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Southwest Edition Texas Oklahoma Louisiana New Mexico



VOL. 31 ISSUE 3 MARCH 2013 ww

GEICO Joins State Farm in Seeking Gag Order Against Ray Gunder, Tactic to Block Information GEICO has joined State Farm in seeking a gag order against Ray Gunder of Gunder’s Auto Center in Lakeland, FL. Gunder is suing the insurers on behalf of his customers for intentional short pays and a variety of other alleged misdoings. According to Gunder’s spokespeople, GEICO brought in legal cocounsel last week from Arizona, who immediately sent notice to Gunder’s attorney, Brent Geohagan, that they would be seeking a delay/continuance for several scheduled depositions and request the court to issue a gag order to stop Gunder from sharing his legal findings. Last month, State Farm filed a similar motion with the local court to

stop Gunder from sharing information relative to the numerous lawsuits he has filed on behalf of his customers, including deposition transcripts and results of hearings and discovery. “Because no ‘trade secrets’ (i.e. policy premiums, methodology to set or determine pricing, demographics, etc.) will be part or parcel of the discovery in these cases, and because the terms of the insurers’ policy/contracts are readily available to all, as are their marketing efforts, I can see no viable or ‘legitimate trade secret’ concerns that would warrant the courts to issue such an order to silence Ray,” said Barrett Smith of Auto Damage Experts (ADE). “Based upon what has

by Eladio Jaimez, TSTC Staff

in Mexico. The 20-year-old Texas State Technical College student spent most of her life dressing up, applying makeup, learning to pose for photos and attending recitals. Her daily routine is different these days, and some say an unconventional choice for a typical 20-year old woman. Cuevas graduated from Los Fresnos High School, in Cameron County, TX, in 2011. She was a dual enrollment student while at LFHS and continued her education at the Harlingen campus of the college after graduation. When she arrived on campus,

See Gagging Gunder, Page 18

One-Time Dance Student Learns Estimating

See Dance to Body Shop, Page 6

P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018

Cristhian Cuevas plans on graduating from TSTC this summer and hopes to find a job as an estimator shortly afterward.

Change Service Requested

Cristhian Cuevas has come a long way from her folkloric dance recitals

Oklahoma Commissioner Backs Temporary Insurance Plan for Uninsured Drivers A pair of legislative proposals would allow Oklahoma law enforcement officers to remove the tags of uninsured vehicles and create a temporary insurance plan for them. Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak announced the bills on Feb. 5 at the State Capitol. “We simply cannot afford uninsured driving in our state any longer,” said Doak. “Not only does it raise auto insurance rates for all Oklahomans, but if an uninsured driver hits your car, the costs could cripple you finanJohn Doak cially. We must put an end to this serious problem.” The legislative proposals include Senate Bill 701, authored by Sen. David Holt, R–Oklahoma City and House Bill 1792, authored by Rep. Mike Christian, R–Oklahoma City. The similar bills allow law enforcement officers to remove the tag

from the uninsured vehicle. It would be replaced with a temporary sticker. The proposal also includes an administrative fee that provides temporary insurance coverage for the stickered vehicles. Once the offender pays the required fees and fines and purchases insurance, his or her tag will be returned. “Unfortunately, right now, the fine for driving uninsured is less than the cost of insurance,” said Doak. He also announced the formation of the Coalition Against Uninsured Drivers (CAUD). Its members include AAA, Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Safety Council and Oklahoma Trucking Association. Around 25% of Oklahoma motorists are uninsured, according to Chuck Mai, Oklahoma AAA Vice President. An evaluation by the Oklahoma Insurance Department found that approximately 563,692 vehicles in Oklahoma are uninsured, resulting in an $8.8 million dollar loss for the state’s General Revenue Fund and Police and Firefighter Pension Funds.

Oklahoma Reintroduces Aftermarket Parts Disclosure Law; AAIA Urges Opposition

Aftermarket parts disclosure legislation (Senate Bill 1051) has been reintroduced in the state of Oklahoma. S.B. 1051 would require an insurer to disclose to the consumer in writing if an aftermarket emission, safety or crash part is to be used in a repair. Insurers would then be required to obtain written consent from car owners regarding the use of an aftermarket part in the repair. A similar bill was introduced last year but was pulled from consideration due to strong opposition expressed by AAIA members in the state. According to the bill, an ‘emission part’ is defined as: an oxygen sensor, catalytic converter, exhaust pipe, exhaust manifold, fuel distributor, electronic emission control unit, onboard diagnostic unit or any related parts or components. A ‘safety part’ refers to a replacement of parts or systems essential to vehicle operation, suspension, elec-

tronic control units, brake parts, safety systems and air bags. An ‘aftermarket part’ is defined as any part not made for or by the manufacturer of the motor vehicle. The disclosure statement to the consumer would state, “This estimate has been prepared based on the use of crash parts supplied by a source other than the manufacturer of your motor vehicle. Warranties applicable to these replacement parts are provided by the manufacturer or distributor of these parts rather than the manufacturer of your vehicle.” AAIA is urging all members with locations in Oklahoma to write to senators stating their opposition to this bill. AAIA says that requiring these disclosures will leave motorists with the incorrect impression that aftermarket parts are of an inferior quality to OE parts.

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COLUMNISTS Attanasio: Why Do I Really Need a Marketing Manager? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Evans: ‘55 Panel Truck Converted into a Pickup on 2006 SSR Chassis . . . . . . 42 Franklin: Pilfer and Polish the Competition’s Thunder. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 I-CAR Tech: General Motors’ eASSIST Electronic System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Insider: Consolidation Allows Insurers to ‘Dance with the Devil They Know’ . . . . 28 Yoswick: CIC Discussion Draws Distinction Between ‘Repair Standards’ and Shop ‘Business Standards’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

NATIONAL 21 States to Consider Electronic Proof of Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 25 Years & Still Sticking Around: American PG27 Masking Tape. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 8 Odd but True Driving Laws . . . . . . . . . . 38 AASA Barometer Indicates Optimism for Automotive Aftermarket Growth in 2013 . 30 AASHTO Commends USDOT Secretary LaHood for Tenure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Alabama Association ALARISE Joins Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Alabama Dealer Wins Truck Dealer of the Year Award. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Alabama Parts Director Sees PartsTrader as a ‘Toll Bridge’ for Parts Suppliers & Customers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Allstate Has Settled 95% of Sandy Claims . 30 ASA’s AutoInc. Selects Top 10 Websites . 21 CEO Jody DeVere Receives Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 ASRW Appoints New Chair . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Automaker, OEM and Recall News . . . . . . 26 Automotive Shop Explodes in Fitchburg, Massachusetts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 CAA Meeting Showcases Toyota’s ‘Predictive Estimating” Tool . . . . . . . . . 41 CCC and URG Join Forces in Parts Listing Service. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 CIF Names New Trustees . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Cocaine Found in Car Door at Auto Body Shop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Daimler, Ford, Nissan Plan Fuel-Cell Vehicle for 2017 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Decreasing Crashes, but Higher Costs for Collisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 DuPont Performance Coatings Renamed

Axalta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Education Foundation’s Leadership Circle Expands. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Florida Chiropractor Gets 54 Months for Insurance Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Ford Family to Collect $28 Million in Dividend Increase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Ford Learning from its Mistakes with Escape Recalls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 GEICO Joins State Farm in Seeking Gag Order Against Ray Gunder, Tactic to Block Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Honda Dealership Doesn’t Want Body Shop Next Door . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Hot Hoods Help Troops Wounded Warrior Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Iowa Senate Bill Introduced to Study DRPs . 36 J.D. Power & Associates Study Says Repair Time Increased by a Day in 2012 . . . . . 20 Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn Feds Ruling on Digital Billboards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Maryland Bill Explicitly Bans Counterfeit Airbags, Global Automakers Support Increased Counterfeit Penalties . . . . . . 40 Maryland Body Shop Owner Fatally Shot . . 3 Missouri Aims to Abolish Biennial Vehicle Inspection Requirement; ASA Urges Repairers to Oppose Bill. . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Mitchell Forecasts Shift in Property & Casualty Industry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 NABC Raises Thousands . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 NABC Taking Nominations for Shop Image Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 NABC Wants Nominations for Award of Distinction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 New Georgia Law Increases Tax on Car Leases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 New Utah Auto Body Association Gets Off to a Great Start. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Ray Evernham Gives $280,000 to Autism Society of NC for IGNITE Program; Charity Car Raised Quarter Million at Auction . . 46 Register Now for Collision Repair Education Foundation’s 2013 Summer Golf Tournament . . . . . . . . . . 31 Rhode Island Bill Proposes Changes to Total Loss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 RI Body Shop Owner Caught Vandalizing for the Business. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Ron Pyle Won’t Seek Another NASTF Chair Term. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Sherwin-Williams Donates $60,000 in Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Sherwin-Williams Hosts Workshop in Las Vegas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Shoddy Airbags Made in China, Sold on eBay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Snapshot Survey Open to Participation till Feb. 28 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Speaking to Body Shop Owners is a Tough but Rewarding Gig . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Sterling Auto Body Offers Student Scholarships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Toyota Settles Recall Related Suits in 29 States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Toyota to Roll Out Wholesale Parts Development Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 TV Show ‘Inside West Coast Customs’ Builds Spacious Jeep for Shaquille O’Neal . . . 17 Urethane Supply Company Adds New Zero VOC Plastic Cleaner . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Vida Watson said her husband had co-owned the shop for about five years, and on Monday, like most days, he was working there. Vida Watson said she got a call from her sister-inlaw telling her that police had surrounded the shop and no one could reach her husband. Vida Watson said she tried to call and text him herself, but he did not respond. When she got on the plane, she knew his car was missing, but it wasn’t until she landed in the Washington area that Keith Watson’s daughter told her what had happened. “I really lost it,” Vida Watson said. “I just started crying.” Vida Watson said her husband, who came to the United States from Jamaica about 20 years ago, was a “hard worker” and a loving father to his two children and stepson. He had long worked repairing cars; the two met when he brought one to a shop where she was working to get an alignment done. In his spare time, Keith Watson enjoyed playing dominos. “He was extremely helpful and generous to everyone,” Vida Watson said. “If you had a need, he’d find a way to fulfill that need for you.”

Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Assistant Editor: Melanie Anderson Contributing Writers: Tom Franklin, John Yoswick, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, David Brown, Rich Evans, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Sean Hartman, Jay Lukes (800) 699-8251 Sales Assistant: Louise Tedesco Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia


REGIONAL CARSTAR Opens First Location in Denton, Texas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 CARSTAR Opens First Location in Oklahoma . 4 Five Dallas-Area Collision Repair Facilities Help Provide Gift of Reliable Transportation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 GM to Invest $600 Million at Kansas City Plant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Instructor Speaks to NWLCRA, Asks Shop Owners’ Advice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Oklahoma Commissioner Backs Temporary Insurance Plan for Uninsured Drivers . . . 1 Oklahoma Reintroduces Aftermarket Parts Disclosure Law; AAIA Urges Opposition . 1 One-Time Dance Student Learns Estimating. 1 San Antonio Approves Doubling Towing Fees. 5

The owner of V&W Auto Body in Landover, MD, was found fatally shot in his shop on Jan. 28. Police say Keith Watson, 48, was already dead when they found him shot by someone who remains at large. Watson’s Audi A6 was missing, and later found abandoned in the 300 block of Hillside Terrace in Landover, police said. They credited a Crime Solvers tip with helping detectives locate the car. Prince George’s County police said the murder occurred about 1 p.m. Monday inside Watson’s auto body shop, located on Rainswood Drive in Landover. Law enforcement officials are not certain that stealing the car was the primary motive for the killing. Police are investigating other possibilities, the officials said. Watson’s wife, Vida Watson, was at a conference in Florida when she got the call that police had circled her husband’s auto body shop in Landover with yellow crime-scene tape, and relatives could not reach him. “It should not have happened,” Vida Watson said outside her home in Upper Marlboro. “It’s a nice car, but it wasn’t to the point where you have to take somebody’s life to get.”

