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38 YEARS

SOUTHWEST EDITIO N

AUTOBODY

AUTOBODYNEWS.COM

Vol. 38 / Issue 1 / January 2020

AZ / AR / CO / LA / NM / OK / TX / UT

CIC Committees Offer Ideas for Better Welding Practices, Documentation of Test Drives

Mosaic ADT Created to Achieve Repeatable, Error-Free Calibrations

by John Yoswick

by Stacey Phillips

Collision Industry Conference (CIC) committees in Las Vegas in Novem-

Toby Chess and Kye Yueng offered tips and best practices related to improving shop welding. Credit: John Yoswick

ber tackled topics ranging from better welding practices to OEM procedures and new ways of documenting increasingly detailed vehicle test drives. Toby Chess, an industry trainer who leads CIC’s “Technical Presentations” committee and who has conducted more than 6,000 I-CAR welding tests over 15 years, said at least five automakers – Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Audi/VW /Porsche – have OEM procedures with detailed instructions for performing destructive testing on plug welds and spot welds prior to weldSee CIC Committees, Page 18

There are an increasing number of vehicles on the road today with Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems

Lee Daugherty, vice president of global collision sales for Chief Collision Technology. Credit: Chief Collision Technology

Texas School Offers Students the Skills They Need to Earn Money by Scott Reese Willey, Fort Bend Herald

Albert Davis and his brothers own and operate Davis Brothers Auto Parts in Rosenberg, Texas, but his daughter can show him a thing or two about fixing cars. “She knows how to use the automated tire changer and I don’t,” Davis confessed. He and daughter Everette, 16, a junior at Lamar Consolidated High School, were among several dozen parents and students attending the school district’s auto tech program recruitment drive. Everette, a high school cheerleader, is one of the students in the pro-

gram. Students from all over Lamar Consolidated ISD campuses are bused to the classes at Lamar Consolidated.

(ADAS). As the percentage continues to rise, the greater the demand will be for calibration to ensure a proper repair, said Lee Daugherty, vice president of global collision sales for Chief Collision Technology. To help meet this growing industry need, Chief Collision Technology teamed up with Burke Porter Group to create ADAS calibration equipment. After two years in development, Mosaic Advanced Diagnostics Technology (ADT) was launched in November at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. “When a vehicle is in a collision, See Retain Employees, Page 20

Happy

Holidays From AUTOBODY

Instructors Deon Wilson and George Dishman said students spend about half the time in a classroom on computers and the other half in the two Credit: TSTC

See Texas School, Page 13

New “Unbreakable” Car Windows Making It Tough to Escape in Emergencies by Bettie Cross, CBS Austin

If you’re trapped in a vehicle that’s quickly filling up with water, breaking a window to escape might be much tougher than you think. One third of new cars have side windows that are as hard to break as front windshields. Knowing what type of window you have could be critical in an emergency. A video captured by an Austin police officer shows the last-minute rescue of three women and a dog. They were trapped on a bridge over Williamson Creek and their car was quickly filling with water. Two officers pulled them to safety one minute before the car was

swept off the bridge. It’s that type of flooding that has safety experts warning drivers about a just-exposed problem. “It’s so important for you to understand what type of windows you have,” said Daniel Armbruster with AAA Texas. That’s because a driver who gets trapped in a submerged car could be counting on a vehicle escape tool to get out. One easy strike with a hammer-style tool and the tempered glass that has typically been used for side windows shatters, creating an emergency exit. But new research from AAA shows many car manufacturers are replacing temSee “Unbreakable” Windows, Page 16

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JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com


CONTENTS ABAT’s Holiday Gala Focuses on Legislative Goals for 2020 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 ASA Texas Introduces New Executive Director . 14 Fairview, Texas, Teen Helps Samaritan Inn Resident Get Behind the Wheel Again . . . . . . 6 HD Repair Forum Opens Sponsorship Positions. 12 Lucid Motors Marks Start of Construction at Arizona Electric Vehicle Factory Site . . . . 13 New “Unbreakable” Car Windows Making It Tough to Escape in Emergencies . . . . . . . . . . 1 Quality Work Key for Payson’s Coyote

Overtime Exemptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Autoliv Introduces Airbag That Prevents Passengers From Colliding . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Automotive Industry Faces Disruption Driven by Societal Changes. . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Car-Part.com Receives Company of the Year Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Seeks Settlement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 CIC Committees Offer Ideas for Better Welding Practices, Documentation of Test Drives . . . . 1 Ford ‘Death Wobble’ Lawsuit Says F-250 and F-350 Trucks Affected . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Registration Opens for the HD Repair Forum . . . 8

GM CCA Grows My GM Partner Perks . . . . . . . 44

Southwest Association Event Announcements:

GM Seat Belt Pretensioner Fires Cause

Texas School Offers Students the Skills They Need to Earn Money . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 TSTC Collision Program Receives Service King Grant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Truck Recall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Mazda Recalls Vehicles Over Takata Airbags . . 44

Phillips - How to Position Your Collision Repair Shop for Sustainability . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Sisk - Collision Repair Industry Associations Make 2020 New Year’s Resolutions. . . . . . . 32

Error-Free Calibrations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

AAPEX 2020 to Expand With Repair Shop HQ . . 46 Another 1.4M Vehicles Added to Takata Airbag Recall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 ASA Wage & Hour Attorney Discusses

Audi South Austin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 45 AutoNation Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram

Serving Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, Colorado, Arizona, Utah and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2020 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com editor@autobodynews.com

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24-25 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . 42

of North Phoenix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Innovative Tools & Technologies. . . . . . . . 23

AutoNation Collision Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . 39

Axalta Coating Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Matrix Automotive Finishes . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Big Mike Naughton Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Mercedes-Benz of Littleton . . . . . . . . . . . 33

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 43

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . 44

Bob Howard PDC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Mirka USA, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Car-O-Liner Southwest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . 38

Certified Automotive Parts Association . . . . 8

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 27

Chevyland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

North Freeway Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Christopher’s Dodge World . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Part of the Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Classic BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Peak Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

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

Ray Huffines Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Covert-Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram. . . . . . 20

SATA Dan-Am Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Dallas Dodge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Schmelz Countryside. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Dent Fix Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center . . . . . . . 10-11

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

South Pointe Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . . . 6

Emich Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Spanesi Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Emich Volkswagen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Stevinson Toyota West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Equalizer Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 36

Finnegan Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . . . . . . 2

Symach. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Fisher Acura . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Town East Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Fisher Honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Toyota of Laredo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Flatirons Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 33

Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 40

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 41

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . 34

Fowler Honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Young Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Shops Report More Success in Getting Paid

Solving the Tech Shortage: How Conditions, Culture & Compensation Can Help Body Shops Attract & Retain Employees . . . 42 Subaru Forester Passenger Airbag Sensor Lawsuit Filed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Tesla Cybertruck Pickup Makes Its

NATIONAL

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

Mosaic ADT Created to Achieve Repeatable,

for Frame, Mechanical Procedures . . . . . . . 38 COLUMNISTS

Roy Villarreal, Service King’s apprenticeship development director in Richardson, said the company looks forward to partnering with the program on its curriculum and other needs. “The end goal is to have that easy, smooth transition for the graduates to go into one of our shops,” he said. Campbell said future work with Service King can enlighten students on how much they are needed in the auto collision and management field. For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu

Chrysler Lawsuit Involving Leaky Sunroofs

Customs Collision & Glass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

January 2020 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Texas State Technical College’s Auto Collision and Management Technology program celebrated the end of the fall semester at its barbecue on Thursday, Dec. 5. Representatives of Service King presented program faculty with a $5,000 2019 Service King School Grant through the Collision Repair Education Foundation. Clint Campbell, TSTC’s statewide auto collision and management technology chair, said the grant is an opportunity to purchase equipment the program’s budget cannot cover.

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

REGIONAL

TSTC Collision Program Receives Service King Grant

Public Debut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Tesla Model 3 Driver Ignores Road, Crashes Into Police Cruiser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Three Weeks After GM Strike, Dealers Await 2020 Models, Cut Back Hours . . . . . . . . . . . 47

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 37

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Tesla Cybertruck Pickup Makes Its Public Debut by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati.com

Tesla has revealed its highly-anticipated pickup truck to the public, and it is every bit the monster that CEO Elon Musk has made it out to be. With its aggressive stance, high ground clearance, and massive frame, the Tesla’s Cybertruck is quite a sight to behold. DESIGN The Tesla Cybertruck does not look like a traditional pickup. True to Musk’s words, the vehicle does look like a futuristic armored personnel carrier that stepped out of the set of Blade Runner. Its straight sloping roof give the pickup a streamlined yet unique look. As the Tesla CEO

Credit: Tesla

has stated in the past, the Cybertruck won’t look like any other pickup on the road today. That being said, there are several key design aspects that are notable about the Cybertruck. These include its extremely angular body, its large bed, and its high ground clearance. The Cybertruck

also has a thick stainless-steel body, which Tesla demonstrated by having a sledgehammer hit the pickup’s door panel. The vehicle is also fitted with Tesla’s Armor Glass, which un-

Credit: Tesla

fortunately cracked after a large steel ball was thrown at it onstage. The metal ball didn’t go through the glass though, which is a plus. SPECS Tesla has pretty much mastered the art of keeping the specs of its upcoming vehicles’ secret. As it turns out, the Cybertruck’s performance figures are worth the secrecy, as they are flat-out insane. The vehicle is equipped with a standard single motor and can be upgraded to dual and tri-motors. Just as Musk said, the Cybertruck, despite its size, is quite nimble, thanks to its instant torque and four-wheel steering. These ultimately allow the Cybertruck to hit 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds, with handling comparable to a Porsche. Here are other notable specs of the Tesla Cybertruck:

• 250+, 300+, and 500+ miles of range; • 3500 lbs payload; • Towing rating between 7.5k to 14k lbs; • 250 kW charging; • Off-road performance with 35 degrees approach angle, up to 16″ clearance, and 28 degrees departure angle; and • 100 cubic feet of exterior storage.

SPECIAL FEATURES Pickups are utility vehicles by nature, and as such, they are used primarily for work on locations such as farms or construction sites. Luxury pickups exist that prioritize comfort over utility, but Tesla’s monster pickup has chosen to do both. The interior of the Cybertruck is classic Tesla in the way that it’s minimalist and airy, with plush seats and a massive touchscreen that’s op-

Credit: Tesla

timized for work and even entertainment. This, however, is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the pickup truck’s notable features.

Tesla Model 3 Driver Ignores Road, Crashes Into Police Cruiser by David A. Wood, CarCompaints.com

A Tesla Model 3 driver who crashed into a parked police vehicle and then hit a disabled car says he was checking on his dog in the rear seat when the crash occurred. As in multiple Tesla crashes, instead of paying attention to the road and surroundings, the Model 3 driver said he had Autopilot engaged and didn’t notice the flashing lights on two police cruisers. According to the Connecticut State Police, the crash occurred in the early hours of Dec. 7 when officers with Troop GBridgeport responded to a disabled vehicle on Interstate 95 in Norwalk. The stationary vehicle was sitting in the left center lane with the troopers parked behind the disabled vehicle, lights flashing, and a pattern of flares placed behind the patrol cruisers. 4

While the officers were waiting for a tow truck, the 2018 Tesla Model 3 slammed into the rear of one cruiser and then hit the disabled vehicle. The Tesla continued to travel slowly before being stopped several hundred feet ahead by the second trooper at the scene. The driver said he had Autopilot engaged and was checking on his dog in the back seat when the crash occurred. State police cited the Tesla driver for misdemeanor reckless driving and reckless endangerment, and Tesla hasn’t released information concerning logs that would indicate if Autopilot was indeed engaged. Even though the license plate said, "MODEL3," the driver must not have paid attention to the owner’s manual which says to keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road when Autopilot is activated.

