rules and regulations regarding technician certiﬁcation for working on electric vehicles. The strongest of these is ermany, with its VDE 1 -1 regulation. For example, in Germany, to be fully certiﬁed to work on electric vehicles, could be as much as a 3.5 -year process for a technician, including a very speciﬁc educational curriculum under the umbrella of an apprenticeship program, culminating in a 1 -
day high-voltage certiﬁcation training with end-of-training ﬁnal exam. European manufacturers rolling out their training programs under erman regulations worldwide will aﬀect collision repair technicians in the .S. If you are a shop owner, at this point you are probably saying, “I don’t want to train a guy for two years ust to work on electric cars and I sure don’t need any more government regulation and interference in my business! ” Agreed. The reason all this training and education is mandated by the government is because the government covers medical costs if a technician is hurt on the j ob. “W hen you go to an emergency medical facility in Europe, the ﬁrst thing they ask is if you are there because of a work-related accident or not,” Fuchs explained. “I f you are, treatment goes in one direction. I f not, treatment takes another direction.” S o, the training/education mandates are at least qualiﬁed. ut what about working on electric cars in the .S. In my new position at I-CAR, our team is working with all car manufacturers to come up with a comprehensive training solution for safely repairing collision-damaged electric cars,” Fuchs said. “German carmakers may think .S. training is way behind Europe, while other manufacturers may consider the .S. approach adeq uate. At I-CAR, we have one goal To ensure that every person in the collision repair industry has the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and q uality repairs for the ultimate beneﬁt of the consumer. This includes EV s. “W e need to all get on the same page because with the new high-voltage electric vehicles, there is no room for error.”
Volvo Aims For All-EV by 2030 Volvo Cars aims for of its global sales volume to consist of fully electric cars by , with the rest hybrids, and by , it plans for every car it sells to be pure electric. The future of V olvo Cars is elec-
tric and the new Volvo C Recharge is the latest manifestation of its commitment to a z ero emission future. The C Recharge has all the beneﬁts of an S V but with a lower and sleeker design. I t is based on the
CMA vehicle platform and the ﬁrst V olvo model in history designed as pure electric only. Following the introduction of the C Recharge and now the C Recharge, Volvo Cars will roll out
several additional electric models in coming years. The C Recharge will go in production this fall and will be built in Ghent, Belgium. Source: V olv o C a rs
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Associations Assembling with Chasidy Rae Sisk
Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance technical writer from Wilmington, Delaware, who writes on a variety of fields and subjects, and grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASA Leaders Discuss Scanning, EVs, Data Access and Inaccurate Data
On Feb. 9 , the Automotive S ervice from 11 , diﬀerent data sources, lem and get it ﬁxed. Association (AS A) hosted a virtual including shops, dealerships, municASA wants to ﬁnd solutions media brieﬁng with to discuss important ipalities and more. to industry problems. Someone who Chasidy Rae Sisk topics related to vehicle electriﬁcation and data accessibility. T ony Molla, vice president of industry relations for ASA, welcomed attendees and explained the purpose of the brieﬁng. with Rae Sisk A new year has Chasidy begun, we’ve got the results of the election, and we’re in the transition, so we wanted to share with you issues that are ongoing, things that may be on the rise and challenges that we see with Chasidy Rae Sisk coming in the not-so-distant future,” Molla said. Molla acted as moderator for the ASA hosted a virtual media briefing on Feb. 9 to discuss important topics related to vehicle informative presentation. S peakers electrification and data accessibility included Ray F is her, AMAM, president and executive director of AS Rae A; with Chasidy SiskAccording to Fisher, he and claims to have authoriz ation pushed Rob ert Redding , AS A’s W ashington CARFAX had a “highly informa- inaccurate information to CARFAX , D .C. representative; Mik e L eV as tive conversation which paved the and if that data was pushed out ers eur, collision division director for way to ﬁnd out more about the prob- roneously, what other information AS A; and AS A’s mechanical division director, T om Piip p o, AMAM. Fisher kicked things oﬀ by prowith Chasidy Rae Sisk HENDRICK VOLVO viding an update on AS A’s recent CARS OF CHARLESTON communications with CARFA after members reported consumer data regarding estimates written by independent repairers, MS Os and dealerships had reached CARFA , whethwith Chasidy Rae Sisk er the work was completed or not. “Our purpose in bringing this to CARFA ’s attention was to ﬁx Choose Original a problem, not to bring attention to 1464 Savannah Hwy. a particular entity,” he said. “This is MINI Parts. Charleston, SC 29407 with Chasidy Rae Sisk an important issue because the consumer’s conﬁdence is at stake. We MINI of Charleston work hard to gain the respect of our 843-556-4604 Fax 1518 Savannah Hwy customers and can’t let that be torn www.hendrickvolvocars.com Charleston, SC 29407 down because of inaccurate reportM-F 7:30am-5pm ing of information, not to mention 855-831-0254 with Chasidy Rae Sisk the potential liability or assumed Sat 8am-5pm Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30-6 Sat 8-5 data breach that may have to be email@example.com fended.” Wide Delivery Area CARFA was equally concerned about the breach and the Competitive information being incorrect” and Wholesale Pricing reached out towith FisherEd to Attanasio elaborate on its platform data functions and how it acquire its information. The Volvo Genuine ©2021 MINI USA, a division of BMW of North company does not mine informaAmerica, LLC. The MINI name, model names Parts. tion from databases; information is and logo are registered trademarks. pushed to it with explicit consent
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could be provided that’s incorrect? I ’m really concerned about this and determined to ﬁnd the leak. We’ll keep moving forward and pushing for an answer and also a solution, Fisher continued. L eV asseur then discussed manufacturers’ continued trending towards safety using autonomy. “Our industry is challenged with these new technologies that require new procedures, equipment, knowledge and information that aren’t included within the current information platforms that we rely on when writing estimates, he said. “W hen it’s not there, it can cause issues. These procedures req uire time, equipment and training, so we thought it was important to deﬁne this standardiz ed technology.” AD AS is at the top of that list, according to L eV asseur, though it’s been going on for a long time, men-
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tioning the need for pre- and postscans. “AD AS continues to be developed to assist drivers with autonomy and create safety. This isn’t really new, but it’s because more and more complicated.” L eV asseur shared the collision operations committee’s eﬀorts to work with scan tool manufacturers, industry associations, OEMs, repairers, educators and consultants, including Mik e A nders on of Collision Advice, to look at various service procedures with safety as a priority. “W e gathered and documented a lot of information, ﬁltering through for commonalities to help identify the diﬀerences in standardiz ed technology.” Over the past eight months, the committee has been developing a scanning compensation position in an attempt to reduce friction between payers and repairers. LeVasseur hopes to have it ﬁnali ed by the spring CI C, but he shared a sneak peek of the statement as currently written. I n part, it states: “The Automotive Service Association acknowl-
edges the act of scanning a vehicle using a qualiﬁed scan tool as a necessary and not-included operation that is legitimately expressed on a repair order with either a ﬁxed cost in labor hours and/or set dollar amounts.” The statement goes on to say all additional operations to ﬁx the D TCs are considered separate operations, not to be included in the
a ehkvxue kkx1 cc a kk l n7 xi/q uestions Next, Piippo addressed the fact OEMs are increasing production of electric vehicles, referencing GM’s commitment to a 1 EV lineup by . “Eight years ago, the government was trying to push the agenda, and vehicle manufacturers and the infrastructure ust wasn’t there yet.