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Maryland Body Shop Owner Fatally Shot

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Absolute Mitsubishi-Hyundai . . . . . 35 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 37 Car-Part Pro. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Chevyland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Classic BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Classifieds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Collision Websites. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Dallas Dodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 David McDavid Auto Group . . . . . . . 2 Don Carlton Auto Group . . . . . . . . . 31 Equalizer Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers TX, OK, LA, NM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Fowler Honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Fowler I-240 Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge. 13 Garmat USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . 38 Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24-25 Houston Auto Body Association. . . 34 Huffines Hyundai Plano . . . . . . . . . 18 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . 43 Intertape Polymer Group . . . . . . . . 11 Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers. 39 LKQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Malco. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 42 Mercedes-Benz of Oklahoma City . 36 Mike Calvert Toyota. . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers. 41 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 29 North Freeway Hyundai . . . . . . . . . 12 PreFab Ads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Ray Huffines Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Reliable Chevrolet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Replica Plastics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 River Oaks Chrysler-JeepDodge-Ram. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 SATA Spray Equipment . . . . . . . . . . 9 Scoggin-Dickey Buick . . . . . . . . . . 27 South Pointe Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge. 19 Toyota of Fort Worth . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Toyota of Laredo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Toyota STAR Elite Dealers . . . . . 14-15 Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 40 VIM Tools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 45 Young Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 | MARCH 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 3

Alabama Parts Director Sees PartsTrader as a ‘Toll Bridge’ for Parts Suppliers & Customers by Melanie Anderson

Marvin Windham is the Parts Director for Benchmark Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Birmingham, AL. Windham has been a parts manager since 1976 and his company sells about $14 million in total sales. Currently, they have about 15 customers in the Birmingham area who have remained on the State Farm PartsTrader pilot program. “We receive fax-only orders from PartsTrader for these customers. We didn’t sign up with PartsTrader, even though Birmingham was one of the first pilot cities,” Windham said. Windham believes that PartsTrader offers no benefits to the repairer or supplier. “If you extrapolate the facts, it isn’t a hard decision for parts suppliers. Currently, we (OEM suppliers) aren’t controlled by the insurance industry, and those on the repairer side, in a lot of cases, have given control to the insurance companies,” Windham said. “In my opinion, PartsTrader wants to build a “toll bridge” between us and our customer, and once we’ve made it secure with “razor wire” fenc-

CARSTAR Opens First Location in Oklahoma

CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts recently announced the opening of the first CARSTAR location in Oklahoma—Jeremiah’s CARSTAR Collision and Painting in Oklahoma City, OK. Jeremiah Graham has owned and managed the facility for 13 years. As a member of CARSTAR, Jeremiah’s CARSTAR Collision and Painting will offer an array of services and products for collision repair, including the latest in repair technology, rental vehicles, national warranties on repairs and turnkey service for customers. The new CARSTAR store will benefit from the CARSTAR Management System, which provides resources to improve key business metrics such as cycle time, participation in CARSTAR’s 19 corporately managed DRP programs, and improved purchasing power from 45 corporately managed purchasing programs. “We are thrilled to expand our presence to Oklahoma with this new top-notch collision repair center,” said David Byers, CEO of CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts.

ing, and no way around, then they will charge us a toll to get to our customer,” said Windham. “This doesn’t even consider the fact that they may want to drive the prices down (in my opinion), and the wasted manpower to do the program.” “Also, the system is designed to get more non-OEM parts on the estimate. I don’t think that’s a good outcome for OEM suppliers, for our collision repairer partners, nor for the car owner. Ultimately our systems must be deMarvin Windham signed to benefit the car owner. They are the ultimate customer, and every decision must revolve around what’s best for them. I will say that if State Farm insures a lot of customers that eventually need collision repairs in our market, we hope to continue to service our mutual customers well into the future. I hope a palatable solution for all parties involved can be found and a compromise worked out. I believe that is possible, but only if they try to satisfy all parties. This system offers no

CARSTAR Opens First Location in Denton, Texas

CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts recently opened its first location in Denton, Texas—Autobody Denton CARSTAR. Owned by Mark Riney, Autobody Denton CARSTAR is located on McKinney Street in Denton. The shop, open since 1977, offers collision repair, vehicle restoration and customization, glass repair and storm and hail damage repair. “We are excited to welcome Mark Riney and Autobody Denton CARSTAR to the CARSTAR network,” said David Byers, CEO of CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts. “We are thrilled to announce our first CARSTAR store in Denton with this new top-notch collision repair center,” Byers said. The new CARSTAR store will benefit from the CARSTAR Management System, which provides resources to improve key business metrics such as cycle time, participation in CARSTAR’s 19 corporately managed DRP programs, and improved purchasing power from 45 corporately managed purchasing programs.


benefits to the repairer or the supplier in my humble opinion.” How does Windham see the future of the parts business given the usage of programs like PartsTrader? “My hope is that OEM dealers and parts managers will be smart and not give up our freedom. The only way this will work is if OEM suppliers sign up on PartsTrader. The temptation is for OEM dealers who aren’t in wholesale to want to use this program as an easy entry into the wholesale business, without doing the due diligence work that those who have built a business from the ground up have done,” Windham said. “We must have the support of the collision industry [repairers] to keep that from happening. The collision industry must support the OEM’s that have the infrastructure, built over years of hard work, and refuse to do

business with OEM suppliers that try to take a shortcut into wholesale. Working together we can stop it! This is the land of the free and I suspect some will say that’s cheesy, but I believe it!” Windham feels rejecting State Farm’s pilot program was an easy business decision to make. “A lot has been said by State Farm regarding those that rejected the program without first giving it a try. My response to State Farm is that as professionals we must study the facts, extrapolate the impact and then make a decision. We all reject things every day because we know what the outcome would be if we didn’t reject, given the facts. I have read every word published about PartsTrader and State Farm, and personally it is an easy business decision for us to reject this program,” he said.

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San Antonio Approves Doubling Towing Fees

As of Feb. 10, San Antonio towing companies are now allowed to charge more than double it previously charged to haul away unauthorized vehicles in private parking lots and garages. The change in the fee, approved Jan. 31 by the City Council, followed months of debate about what constitutes a fair price for a nonconsent tow. The new $177 fee is still lower than what some companies had charged customers. They contended state law gave them the right to collect $250. The city disagreed, saying its previous $85 limit was valid, and police started a crackdown on towing outfits last spring. “We reeled them in and set a cap at $177, that we’re going to enforce very aggressively,” District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal said. “It’s not the Wild West out there anymore.” The increase from $85 to $177 is the first since 2002. Other large Texas cities, like Austin, Dallas and Houston, all have raised their fees in that time. “We’re pleased that the city has moved forward and set a rate that is more reasonable based on the cost of doing business,” said Liz Johnson, president of the San Antonio Towing

Association and owner of Alamo City Recovery. With the new fee comes greater scrutiny and more regulation of the local towing industry. Among the state rules now addressed in the city code is a requirement that tow drivers release a vehicle to its owner for free if that vehicle is not fully hooked up to the tow truck and ready for transport. Other aspects of the new ordinance include: A fuel adjustment clause that will lower or raise the tow fee if the price of diesel fuel drops below $3.83 per gallon or goes above $3.95 per gallon. The city will review fuel prices every December. A tow truck driver must inform law enforcement within 45 minutes of towing a vehicle; before, companies had two hours to call police. The ordinance also requires the companies to call police again, after the vehicle is released to the owner. An $88.50 “drop fee,” the amount a vehicle owner can pay if the vehicle is fully hooked up to a tow truck but hasn’t left a lot. The previous drop fee was $85. For the first time, the ordinance explains how local towing companies can request a study to re-examine towing charges.

GM to Invest $600 Million at Kansas City Plant General Motors Co. announced Jan. 28 it plans to construct a new paint shop and install a new stamping press as part of a $600 million investment at its Fairfax Assembly and Stamping Plant in Kansas City, KS, the Detroit News recently reported. The new upgrades aren’t expected to create any new jobs, but will retain nearly 4,000, GM said. The automaker says this will be one of its largest plant investments ever. “This major investment is a vote of confidence in the employees and leadership of this plant and will allow them to continue producing beautiful, world-class vehicles like the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse— with the same quality workmanship that has defined the Fairfax complex for nearly 70 years,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. “If we execute our plans flawlessly, before long, GM will become the world’s most valuable automotive company,” Akerson said. “We will be globally recognized as a great place to work. And we will have the most loyal and enthusiastic owner-advocates in the industry. That’s how we’ll keep the momentum going—make truly GM great once again. Let’s make this our legacy. It will be unmatched in the history of General Motors.”


The automaker builds the Chevy Malibu and Buick LaCrosse at Fairfax, employing 3,877 workers. GM has already invested nearly $1.9 billion into Fairfax over the past 10 years, including $722 million in 2003 for the Malibu, and $651 million in 2006 for the launch of the Saturn Aura. Recent investments have been smaller, including $20 million in 2011 to invest in eAssist technology for the Buick LaCrosse. Work at the Fairfax plant was halted all of December and into early January. Some U.S. GM plants were idled for additional time around the holiday shutdown to help GM reduce inventory of certain vehicles. Construction on Fairfax’s new, 450,000-square-foot paint shop— which includes new tooling, robots and environmental and energy efficiency gains—begins later this year and should take two years to complete. The company said production won’t be affected by construction. The plant runs three shifts.

