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IGONC Celebrates Largest ASTE Ever by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Sept. 27-29, the Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina (IGONC) hosted its 2019 Automotive Service and Technology Expo (ASTE) at the Embassy Suites and Convention Center in Cary, NC. According to IGONC Executive Director Bob Pulverenti, “This was the largest ASTE ever. Shops attended from 23 states as well as Canada, and vendor booths space sold out early. We had Carm Capriotto creating live and recorded podcasts throughout the event, providing insight into the running of a business

and where our industry is headed, as well as videos created by Frank Leutz of Wrench Nation featuring a technician retention deep dive.”

Pictured L to R: Eric Sprague, Mike Reynolds, Frank Leutz of Wrench Nation, Lucas Underwood and Grayle Bartlett discuss the issue of technician retention. Credit: IGONC

Associate Executive Director Tricia Sauls added, “The event was See IGONC Celebrates, Page 26

TN Body Shops Handle Headaches Over Parts Shortage as GM Strike Persists by Grace McKenna, WRCB-TV

About 49,000 General Motors (GM) workers were still on strike on Tuesday, Oct. 8, and negotiations were reportedly at a standstill. The pause in production is causing headaches for local auto body shops. “You know of course procurement is getting a little more difficult as we go along, having to lean a bit more on out of town dealers which are just larger dealers,” said Nathan Gayler of Padgett’s Red Bank Auto Repair, located in Chattanooga, TN.

One problem is that some GM cars come in needing more parts than originally thought. “You can’t see most damage when you’re writing these estimates so you’ve got to get the panels off to know what’s going on,” Gayler said. That leads to delays when repairmen take a closer look. “If you have a bumper that’s messed up and you need a bracket that’s back there, some of those things can be hard to get a hold of because we don’t have the time,” he said. But the main issue has been


Vol. 10 / Issue 9 / November 2019

Speakers Discuss Need to Know, Follow OEM Calibration Steps for ADAS by John Yoswick

George Lesniak, Autel’s director of sales and training, said one of the biggest challenges for shops working to follow OEM collision repair procedures—in particular, the steps necessary for calibration of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)—is the variation among automakers. “There’s a complete lack of consistency across the different OEMs when it comes to their service information: where that information is located, where you find the procedures and specifications,” Lesniak said during the recent Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) “Connex” conference. But some of the challenges shops encounter in following OEM proce-

dures, he said, has little to do with that inconsistency in how the information is organized. “The one thing that I’ve found to be very consistent is technicians’ ability to skip steps,” Lesniak said. “The key skill set required to do calibrations is the ability to read, interpret and follow complex instructions and make detailed measurements. Knowing how to use a metric tape measure is absolutely foreign to most technicians. We’ve found that 50 percent of calibration failures come down to missing or skipping steps in those preliminary instructions.” Those steps, he said, include having the required space with the right environmental conditions, such as proper lighting, and ensuring that nothing is interfering with the field See Speakers Discuss, Page 18

Collision Repair Shops Learn How to Attract, Retain Military Veterans by John Yoswick

Collision repair businesses of all sizes have a potential talent pool of new employees, including those conclud-

See GM Strike Persists, Page 3

Roxann Griffith of the Department of Labor said military veterans can be a good source of new employees for collision repair businesses of all sizes.

ing their service in the U.S. military, according to a speaker at this past summer’s Collision Industry Conference in Indianapolis.

Roxann Griffith, with the U.S. Department of Labor’s employment and training services, said Texasbased Service King, which operates more than 340 shops in 24 states, has hired hundreds of veterans over four years. Griffith encourages body shops to hire those who have served our country in any capacity by sharing tips and resources with collision repair businesses on how to hire and retain those who have exited the military. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Hiring Our Heroes” program, for example, offers free hiring fairs on military bases and at other locations around the country, she said. Those looking to hire veterans should check out the advice and resources included in the free 22-page See Military Veterans, Page 22



Change Service Requested

P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018




Continued from Cover

GM Strike Persists

CONTENTS Capsized Hyundai Car Carrier Blocking Port of Brunswick, GA, Entrance . . . . . . . . . 14 Classic Cars Stolen From Clarksville, TN, Body Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Collision Center Donates $40K to VA

Needs to “Digitally Diet?” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Ledoux - The 1980s – “A Time of Awakening” . 34 Phillips - The Growth of “Emerging Technologies” in Collision Repair Shops. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Sisk - ASA’s September Webinar Emphasizes Importance of Cybersecurity . . . . . . . . . . . . 44


Non-Profit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Daimler, Torc Begin Testing Self-Driving Trucks in Virginia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 FL Court Partially Dismisses Motion in Allstate v. Auto Glass America Lawsuit. . . . . . 8 Ford Dealership in WV Hosts Event to Support Cancer Patients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Geico RICO FL Lawsuit Could See a New Timeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 IGONC Celebrates Largest ASTE Ever . . . . . . . . 1 Join ASA-FL for Inaugural Florida Foundations Training and Trade Expo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 NCACAR, SCACAR Provide Collision Repair Training at Third Quarter Meetings . . . . . . . 20 New Body Shop Legislation is on the Move in Florida . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 New Technician School Now Open in Memphis . 6 Recalled Airbags Safety Campaign Starts in South Florida . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Refurbished Vehicle Donated to Spotsylvania, VA, Family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 RI, OK, and WV Top the Nation for Worst Road Infrastructure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Southeast Toyota Selects CCC for Parts Marketing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 TN Body Shops Handle Headaches Over Parts Shortage as GM Strike Persists . . . . . . 1 Two Charged in Body Shop Murder . . . . . . . . . 16 WIN Supports ‘Headbands of Hope’ . . . . . . . . . 24

Anderson - ‘Skate to Where the Puck Is Going, Not Where It Has Been’. . . . . . . . . . . 32 Attanasio - Do You Know Anyone Who

We thank WRCB-TV for reprint permission.


NATIONAL Amazon Buys 100,000 Rivian Electric Trucks in Pursuit of Carbon Neutrality. . . . . . . . . . . 54 Body Shop in CT Becomes AGSC Registered Member . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 CCC Enables Repairers to Reach Customer Engagement Milestone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Collision Repair Shops Learn How to Attract, Retain Military Veterans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 CREF Names Sulkala Family Scholarship Recipient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Does Automatic Emergency Braking With Pedestrian Detection Work? . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Jeep Wrangler Frame Problems Lead to Investigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Mercedes-Benz Emissions Cheating Leads to Nearly $1 Billion Fine . . . . . . . . . . 56 Millennials Will Keep the Car Alive, Says Report . 4 National Association Event Announcements:

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

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. ©2019 Adamantine Media LLC.

Accuvision-3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Hendrick Kia Concord . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

AkzoNobel Coatings, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers. 29, 30-31

Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists, LLC. . . . . . 26

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 52

Athens Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram . . . . . . 13

IGO Insurance Company, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 53

Jim Cogdill Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . . 6

AutoNation Ford-Lincoln . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Jon Hiester Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . 5, 16

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . 57

Benchmark Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram. . . 21

Launch Tech USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Blowtherm USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Malco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 54

Matrix Automotive Finishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Braman Honda Miami . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 54

Braman Honda of Palm Beach. . . . . . . . . . 11

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 54

Certified Automotive Parts Association . . . 14

Mirka USA, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Autobody News Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018; (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax

City Kia of Greater Orlando . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 35

November 2019 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Motor Guard Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Post Repair Calibration – A Growing Crisis . . . . 46

Coggin Deland Honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

NOROO Paint & Coatings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

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

O’Reilly Auto Parks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Dent Fix Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

PPG Refinish. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Diamond Standard Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Radley Chevrolet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Dominion Sure Seal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Naples . . . . . . . . 50

Eckler’s Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Riverside Ford-Lincoln . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

SATA Dan-Am Company . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 15

Equalizer Industries, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet . . . . . . . . . . 14

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 56

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

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Spanesi Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Grieco Ford of Fort Lauderdale . . . . . . . . . 40

Spartanburg Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . 17

Gus Machado Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 48

Hendrick Automotive Group. . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Symach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Hendrick BMW/MINI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Tameron Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Hendrick Honda Pompano Beach . . . . . . . 46

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 52

Hendrick Kia Cary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

West Broad Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Repairify Welcomes New CFO . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 SCRS Offers Members Personal Benefits. . . . . 56 Speakers Discuss Need to Know, Follow OEM Calibration Steps for ADAS . . . . . . . . . . 1 Study Finds Costs to Own a New Car are up 24% in 2019 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Tesla’s ‘Holographic Glass’ Patent Makes Way for Better Vehicle Displays . . . . . . . . . . . 4


scheduling. Shops like Padgett’s are avoiding taking in cars with small damages. Insurance companies are even recommending their customers only bring their cars in for major repairs.



“If it is drive-able they’re urging most people from their end, I believe, to stay in their cars if they can for now,” Gayler commented. Gayler says as this strike continues, parts that are already scarce will become even harder to find.

Volkswagen CEO Claims That the Shift to Electric Cars Won’t Hurt Margins. . . . . . . . . . 4 Volkswagen to Begin Development and Production of Lithium-Ion Batteries . . . . . . . 37 / NOVEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Tesla’s ‘Holographic Glass’ Patent Makes Way for Better Vehicle Displays Screen Color Matching,” outlines a way for the electric car maker to imThe user experience of Tesla’s electric prove the viewing angles of its vehicars is centered mostly on the vehi- cles’ displays. In the patent, Tesla cles’ large, high-resolution displays. notes that “because display screens Coupled with custom software that typically have a periodic micro-strucprovides a quick, smartphone-like ex- ture (e.g., a pixelated structure), the perience, Tesla’s screens in its vehi- color of the display screen may be cles are already among the best in the dependent on the angle at which a auto industry. But in the spirit of the viewer is looking at the display company’s habit of constant innova- screen.” This results in viewing antion, it appears that Tesla is looking gles that have significant room for to improve the quality of its dis- improvement, even among highquality screens. plays even more. “The non-displaying portions of the device may be unable to match this angular color dependence of the display screen, resulting in a readily visible boundary between the display screen and the non-displaying portions of the device. Accordingly, there is a need for better color integration between the displaying portions of a device and the Tesla model 3 vehicle display. Credit: Andres GE, non-displaying portions of the device,” Tesla wrote. To address this, Tesla opted to A recently published patent from the electric car maker, titled utilize a pigmented frame and index “Holographic Decorated Glass for match glue to coat its vehicles’ by Simon Alvarez,

Millennials Will Keep the Car Alive, Says Report by Gavin Braithwaite-Smith, Motoring Research

Millennials hold the key to reversing the slump in the automotive industry, according to the Millennials and Auto Trends Report. Market uncertainty, anti-diesel legislation, low emission zones and the popularity of ride-hailing apps such as Uber paint a gloomy picture for the industry. But the survey of 2,150 millennials (aged 23 to 28) from across the world presents a brighter outlook. In Europe, 79% of millennials already own a vehicle, while half of the respondents who do not own a car expect to buy one within the next five years.

Interestingly, despite the common perception of millennials as an environmentally conscious generation, petrol and diesel are the engines of choice for 53%. On the flip side, that would suggest 47% of the respondents drive an alternative fuel vehicle (AFV). Perhaps surprisingly, 82% of the respondents have never used a ride-hailing app or use them less than once a week. Those who thought the rise of Uber, carsharing schemes and short term rentals would kill the car could be mistaken. What Do Millennials Look for in a Car? What’s important to young car buyers? The infotainment system? Smartphone

ference in user experience. A car that boasts some of the most advanced automotive tech available in the auto segment today, after all, deserves a screen that is on par with some of the best mobile devices on the market. Tesla’s display design outlined in its recently published patent can come in handy as well, particularly as the electric car maker introduces more updates to its fleet of vehicles. Among these is a “Fade Mode,” which Elon Musk has hinted at in the past. While responding to a Twitter follower last year, Musk responded positively to the suggestion of adding an option that allows drivers to dim their vehicles’ display while a car is in motion. This, together with An illustration depicting a system where a display is features like V10’s Joe surrounded by a holographic glass panel. Credit: US Mode, could help make Patent Office long trips in Tesla’s electric A color-matched display with vehicles much more convenient for optimal viewing angles might be a passengers. rather minor aspect of a vehicle, but for connected cars such as Tesla’s, it We thank for reprint is these little things that make a dif- permission. screens, as well as a holographic glass panel. By adopting these techniques, Tesla expects to provide its vehicles with a screen that can offer optimal viewing angles for all passengers. This is especially useful when paired with the company’s entertainment features such as Tesla Theater or Tesla Arcade.

connectivity? The color? Not necessarily. More than half of the respondents said price is an important consideration, which suggests competitive PCP deals could be around for a little while longer. Other factors include fuel economy (59%), style (34%) and safety (30%). Paul Teuten, managing director at Duff & Phelps, the company behind the survey, said: “Our Millennials and Auto Trends Report challenges conventional wisdom that millennials prefer alternatives to car ownership and provides encouraging evidence that millennials will drive the automotive industry forward. “The European findings, in partic-

Volkswagen CEO Claims That the Shift to Electric Cars Won’t Hurt Margins by Chris Young, Interesting Engineering

Volkswagen doesn’t expect its new focus on electric cars—in order to avoid heavy EU regulatory sanctions —to hurt its profit margins, Chief Executive Herbert Diess reported in a newspaper. Diess claimed the car manufacturer expects to sell nearly 20,000 Audi e-Tron in 2019, and also highlighted the fact that the electric Porsche Taycan was already sold out, in its first year of production. 4

Strong Sales in Electric As Reuters reports, Diess said, “we do not expect a deterioration in margins,” in an interview with daily la Repubblica’s supplement A&F. “Our advantage is that all our brands have the same platform for electric products and the same batteries that we buy in China,” Diess claimed. In his reports, Diess also said that orders for the VW ID.3, the group’s recently revealed compact electric model, are already covering the production planned until mid-2020.