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

But the Connecticut driver joins other Tesla owners who believed driver-assist technology equals a fully driverless car. Based on the Connecticut crash and other crashes allegedly involving Autopilot, drivers who should have common sense chose to deactivate it when Autopilot was activated. Multiple examples abound, including the unfortunate death of Joshua Brown who was killed when his Tesla traveled straight into a tractor-trailer. There is also the Model X driver who didn’t prevent the vehicle from traveling across highway lane markers and crashing into a construction barricade. Or the Model S driver who let the car crash into a firetruck while she looked at her cell phone, or a different driver who was behind the wheel when the vehicle slammed into a firetruck. Then there is the Chinese driver of a

Others include: • 110v/220v onboard outlets; • Full Self-Driving features; and • Autopilot as standard. PRICE Earlier this year, Musk has mentioned that the Tesla Cybertruck would start at $49,000 at the highest. Tesla has stayed true to its CEO’s words, pricing the futuristic pickup truck very

Credit: Tesla

aggressively compared to other EV trucks and ICE-powered luxury pickups. Tesla’s Cybertruck does have a number of higher-priced trims, and these cost substantially more, while offering significantly more. Here’s the complete pricing of Tesla’s Cybertruck depending on its trim. • Single Motor RWD – $39,900 before options; • Dual Motor AWD – $49,900 before options; and or • Tri-Motor AWD – $69,900 before options. We thank Teslarati.com for reprint permission. Model S who believed Autopilot would allow him to take his eyes off the road as his car crashed into another vehicle. In addition, a separate crash in China killed the driver who allegedly had Autopilot engaged when the car slammed into a street sweeper. His family said he put his faith in technology he believed would do all the driving. Another Tesla driver was killed when his Model X with Autopilot engaged slammed head-on into a concrete highway divider that could have easily been avoided if the driver would have been watching his surroundings. And in a crash of a Model S, the car plowed into a disabled car at 80 mph because the driver was looking at his cell phone, believing Autopilot would prevent the crash. We thank CarCompaints.com for reprint permission.


autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Fairview, Texas, Teen Helps Samaritan Inn Resident Get Behind the Wheel Again by Liz McGathey, Star Local Media

Lakist Clemons-Fowler made sure everyone around her on Tuesday, Nov. 26, knew she was crying tears of joy. She was overwhelmed by it. Thanks to the efforts of Lovejoy High School senior Carsen McFadden of Fairview, Clemons-Fowler is now driving a new Honda Accord with her children, Timothy, Kennedy and Josiah. Over the past five months, McFadden has been working toward Tuesday’s presentation of the new car to Clemons-Fowler, who currently lives at Samaritan Inn in McKinney, Texas, Collin County’s largest homeless shelter. McFadden, whose father is president of Service King Collision Repair, knew of the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program through her father’s work. She said that throughout her life, her family has worked closely with Samaritan Inn by donating time and money. She remembered playing with the children residents with her twin sister Claire at a young age when their parents, Jeff and Stephanie, volunteered there. Bringing those two aspects of her life together was a natural fit for

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McFadden’s senior project. “The second leading problem for their residents is transportation because in Collin County we have a lack of public transportation, so a big thing for [Samaritan Inn] is getting bikes and stuff,” McFadden said.

the time to repair them like new. According to the National Auto Body Council, over 1,000 vehicles have been donated through the program since its inception in 2007.

Fairview resident Carsen McFadden, left, organized a new, donated car for Samaritan Inn resident Lakist Clemons-Fowler, right, through the Recycled Rides program. The car was donated by Geico and repaired by Service King. Credit: Liz McGathey, Star Local Media

Carsen McFadden and her friends and family collected new clothing, shoes, gift cards and other items to give Lakist ClemonsFowler along with her new car. Credit: Liz McGathey, Star Local Media

The Recycled Rides program unites insurers, collision repairers, paint suppliers, parts vendors and others to collaborate to repair and donate vehicles to deserving individuals and service organizations in local communities throughout the country. The insurance companies acquire totaled vehicles, and technicians donate

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

McFadden said she presented the project to Geico Insurance and Service King in June, and the project got off the ground with help from her mentor, Christine Barry, regional business development manager for Service King. Geico donated the vehicle, and Service King performed all the repairs. Alongside Samaritan Inn, McFadden was able to find the right family to benefit from the donation.

“It was important that we find the correct family because we want them to be able to keep the car and live off of it and not drag them down,” she said. “Samaritan Inn was very helpful in finding a specific family that it’s going to help them.” Clemons-Fowler said the last two years have been the hardest of her life. She left a bad relationship and a home of her own and more recently had to give up her vehicle. She said she’s been paying more than $250 a month just to get back and forth to work. “I’m very happy and very humbled, and I’d like to thank you, Carsen. Continue what you’re doing. You’ll do great work in the community,” Clemons-Fowler said. “Words can’t express what my heart is full of right now.” McFadden also enlisted her friends and Leopard basketball teammates to collect warm clothing and gift cards to fill the trunk of the new car with gifts. Now, two families who may have never met have forged a bond they’re both thankful for. We thank Star Local Media for reprint permission.


autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Registration Opens for the HD Repair Forum

The third annual conference is set to take place on Tuesday, March 24, and Wednesday, March 25, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel. The program will follow a similar format as last year’s event, spanning two days with presentations from OEMs, insurers, and other industry leaders during each morning’s general sessions. Attendees will gain valuable insight into industry trends allowing them to make better business decisions today and in the future. Throughout the two days, there will be extensive networking opportunities allowing shop owners, insurers, appraisers, OEMs, paint manufacturers, information providers and equipment and service companies to build relationships, conduct business, and solve problems. To register for early bird rates, please visit https://www.eis everywhere.com/hdrf2020. For additional information, please visit www.hdrepairforum.com or contact Jennie Lenk at JennieL @hdrepairforum.com.

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Southwest Association Event Announcements: January 2020 by Chasidy Rae Sisk

CAR Prepares for 2nd Annual Rocky Mountain Summit & Expo On Jan. 24-25, the Colorado Automotive Recyclers (CAR) will host their 2nd Annual Rocky Mountain Summit & Expo at the Hilton Denver Inverness in Englewood, CO. Friday night will feature a vendor appreciation reception with the bulk of the event being scheduled for Saturday.

After CAR’s Rich Murr welcomes attendees on Saturday morning, Greg Daurio of Daurio Auto Truck will present “Motivating Employees,” followed by a presentation on “Brokering/Tiering Accounts” by Car-Part.com’s Theresa Colbert. ARA will then present “Our Changing Industry – What ARA Can Do for You,” and Hollander’s Amanda Urban will discuss “Five Things You Should be Doing on eBay (That

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

You’re Probably Not). The expo floor will open at noon and remain open until 4:15 p.m. After lunch, Justin Eves of U Pull & Pay will talk about “Self Service Yard Challenges,” Sara Hamidovic from VET Environmental will present on “Environmental Safety Compliance,” and Kelly Lawlor of Car-Part.com will discuss “Social Media Basics.” The educational portion of the event will conclude with a Recyclers’ Hot Topic Roundtable, moderated by Theresa Colbert of Car-Part.com. CAR’s 2nd Annual Rocky Mountain Summit & Expo will finish with a reception and networking opportunity. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information about CAR and its events, visit coloradoautorecyclers.com. ASA Colorado Trains to New Heights at 2020 Summit On Jan. 24-25, ASA Colorado will host its 2020 Annual Summit at Lincoln Tech in Denver, CO, boasting over 25 classes plus leadership training on Friday. The association plans on “Training to new heights and building on last year’s success!” ac-

cording to Executive Director Julie Massaro. “Take part in the best training in the industry.”

Being held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Denver, Friday’s leadership conference will feature keynote speaker Bryan Dodge followed by a cocktail party and evening of fun at TopGolf in Thornton. Saturday’s agenda includes a full day of educational opportunities with some of the industry’s leading trainers as well as a vendor expo and plenty of networking. The evening will conclude with a closing party at Unser Karting & Events, sponsored by Advance Auto Parts. Event sponsors include NAPA Auto Parts, Advance Auto Parts, Bolt On Technology, Lincoln Tech, ATI and many more. For information about ASA Colorado’s 2020 Summit, visit asacolorado.org/summit.


autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS

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ABAT’s Holiday Gala Focuses on Legislative Goals for 2020 by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On the evening of Nov. 16, the Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT) hosted its 2019 Holiday Gala in San Antonio. According to ABAT President Burl Richards, “The event could not have gone better. It was a great evening with over 100 people attending. Everyone had a great time engaging with one another, eating, dancing and participating in general.” During the festivities, ABAT leadership discussed the association’s 2019 accomplishments and plans for 2020. Funds raised from the event will benefit ABAT’s PAC. Richards added, “Two legislators were in attendance, along with the local county sheriff, and they all spoke about the importance of consumer safety and how they are behind our efforts to make repaired vehicles safe and to change laws to help Texas consumers. They all expressed support for ABAT and our desire to repair vehicles properly and safely.” ABAT’s 2019 Holiday Gala “absolutely went beyond our expectations!” Richards stated, adding “It was a great idea, and I want to give credit to ABAT Board Member Manuel Rubio, owner of Miracle Body &

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Paint in San Antonio, for coming up with the idea and putting the event together. This is why our association has had great success in a short time! Our board members are committed to making a difference in our industry and their willingness to get involved and help each other is what propels us and makes our association strong. We had several board members travel up to six hours to participate in the event - that is dedication, and we look forward to bigger and better things next year!” Rubio was pleased with the Gala. He stated, “I want to thank everyone for a very successful First Annual Holiday Gala. The final numbers are not in yet, but I expect we will net over $12,000 for the event. These monies will help ABAT continue to push forward with our legislative agenda. Throughout Texas, we illustrate our commitment to work, learn and continue our educational efforts to perform as an industry to the highest levels of safety for all our Texas consumers. We are all together living and working on a great journey, to improve.” ABAT is grateful to the many vendors who contributed to the event, “especially English Color and Supply

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

whose folks came out on a Saturday, provided food and cooked for everyone,” Richards said. Additional vendors that generously supported ABAT’s Holiday Gala included English Color, Tasco Auto Color, Cavendar Toyota, Gunn Auto Group, Ancira Auto Group, Dents & Dings, Finish Masters, Color Tone Paint Company, Miracle Body & Paint, Hunter Equipment, Park Place Collision Centers & Auto Group, and Spurs & Entertainment. Rubio added, “I want to thank all our sponsors for the Gala. These folks sponsored all foods, entertainment, drinks, prizes, security, bar tenders, etc. Without their support, we could not have had such a successful event.” “These types of events bring everyone together to offer a beneficial opportunity for networking and camaraderie, along with the education component that we provide so that shops can unite and get to know one another,” Richards explained. “The hope is that these shops will feel comfortable picking up the phone and calling one another with any questions or concerns regarding our industry.” For more information about ABAT, visit abat.us.

HD Repair Forum Opens Sponsorship Positions

The 2020 event is scheduled for March 24-25 at The Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel. Registration is now open and sponsorship opportunities are already being booked. “The HD Repair Forum brings together the stakeholders of the heavy-duty collision repair industry in an effort to provide attendees with a unique opportunity to discuss trends, address industry challenges, and evaluate key business strategies,” explains Brian Nessen, president of the HD Repair Forum. The 2019 event saw significant growth from its inaugural meeting. With the guidance of advisory board members and constituents, the HD Repair Forum is addressing the needs of the industry. Throughout the two days, there will be extensive networking opportunities allowing shop owners, insurers, appraisers, OEMs, paint manufacturers, information providers, and equipment and service companies to build relationships, conduct business, and solve problems.


Continued from Cover

Texas School

state-of-the-art auto shops learning handson skills. Students who put in the effort can become ASE certified by the end of high school. At the very least, they can to repair their own automobiles later in life and save money, the instructors said. “This program is really a great opportunity for students to see if this is the career for them,” Wilson told students and parents.Students who enroll in the program learn the basics as freshmen, such as tools and basic automobile design and operations. The following years the instruction becomes more specific until “students can tear down a vehicle and rebuild it from the ground up,” Dishman explained. The auto tech program has a classroom with computers and two large mechanic bays with hydraulic lifts and other features found in professional mechanic shops. Several business professionals who work in the automotive industry spoke to students and parents. Victor Hernandez, auto shop foreman for Finnegan Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Finnegan Chevrolet in Rosenberg, told students that highlyskilled mechanics can earn great pay

right out of high school. He said his shops employs about 40 mechanics and auto body technicians. Daniel McFadden, service director of BMW in Houston, said some of his mechanics earn over $100,000 per year. Jon Maxwell, executive director of student programs for LCISD, which includes the auto tech program, invited parents and students to tour the state-of-the art auto repair facility at Lamar Consolidated. Kevin Casey of Fulshear, brought his 14-year-old son, Evan, to the recruitment drive and they liked what they saw. Evan is an eighth-grader at Leaman Junior High in Fulshear, and is considering enrolling in the auto tech program once he is a freshman. Brian Brasuell and son, Marcus, a junior at Foster High School, inspected a 1978 pickup truck the students are in the process of rebuilding. Everette Davis said she enjoys learning about repairing cars and was particularly excited to learn how to change tires. “I can even patch them,” she boasted. Davis Brothers is among the local businesses that supports the program by offering discount parts. We thank Fort Bend Herald for reprint permission.