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Five Dallas-Area Collision Repair Facilities Help Provide Gift of Reliable Transportation

The National Auto Body Council (NABC) and five Dallas-area dealership collision centers affiliated with the Van Tuyl Group, Inc. recently gifted five families with refurbished vehicles through the Recycled Rides program. The vehicles were gifted on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Team Vandergriff Collision Center in Arlington, TX.

manship to benevolent use—refurbish donated vehicles and gift them to families in need and organizations dedicated to assisting others. In addition to body shops donating their labor, insurers, paint suppliers, parts vendors and rental car companies are recruited to contribute in their own synergistic ways. “The program brings together different segments of the industry for the greater good by providing reliable transportation to those that might not otherwise have access to it,” noted Rafael Hinojos, collision business development director for the Van Tuyl Group. “Industry particLeft to right; Rob Valdez, Pat Urias, Mario Zaccanti, Doug Goss, Bill ipants find they get Lackey, Saeed Ghanabari, Jeff Ethridge, Tyler Herriage, Gene Kozash a great lift from (Director), Cesar Melendez, Gene Kozash Jr., Chris Landry, Alex putting their skills Martinez, Victor Ortiz, Natividad Aguayo Jr., Victor Aguayo, Jacob to use to make a Hough, Ismael Vazquez, Felicia Jackson (not pictured) positive difference Recycled Rides is a national ini- in the lives of others. Many find it so tiative through which National Auto compelling they decide to repeat inBody Council members—men and volvement, year after year.” women putting their superior craftsEach Recycled Rides event is

Continued from Cover

Dance to Body Shop

she inquired about the engineering technology program. But then someone suggested the auto collision technology program and it piqued Cuevas’ interest. “As soon as I got here, the professors were very welcoming and ready to teach you,” Cuevas said. “They really helped you understand the material and quickly became mentors.” Cuevas plans on graduating in the summer and hopes to find a job as an estimator. But Cuevas is prepared to do more than paperwork. The ACT program has prepared Cuevas to take on any role in an auto body shop. “I’ve fallen in love with this program,” Cuevas said. “I’ve learned so much in so many different areas. From refinishing to body work and welding, I’ve really learned about the whole process of auto collision.” And Cuevas has the credentials to back it up. She’s received I-CAR training and has reached pro level in refinishing, body work and is a certified welder. Cuevas has competed in SkillsUSA and won third place in refinish-

ing. She credits her instructors and classmates for her success. “One of my best mentors has been David Wilt,” Cuevas said. “He’s told me about different scholarships and taught me a lot about the industry. He’s the advisor for the Auto Body Club and I’m the treasurer. I’ve just really fallen in love with this program.” Cuevas is one of six women in the program, which has a total enrollment of about 60 students. Cuevas is aware that when she graduates, she’ll be moving on to a male-dominated industry, but she feels prepared. “It’s a male-dominated industry so working closely with these guys will help me prepare for the real world,” Cuevas said. “The guys here have really helped me a lot and they treat me like one of them. Some of them even ask me for advice. This really is like my second family.”


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local in focus, and the program works with charities in specific geographic areas to find qualified recipients needing a vehicle to help them continue leading productive lives.

volunteers to act as advisors and advocates for at-risk families, helping them achieve goals and maintain self-sufficiency. Trinity River Mission is a volunteer-based community learning center that promotes literacy, encourages academic success and develops effective life skills among disadvantaged youth in West Dallas, in the belief that education can connect these individuals to life’s possibilities. The cars needing refurbishing were donated by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Hertz Rent-a-Car, Farmers Insurance and two of the participating shops. The five local collision From Left to Right: Ruben Ramirez, Martin Rivas, Alfonso Alvarado Jr., Jonathon Alvarado, Alfonso Alvarado Sr., Chris centers that donated their labor to refurbish the vehiGonzales, German Alvarez, Eric Bridges, Landon McNeill, cles were: Tom Kimbrell, Tommy McNeill, Miguel Garcia, Fransisco • Team Vandergriff ColliRodriguez, Cesar Guzman, Blake Cowan, David Guzman, Savahna McNeill, David Shirley (Director), Lindsey Azucena, sion Center • Vandergriff Collision Angie Burns, Yvetta Dittmer, Marvin Rivas. North Two charities are involved in the • Vandergriff Collision South Dallas-area event. The Irving, TX, • Westway Ford Collision (also dochapter of Family Promise is a non- nated vehicle) profit interfaith network that provides • Grapevine Ford Collision (also dosupport to families in crisis. It trains nated vehicle)

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Social Media for Shops

Why Do I Really Need a Marketing Manager? with Ed Attanasio

In my last column, I discussed why you still need a website. Just as important is having a marketing manager, especially for companies with more than one location. In today’s world, every shop on the planet is vying for one of those top spots, where they can attract multiple DRPs and dramatically increase their revenue. To achieve this, collision repairers have to deal with every aspect of their business—from personnel to training to bookkeeping and everything in between. Marketing, unfortunately, doesn’t always make it to the top of the list, because it rarely brings results overnight and shop owners aren’t patient, as a rule. When I talk to shops about marketing to consumers I describe a ‘churn.’ You might not get butter right away, but if you get margarine, it’s a good start. Marketing is like building a structure and that’s why it takes time. If you start doing marketing and are perplexed that the phone isn’t ringing off its hook a few weeks later, you’re being unrealistic and setting yourself up for failure. Too many shops or MSOs don’t go the distance when it comes to marketing and abandon their efforts before they give it a chance to succeed. I talked to three very successful shops recently that have marketing managers, in order to pick their brains and ask the number one question many shops want to know—will he or she pay for themselves over a reasonable period of time? If hiring a marketing person is a long-term expense rather than an investment, it can’t work; but if it makes you money, most body shop owners would embrace the idea rather quickly. ROI (Return on Investment) is a nice acronym, but to get there takes a lot of work and a strategic approach. Craig Camacho is the marketing manager for Keenan Auto Body, with 11 locations in Philadelphia and Delaware. When he was hired by the company in 2002, Keenan had five shops that were doing roughly $600,000 in business annually. Today, the company is doing $21 million in business. Camacho knows he isn’t the main reason for the company’s explosive growth, but he also realizes that his marketing efforts have definitely played a role.

“One thing I would tell shops that are thinking about hiring a marketing person is that the technology is not going away. By continually plugging away at things like social media, advertising and other out-of-the-box approaches, we’ve been able to reach a point where we now fix almost 1,000 cars per month. We now have 21 DRPs and we dedicate 2.5% of our annual gross to our marketing efforts. We started out with a budget of 1.5% and increased it as we started to see some success.” Devising a budget for marketing is the easy part, Camacho said, but without continually running analytics and seeing what works, the churn will not produce enough results to justify itself. “Many shops don’t know if their marketing works, so they take a shotgun approach and just blindly buy things like billboards, direct mail, radio and TV, among other things. This usually fails, because there is no cohesive plan.” Rich Villanueva is the marketing director at Michael J’s Body Shop, with two locations in San Jose, CA. He came from the high-tech industry after working in Silicon Valley for many years, so he was already very familiar with the technology, but he had to learn the collision industry from the ground up. “Collision is unlike anything else I’ve ever done,” Villanueva stated. “I’ve now been doing this for almost three years and we’ve increased our revenues by 32% since I came onboard here. I’m not doing it all by myself, because we have a great staff and a very progressive owner. I work a lot on customer service, making sure that every car we repair goes as planned, so that we have a happy customer, which leads to solid referrals. We’ve been working hard on our social media and website and now our average customer spends 2.5 minutes on our site, which is exceptional. We have also increased our Internet visibility 300% since I came onboard. We’ve embraced a lot of new things, like YouTube videos we create, search strategies that work and social media that brings us clients, coupled with some old school conventional marketing, which involves going out and meeting with insurance


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

companies and meeting agents.” Jeff Ryan, the owner of Michael J’s Body Shop, had a feeling that Villanueva would succeed as his marketing person, even though his background wasn’t in collision or even in the automotive field, he said. “We’ve been friends for a long time, so I was confident that he could do a good job. It took some time to get all of the puzzle pieces in place, but once we established a plan, we could see results. Rich has paid for himself many times over, so hiring him was definitely a smart move.” Jeremy Eaton is the marketing guru at Collision Repair Specialists in St. Joseph, MI. He was hired by his father after attending the Academy of Art in San Francisco, so he had no marketing background. Eaton works around 50 hours weekly to provide marketing support for his family’s one location, he explained. “I’ve only been doing this since April and we’ve already experienced a

spike in business. We’ve succeeded by using things like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest to bring our message to the public. The process never stops and we’re not afraid of trying new stuff to see if it will work. We do a ton of charity because we want to do it, but I know it strengthens our position in the community and so it’s a win-win. Recently, we did a diaper drive for a non-profit and we have previously partnered with the United Way. We provide our amazing facility to charities and it’s been great. I also do a lot of internal things with the staff, such as team building, goal setting and other strategies to empower our people and it’s also been very effective.” Marketing management isn’t new, but many body shops are new to the science. Positive results will lead to more cars and more money, and soon it will become a no-brainer and an addition to your staff that could soon be an indispensable part of your business.

Alabama Association ALARISE Joins Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) The recently formed Alabama Automotive Repair Industry Society of Excellence (ALARISE) recently became a new affiliate association of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). According to SCRS, Alabama had gone approximately five years without an active association when a group of shops in the market area began to discuss the prospects of forming a new association. In March of 2011, collision repairers in the marketplace began to work together with a number of interested paint suppliers and parts vendors, as they worked towards forming an organization that could best serve the needs of the Alabama collision repair industry. The effort to work toward the formation of an active association was the result of an industry conference held in February, 2012 featuring SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg as the keynote speaker. In addition to expanding on the importance of collision repairers working together to get things accomplished, and what it really meant to be an industry professional, Schulenburg discussed the topical subject of insurance mandated parts procurement programs.

The topic galvanized those in attendance. “Everyone in the room understood the challenges facing the industry, but hearing about the parts issue showed the magnitude of those challenges and made clear the importance of a unified industry voice in overcoming them,” said Steve Plier, acting president of ALARISE. “We started moving forward to organize an association, completing the basic and necessary paperwork filing with the state and hammering out our bylaws.” Along the way, SCRS provided helpful feedback and information. “We basically used them as a model for our emphasis and approach,” said Plier. As a result, the emphasis of ALARISE is to advance industry improvement and professionalism, underscoring education, not just for collision repair shops, but for the consumer. While the association endeavors to expose members to effective business principles and processes, and is looking into developing apprenticeship programs that will help address an acute technician shortage in the state, it understands that working to improve the image of the industry in the eye of the customer is every bit as important.

In December, ALARISE released a consumer awareness commercial on local cable television channels emphasizing the right of the vehicle owner to select a body shop. “We need to focus our message with the consumer in mind, making clear our commitment to them,” explained Plier. “Our potential customers have to see us for what we are—a legitimate industry willing to do whatever it takes to provide a high quality product and the best possible service. SCRS will be a great help in this area because of their high visibility and great reputation. We are extremely excited to be affiliates.” SCRS looks forward to helping facilitate the continued growth and development of ALARISE. “This is a monumental moment in the formation of this new association in Alabama,” stated Schulenburg. “The collision repairers of Alabama and their customers will be well-served by this energetic, forward-thinking group; and I think they will receive tremendous value from the networking opportunities they will have with our other affiliates. Their vision, and creativity in addressing the issues that affect our constituents, make them a welcome addition to SCRS.”