A Drop in Chinese Sales Rather than the shift to electric, Diess claimed he is concerned about the trade war between the U.S. and China, which has caused a drop in Volkswagen’s Chinese sales — though the company’s market share in the country has grown over the past six months, to 19%. Despite this, Diess emphasizes that Volkswagen is not planning to reduce its efforts and cut exposure in the Chinese market. In a 2017 press conference, the

ular with over 80% of millennials never or rarely using ride-hailing and car-sharing services, underscores this and casts doubt on the presumed notion that ride-hailing services are increasingly used by this population. The automotive industry should take note and adapt to this by continuing to make the right technological investments to satisfy millennial preferences.” With 77% of the respondents saying car ownership is a necessity for independence, it’s going to take a major shift in culture and legislation to release the automobile’s grip on our lives. We thank Motoring Research for reprint permission. company said it would invest $40 billion into electric vehicles. Since then, it has stuck to its word by investing in the Audi e-Tron, Porsche Taycan, electric Beetle, and other electric vehicles. It has done so, in large part, to avoid billions of euros in European pollution fines. We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission. We thank Motoring Research for reprint permission. / NOVEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Refurbished Vehicle Donated to Spotsylvania, VA, Family On Tuesday, Sept. 17, a deserving Spotsylvania, VA, family experienced a life-changing event – the presentation of a vehicle to provide

Credit: NABC

Credit: NABC

them independence and the ability to work and take care of their family – thanks to the National Auto Body Council (NABC) Recycled Rides program along with car donor State Farm and repair partner Caliber Collision – Culpeper, VA.


“It’s an honor to be able to partner with these industry leaders to refurbish a vehicle and present it to such a deserving family,” said Bill Garoutte, president and CEO of the NABC.

“This vehicle is a blessing from God and it came at just the right time,” — Doris Robinson

NABC, CIECA, State Farm and Caliber Collision - Culpeper presented a refurbished 2012 Toyota Camry to Doris and Roy Robinson of Spotsylvania, VA, who were nominated by the nonprofit Tuesday’s Children. They are Gold Star parents whose son, Stacey Robinson, served 17 years in the Navy. He served most of his military career at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, DC. The Robinsons currently have an unreliable vehicle and have to rely on their children, who work


full time, for transportation to medical visits and everyday tasks.

Credit: NABC

Credit: NABC

“This vehicle is a blessing from God and it came at just the right time,” said Doris Robinson, of her cherry-red Camry. “We are so thankful to the Gold Star organization which led us to Tuesday’s Children and now this miracle today.”

New Technician School Now Open in Memphis by Staff, WMC Action News 5

A new automotive technician school is open in Memphis, TN. The Moore Tech Automotive Technical School is the first of its kind in the mid-south. It has been in the works for three years, and on Wednesday, Sept. 18, that reality came to life. Forty students are enrolled in the school, which will teach students the skills to be automotive technicians. The hope is the school will be able to cut down on a shortage in the area. “Our goal is to have 250 to 300 students enrolled in Moore Tech to feed that dealership need in the greater Memphis area,” said Skip Redmond, Moore Tech president. Students will graduate with a two-year associate’s degree. There are also opportunities for financial aid. We thank WMC Action News 5 for reprint permission. / NOVEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


FL Court Partially Dismisses Motion in Allstate v. Auto Glass America Lawsuit by Emmariah Holcomb,

A Florida District Court judge ruled to partially approve and partially dismiss certain aspects of a previously filed motion to dismiss in the Allstate v. Auto Glass America, LLC (AGA) and its owner, Charles Isaly lawsuit. The original lawsuit focuses

on claims involving AGA allegedly pressuring Allstate’s insureds to choose their company for windshield replacements. The following update refers to the original complaint in the Allstate versus AGA and Isaly lawsuit. The following details a court order where AGA and Isaly as the defendants and Allstate as the plaintiff. “Defendants move to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal

Rules of Civil Procedure. Defendants assert what they characterize as a facial attack based on lack of standing and a factual attack based on abstention grounds. Defendants also move to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,” a portion of court documents read. The insurance company also claimed AGA and Isaly failed to meet the legal requirements of its Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) claims, to which the court responded: “Regarding damages and causation … plaintiffs have alleged actual damages in the amount of the alleged overages and the costs of the underlying litigation, and have alleged the deceptive and unfair practices by defendants have caused these damages. It is not much of an inferential leap to come to the conclusion that but for defendants’ alleged actions, plaintiffs would not be engaged in over 1,000 lawsuits with Defendants. Thus, plaintiffs have sufficiently pleaded the elements of an FDUTPA claim.” According to court documents, Allstate also argues that AGA and Isaly’s claim for declaratory judgment should be dismissed because it

Recalled Airbags Safety Campaign Starts in South Florida

The arduous and urgent accident and serious injury prevention campaign that is being carried out nationwide to alert drivers of the more than 50 million recalled Takata airbags ar-

rives in South Florida, which have claimed the lives of at least 19 people in the United States. The public safety and education campaign ‘Check Your Vehicles’ seeks to alert drivers and car owners

of different brands, purchased between a period of 15 years, who may be at risk if they have these factoryrecalled airbags. “The process is as simple as visiting www.checkyourvehicles .com or calling 1-800-813-5359 to check if your car has an airbag recall,” says Marcela Gomez, campaign director. In a climate as extreme as that of South Florida, it is important that the community considers that, the sooner they check, the sooner they can avoid an incident of serious consequences. For more information and to verify if your vehicle is on the airbag recall list, visit www.check or call 1-800813-5359. Obtained via PR Newswire.

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“is nothing more than a mash-up of all prior counts and is duplicative of the multiple requests for declaratory relief asserted as part of the FDUTPA claims.” This argument was also denied in court.

FDUTPA alleged violations based on FHSSA and FTC rules were not dismissed in the recent court update. According to court documents, FHSSA makes it “unlawful for any person to conduct any home solicitation sale” without first obtaining a permit. AGA and Isaly alleged Allstate violated FHSSA and the FTC Rule by

soliciting AGA’s insured customers at their homes for windshield replacements. However, Allstate stated there were no violations made because AGA’s insured customers did not have to pay for the windshield replacements. The lawsuit highlights claims that involve AGA allegedly pressured Allstate’s insureds to choose their company for windshield replacements. The case was filed in late December 2018, and details ten counts against AGA and Isaly, which claimed they “tried to pressure Allstate’s insureds into hiring them for windshield replacements, obtaining assignments of benefits (AOBs) from insureds, submitting invoices to Allstate for excessive and unreasonable amounts and fil[ing] over 1,400 lawsuits for recovery of excessive and unreasonable amounts.” Shortly after the complaint was filed AGA and Isaly requested it be dismissed.” Then, AGA and Isaly sought to extend the amount of time it had to respond to Allstate’s discovery. We thank for reprint permission. / NOVEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Collision Center Donates $40K to VA Non-Profit by Madison Jones, NBC 29 News

Brown Collision Center in Albemarle County, VA, is donating $40,000 to Service Dogs of Virginia. Service dogs begin training at 8-weeks-old, and are placed with clients at 2-years-old. The dogs are required to go through 700 hours of training, and the cost adds up quickly. “The program is, and the people involved, are wonderful,” said Carling Curran, Brown Collision Center. “We are very interested in helping people live fuller, better lives in any way we can.” This is the second time Brown Collision Center has helped fund a dog, and the company plans to do it again in the future. We thank NBC 23 News for reprint permission.

Geico RICO FL Lawsuit Could See a New Timeline by Emmariah Holcomb,

The ongoing lawsuit between Geico Insurance Co. (Geico) and Shazam Auto Glass, LLC, (Shazam) and its owner, Sean Martineau has newly proposed court dates following requests for additional time. According to court documents, both parties met and filed a joint document requesting additional time to submit a case management report, which outlines future dates for the lawsuit, last month. Now there are dates that have yet to be approved by the court. Some of the new court dates requested include: • Mandatory initial disclosures due Oct. 11, 2019; • Motions to add parties or to amend pleadings on Dec. 1, 2019; • A discovery deadline of Aug. 21, 2020; and • Joint Final Pretrial Statements due Feb. 22, 2021. “The purpose of this order is to discourage wasteful pretrial activities, and to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of the action,” a portion of court documents read.

Both parties met to file a joint document requesting additional time ahead of Hurricane Dorian, according to court documents. “The Parties were able to meet in person and have continued to confer since regarding scheduling and the other matters to be addressed in

their case management report. Due to the effects of the hurricane and the personal travel of Plaintiffs’ (Geico’s) counsel, the parties request a short extension so that they may continue to confer and complete their case management report. This requested extension is made in good faith and will not delay this case or prejudice any party,” a portion of court documents read. The case began when Geico filed a complaint against Shazam and Martineau alleging they were responsible for a fraudulent scheme that involved falsifying windshield

replacement services totaling more than $340,000. The insurance company sought to recover $340,000 in financial damages under the civil racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations act (RICO) statutes it believes it is owed, according to court documents. Both Shazam and Martineau requested additional time to respond to Geico’s allegations against them in June 2019. Shazam and Martineau responded by filing a motion to dismiss Geico’s original complaint, which would also dismiss the lawsuit. The pair claimed the lawsuit should be dismissed “for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a cause of action.” Currently, both parties in the Geico v. Shazam and Martineau lawsuit are waiting for the court’s decision on the proposed future court deadlines. The court has yet to announce when a decision will be made. We thank for reprint permission.


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Join ASA-FL for Inaugural Florida Foundations Training and Trade Expo and sponsors. Dinner will include a cash bar and additional opportunities to network with industry peers and vendors as well as event sponsors. Stone notes, “Since we are all one big automotive family, we shall dine together! This is where you’ll meet

by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Nov. 9, ASA-Florida will host its inaugural Florida Foundations Training and Trade Expo at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, FL. Boasting over a dozen classes, the event promises to deliver invaluable information for technicians, owners and advisors as well as an opportunity to network with industry vendors. Mary Steele, executive director for ASA-FL, encouraged collision repair and automotive repair professionals to attend: “Work smart, train smarter!” During the event, ASA-FL will welcome Country Music Artist Colton James to kick off their Round Up program benefiting veterans, plus the Department of Labor will be in attendance to promote their Hire-aVet program for 2020. A full day of training classes and vendor expo will begin on Saturday, Nov. 9 with a breakfast buffet featuring words of wisdom from a special surprise guest, and after the morning’s classes, ASA-FL President Don Stone will invite attendees to enjoy a buffet-style lunch while getting to know industry vendors

all the VIP in our industry, and we have a special surprise for you as well.” “Advanced Technology Vehicles: Advanced Driver Assist Systems” will be taught by CARQUEST Technical Institute Instructor Richard Falco with morning and afternoon sessions to choose from. NAPA’s “Intermittent Driveability Diagnostics” will also offer morning and afternoon options, as will “Pressure Waveform Acquisition and Analysis, From the Inside-Out,” which is being taught by CARQUEST Technical Institute’s

Brandon Steckler. TJ Abrams from Jasper Engines will discuss “Light Duty Diesel Problems, Diagnostics & Tips,” and Jay Miller, author of “Turbo” will share information on “Real World High-Performance Turbocharger Systems.” Jim Morton of Morton’s Automotive Technical Services will explore the details of General Testing procedures compared to Pinpoint Testing procedures. Kukui Corporation’s Jimmy Lea will present “You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure.” Michael Belluomo, technical product manager for BG, will cover “Advanced Automotive Technology: Fuel economy gains and their link to durability losses.” Sara Fraser’s “Social Media & Move Over Millennials, Gen Z is Here” will provide owners and managers with a brief review of the previous generation’s characteristics as well as an in-depth look at Generation Z. The Automotive Training Institute (ATI) will offer a two-part presentation for 14 AMI credits entitled “Essential Skills for Auto Repair Shop Success, What Are the Holes in Your Profit Bucket.” On Saturday afternoon, NAPA’s Tom Steele will

teach attendees about the “EPA Approved Section 609 Program for Motor Vehicle Air Condition (MVAC),” and attendees have two opportunities to catch “The Four Pillars of a Service Advisor” with Jeremy O’Neal. Aaron Stokes, founder of Shop Fix Academy will also be presenting morning and afternoon sessions of “Growing Sales in a Competitive Market.” On Sunday, Nov. 10, attendees who choose to stick around will enjoy a Daytona Speedway Tour, including a 90-minute all-access tour and an opportunity to explore the 2.5-mile track from various vantage points. After the tour, attendees will have the chance to visit the new Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. The cost to attend ASA-FL’s first-ever Florida Foundations Training and Trade Expo is just $199 for ASA members and $249 for nonmembers. To register or to obtain more information, visit www.florida


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Classic Cars Stolen From Clarksville, TN, Body Shop

New Body Shop Legislation is on the Move in Florida

by Kim Wynne, WKRN News

by Emmariah Holcomb,

Two classic cars were stolen from an auto shop in Clarksville, TN, on Sunday, Sept. 22. “They lifted it, put it on there, and they were gone within five minutes,” said James Rollins, owner of the body shop. Surveillance video shows someone driving off from Rollins’

like I have right now,” he said. Police say thieves stole a second car later that night – a 1964 Pontiac Star Chief. “I haven’t slept in a couple nights just because I’m mad,” Rollins said. “I’m upset. I’m disappointed.” Rollins owns the business with his son and restores classic cars. The owner thinks he may have been targeted.