Lucid Motors Marks Start of Construction at Arizona Electric Vehicle Factory Site Lucid Motors, together with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, the Arizona Commerce Authority, and local officials, celebrate the start

The first phase of construction for Lucid Motors’ new factory in Casa Grande, AZ, is scheduled for completion in late 2020 in readiness for start of production on the company’s first car, the Lucid Air. Credit: Lucid Motors

of construction of its electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Casa Grande, AZ. The event, designated a “ground-building” ceremony be-

cause it serves as a symbol of Lucid’s long-term commitment to the region, celebrates not only the start of construction but also Lucid’s plan for continuous growth and future products. “The Lucid Air is a cuttingedge electric vehicle designed, engineered, and destined for manufacture entirely in America,” said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid Motors. “We are proud to be moving forward on our commitment to manufacturing the Lucid Air in Casa Grande.” “Attracting a high-tech automotive manufacturer like Lucid Motors to Arizona is a testament to the talent, business environment, and geographic location our state has to offer innovative companies to help them succeed,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “I congratulate Lucid Motors, Casa Grande, and Pinal County on achieving this milestone and look forward to seeing the first vehicles roll off the production line.” Obtained via PR Newswire.

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS

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ASA Texas Introduces New Executive Director by Chasidy Rae Sisk

ASA Texas is excited to announce that, after a comprehensive search, the board of directors has selected Jennifer Elfert Vredenburg as executive director. Regarding the new position, Vredenburg stated, “I’m honored and excited to join an organization that focuses on the automotive service industry’s needs. I look forward to pursuing the goals of ASA, and I’m ready to embrace the challenges for creating a stronger organization with long-term success.” In addition to boasting more than 15 years’ experience in strategic marketing and graphic design, Vredenburg was exposed to the automotive industry in 1990 when the Army trained her to inspect and operate a variety of military vehicles. More recently, from 2013 until 2018, she and her husband co-owned and operated an automotive service franchise where she “became very familiar with various aspects of day-to-day operations, customer service, staffing needs, and other industry-related demands, along with promotions and business practices to keep staff productive and happy,” Vredenburg said, adding “I’ve always been an enthusiast involved with various motorsports and off-roading clubs.” Vredenburg met ASA Texas President Robert Gruener in early 2019 while pursuing business to business marketing opportunities, and when he learned about her automotive experience, he mentioned the ASA affiliate’s vacant position. After submitting her resume, Vredenburg began a six-month interview process which culminated in the board’s decision to hire her as the executive director of ASA Texas, beginning on Nov. 1, 2019. The board is confident in Vredenburg’s ability to carry out the group’s

goals and improve the overall membership experience and participation for the association’s long-term success. Gruener stated, “This selection is long overdue. Just as every service industry evolves over time, so do the needs of our association and its members. [Jennifer’s] experience and enthusiasm is what ASA Texas needs.”

ASA Texas has hired Jennifer Elfert Vredenburg to serve as its executive director. Credit: Jennifer Elfert Vredenburg

As executive director, Vredenburg will work closely with the association’s board to coordinate a variety of organizational matters, including association meetings and other strategic projects. ASA Texas Secretary John Firm expressed his belief that “Jennifer has the skillset needed to tackle the association’s challenges,” and Rod Burtch, treasurer for ASA Texas, added, “She has the abilities to market our association, bringing new life to it, and that is what our association needs at this time.” Vredenburg has just begun settling into her new role and is currently focused on developing strategies to meet the goals of ASA Texas as well as improving overall member participation by implementing new methods of engagement and promoting access to ASA member benefits.

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“I’m very excited over new projects and activities being designed to benefit and engage with ASA Texas members, such as member-based social media competitions between shop owners. I’m working to connect with ASA Texas members who are already active on social media and perhaps even help our members who aren’t,” Vredenburg shared. “Besides the new projects and activities, I want to make sure members are accessing their automotive related benefits and not missing out on valuable networking opportunities, connecting with other professionals, industry news and educational webinars that ASA has to offer.” Vredenburg also looks forward to planning ASA Texas’s annual meeting. “I want ASA Texas’s annual membership event to be worth bragging about. Along with traditional activities that automotive shop owners benefit from and anticipate seeing, I’m hoping we’ll be able to include some celebratory elements like entertaining member-to-member based competitions, raffles, recogni-

tion of milestone memberships, surprise activities, and more,” she stated. “I am also focused on developing new insightful strategies to encourage and educate car owners/motorists regarding why they should seek automotive repair shops that are ASA members,” Vredenburg added. “I will be proposing a strategic adjustment to the regional boundaries, so they align with several relevant economic factors. I believe this adjustment will benefit the association long-term and improve participation of our Texasbased members. I plan to propose these adjustments to the board pretty soon, and we’ll see what happens from there – I still have quite a bit of ground to cover and hope to establish more detailed plans as we enter the new year.” Vredenburg expressed excitement about her future with ASA Texas, and it appears that the association has a lot of good things to anticipate under her ambitious and capable leadership. For more information on ASA Texas, visit asatx.org.

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Continued from Cover

“Unbreakable” Windows

pered glass with much stronger laminated side windows. “Right here on the label it says Lamisafe and that means that’s laminated glass,” said Armbruster as he pointed to a label on the bottom corner of a side window. “Laminated is

the Budget Wrench-A-Part Salvage Yard in Belton, Texas. A crew lined up junked cars with both types of windows, so we could try to break them with the two most common types of vehicle escape tools. Our first test with a hammer-style tool broke the tempered glass with one easy strike. Then, CBS Austin reporter Bettie Cross tested a springloaded vehicle escape tool on another

“You’re not necessarily protected just because you have an escape tool,” — Daniel Armbruster simply taking two sheets of tempered glass and putting a solid piece of clear plastic between them, bonding them together to make them much stronger.” A recent study by AAA shows the laminated glass in side windows is nearly unbreakable. It’s the same type of glass that’s been used in windshields for decades. “Vehicle escape tools cannot break through these laminated windows,” said Armbruster. To test the difference between tempered glass and laminated glass CBS Austin went to

16

window with tempered glass. “Wow! Alright, this worked as well,” said Cross. The window with tempered glass shattered with one quick punch from the spring-loaded tool. Next, CBS Austin did the same tests on laminated glass. Repeated hard strikes with a hammer-style tool cracked the laminated window but could not break it. “I’m really having to pound and, boy, I couldn’t get out through this window,” said Cross. CBS Austin also tested the springloaded tool on the laminated window

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

and it only made a crack in the glass. It did not shatter the laminated glass like the device did on tempered glass. During its research, AAA tested six different consumer-grade vehicle escape tools, three spring-loaded and three hammer-style. “AAA tested both. None of them were able to break through the laminated glass,” said Armbruster. One third of new cars have laminated side windows because it lessens the chance drivers and passengers will be ejected from vehicles during collisions. “We make more rollovers and car wrecks than we do cars into the water,” said Lt. Bruce Mayo with the Austin Fire Department. “Having that ability to stay in the car is probably way safer than the risk of when you go underwater.” Putting laminated glass in side windows is a safety tradeoff the Austin Fire Department thinks is worth it. “We’ve probably all seen a car upside down and that’s when we want to protect those people,” said Lt. Mayo. “I think the value is there for keeping our families inside the car on those rollovers.” Lt. Mayo says first responders also have the heavy-duty tools, such as the Glas-

Master Rescue Hand Tool, to make sure stronger laminated glass doesn’t slow them down in an emergency. “It has a nice sharp point. We drive it through the glass. It makes a little bitty hole. We stick our blade in there and then we just saw that glass,” said Lt. Mayo. AAA acknowledges the safety benefits of putting laminated glass in side windows, but thinks drivers need to know that tools they’ve counted on to survive floods and fires may no longer be able to break open an escape route. “You’re not necessarily protected just because you have an escape tool,” said Armbruster. We thank CBS Austin for reprint permission.

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Continued from Cover

CIC Committees

ing on a vehicle. Ford’s procedure, for example, is three pages long, with specifications for the size and shape the weld nugget should be based on the thickness of the metal being welded. Some automakers call for spot welding with the E-coat in place, Chess said, while others say it has to be stripped off. Also during the committee’s presentation in Las Vegas, Kye Yeung, owner of a Southern California shop, certified and specializing in high-end vehicles, said weld testing can be done using coupons, but that it’s important that the tests be done on comparable materials to what will be welded; he suggests using some of the damaged material removed from the vehicle or, if sectioning, using some of the excess material from the new part being installed. Yeung said electrical output can vary throughout the shop, so he suggests moving the vehicle – and doing the destructive test welds – in the area of the shop where you know there’s adequate power. He also said it’s a good idea for shops to have standardized operating procedures related to welding. “At our shop, we take the wire out of the welder after the repair,” he said. “So when a tech pulls up the procedure, he has to start from square one and not make the assumption that the welding wire that’s in the machine is for that job. It’s a process you should instill in your shop, even though it might take a little extra time. They could be getting a poor weld because they’re using the wrong material.” Yeung said his shop also holds “weld-off competitions,” with the winner receiving a free lunch. “It takes your A-techs who weld well, and your lower-skilled guys who are aspiring to do well, and allows them to do that comparison,” Yeung said. “It makes them practice during the week. It brings everybody up.” New Type of Vehicle Test Drive CIC’s “Emerging Technologies” committee has adopted a new definition of a “dynamic systems verification (DSV) road test,” in an effort to distinguish test drives done to check advanced driver assistance systems 18

(ADAS) with those more traditionally done just to verify standard vehicle performance, such as checking for wind noise, pulling conditions or vibrations. The DSV road test, according to the new definition, checks for those items but also requires “qualified shop personnel to identify and confirm performance of … advanced ve-

Scott Kaboos of American Honda discussed how OEM repair procedures are developed and tested. Credit: John Yoswick

hicle features and systems including driver assistance and safety systems, such as advanced cruise control and safety restraint systems.” The committee hopes to have the definition adopted and used by the automakers and estimating system providers. During the committee’s presentation at CIC in Las Vegas, Jake Rodenroth of asTech suggested that shops provide more documentation of what’s involved in such road tests. “How about you document the ‘in’ and ‘out’ mileage of the vehicle,” Rodenroth said. “How about you include a Google map of where you drove,” he added. “Uber gives us a little map of our trip on every receipt, yet we don’t do that when we do a road test. If you’re in L.A., maybe you had to get to the suburbs to meet the requirements for that road test. Explain that. What systems did you check? Tire-pressure monitoring, blind-spot monitoring, traction control? Explain what you did.” Failure to Follow OEM Procedures Can Be Costly Automaker repair procedures were the focus of another committee discussion at CIC in Las Vegas, including discussing how the procedures are developed and tested. Scott Kaboos, chief collision repair instructor for American Honda, said he was in Japan earlier this year and had an opportunity to see how the company’s body repair manual is written. Com-

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

puter simulations are used as the vehicle is being designed to consider, for example, how to address an area of a vehicle that will be inaccessible to a repairer needing to replace a spot weld. “If it can’t be spot-welded, we know that flange has to be wider so we can MIG braze it, or it has to be made of different materials so we can actually MAG weld it,” Kaboos said. “That kind of blew my mind when I saw it. I’ve been a technician all my life. I never thought that some manufacturer would be thinking about fixing this wrecked car two or three years before it’s built.” If the vehicle includes new materials or structure, or a sectioning procedure that hasn’t been tested and proven on other Honda vehicles, Kaboos said, more physical testing is done. “We actually do crush tests on those actual parts, and ultimately we end up with crash tests on vehicles.” Based on the discussion at CIC, collision shops – even dealership shops – that realize mid-repair that they failed to follow OEM repair procedures shouldn’t expect too much help from the automakers. John Eck

of General Motors (GM) said a dealership shop called GM because a technician had cut too far forward into a T1 truck, not realizing the automaker has a sectioning joint for the rear-end. “They said, ‘Now what,’ and I asked, ‘How much did you just buy that truck back for because it’s done,’” Eck said. “The technician had been chopping up trucks so long that he didn’t [research and learn] we actually made an easier repair process by putting a sectioning joint in the back so you could repair it in a more efficient, cost-effective manner, saving more vehicles by lowering the cost of repair. The technician made a big mistake that day. It would have been a simple one if he’d just looked at the procedures.” Mark Allen of Audi of America offered a similar experience about a shop – that had claimed it was I-CAR Gold Class and factory-trained by several European automakers, when it wasn’t – that made pulls to the all-aluminum rear structure of an Audi Q7. “That was about $86,000, because they cracked the cast-aluminum frame rails,” Allen said. “So, first, don’t misrepresent yourself. And second, follow the repair procedures.”

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Continued from Cover

Retain Employees

its attributes change,” said Daugherty, who has worked with Vehicle Service Group, Chief’s parent company, for the past 24 years. “The goal of an ADAS calibration is to reorient the sensors to where the physical body of the vehicle is in relation to the drivetrain and how it goes down the road.”