Daimler, Ford, Nissan Plan Fuel-Cell Vehicle for 2017

An agreement among three automakers spanning three continents could lead to the development of a massmarket fuel-cell electric vehicle as soon as 2017, according to a statement from Nissan. Through the partnership, Daimler, Ford and Nissan intend to produce a common fuel-cell stack and fuel-cell system that can be used by each company in its own separately branded FCEVs, which produce no carbon-dioxide emissions. The electricity for an FCEV is generated on board the vehicle in the fuel-cell stack following a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, leaving behind only water vapor and heat as byproducts. The news came only four days after BMW and Toyota finalized a joint agreement to develop the zeroemission technology system with a production target three years later, by 2020. The automakers said they would combine their existing fuelcell technology to create a complete system. Both FCEV agreements include participating in the adoption of global specifications and component standards. | MARCH 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 9

Florida Chiropractor Gets 54 Months for Insurance Fraud On Feb. 13, a southern Florida court sentenced Jennifer Adams, 39, to a mandatory 54 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. In addition, the court ordered Adams to pay $1,920,424.83 in restitution, sending a strong message to insurance scammers. Adams previously pleaded guilty to a one-count information charging her with conspiring with others to commit mail fraud for her role in a staged accident fraud scheme. According to court documents, perpetrators of the fraud scheme recruited friends and family members to participate in staged accidents. Under Florida’s no-fault law, insurers are required to provide personal injury protection (PIP) coverage of $10,000 per person. The recruiters referred to the individuals whom they recruited as the “Perro” and the “Perra.” The “Perro” was the person who “caused” the staged accident. The “Perra” was the person who was the “victim” of the staged accident and whose car was struck by the “Perro’s” car. Thus, if the recruiter found a Perro with a wife and two children and a Perra with two

friends, for a total of seven participants, the maximum PIP benefit was $70,000. Once the recruiters located willing participants, they provided coaching on staging the actual accident, what to relay to responding police officers, and how to report injuries. Following each accident, the Perro and Perra filed false claims with their insurance companies, alleging that they and their family members were injured. Court documents also allege that accident participants were then directed by the recruiters to chiropractic clinics that were controlled by co-defendants. The staged accident participants completed paperwork falsely asserting that they suffered injuries during the staged accident. The coconspirators advised the participants on how to fill out the paperwork and what to say if an insurance investigator interviewed them about their injuries or treatment. The staged accident participants were instructed to sign numerous blank treatment forms that would later be submitted indicating that they had visited the

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clinic on a number of separate occasions for treatment, although they may have visited the clinic only once or twice. During their visits, some staged accident participants received no treatment at all or may have received only a short exam or treatment from the chiropractor or LMT but the paperwork completed by the LMTs and chiropractors, including Dr. Adams, indicated that a full and lengthy exam and treatment was given. Adams agreed to place her name on the corporate paperwork for two clinics, thereby using her status as a licensed chiropractic physician, to allow the clinics to bill insurance companies directly for PIP claims without obtaining additional licensure from the state of Florida. Those clinics were Ovy Rehabilitation Medical Center Inc. in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Chiropractic Office of South Florida in Palm Springs, Florida. Although Adams was named as the owner of the clinic on the corporate paperwork, the co-conspirators maintained control of the bank account and running the operations of the clinics.

Although Adams initially believed the clinics were operating legitimately, sometime thereafter she became aware that her license and status as a chiropractor was being used to fraudulently submit claims by U.S. mail to insurance companies. Adams realized these patients did not require medical treatment and yet, according to court documents, continued to work at both clinics signing prescriptions for plans of treatment that she knew were not only medically unnecessary but also would be submitted for reimbursement to numerous insurers. Authorities believe that from the time that Adams was informed about the fraud until the clinics were closed by law enforcement, the clinics submitted fraudulent claims that resulted in more than ten insurance companies making total payments of $1,920,424.83. Adams also received a salary for her work as a chiropractic physician paid from the COSF and OVY checking accounts. The bulk of the proceeds of the fraud were taken by co-conspirators.

25 Years & Still Sticking Around: American PG27 Masking Tape treme conformability, AmericanŽ brand PG27 tape has been a painter’s valued friend since 1988, according to Mike McCalden, a senior product manager at IPGŽ. The man knows his tape inside and out after spending 35 years in the industry. IPGŽ is celebrating the tape’s anniversary by pulling out all the stops as they celebrate its role in the collision industry and its important impact on the painting of literally millions of cars over the years. To commemorate AmericanŽ brand PG27’s masking tape, IPGŽ is inserting silver tickets into some cores of their rolls of PG27 masking tape—Willy WonkaŽ style. But in this case, you won’t win a tour of a chocolate factory, but rather a 4-day/3-night trip to SEMA 2013 or an American ExpressŽ gift card containing $100 to $500, according to McCalden. “This promotion will run from now until September 15, 2013, and we’ve dedicated some significant marketing funds to this endeavor,� he said. “The grand prize trips to SEMA in Las Vegas will be a great trip for three lucky winners. People can scan a

by Ed Attanasio

If you’re a painter or a prepper, there’s a very good chance that at one point you’ve used AmericanŽ brand PG27 tape from Intertape Polymer GroupŽ (IPGŽ). Universally known as a reliable, high-performance masking tape, PG27, also known as Premium Grade,

Intertape Polymer GroupŽ’s AmericanŽ brand PG27 masking tape is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a popular product that has been an integral part of the collision industry since 1988


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is now 25 years old and has plans to stick around for at least another quarter of a century. Known for its cornering, high flexibility, increased elongation and ex-

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QR code on our ad in Autobody News to find out more details about the promotion and we’ll be keeping everyone in the loop as we announce new exciting offers.�

If you know masking tape, you’re more than just aware of PG27, IPGŽ’s signature automotive aftermarket tape

How many rolls of PG27 have been sold over the years? If you figure a busy body shop fixes 200 cars per month, then that means they likely use an average of 20,000 rolls of masking tape annually, equaling roughly $30,000 per year—just on tape! So, when a collision repair business is looking for a masking tape, they obviously desire one that is af-

fordable, reliable and versatile. AmericanŽ brand PG27 has proven itself again and again and that’s why it’s still one of the industry’s go-to products for painters worldwide. “Body shops rely on PG27 for a lot of reasons,� McCalden explained. “With its fine crepe backing, it ensures nice clean breaklines. It lays down flatter and always provides a sharp paint edge and handles cornering brilliantly. It took us three years to develop it back in the late 1980’s, and it’s been a success story ever since. Through intensive research and testing, our engineers were able to use advanced adhesive breakthroughs to come up with a tape that has lasted the time and performed at a high level time and again.� When any product survives and flourishes in this tough collision industry, you know it’s a proven performer and that’s why IPGŽ is so proud of AmericanŽ brand PG27, a tape that stuck around for 25 years and is looking forward to a very bright future.

BE ON N THE LOOKOUT L FOR THE FO CORES! CORES S! Help us s celebrate elebrate the 25th 5th Anniversary of our American A canÂŽ brand PG-27 (PG) automotive masking tape! ap Each h month in 2013, 3 we will be hiding Silver 3,

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Tickets in the cor cores es of our ou ur PG-27 masking tape. Find d one, and you could ance to win one e of two (2) 4-day/3-night trips ips to SEMA 2013, have a chance an AMEX gift car card d valu valued ed between $100-$500 or an AmericanÂŽ brand t-shirt! Scan the QR code or go to http:// ages/auto.html for Official Contest Ruless and Regulations.

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NABC Wants Nominations for Award of Distinction

The National Auto Body Council will accept nominations for the Award of Distinction through Sept. 15, 2013. The Award of Distinction continues the tradition of the NABC by celebrating selfless acts by industry professionals for the benefit of others. Industry professionals are encouraged to nominate someone who has gone out of their way to promote the image of the auto body industry. Nominees can be a vehicle manufacturer, a supplier/vendor, educator, insurer, independent appraiser or someone affiliated with a trade association. The Award of Distinction has been given for bravery, philanthropy, charity, and selfless acts of kindness. It transcends the rigors of daily business to uncover those helping the world around them without a thought of recognition for themselves. Any individual, business organization, or group employed in a collision industry-related segment such as collision repair facility, vehicle manufacturer, supplier/vendor, educator, insurer, independent appraiser or trade association is eligible to be nominated. The winner will receive a trip for two in the continental U.S., 2 nights stay, and some spending money, with the whole trip package capped at $1,500.

In addition, the National Auto Body Council is making a concerted effort to recognize those who perform good deeds on an ongoing basis, not within the confines of any particular time frame. “Anytime someone in the industry does something worthy of the award, we’d like to encourage folks to go the NABC website and fill out the form we provide,” said NABC board member Janet Chaney. “The individuals who are so recognized will be featured in our newsletter and automatically become nominees for the Award of Distinction.” “The collision repair industry is a dynamic profession that continually adapts to best address the challenges facing it,” added National Auto Body Council National Director Chuck Sulkala. “As our industry moves forward, it makes sense the awards promoting it should evolve, too. Like the Pride Award that came before it, the Award of Distinction will serve to shine a bright light on the best the industry has to offer.” Those wishing to submit a nomination should submit it online at: /NABC_nominate_distinctionaward.pdf.

The National Auto Body Council is again accepting nominations for collision repair facilities that have had a beneficial impact on their communities through building and design improvements. All nominations need to be submitted by September 15, 2013. The National Auto Body Council recognized Duane Rouse of ABRA Auto Body & Glass of Salt Lake City, UT, for its achievement in providing remarkable visual and functional improvements to its facility. The competition, which will run through early September, applies to any body shop remodeling project completed during the calendar year 2013. One winner and three runners-up will be recognized. Each will receive visual recognition on the NABC website. The name of every facility entering the competition will be listed on the website as well. In addition, the winner will receive a trip for two in the continental U.S., 2 nights stay, and some spending money, with the whole trip package capped at $1,500. “Our industry continues to exhibit its determination to continually improve its professionalism,” said National Auto Body Council Executive Director Chuck Sulkala. “The remarkable visual and functional improvements in our places of business symbolize this

advance, and they need to be shared with the general public. Not only is it important, it’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re really looking forward to it.” Those wishing to submit a shop for consideration should submit a nomination form to the NABC with three before and after exterior images and one before and after interior image of the facility. The nominating form and a complete description of the nominating process is available at: /NABC_nominate_imageaward.pdf For more information about the Body Shop Image Award, contact Kent Seavey, NABC Award Chairman, at (201-448-5158 or e-mail

NABC Taking Nominations for Shop Image Award

Rhode Island Bill Proposes Changes to Total Loss

A newly introduced bill in the Rhode Island General Assembly would make it an unfair claims settlement practice for an insurance company to declare a vehicle a total loss unless the damage exceeds 75% of the vehicle’s pre-accident value. Under Section 27-9.1-4 of the General Laws, the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, the proposed amendment would require the vehicle owner’s “express written authorization” before any vehicle could be declared a total loss if the cost to repair the vehicle is less than 75% of the fair market value of the motor vehicle immediately preceding the time it was damaged. This bill is distinctive in that it prevents an insurer from declaring a total loss below a certain threshold, rather than (as in other states) requiring an insurer to declare a total loss above a certain threshold. Most state laws define damage thresholds primarily to set requirements for salvage title laws only. In other words, the state may require a salvage title if damage exceeds a certain threshold, however insurers are still be free to declare a total loss at any level they see fit. For example, in a state with a 75% salvage title threshold, a vehicle

may have only 55% damage yet the insurer, after factoring in salvage value of the car, would find that the repair is not economically feasible and declare the car a total loss. In this case, the car might go to the salvage auction as a total loss, yet it would retain a clean title under state law, as it remains below the salvage title threshold. In North Carolina, for example, the law requires an insurer to declare a total loss whenever the damage to the vehicle exceeds 75% of its value. In this case, the law in no way prevents an insurer from declaring an economic total loss at any level it sees fit, provided it is below 75%. The Rhode Island bill is clearly different in that it does prevent an insurer from declaring a total loss below the 75% level of damage (without the owner’s consent), even if the repair is not economically feasible. Also under the proposed new subdivision, ‘fair market value’ would be defined as the retail value as set forth in a “nationally recognized compilation of retail values commonly used by the automotive industry…” The bill, H 5263, was introduced by on February 6 and has been referred to the House Corporations committee.