“Somebody either knew what they were getting or was just going to steal a container and got a big surprise,” — James Rollins

business with a shipping container. Inside the container was a 1941 Chevrolet Deluxe Master. “It’s one of the first cars that had air conditioning,” Rollins said. It’s a rare collector’s item that had been restored and Rollins says it’s valued at more than $20,000. “New wires, new engine, new plugs, new belts. The interior was perfect,” she said. But the theft didn’t stop there, according to police. “I never have been violated


“Somebody either knew what they were getting or was just going to steal a container and got a big surprise,” he said. The owner says, either way, he wants the rare, collectible cars returned. He is offering a $5,000 cash reward to anyone with information leading to an arrest. “I hope I find you,” he said. “I hope justice is served.” We thank WKRN News for reprint permission.


Both the House and the Senate introduced new forms of legislation in Florida. The aim is to prevent

body shops from offering incentives to customers in exchange for making insurance claims for windshield replacements or repairs. House bill, H169 was introduced on Sept. 16, while Senate bill, S312, was introduced the following day. The new legislation, if passed, would add the following to the cur-

rent law: “Unlawful acts and practices shall be a violation of this act for any motor vehicle repair shop or employee thereof to offer to a customer a rebate, gift, gift card, cash, coupon, or any other thing of value in exchange for making an insurance claim for motor vehicle windshield glass replacement or repair, including an offer made through a nonemployee who is compensated for the solicitation of such insurance claim.” This means, if both of the new houses of the legislature pass the legislation, Florida AGRR shops may no longer encourage their customers with items, such as gift cards. We thank for reprint permission.

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Southeast Toyota Selects CCC for Parts Marketing CCC Information Services Inc. (CCC) announced that Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC will leverage the CCC Promote technology to provide its dealers with a powerful new marketing solution to price and promote parts to thousands of collision repair facilities while estimates are being written. The real-time integration will provide participating Southeast Toyota franchised dealers with an efficient new channel to expand sales of Toyota parts. CCC Promote offers OEMs a way to present promotional pricing early in the estimating process when replacement part decisions are being made. Prices can be customized by vehicle make, model, year, or part type. “CCC is proud to support Southeast Toyota Distributors,” said Jim Kinsherf, vice president, OEM Group for CCC. “We’re excited to bring our parts technology to their dealers throughout the Southeast region and to support their PartsEdge program.”


Capsized Hyundai Car Carrier Blocking Port of Brunswick, GA, Entrance by Graeme Roberts, just-auto

A car carrying ship full of Hyundai and Kia models is blocking the entrance to the Port of Brunswick, GA, one of the busiest ports in the US, and a major car import/export hub. The Golden Ray capsized in the main channel leading to the Port of Brunswick, south of Savannah, GA, on Sept. 8. Most of the 23-strong crew escaped but four were trapped below decks in the engine room. Rescuers heard knocking from inside the ship and the US Coast Guard and salvage experts rescued the last four people trapped aboard the ship, operated by Hyundai Glovis. According to thedetroitbureau .com, Norm Witt, commanding officer at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Savannah, told reporters that getting the 656-foot ship out of channel would be a major challenge. “This is a complex case,” Witt said. “We have salvage to deal with on a large vessel. We have pollution mitigation efforts ongoing and some waterways and port operations issues, as well.” The full operation of securing


and removing the Golden Ray could take months. The Port of Brunswick, about 70 miles south of Savannah, is the second-busiest vehicle port in the country after Long Beach in Southern California, which has tradition-

roll-on, roll-off doors wasn’t secured properly, causing the vessel to take on water suddenly in its main cargo compartments. The US incident brings to mind the car carrier which left the UK automobile export port of Southamp-

ally been the destination for vehicles exported from East Asia. The widening of the Panama Canal and an aggressive sales campaign by officials in the southeastern United States, who promote their ports are less expensive than ports on the west coast, have increased the competition, the report said. The ship is relatively new, launched in 2017. said experts speculated one of the ship’s

ton early in 2015 and developed a severe list - though that ship did not capsize. It was subsequently returned to port and its damaged cargo offloaded. Back in 2006, Mazda had to scrap all 4,703 US- and Canadabound vehicles from the car-carrying vessel, Cougar Ace, which nearly capsized off the Aleutian Islands, located in Alaska, in late July.

“We have salvage to deal with on a large vessel. We have pollution mitigation efforts ongoing and some waterways and port operations issues, as well.” — Norm Witt

We thank just-auto for reprint permission. / NOVEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Ford Dealership in WV Hosts Event to Support Cancer Patients by Heather Ziegler, The Intelligencer

A special event to help in the fight against breast cancer took place on Tuesday, Oct. 1 and Wednesday, Oct. 2.

Mike DeArdo, sales representative at Jim Robinson Ford at The Highlands in Ohio County, WV, displays a quilt square are part of Ford’s Warriors in Pink quilts that were assembled by volunteers. Credit: Heather Ziegler, The Intelligencer

On those two days, the Jim Robinson Ford dealership served as Patchwork Station headquarters for Ford’s Warriors in Pink program. Everyone invited to the dealership decorated quilt squares with messages of encouragement and support which were used to make Warrior Quilts by Neighborhood


Ford Store’s Quilt for the Cure volunteers. Mike DeArdo, sales representative at the dealership, lead the charge to get as many people to come to the dealership and decorate as many squares as each person desired. This was DeArdo’s seventh year volunteering to head the project. “We are the main dealership for the quilt squares project … our goal this year was 3,000 squares,” DeArdo said. DeArdo said volunteer quilters assembled the squares into quilts that were donated to local hospitals to “encourage breast cancer patients and their families to keep fighting the fight.” Ford provided all of the materials—art supply pens, markers and squares—to complete the square patches. “We had a lady last year who did one square, and then another and another. I think she ended up doing seven or eight squares and that’s great.” Messages on the squares were uplifting words or simply a design that sent hope. On Tuesday, Oct. 1 from 2-3


p.m., Jim Robinson Ford partnered with Triadelphia Middle School in Wheeling, WV, and Wheeling Hospital to help students learn how they

can support a parent who is undergoing medical treatment. Diana Tucker, teacher at Triadelphia Middle School, and Kyla Morris, nurse navigator at Wheeling Hospital, lead the session at the school. Students then learned how to make patches of encouragement and support which were incorporated in the Warrior Quilts through Neighborhood Ford Store’s Quilt for the Cure volunteer program. For more information about Ford Motor Company’s program to support breast cancer treatment and research, visit We thank The Intelligencer for reprint permission.

Two Charged in Body Shop Murder by Claire Helm, WGXA News

Cordele, GA, police say two people have been charged in connection to the murder of a 24-year-old man. The victim, Jacquez Alexander, was shot outside Stark’s Body Shop on Tuesday, Oct. 15 following an argument and later died from his injuries. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Cordele police have formally charged 32-yearold Antonio Spears and 20-yearold Duwan Brown in Alexander’s killing. According to the Cordele Police Department, Spears is charged with murder, aggravated assault, and possessing a firearm while committing a crime. Brown is charged with aggravated assault and possessing a knife while committing a crime. Authorities served both suspects arrest warrants and they’re currently at Crisp County Jail. We thank WGXA News for reprint permission. / NOVEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

Speakers Discuss

of “view” of any sensors. “I actually got called out by a customer who couldn’t get this vehicle calibrated. He had tried multiple times,” Lesniak said. “They sent me out to trouble-shoot, and there was what looked like a grasshopper splattered right in the middle of the camera on the windshield. Step number one in the instructions was to make sure the windshield is clean, especially in front of the camera. They skipped the basic steps.” Lesniak was just one of several speakers discussing OEM procedures and ADAS calibrations during the CIECA conference, held in Charlottesville, VA. Sean Guthrie, director of operations for the seven Car Crafters Collision Centers in Albuquerque, N.M., said one thing he thinks may slow the expected reduction in claims count based on ADAS is whether consumers are buying vehicles equipped with such systems. He said he and his wife were recently in the market for a new

the lot with that technology. They said, ‘It’s simple, Sean: We don’t sell them. And if we do sell them, the customer wants us to turn it all off. So why would we have a car on the lot that’s $6,000 more for something that someone is just going to turn off?’” Guthrie thinks it may just be that consumers aren’t seeking out ADAS because it’s not something that is being marketed to them. Regardless, Guthrie said his company is working to do more of ADAS calibrations in-house, in part because dealerships often aren’t prepared to do so. He believes that even shops subletting the work should still reGeorge Lesniak (right) of Autel said technicians often skip important steps in the calibration process. Other speakers search the calibration proceon the panel included (from left) Mark Allen of Audi, Sean dures to know what needs to Guthrie of Car Crafters Collision Centers, and Darrell be done. Amberson of LaMettry’s Collision. Credit: Sheri LaFlamme “It’s disappointing how model to the top tier, there wasn’t often when you tell dealerships, ‘We one available with the full ADAS removed and reinstalled all these suite. I asked the dealer why is it that things, and replaced these things, so your cars are among the safest out this is what we need calibrated,’ they there, with the most available tech- look at you and say, ‘But it drives nology, yet you don’t have one on fine and there are no codes or dash

car and found no dealer in their region with the model vehicle they wanted that included all the ADAS features the automaker makes available for that vehicle. “It wasn’t just a matter of finding one in the trim model we wanted,” Guthrie said. “From the base of that

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lights,’” Guthrie said. “This is from a dealership that sells and services that vehicle. Unfortunately, more than once we’ve had an argument with a dealership about what needs to be done. We couldn’t have that argument unless we knew the OEM repair procedures.” He said subletting the work also doesn’t relieve a shop from the liability that ADAS calibrations were done fully and properly. The only way to ensure that has happened is to road-test the vehicles, something his company does even if a dealer did the calibration work on a sublet basis and should have done its own road test. “We’ve picked up many cars after they get done at the dealership and had to turn right back around and take it back because they’re not calibrated right,” Guthrie said. “You have to test drive the car to know that. And you need to test every system, not just the ones you affected [during repairs] because they all talk, they all work together. If you affect one, you may have affected five.” Guthrie said although it varies

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by make and model, dynamic system calibrations and post-calibration road tests often require two people. “You’ve got somebody who needs to be manning the scan tool, while the other person is safely driving,” he said. “There are some cars that you can put into [test] modes and then drive and confirm that it worked. But for the most part, two people make it much safer.” Guthrie was asked what happens to a vehicle his company has repaired if neither his shop nor a local dealer is equipped and prepared to calibrate the ADAS. “The car sits,” Guthrie said, comparing it to a car not being released if an airbag hasn’t been installed. “We had a Subaru for which we didn’t have the calibration equipment. The dealership had the equipment but had never set it up or used it. So that car wasn’t safe to be back on the road. It took almost two months. We ended up helping the dealer getting the equipment set up and getting it done.” Another speaker at the conference concurred. Darrell Amberson of LaMettry’s Collision, which

operates nine collision shops and two stand-alone mechanical shops in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota, has developed ADAS calibration stations at two of its locations. He said companies such as his can be another source of calibration help for other shops if dealers in a market are not set-up to do so. He said that like Guthrie, his company won’t release a car until calibrations are completed; in one case, that even meant not taking on a particular job. “It was a Toyota van that was a handicap conversion,” Amberson said. “They had put in heavy-duty springs in the back of the vehicle. There was no data from Toyota in terms of how we should calibrate it. We reached out to the conversion company, and they admitted they just performed the conversion and didn’t do anything about the ADAS. We found that situation scary and just stepped aside and didn’t perform the repairs because there was no way we could know how to properly calibrate that vehicle. It was probably fixed by someone who probably didn’t do anything with the ADAS systems.”


Gerber Collision & Glass Acquires Three Locations in South Carolina

The Boyd Group Inc. (the “Boyd Group”) announced the acquisition of three collision repair centers in the Columbia, SC, area. These locations previously operated as Baker

Collision Express. The Irmo, SC, shop opened in 2004, the Lexington, SC, repair center was added in 2013 and the Columbia, SC, location opened in 2016. Columbia, the state capital, is the second-largest city in South Carolina and is home to the University of South Carolina. This metropolitan area population includes

approximately 850,000 people. We look forward to delivering the high-quality service that customers and our insurance partners in this market have come to expect,” said Tim O’Day, president and COO of the Boyd Group. “Acquiring these repair centers enhances our brand in this region and begins to fill a void between our Georgia and North Carolina locations.” The Boyd Group is continuously looking to add new collision repair locations to its existing network in Canada and the U.S. Interested collision repair center owners are asked to contact Stephen Boyd at stephen.boyd@ for more information.