Currently, when repairing cars with ADAS technology, repairers either conduct a dynamic calibration that requires test driving a vehicle

20

while it is connected to a scan tool, or a static calibration in a facility using specialized targets and equipment. Taking this into consideration, Daugherty said Chief Collision Technology and Burke Porter Group set out to offer repairers technologically advanced equipment to accurately and efficiently calibrate vehicles while following OEM requirements. Burke Porter Group provides assembly automation design, manufacturing and testing, as well as specialty equipment for both laboratory research and development, and production end-of-line (EOL) testing to OEMs. “The company has been a designer and supplier of endof-line OEM factory calibration systems since the early 2000s,” said Daugherty. “They have footprints in all of the OE factories across the world. They are very knowledgeable and able to understand what’s coming before it hits the streets in the aftermarket.” “Together, we are addressing a significantly unmet need for safe and

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

actly; only then is an access code provided to unlock the system. “Once the course is complete and the technician provides attestation that he has followed the OEM repair procedures to prepare the vehicle for calibration, the tablet will walk the operator through every step of what the OEM procedure says to do,” said Daugherty. Repairers then plug the tablet into the vehicle. Mosaic ADT gives a complete picture of the ADAS techMosaic ADT gives a complete picture of the ADAS nologies that are part of that technologies that are part of the car and all of the car, shows all of the OEM OEM repair procedures associated with it. Credit: repair procedures associChief Collision Technology ated with it and is automatlution using factory developed cali- ically updated. This might include questions bration technology to place vehicles such as: Is the gas tank full? Did you on the road safely.” Mosaic ADT can perform cali- check the tire pressure? Is the windbrations on both radar and vision sys- shield clean? What is the ride height? All of the information is stored in tems. Prior to using the equipment, an operator is required to go through the cloud so there is a vehicle repair an online Chief training course to be history for future reference. Daugherty instructed in not only how the equip- said that is a huge benefit for shops ment works, but also educated on helping them maintain control of the ADAS technology and why the cali- repair and limiting their liability. “Not only can they document that bration process must be followed exreliable calibrations as ADAS systems continue to quickly penetrate the market,” said David DeBoer, CEO of Burke Porter Group. “Mosaic ADT offers a cost-effective aftermarket so-


they repaired the car properly, but they can also attach the information to their estimating system,” he said. Daugherty explained that the calibration process involves structurally aligning the car and drivetrain as well as orientating the sensors. “No matter whose system you use, the position of the vehicle in relationship to the target is absolutely critical,” he said.

Chief Collision Technology showcased Mosaic Advanced Diagnostics Technology (ADT) during SEMA 2019 in Las Vegas. Credit: Chief Collision Technology

With most systems, repairers must manually adjust the target. Daugherty said this can be a very laborious process and can often take one to three hours, which slows down a shop’s cycle time. With Mosaic ADT, the system automatically finds the centerline of

the vehicle and adjusts the sensors. Once an operator positions a car within 100 mm of the target’s proper position, the system automatically places the target at the correct height, width and distance. All of the verification, alignment of the target and calibration of the sensors can be done in about 20 minutes, which Daugherty said allows for repeatable, errorfree calibrations. “What we’ve tried to do is take out as much human error as possible,” he said. Each time a calibration is conducted, a virtual, live diagnosis is performed remotely by an ASE-certified technician using an OEM scan tool. “We’re very excited to be able to bring to the industry a system that we believe helps shops properly calibrate vehicles,” said Daugherty. “With the ADAS technology in these vehicles, being able to have properly trained technicians understanding a complex process is a challenge and the more you can simplify that for the technician, the better results are you are going to have.” For more information, visit https: //chieftechnology.com/mosaic/.

Quality Work Key for Payson’s Coyote Customs Collision & Glass by Keith Morris, Payson Roundup

Rim Country, AZ, residents have a new option for auto body repair, paint, windshield replacement and more. Cindy and Greg Sterkenburg recently opened Coyote Customs Collision & Glass at 1005 S. Goodfellow Road in Payson, AZ. The couple often made the long drive from Prescott Valley to Roosevelt Lake for family fishing trips. After their three children moved out, they moved their business to Rim Country. “We moved our rural located business in the Prescott Valley area to our new beautiful hometown of Payson,” said Greg. “With an added bonus of being much closer to Roosevelt Lake, where we spent many weekends on family fishing trips. “We love the mountain community and the small town,” Cindy said. They know what it takes to stand out in the competitive world of auto body repair and windshield repair and replacement. “We have over 30 years of experience in the automotive paint industry,” Greg said. “We were trained

that the way to stand out from the crowd is to always deliver a quality job you can be proud of.” So, that’s what they do.

Coyote Customs Collision & Glass recently opened for business. Credit: Gary Tackett

“We are a small team of skilled and professionally trained technicians,” he said. “Our services include auto painting and collision repair, windshield replacement, spray in bed liner, and long-lasting headlight restoration. The Sterkenburgs invite you to come by their newly renovated shop. Call 928472-3315 for more information. We thank Payson Roundup for reprint permission.

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS

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ASA Wage & Hour Attorney Discusses Overtime Exemptions Stressing the need to be very precise about the definition of overOn Oct. 16, ASA’s Webinar Wednes- time, Farrington explained, “Overday focused on “Countering the Deal- time is often viewed as a reward for ership Overtime Exemption,” which an employee who works a long week. was presented by ASA’s Wage and Actually, it is a penalty on the emHour Attorney Brian Farrington of ployer for working an employee over Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. He 40 hours.” covered the basic elements of the “The primary purpose of overFLSA Section 7(i) overtime exemp- time is to spread employment. Overtion, which practices can lead to in- time is time and one-half of an eligibility for the exemption, and employee’s regular rate of pay for how to recognize when applicable hours worked over 40 in a workweek. state law can prevent shops from The intent is to make you go hire using the exemption. Tony Molla, more people instead of working peovice president of industry relations ple over 40 hours,” Farrington confor ASA, introduced Fartinued. “Given its actual rington, reminding associapurpose, it’s easier to undertion members that they have stand the reason for limited the ability to contact Farexemptions and why exrington for advice. emptions from overtime are Farrington began his very specific and limited webinar by explaining that only to those who clearly the Fair Labor Standards Act meet the terms of the exASA’s Wage and of 1938 (FLSA) is the basic emption.” Hour Attorney wage and hour law in the Brian Farrington of Pointing out that collision U.S. and establishes stan- Cowles & Thompson repair shops and mechanical in Dallas. Credit: dards in four areas: minishops also compete with Brian Farrington mum wage, overtime, child auto dealerships, Farrington labor, and recordkeeping. Noting noted that they start with a significant that these standards were “deter- disadvantage since overtime is not remined by legislation that’s well over quired for dealership salesmen, parts80 years old,” Farrington warned men and mechanics, according to that FLSA does not preempt state FLSA 13(b)(10)(a), with dealership laws. “The FLSA allows states to im- being defined as “an establishment pose standards which are more pro- which derives over 50% of its gross tective of employees than the federal revenue from the sales of automostandards. For instance, many states biles, trucks or farm implements.” and even cities have higher miniStill, shops have an opportunity mum wages than the federal standard to offset this disadvantage with anof $7.25.” other exemption, FLSA Section 7(i) This means that some states which exempts employees from have much stricter overtime stan- overtime if they meet three tests: 1) dards than the FLSA, compared to they work for a retail establishment other states which have no overtime (defined as a distinct physical localaw and defers to FLSA solely. Em- tion that has 75% of its income deployers in states with overtime laws rived from retail sales); 2) their must determine whether their state’s regular rate is more than 1.5 times the laws mirror the federal exemptions. federal minimum wage; and 3) they The example provided was Califor- are paid primarily by commission. nia which has a similar exemption In regards to the first test, it’s to FLSA 7(i), but it doesn’t apply to important to note that the analysis repair shop techs, so shops in Cali- must be completed separately for fornia must pay overtime to their each distinct physical location. Retechnicians. According to Farring- tail sales are “sales made to the genton, “Bottom line – employers must eral public … In a collision shop, know the state OT laws in every state this means the repair of vehicles for in which they operate, plus they must individual customers, even when an have a working familiarity with fed- insurance company pays for some or eral law, or talk to an attorney who all of the repair on behalf of the retail does.” customer,” Farrington said. by Chasidy Rae Sisk

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JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

Non-retail income generally falls into one of three categories in a typical shop: income from work on heavy trucks or specialized equipment, income from fleet work where work is done for a fleet customer pursuant to a contract or agreement and where the customer receives a fleet discount, or

income from sales for re-sale, such as a dealer engages a shop to refurbish a used car that the dealership sells, or a dealership farms out its body work to a collision repair shop. “In each case, the income to the shop is non-retail,” Farrington stated. “These count against your retail income and will disqualify you if it exceeds 25% of your establishment’s income. If 25% or less of your establishment’s income is from a non-income source, your facility qualifies

for the first test of the exemption from paying overtime to techs.” A couple important things that Farrington emphasized were “Transmission rebuilders are not considered retails, but manufacturers, and so cannot use 7(i). Income from private party tows, even if reimbursed by insurance, is retail. Income from police tows, such as where an employer has a contract with a city to tow cars to an impound lot, is not retail. Although there is no official position, in its enforcement, USDOL/ WH has taken the position that when a business pays a towing company to tow illegally parked cars from business parking lots, such income is not retail.” The second test requires the employee’s regular rate to be more than 1.5 times the minimum wage, which is $10.88 based on the federal wage, but in states with higher minimum wages, the employee’s regular rate must be 1.5 times the higher state minimum wage. Base rate and commissions, if applicable, are included, and the employee’s total compensa-

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tion for the workweek must be divided by the number of hours worked in order to determine if this number is met. The third test is that the employee must receive over half of total earnings in commissions, measured over a “representative period” which must be at least a month but no more than a year. “If the commission earn-

any amounts by which draws exceed commissions, and charge them against future extra commissions.” “Flat hours or book hours are interpreted as commission so this becomes entirely relevant to you,” Farrington added. “A commission is a situation where what the employee receives in earnings is a function of what the customer pays. One of the

“The FLSA allows states to impose standards which are more protective of employees than the federal standards.” — Brian Farrington ings are greater than the other income, the employee is exempt for the following representative period, when the analysis is done again, and so on,” Farrington explained. Farrington explored examples of draws against commission and explained, “The rate should always be 1.5 times the rate for the longest week they might work. Employers should ensure that their regular payments to the employees are not considered ‘salary’ payments. The best way to do this is to carry forward

most common forms of payment to mechanics is payment of ‘flat-rate hours.’ Under this system, a fixed number of hours is attributed to a particular job, regardless of how long it actually takes to do the job. The customer pays this number of hours to the shop at the shop’s labor rate, and the technician who does the job gets paid this number of hours times his/her flat rate or book rate or shop rate.” Investigators use the Field Operations Handbook (FOH) to deter-

mine how to enforce the law, and FOH 21h04(d) specifically addresses flat rate hours: “Some auto service garages and car dealers compensate mechanics and painters on the following basis: The painter or mechanic gets so much a ‘flat rate’ hour for the work he or she performs. A ‘flat rate’ hour is not an actual clock hour. The employee is given a certain proportion of that charge expressed in terms of so many dollars and cents per ‘flat rate’ hour rather than in terms of a percentage of the charge to the customer.” “The dealer does not change the employee’s share per flat rate hour if the charge to the customer is changed,” FOH 21h04(d) continues. “In such situations, Wage-Hour will not deny that such payments represent ‘commissions on goods or services’ for purposes of Sec. 7(i). Such employment will qualify for exemption under Sec. 7(i) provided all the other tests of the exemption are met.” Farrington stated, “This is critical! This interpretation by USDOL/ WH, that flat rate hours are commissions for purposes of 7(i), has been accepted by both the 11th and 7th

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Circuits – see Klinedinst v. Swift Investments, Inc., 260 F.3d 1251 (11th Cir. 2001) and Yi v. Sterling Collision Centers, Inc., 480 F.3d 505 (7th Cir. 2007). If you are consulting with an attorney about possibly bringing a 7(i) case, be sure to bring these cases to the attorney’s attention.” If all three tests are passed, 7(i) can help offset the dealers’ advantage and blanket exemption, but employers should see competent legal advice before implementing a 7(i) compensation plan due to the complexity of the exemption. Farrington also reminded attendees, “Employers in states that have state overtime laws should consult local counsel to be sure that their state overtime law has an exemption analogous to 7(i).” Farrington concluded his webinar with a question-and-answer session. ASA’s next Webinar Wednesday will be held on Nov. 20 with “The New Smartphone Consumer,” presented by Jason Soto of MobileSoft Technology. To register for ASA’s webinars, visit asashop.org/webinars.