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Industry Insight

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

CIC Discussion Draws Distinction Between ‘Repair Standards’ and Shop ‘Business Standards’ with John Yoswick

The most recent discussion of industry “standards” at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) centered around the differences between “repair standards” and “business standards,” and whether either one—or both—are needed, and whether some organization is needed to implement them. Based on a “repairer-only” meeting the night before the CIC discussion in Palm Springs, CA, a number of CIC attendees reiterated that repairer organizations have already declared that OEM repair procedures are the industry’s standards for repair, and that I-CAR has agreed to work with the automakers to fill in the “gaps” where no such procedures exist. “We don’t need a new third-party entity. We don’t need a committee at CIC,” Jeff Hendler, the administrator of CIC, said, as the “Repair Standards Advisory Committee” opened its discussion. “The repairers who just stood up told you: We know what the procedures are. We just need this group to understand that those are the procedures, that is the source.” “Yes, there are gaps (in the OEM procedures),” Scott Biggs of the Assured Performance Network said. “We’ve asked I-CAR to (address those). I-CAR and its board responded and said, ‘Yes, we will.’ They have put the apparatus in place. That’s now happened. They have staff working on it. The repairers here wanted to make sure that you have all heard us Mike Monaghan loud and clear: We’re not going down some other bunny trail.” But proponents for “business standards,” which address—for example, the types of equipment and training shops should have—argued that that type of standard must be developed and implemented hand-in-hand with repair standards in order for either to be effective. Mike Monaghan, a former shop owner who helped develop a set of shop and repair standards in the United Kingdom, said

those all-encompassing standards identified “what a good body shop should look like.” “I’m fully supportive of OEM methods… but until you identify what ‘good’ looks like, you will be here in another 15 years, having the same discussions,” Monaghan said. It’s the shops without the right equipment, training and processes, he said, that “compromise your industry, and compromise the insurer’s ability to do the job fairly and understand what a true cost of repair is.” Monaghan said the standards effort in the U.K helped weed out substandard repairers, thinning the market from 18,000 shops to about 3,000 shops—1,000 of which meet the standards and now do 80% of the repairs. “When you have 38,000 shops approximately in the U.S., all in this room know that the good majority of those should not be practicing collision repair today,” Monaghan said. “They are not safe.”

Alternative to automaker certifications? Steve Nantau, a recently retired Ford Motor Company executive who has worked on the standards issue at CIC for a number of years, acknowledged that some of the discussion in the past has been thwarted by confusion over what aspects of standards Steve Nantau the committee was addressing. He noted that even the committee’s “Repair Standards” name may have been unintentionally misleading. But as more and more automakers have developed requirements for their own shop certification programs, Nantau said, some on the committee saw industry-defined shop standards as a way to avoid, for example, a shop needing five different brands of welders just to comply with multiple automaker certification requirements. An industry-defined shop standard would also be open to any qualified shop, rather than having automakers


pick and choose among equally-qualified shops, Nantau said. But Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), said he believes collision repairers are more interested in having widespread acceptance and implementation of OEM procedures as the repair standard rather than working toward more all-encompassing shop standards. “I don’t think we want to go down the road of this is how you must run your business and how your business must be,” Schulenburg said. “Establishing a standard of how a repair is performed benefits all. Then leave the certification process up to the open market. Let’s stop trying to bite off the certification part right now. Let’s establish a baseline repair standard, which the (repair) industry already recognizes.”

Tim Adelmann, executive vice president for business development for 137-shop ABRA Auto Body & Glass chain, said he too is interested in whether all segments of the industry will accept any standards that are Tim Adelmann developed. “Today, we can get all the data we need to do a proper repair,” Adelmann said. “The thing that concerns me is buy-in from the body: Do we all agree that this the right way to fix the car?” He said although CIC brought shops and insurers together to develop standards for the digital images needed to document claims, that standard hasn’t been widely adopted, and insurers still have varying require-

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ments for digital images. “So my fear as a collision repairer is that we’ll have a standard or repair procedures but we don’t have consensus with OEMs, repairers and insurers,” Adelmann said.

Bad repairers exist As another example, Adelmann said most direct repair programs have training and equipment requirements that clearly aren’t being followed or enforced. “We hire technicians that come from body shops that are on direct repair programs yet they are not I-CAR trained, and they’ve never used a resistance spot welder,” Adelmann said. “The shop they came from didn’t have a measuring system. But these shops are participating in direct repair programs.” “There are bad repairers out there,” Schulenburg agreed. “Let me say it right now: I represent repairers and some of them probably aren’t that good. But there are a lot of insurers in the room who aren’t paying for OEM repair procedures, though there are carriers out there who do. I guess instead of saying we all agree the OEM repair procedures are recognized, so

let’s move on to the next step. Why don’t we instead focus on getting those procedures recognized. I think we’re moving too far forward before we get that.” But, Nantau countered, how do you ensure OEM procedures are actually being done without some sort of third-party audit system? That was what the committee was postulating when it stopped to gather input—which turned out to be conflicting—on whether this is the direction the industry wants to go. (A survey of CIC participants just prior to the standards discussion at the meeting in Palm Springs found that 79% were in favor of shops being inspected to ensure compliance with requirements for tools, equipment and training.) CIC Chairman George Avery said the topic will remain on CIC’s agenda in 2013. “My [point] is that this will not be solved here today,” Avery said. “But we’re going to take it in steps. I’m committed as the chair of CIC to take these things step-by-step, with the right people. I think having this conversation is very valuable.”

TV Show ‘Inside West Coast Customs’ Builds Spacious Jeep for Shaquille O’Neal West Coast Customs, renowned vehicle customizers and producers of the hit vehicle-build reality TV show ‘Inside West Coast Customs,’ is featuring a blast from the past when Shaquille O’Neal asks Ryan Friedlinghaus, CEO and founder of West Coast Customs, to build him a new Jeep. After many years and countless cars, Shaq’s back and has asked the crew at WCC to build him the ultimate Jeep. It’s time for old friends to reunite and for the crew at WCC to transform an ordinary vehicle into another work of art. “West Coast Customs has built several cars for Shaq,” said Friedlinghaus. “Shaq was one of my first celebrity clients and because of his size, building vehicles to fit a giant is always a challenge.” The ‘Shaq’s Back’ episode will be the first episode of the 2013 season on Velocity Channel. Ryan and the WCC crew will take a four-door Jeep and transform it into a two-door conversion which will be ‘just right’ for the NBA legend. The vehicle’s exterior will feature BASF matte black paint, Oracle accent lighting, Rigid Industries off-road led lights, Mag-

naflow Exhaust, Poison Spyder brawler bumpers and rockers, Smittybilt winch, and FUEL wheels. The interior of the Jeep showcases custom Roadwire leather seats with signature embroidery, and a booming Pioneer audio system and head unit. Check out Inside West Coast Customs, Sunday at 9 pm EST on Velocity. A complete TV show schedule will be on the Owner Ryan Friedlinghaus and his shop have been doing exclusive custom builds for the MTV show Pimp my Ride, TLC's Street Customs, Street Customs Berlin and now on his new show Inside West Coast Customs. Ryan and his crew are worldrenowned for their extreme vehicles, outrageous features, and next level designs.

About West Coast Customs Headquartered in Corona, CA, West Coast Customs was founded in 1993 by Ryan Friedlinghaus. West Coast Customs is known by car enthusiasts as a premiere high-end modification shop that can transform any vehicle into a work of art.

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On Creative Marketing

Tom Franklin has been a sales and marketing consultant for fifty years. He has written numerous books and provides marketing solutions and services for many businesses. He can be reached at (323) 871-6862 or at See Tom’s columns at under Columnists > Franklin

Pilfer and Polish the Competition’s Thunder with Thomas Franklin

The dictionary says ‘pilfer’ means to steal articles of little value, but you might say value is in the eye of the beholder. By now your competition probably has a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and more. Have you checked these out? How effective do you think the contents on these promotional tools are? How do they compare with yours? Have you even looked? Are these articles of ‘little value’ that you might ‘pilfer’ and then polish to increase the value and fit your own needs? Your competitors may have spent dearly to get these tools created, but their designs and ideas are yours to copy if you modify them to showcase your shop. It’s been said that imitation is the highest form of flattery, but I’m not suggesting that you settle for a cheap copy of your competitors’ ideas. You need to improve—and improve greatly—on what you see. Actually, you may already have your own version of what you see on your competitor’s site and other media, but this battle for the eyes and minds of on-line shoppers has just begun. Your shop may be smaller than any of your competitors, but if your website and other media are more powerful and impressive than they are, you will be the biggest in the shopper’s mind. How can you beat that for inexpensive expansion? Your first line of attack is to identify which of your competitors has media elements worth pilfering. Don’t settle for one or two. Look at as many as you can. Then expand your search. Scour the country for shops that have spectacular sites and media presence. If you’re going to pilfer ideas, why not Continued from Cover

Gagging Gunder

been learned through discovery thus far, I can fully understand why these two insurers would not want the information relative to their conduct exposed. As such, Ray’s actions and successes have been extremely beneficial to other repairers and consumers and to the collision repair industry at-large and may encourage some insurers to change their business practices.”

steal from the best? Actually, most collision repair sites will have the same elements. Photos of the shop, personnel, and equipment with promotional information and customer satisfaction statements that make up a good part of most sites. The trick is to showcase yours in a more creative, eye-catching and earcatching way. For example, getting an aerial photo view of your shop is possible in most parts of the country, but it’s seldom seen in on-line promotions. One shop’s site I viewed had 360 degree viewing of the inside of the repair area. This could be of value in promoting to an insurance company, but have little value for a collision repair shopper. You have to decide which public you’re most interested in impressing. Look for the use of color. Many sites seem to have a lot of gray images or background. Spring for a design specialist with a flair for color and dramatic imagery. Think auto show. If your site and media look like everyone else’s, viewers will pass it by in a flash. When you’re scanning other shop sites, watch for images and colors that grab you instantly. Now it’s time to pilfer an idea worth copying and polishing. And don’t forget sound. Think about the background music on commercials that grab your attention. Loud sounds can be a turn-off, so a pleasing sound for your site will keep visitors looking. Now for the hard part. You may want to create a showcase for your shop that puts the competition to shame, but you have very little material to work with. If you want colorful images and your actual shop is a study

Added Gunder, “I’m not overly concerned. I have excellent legal counsel, and I’m confident that Brent will do what he can to defend against the insurers’ efforts to silence me. My only concern is not being able to show what goes on and how other repairers can be successful in properly and thoroughly serving their customers (and their employees) in receiving proper compensation. I believe this is what the insurers fear most and why they’re trying to shut me up. Regardless, until I’m ordered to keep quiet, you can bet I will continue to ‘pound the rock.’ ”


in shades of gray, it may be time to put your painter to work creating a more colorful place. Do you have expansive walls that could display a dramatic mural? Using image wraps normally used for commercial vehicles would allow you to put images of your favorite high-end vehicles right on the walls of your building. And consider the appearance of your crew. With a little imagination you can blow the competition away with your shop’s appearance. Finally, watch for what’s missing in the competition’s presentations. Do you have a niche that many shops ignore? Do you provide special items for the aged or handicapped? These can show your shop as having compassion for others. Do you have a waiting area with elements for parents to entertain their children while they’re waiting? Do you provide special door-to-door service with rental cars, or after-hours rental car drop-off? Do you have key

personnel that you might showcase? Have you worked on celebritys’ or local politicians’ vehicles? If you have old photos of interesting jobs or shop events you can probably have them scanned into digital images. And don’t forget social connections. Affiliation with girl scouts, boy scouts, charities, hospitals, local schools or churches and more can connect you with like-minded viewers and separate your shop from the crowd. You may not be able to afford regular events but it only takes one to provide you with plenty of images for your media and sites. One Ford dealer I helped with marketing put on a spectacular event with an armored vehicle from the sheriff’s department and a couple of concept cars from the Auto Show. With images like these on the opening home page, few viewers would pass it by. Get creative and you can beat anything the competition could come up with.