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Body Shop in CT Becomes AGSC Registered Member

North Haven Auto Body of North Haven, CT, has joined the list of safety-conscious auto glass companies by becoming an accredited Registered Member Company of the prestigious Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC). By becoming a member, North Haven Auto Body demonstrates its commitment to the safety of its customers, says Debra Levy, president of the AGSC. This is an important step for North Haven Auto Body and shows that its staff values their work in completing proper and safe auto glass installations for customers. Registered Member Companies such as North Haven Auto Body must demonstrate their ability and willingness to complete installations in accordance with the AGRSS Standard by undergoing random, on-site third-party validation audits at least once every four years. Visit for more information about North Haven Auto Body. Visit for more information about the AGSC. Obtained via


NCACAR, SCACAR Provide Collision Repair Training at Third Quarter Meetings The North Carolina Association of Collision and Autobody Repair (NCACAR) and the South Carolina Association of Collision and Auto-

SCACAR’s third-quarter meeting was held on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at Enterprise’s corporate offices in Columbia, SC, and it was sponsored by Enterprise Holdings. According to SCACAR President Sarah Myers

body Repair (SCACAR) each hosted third quarter meetings in September featuring leaders and collision repair industry trainers. NCACAR’s third-quarter meeting was held on Thursday, Sept.19 at Carolina Collision Equipment in Mooresville, NC. In addition to a state of the association address delivered by NCACAR President Brian Davies and NCACAR Vice President Brian Shaw, the meeting featured “Developing and Implementing Standard Operating Procedures” with ATI’s Keith Manich. The meeting was sponsored by PPG Industries and Carolina Collision Equipment.

Daniels, “The new members at the meeting were very impressed with the information they received along with everyone else. This was one of our best meetings to date.” Josh Kent, executive director for both associations, welcomed around 50 attendees and introduced vendors and new members. He also encouraged everyone to visit, complete the fiveminute survey and request a free demo on the Billable Genie, stating, “It could be a great benefit to all shops, and it’s worth your time to take a look.” Myers Daniels was joined by Vice President Paul Geisell to deliver

by Chasidy Rae Sisk


a state of the association address, and then they introduced the evening’s guest speaker, Mark Olson of VECO Experts, who discussed the importance of quality repairs, the cost of comebacks and supplements, and how to create a bulletproof file to protect shops against liability. Myers Daniels said, “Mark really brought to light how huge our potential liability could be in the collision industry in today’s world especially with the new technology and future technology. The importance of this is to protect your shop and to make sure vehicles are repaired properly and safely which is our goal in the collision repair industry.” For more information on NCACAR, visit For more information on SCACAR, visit




Continued from Cover

Military Veterans

“Employer Guide to Hire Veterans” prepared by the Department of Labor, Griffith suggested. The department also offers a webpage addressing frequently-asked questions about hiring and retaining veterans. Griffith said many veterans transition jobs several times after leaving the military before finding their niche, but tend to stay in organizations that provide training opportunities, and that showcase “a military-friendly” attitude or a “veteran culture.” When a tornado hit near Service King’s headquarters in the DallasFort Worth area in 2016, Service King touted the role that more than 100 members of it staff – including veterans – played in serving hot meals to those in the affected area. That year, it also aired a 30-second ad highlighting Jeremiah Kuehl, one of 100 veterans the company had already hired. “He talked about feeling like he had transitioned from one family – the military – to another family,” Griffith said of the ad. He said that Service King welcomed him, understood he had posttraumatic stress and worked around it. “‘They found a job that was perfect for me,’” Griffith said Kuehl communicated in the ad. “Because of that one ad, I think Service King had about 400 or 500 applications immediately, all veterans,” Griffith commented. Griffith said one other key to successfully hiring and retaining veterans for your business is providing something that most young employees want: a clear career path. “At the end of the day, most veterans want to help take your organization to another level,” Griffith said. “So if you tell them where they fit in, if you tell them why their job is important to your mission, they tend to want to stick with it. That’s one of the things that employers don’t do all the time; they don’t show them a growth potential in the organization, they don’t show them that pathway. In the military, we do that. We give them a career path, and employers tend to fail to do that.” One way businesses of any size can offer such a path, Griffith said, is though a Department of Labor (DOL) 22

Registered Apprenticeship Program. “If you take a chance on people through an apprentice program, they tend to want to stick with you,” she said. Creating such a program doesn’t have to be complicated for the employer, Griffith said. Another entity, like a community college or for-profit program like Universal Technical Institute, can do the actual training. The program just has to have a structured system that involves both the training and paid on-the-job experience. If the program is DOL-registered, any veteran completing it receives a nationally-accredited certification, which should entice veterans, Griffith said. A DOL website includes information to help employers with the process, and Griffith said there are also state-level consultants that can assist. Last year alone, she helped build 168 registered apprenticeship programs, at businesses of all sizes, and said she can be a contact for shops seeking to get started. Please email Griffith with any questions at Data Privacy Concerns Discussed


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During a discussion at CIC about new consumer data privacy laws being enacted by states around the country, Aaron Schulenburg of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) said he thinks many shop owners may be unaware of how much data they are actually sharing with other entities.

Aaron Schulenburg of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) said the association is seeing ‘test estimates’ showing up on vehicle history reports.

“Most of them don’t think about it as a sharing of data,” Schulenburg said. “What they think is: I’m ordering a part, or I’m extending a rental vehicle agreement for a customer, or using a CSI service. But in all of those interactions, if they are allowing pumps or programs on their comput-

ers from those companies to access [estimate data] files, all of those are in fact an exchange of data.” While the state data privacy laws tend to apply only to larger companies than most collision repair businesses, Schulenburg pointed out that shops are likely sharing customer data with those larger businesses that come under the new requirements of the law. As an example of how shops may be unaware of what data is being pumped from their servers or desktop computers, Schulenburg said the association has seen an increase in members reporting that estimates they have written – in some cases just ‘test estimates’ on undamaged cars have resulted in incidents showing up on vehicle history reports, such as CARFAX. “We’ve talked about this before at CIC, but it’s always been kind of cast aside as a one-off situation, or something that could be explained away,” Schulenburg said, citing publicly-available police accident reports as one potential source. “I can tell you that the volume of inquiries that we as an association have fielded in the / NOVEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


last 18 months to two years cannot be explained away by circumstance.” He said SCRS is continuing to look into the issue. “I’m disappointed that I can’t come up here and say, ‘This is how the information is getting there. This is what’s happening,’” Schulenburg said. “That is the intent of the research.” Couple Who Sued Shop to Speak at Next CIC During CIC meetings this year, chairman Jeff Peevy has left an empty chair on the stage as a reminder to attendees of an important industry constituent not generally represented at the meetings: the consumer. “Those families who ride in the cars that our industry repairs should be at the forefront of our thoughts,” Peevy said at CIC in Indianapolis in July. He’s taking that message to the next level at the upcoming CIC in Las Vegas on Nov. 5 by inviting two such consumers to speak: Marcia and Matthew Seebachan. The Texas couple in 2017 won a $42 million judgment against a Texas dealership


body shop after a jury found the shop’s failure to follow OEM repair procedures for a 2010 Honda Fit contributed to the severe injuries the Seebachans sustained in that vehicle in a subsequent accident. “Here is a young couple who had their whole life ahead of them when this happened to them,” Peevy said. “The Seebachans really want the industry to know some things.” Peevy said he was particularly compelled to invite the Seebachans to speak at CIC after realizing the couple had many similarities to his daughter and son-in-law, who also live in Texas, who are about the same age as the Seebachans, and who also bought a used Honda Fit from a dealership at about the same time the Seebachans did.





WIN Supports ‘Headbands of Hope’ Earlier this year, WIN hosted its 2019 Educational Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL. During the three days, members listened to a variety of speakers that discussed the theme of “Navigating Tomorrow Together.” One of the keynote sessions featured Headbands of Hope founder, Jess Ekstrom. Back in 2012 after an internship with a wish-granting organization, she found that kids loved to wear headbands to express their style and personality after experiencing hair loss with chemotherapy cancer treatment. During her WIN session, she spoke on how optimism creates a better reality in “Making Our Internal Dialogue Our Biggest Cheerleader.” “Everyone who has ever done something great had to believe they could be the one to do it,” says Ekstrom. “Everyone had to start somewhere. Why not here and why not you? Success doesn’t mean you have it all figured out, but it means you’re confident you’ll get there.” After her session, the 200+ WIN members attending the conference participated in creating headbands that were later donated to children with cancer at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital located in

Hollywood, FL. Long-time WIN sponsor, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car, sponsored the event which provided the headbands and decorations that were used, and to show continued support, they also purchased 50 headbands directly from Headbands and donated them on behalf of WIN.

Credit: WIN

“It was amazing to see how 200+ women were all impacted by Jess’s story,” says Amanda Seyler, WIN conference committee member. “There was laughter, tears, and some great key learning points during Jess’s time with us. Everyone had their heartstrings pulled when we got to tell them that the headbands we created were going to be donated to children at the cancer center! It was such a special event.” For more information, go to / NOVEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

IGONC Celebrates

amazing, far exceeding our expectations. We had approximately 700 attendees, including vendors, so we had a little more than 500 shop owners and techs. This year, we were able to highlight our new apprentice program, with several apprentices in attendance and participating in classes for the first time.”

awards dinner and much more. The 2019 ASTE boasted 36 management and technical seminars taught by nationally known speakers.

know to stay current in the industry. The Town Hall Forum held on Friday, Sept. 27 featured a discussion on “Technician Retention,” hosted by Capriotto of Remarkable Results Radio, who also created live podcasts during ASTE 2019. Leutz also featured the event through live videos.

Danny Sanchez of Autoshop Solutions was recognized as an Associate Member of the Year at IGONC’s Awards Ceremony. Credit: IGONC

Rick White of 180Biz was honored with the IGONC President’s Award for his dedication to the industry. Credit: IGONC

As the self-proclaimed largest aftermarket automotive show in the southeast, ASTE 2019 featured two full days of training classes, a trade show, networking opportunities, an


Presenters for ASTE 2019 included Rick White of 180Biz, WorldPac’s Bernie Thompson, Craig Van Batenburg of ACDC, ATI’s Jim Silverman, Danny Sanchez from Autoshop Solutions, NASTF’s Donny Seyfer, Jimmy Lea from Kukui Corporation, and many other renowned industry educators. Seminar topics ranged from technical training to seminars on profit, sales, marketing and everything in between that professional collision repair and automotive service professionals need to


In addition to continued educational and networking opportunities, the ASTE Vendor Show was held, providing an opportunity for attendees to meet industry vendors and learn

Lucas Underwood of L & N Performance Auto Repair was recognized as the Member of the Year for the second consecutive year. (L to R: Lucas Underwood, IGONC President Dean Bailey). Credit: IGONC

Mike Allen of Carfix was honored with the IGONC Presidents Award. Credit: IGONC

Each evening presented a variety of networking opportunities for attendees. A Manager’s Reception and ASTE Pre-Party was held on Thursday, Sept. 26, and on Friday, Sept. 27, attendees enjoyed a pizza party and the ASTE Casino Night. The agenda on Saturday, Sept. 28 featured a number of highlights.

about their products. Over 60 vendors participated, including Advance Auto Parts, NAPA Auto Parts, Broadly, Automotive Training Institute, AutoZone, Sampson Bladen, Diagnostic Network, NASTF, Repair Shop Coach, Go Powertrain, Operation Motor Sports, Shop Marketing Pros,, MotorAge, ACDC, Garage Gurus, WorldPac, ACDelco, ZF Technologies, and many more.

ASTE 2019 concluded on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 28 with a banquet dinner and IGONC’s Annual Induction of Officers and Awards Ceremony. During the ceremony, Mike Allen of Carfix was honored with the IGONC Presidents Award, and Lucas Underwood of L & N Performance Auto Repair was recognized as the Member of the Year for the second consecutive year. Gary Summerfield, who recently retired from his four-location MSO, Summerfield’s Automotive, received IGONC Life Membership status.

olina ten times this year to educate association members, White was honored with the IGONC President’s Award. Two Associate Members of the Year were honored: Sanchez and Shelby Damron of Jasper Engines & Transmissions. IGONC also recognized four vendors with awards for Most Outstanding Booth by Attendee Vote; recipients were TekMetric, Circuit Board Medics, Leads Near Me, and Kukui Corporation.

IGONC also honored Shelby Damron of Jasper Engines & Transmissions with a second Associate Member of the Year Award. Credit: IGONC

Gary Summerfield, who recently retired from his four-location MSO, Summerfield’s Automotive, received IGONC Life Membership status. Credit: IGONC

In recognition of supporting IGONC by traveling to North Car-

Addressing the importance of association-sponsored events, Pulverenti stated, “As an association, we hear our members and try to provide them with the classes and information they are looking for. Just as im-

portant, these events allow people to build relationships within our industry that help support their business and allow it to thrive. In addition, we are able to highlight new programs, like our regional training opportunities and the NC Automotive Apprentice Program.”

Shante Bell from the North Carolina Community College System was prepared to answer questions about the new North Carolina Automotive Apprentice program. Credit: IGONC

“As ASTE continues to grow and garner national prominence, we are very excited to work with so many new vendors as well as repair shops from all over the country. It is our mission to provide an educational, fun event at a very cost-effec-

tive price,” Pulverenti said. “We work hard to create a show that is welcoming as well as affordable for all shops to attend. Support and training can take a good business to a great business and it’s important that these learning opportunities are available to everyone. We are very fortunate to have some of the best vendors, who help us keep our show affordable to shop owners while still providing world-class speakers and training.” “We couldn’t be happier with the results of our 2019 ASTE, and we are ready to get started on making our 2020 ASTE even better!” Sauls noted. “The response from 2019 attendees has been overwhelming. We have heard nothing other than good comments, saying ASTE 2019 was the most friendly, well organized, best value show they had been to. We already have several vendors in line for next year and have been flooded with speakers submitting content. All signs point to 2020 being even bigger and better!” For more information on ASTE, visit To learn about IGONC, visit / NOVEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Daimler, Torc Robotics Begin Testing Self-Driving Trucks in Virginia by Seth Clevenger, Transport Topics

Daimler Trucks has begun testing highly automated heavy-duty trucks on Virginia highways in partnership with its subsidiary Torc Robotics, the companies said. The Sept. 9 announcement comes less than six months after Daimler Trucks agreed to acquire a majority stake in Torc, a pioneer in autonomous vehicle technology. That deal closed in late August. Daimler said its self-driving test trucks will have a specially trained driver and an engineer in the cab as the vehicles operate in regular traffic on public highways near Blacksburg, VA, where Torc is headquartered. The companies are working together to test and develop Level 4 automated driving capabilities, which would enable trucks to drive themselves without requiring the driver to provide any input or monitor the road, at least in specific areas and under certain conditions.