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Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

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

How to Position Your Collision Repair Shop for Sustainability Over the last several years, the collision repair industry has undergone tremendous change and continues to do so, said John Shoemaker, business development manager at BASF Automotive Refinishing North America. During the November 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Shoemaker talked about how collision repair businesses can survive these changes and be successful and sustainable in the future. His presentation was part of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) Repairer Driven Education (RDE) Series. “If shops just want to survive, we can stay where we are and last another two to three years; with luck, we might last five,” said Shoemaker. “However, we are not going to sustain our businesses and move forward.” With the shift in how body shops operate, Shoemaker said it’s critical to work toward running a well-maintained and equipped business. This involves continuous improvement with training, certifications and developing best practices. Prior to working at BASF, Shoemaker ran a three-shop MSO for a dealer group in Southwest Virginia for 18 years. When the business held staff meetings and talked about moving to the next level, he recalled sharing information from a book titled “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson. “The book talks about the four characteristics that represent the simple and complex parts of ourselves: sniff, scurry, hem and haw,” explained Shoemaker. “Those who sniff, are open to change early; others scurry into action. Those who hem and deny, resist change fearing it will lead to something worse; and those who “haw,” eventually learn to adapt when they realize change can lead to something better.” When you look at these descriptions in terms of a body shop, Shoemaker said businesses that are wanting to move forward should not “hem.”

28

“We have a lot of people in this industry who are sitting in ‘hem’ right now and hope things are not going to get worse, and that we reached the plateau and are going to be able to ride this out for the next four to five years,” he said.

John Shoemaker, business development manager at BASF Automotive Refinishing North America. Credit: Stacey Phillips

Instead, he said more shops need to act like “sniff” and “haw” and adapt moving forward. A Shift in Focus With OEM Certification Programs In a conversation with Scott Biggs, CEO of Assured Performance Network, Shoemaker said the business owner talked about a series of events that created a perfect storm of conditions that led to the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) certification model. These included commonization, where shops weren’t differentiating themselves from their competition; the negativity buyers associated with having a poor collision repair experience; and the realization of liability, which remains with the repairer or body shop. The majority of shops also didn’t have the necessary equipment and training to repair vehicles properly. These points are detailed in the following Autobody News article: “The Best Body Shops’ Tips: How to Leverage the Certified Repair Model.” Meanwhile, the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) Definitions Committee was working toward creating an industry-wide definition for a collision repair provider. Part of the definition states a requirement that repairers, sublet providers and third-party service

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

providers meet OEM specifications regarding equipment, capabilities and training. Shoemaker stressed the importance of following OEM procedures and getting involved in OEM certification programs to best meet the needs ahead. He then discussed the different types of training programs currently available in the industry. They include the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (ICAR)® Professional Development Program™ (PDP), the Automotive Management Institute (AMi) Professional Recognition Program, and OEM training. When deciding on which OEM certification program to focus on, Shoemaker recommended looking at a shop’s competition to help determine if the OEM program will provide the best return on investment. “Ask yourself, ‘do you want to

get certified on vehicles you are already repairing or drive new business?’” he said. “There are two schools of thought.” Many obtain OEM certifications directly through a car manufacturer. Shoemaker explained that the majority of programs are very selective, with an estimated 80 percent needing a referral. Assured Performance Network, a third-party provider, is the administrator for several of these OEM programs. “Assured Performance Network’s collaborative approach allows shops to join several certification programs at one time and one price, which can save them a significant amount of money and avoid redundancy.” Each certification program has specific facility and training requirements that meet the CIC definition of a general repair facility.

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For example, as part of some of the OEM open networks, such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan, there is an estimator management training requirement. “Some of the OEMs are now requiring a certified estimator and certified management staff,” said Shoemaker. “That’s where AMi training comes in.” He pointed out the new expectation of office staff being skilled and trained. When it comes to equipment requirements, OEMs are brand specific. As a result, Shoemaker recommended that shops are forwardthinking to ensure the equipment will meet the shop’s long-term needs. He encouraged attendees to think about their purchasing decisions. He used an example of buying a new welder. “You need to do research and look at what’s going on in the industry and with cars,” said Shoemaker. “Then, determine if that welder is going to be the right welder to ensure it is going to be good for three to five years.” Shoemaker then discussed the benefits of getting certified. Along

with this comes a change to the way collision shops will find new business. “OEMs are now using telematics to locate certified collision repair shops,” said Shoemaker. “With telematics, First Notice of Loss (FNOL) is going to connect vehicle owners with certified collision repair shops.” Other benefits include better access to repair procedures and structural parts. With companies such as Volvo now restricting collision parts to its certified collision repair network, Shoemaker said this will become increasingly important. In addition, OEMs advertise for and refer shops that are part of their network. The Importance of Creating Best Practices Shoemaker also discussed the need for shops to change the way damage is documented and validate repair methods with OEM processes. “Make sure you have the documentation you need to tell insurers how the car is going to be fixed,” said Shoemaker. “There is only one way

to repair a car.” Shoemaker said we have all of the knowledge needed at our fingertips. He suggested accessing the free SCRS Complete Guide to Repair Planning and look into SCRS’s new estimate optimization software: Guide to Complete Repair Planning – Blueprint Optimization Tool. Other resources include the PPages (also called estimate guides), OEM1Stop, 3M Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), I-CAR information, owners’ manuals and OEM procedures. He also suggested “reprogramming” damage appraisers and training them to describe repair operations as they expect the technician to complete them, identifying each of the steps required, ensuring the information is communicated to all involved and being specific with the necessary processes. “Not only is that how they get paid, but it also reduces your liability and ensures the car is repaired correctly,” he said. “Vehicles are getting too complex to not be educated enough to fix them, so we have to develop some best practices to harness

all of this,” he said. He shared information from Dave Dunn’s book “Liquid Amalgam,” which talks about non-negotiables and core values. It is based on four principles:

1) Honesty—being truthful in all transactions and to all parties, 2) Excellence—to meet customers’ expectations and be equal to or better than the standards, 3) Accommodation—coming to an agreement with the customer and delivering on that agreement with the customer’s best interests in mind, and 4) Profitability—which gives stability and attracts desirable employees. “There is a lot of value in creating best practices and developing core values,” said Shoemaker. “I don’t think we spend enough time doing that.” He advised attendees to be consistent with principles and make sure they are clearly understood by all employees. “Ensure everyone knows their purpose; don’t waver and always ac-

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centuate, not sometimes,” he advised. “There is a big difference between always and sometimes. Always gets you where you want to be; sometimes takes you back where you were.” Once a shop has changed its processes, Shoemaker said the next step is marketing them to customers. After recognizing what enables the shop to stand out among its competitors—whether that is being OEM certified, I-CAR Gold Class or a family-owned business—the next step is to promote those differences to customers. He also mentioned the book “How to Market to People Not Like You” by Kelly McDonald. “The message of the book is to know where your business is coming from and where it’s not coming from and learn how to market to people who are not like you,” explained Shoemaker. He talked about the eight-step process of successful change based on the book “Our Iceberg is Melting” by John Kotter. • Create a sense of urgency;

• Build a Guiding Coalition; • Form a Strategic Vision & Initiatives; • Enlist a Volunteer Army; • Enable Action by Removing Barriers; • Generate Short-Term Wins; • Sustain Acceleration; and • Institute Change.

The challenge, according to Shoemaker, is creating a business culture for the future. “You must move past the status quo to get to tomorrow to be successful. Get out of dark ages and into daylight,” said Shoemaker. “We have to pull our heads out of the sand and move forward. Today is the day to take control of our businesses.” He recommended body shops read “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops” and ended the presentation with a quote from co-author David Luehr. “Do not limit the majesty of your dreams to your current level of competence,” said Luehr. “Know that all the education you need will be available along your journey.”

GM Seat Belt Pretensioner Fires Cause Truck Recall by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

General Motors (GM) is recalling more than 556,000 trucks after seat belt pretensioner fires were reported to the automaker in trucks equipped with carpet floors.

• 2019-2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 • 2019-2020 GMC Sierra 1500 • 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 • 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 • 2020 GMC Sierra 2500 • 2020 GMC Sierra 3500

When the front seat belt pretensioners deploy during crash impacts, hot gas can escape through openings in the pretensioner brackets and set the carpet on fire.

GM learned about a fire in July 2019 that originated in the area of the seat belt pretensioner following deployment and determined the problem may have been related to a previous fire. The automaker opened an internal investigation and found carpet fibers may have been ignited by the exhaust of the driver-side pretensioner. GM doesn’t know when the recall will begin, but dealerships will close off the opening in the pretensioner brackets. Truck owners may call Chevy at 800-222-1020 or GMC at 888988-7267 and ask about recall number 192270600. We thank CarComplaints.com for reprint permission.

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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

Collision Repair Industry Associations Make 2020 New Year’s Resolutions For many, making a New Year’s resolution is an important part of celebrating the calendar changeover, and the most common resolutions are intended to improve an individual’s life – losing weight, learning something new, or saving more money. Studies show that 46% of those who make a New Year’s resolution are likely to succeed. Associations supporting the collision repair industry have also begun to evaluate what improvements they can make as the old year draws to a close, and several industry leaders were willing to share their 2020 New Year’s resolutions with Autobody News. A common resolution amongst association leadership is focused on growing their organization’s membership and meeting their members’ needs. Judell Anderson, executive director of AASP-MN, began, “We will continue to work on increasing member engagement. Members are the lifeblood of the association, and without their participation and input, the Alliance cannot be as impactful as we otherwise could be. Whether volunteering for committee service, communicating with legislators, utilizing member benefit programs or simply being aware of and supporting our various initiatives, the Alliance will ultimately be stronger and more effective in our work on behalf of the industry if members are fully engaged. To that end, the association will work to create a more robust social media presence and overall communications strategy to more effectively engage members in all aspects of our work in the coming year.” Ray Fisher, executive director of ASA National, stated, “Wow, it’s hard to choose just one with all we have planned for 2020. Our focus in 2020 is our members. To that point, we want to help our affiliates even more with their event promotion while leveraging new programs, like our podcasts, to achieve success. We’ll also see the return of C.A.R.S. at the ASA Annual Business Meeting in the Dallas-Fort Worth area next

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year.” ABAT Executive Director Jill Tuggle hopes that the group will continue expanding their membership base, and she said, “We have joined forces with HABA and will be looking to grow our membership especially in the western part of the state.” Burl Richards, president of ABAT, added, “Stay the Course … don’t take your foot off the gas pedal. We’ve made great strides, and we are educating and making the industry better and stronger by sticking together and taking the time to continually push the boundaries to move the needle.”

ASA Northwest’s 2020 Chairman Elect Bryan Kelley plans to enhance the association’s focus on members’ needs. “I often feel like we believe we know what our members want, and we then try to fill that belief. Instead, we should be constantly surveying and asking the big questions: what do our members really want from us? Once we have that information, we need to focus on the application and delivery. If you ask, they know you care, and if they know you care, they will continue to support you while you begin to navigate through change,” he pointed out. AASP/MA Executive Director Lucky Papageorg plans “to continue the momentum and growth of AASP/MA based on that platform of attaining a fair and reasonable labor rate while continuing to protect the consumers and collision repair industry. We’ll also be putting together a two-year business plan for the association and setting obtainable goals with greater participation at all levels.” IABA has some exciting things coming up in 2020, including the transition to a new and improved website

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

and members’ portal. IABA President Doug Martin shared, “This will help us push out info to the membership and keep them up to date with the event’s happening across the state. We will still have our quarterly chapter meetings, and several sponsors have committed to bring in key people to help us facilitate.” Legislative efforts continue to be a large priority for associations in the collision repair industry as 2020 approaches. Martin added, “A huge thing for the IABA is that we have hired Jack Molodanof, a California Auto Body Association lobbyist, as a government relations advisor to the IABA. Jack has tremendous knowledge of the collision industry and will help us build relationships in the state house along with the department of insurance. We are very excited for the new year.” CAWA plans to “complete a due

diligence process to examine the establishment of a vehicle safety inspection program in the state of California,” Executive Director Rodney Pierini shared, and Fisher stated, “Expect more focus on our advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., particularly as it relates to PMVI program legislation, data access, cyber security and our ongoing efforts to represent the independent repair shop community on telematics and cybersecurity developments in 2020.” Bob Amendola, ABAC president, intends for the association to “continue to strive for increased consumer awareness and empowerment regarding OEM parts, safe and proper repairs and their legal rights after an accident/as the vehicle owner. We plan to do so through social media and a series of informative videos that we are in the midst of producing. They will be released through an upcoming so-