“By staying involved, we can ensure that our priorities for independent automotive repairers are taken care of,” — Robert Redding scanning operation. I t also included deﬁnitions and a series of facts about scanning and qualiﬁed scan tools. I feel pretty good about where we’ve gone, and where we are right now, LeVasseur said. The spirit of it is really coming into view. AS A is still gathering information on this topic and invites industry professionals to complete its I ndustry S urvey on S ervicing Advanced Technologies at http:// survey.constantcontact.com/survey/
ow, we not only have the normal OEMs working towards this, but there’s new entries to the market that will have their cars on the market pretty soon,” Piippo said. “Right now, there’s more questions than answers, but we know there will be more to come for both collision and mechanical repairers: more technology, more tooling, more information. It becomes di cult all around AS A is staying on top of this and tell
our members what they can do to be aggressive.” Piippo also expressed deep concerns about modiﬁcations made to vehicles equipped with ADAS increasing the burden of liability for shops. Giving the example of a pickup truck that is lifted with oﬀ-roading tires, he questioned what those modiﬁcations do to ADAS, camera alignment and adaptive cruise radars. “Maybe you can ‘ adj ust for that,’ but what documentation does the repairer have that authoriz es the modiﬁcations As a repairer, if you reengineer outside the original specs, then you’re responsible for the changes and the liability that might go with it. “W e need to educate the industry because this is a serious situation that involves safety and people’s lives,” Piippo stressed. “W ith any modiﬁcation on a car or truck, we don’t have a sureﬁre way to calibrate the system to the way it was originally designed. S hops may need to turn these obs away until we can get better documentation from the OE or a validating testing source for
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these modiﬁcations we’ve got to be smart about this in the long run; we’ve got to protect ourselves. The last topic Piippo broached was counterfeit OEM parts. These are branded with OEM names and logos; “everything looks like it should be, but they’re really knockoﬀs. Collision division has been dealing with this for years, but we’re seeing an increase in this on the mechanical side now, Piippo said. “S ometimes you catch it, sometimes you can’t, but we’ve been working with the Department of Homeland S ecurity and the Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council so there’s more to come.” L astly, Molla introduced Redding, who began by explaining ASA tracks state legislations and regulations, in addition to federal legislation, and the association is very active in numerous small business and industry coalitions. y staying involved, we can ensure that our priorities for independent automotive repairers are taken care of,” Redding said. Alluding to the recent change to a J oe Biden administration and
how it impacts the automotive repair industry’s top issues, Redding explained, “Our j ob is to educate members of Congress and the Administration as to what matters to shops. We do by speaking with one voice both individually as an association and as part of numerous coalitions.
This was critical in the past year to ensure that shops were categori ed as essential and included in key stimulus proposals throughout the year.” Providing an update on electric vehicle policy, Redding noted .S. S en. C huck S chum er (D -NY ) said at the end of 1 that the electriﬁcation of the . S. eet would be a top priority once D emocrats took the S enate. “This has certainly become a priority in this ﬁrst 1 days, and I
think we’re going to see it throughout the Biden administration and also the 117 th Congress. S ome of this can be done without new legislation,” Redding said. One of iden’s ﬁrst executive orders pushes for clean and z ero-emission vehicles to be used for all federal, state and local government eets, and it also indicates a goal of developing a carbon pollution-free electricity sector no later than . “There’s a lot of pressure for EV s,” Redding said, noting that, in upcoming stimulus package proposals, we see we’re going to have additional proposals for funding for charging stations and investment in other infrastructure training for EV s.” The government’s focus on this is evidenced by the Climate 1 Pro ect, iden’s plans to add , EV charging stations across the country, and the .S. Department of Energy’s loan programs which oﬀer ﬁnancing for pro ects across the energy sectors. “W e’re going to see some dramatic EV incentives,” Redding pre-
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dicted. ASA is also working on items speciﬁc to the automotive and collision repair industries. Referencing the Massachusetts Right to Repair referendum, set to go to trial in July, Redding anticipates there will be multiple parallel bills introduced this year related to the vehicle data access issue. W orking with the American Alliance of Vehicle Owners Rights, ASA plans to drop several bills relative to their work to try to ﬁnd a path for independent repairs to have access to vehicle data.” As the allotted time reached its end, Fisher noted, “I t’s really important, as an industry, that we understand the magnitude of the challenges we’re currently facing and what we’re looking at as an industry going forward. We’re on the cusp of innovation not seen for decades, and all these issues are really important because they are real. “V ehicle safety must be at the forefront of all repairs, both collision and mechanical,” Fisher continued. What we’ve heard here today is that we must understand the im-
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portance of seeking out information, following documented procedures, using proper eq uipment, and we need to be serious about not compromising the integrity of what our professionals do every day. L ives depend on it, and I ’m proud of what our folks do.” Fisher also announced AS A is collaborating with a liates to host the AS A U nited X 5 0 Conference and Expo, April 30-May 1, a virtual experience that mimics in-person events. Registration will open in late March. “I t’s time to put our glasses on and focus on what’s important and move forward in a positive way,” Fisher concluded. “W ith challenges, there is a tremendous amount of opportunity.” A replay of the media brieﬁng can be accessed at https://www. youtube.com/watch? v= Rq JsOMl W 0wo. For more information about AS A and its initiatives, visit asashop.org.