A Freightliner Cascadia test truck outfitted with Torc’s self-driving software and lidar sensors, cameras and radar. Credit: Daimler Trucks North America

Daimler Trucks’ stated goal is to introduce the technology within ten years to prevent accidents, improve freight efficiency and reduce driver stress and fatigue. “Bringing Level 4 trucks to the public roads is a major step toward our goal to deliver reliable and safe trucks for the benefits of our customers, our economies and society,” said Martin Daum, head of Daimler’s global truck and bus division. The manufacturer envisions these automated trucks eventually hauling freight on open highways in

hub-to-hub operations. The Level 4 test trucks will be Freightliner Cascadia models outfitted with Torc’s self-driving software and an array of lidar sensors, cameras and radar to sense the vehicle’s surroundings. The trucks will pull trailers with added weight to simulate a load.

Daimler’s Inspiration truck. The truck manufacturer said the deal with Torc Robotics will bolster efforts to commercialize trucks capable of Level 4 self-driving. Credit: Daimler Trucks North America

Engineers working on the project nicknamed the initial test truck “Hood” after Mt. Hood in homage to their home in the Pacific Northwest. The on-road Level 4 testing is part of a renewed push by Daimler to make self-driving trucks a reality. At the CES technology show in January, Daimler Trucks announced it would invest $570 million to achieve Level 4 within a decade. And in June, the truck maker established an Autonomous Technology Group to consolidate its automated driving activities across the globe, including Torc’s operations in Blacksburg and Daimler Trucks’ locations in Portland, OR, and Stuttgart, Germany. “Being part of Daimler Trucks is the start of a new chapter for Torc,” said CEO Michael Fleming, who was among a group of Virginia Tech engineering students that founded the self-driving vehicle company in 2005. “Our whole team is thrilled to be working alongside our Daimler colleagues as we pursue the commercialization of Level 4 trucks to bring this technology to the market, because we strongly believe it can

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save lives,” Fleming said. Moving forward, the developers will work to combine Daimler’s commercial truck technology with Torc’s expertise in engineering automated vehicles. “We look forward to writing history together,” said Roger Nielsen, CEO of Daimler Trucks North America. “The U.S. highways are the perfect place to develop automated driving technology.” DTNA said it is designing a truck chassis tailored specifically for highly automated driving, including redundant systems to help ensure safety and reliability. The truck maker also said it is building an infrastructure to support its testing of initial applications for Level 4 trucks. This infrastructure will include a control center as well as logistics hubs along dense freight corridors where many of the truck maker’s customers operate, the company said. While Daimler Trucks pursues Level 4 automated driving for the decade ahead, the truck maker cur-

rently is in the process of introducing Level 2 technology that automates both lateral and longitudinal control, but still requires the driver to remain engaged at all times.

A Freightliner Cascadia at Torc headquarters in Blacksburg, VA. Credit: Daimler Trucks North America

DTNA will offer active steering capabilities with the 5.0 version of its Detroit Assurance safety technology though Active Lane Assist, which will include automatic lane centering and lane-departure protection features. Active Lane Assist will become broadly available in the first quarter of 2020. We thank Transport Topics for reprint permission.

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From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

‘Skate to Where the Puck Is Going, Not Where It Has Been’ Each year, I apply various presentation themes, and this year, I based my theme on something Wayne Gretzky, the legendary hockey player, once said. He was asked what he learned that made him such a great player, and he said, “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” In other words, he looked ahead, anticipating where the puck would be. As this year begins to wind down, we all need to think about not where the “puck” is in our industry right now, but where it is going to be—where you’ll want to be and how you’ll get there. Here are four examples of how, like Gretsky on the ice rink, you may want to be looking ahead rather than looking at things as they are now. 1. Scanning has become the norm in the industry, which is good, but where the “puck” is going is a related

process—calibrations. Shops need to be investigating the time, money and, most importantly, investing in shop space to be able to perform more ADAS calibrations in-house. Understand what types of vehicles you most commonly work on that require calibrations. Research those procedures, understand what targets or tools are needed, and look for the potential space to do them. The space can be a hurdle; the average body repair stall is 300 to 400 square feet, but some of these calibrations can require 1,200 to 1,800 square feet. This is where the “puck” is going, and starting to head there now will help you succeed.

2. We need to start thinking about artificial intelligence (AI). While it remains to be seen whether AI can be used to write estimates, I believe it is or soon will be used to identify total

losses. What does that mean for shops working to anticipate where the “puck” will be? Think about the nonDRP work you do, and how much total losses contribute to your revenue in terms of tear-down costs, storage fees or administrative fees. Storage is generally 100% gross profit, right? All that shop revenue may start to decline as AI is introduced. The consumer will send in some photos, and if the AI system identifies their vehicle as a total loss, that vehicle is going straight to the auction yard, not a shop. That’s something you need to start preparing for in terms of “skating to where the puck is going.” 3. The estimating system providers say claim counts have declined somewhat, albeit not a lot. That slow decline seems likely to continue, if not accelerate, as more vehicles on the road have ADAS features. It’s not

likely to be a dramatic shift, but even a 5% or 10% decline will have an impact on your business. In this case, skating to where the puck will be means working on your capture rate. For those on DRP programs, for example, you need best practices in place to ensure you follow-up on any assignments in a timelier manner. It’s easy when we get busy to not be as quick to jump on those; however, as claim counts decline, you need a designated person or a well-defined process to follow-up on those assignments quickly. For work outside of DRP programs, shops should prioritize responding to potential customers seeking estimates or appointments, to capture that work rather than lose it to competitors. 4. A fourth way you can “skate to See Where the “Puck” Is Going, Page 55

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In Reverse

Gary Ledoux is an industry veteran with 50 years’ experience in the automotive and OEM collision parts industry. His column appears exclusively in Autobody News. He can be reached at

with Gary Ledoux

The 1980s—“A Time of Awakening” Those who have been in the collision industry for a long time remember the 1980s as the advent of automotive unibody construction. New equipment purchases would reach a frenzied pitch and industry shows would blossom to accommodate the equipment purchases, but it was a lot more than that. Industry veteran Tony Passwater called the 1980s, “A Time of Awakening” for the collision industry.

Enter the Computer Today, computers come second-nature to us. Everyone has a laptop or a tablet or some portable device. We use them for everything; but, in the early 1980s, computers were a new “unknown” to most of us. Computerization affected the lives of practically everyone on the planet—the collision industry included. More specifically, 1982 will be marked as the beginning of the collision indus-


try’s “information age” with the advent of electronic estimating systems, shop data management systems and trade publications. In a 1998 industry trade magazine, Passwater noted that the mid1980s was a “… time of awakening for our industry. Shop owners wanted

body shop and what to look for in a small business computer. One of the shop owners interviewed for the articles noted, “A good manager runs a shop by the seat of his pants. The manager in the future will manage numbers rather than manage people.” At the end of the piece was a handy

to not only learn the computer program in and of itself, but how to be better business people. As such, some shop owners began to rise to the top of the industry, others struggled, and some just could not keep up and fell by the wayside.” A couple of trade magazine articles appearing in early 1984 discussed the pros and cons of computerizing a

“Glossary of Computer Terms” which included now-quaint terms such as: backup, cathode ray tube, central processing unit, cursor, hard disc, kilobyte, megabyte, menu, menu-driven, and modem. In a trade magazine article, industry veteran Chuck Sulkala notes that it is important to know your own market in terms of customer demo-

“Getting involved in a trade association is probably the first thing a new shop owner should do after he puts his sign over the door.” ” — Bill Wicklund


graphics. This would include male/female, type of car driven, insurance carrier, etc. He also notes that keeping track of all that information is a lot easier if tallied and maintained by … you guess it … a computer. And with the advent of computers came a concept that would drive the business management side of the collision business into the future – the Auto Repair Management System (ARMS). It was the dawn of business management for shops. Cleaning House As far back as 1910 when horse stalls were being “mucked-out” by livery stable owners to accommodate the parking and servicing of cars, a call has gone out from the earliest of “motoring magazines” to clean up the new “parking garages” and service areas so that “women may enter them.” Eventually, the “horse drop- / NOVEMBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


pings” and attendant smells were replaced with bondo dust, lead filings, crumpled masking paper and all sorts of waste products strewn on the floor. In many shops, a customer could not sit down to discuss a repair job without getting covered with dust. Again, with the advent of collision-specific magazines in the early 1960s, trade magazine editors and industry pundits had been asking shop owners to physically clean up their shops—get rid of the bondo dust, dirt, overspray and nasty smells and make the shop more pleasing and presentable to the average person. It was said that neat, clean, and professional-looking places of business would attract walk-in customers. One magazine editor lamented, “Many shop owners say that they have the best body men in town, the best painters, and the latest equipment and years of training and experience so it shouldn’t matter what the shop looks like.” To which she also offered her favorite retort, “That’s all very commendable, but how do your potential customers know all this?” Industry veteran Tony Lombardozzi who managed the body shop at


MacMulkin Chevrolet in Nashua, NH, during the late 1960s and early 1970s noted, “On Fridays, we stopped work at noon and everyone cleaned their own work bays. We hosed down the walls and got rid of as much dust as possible. We tried to make the place look neat and clean.” Another industry veteran who worked in a body shop at a neighboring Lincoln-Mercury dealership noted, “Our shop was a like a coal mine. The dust was terrible.” Public Perception Since the 1940s, the public had a dismal view of the collision repair industry … and rightfully so. The shop owner was perceived as an unkempt, cigar-chomping Neanderthal in dirty, dusty clothes working in a dirty, dusty shop with a bunch of dirty, dusty guys. But by the mid-1980s, that was changing. One industry pundit noted that because shops had to buy lots of new, expensive equipment, and were starting to do things on a computer, there was a newfound pride among shop owners. They wanted to be seen, and be perceived as more professional—because they were more professional. A trade


magazine editor wrote in 1985, “The man running the collision shop has changed. He is now a business owner, a business executive, and he looks and acts the part.” Another editor wrote, “To match their new physical image, many shop owners still needed some phone-answering and basic people skills.” It would all come eventually. Training Training became crucial, but shops had not yet bought into the concept of “continuing education.” This would change. Equipment companies would continue to provide training for their own products. In 1984, the Car-OLiner company announced the opening of a training facility at its headquarters in Livonia, MI. The company offered a three-day, generic course open to anyone. The course covered automobile construction, wheel alignment, analyzing structural damage, repairing metal, MIG welding, and bench procedures. Formed in 1979, I-CAR was continuing to grow. In 1986, I-CAR was looking for more trainers to teach a growing number of students and

class material. Classes included about a 50/50 mix of shop people and insurance people. Despite their growth, in 1986, I-CAR was still searching for credibility and wider acceptance with the insurance industry, repair industry, and consumers. Their goal was to have insurance companies specify that cars be repaired at a shop that had I-CAR trained technicians. Banding Together The ‘80s was certainly a time for new organizations to spring-up, many becoming mainstays well into the 21st century. The ‘80s gave the industry the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), the Collision Industry Conference (CIC), ASE and the NACE show. During the early 1980s, from New Mexico to New Jersey, it seemed every month a new local or regional collision industry organization was popping up. In a February, 1983 trade magazine article, Bill Wicklund of Wicklund Body Shop in Liberty, MO, noted, “In order to operate a business and know how to handle it, the shop owner has to get involved with trade associations to keep up with what’s

going on in the real world. Getting involved in a trade association is probably the first thing a new shop owner should do after he puts his sign over the door.” Despite the proliferation of associations by forward-thinking individuals, not every shop owner was joining. An open letter appearing in a trade magazine to all body shop owners asked, “… if there were 58,000 body shops in the U.S., and only 2,500 were members of the Automotive Service Councils, 1,400 were members of the Independent Automotive Service Association, and in its first 120 days, 225 were members of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists, then where were the rest of the shops and had they not joined any industry association?” The letter was written and signed by John Loftus, then president of the SCRS. Today, there is still a call for more people to get involved in trade associations and take an active role in their own industry. Human nature says we will never get everyone involved; but, look how far we’ve come with the people who have donated their time and expertise.