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J.D. Power & Associates Study Says Repair Time Increased by a Day in 2012 As repairable and total loss claims are being paid faster, overall claimant satisfaction with the auto insurance claims process increased in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study–Wave 1, released Jan. 24. Interestingly, while overall claim satisfaction increased and the time it takes to pay claimants decreased, the average cycle time of the vehicle repair increased by 1.2 days to 13.5 days in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with 12.3 days in the fourth quarter of 2011. The study measures claimant satisfaction with the claims experience for auto physical damage loss. Depending on the complexity of the claim, a claimant may experience some or all of the following, which are measured in the study: first notice of loss; claim service interaction; damage appraisal; repair process; rental experience; and settlement. Overall, claimant satisfaction with the auto claims process in the fourth quarter of 2012 increased by six points to 861 (on a 1,000-point scale) from the fourth quarter of 2011, primarily due to an 11-point increase in settlement satisfaction. Contributing

to the improvement in settlement satisfaction are slight increases in the ratings of two attributes in this factor: fairness of the claim settlement and timing of the settlement. The study finds that the average time to pay claimants decreased to 13.9 days in the fourth quarter of 2012, down from 16.4 days in the same period of 2011. While the average time to pay claimants for a repairable claim (11.8 days) decreased by 1.3 days from the fourth quarter of 2011, the largest decrease is in the time it takes to pay total-loss claims, down by an average of 5.1 days to 18.5 days. “Regardless of the claim type, the faster the claimant is paid and can move forward with a repair or to replace their vehicle, the more likely they are to be satisfied,” said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “In addition, satisfaction with the claims professional is at an all-time high, indicating that the process is becoming smoother, with more frequent updates throughout contributing to a much more satisfying experience.” Satisfaction with the repair process is 862, a decrease of two points from the fourth quarter of 2011. Contributing to lower satisfaction is a decline in the percentage of vehicles being fixed right the

first time—89% in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with 91%t in the fourth quarter of 2011. “While insurers have made significant progress in the past 12 months to improve the efficiency of the claims process, the repair providers have not kept pace,” said Bowler. “Failure to repair a vehicle correctly is critical to the customer experience as average satisfaction scores tumble over one hundred points for those who had to bring their vehicle back for repeat repairs.” On average, claimants who take their vehicle to a non-direct repair provider wait 16 days to get their vehicle back, 2.9 days longer than when they take their vehicle to a direct repair provider (13.1 days, on average). The gap in time between a direct repair provider and non-direct repair provider in the fourth quarter of 2012 has increased from only 1.8 days in the same period in 2011. The 2013 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study–Wave 1 is based on responses from more than 3,000 auto insurance customers who settled a claim within the past 6 months.

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Ron Pyle Won’t Seek Another NASTF Chair Term

Ron Pyle, president and chief staff executive of the Automotive Service Association (ASA), recently announced he would not seek another term as chairman of the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF). “I have been very closely associated with NASTF since 2002, and ASA has been involved for more than a decade—hosting the first NASTF meeting in Las Vegas. I am honored that my peers have elected me to represent ASA on the NASTF board for another three-year term and I look forward to contributing to the evolving mission of the organization,” said Pyle. ASA’s original goal was to help create a model auto industry organization that would work to facilitate communication between independent repairers and automakers. NASTF’s most important role was to ensure a successful, private sector process whereby service and tool information as well as training would be provided by the automakers to independent repair shops. “This past year was particularly eventful for NASTF as it became an autonomous and self-sufficient organization,” said Pyle. “NASTF had

relied on ASE for administrative services and financial and in-kind contributions from the founding associations and constituent groups to operate. With the hiring of an executive director and the development of a reliable revenue stream from the vehicle security registry activity, NASTF has taken a significant step forward. “I am particularly looking forward to the upcoming NASTF general meeting to be held at the ASA-MoKan VISION Conference in Kansas City, MO, March 8. I expect there will be many familiar faces in the audience, but there will be an opportunity to reach some who have never been exposed to NASTF or the work it does on their behalf.” Subsequent to achieving success in identifying gaps in service information and resolving them, it became clear that NASTF could provide a conduit for the transfer of secure information and sensitive data between the OEM and the independent repairer, thus the Secure Data Release Model (SDRM) was created. This unprecedented, cooperative effort processed almost 400,000 transactions in 2012 through the Vehicle Security Professional (VSP) Registry.

ASA’s AutoInc. Selects Top 10 Websites AutoInc., the official publication of the Automotive Service Association (ASA), recently selected its annual “Top 10 Automotive Repair Websites,” which are featured in the magazine’s January 2013 issue. Since its inception, AutoInc.’s Top 10 feature has been a guide to help shop owners understand the capabilities of the Internet in the automotive repair industry. AutoInc.’s “Top 10 of 2013” includes (in alphabetical order): ● Auto Pro To Call, Chapel Hill, NC, ● Braxton Automotive, Atlanta, GA, ● Cool Springs Automotive, Brentwood, TN, ● EuroService Automotive, Warrenton, VA, ● Flossmoor Family Automotive Repair, Flossmoor, IL, ● Hillmuth Certified Automotive, Columbia, MD, ● Hubbard Woods Motors, Winnetka, IL, ● Louetta Automotive, Cypress, TX, ● Mid-Cities Service Center, Euless, TX, ● Wheeling Auto Center, Arlington

Heights, IL, “Even in an age where social media is reigning more and more, a shop’s ‘calling card’ remains its website. These shops have done their research and put some careful thought in producing sites that are dynamic, educational and engaging. We applaud them for their efforts,” said Ron Pyle, ASA president and chief staff executive. Each year, AutoInc. judges review scores of website submissions and narrow the field down to what they consider the best, based on a variety of factors. The goal is to help other shops employ the Internet as a powerful tool and show them how fellow shop owners use the Web to improve productivity, enhance marketing programs and, ultimately, increase their businesses’ bottom lines. Judges use set guidelines and a scoring sheet to evaluate specific features of each site uniformly. Sites are evaluated using the following criteria: First impression, Objective/purpose, Visual design, Innovation, Appearance, Credibility, Navigation, Interactivity, Consumer friendliness, Encourages action, Technical, and Social media interaction.

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I-CAR Tech

This article first appeared in the I-CAR Advantage Online, which is published and distributed free of charge. I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, is a not-for-profit international training organization that researches and develops quality technical education programs related to collision repair. To learn more about I-CAR, and to subscribe to the free publication, visit

General Motors’ eASSIST Electronic System

parts to prevent access without first disabling the HV system. The HV battery sections are aircooled. Each battery section case has an air inlet and an air outlet vent tube. An electric fan draws air through a vent located behind the rear seat through the battery case to cool the individual cells. In the event of a damaged or ruptured battery, any gases are vented to the outside of the vehicle.

Figure 1 - This is the eAssist system on the 2012 Buick LaCrosse

GENERAL MOTORS eASSIST ELECTRIC SYSTEM Another version of electric-assist vehicle technology is showing up in collision repair facilities. General Motors in 2012 introduced what it refers to as “light electrification” technology on select models. This system is called eAssist, and is available on some 2012 Buick LaCrosse, Regal, and 2013 Chevrolet Malibu models (see Figure 1). The eAssist system is a similar configuration to the Belt Alternator Starter (BAS) system that was available on some recent model year GM vehicles. The BAS system was discontinued as of the 2010 model year. More information regarding the GM BAS hybrid system can be found in the I-CAR Advantage Online article “Twists On Hybrid-Electric Vehicle Technology” dated 09/23/2008, and the I-CAR live and online “Electric and Electric Hybrid Vehicles (ALT02 and ALT02e)” courses.

System Features The eAssist system uses a starter/generator, which may also be referred to as the drive motor. This unit serves as an AC generator, a power assist to the engine in certain driving situations, and for starting the engine when it is in the auto-stop mode. The drive motor is mounted to the front of the engine in place of the alternator. The drive motor is connected to the crankshaft pulley using a specially designed serpentine belt and belt tensioner.

Vehicles with the eAssist system also have regenerative braking, electronically controlled shutters in the lower grille, and a system that shuts down fuel delivery to the engine in certain deceleration conditions. The grille shutters open or close based on engine coolant temperature and vehicle speed.

High Voltage (HV) Battery Pack Unlike the BAS system, which used a 36-volt nickel-metal hydride battery, a 115-volt lithium-ion battery powers the eAssist system. The eAssist system high voltage (HV) battery pack is located in the trunk of the vehicle, directly behind the rear passenger seat (see Figure 2). The battery pack contains two battery sections connected in series that together provide 115-volts DC. The battery pack also contains some of the control modules and parts used by the eAssist system.

Figure 2 - The eAssist system high voltage battery is located in the trunk of the vehicle as shown on this 2012 Buick Regal

The battery pack has a metal tray that is fixed to the vehicle floor, which provides a mounting location for the HV parts. A cover is secured over the


High Voltage Safety When working on or around vehicles with high voltage systems, always follow the appropriate safety precautions. Read and follow the recommended service procedures for high voltage systems and parts. Be sure to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment, which includes Class 0 insulated rubber gloves with leather outer gloves (see Figure 3). Always inspect the insulated gloves for any defects that

might prevent the insulating properties, and do not wear them if they are damaged. More information on high voltage safety can be found in the Emergency

Figure 3 - Always wear Class 0 electrically insulating rubber gloves with protective leather outer gloves when working on or near high voltage parts

Response Guides for the Buick LaCrosse, Regal, and Chevrolet Malibu eAssist equipped vehicles. These documents can be accessed for free at

the website. More information on insulated rubber gloves can be found in the ICAR Advantage Online article “Insulated Rubber Gloves And High Voltage Batteries,� dated 02/04/2010.

Damage Analysis and Repairs GM service information states to not remove the battery pack cover when inspecting for damage. Inspect the battery pack assembly, cooling fan, air ducts, drive motor, and HV cables. Verify there are no cracks or dents, pinched, cut, or frayed cables, or other physical damage. For repairs, some parts of the high voltage system are serviceable. For example, the two lithium-ion battery sections are diagnosed and serviced as a single battery assembly. The individual battery sections are not serviced separately. The drive motor has two internal sensors that are not serviceable, the drive motor position sensor and the drive motor temperature sensor. Refer to the service information for the proper procedures. Always refer to the service information for the appropriate disabling and safety pro-

cedures when working on any HV system parts.

High Voltage Disabling GM service information recommends waiting five minutes after turning the ignition OFF, to allow the HV capacitors to discharge before working on or around the HV system or parts (see Figure 4).

Figure 4 - Shown here is a display cutaway of the eAssist system high voltage battery and drive motor

The HV battery pack, and the starter/generator each have an interlock switch located on the service access covers. The interlock will disable the high voltage when the starter/generator control module identifies that an high voltage area has been accessed. When either cover is removed, the interlock

loop is opened. The starter/generator control module will open the contactors to prevent contact with high voltage. The HV battery pack has a manual disconnect lever to allow disconnecting high voltage from the eAssist system when performing service on the system (see Figure 5). The high voltage manual disconnect lever and generator battery fuse are located in the battery energy control module wiring junction block assembly. This assembly is in a plastic tray that is secured to the top of the starter/generator control module.