Service King Supports 844 Teammates W hen unforeseen, pandemic-related challenges aﬀected Service K ing Collision’s employees in 2020, the company was eager to show its support for teammates through the President’s Fund. I n 2010, S ervice K ing established the President’s Fund, the organiz ation’s own 5 01(c) (3) that serves as a resource for team members experiencing an unexpected or unusual ﬁnancial obligation or crisis. The fund provides the S ervice K ing family with the uniq ue opportunity to both support fellow teammates and req uest assistance in times of need. Its mission was ampliﬁed in 2020 as the organiz ation used collections to aid its deserving teammates. S ince 2017 , the most employees S ervice K ing made monetary donations to in a single year was 8 2 team members. I n 2020, the comprehensive auto collision repair operator contributed donations to 8 4 4 employees through the President’s Fund. Source: Serv ice K in g
Auto Glass Week™ Full Program Announced The ﬁnal program for the industry’s only worldwide event created and speciﬁcally for the auto glass OE and aftermarket, repair and replacement industries has been released. Take a look at the updated Auto Glass W eek™ (AGW ) brochure. This year’s event, June 7 -9 at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, FL , is gearing up to be better than ever and the planning team is taking every measure to ensure all safety guidelines are in place. I n fact, the OCCC and our event accommodations, the Rosen Centre Hotel and the Rosen Plaz a Hotel, have all been awarded the GBAC S TAR™ , a recognition given to only those facilities that maintain a high standard of cleaning and disinfecting procedures. Our staﬀ, sponsors and exhibitors are all aligned and we will
be following enhanced safety protocols,” said Tricia L opez , senior events director. “For those who prefer to attend this year’s show from home, we are excited to oﬀer AGW @home.” The AGW schedule is packed with engaging programming, including: • Three full days of educational seminars and inspiring keynote speakers An exhibition oor with the latest products and technologies • Networking opportunities to make new connections and reconnect with old • The ever-popular, highly competitive repair, replacement and calibration competitions Attendees can register to attend either in person or online. W e tha n k g la s s B Y T E s . com p rin t p erm is s ion .
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Who Says Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees? N at han S im m ons has co-owned not a ob, ust a hobby, but they weC & C C ollis ion in Alhambra, CA, ren’t buying it,” he said. “The City for years, and has worked hard to of South Pasadena wasn’t thrilled with Gary Wickertabout what we were doing and they help the company grow. D uring the same time, he has told us they could ﬁne us as much been able to build a healthy side as , a day, so we had to shut it business that is also growing on- down. sai trees, a passion that has turned That experience was unpleainto much more. sant, of course, but it planted a seed During the week, Simmons in their minds that eventually led to manages 14 collision professionals the establishment of C&C Collision. with Stacey Phillips with his co-owner, Ret t C om er, a Maybe we can actually purchildhood buddy who worked with sue this, Simmons said. So, we him painting cars in S immons’s ga- started saving our money and began rage when they were 1 in South Pa- improving our skills by going to Cisadena. trus College in Az usa, CA, to learn more about ﬁxing cars. We reali ed with Stacey Phillips that we already knew most of the information, but we wanted to learn as much as we could. The duo purchased an existing shop and umped in with both feet. “Going from the garage to running a full-blown business with emwith Stacey Phillips ployees was a big reality check, and it got a little scary,” he said. “W e reali ed that we had to make a minimum of , ust to keep the doors open, but we always ﬁgured out a way to do it. with Stacey Phillips The shop moved several times before landing at its current location in Alhambra, CA, in 1 . The business has grown every year via wordof-mouth. C&C Collision has established Nathan Simmons, pictured with his wife, Joyce, a name for backing up its motto, and bulldog, Winston, co-owns C&C Collision in with Stacey PhillipsThere’s no question with perfectiAlhambra, CA, and has been growing and selling on, and its ﬁve-star reviews on Bonsai trees for the past two decades Y elp are a testament to doing things “One day, I asked my mom if I right. cleaned up the garage, could I paint I n addition to running his shop, cars in there and she said yes,” S im- S immons served as the president of mons said. “I don’t she realithe Glendale/Foothill chapter of the withthink Victoria Antonelli ed that we were going to turn it into California Autobody Association a little business. W e put tarps ever- and as a member of other trade assoywhere, drywalled it and hung lights ciations. and after a while, we got really good I networked with other shop at it. W e started painting all of our owners to learn how to play the friends’ vehicles until one day some game, primarily with the insurance with Victoria Antonelli guys in suits dropped by.” companies,” he said. “My customers The city’s chief ﬁre inspector were being steered to other shops, and other o cials informed Sim- and I could see that some of their mons in a very direct way his little labor rates were bogus. So, I did my business was no longer in operation. own survey and have used it suc“W e tried to tell them this is cessfully for many years now.
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Since the age of 1 , Simmons has been fascinated by Bonsai trees and the culture surrounding them. It all began in 19 , when he saw a collection of these miniature trees at the S an D iego County Fair in D el Mar, CA. They were the most magniﬁcent things that I had ever seen,” he said. “Around that time, a lot of people were getting into onsai trees because of the ‘ K arate K id’ movie, and I guess I was one of them. Bonsai have been around for more than 1, years. The goal of growing any onsai is to create a miniaturiz ed but genuine representation of nature in the form of a tree. onsai are not genetically dwarfed plants, and any tree species can be used to grow one. Simmons takes Japanese black pine, j uniper, Japanese maple, olive and oak trees and turns them into Bonsai.
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Simmons sells Bonsai trees for $1,000 on average, but some of his trees can go for a much as $2,500
Once he sinks his teeth into something, S immons is a man on a mission. e went to the local library See Doesn’t Grow on Trees, Page 50
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AAA: Today’s Vehicle Technology Must Walk So Self-Driving Cars Can Run by Ellen Edmonds, AAA
Automakers may already hold the key to improving public acceptance of self-driving cars: fine-tuning existing vehicle technology. AAA’s annual automated vehicle survey finds only 22% of people feel manufacturers should focus on developing self-driving vehicles. The maj ority of drivers—8 0% —say they want current vehicle safety systems, like automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assistance, to work better, and more than half—5 8 % —said they want these systems in their next vehicle. These findings signal people are open to more sophisticated vehicle technology, which if they provide positive experiences for drivers, will open the road to self-driving vehicle acceptance. “People are ready to embrace new vehicle technology, especially if it will make driving safer,” said G reg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering and industry relations. “Consumers
are clear about what they want and if automakers seiz e the opportunity to provide a better experience now, it will pave the way for the vehicles of tomorrow.” Nearly 9 6 % of 2020 vehicle models came eq uipped with at least one advanced driver assistance system (AD AS ) such as automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning or lane keeping assistance. Consumers who buy new will likely have at least one type of vehicle safety system and in many cases, this could be their first interaction with more advanced vehicle technology. Previous AAA research has found some systems, particularly those that provide the highest level of automation available to the public, do not always work as expected. These negative experiences could influence driver opinion of future vehicle automation. I t also reinforces the need for manufacturers to continue to hone vehicle technology by expanding testing and focusing on including more real-world scenarios encountered by drivers.