Volkswagen to Begin Development and Production of Lithium-Ion Batteries by Joey Klender,

German automaker Volkswagen has announced that it has taken steps to begin the development and production of lithium-ion battery cells to use in future vehicles. The company has currently staffed 300 employees to the preliminary battery project, but it has its sights set on potential battery mass production activities in the future. Volkswagen plans to invest 900 million euros into the development of vehicle batteries. “We can now produce cells that we develop ourselves on an industrial scale. In other words, the processes are very similar to mass production and, in the end, the products are ultimately representative of tests on our test stands or in our cars,” said Frank Blome, head of Volkswagen’s Center of Excellence in Salzgitter, Germany. Volkswagen has stated that it has plans to open a 16 GWh factory alongside the Center of Excellence in Salzgitter in 2023 or 2024. And while Blome admits that the company has a lot to learn regarding batteries, VW plans to utilize information from industry leaders, like

long-term, with recycling already working today. The market does not yet provide the quantities of old batteries. But the procedures are likely to be earlier than the batteries actually do,” Blome said. They plan to open the battery recycling plant by 2020. Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal seems to be moving behind them, and with the company’s intentions to develop and produce its own batteries it Volkswagen e-Golf electric car. Credit: seems that they are lookers, and we also recommend certain ing to expedite the process. A move technologies to our suppliers, both in in the right direction, perhaps Volkthe manufacturing process and in the swagen will begin to regain the redesign of the cell, and thus have op- spect of those who look at vehicle portunities to improve our cars by corporations to combat the global using the bringing innovations first,” climate crisis. Blome added. The new plant will create 700 We thank for reprint new jobs for Volkswagen and they permission. also plan to move “specially-qualified” employees from the existing plant to the new lithium-ion battery LIKE US ON production plant. The German automaker will also FACEBOOK : open a recycling plant for its lithiumion batteries that will dispense and reuse materials. “Yes, that’s pretty Swedish company Northvolt, in order to create the most cost-effective, high-quality product possible. “Of course, we want to bring everything we do here to our suppli-

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

Industry Training with Stacey Phillips

The Growth of “Emerging Technologies” in Collision Repair Shops Blockchain, artificial intelligence, systems and this is something that 5G and edge computing. These are we as an industry need to come to just some of the emerging technolo- grips with.” gies collision repairers will likely encounter in the future, said Fred Iantorno, vice president of Internet of Things (IoT) for VeriFacts Automotive. Iantorno, former executive director of the Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA), offered insight during a Guild 21 webinar in September about a variety of technologies that are becoming more Fig. 1 5G commonplace in the industry. “People refer to these as emergIantorno highlighted eight emerging technologies,” said Iantorno. ing technologies collision repairers “Well, they are not emerging any- should be aware of— more. They are here today, and they are all around us.” Iantorno: 5G is faster than 4G. It Although many of them may not does have greater speed, but it is also be found in a typical repair shop, lower latency; in other words, it’s Iantorno said it’s important to be more responsive. A message goes aware of what’s coming and currently through more rapidly and responses being used by other industries. can come back faster. There is also “Technology has grown faster an ability to connect to more ‘smart’ and has become more perdevices. Every piece of elecvasive in the last five years tronics can now be conthan it has in the previous nected: lights, sensors, your 50 years,” said Iantorno. washer, dryer, garage door, George Avery, host of even the oven! And the cost the Guild 21 webinar, is coming down tremenasked Iantorno to share his dously. thoughts about the current Fred Iantorno, vice The number of connected state of the industry as it re- president of Internet devices to the Internet alof Things (IoT) for lates to technology. ready exceeds the number of VeriFacts Automotive “Two of the biggest humans on the planet. There challenges are vehicle structure and are predictions that in time, there will safety systems,” said Iantorno. be 1,000 connected devices for every In regard to vehicle structure, he man, woman and child. talked about the high-strength steels, With 5G and the use of cloudcomposites and other new materials based apps, collision repair facilities that are increasingly being used in are going to need good, reliable Wivehicles. Fi. Without it, it’s going to be a chalIn addition, he said safety sys- lenge to connect to or print a repair tems all come down to one word: Ad- procedure and will lead to inefficienvanced Driver-Assistance Systems cies in shops. (ADAS). “These systems are not only Iantorno: AI is creeping into almost being used in high-end vehicles, like every facet of our lives—through our Mercedes-Benz and BMW, but they smartphones, cars, and home auare also starting to show up in stan- tomation. In fact, a form of AI is sitdard vehicles such as the Toyota ting in the thermostat of my house. It Corolla, Buick Encore and Volkswa- knows when I like to lower the temgen Jetta,” said Iantorno. “There’s a perature and it has learned my habits. lot of technology embedded in these This is part of machine learning



Fig. 2 Artificial Intelligence (AI)

(ML)—which is based on the idea that systems can learn from data. You may have also heard of deep learning—a subset of ML. AI will accompany every technology implemented moving forward and is already impacting our industry. For example, AI is the engine that drives photo estimates. Intelligent First Notice of Loss (FNOL) is another AI function that can originate from a vehicle or a smartphone.

Iantorno: Most of us have heard about blockchain in terms of bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Those are just some of its applications. Blockchain is the underlying technology in which you have distributed digital ledgers. It’s used in today’s manufacturing companies to improve their supply chain. It’s also used in health care, electronic companies and in the financial sector. With this technology, every

Fig. 3 Blockchain

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party has a copy of the entire ledger and access to all the data. If somebody changes the data, everyone will be informed. This provides full transparency.

Iantorno: IoT is not a technology. It’s more like an umbrella for everything to be connected and perform various functions. An example is when your phone communicates with your doorbell or TV.

edge computing, that device talks directly to other devices and to/from a local processing device. You may be wondering why this is important technology. Earlier, I mentioned that billions of de-

“The number of connected devices to the Internet already exceeds the number of humans on the planet,” — Fred Iantorno

Fig. 4 Internet of Things (IoT)

However, like anything else, there are parts of the transaction that you as a supplier, for example, don’t have a need to know, so that is hidden. Within our industry, think about blockchain as the documentation that covers every step of the repair cycle from the initial FNOL to the estimate to the repair order to the parts order until final settlement. All of this information is sitting in a block, which is chained together. There are already implementations being used in our industry; for example, in subrogation.

The latest versions of the tools and equipment found in a collision repair facility either contain a computer or some sort of “edge-computing” device. Therefore, if a shop has any of the latest model tools or equipment, you are already on your way to being a connected shop.

Iantorno: Edge computing relates to 5G, Wi-Fi, mesh networking and IoT. 5G lowers the latency and the networks, meaning data can travel faster between servers and devices; whereas, edge computing takes care of the processing needs. For example, with cloud-based technologies, your data goes into the cloud; it is processed, and then comes back. With

vices are going to be connected. As a result, it’s essential to get computing down to a lower level, so things happen quicker. Otherwise, think about how much computing power you will need in the cloud. Even though it looks and sounds limitless, if you start to move some of

that down lower, you’ll get better results and AI will operate faster. With greater speed, lower latency and being able to connect more devices, edge computing is going to be necessary. (Fig. 6)

Iantorno: With virtual reality, you wear specialized glasses and the object you see through the glasses is

Fig. 6 Virtual vs. Augmented Reality

not there, hence the word “virtual.” It appears to be right in front of you, but it isn’t. This is useful when it is costly to train multiple technicians on how to use a piece of equipment. Augmented reality, on the other hand, uses several devices. You can still wear glasses; however, a tablet

Fig. 5 Edge Computing

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or phone may be used instead. The object you are seeing is physically in front of you, but the technology overlays a two- or three-dimensional graphic or video in a way that aids a person to perform a task. For example, if you want to bolt something on a vehicle, augmented reality will walk you through the steps. Repairers should be prepared for this technology to be used in in the future.

Iantorno: 3D printing has the potential to turn every enterprise, even if it’s a small business or home workshop, into a factory. Not only does it

Fig. 7 3D Printing

have the ability to print small parts, but it also has the potential to print larger parts such as bumper skins or passenger seats. For example, there are European companies building driver seats in a couple of days using 3D printing. Some MSOs are dabbling in printing small clips and other things of that nature. Almost anything can be made with a 3D printer. With a $3,000 printer, you have the ability to print a wide variety of items. The “ink” that is used for the printing, such as silver or aluminum, is what can become costly; however, the price points are starting to come down. Iantorno: The use of robotics is an interesting topic that I predict we will see more of in collision repair shops over the next couple of years. The International Federation of Robotics said there will be 2.1 million industrial robots installed in factories around the world by 2021. Robots manufacture today’s phones, vehicles, appliances, and can paint almost everything. For example, there is a plant outside Chicago that runs 24/7 and robots do all of the paint

CREF Names Sulkala Family Scholarship Recipient

Fig. 8 Robotics

production. If you can paint a car in a factory, why not be able to paint it in a repair facility? Maybe not with today’s paint booth or physical layout, but why not? In summary, I believe there are a lot of technologies we should be learning about as we plan our collision repair businesses. This isn’t something you have to have an absolute working knowledge of in order to appreciate it. We need to know what’s taking place and what is driving the changes within the industry. We also need to be openminded and learn about them even if we don’t want to. If you embrace the change, it can be fun.

The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) announced the recipient of the Sulkala Family Scholarship. The Sulkala Family scholarship program honors Chuck Sulkala, NABC founder and executive director, who retired last year. Sulkala is also a Trustee Emeriti of the Foundation. The 2019 Sulkala Family Scholarship recipient, Joseph Silbaugh, Dunwoody College of Technology, Minneapolis, will receive a $2,000 scholarship to fund his education in the collision industry. “The Sulkala family has given so much to this industry, it’s an honor to keep that influence going and support the next generation of collision industry professionals,” said Stacy Bartnik, who is both a past chair of the Foundation Board of Trustees and of the NABC. “Chuck’s dedication to the future of the industry through his longstanding support of the Foundation since it was founded 28 years ago makes this scholarship a natural way to ensure that the Sulkala Family continues to help our industry into the future.”

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

with Ed Attanasio

Do You Know Anyone Who Needs to “Digitally Diet?” Many of us have been on diets over the years. Anything in excess is bad, which was precisely what my aunt told me after she saw me eat an entire large pizza on a dare at age 12. Her advice resonated with me a few hours later when I got a Babe Ruth size stomachache and had to live on Pepto-Bismol for the next 48 hours. The valuable lesson I learned back then is that anything pleasurable is addicting and, evidently, spending time on our personal devices fits neatly into that category. It’s become a big problem that’s affecting both men and women, young and old equally, it seems. It’s easy to get addicted to our personal devices that can change our lives in many ways—both good and bad. As a busy collision repair professional, you’re balancing half a dozen things simultaneously, and much of it involves your cellphone. You need to

text an insurance agent; call your paint his phone. If he’s awake, it means jobber; send several emails to em- he’s connected to his earplugs which seals him away from the real world, ployees, customers and vendors, etc. Digital overload is affecting which he likes. The Millennial is now a hardcore app addict people so much that many with more than 100 on his are doing a “digital detox,” phone (the national average where they go cold turkey is 30, how many do you over a period of time. To have?) And as the senior in me, that sounds a little the room, I’m not techdaunting and I fear I might savvy enough to get adlose my mind from digital Roger-Henson dicted, but that doesn’t withdrawal. Everyone has their own Credit: Ed Attanasio mean I’ll ever stop trying. reason to digitally diet. The other day, The other day, it took me more than I was out with some people who rep- 20 minutes just to change my fantasy resented three age groups—I was the football lineup via my new iPhone! Digital addictions are not limited senior (61); there was a Millennial (32), and we were accompanied by a to smartphones either. Video game Gen Xer (23). We didn’t have much addiction is a serious issue worldwide in common, except for the fact that with kids (and adults) playing games we all admittedly spend too much for 15-plus hours daily and have detached from society completely as a time on our personal devices. The Gen Xer is a huge music result. My friends had to recently fan and has more than 800 songs on send their 17-year-old son to a video

game rehab boot camp to the tune of $15,000—and it did not work. My niece sent more than 1,200 texts one month, many of which were pictures of food. I can see if you’re eating a fancy dinner, but McDonald’s? In this always-on and connected world, it’s just too easy to find ourselves repetitively staring at screens and mindlessly swiping through pablum online for countless hours while the real world quickly passes us by. In a study conducted this year by KDA Engineering, most Americans (92%) believe that smartphone addiction is a real issue. Although 60% of Americans believe they touch their cellphone 100 times or less daily, the reality is that a typical user taps, touches, glances at or swipes their phone a shocking 2,617 times per day, according to Dscout Research. See “Digitally Diet?”, Page 49