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cial media campaign in the beginning of the coming year.” “Technology – including advanced safety and crash avoidance systems and new manufacturing materials – has resulted in the need for collision repair shops to make significant investments in tooling, equipment and training in order to conduct safe and proper repairs in accordance with manufacturer specifications,” Anderson shared. “Our OEM procedure legislative proposal aims to ensure appropriate insurer indemnification to insureds and third parties for the safe and proper repair of damaged vehicles, thereby improving the safety of the motoring public.” As technology continues to change constantly, the need for training becomes increasingly prevalent, and recognizing this imperative, many associations put a lot of emphasis on delivering valuable educational content to their member base. MSCRA Executive Director Ricki Garrett’s goal “is to host an even bigger and better conference and to provide our membership with excellent training opportunities. We also want to grow our membership through enhanced benefits.” ASA Northwest President and Executive Director Jeff Lovell looks forward to growing the association’s new ATE East program, and NATA plans to host its second roundtable on April 25; Executive Director Cathi Webb said, “We hope to expand this meeting to reach even more influencers in our students’ career paths.” According to ARA Executive Director Sandy Blalock, the association plans to “continue to grow the educational content of the ARA University, incorporating training from industry suppliers and vendors as well as content submitted by ARA members themselves. The goal is to make the ARA University a living, breathing resource that is adding relevant content in real-time as the educational needs of the professional automotive recycling industry adapt to the dynamic automotive repair sector.” KABA Vice President Tony Adams noted the importance of getting “more information in the hands of our members to perform safe and proper repairs, so we can fulfill our mission of protecting Kansas current 34

and future drivers.” ASA North Texas President John Firm stated, “Our goal is to help our membership with reduced cost of training and bring purpose to our meeting to help manage our members manage and operate their business more profitable.” AASP/NJ plans to continue providing education to members and encouraging members to share their successes with one another. President Jerry McNee stressed, “We are all in this together!” The industry also recognizes the need to pull together to ensure the future of the collision repair industry, and to that end, many associations

have implemented various programs to ensure that future technicians are being properly trained. In addition to “continuing to perfect our training event, the ASTE,” IGONC intends to “add to our apprentice program,” stated Tricia Sauls, associate executive director. “We are hoping to have 50 kids enrolled by graduation 2020.” NABA Vice President James Rodis said, “Our New Year’s resolution would have to be to get our youth opportunity council off the ground better. This is a program to help get more kids into our state’s auto body classes and try to break that mold of auto body technicians being a last resort job. We also want to just continue to grow the association so, as a group, our voices are louder.” WAC’s biggest goal in 2020 is “to stick with our path of working with the industry and schools to get industry related curriculum into all middle and high school classrooms as part of STEM learning,” President Shelly Jones stated. “We have started something big and intend to see it through. In addition, we intend to bring more speakers from various organizations into our meetings. These non-industry orgs have proven to be very valuable to our mission and great connections for our members and their companies.” Some associations believe that the future generation isn’t the only

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

way to attract more talent, and these groups would like to incorporate a little more diversity into the industry. Jody Devere, founding board member of WIA, pointed out, “Only 26% of all employees are women in the automotive industry in all roles; in 2020, we would like to hit 30% or more. Gender parity is not just the right thing to do - it is the profitable thing for our industry to do. Equality for women could lead to a massive boost to the economy. Research from McKinsey found gender equality could lead to a global economic boost of between $12 trillion and $28 trillion by 2025.” AWAF would also like “to increase the number of younger women, both within our membership and on the board. AWAF offers mentoring, coaching, professional development, and access to senior executives, which are crucial to professionals beginning their careers,” according to President Susan Rokosz. WIN Chair Cheryl Boswell added, “One of the goals for WIN in 2020 is to resource the industry with new information regarding how to attract and retain more women (and

men) in this amazing industry!” For SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg, it’s important to evaluate industry needs and make changes every day, not just for the New Year. “The cultural aspects that guide SCRS into 2020 remain unchanged. It’s doing the right things, in the right way, for the right people, for the right reasons. The work we do for our members is for the right people. These small business owners, and the people they employ, work in a very challenging environment going into 2020,” he said. “I firmly believe that the programs and resources we’ve worked to build, driven by the culture described above, will help make their businesses more successful, and the conditions less challenging going forward. It’s not a new year resolution, but an ongoing commitment by the many volunteers and staff members around our table to help make this industry better than it was when we entered it.” With these association leaders leading the charge for 2020, the collision repair industry is in for another year of improvements, progress and inspiration. Happy New Year!

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35


Automotive Industry Faces Disruption Driven by Societal Changes by Gary Ledoux

“It is my belief that every aspect of the automotive industry value-chain will be disrupted in some way, shape or form. I also believe there will be a small percentage of existing businesses that will figure out how to be a disruptor, a large percentage of existing business that will be disrupted, and last but not least, there will be new companies that enter the automotive market as disruptors,” wrote industry leader Frank Terlep near the opening of his new book, Auto Industry Disruption – Who and What is Being Disrupted, and What To Do About it. Since the earliest days of the collision industry trade magazines in the mid-1960s, columnists, editors, industry leaders and pundits have consistently exercised two themes to talk about the state of the industry. The first one is, “We have seen more change in the last five years than we saw in the previous 20.” The other is, “We are roaring into the future and evolutionary or revolutionary changes will be taking place. Get ready now for the future.” Terlep’s book follows a similar theme, but the “intensity switch” is turned all the way up to its highest setting. It is not just the collision industry side of the business that is being affected. The entire automotive industry is changing, changing right now – changing before our eyes, in ways that are more profound than ever before. The changes are not evolutionary, not even revolutionary – but are best described as “a disruption” driven by technology, socioeconomic and demographic change and the emergence of new business models. Automotive technology is changing quickly. Cars are no longer cars but computers on wheels and technicians will need to learn how to properly repair, reset and recalibrate a damaged vehicle to make it roadworthy and safe again. Hardware technology is increasing computing power, miniaturizing it, and making components easier to install. Software technology is changing, allowing a vehicle to receive software updates on the fly without ever visiting a dealership. Broadband con36

nectivity will disrupt car ownership models allowing ridesharing and provide the foundation for intelligent transportation systems. Cameras are proliferating. Soon, six to ten cameras on a car will be the norm. So, while collision technicians debate the virtues of repairing sheet metal as opposed to panel replacement, the question becomes, “Will all ADAS systems components work as they should upon completion of repairs, and can the car still maintain internet connection?” A Brave New World Terlep’s vision of a “brave new world” of a disrupted collision repair industry includes:

• ADAS systems and related technology will make cars safer to drive. This, combined with autonomous cars and concepts like ride-sharing and improved ride-hailing technology, and the socio-economic acceptance of using different means of short-hop transportation in an increasingly urbanized world means fewer cars on the road and fewer accidents. • The era of the “two-car” family is quickly dying. Given the expense, there is less and less reason for having a second car when so many other alternatives are emerging. Hence, less cars, less accidents. • Fewer accidents means a consolidation of all areas of the collision industry including the number of shops needed, along with the infrastructure to support those shops. This includes parts suppliers (including OE’s), as well as paint and equipment suppliers.

• The proliferation of electric cars means less mechanical maintenance – good for vehicle owners as far as downtime and cost is concerned, a disruption for car dealers who depend on parts and service sales for a good portion of their gross profit and a disruption for independent mechanical shops and collision shops who will have to deal with technologies they are not familiar with.

• The proliferation of electric cars and their attendant technology, some

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

of which haven’t even been invented yet, will require shops to invest heavily in training and new tools and equipment – all of which will quickly become obsolete as technology moves forward at mind-numbing speed.

Sunrise – Sunset As the disruptive climate grows and expands, some companies will be greatly consolidating or “sun-setting” altogether, while others will experience birth and meteoric growth. Just as innovative companies found a way to make vast improvements in internal combustion cars, emerging companies, through technology and innovation, will find a way to improve electric car performance, the experience of driving an internal combustion car, and enhance the customer experience in the transportation field overall. “Sunrise” initiatives include: • A company is already working on a headrest that can “sense” a driver’s physical condition including fatigue, drowsiness, stress, etc., and

adjust the car’s ADAS systems accordingly … cutting down on vehicle accidents.

• A system will be developed to electronically handle all aspects of a collision repair from the moment the accident occurs. Sensors will determine the physical condition of the driver and occupants, the extent of damage, order the appropriate parts, send them to the closest OE certified body shop, and notify the insurance carrier – all in a matter of seconds – not hours or days. • A person’s daily commute will change into an end-to-end mobility experience with an interconnected ecosystem of multiple players and providers including one or more modes of transportation.

• Connected cars and their attendant systems will generate vast amounts of data. Terlep calls this data “the world’s new oil.” Those that learn how to capture, control, manipulate and leverage all this data

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will be the big winners in a disrupted world. Of course, this data must be stored and used responsibly.

• OE’s will use connected-car data to reverse its business model for designing and developing cars. Rather than build a car that executives think customers want and hope it sells, they will be able to capture how consumers use existing products and enhance that experience by providing products they know the customer will appreciate.

• Autonomous cars that sustain minor collision damage will be able to drive themselves to a pre-assigned repair facility. Meanwhile, an alternative car will be dispatched to provide service in the interim. Once the first car is repaired, it will be placed back into service, the insurance claim will be processed automatically within minutes … and life will go on. Some company, yet to be founded, will be controlling this whole operation. Auto Insurance Re-Invented Not unlike the collision repair industry, the auto insurance industry is

loath to change. However, as is the nature of “disruption,” time, technology, and consumer preference will eventually force their hand.

• New players will emerge in the auto insurance space and provide products and services never before seen. Imagine paying a flat fee per month for basic fire and theft insurance, and then pay only for the miles you actually drive by logging into an app on your smartphone. • New insurance products may include cyber-security insurance to ensure against hacking and malware.

• Consumers may be able to set their own prices ... In other words, come up with a monthly premium that fits their budget, and then see what that will provide.

• Consumers may be able to use “peer pricing” whereby they will apply for an insurance policy providing various characteristics such as year, make and model of car, ADAS characteristics, age, gender, family status, job, etc., and get a quote most

commonly selected by their peers.

• Insurance company adjusters will all but disappear being replaced with vehicle sensors, digital photos and artificial intelligence. Exciting Times “This is an exciting time to be part of the automotive industry. Innovation and creativity can be found almost everywhere, while new entrepreneurs, investors and incumbents are all jumping into the ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Electric, Shared) pool!” wrote Terlep. “The way to be successful in a disruptive climate,” he says, “is to keep innovating. Remember, innovation is NOT technology. Innovation equates to any way you or your business find a way to do more for a client than anybody else does.” In his book, Terlep offers several ideas for collision repair shops, OE’s, car dealers and others to become the disruptor, rather than the disrupted. It’s not rocket science, but it does require a business owner to pay attention to what is going on around them, he said. In a telephone interview, Terlep noted, “If busi-

nesses don’t recognize these changes now and begin to adapt, they’ll be gone in five years.” As an example, Terlep noted the rather speedy demise of the Blockbuster video rental chain because they failed to realize the emerging streaming video business model of Netflix. By the time Blockbuster realized what was happening, technology and social change had occurred … and it was too late for them. Terlep has been a key player, innovator and disruptor in several collision repair-related companies over the past 40 years including AkzoNobel and Mitchell International as well as companies he founded including Automotive Solutions, CarStation.com, Summit Software and Summit E-marketing. Terlep’s book can soon be found on Amazon and all e-book platforms. For a FREE copy of Chapter One of this informative new book “Auto Industry Disruption, what and who is being disrupted and what to do about it,” please visit www.auto-disruption .com/pl/109601.

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37


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

Something seemingly as simple as disconnecting and reconnecting a vehicle’s battery during the repair process may not sound like something that should require researching OEM procedures, and that might be why only 3 in 10 shops say they always do so, according to data from a recent “Who Pays for What?” survey. However, as Mike Anderson of Collision Advice, who conducts the “Who Pays” surveys in conjunction with CRASH Network, explained in a column in Autobody News last summer, increasingly complex or time-consuming procedures for battery disconnect-and-reconnects are becoming more common. “The procedure for the 2018 Chevy Cruze is seven pages long,” Anderson said. “It includes that you need to inform the customer that the ‘start/stop’ feature on the vehicle will not be available until the vehicle is allowed to sit for at least three hours. I was analyzing the procedures called for by one Asian automaker recently, and found the OEM had 11 procedures required after reconnecting the battery. And most automakers say disconnecting the battery will set diag-

does pay for this “always” or “most” of the time. (By comparison, more than 90 percent of DRP shops for State Farm and Farmers Insurance reported being paid “always” or “most” of the time when they itemized the procedures on invoices).

with one-third of shops still not negotiating for that procedure; about two-thirds of those who do, report regularly being paid for it. But the surveys also have found slow but steady improvement in billing and payment practices for

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

There are four “Who Pays for What?” surveys a year, each focusing on different aspects of the collision repair process. The latest survey, which asks shops about their billing practices – and insurer payment practices – related to “not-included” refinish labor procedures, is open throughout January. Shops can click here to take the current survey before Feb.1.

several of the operations. In 2015, 81 percent of shops said they were not negotiating to be paid for performing destructive test welds – that has dropped dramatically to just 52 percent in 2019. Perhaps because performing

post-repair test drives is becoming increasingly necessary (and complex) because of advanced drivers assistance systems (ADAS), that is also being added to estimates at a higher rate than five years ago; nearly 1 in 3 shops now report being paid “always” or “most” of the time for such test drives, up from just 13 percent five years ago. Although roughly the same percentage of shops as five years ago are seeking to be paid for “pre-diagnostic alignment,” shops’ success in getting paid for it has increased steadily over the past five years. “Every shop is different and negotiates differently, but the “Who Pays” surveys have shown over and over again that shops won’t be paid for something they have done if they don’t at least know that it is ‘not-included,’ if they don’t determine a fair charge for it, and if they don’t put it on their estimates or invoices,” Anderson said. The surveys ask about shop practices beyond the labor procedures. Anderson has argued for some time

Genuine Mitsubishi Replacement Crash Parts are close at hand from the following quality dealerships: A rising percentage of shops are using the automaker information websites to research OEM procedures

nostic trouble codes (DTCs) that may be impossible to detect without completing a post-repair vehicle scan.” The good news is that 80 percent of the more than 650 shops responding to the “Who Pays” survey also said they are paid by the eight largest auto insurers “most” or “all of the time” for the procedures related to disconnecting and reconnecting a battery. Less than 1 in 10 shops said they are “never” paid when they bill for this “not-included” procedure. Even among the subset of respondents that the survey found is least likely to be paid for it – namely, Geico DRP shops – almost 3 in 4 (73 percent) of those shops said Geico 38

The battery disconnect/reconnect data was from a 2019 “Who Pays” survey related to “not-included” mechanical and frame labor procedures. It was the fifth year the survey was conducted, and it found some realworld improvement among the shops that participate in the surveys. For the two dozen procedures asked about in the survey, 7 percent more shops are negotiating to be paid for the procedures, and an average of 8.5 percent more shops are reporting being paid “always” or “most of the time” for them compared to five years ago. Some operations, like draining fuel tanks, have changed little over the five years of survey results,

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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39


that many shops lump far too many procedures into a flat fee charge for “set-up and measure.” The 2019 survey found some indication that his

and start line iteming every single thing we need to do for each vehicle, because it’s very vehicle-specific,” Anderson said.