High Voltage Enabling When enabling the eAssist HV system, be sure that the manual disconnect lever, and the interconnect switch are in the closed position. Refer to the appropriate service information for the recommended procedures. All fasteners for the HV parts must be tightened to the specified torque. Insufficient or excessive torque may result in malfunctions or damage to the parts or the system.

Conclusion GM is introducing another version of electric-assist vehicle technology

called eAssist beginning on some 2012 models. This system uses 115 volts to operate. It is important that anyone working on or around the high voltage parts follows the appropriate safety

Figure 5 - The location of the manual disconnect switch on this eAssist system high voltage battery prop is shown here

precautions, and refers to the appropriate service information. Doing so will help to ensure a high level of safety when inspecting damage or making repairs on these vehicles.

For comments or suggestions on the Advantage Online, please contact ICAR at: CHECK IT OUT! | MARCH 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 23



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Dept. Hours: M-Sat 7-6

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8:30-5

Fowler Honda

Santan Honda

N o r ma n

C h a n d l e r, A Z

888-715-3197 405-573-5719

800-765-1353 480-285-2804

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-9; Sat 8-4

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-5:30; Sat 7-5

Joe Marina Honda Tu l s a

800-722-0520 918-491-0110 Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-4

Hou st on

H o us t o n

800-999-8309 713-776-4834

800-833-0180 713-663-4266

Superior Honda

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 8-5

Dept. Hours: M-F 8-6; Sat 7-4

800-943-4227 504-368-5687


H a r v ey

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-5:30 AC U RA T EX AS




Don Carlton Acura of Tulsa

Walker Acura

Tu l s a

800-359-8555 504-465-8555

Autonation Acura

Gillman Acura

Leag ue C it y

H o us t o n

800-749-6227 713-371-4700

800-288-9180 281-209-4214

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6; Sat 7-5

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-6

David McDavid Acura

Mac Churchill Acura

A u stin

F o rt Wo rt h

800-575-3553 512-401-5976

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Acura of Baton Rouge

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 8-5

Dept. Hours: M-F 6-7; Sat 8-5

866-733-2861 225-756-6166

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Sterling McCall Acura

Dept. Hours: M-F 7:30-6; Sat 8-5

Pl a no

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713-596-2337 713-596-2338

Dept. Hours: M-F 7-7; Sat 8-5

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M e t a ir ie

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Toyota Recall for Passenger Seat Sensor

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling certain models interspersed through model years 2009 through 2013 as follows: model year 2009-2012 Tacoma, 4Runner, Camry, Camry Hybrid, Prius, and RAV4; model year 2009-2010 Avalon, FJ Cruiser, and Highlander Hybrid; model year 2010-2013 model year Corolla, Sienna and Tundra; model year 2009-2013 Highlander and Venza; model year 2012 Prius V; and model year 2010-2012 Sequoia. During modification by SET to include accessories such as leather seat covers, seat heaters or headrest DVD systems, these vehicles may not have had the passenger seat occupant sensing system calibration tested. Without passing the calibration test, the occupant sensing system may not operate as designed. If the front passenger seat occupant sensing system is out of calibration, the front passenger airbags may not deploy or they may deploy inappropriately for the passenger’s size and position. This could increase the risk of personal injury during the event of a vehicle crash necessitating airbag deployment.

Honda Airbag Recall

Honda is recalling certain model year 2009-2013 Pilot and 2011-2013 Odyssey passenger vehicles manufactured from March 13, 2008, through December 21, 2012. One or more rivets that attach the airbag module to the airbag cover may be missing. The absence of more than one rivet could alter the performance of the driver’s airbag during deployment. This could potentially increase the risk of injury during a crash. Honda will notify owners and instruct them to take their vehicle to a Honda dealer. The dealer will inspect the driver’s airbag module and replace it if necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on, or about, February 16, 2013. Owners may contact Honda at 1-800-999-1009.


Chevy Malibu Recall

General Motors is recalling certain model year 2013 Chevrolet Malibu vehicles, manufactured December 6, 2011, through January 15, 2013. One or more rear suspension bolts may not have been tightened to the specified torque. This may lead to sudden changes in vehicle handling. Sudden changes in vehicle handling may increase the risk of a crash. General Motors will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and retighten the bolts as necessary, free of charge. Owners may contact General Motors at 1-800-521-7300.

Toyota Recalls 1.29 Million Cars for Air Bags, Wipers

Toyota is recalling over one million cars around the world for faulty air bags and defective windshield wipers. The company is recalling 907,000 cars, mostly Corollas, due to air bags that can improperly inflate when the vehicle’s electronic signals damage a chip in the part that controls the air bags. It also is recalling 385,000 Lexus IS luxury cars with wipers that can get stuck if there is heavy snowfall. Initially, the Japanese automaker had said there were no accidents related to either problem, but Toyota Motor Corp. spokesman Naoto Fuse said that two crashes were reported in the U.S. related to the air bag problem. Toyota had not been able to confirm them and Fuse said it is unclear whether anyone was injured in the two crashes. Toyota has confirmed 18 cases in the U.S. of abrasion-type injuries from the air bag problem, he said. As part of the air bag recall, Toyota is recalling some 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix cars in the U.S., about 141,000 vehicles in Canada and thousands of similar vehicles in Japan and Mexico that were manufactured between December 2001 and May 2004. The part will be corrected to be able to block damaging signals, said Fuse. The problem wipers affect three kinds of Lexus IS models.


GM Recalls 13,000 Cars for Bolts and Airbag Issues

General Motors Co is recalling 13,680 cars globally to address potential problems with improperly tightened suspension bolts and faulty airbags, according to the company and documents filed with U.S. safety regulators. Neither issue has resulted in any accidents or injuries, GM said. 2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZumGM is recalling 8,519 2013 model year Chevrolet Malibu sedans in the United States as one or more rear suspension bolts may not have been tightened properly, which could lead to loss of vehicle handling and increase the risk of a crash, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. GM is recalling another 1,060 of the cars in Canada, Mexico and overseas, GM said. Owners initially may notice noise and minor handling issues, but as the condition progresses sudden changes in vehicle handling could occur, NHTSA said. GM also is recalling 3,896 2012 model year Buick Verano, and Chevy Camaro, Cruze and Sonic cars in the United States to address potentially faulty airbags, NHTSA said. The driver side front airbag has a shorting bar that may intermittently contact the airbag terminals, possibly causing the airbags not to deploy and increasing the risk of injury, according to the NHTSA.

Chevy Airbag Recalls

General Motors is recalling certain model year 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, Buick Verano, Chevrolet Cruze, and Chevrolet Sonic vehicles. The driver side frontal air bag has a shorting bar which may intermittently contact the air bag terminals. If the bar and terminals are contacting each other at the time of a crash necessitating deployment of the driver’s frontal airbag, that airbag will not deploy, increasing the driver’s risk of injury.

March 2013

Volvo Profits Plunge 17%

Swedish truck maker AB Volvo saw profits tumble in the fourth quarter as sales slumped 17% on weakening demand in key markets. The net profit in the final three months of 2012 was $125 million. Volvo said that demand for trucks sagged in southern Europe and Japan while “North American customers have remained cautious because of uncertainty about the future economic development.” Last month Volvo announced it would buy a 45% stake in China’s Dongfeng Motor Group Co. — a deal it said would make it the world’s biggest heavy trucks maker.

Chryler’s New ‘13 Dart

Chrysler Group introduced the limited-edition Mopar ‘13 Dart, marking the fourth special-edition Moparbadged vehicle created since the company partnered with Fiat S.p.A in 2009. Building on the success of the Mopar ’10 Challenger, Mopar ’11 Charger and the Mopar ‘12 300, the limited-edition Mopar ‘13 Dart will be built and customized with Mopar performance parts and accessories. Production for a limited run of 500 units will begin this spring at the company’s assembly plant in Belvidere, IL. “Our new Mopar ‘13 Dart will turn heads and stand out from the crowd,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customercare brand. “For this special, limitededition vehicle, we specifically kept the driver in mind as we added select Mopar parts and accessories.” Inspired by the tuner scene, the Mopar ‘13 Dart is designed for driving enthusiasts. Powered by a 1.4-liter MultiAir® intercooled turbo engine with a manual transmission, the Mopar ‘13 sports a gloss-black finish with a pair of car-length Mopar Blue stripes, which mirror each of the three previous Mopar-themed models. From the racing scene, Mopar added a premium brake kit with slotted rotors.

Toyota Reclaims No. 1 Spot

Toyota Motor Corp. regained the No. 1 ranking, displacing General Motors Co., after selling a record number of 9.75 million vehicles worldwide for 2012. Sales of vehicles under Toyota’s Hino, Daihatsu, Lexus, Toyota and Scion brands were up 22.6% over the previous year. Japan’s second- and thirdlargest automakers also broke sales record as the industry recovered from a spate of natural disasters and other setbacks. Nissan Motor Co.’s global sales rose 5.8% to 4.94 million vehicles, while Honda Motor Co.’s sales surged 19% to 3.82 million vehicles. By the start of 2012, most of Japan’s automakers had fully restored production from the disruptions of 2011 caused mainly by a giant tsunami. They also benefited from strong demand in the U.S. and Asia, a limited exposure to the weak European auto market, and improving currency trends. Forecaster IHS Automotive has penciled in Toyota for first place in 2013; the automaker is expecting to sell 9.91 million vehicles. But IHS noted that Germany’s Volkswagen AG could be a strong contender.

Mitsubishi Recalls 1,400 EVs for Faulty Brakes

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is recalling 1,400 electric vehicles for faulty brakes. The Japanese automaker said it is recalling 1,402 2012 i-MiEV electric vehicles built between December 2011 and September 2012 and were sold in the United States. The brake system vacuum pump could become inoperable because of a faulty part built by a German supplier. The investigation began after an owner in Japan made a complaint in June. The automaker told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration it is unaware of any crashes or injuries. Dealers will replace the vacuum pumps on the vehicles. A repair schedule will depend on parts availability, and the automaker hasn’t released a timetable yet for notifying dealers and owners.

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Chrysler Wins U.S. Ruling Against Two Dismissed Dealerships

A federal judge has ruled against two Chrysler Group dealerships in New York whose owners lost their franchises as part of the automaker’s 2009 bankruptcy. Eagle Auto Mall and Terry Morris Chrysler-Jeep sued Chrysler in August 2010. They alleged that the automaker failed to follow the directives of binding arbitration that called for Chrysler to provide Eagle Auto Mall with a “customary and usual” preliminary deal to renew the dealership. Eagle Auto Mall and Terry Morris Chrysler-Jeep were two of 789 U.S. Chrysler dealerships terminated as part of Chrysler’s bankruptcy. In a ruling issued Jan. 24, District Judge Leonard Wexler found that the letters of intent that Chrysler offered to the owners of the two dealerships after they won arbitrations to restore their franchises were customary and usual. In 2009, as part of its bankruptcy-supervised reorganization, Chrysler stripped franchise rights from both dealerships’ owners. They later won their franchise rights back in arbitration.