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

ASA’s September Webinar Emphasizes Importance of Cybersecurity On Sept.18, ASA hosted the newest installment of the association’s monthly Webinar Wednesday series featuring Tekmetric CEO Sunil Patel who presented “Cybersecurity 101 for Shop Owners.” Attendees were welcomed by ASA Vice President Tony Molla who introduced the webinar’s presenter and explained that the webinar was designed to teach the basics of shop’s internet security, firewalls and how to protect data, as well as to explore best practices involved in securing your network and the differences between cloud-based and locally-installed shop management systems. Attendees also learned about the most common security holes that currently exist in collision repair and automotive shops and what can be done to protect against them. Molla introduced Patel who began by explaining, “Cybersecurity is a newer buzzword, and one of the hardest things for people to grasp is that cybersecurity is not tangible; it’s security that you can’t see or feel or touch. It’s a matter of protecting yourself against the criminal or unauthorized use of electronic data or the measures taken to achieve this. Security is one of the utmost things we’ve created in our software.” Some people argue that the threat to cybersecurity has been somewhat inflated, and Patel concurred that most individual single shop operators probably have little to worry about because they don’t have enough data that is marketable on the black market. He said, “We’re not a major target for these hackers, but we still need to be careful with the changes in technology.” Patel began his presentation by defining some technological terms. He compared the IP address to a shop’s physical address and ports to a shop’s windows, noting this is where information is transferred. He also explained that firewalls are used to protect the user’s internet and devices, defining it as “the guardian or gatekeeper that allows traffic between your network and the internet.” After briefly describing some


notable security attacks in 2019, including Lake City, FL’s, payment of $460,000 after a ransomware attack and the attack against 30,000 computers in the Atlanta Police Department, Patel answered the most pressing cybersecurity question: why? The reasons for cybersecurity attacks are various. A victim may have valuable data that is worth something on the dark web, though Patel said that’s rare in the automotive industry. Some hackers just attempt attacks for fun or practice, while the most common reason is to earn money through ransomware attacks since victims are usually willing to pay to unlock their data. Cybersecurity attacks can be crippling to a business, and though competitors can initiate such an attack, Patel said that’s uncommon and not generally expected. The biggest threats for the automotive industry in 2019 are phishing, ransomware and vehicle jacking. Phishing is a means of attempting to fish for valuable information and becomes increasingly sophisticated with machine learning. Ransomware is the most common attack and usually occurs as a result of a simple click on an incorrect link which locks the computer down and encrypts the data, preventing the user from unlocking it unless they pay the ransom, most commonly in the form of a wire transfer. In vehicle jacking, hackers take control of the victim’s vehicle. In 2014, DARPA funded a hacking attempt to prove how easy it was by inserting a line of code in a GM Impala and completely taking the vehicle over via WLAN. Patel noted, “As vehicles get more and more complex, technologies that were manual are now electronic and can be accessed remotely through the network. It’s easier to take over vehicles that are all electronic.” The biggest issues for independent repair facilities are employee theft of shop information, credit card skimming, outdated firewalls and security protocols being used, and too many holes in the infrastructure. Patel also discussed the increasing


prevalence of Personally Identifiable Information (PII), which involves hackers piecing together data that enable them to steal someone’s identity. “If you’re storing information on premises which includes customer’s vehicle, address, date of birth, this is information you can use to identify a person, and you can’t store this information. If someone was to steal this data, they can identify a person, and this can lead to identity thefts,” Patel stated. “Be careful with the ‘customer notes’ section of your shop management system - we’ve noticed some information being written here, such as credit card numbers, and this is not a secure space for confidential information.” Providing basic precautions that shops can take to protect their information from cybersecurity risks, Patel advised, “Keep your router and firewall secure. Change your default

password – you should always change that. Update your router and firewall regularly with the latest firmware. Create a separate guest; your customer should not be on your private network. It shouldn’t even be open to employees unless they’re using a shop tool. Ensure all your computers are up-to-date. It’s annoying, but it’s very important to ensure it’s on the latest version. Updates usually come out because vulnerabilities were found.” Patel then explored the differences between cloud-based and onpremise shop management systems. An on-premise system relies on the security of the shop’s hardware which may be damaged, plus it requires manual updates, constant infrastructure updates, and manual backups. In contrast, cloud-based systems are secure in the cloud with See Cybersecurity Webinar, Page 49


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Post Repair Calibration – A Growing Crisis by Gary Ledoux

Have you, as a body shop owner or manager, ever taken a vehicle to an OE car dealer for a post-repair recalibration on an Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) vehicle only to get the “deer in the headlights” look from the dealership service manager, or simply be told the car does not require recalibration … even though you know it is required? If you have, welcome to the club. ADAS systems, once used only on high-line cars, are now seen in almost every vehicle. Even the ubiquitous “every-man car,” the Honda Civic has had ADAS components for several years. Mark Olson of Vehicle Collision Experts LLC (VECO Experts) of Seattle, a noted industry leader and consultant wants to reverse this trend by bringing it to the attention of the OE’s through as much anecdotal evidence as can be mustered before the industry week at this year’s SEMA show. His message to the OE’s will be to encourage them to properly train dealership personnel on the

need for, and how to perform postcollision repair recalibration for those vehicles with ADAS systems.

Anecdotal Evidence Mounts On Sept. 3, Olson sent out a call to the industry at large via social media asking for particular instances including names, types of vehicles involved, etc. Some of the early responses revealed the following: • A general manager for an independent body shop located in upstate New York noted, “GM, Toyota and Chrysler dealers have all said to me ‘… is the light on? No? Then it is fine.’ I have literally begged them to do diagnostic and calibration with little to no success. • A manager for a Fix Auto shop in Canada wrote, “What I am seeing is position statements from the car makers about how something has to be done. Recalibrate a mirror that has been R&I only, and then take the vehicle to the dealer for them to turn around and say it didn’t need it. Dealers going against what their companies’ position statements

are. How are we supposed to keep up if local dealers get to change the rules?” • An independent body shop in the upper mid-west wrote about work his shop had done on a 2018 Nissan Murano. “We had the vehicle towed to the [Nissan] dealership. Shortly after it was dropped off, they called and said it didn’t need a calibration on the front radar. I told them it did. They called back a while later and said they talked to their “A” mechanic at their other store and it did not need a calibration. I told them I was going to go on the Nissan tech site, print the exact procedure for the calibration, they were to perform it and bill me for it accordingly.” • Another upper mid-west body shop owner experienced a problem with a Subaru, similar to the Fix Auto shop in Canada. He wrote, “We will provide adjusters with the repair procedures for recalibration and they will call the dealer and the dealer will tell them the opposite of the Subaru procedures. We don’t have the backing from the dealership.”

• The same shop owner had some issues with a GM dealer when he brought a collision-repaired car to that dealership for recalibration. Thinking ahead, the shop owner went into the vehicle’s shop manual, found the documentation regarding recalibration and brought them to the dealership. The shop manager continues, “When I handed them the documents, they said they never saw those documents and asked where I got them. The service department spoke with their own body shop about the inspections and since their body shop wasn’t doing them … it wasn’t needed.” In another instance with a Honda vehicle, the shop owner received a call from the Honda dealer service manager asking how a particular calibration was supposed to be performed. The shop owner printed the procedure right out of the Honda repair manual and sent it to the dealer. Wake Up and Smell the Liability Asked about this situation, veteran collision repair and consumer advo-


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cate Erica Eversman, J.D. founder and principal of the Automotive Education & Policy Institute, noted, “If a body shop brings a car to an OE dealership, the recognized authority and representative of the OE, and the dealer service manager tells the shop that the car in question does not need to be recalibrated, or if they accept the car for recalibration, do a cursory or otherwise incomplete job and hand the car back to the body shop, it could be argued in court that the body shop should reasonably expect that the dealer knew what they were doing, accept the job as-is and move on. In this case, the body shop could have a legitimate defense – assuming the jury bought it; however, you would have to go through the entire mess and cost of a trial to discover this. Or the jury could simply say that as a collision repair facility, ‘you should have known better’ and still find you at fault.” Some industry people feel that improperly repaired ADAS systems, or failing to recalibrate them properly could be a ticking time bomb for the industry. It could be a replay of the John Eagle case.

An “Invisible” Problem One of the major problems with the issue of recalibration … or lack thereof, is that it is difficult to “see.” Consumers, the ones most directly affected by having a post-collision car properly recalibrated don’t know enough about it to ask the right questions. And even if they did know what questions to ask, they should be asking the OE, and there really is no direct contact between consumers and the OE. Independent body shops don’t have a direct line to the OE for twoway communication. All that exists is electronic access to that OE’s repair materials …. which many fail to read. Every OE has field representatives to call on dealers which allow a back and forth exchange. And they all have similar areas of responsibility. But rarely does the topic of proper post-repair recalibration come up. First … only about 38% of dealerships have their own body shops. Second, when the OE rep walks into a dealership, they usually have their own agenda for the day – objectives to be met and people to see. These may include dealing with warranty

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customers, technician training, introduction of new programs, etc., but rarely does it include topics germane to collision repair. What is the Answer? When asked what body shops should do to protect themselves, Eversman replied, “Shops should do their own homework and know what needs to be done relative to scanning and recalibration. If they can do it themselves in-house, all the better. If they have to sublet it to a dealer, know what needs to be done, and present the dealer with that documentation. When the car is retrieved, demand signed documentation that the car has been properly recalibrated based on the OE protocols.” Eversman continued, “Knowing what needs to be done to which car regarding scanning and recalibration should be on the shoulders of the shop’s estimator. And to help them, the onus of supplying that information should rest with the estimating systems so they are truly helping shops make a safe and complete repair. In that same vein, the OE’s could do more to make their respective dealers aware of this GEORGIA

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situation and how to address it. A body shop representative should not get a ‘deer in the headlights look’ from dealer personnel when the subject of recalibration is brought up.” Jerry Dalton, president of Dalton Collision with two locations in Tennessee said in a social media posting, “We ALWAYS look up and print OEM calibration procedures, discuss with service if they have necessary equipment, hand them instructions, and then make them document that the calibration has been performed. Then, we test drive the car to ensure the system functions properly.” Chuck Olsen, senior VP of Operations & Automotive Technology for AirPro Diagnostics said, “I recommend when a collision shop identifies the need for a calibration to bring documentation with them including parts replaced and repair procedures performed. Include the calibration needed and the service information that calls for it based on what was done.” Olsen continued, “After going to the dealer, or any other sublet provider, save your dealer documentation on what they did, perform a NO. CAROLINA

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road test and validate functionality. Make sure to ask for scan results showing all systems are clear or post-scan it yourself to document. In defense of dealership techs and advisors, most have not been exposed to this until a body shop comes in and asks for it.” A Wider Scope Ideally, body shops should be able to conduct recalibrations in-house. This could improve cycle time and the shop would know it was completed. However, given the complexity of recalibrating some systems on some cars, the time needed, and the cost of equipment, some body shops are going to continue to bring the repaired vehicle back to the dealer. So at minimum, the dealer should be able to know what is needed to scan and recalibrate the brand and models of cars their dealership handles. If you are a body shop that has had trouble getting an OE dealer to recalibrate a post-repaired vehicle, please send your story to Mark Olson of VECO Experts to mark@ or call Olson at 888-362-2511.

Continued from Page 43

“Digitally Diet?”

Going to sleep at night doesn’t release you from a cellphone addiction. It’s the last thing most people look at before going to bed at night, according to the study. Of the respondents, 44% had been woken up by the noise, and 41% by the light from a mobile phone in the bedroom. 74% of the respondents used mobile technology in the shared bed at least once a week. However, only 18% reported using a shared smartphone or tablet together in bed. Americans claim that they “somewhat or strongly agree that periodically ‘unplugging’ or taking a ‘digital detox’ is important for their mental health. So, how does all of this digital dieting impact your business as a body shop owner or manager? The owner of Advertising Business Consultants, Inc. in San Jose, CA, Roger Henson is a 40-year advertising/marketing veteran, so he was there before the Internet and smartphones began impacting our lives. The evolution is a good thing, but

You’re Going To

many people can’t handle it, Henson said. “I tell my kids to control the amount of time they spend on their smartphones because extreme use can cause problems like Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), ‘text neck’ and eye strain. If you need to be connected, try to use your laptop, ideally at a proper workstation. People are now designating no-device times; stepping away from incessant buzzing notifications for incoming calls, emails, texts, etc. and giving social media a timeout.” As a marketing guru, what does Henson tell his body shop clients about their presence online and how digital dieting might affect them? “In today’s collision repair industry, there are plenty of great apps out there that are convenient for consumers and make the industry more efficient altogether,” he said. “I never blame technology when people complain about using it too much or having other issues with it. Technology makes our lives easier both personally and professionally, but the impulse to overdo it will always be there. If you’re using a photo app or aggressively pursuing social media for your shop, continue doing it.”

Continued from Page 44

Cybersecurity Webinar

state-of-the-art technology trusted by banks. They are automatically updated and backed up and can be accessed from anywhere in the event of a disaster that prevents access to the repair facility. Patel stressed, “A locally installed system can never be as secure as a cloud-based system.” Once Patel’s presentation concluded, Molla presented attendees’ concerns for the question-and-answer portion of the webinar event. Patel pointed out, “It’s just another type of crime that’s going to continue to happen.” ASA’s October Webinar Wednesday on Oct. 16 will feature Brian Farrington, ASA’s Wage & Hour attorney, who will discuss “Countering the Dealership Overtime Exemption.” On Oct. 30, the association will also offer a Bonus Webinar entitled “Let’s Get Technical on Coolants” with Robert Bassett of the Gates Corporation. For more information on ASA, its events and future webinars, visit


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RI, OK, and WV Top the Nation for Worst Road Infrastructure On top of taxpayer dollars, it’s estimated that driving on roads in need of repair costs motorists $120 billion in vehicle repairs and operating costs – $533 per driver, according to a recent report by QuoteWizard.

QuoteWizard found a correlation between states that use funds to maintain roads and states that rank well overall for road infrastructure. States with poor road infrastructure had higher costs per driver and typically poor road conditions across the board. Key Findings:

• Rhode Island, Oklahoma and West Virginia top in the nation for worst road infrastructure.

QuoteWizard, a LendingTree company, and one of the nation’s leading online insurance marketplaces released its report on states with the worst road infrastructure finding that 61% of highways nationwide are in fair to poor condition. Transportation for America estimates a cost of $231 billion a year to keep our existing road network in acceptable repair. While analyzing FHA data,

• Tennessee, Georgia and Florida best in the nation for road infrastructure. • Top ten states with the worst infrastructure cost drivers an annual average of $752 from poor road conditions.

• Top five states with the worst infrastructure spend below the national average of 30% on-road repairs. Obtained via PR Newswire.