Still Lukewarm about Self-Driving Technology For six years, AAA’s annual automated vehicle survey has gauged consumer sentiment regarding emerging vehicle technology, focusing on self-driving cars. W hile American’s interest in owning a car with more advanced technology grows, they are still struggling to warm up to the idea of full vehicle automation. AAA’s survey found 14 % of drivers would trust riding in a vehicle that drives itself, similar to last year’s results. However, 8 6 % either said they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving vehicle (5 4 % ) or are unsure about it (32% ). COVID-19 Has Had Little Impact People’s hesitation toward self-driving cars is re ected by how little the pandemic has changed opinion. AAA asked drivers if COVID-19 would in uence their decision to use a self-driving vehicle as an alternative to public transportation or ride-hailing. Only a relatively small number said they would be more likely to
opt for a self-driving vehicle, but a larger number said COV I D -19 would make no diﬀerence in affecting their decision. S elf-driving vehicles are still years away from being available to consumers. However, as testing on public roads expands, drivers will likely interact with various levels of new vehicle technology. The public should also ﬁnd opportunities to educate themselves on when and how self-driving vehicles will be a part of daily life. A collective eﬀort by both industry and consumers is what it will take to move the needle away from apprehension and closer toward acceptance. “Transparent, accurate and freq uent information from the industries involved in developing self-driving vehicles will ease consumer concerns,” said Brannon. Source: A A A
Continued from Page 26
Legislation to Repeal for bad faith if the insurer tenders policy limits within 30 days of receiving a demand for settlement. Allows for Named Driver Exclusions S B 5 4 authoriz es the exclusion of a speciﬁcally named individual from speciﬁed insurance coverages under a private passenger motor vehicle policy, with the written consent of the policyholder. For more information, please visit www.FL S enate.gov. Source: T he F lorid a Sen a te
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Mitchell’s Industry Trends Report Examines Ongoing Effects, Implications of COVID-19 Mitchell, a leading provider of technology, connectivity and information solutions to the Property & Casualty (P&C) claims and collision repair industries, on March 9 released its ﬁrst quarter Industry Trends Report for 2021. The report shares important data-driven trends impacting the property and casualty industry, along with expert insights, opinions and guidance that can help businesses navigate this year’s new environment. A year after the COVID crisis abruptly upended life around the world, workers everywhere are anxiously awaiting a return to “normal.” However, industry experts note the importance of understanding that our future “normal” may be very diﬀerent, as changes in commuting, investments in virtual medical care and the emergence of a hybrid workforce begin to take shape. Throughout this quarter’s report, Mitchell experts share insights important to the industry, including the evolution of claims automation and changes in claims frequency
in the wake of COVID-19, the effect of COVID-19 on hospitals and health care workers and a closer look at vaccines. All of these insights are collected into two editions, Auto Physical Damage and Casualty. The Auto Physical Damage Edition: The Evolution of Claims Automation In this edition, Olivier Baudoux, senior vice president of global product strategy and Artiﬁcial Intelligence for Mitchell’s Auto Physical Damage division, shares his insights about the technological evolution necessary to reach the “Holy Grail of automation: touchless estimates.” While COVID-19 accelerated the pace of digital transformation for the collision repair industry and advancements have led to increased automation, “the need for human oversight and intervention remains necessary,” said Baudoux. “Furthermore, the infrastructure and regulation required to support a completely automated end-toend system are still evolving.”
This edition also takes a deeper dive into collision repair trends from 2020 and what they mean for the future, and how Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) calibrations can be a new proﬁt center. Ryan Mandell, director of claims performance, sits down with Paul Prochilo, CEO of Canada’s Simplicity Car Care and chairman of the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF), for the latest mPower Collision Podcast. The Casualty Edition: 2021 CPT Code Changes – Evaluation and Management Updates This quarter’s Casualty Edition breaks down CPT Code changes implemented Jan. 1 and dives deeper into the AMA’s new evaluation and management updates. Additionally, experts from Mitchell, Genex and Coventry weigh in on the latest trends surrounding COVID-19 and explore how it has aﬀected hospital and health care workers. These experts also explain how COVID-19 vaccines may be
impacting workers compensation and how vaccinating ﬁeld case managers is helping to keep claims moving forward. Now in its 20th year, Mitchell’s Industry Trends Report reaches more than 30,000 collision and casualty industry professionals and provides meaningful visibility into data-driven trends in the P&C and collision repair markets. The complete reports are available at mpower.mitchell.com/industry-trends-reports. For further collision repair and property casualty industry updates and perspectives, follow Mitchell on Twitter @Mitchell_ Intl, @MitchellClaims, @MitchellRepair, @MitchellPBM and on LinkedIn. Source: Mitchell
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PPG Appoints Director
Toyota RAV4 Fires Originating at 12-Volt Batteries by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com
Toyota RAV ﬁres are under investigation after the government received complaints alleging noncrash ﬁres occurred where the 1 volt batteries are located. The 1 V battery terminals may be experiencing electrical shorts to the frames that hold the batteries in place in 1 - 1 Toyota RAV S Vs. This will cause a complete loss of electrical power as the RAV stalls, possibly resulting in a ﬁre. The ational ighway Trafﬁc Safety Administration ( TS A) said seven RAV 4 vehicles caught ﬁre while driving and four S Vs burned while parked with the ignitions oﬀ. It was conﬁrmed the ma ority of ﬁres originated from the 1 -volt batteries. The driver of a 1 Toyota RAV said the vehicle went up in ames as he was trying to get fuel at a gas station. The driver says the RAV shut down as he was turning into a gas station, but he got the RAV 4 restarted and made it to the pump.