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

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

Among shops that are researching OEM repair procedures, the surveys have found a steadily rising percentage are going directly to the automakers’ websites for that information. Five years ago, just 32 percent of repairers said they used the automaker websites to obtain repair information, while a majority (67 percent) said they researched repair procedures through ALLDATA. Although a slightly smaller majority (63 percent) of shops still use ALLDATA in 2019, the percentage of shops using the OEM sites has nearly doubled to 59 percent in the 2019 survey. (The percentages add up to more than 100 because shops could indicate if they use multiple

sources). About 54 percent of survey respondents said they are OEM researching procedures all or most of the time compared to about 42 percent five years ago. “That’s an improvement, but this should still be done 100 percent of the time,” Anderson said. “You need to research that information every time, and save it on file, so if you ever get

each take about 15-25 minutes, and Anderson said they can be completed by any shop owner, manager or estimator who is familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of the largest national insurers. Individual responses are not released in any way; only cumulative data is released. At the website, shops can also download the results of previous sur-

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

audited for whatever reason, you can say, ‘The reason we did this procedure was because this is how the OEM said to do it at that time.’” Shops can take the current “Who Pays for What?” survey (or sign up to be notified about future surveys) at www.crashnetwork.com/ collisionadvice. The four different surveys, conducted one per quarter,

veys, reports that break the findings down by region, by insurer and by DRP vs. non-DRP. The reports also include analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented.

www.autobodynews.com

Ford ‘Death Wobble’ Lawsuit Says F-250 and F-350 Trucks Affected by David A. Wood, CarCompaints.com

A Ford “death wobble” lawsuit alleges the automaker concealed and omitted information about suspension problems in 2005-2019 Ford F-250 and F-350 trucks. According to the class action, Ford routinely tells truck owners any potential repairs won’t be covered under warranties, and dealerships sometimes completely deny there are wobble problems. Wear and tear of the steering damper brackets may cause them to loosen, along with other components such as the shocks, struts, ball joints and control arms. F-250 and F-350 owners claim the so-called death wobble occurs due to defects in the pitman arms, placing a driver in a shocked condition when the wobble occurs while driving. Customers also allege hitting a bump in the road while traveling at least 50 mph can easily cause the death wobble to the point of losing steering control. In addition, truck owners say they must suddenly slow the trucks down to control the shaking and vibrations. 40

According to the death wobble class action, the trucks don’t need to be old because customers sometimes complain their trucks wobble even when the vehicles are still under the original warranties. It’s common Ford F-250 and F350 owners complain about being scared of being killed if the trucks start wobbling while driving. Also, allegedly common is how dealerships blame the death wobble on faulty maintenance of the trucks. In addition to alleged dealer denials and unnecessary repairs that don’t help the problem, dozens of truck owners allege they quickly lost control of the trucks, with certain situations causing crashes and injuries. The Ford death wobble lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California - Smalley, et al., v. Ford Motor Company. The plaintiffs are represented by Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora, LLP. CarComplaints.com has F-250 and F-350 customer complaints. We thank CarCompaints.com for reprint permission.

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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41


Solving the Tech Shortage: How Conditions, Culture & Compensation Can Help Body Shops Attract & Retain Employees by Stacey Phillips

these regularly receive resumes. He attributes this to their working conditions, culture and compensation.

It wasn’t long ago when businesses looking for new employees put an ad in the newspaper hoping for a re- Conditions sponse. About a dozen or more can- When a business owner first opens a didates applied, and someone would new body shop, White said he or she be hired. Today, the scenario usually sees the potential is much different. Rick for success. Over time, this White, president of 180biz, often changes, and the focus said if that same type of ad becomes the problems or is circulated now—printed challenges occurring at the or online—shop owners and company. As a result, White managers shouldn’t be surstressed the importance of prised if there are no recontinuously working on a Credit: Rick White sponses. business to create better During a recent webinar coordi- conditions. nated by the Alliance of Automotive “No matter how bad you think Service Providers (AASP), White your current conditions are, there is shared advice on how to best attract another person who would kill to be and retain talent in the collision re- in your position,” he said. “See the pair industry. potential in your business and then White said “chasing people” to grow and make problems better by come to work isn’t an effective strat- taking baby steps—make things a litegy. tle better every month.” “The reality is that you want the Over the years working with best people working in your shop,” clients, White has found that conhe said. “Instead of chasing people, stant improvement can make a big you have to start to attract them.” difference with a team. This requires a significant change “All you have to do is make imin mindset. Typically, White said provements and people are going to businesses search for help when an think it’s amazing,” he said. “They employee leaves the company. In- are going to value you and see you stead, he recommends that owners care about them.” and managers stop hiring and begin Some of the examples he ofrecruiting. fered that can help improve a facilThe best time to do this, accord- ity include good lighting, a system ing to White, is ALL the time. for parts, investing in equipment “You want to be constantly re- and training, and an organized parkcruiting so when somebody gives you ing lot. Good working conditions, notice, you’ll have somebody or according to White, can make the ‘somebodies’ to call,” he said. difference between a job candidate When an employee first gives working at your shop or finding emnotice, White discourages shops from ployment somewhere else. accepting it. White also recommended get“Let them go unless they are a ting the whole team involved so superstar player,” he said. “If it is a there is buy-in and they feel part of technician, you are going to have six the success. months of comebacks because they are no longer emotionally or men- Culture tally in the game. I guarantee that no White said that culture, which he dematter how bad it seems, it’s going fined as how a team feels working at to be better than what you have to your company, has to start with indeal with on the other end.” tention. In his one-hour presentation, “Don’t accidentally create a culWhite shared a hiring strategy used ture,” he advised. “If you are not inby Apple, Google and Microsoft. tentionally setting the culture—the Rather than putting out ads looking values and everything you want your for candidates, companies such as company run by—somebody else is.” 42

JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

It all starts with hiring a new employee. White recommends having two interviews as part of the process. First, is a face-to-face interview at the shop going through a series of questions to better understand the person in a non-judgmental way. “You are not there to determine whether or not they are a good fit; you are there to get to know them,” he explained. The next step is to talk to his or her references. In addition to reaching out to prior employers and personal references, it can also be helpful to talk to peers. Many times, a shop owner is not going to share many details about a previous employee so there is one question White always recommends asking: Is this person eligible for rehire? “It’s a great question to ask and you are going to get a really solid answer,” he said. “You are either going to hear, “Yes, I wish they were here today,” or “No, I don’t want to see them again.”

White said shops owners and managers should keep in mind they are hiring human beings, not machines. “They have goals, fears, desires and nightmares,” said White. “You have to get to understand your employees and know them as well as you can.” He pointed out that when you hire an employee, you are hiring their entire family as well. “We have to recognize they have a life outside of the business… and they are concerned about their future,” he said. “When you get the family involved, it’s like having advocates at home that want them to stay working there.” White provided several suggestions on how to best connect with employees and their families, such as giving birthday gifts to their children or sponsoring their soccer team. He said it can be helpful to learn what employees enjoy doing in their spare time, so if they go above and beyond

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at work, you can tie in different rewards and give them something meaningful. He advised always being upfront with employees, creating a safe place for them to work, letting them know what’s going on in the business so they don’t worry, and always showing appreciation for their efforts. “They need a mentor and a friend—someone who cares about them and wants to see them achieve the highest they possibly can,” he said. Once a business culture is created, the next step is to communicate it to employees and explain what is expected. “The goal of communication is to convey a thought or process or act to another person,” he explained. “You want them walking away with the same picture in their head as you have.” In order to best communicate the message, he recommended talking slowly, really listening, and using what he referred to as the seven “Cs.” These include being clear, correct, concise, complete, concrete, considerate and courteous.

Compensation It should come as no surprise that excellent compensation is going to help attract and retain quality people, according to White. When deciding whether or not to offer a raise, he advised not to give an incremental cost of living raises. He referred to this as “replacement raises”—the cost of replacing an employee. “When thinking of compensation, recognize it’s wages as well as bonuses. Money is not going to be the key driver,” he explained. “Instead, you have to tap into why they are in this industry, what brought them here, and what they want to do.” White encouraged shop owners to think differently about what is offered to employees. That might include providing health insurance, a flexible schedule, paying for tools, tuition assistance or retirement. “The reality is the status quo doesn’t work anymore,” said White. “It’s going to be new thinking and new actions that are going to make a difference and it all starts with you.” For more information, email White at rick@180biz.com or call 540-833-2014 ext. 11.

Autoliv Introduces Airbag That Prevents Passengers From Colliding Autoliv Inc., the worldwide leader in vehicle safety systems, announced the development of a new front center airbag that is designed to save lives in side-impact crash situations. The head is one of the most frequently injured body regions in any road collision potentially resulting in devastating long-term

consequences for the victim. For side collisions from the opposite side, the passenger may hit the vehicle interior or the other front seat passenger, sustaining injuries to the head and chest. To improve protection for these injuries, Euro NCAP has introduced the far-side load

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case in the rating program from Jan. 1, 2020. The new Autoliv Front Center Airbag helps avoid driver-to-interior and driver-to-passenger impact. The inboard seat mounted airbag deploys in the space between the driver and the front-seat passenger, providing protection for them from colliding during a side impact and reduces risk of trauma to head, shoulder and chest. “Research indicates that the new Front Center Airbag can reduce injuries caused by passengers colliding with each other by up to 80%. If there is no one in the front passenger seat, the airbag will offer enhanced driver protection from a far-side collision. It is a technology innovation that underlines Autoliv’s commitment to saving lives and preventing injuries on the roads across the world,” says Scott Dershem, Autoliv vice president of development. The Autoliv Front Center Airbag will be introduced in 19 car models in 2020. Obtained via PR Newswire.