Study Finds Costs to Own a New Car are up 24% in 2019 by Shawn Goggins, iFIBER ONE News

The costs to own and maintain a new vehicle are going up according to an AAA study. The study says finance costs on new cars have jumped 24% in 2019, pushing the average annual cost of vehicle ownership to $9,282, or $773.50 a month. That’s the highest cost associated with new vehicle ownership since AAA began tracking expenses in 1950. “Finance costs accounted for more than 40% of the total increase in average vehicle ownership costs,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director for Automotive Engineering & Repair. “AAA found finance charges rose more sharply in the last 12 months than any major expense associated with owning a vehicle.” The big bump in finance charges comes from rising federal interest rates and higher vehicle prices. The new figures come from Your Driving Costs, which reviews nine categories of vehicles-consisting of 45 models – to determine the average annual operating and ownerships costs of each. AAA focuses

on top-selling, mid-priced models and compares them across six expense categories: fuel prices, maintenance/repair/tire costs; insurance rates; license/registration/taxes; depreciation; and finance charges. Annual average costs increased in each category. Of all costs, depreciation, a measure of how quickly a car loses value, remains the single biggest cost of ownership, accounting for more than a third (36%) of the average annual cost. Average fuel costs rose to 11.6 cents per mile, 5% higher than last year. Electricity prices for EV charging also rose 0.1 cent per kilowatthour (0.08%). Average maintenance and repair costs climbed marginally to 8.94 cents per mile, up 8.9% over last year. The increase was fueled by the growing complexity of vehicle systems and an updated methodology for calculating repair costs. The cost of licenses, registration fees and taxes rose $14 to $753 per year, an increase of 1.9%. We thank iFIBER ONE News for reprint permission.

CCC Enables Repairers to Reach Customer Engagement Milestone CCC Information Services Inc. (CCC) announced that a new customer engagement milestone was reached through its CCC ONE Platform. In the third quarter, CCC ONE powered nearly three million unique digital connections – one million in a single month – and enabled collision repair facilities to exchange more than 13 million individual messages with the customers they serve. “We have used UpdatePlus for a long time and have seen marked improvements in our customer satisfaction scores,” said Ryan Cropper, Able Body Shop. “By keeping customers informed of the status of their vehicle we remove concerns and questions about whether their car will be returned on time.” The CCC ONE Platform powers mobile and digital experi-

ences for shops to connect and engage with their customers at every point in the repair process, from booking appointments, to check-in

• Delivery to 100 Mile Radius of Naples PARTS HOURS: at the shop, staying in touch throughout the repair, and measuring customer satisfaction once repairs are complete. “CCC is constantly investing in the success of our clients, equipping repair facilities with a modern, mobile means to deliver best-inclass customer service,” said Mark Fincher, vice president, Market Solutions for CCC. Obtained via PR Newswire.

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Does Automatic Emergency Braking With Pedestrian Detection Work? by David A. Wood,

Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection is marketed as safety technology, but research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found the systems didn’t do much at all. And at night the technology did nothing to prevent crashes with pedestrians, a bad sign considering 75% of pedestrian deaths occur at night. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: “A pedestrian automatic emergency braking (PAEB) system is an emerging safety technology that provides automatic braking for vehicles when pedestrians are in the forward path of the vehicle’s travel and the driver has taken insufficient action to avoid an imminent crash.” About 6,000 pedestrians are killed each year in the U.S., so the prospect of technology to reduce those fatalities is seen as promising. AAA researchers used four midsize sedans equipped with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection (2019 Chevy

Malibu, 2019 Honda Accord, 2019 Tesla Model 3 and 2019 Toyota Camry) and put them on a closed course using simulated pedestrians. The best results involved a car doing 20 mph during the day with an adult crossing the road, but even then, the braking/pedestrian

time with the car traveling 20 mph when a child ran out from between two vehicles.

• All of the test vehicles collided with the adult pedestrian after the car made a right-hand turn.

• When approaching two adults standing alongside the road and with the vehicle traveling 20 mph, a collision occurred 80% of the time. • The systems were generally ineffective in all situations where the vehicle was traveling 30 mph.

systems avoided collisions only 40% of the time. By taking the speed of the car to 30 mph, most systems completely failed to avoid the pedestrian target. That may sound bad, but other driving scenarios were even more challenging for the braking systems. AAA provided the following depressing results. • A collision occurred 89% of the

• At night, none of the systems detected or reacted to the adult pedestrian.

According to researchers at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, automakers have the right intentions in creating automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection systems, but the technology has a long way to go before drivers and pedestrians can feel safe. We thank for reprint permission.

Repairify Welcomes New CFO

Repairify, Inc., a leading cloudbased automotive technology and diagnostic services provider, announced the appointment of Teresa Covington as its chief financial officer. Covington will join the organization’s senior leadership team and lead the company’s global finance operations. Covington is a strategic financial executive with more than 20 years of C-level experience with publicly-held and privatelyowned companies. Most recently, Covington was heading the global Finance organization at AeroVironment, a publicly-traded technology company in aerospace and defense that designs, manufactures, and distributes unmanned aerial vehicles. “I am very excited and eager to join asTech and to work with an extraordinary group of professionals. My aspiration is to apply my passion and experience in technology and operations to build and lead a strong finance team for a company with a global mission to make the world a safer place,” Covington said.



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Amazon Buys 100,000 Rivian Electric Trucks in Pursuit of Carbon Neutrality by Nick Lavars, New Atlas

Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian has landed itself a new customer, and a monumental one at that. The world’s largest retailer, Amazon, has signed on to buy 100,000 of Rivian’s zero-emission trucks as part of a wider push to clean up its business operations, which includes a commitment to be completely carbon neutral by 2040.

These early glimpses of its engineering chops were enough to attract $700 million of investment in February this year, with Amazon itself leading the charge.

The e-commerce giant is now doubling down on its relationship with the automotive startup, announcing an order of no less than 100,000 Rivian electric delivery trucks. This, according to Amazon, is the largest order of electric vehicles in history. And considering that is around how many total vehiJeff Bezos launched The Climate Pledge on Thursday, cles Tesla was able to deliver Sept. 19, which commits Amazon to being completely carbon neutral by 2040. Credit: Amazon in an entire record-setting quarter after a tumultuous Rivian has made quite a splash time getting its manufacturing processes since rolling into 2018’s LA Auto up to speed, that will be no small underShow to debut a pair of electrified ve- taking for an electric vehicle maker, hicles, its R1T pickup and R1S SUV. much less one that is just getting started.

In any case, having Amazon onside certainly won’t do these efforts any harm. The retailer expects these electric vans to begin delivering packages for customers as early as 2021, and to have all 100,000 of them on the road by 2030. This forms part of a new environmental initiative launched by CEO Jeff Bezos on Thursday, Sept. 19, called The Climate Pledge, which commits the company to being completely carbon neutral by 2040, im-

come a part of the pledge. “We’re done being in the middle of the herd on this issue – we’ve decided to use our size and scale to make a difference,” says Bezos. “If

Amazon expects Rivian’s electric vans to being delivering packages for customers as early as 2021. Credit: Amazon

Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian has landed itself a new customer, and a monumental one at that in Amazon. Credit: Amazon

plement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement and measure and report its greenhouse gas emissions along the way. It hopes other companies will sign on to be-

a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon – which delivers more than 10 billion items a year – can meet the Paris Agreement ten years early, then any company can.” We think New Atlas for reprint permission.

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Continued from Page 32

Where the “Puck” Is Going

where the puck is going” is by reviewing your staffing. Do you have technicians, estimators or managers who are likely to retire in the next three-five years? Have you thought about what you are going to do to replace them? Start working on that strategy now rather than later. Get a game plan in place. Start building your “bench” or “farm team” of talent, so that when those people retire, you are prepared with someone who you can move into those positions. It’s not always easy to know exactly where the “puck” is going. Being able to do that is part of what set Gretsky apart from so many other hockey players. I believe the same will be true for the shops that keep looking for where the industry is headed and taking steps to be there.


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National Association Event Announcements: November 2019 by Chasidy Rae Sisk

ASA’s November Webinar Wednesday Focuses on the New Smartphone Consumer On Nov. 20, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) will host its monthly Webinar Wednesday at 1 p.m. EST. The November edition of

the series will be “The New Smartphone Consumer,” taught by Jason Soto of MobileSoft Technology. Soto will educate participants on key mobile app features shop owners can use to increase car count and how facilities can benefit from a mobile app, plus he’ll share success stories from shop owners who have launched their own app. For more information or to register, visit WIN to Host Drop-In Lunch During SEMA

On Wednesday, Nov. 6, the Women’s Industry Network (WIN) invites members, sponsors and designated guests to join the association for a quick networking lunch along with an update about WIN. The lunch will take place from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in Room N221 of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Those interested in attending must RSVP by visiting WIN’s website: womensindustry YANG Happy Hour During AAPEX19 The Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG) will host a Networking Happy Hour at the Yardbird Southern Table & Bar inside the Ve-

netian Hotel in Las Vegas on Nov. 6. The largest networking meet-up of the year, this event is held in con-

junction with AAPEX and is open to all current and new YANG members. Refreshments will be provided, but those interested in attending must RSVP by Friday, Nov. 1. For more information, visit

DRIVE Debuts New Workshop: The Power of Trust On Nov. 18 and 19, DRIVE will debut a brand new workshop entitled “The Power of Trust” at DRIVE headquarters in Monrovia, CA. The workshop will focus on the crucial issue of trust and how it is vital for business owners to know how to earn someone’s trust and to know who to trust. The workshop will explore what trust is, how to earn trust and how to get it back once it’s lost. According to Robert Spitz, senior vice president of Curriculum for DRIVE, “DRIVE is continually striving to bring the most advanced business practices and information to our clients,” he said. “[This workshop] speak[s] directly to the newest business systems and methods our clients want to know about.” For more information about DRIVE and its workshops, visit

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SCRS Offers Members Personal Benefits

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) announces a new benefits program offering SCRS members, and their employees, the opportunity to save on personal rental vehicles. The Alamo Rent-A-Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and National Car Rental brands have partnered with the SCRS to offer an official member benefit for all employees within a member business. “We’ve had a lot of conversation surrounding ways that SCRS can enrich the lives of employees in our industry, not just the member businesses they work for,” added SCRS Chairman, Brett Bailey. “There are countless ways that this benefit can be used by our members, and we are appreciative that we have corporate partners like Enterprise who seek out ways to help extend unique experiences and offers to our other members.” For more information about SCRS, or to join as a member, please visit, call 1-877-841-0660 or email info@

Jeep Wrangler Frame Problems Lead to Investigation by David A. Wood,

A petition to investigate model year 2018 Jeep Wrangler frame weld problems has turned into a formal investigation of about 270,000 model year 2018-2019 Wranglers for potential frame issues and steering problems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received a petition in 2018 to open an investigation into alleged Wrangler frame weld problems in about 220,000 model year 2018 SUVs.

According to the petition, the frames have multiple welding defects, including a lack of weld penetration, porous welds, areas where the welds dripped and excessive leftover weld materials. In response to the petition, NHTSA contacted Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) and requested information about frame weld problems on all 2018-2019 Jeep Wrangler “JL” SUVs. Chrysler had recalled 24,000 Wranglers in 2018 because of front track bar brackets that may not have been welded properly, so NHTSA also requested information concerning complaints about steering systems that locked up, loose steering or reports of steering wobble and shimmy incidents. While safety regulators were reviewing the data, NHTSA found reports of frame weld problems not included in the 2018 recall, in addition to the discovery of more than 3,500 steering-related complaints. The government also claims

“the information that FCA provided did not adequately address whether frame weld quality deficiencies compromise the structural integrity of vehicles, and therefore may pose an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety.”

According to NHTSA, the agency needs to study any possible links between steering-related complaints and weld quality problems. Model year 2020 Jeep Wranglers are not included in the investigation and no crashes or injuries have been reported. Although no recall has been issued, FCA says it is fully cooperating with NHTSA on the investigation that will determine if a recall is warranted. We thank for reprint permission.

Mercedes-Benz Emissions Cheating Leads to Nearly $1 Billion Fine

Mercedes-Benz emissions’ cheating has cost Daimler nearly $1 billion after German prosecutors fined the automaker “based on a negligent violation of supervisory duties in the area of vehicle certification in connection with deviations from regulatory requirements in certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles.” According to the Stuttgart public prosecutor’s office, Daimler, the maker of Mercedes vehicles, violated the Administrative Offenses Act since at least 2008 due to actions of department heads. Prosecutors found evidence that Mercedes department chiefs failed in their supervisory duties by manufacturing models that didn’t meet emissions regulatory requirements. Mercedes argued in 2018 that its vehicles weren’t illegal because the emissions software was considered legal under European standards. While millions of Volkswagen vehicles were equipped with defeat devices that turned off emissions controls, Mercedes claimed its vehicles contained no 56

such devices. But according to German prosecutors, more than 860,000 Mercedes diesel vehicles failed to emit legal levels of nitrogen oxides, a fact that caused Mercedes to respond by saying it wouldn’t fight the nearly $1 billion penalty. In addition to European actions, certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles lost their certifications after South Korea’s Ministry of Environment accused Daimler of forging emissions documents. Daimler had already set aside more than 1.5 billion euros to cover fines and penalties levied for violating diesel emissions standards, but the automaker claims its thirdquarter earnings forecast won’t be updated. This newest action only occurred because of the worldwide emissions scandal caused by Volkswagen’s emissions cheating that fooled test machines and regulators for many years. We thank for reprint permission.





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November 2019 Southeast Edition  

November 2019 Southeast Edition