Continued from Page 46
Doesn’t Grow on Trees and did his research while talking to anyone who he could about onsai. e bought his very ﬁrst tree from a small Japanese nursery in S an Marino, CA, and from then on, he was hooked. I was calling nurseries and I read as many books as I can, but I knew I wanted to go even further. I started going to a school to be trained on how to develop onsai trees, every weekend for almost a year. It wasn’t exactly wax on, wax oﬀ, but it was an ama ing experience.” S immons has had many Bonsai teachers along the way, including J ohn W ang of El Monte, CA, who is probably one of the country’s top experts on the subj ect. He is a member of the Bonsai S ociety at D escanso Gardens in L a Canada, CA, and sells his trees at several large onsai shows annually. Today, S immons raises Bonsai that sell for 1, on average, but his biggest sale was , . e is
e went into the store to prepay for the fuel, ﬁlled the RAV and tried to start it. C alled my wife to get a tow truck to have it removed from the gas station, then went into station to tell attendant the situation. W hile exiting the store I noticed sparks and glowing embers dropping to the ground from inside the left front wheel area. “I turned back and asked the station attendant for a ﬁre extinguisher, returned to car, with -lb. extinguisher, hood would not release, so sprayed extinguisher up under wheel, around hood cracks, and by this time the head light had a hole where the ames were shooting out, so sprayed ﬁre repellent into the hole. After about 1 sec extinguisher was empty. Told gas station attendant to call ﬁre department as the vehicle was going up in ames. And according to the driver of a 1 Toyota RAV I was driving on the interstate entrance ramp when the battery died but then I was able
known for raising high-quality trees and it can be a proﬁtable business if the cycle time won’t kill you. Time is your friend when it comes to Bonsai,” he said. “I started this process years ago and my goal back then was ust to keep them alive. I wasn’t advanced to grow them yet. I love this from an artistic aspect and also from a horticultural aspect and when people are thrilled about my trees, that’s truly special.” Ten years ago, S immons planted trees on his father’s avocado ranch. Every year, he takes ﬁve to 1 from the ground, puts them in pots and takes time to develop them. As a result, S immons has access to some excellent cuttings year round, and his customers love the results. ow, people know Simmons as onsai ate, a knowledgeable veteran and an expert on Bonsai. “People reach out to me all the time and I often do demonstrations,” he said. “Bonsai has taught me a lot of things about life and exposed me to some wonderful people who share this passion.
to start it back and drove j ust a short distance when the hood started smoking. I pulled over and turned the motor oﬀ and raised the hood, and the battery was on ﬁre. The battery and electrical system burned.” NHTS A said some of the S Vs had been repaired after prior front-end collision damage, and the government also believes some of the batteries may not have been installed properly. owever, safety regulators claim the overall number of vehicle ﬁre allegations with the battery as the area of origin is larger than in other similar vehicles. The investigation includes nearly 1.9 million model year 1 - 1 Toyota RAV s. CarComplaints.com will update its website with results of the RAV ﬁres investigation. W e tha n k C a rC om p la in ts . com rep rin t p erm is s ion .
PP on March announced J ohn S t ep hens on, current business controller, industrial coatings, has been promoted to director, acq uisition integration. I n this new global role, Stephenson reports to Michael McG arry, PPG chairman and CEO. S tephenson is responsible for the overall integration of PPG acquisitions. e will work to prioritiz e and achieve proj ect goals, plans and key actions; assure integration plans meet PPG’s standards for operational excellence; and deliver strategic synergies. e will also serve as the integration leader for the recently announced Tikkurila acq uisition, subj ect to close. S tephenson brings a proven track record in a wide range of business unit and functional roles, and has played leadership roles in a number of key PPG acq uisitions. S ince j oining PPG in 19 8 5 , he has held ﬁnance leadership positions in all PPG industrial segment businesses and PPG’s global architectural coatings business. Source: P P G
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Motor Vehicle Deaths in 2020 Estimated to be Highest in 13 Years, Despite Dramatic Drops in Miles Driven For the ﬁrst time since , preliminary data from the National S afety Council show that as many as , people are estimated to have died in motor vehicle crashes in . That marks an 8 % increase over 19 in a year where people drove signiﬁcantly less frequently because of the pandemic. The preliminary estimated rate of death on the roads last year spiked over the previous 1 -month period, despite miles driven dropping 13% . The increase in the rate of death is the highest estimated year-over-year j ump that NS C has calculated since 19 —9 6 years. I t underscores the nation’s persistent failure to prioritiz e safety on the roads, which became emptier but far more deadly. An estimated 4 .8 million additional roadway users were seriously in ured in crashes in , and the estimated cost to society was billion. W ith the alarming picture painted by these data, NS C is urging President J oe Biden and Transportation S ecretary Pet e But t ig ieg to commit to z ero roadway deaths by —a call NS C and more than 1, other organi ations and individuals made in January in a letter to the new administration.
It is tragic that in the .S., we took cars oﬀ the roads and didn’t reap any safety beneﬁts, said L orraine M. Mart in, president and CEO of the National S afety Council. “These data expose our lack of an eﬀective roadway safety culture. It is past time to address roadway safety holistically and eﬀectively, and SC stands ready to assist all stakeholders, including the federal government.” S tates also experienced dramatic swings in fatalities from year to year, according to the NS C preliminary data. Estimates indicate only nine states saw a drop in deaths: Alaska (-3% ), D elaware (-11 ), awaii (), Idaho (-7 % ), Maine (-1% ), Nebraska (-9 % ), ew Mexico (- ), orth Dakota (-1% ) and W yoming (-13% ). Eight states experienced more than a 15 % increase in the estimated number of deaths last year: Arkansas ( ), Connecticut ( ), District of Columbia (33% ), Georgia (18 % ), Mississippi (19 % ), Rhode I sland ( ), South Dakota ( ) and Vermont ( ). A ﬁrst step toward ero deaths is to Double Down on What Works, according to guidance released by the
Road to Z ero Coalition and NS C in 1 . Some of the immediate life-saving measures that would set the nation on a road to z ero deaths include: • Eq uitable implementation of roadway safety laws, policies, procedures and infrastructure improvements is sorely needed. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by motor vehicle crashes, roadway policies, lack of access to public transportation and poor infrastructure, among other critical elements that make a safe system. • Mandatory ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers, lowering state AC levels to . and better education about the nature of impairment and when it begins. Lowering—not raising—speed limits in accordance with roadway design, using a safe system approach. I nstallation and use of automated enforcement to support safe speeds and adherence to tra c lights. Laws banning all cell phone use— including hands-free—should extend to all drivers, not ust teens. States with existing bans need to upgrade enforcement from secondary to primary. Seat belt laws should be upgrad-
ed from secondary to primary enforcement and restraint laws should extend to every passenger in every seating position, in all kinds of vehicles. All new drivers under 1—not j ust those under 18 —should adhere to a three-tiered licensing system for novice drivers. • Automated D river Assistance S ystems (AD AS ) that have life-saving potential should be standardiz ed and accelerated into the eet. Motorcycle helmet laws should be passed or reinstated. • Communities and municipalities should adopt comprehensive programs for pedestrian and bicyclist safety. Motor vehicle fatality estimates are subj ect to slight increases and decreases as data mature. The National S afety Council uses data from the National Center for Health S tatistics, an arm of the CD C, so that deaths occurring within 1 days of the crash and on both public and private roadways— such as parking lots and driveways— are included in the NS C’s estimates. The National S afety Council has calculated tra c fatality estimates since 19 13. Source: N a tion a l Sa f ety C oun cil
Why Car Accidents Increase After Daylight Saving Time Begins by Aaron Widmar, The News Wheel
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ow that March is here again, D aylight S aving Time returns to move your clocks ahead one hour and force you to wake up early. owever, its eﬀect on your life is far greater than robbing you of a much-beloved hour of sleep. Multiple studies have found D aylight S aving Time actually affects everyone’s safety, such as a . increase in workplace in uries and a signiﬁcant rise in automotive accidents, according to .S. Department of L abor and Mine S afety and Health Administration data. ere’s a look at why Daylight S aving Time is dangerous for drivers. A 199 study by the niversity of British Columbia professor S t anley C oren, Sleep Deﬁcit, Fatal Accidents and the S pring S hift to D aylight S aving Time,” noted a 1 ump in tra c accidents the Monday after “springing” clocks ahead. It was based on data from ,91 .S. tra c deaths that occurred between 19 an 199 .