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Another 1.4M Vehicles Added to Takata Airbag Recall by Staff, Auto Remarketing

A development that an expert on the topic discussed during Used Car Week 2019 arrived on Wednesday, Dec. 4, involving older models that might be in your inventory or run sheet. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said another 1.4 million vehicles are being added to the massive Takata airbag recall. A letter written by Joshua Neff, who is chief of the recall management division with NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigations Enforcement indicated this batch of vehicles is from the 1995 through 2000 model years. “Tens of millions of vehicles with Takata airbags are under recall. Long-term exposure to high heat and humidity can cause these airbags to explode when deployed. Such explosions have caused injuries and deaths,” NHSTA posted on its website. “On Dec. 4, 2019, a separate group of 1.4 million vehicles was recalled because of defective Takata airbags. Unlike the airbag inflators in the larger Takata recalls, these vehicles contain Non-Azide Driver In-

flators. The defect in the NADI inflators can result in the inflator either exploding or underinflating during deployment,” the regulator continued on its website. “NHTSA urges vehicle owners to take a few simple steps to protect themselves and others from this very serious threat to safety,” NHTSA went on to say. Jerry Cox, who is chairman and chief executive officer with Potomac Strategy Associates, appeared at Used Car Week and shared insights that could help auctions and dealerships that might be handling vehicles still impacted by these Takata recalls. Cox also was a guest on the Auto Remarketing Podcast. In an email message to Auto Remarketing sent late on Wednesday, Cox elaborated on points made during his Used Car Week workshop and on the podcast. “Today’s recall is for Takata inflators that were made with a strontium nitrate oxidizer — before 2000, when they adopted the super-cheap option of ammonium nitrate as the propellant. It has taken more than 20 years, but the chemical in the affected vehicles has crumbled. This

Mazda Recalls Vehicles Over Takata Airbags

creates more surface area for ignition, and that results in a powerful explosion that turns the inflator into a hand grenade,” Cox said. “The ammonium nitrate propellant in the more recently designed inflators will crumble even faster,” he continued. “NHTSA pretended that a desiccant called Zeolite might slow that process when they recalled the first 42 million cars. The agency invited Takata (before it went bankrupt) to show that these desiccated inflators were safe for long-term use, but NHTSA said it would force the recall of another 30 million cars if it didn’t receive such proof before Dec. 31, 2019. “To the best of my knowledge, nobody can argue with a straight face that Zeolite is a magic bullet,” Cox went on to say. “If NHTSA is doing its job, it will bring the total number of vehicles under recall up to 70 million cars early next year. That will include millions of MY 2017 & 2018 cars and make life vastly more difficult and risky for dealers.” We thank Auto Remarketing for reprint permission.

GM CCA Grows My GM Partner Perks

General Motors Customer Care and Aftersales announced milestone growth, as well as a new enhancement to my GM Partner Perks. Launched earlier this year, my GM Partner Perks provides enrolled repair facilities and collision shops with a comprehensive parts loyalty program. “my GM Partner Perks makes it easier for dealers, direct accounts and our independent aftermarket partners to conduct business with us,” said Kris Mayer, general director of retail and wholesale dealer channels, GM CCA. Starting Jan. 1, 2020, my GM Partner Perks members will be able to participate in a streamlined process for quarterly trade rebates through the my GM Partner Perks portal with just a few clicks. “GM CCA has been on a journey to strengthen our overall parts offerings and we are continuing to deliver for our business partners and customers as industry trends evolve,” said Mark Drennan, general director of ACDelco channel, GM CCA.

Finish it like a Masterpiece

by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

Mazda is recalling nearly 117,000 vehicles that were previously recalled to replace the passenger Takata airbag inflators. • • • • • •

2004-2011 Mazda RX-8 2007-2012 Mazda CX-7 2007-2012 Mazda CX-9 2003-2012 Mazda Mazda6 2004-2005 Mazda MPV 2006-2007 Mazda Mazdaspeed6 The Takata airbag inflators may explode due to degradation of the deployment propellant, ammonium nitrate, which is affected by high humidity and high temperatures. The Mazda Takata airbag inflator recall is expected to begin Dec. 18, 2019. Dealerships will replace the front passenger airbag inflators. Owners may contact Mazda customer service at 800222-5500 and refer to recall number 1317F. We thank CarComplaints .com for reprint permission.

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Chrysler Lawsuit Involving Leaky Sunroofs Seeks Settlement The ongoing lawsuit between David Cox and Chrysler could be settled soon. According to court documents, the 2014 class-action lawsuit could reach a settlement agreement of $350,000 for attorneys’ fees and $4,000 that would be awarded to Cox, the plaintiff in this case, as an incentive award. The lawsuit against Chrysler, which was first filed in 2014 by Cox, alleged the manufacturer was negligent in disclosing to owners that regular maintenance is needed on affected vehicles’ sunroof drain tubes. The Jeep Patriot, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Compass, Jeep Commander, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler Town and Country and Chrysler 300, from model years 2009 to present were named in the lawsuit. “FCA [Fiat Chrysler automobiles] US does not agree with all of the characterizations of the facts set forth by plaintiff in these motions. However, it does agree that the proposed class settlement is fundamentally fair, adequate, and reasonable, and that it should be approved by the Court. Furthermore, FCA US has no

objection to entry of an order awarding attorneys’ fees, costs, and an incentive award, provided that the amounts do not exceed the following: $350,000 for attorneys’ fees; $128,873.79 for costs; and $4,000.00 for an incentive award for plaintiff,” a portion of court documents read. In his original complaint, Cox stated he owned a 2010 Jeep Patriot for less than a year before the sunroof began leaking, which damaged the interior. “Cox brought his vehicle in to the Chrysler dealer’s service department to service the sunroof leak immediately. The Chrysler dealer replaced the radio and cleaned out the sunroof drain tubes. However, the sunroof has leaked several times since the first attempted repair, once again damaging the radio display and causing electrical malfunctions in the sunroof. Thus, on June 26, 2013, Cox brought the vehicle in to the Chrysler service department again to service the sunroof leak. However, Chrysler refused to repair the sunroof leak under the warranty stating that clogged drain tubes is a maintenance problem. As a result, Cox continues to observe water

AAPEX 2020 to Expand With Repair Shop HQ

leaking into and through the sunroof and interior dome light that has resulted in electrical problems, a noticeable musty or moldy smell and water damage to the interior of his vehicle,” a portion of the complaint reads. Throughout his complaint, Cox claims he was never told by Chrysler that the vehicle’s sunroof drain tubes would need routine maintenance. Chrysler responded to the complaint by denying most of the allegations that were made against the company. The auto manufacturer also stood by its warranty in its response. “FCA US admits that it provides a written limited warranty for the vehicles it sells which covers the cost of repairs for certain items for three years or 36,000 miles from the date the vehicle is first put into service, whichever occurs first. Further FCA US states that the warranty document speaks for itself,” a portion of Chrysler’s response reads. Currently, both Cox and Chrysler are waiting for the judge’s response to the settlement motion.

For the first time in many years, AAPEX will expand and add Repair Shop HQ to meet the needs of today’s service professionals. AAPEX represents the more than $1 trillion global automotive aftermarket industry and will take place Tuesday, Nov. 3 through Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Las Vegas. The AAPEX 2020 expansion also includes a new robotics and warehouse equipment and logistics section. “The ultimate goal of this expansion is to enable AAPEX and the entire supply chain to be more efficient, while proactively addressing changes in the industry by presenting solutions,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. “We will deliver solutions to the shop in order for them to be ahead of the curve. And we will champion opportunities for parts manufacturers to utilize data more efficiently to enhance their relationship with their customers,” added Paul McCarthy, president and COO of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA).

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Three Weeks After GM Strike, Dealers Await 2020 Models, Cut Back Hours by Kalea Hall, The Detroit News

General Motors Co. (GM) dealers are still dealing with the aftereffects of a six-week strike by the United Auto Workers. Three weeks after the walkout ended, dealers have begun getting some of the parts needed for service departments and body shops. And though the inventory of new cars and trucks remained fairly robust during the shutdown, some dealers are concerned about a lag in new deliveries as production gets back up to speed and car-haulers make their way to showrooms. The UAW’s national strike against GM shut down 55 facilities across the U.S., stopping production of parts and an estimated 300,000 new vehicles, costing GM nearly $3 billion. GM dealers say they took hits to their bottom lines on both the sales and service sides. At Motor City Buick GMC in Bakersfield, CA, new-vehicle sales were down 8% in October and are expected to be off 8% this month. “We are hopeful we can make up some of that due to pent-up demand in December, but December is

always a big month, so it’s kind of hard to set a new benchmark on top of an old benchmark,” said John Pitre, chief operating officer at the dealership. But three weeks after the strike ended, Motor City Buick GMC is feeling the pinch even more than it did during much of the walkout. “We didn’t feel it for the first three weeks of the strike because our pipeline is about two to three weeks long,” Pitre said. “We are feeling it much more now than we did in October.” At Matthew-Hargreaves Chevrolet in Royal Oak, MI, general manager Walt Tutak expects to see the sales side of the business feel a delayed strike impact as they await new models that normally would already be on the lot. Ideally, Tutak likes to have 500 vehicles — a two-month supply — on the ground, with another 250 coming in for delivery during the month to make up for the 250 that will be sold. When this process gets interrupted, he said, “You’re going to have a shortage.” GM still had an ample 81-day supply of cars, trucks and SUVs two

Subaru Forester Passenger Airbag Sensor Lawsuit Filed by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

Subaru Forester passenger airbag sensor lawsuit alleges the occupant detection systems have errors that cause the airbags to deactivate when adults are in the passenger seats. According to the plaintiff, 2015-2018 Subaru Foresters are affected by the problems, and her 2018 Forester is a good example. The lawsuit alleges the plaintiff took the vehicle to a dealership which found problems with the detection system. Technicians allegedly didn’t make any repairs but told the plaintiff not to place electronic items in the passenger seat. The plaintiff says the airbags work part of the time and fail other times whether a passenger is in the seat or not. This is a danger that can cause an occupant their life, and Subaru allegedly knows there are problems but has failed to warn consumers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation in August into passenger airbag sensor problems after receiving 51 complaints about 2016-2018 Subaru Foresters.

According to NHTSA, Subaru owners said the passenger airbag warning lights indicated the airbags were turned off when adults were in the seats. Customers reported the airbag sensors deactivated the airbags and also caused the seat belt alarms to continually give audible warnings.

Forester owners also reported paying as much as $1,000 to repair the passenger airbag systems, and many times the waits were long because replacement parts were backordered. Subaru recalled more than 366,000 model year 2015-2018 Foresters in October after finding the passenger occupant detection system sensor mat harnesses could experi-

weeks into the strike, above the industry’s average of 66 days, according to. That cushioned the impact. “GM loaded up their dealers with inventory prior to the strike and so they had surplus inventory,” said Brad Korner, general manager of Cox Automotive Rates and Incentives. “They didn’t take their foot off the gas at all.” But analysts do think the inventory is under pressure somewhat now. Tutak hasn’t had a shortage of vehicles yet, but if he does, he predicts it will be Chevrolet Silverados, even though he tries to keep a four-month supply of the pickup on the Royal Oak lot. “We may have fewer sales in the Silverados, but we will make it up in the other areas where we have other inventory,” he said. “So, what we will do is push what we have.” The dealership’s sales did not suffer during the actual strike, which surprised Tutak because MatthewHargreaves Chevrolet is in a GM town, and out-of-work strikers weren’t expected to buy new vehicles. The work stoppage still hurt profitability at the Royal Oak dealership because of the hit to body

ence problems because of contact pressure between the terminals. According to the automaker, the passenger airbags could deactivate and then reactivate without warning because of the terminal problems. Subaru also admitted what customers were reporting, namely that the airbag warning lights indicated the airbags were off when they should have been on. In documents submitted to NHTSA, Subaru said turning off the ignition then turning it back on would reset the system and correct the faults. But the automaker also said this could be a temporary condition until the problem reoccurred while driving. When the recall was announced, Subaru also confirmed what customers had been saying about long waits for replacement parts that were on backorder. Subaru also told NHTSA that in addition to the government receiving about 50 complaints, customers had filed more than 220 passenger airbag complaints direct with the automaker. We thank CarComplaints.com for reprint permission.

and service shops. Business in those departments is off roughly 25%, Tutak said. “It affects the bottom line because we are used to having customers come in and we repair their vehicles and they pay for them,” he said. “Now these vehicles are just sitting.” The parts most needed are engines, transmissions, fenders and bumpers. When the UAW ratified a new contract with GM on Oct. 25 and ended the strike, GM sent a note to dealers stating that a top priority was to restore the parts distribution network. GM spokesman Jim Cain said of the parts distribution: “We are still working to recover and make progress every day.” Pitre said he was still waiting on about $250,000 worth of parts for about 80 vehicles waiting to be repaired. There have been a lot of rentals for customers waiting for repairs, he said. “I’ve seen more $1,000 rental car bills in the last six weeks than I have probably seen in the last five years.” We thank The Detroit News for reprint permission.

Car-Part.com Receives Company of the Year Award

On Nov. 6, Car-Part.com received CIECA’s Company of the Year award during the Collision Industry Red Carpet Awards Breakfast, honoring the company for its ongoing commitment to the collision repair sector. Held in conjunction with the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the third annual Collision Industry Red Carpet Awards Breakfast honored the industry’s most charitable and professional achievements. Among the winners was Car-Part.com, which received CIECA’s Company of the Year award. The company was selected based on its commitments to more than a dozen committees and organizations. Jeff Shroder, CIECA’s treasurer and the owner of Car-Part.com, accepted the prize on the company’s behalf, with Ed Weidmann, CIECA’s executive director, and Clint Marlow, CIECA’s past-chair and director of AllState posing by his side. CIECA said it is “tremendously grateful” for the company, which understands the importance of being innovative and the creation of new products.

autobodynews.com / JANUARY 2020 AUTOBODY NEWS

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Profile for Autobody News

January 2020 Southwest Edition  

January 2020 Southwest Edition