An earlier study by Coren found auto accidents were higher the week following the onset of Daylight Saving Time versus the week prior. As reported by the ew ork Daily ews, some critics believe D aylight S aving Time forces society into a state of chronic sleep deprivation, while others believe the increase in tra c accidents is due to darker morning commutes. Most people claim it takes a week for their bodies to ad ust to the change in schedule and sunlight, and experts like V irginia Tech Transportation I nstitute’s Jeff H ick m an assert the clock change results in fatigue and drowsy morning commutes. Thus, the result is an annual increase in car wrecks for the workdays following. In this day and age, we’re all wondering if Daylight Saving Time is even worth having anymore. ntil it gets discontinued, be sure to get some extra sleep to adust yet again to the new schedule this month. W e tha n k T he N ew s W heel f or rep rin t p erm is s ion .
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Cox Automotive Study Finds Car Buying Process Improved During COVID-19 Pandemic Cox Automotive on Feb. released its 11th annual Car Buyer Journey S tudy. The extensive study is based on a survey of consumers who bought or leased a new or used vehicle and is designed to oﬀer a detailed look at the vehicle buying process in America, from start to ﬁnish. W hile the global COV I D -19 pandemic has negatively impacted nearly every measure of life, the Car Buyer Journey (CBJ) S tudy suggests the automobile buying process improved during the prolonged downturn. oth new- and used-vehicle buyers in report the process took less time and was more e cient than before. Overall, buyer satisfaction reached an all-time high in . The Cox Automotive Car Buyer Journey S tudy: Pandemic Edition involved a survey of , 1 shoppers who bought a vehicle between midMarch and September and used the internet during the buying process. Identifying the consumers who were buying cars in is key to understanding the latest Car Buyer ourney Study ﬁndings. The average vehicle buyer last year was years old and had a reported income above , . The above-average income was particularly true with new-vehicle buyers of new-car buyers in had incomes above , . Conversely, the number of new-vehicle buyers with reported incomes below , , at in , was down from 19, indicating that many lower-income buyers stayed out of the new-car market last year. In , of vehicle buyers were identiﬁed by the Cox Automotive research team to be “S traight S hooters,” a cohort of buyers more likely to be Gen X or Baby Boomer suburbanites who are experienced at car buying and careful with ﬁnances. For comparison, in 1 , only 1 of vehicle buyers were in the S traight S hooter cohort. L ess experienced, budget-conscious buyers tended to stay out of the market in .
In 2020, Purchase Motivation Shifted Vehicles buyers in were more likely to be motivated by want, as opposed to “need,” according to the CBJ S tudy. Many buyers in were motivated by attractive deals, whether they searched for them on their own or a dealer reached out with special oﬀers. I mportantly, 35 % of buyers knew exactly what vehicle they wanted at the start of the car buying process, up from 9 in 1 . early of buyers considered both new and used vehicles in , up from in 19. W ith a high level of buyer certainty, the amount of time spent actively shopping and buying dropped signiﬁcantly in , according to the study. Buyers reported spending an average of j ust over 13 hours in the entire process, from start to ﬁnish, down from nearly 1 hours in 19. ew-car buyers spent ust over 11 hours on the necessary steps, everything from shopping and negotiating the deal to taking delivery of the new vehicle. The biggest time savings in was in the online shopping phase. The Pandemic Revolutionized the Purchase Process As dealers adapted their business due to COV I D -19 , consumers took advantage of a new digital experience. The overall vehicle-buying process was streamlined by proactive dealer outreach to in-market consumers and new digital retailing tools designed to drive e ciency. As a result, the number of dealerships visited and the amount of time spent in dealerships dropped in . One of the top steps added due to COVID-19 was test drive home delivery. otably, an estimated of vehicle buyers said they did not test drive a vehicle at the dealership; however, of the buyers who took a test drive, approximately 1 were satisﬁed with the process, the highest satisfaction rating for any step. According to the CBJ S tudy, as the vehicle buying process becomes more e cient, satisfaction levels increase. “Heavy D igital” buyers in the survey—those buyers who per-
formed more than half the steps online—were more satisﬁed with the process than “L ight D igital” buyers, who performed less than of the vehicle-buying steps online. The Heavy D igital buyers reduced their time at the dealership by more than minutes compared to Light Digital buyers, with the biggest time savings delivered in negotiating price and signing paperwork, the two steps that have historically had the lowest satisfaction ratings. The study shows eavy Digital buyers were also more likely than Light D igital buyers to trust the deal they received. saw a sharp rise in the usage of what Cox Automotive researchers call ew Form Online Retailers,” used-vehicle-only sales sites that include Carvana and V room. According to the study, approximately 17 % of car buyers visited a ew Form Online Retailer during their buying process, a signiﬁcant increase from 11 in 19 and only in 1 . The CBJ S tudy demonstrates
that online shopping continues to be a central activity in the car buyer’s j ourney, although decisive shoppers spent less time in this phase in . Third-party websites are still the No. 1 destination for vehicle shoppers as they enter the process, with up to 9 of buyers noting they used a third-party site in , generally unchanged from recent years. Autotrader and K elley Blue Book are among the most popular third-party sites, with 1 of new-vehicle buyers and of used-vehicle buyers using one of these Cox Automotive sites. Visits to automakers’ websites and traditional dealership-run websites declined slightly in but remained important, with and of vehicle buyers visiting at some point, respectively. Source: C ox A utom otiv e
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Cutting Out the Middleman on Electric Car Sales by Joann Muller, Axios
The auto industry is in the midst of the biggest transformation in a century, with cars one day running on electrons, not gasoline. But it’s not j ust the cars that are changing. ow we buy and service them is being disrupted, too. I nstead of selling cars through franchised dealers, emerging auto manufacturers want to sell electric vehicles direct to consumers, either online or in their own stores. But that’s illegal in more than half the states in America, which environmentalists and consumer groups argue is holding back EV adoption and keeping the .S. from achieving emissions reduction goals. A coalition of EV companies and advocates is working state-bystate to overturn decades-old laws that prohibit car manufacturers from opening their own stores or service centers. Tesla started the ﬁght in 1 now newcomers like Rivian, Lucid and Lordstown Motors are oining the eﬀort, too. “W hat did the global pandemic
teach us It’s that people want a better way to buy a car, Rivian’s vice president of public policy, J am es C hen, told Axios.
Credit: Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios
At least states allow EV manufacturers to sell directly to consumers, including California, I llinois and Florida. The latest was Colorado, which passed a law last March. I n eight other states, including ew ork, Tesla fought for an exemption from the franchise laws, but it doesn’t apply to other EV manufacturers. One of those states, W ashington, took up a bill this week that would remove the restriction for all EV makers.
In Michigan, where Rivian is based, the rules are exceptionally twisted EV makers can conduct “sales-like” activities at branded stores, but the actual sale—transfer of title—must take place in another state. The remaining states, including Texas—where Tesla is building a new gigafactory—prohibit EV manufacturers from direct sales. The dealer franchise laws were passed in the 19 s to protect car dealers from having to compete with factory-owned stores. As a result, carmakers like GM and Ford wholesale vehicles to independent dealers, who turn around and sell those cars to consumers at a markup. EV startups don’t want a middleman selling or servicing their high-tech products. “W e have a desire to have direct touch with our customers, said Rivian’s Chen. either does Lucid, which plans to sell its luxury EV s at company-owned studios or online. Cars would be picked up for service, or maintained by mobile service eets.
The direct-sales model wasn’t built to sell EV s,” said J ared A llen, a spokesman for the National Automobile Dealers Association. It was built to limit competition for both sales and service by creating a vertical channel for manufacturing, sales and service that allows a single entity to control everything, including prices.” GM and Ford initially backed the dealers in their ﬁght against Tesla, but now they have skin in the EV game, too. GM said it aims to phase out gasoline vehicles by and Ford has a million stake in Rivian. Both companies are investing heavily in EV development and asking dealers to do the same to get their showrooms EV-ready. D aniel C rane, a niversity of Michigan professor tracking the issue, suggested a legislative compromise: traditional cars could continue to be sold and serviced only by franchised dealers, but EV s and future technologies could be sold directly by both legacy carmakers and startups. W e tha n k A x ios f or rep rin t p erm is s ion .
Kia Cadenza and Sportage Owners Should Park Outside by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com
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A ia engine ﬁre recall has been issued for nearly , cars and S Vs even though the automaker says an “exact cause of [ the] electrical short circuit condition is unknown. The ia engine ﬁre recall includes 1 - 1 Sportage S Vs and Caden a cars with hydraulic electronic control unit ( EC ) electrical circuits that can short-circuit and cause engine compartment ﬁres. owever, ia believes only 1 of the vehicles may be aﬀected by the problem. This is an ongoing issue for K ia as the automaker recalled , Optimas and Sorentos in for problems with the hydraulic electronic control units following eight complaints about ﬁres. owever, ia says no ﬁres have been reported in the recalled Cadenz as and S portages. Other than obvious signs such as ames and smoke coming from the engine compartments, drivers should be aware of illuminated warning lights or burning odors.
K ia Cadenz a and S portage owners can expect dealerships to replace fuses in the electrical j unction boxes to prevent over-current conditions. For S portage vehicles not equipped with electronic parking brakes, dealers will install two amp fuses to replace the -amp fuses, and vehicles with electronic parking brakes will require -amp fuses in place of the -amp fuses. S portage vehicles eq uipped with electronic parking brakes will also receive software updates for the hydraulic electronic control units. Caden a cars will have their -amp fuses replaced with amp fuses.Cadenz a and S portage drivers who have paid for related repairs may be eligible for reimbursements. The ia engine ﬁre recall is expected to begin April . K ia Cadenz a and S portage owners may call ia at and refer to recall number SC . W e tha n k C a rC om p la in ts . com f or rep rin t p erm is s ion .
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Goodemoot Named World Class Technician A lex G oodem oot , regional manager for N.A. W illiams, has been selected a W orld Class Technician. This prestigious honor was bestowed upon oodemoot by the Auto Care Association and the National I nstitute for Automotive S ervice Excellence (AS E). The Auto Care Association and ASE work together to recogniz e professional technicians who have tested and obtained ASE certiﬁcation in specialty areas to earn W orld Class Technician status. There are an estimated 9, technicians in the .S., and approximately , of those techs are ASE certiﬁed. oodemoot was one of only individuals to earn World Class Technician recognition for 1. e holds ASE Master certiﬁcations as an automobile technician, medium/heavy duty technician, collision technician and under car specialist, along with advanced level L1 and L certiﬁcations. Source: N . A . W illia m s
SEMA Challenges EPA’s Motorsports Regulations in Court by SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff
SEMA ﬁled an amicus brief in a lawsuit between the .S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Gear Box Z . I nc. (GBZ ) arguing against EPA’s contention that the Clean Air Act (CAA) does not allow a motor vehicle to be converted into a racing vehicle used solely for competition. The EPA ﬁrst pursued this controversial interpretation of the CAA as part of a 1 draft rulemaking, but it quickly withdrew the provision following a huge, S EMA-led public outcry. In the litigation, however, the EPA again maintains that once a vehicle has been certiﬁed as a street vehicle, it cannot be converted into a racing vehicle, even if that vehicle is trailered to the track and is never driven on public roads. I n its brief, S EMA argues the Clean Air Act does not apply to certiﬁed vehicles used exclusively on the track. S EMA states “the agency’s interpretation breaks from the plain language of the
CAA, the legislative history and EPA’s regulations and guidance.” S EMA notes the EPA’s position contradicts its longstanding guidance and regulations and has previously stated it “has no inter-
est in vehicles that begin their existence as normal, EPA-certiﬁed production vehicles used on public roads and are then permanently converted to sanctioned competition-use only vehicles.” I n response to the EPA’s eﬀorts to regulate race parts, members of Congress introduced
S EMA-sponsored legislation to conﬁrm what had already been understood for the previous 4 5 years, that the Clean Air Act did not apply to vehicles modiﬁed for racing use only. The “Recogniz ing the Protection of Motorsports Act” (RPM Act) is bipartisan legislation to clarify it is legal to make emissions-related changes to a street vehicle for the purpose of converting it into a dedicated race car. It also conﬁrms it is legal to produce, market and install racing eq uipment. S EMA continues to work tirelessly to pass this important legislation to counter EPA overreach. The GBZ case is before the .S. District Court for the District of Ariz ona. The court has agreed to take up the issue after the EPA has responded to S EMA’s amicus brief. SEMA will continue to ﬁght the EPA’s awed interpretation in court while urging the .S. Congress to end the debate by enacting the RPM Act. Source: SE MA
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Ford Recalls F-Series Trucks for Windshields that Detach by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com
More than , Ford F-1 and Ford S uper D uty trucks may have windshields that can fall oﬀ the trucks in the event of crash impacts, greatly increasing the risk of inj uries to occupants. Included in the recall are 1 Ford F-1 trucks built in Michigan from Oct. , , to Feb. , 1, and - 1 Ford Super D uty trucks manufactured in K entucky between Oct. 1 , , and an. , 1. According to Ford, the truck windshields weren’t properly bonded to the vehicles and may not stay in place, although no inj uries or crashes have been reported. The Ford truck windshield recall involves 9, 1 trucks in the .S., 6 ,9 8 6 in Canada and 1,34 7 in Mexico. The automaker will begin sending recall notices the week of April 6 , so dealerships can reinstall the truck windshields properly. Ford F-Series Super Duty Payload Label Recall Ford also announced a separate recall for Ford F-Series Super
Duty trucks with . -liter engines because labels and documents may have incorrect information. The recall includes 9 ,9 7 9 Ford Super Duty trucks in the .S. and 1, in Canada, all built in entucky between May 1 , 19, and Sept. 19, . Ford says the trucks have overstated payload capacity information on the tire and loading information labels, overstated accessory reserve capacity values on the safety certiﬁcation labels and overstated weight info on the truck camper loading documentation. A driver could follow the information on the labels and exceed the gross weight or axle weight ratings, overloading the suspensions and increasing stopping distances. Ford says it’s unaware of any crashes or inj uries related to the labels, but Ford dealerships will need to replace the tire and loading information labels, safety certiﬁcation labels and possibly the truck camper loading documents.Customers with q uestions about either Ford truck recall should call 8 6 6 - 4 3 6 - 7 3 3 2 . W e tha n k C a rC om p la in ts . com f or rep rin t p erm is s ion .
WIN Announces 2021 Conference The W omen’s I ndustry Network (WI ) has announced the schedule for its 1 Virtual Conference: May 4 -5 , starting at 1 a.m. ET. This year’s theme, “S tronger Together, will be re ected throughout the agenda of the two-day event that brings education, connection and celebration to collision industry professionals each year. The conference is free for W I N members and $ 14 9 for non-members. The 1 Virtual Annual Conference will feature live and playback-enabled content to ﬁt attendees’ schedules; topics relevant to all aspects of the collision industry; interactive features a V irtual S cholarship W alk open to families, partners and co-workers and national media panels discussing latest trends. More details and registration coming soon, but save the date on your calendar now. Source: W I N
3M Invests in asTech M Company on Feb. announced a strategic investment in Repairify, I nc. d/b/a asTech, a leading provider of remote diagnostic solutions, calibration services and key programming solutions to the automotive aftermarket industry. The strategic investment from M will help Repairify further expand and accelerate its proprietary tools, technology and service oﬀerings across the Americas and Europe. Terms and conditions of the investment were kept conﬁdential and future collaboration will be announced at a later date. “The 3M V entures strategic investment in Repairify enables us to accelerate our solutions and oﬀerings across the entire automotive ecosystem,” said Cris ollingsworth, president of Repairify, I nc. “W e seek to make strategic investments that will advance our innovation and growth, said Ben W right, director, 3M V entures. Source: 3 M
Catalytic Converter Thefts Skyrocketing Nationwide According to the National I nsurance Crime Bureau (NI CB), catalytic converter thefts have seen a signiﬁcant increase across the country since March , the start of the global pandemic. “V ehicle thefts, carj ackings and break-ins are all crimes we’ve witnessed trending upward for several months, and now catalytic converter thefts are also on the rise,” said D avid G law e, president and CEO of IC . We have seen a signiﬁcant increase during the pandemic. I t’s an opportunistic crime. “As the value of the precious metals contained within the catalytic converters continues to increase, so do the number of thefts of these devices. There is a clear connection between times of crisis, limited resources and disruption of the supply chain that drives investors towards these precious metals.” A catalytic converter is a device that looks like a small mu er along with the exhaust system. It is designed to convert the environmentally haz ardous exhaust emitted by an engine into less harmful gasses. To do this, manufacturers use
platinum, palladium or rhodium. I n recent years, the values of these precious metals have increased signiﬁcantly. As of December, rhodium was valued at 1 , per ounce, palladium at , per ounce and platinum at 1, 1 per ounce. Typically, recyclers will pay to per catalytic converter. According to NI CB’s Operations, I ntelligence and Analytics study of reported thefts, there were 1 catalytic converter thefts per month on average in 1 , average monthly thefts in 19 and 1, average thefts per month in . D uring this time period, the top ﬁve states for catalytic converter thefts were California, Texas, Minnesota, North Carolina and I llinois. In , there was a continual climb in thefts. January had the fewest number of thefts at , but it continued to climb markedly throughout the year, with December having , thefts. As of the end of February, 18 states—Arkansas, eorgia, awaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, ew Mexico, ew Y ork, North Carolina, North D akota,
Rhode I sland, S outh Carolina, Tennessee, V ermont, V irginia and W est V irginia—are evaluating potential legislative actions to curb the theft problem. “Removing a catalytic converter takes only minutes using some basic, readily-available, battery-operated tools from a local hardware store, said lawe. And for the vehicle owner, it’s costly due to the loss of work, ﬁnding and paying for alternate transportation and then paying anywhere from 1, to , to get your vehicle ﬁxed. The NI CB recommends vehicle owners • I nstall a catalytic converter anti-theft device. These are available from various manufacturers and can provide a level of security from theft. Park eet vehicles in an enclosed and secured area that is well lit, locked and alarmed. • Park personal vehicles in a garage. I f not possible and vehicles must be parked in a driveway, consider installing motion sensor security lights. W hile lights may not provide complete security, it may make
some thieves think twice, making them leave the area and your vehicle untouched. Call local law enforcement and your insurer should you become the victim of a catalytic converter theft. I n some cases, this theft is covered by insurance. The optional comprehensive portion of your insurance policy, the portion that covers damage caused to your vehicle not caused by accident, covers this kind of loss. owever, the owner will be responsible for paying the deductible. If your deductible is 1, and the cost to repair the damage costs 1, or maybe a few hundred dollars more, drivers may not opt to ﬁle a claim. The NI CB advises drivers to contact their insurer to report the theft and determine the best course of action. Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free -TEL- IC ( ) or submitting a form on the website. Source: N I C B
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