One Third of Ford Dealers Will Sell EVs

More than 900 dealers, about a third of the Ford-brand dealer body, will be certified to sell Ford-brand plug-in vehicles by spring, Ford said. That number of EV Certified Dealers has grown from about 200 dealers in November and is ahead of where the company projected it to be. EV Certified Dealers have to meet special certification requirements in order to be allowed to sell Fordbrand plug-in vehicles. Ford currently offers two: the Ford Focus Electric and C-Max Energi. A third plug-in, the Fusion Energi, goes on sale soon. Ford attributed the spike to increased demand for the electrified vehicles. To be certified, Ford dealers must install at least two on-site charging stations, including one in the customer parking area and another in the service department. Dealers must also keep at least one Focus Electric and C-Max Energi on hand for demonstrations. And 80% of sales consultants, sales managers, service managers and service advisers are required to take specialized training in vehicle electrification.



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Inside Insurance

The Insider is a corporate-level executive with a Top 10 auto insurer in the U.S.. Got a comment or question you’d like to see him address in a future column? Email him at

Consolidation Allows Insurers to ‘Dance with the Devil They Know’ with The Insurance Insider

The industry has been inundated with news about consolidators buying new locations and expanding into markets where they have not traditionally had a presence. To be honest, it’s happening at such a rapid pace that most of us in the insurance industry were caught off guard. In an economy that has struggled, the last thing we expected was capital investment firms plunking down large sums of money to purchase consolidators and then provide capital for aggressive growth. Existing large consolidators investing their own money to buy additional locations was even more surprising to insurers. Why is it a surprise? Well, there’s the fact that most shops regularly complain that they can’t make any money in this industry because of the sinister insurance industry. Perhaps the all-toocommon refrain about the lack of profitability in the collision repair industry has no substance. If people who have far more money and are significantly smarter than me are throwing down millions of dollars to buy body shops, maybe we’re not clearly understanding “lack of profitability.” I’m not averse to shops making a profit, of course, but I am averse to shops saying the sky is falling when in fact it’s raining money. So what does all this consolidation mean to the insurance industry? Are we happy, sad or indifferent? The best answer I can give is a quote from one of my all-time favorite movies: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” If you don’t know the movie, I am not going to tell you because you’re probably not old enough to appreciate it anyway. But I will say this: It doesn’t make a difference to insurers what direction the industry is headed regarding consolidation. We have no ability to control it, and have no desire to influence it. It’s something that will happen organically without our input—one of the few times in the history of the collision industry when we as the insurance companies are not

forcing change. Honestly, it’s a little refreshing that we don’t have to be the ones to help facilitate change. It gets tiring dragging body shops to the

dance to help improve their business, operational efficiency and customer service. There, I said it. We are tired of having to make shops do a better job. Speaking of dances, I remember the days of the “sock hop.” I realize I’m really going back in time, but this was the thing to do and the place to be on Friday nights. I fondly remember shoes being piled up and everyone in the school dancing. Kids today don’t have any idea what they missed out on. As surprising as this may seem, I remember times where I had a decision to make about whom to dance with. That’s similar to the decisions we as insurers are faced with as consolidators become larger and their footprint in the U.S. becomes wider. It was such a nerve-racking decision back then. Do I dance with Suzie, who I always seem to bump into at these high school mixers, or do I take a risk and try to dance with Betsy? I don’t know too much about Betsy and she may say ‘no.’ I typically chose the safe route, as Suzie was a sure thing. Ergo the cliché, “Dance with the devil you know, or dance with the devil you don’t?” (If Suzie’s mom ever heard me refer to her sweet daughter as a devil, my mom would have been called and I would be skipping supper that evening.) We as insurers view consolidators and independents in a similar


manner. We know the consolidators because they’re at every dance, just like Suzie. They’re going to be available, and more often than not are a willing and able-bodied partner. The independents may dance as well but may never have a chance to show it. I guess Betsy and many independents will be standing up against the wall wondering what it would be like to dance the night away. I suppose that could be our loss, but dealing with the devil you know sure makes doing business easier. And quite frankly, Suzie looks a lot cuter and has more to offer. Please don’t send any e-mail about misogyny. I’m not degrading women or any individual woman. I am trying to indicate that, much like the large consolidators, some bring far more to the dance. They have more assets, as it were. Although we don’t take a position on consolidation, it can make it easier for us to do business. Most con-

solidators have a single point of contact for a small market of locations. Managing 10 shops becomes easier when we can make one phone call to share performance results and identify areas where improvement is needed. Furthermore, consolidators typically have a training regimen to ensure that the revolving door of estimators and customer service representatives are adequately trained so that their service level doesn’t deteriorate. They also provide a level of additional services that the majority of independents can’t compete with. The reality is that Suzie is not only here, she wants to dance, and she is the prettiest girl at the sock hop. Sorry, Betsy.

“The Insider” wishes to remain anonymous as he offers an unvarnished look at various issues impacting the collision industry. This column reflects an individual’s opinion only.


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Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn Feds Ruling on Digital Billboards

Scenic America on Jan. 23 filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to overturn a controversial Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) ruling. The ruling reversed the agency’s long-held position that barred intermittently changing commercial digital billboards. The lawsuit alleges that FHWA has wrongfully allowed commercial digital billboards to proliferate along federal highways nationwide. Scenic America is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the visual character of America’s roadways, countryside and communities. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Scenic America and its members by Georgetown Law Center’s Institute for Public Representation, asserts that FHWA’s 2007 guidance violates the lighting standards established under the customary use provisions of the Highway Beautification Act. “For over five years we have pleaded with FHWA to do the right thing and revoke the memorandum,” said Mary Tracy, president of Scenic America. “In every instance, they

have turned a blind eye to the standards established by the Highway Beautification Act. These standards were meant to protect all citizens from the trespassing glow of digital billboards flashing commercial advertisements along high-speed roadways. Because the agency has ignored the law, today we are asking the Court to tell FHWA to follow the law.” Digital billboards, brightly-lit signs with commercial ads that change intermittently every few seconds, appeared along federal highways around 2005. State transportation officials, charged with controlling outdoor advertising and following FHWA’s longstanding prohibition on intermittent commercial message lighting, turned to FHWA for additional guidance. Under immense pressure from a powerful billboard lobby to approve the signs, FHWA reversed its long-held position. “We receive distress calls from people all over the country who find these TVs-on-a-stick lining our highways to be distracting eyesores, and in some instances the signs even shine into the windows of nearby homes,” said Tracy.

AASA Barometer Indicates Optimism for Automotive Aftermarket Growth in 2013

Automotive aftermarket suppliers are optimistic about 2013, according to responses to the Q4 2012 “Aftermarket Supplier Barometer” survey conducted quarterly by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA). Suppliers say that, although market weakness continues, the future may look brighter. “AASA Barometer respondents indicated they expect aftermarket growth in 2013 to return to long-term trend levels or roughly the level of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth,” said Bill Long, AASA president and COO. “Our industry’s slow but steady growth remains impressive in an uncertain economic climate,” he added. The AASA Barometer 2012 Q4 survey participants noted that the aftermarket has seen tepid performance over the previous three quarters. After a disappointing Q3 2012, performance in the fourth quarter remained flat.

“The number of Barometer survey respondents indicating sales growth decreased to 51% from 60% in Q3,” said Paul McCarthy, AASA vice president of industry analysis, planning and member services. “Supplier sales to the independent aftermarket averaged an increase of 1.9%, a growth rate slightly below U.S. GDP, indicative of the recent market sluggishness,” he explained. The “AASA Aftermarket Supplier Barometer” is a quarterly survey of AASA full service supplier members on key indicators and market trends. The full survey report is an exclusive AASA member benefit and is available only to member companies which participate in the survey. For more information about the AASA Aftermarket Supplier Barometer and other AASA industry analysis offerings, contact Paul McCarthy of AASA at or 919-406-8812.

Instructor Speaks to NWLCRA, Asks Shop Owners’ Advice The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association met Feb. 5 in Bossier City. Guest speaker was Chris Shepherd, a collision repair instructor for Louisiana Technical College, speaking on changes that he has made to the collision repair curriculum, including post-

ing class work for his students online to allow him to spend more time with his students in ‘hands on’ training. Shepherd suggested collision shop owners and managers review the online class work to ensure his class is covering the topics shops feel are significant.


Allstate Has Settled 95% of Sandy Claims

Allstate Corp’s quarterly profit fell 45% on losses from Superstorm Sandy, but the home and auto insurer said it has paid out about 95% of Sandy claims and is seeing rate increases across businesses, the Insurance Journal recently reported. The largest publicly traded home and auto insurer in the United States raised its quarterly dividend to 25 cents per share from 22 cents and announced a $1 billion share buyback program. “In auto insurance, we expect to see relatively modest price increases, which are at or below the rate of inflation, across the industry,” Chief Executive Thomas Wilson told Reuters. Wilson said Allstate had 170,00 claims from Sandy and about 98% of them have been closed. “Catastrophe losses are much higher in the last five years than they have been at almost any period in history and so those costs need to be passed on to customers.” The company recorded catastrophe losses of $1.06 billion for the fourth quarter, up from just $66 million in the year-ago period. Losses from Sandy were $1.12 billion.

AASHTO Commends USDOT Secretary LaHood for Tenure

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Executive Director John Horsley recently commended U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for his leadership during the past four years. “We at AASHTO applaud U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for four years of dedicated leadership, especially on safety,” Horsley said. “On his watch, highway fatalities have dropped by about 5,000 deaths per year. Distracted driving is a national priority today because of his personal zeal. He also helped states create thousands of jobs through investments in highways, transit, and high speed rail. The Secretary’s announcement that he plans to step down from his position comes at a crucial time for the industry. AASHTO looks forward to continuing to work with Secretary LaHood and his successor to fully implement the reforms included in MAP-21 and to identify a long-term, sustainable funding source for our nation’s transportation system. It has been a pleasure working with Secretary LaHood and we wish him well,” Horsley said.

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Register Now for Collision Repair Education Foundation’s 2013 Summer Golf Tournament

The Collision Repair Education Foundation’s annual summer golf fundraiser, set for July 25 in Boston, MA, is quickly filling up with over half of the 144 player registration spots sold. The event is expected to be sold-out by the end of March and those interested in playing and/or participating as a sponsor are encouraged to contact the Education Foundation as soon as possible. This fundraiser takes place in conjunction with the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and I-CAR industry meetings being held that week in Boston, and funds raised through this event assist the Education Foundation in providing support to collision repair students and their school’s collision programs. Golfers will enjoy a round of golf at the South Shore Country Club, a championship par 72 golf course designed in 1922 by Wayne Stiles and features rolling topography, elevated approaches, and pristine conditions. Samuel Adams, The Boston Beer Company, has donated a “tasting table” for golfers to enjoy on the course and a Boston area car dealership has pledged a vehicle as a ‘hole-in-one’ prize for golfers. Even if you can’t attend in person, industry professionals can still

score a hole-in-one through the helicopter golf ball drop fundraiser that will take place as part of the event, presented by LORD Corporation. Individuals can sponsor golf balls ($25 each ball/ 5 for $100) that will be dropped from a helicopter over a hole on the South Shore Country Club golf course the day of the event. Whoever sponsors the numbered golf ball that goes in the hole (or the closest to the pin) will win a $1000 American Express gift card. Participants do not need to be present to win and only 1500 golf balls will be sold. Early-bird individual player registration is $225 p/person ($900 foursome team) before April 1, 2013 and $275 p/person ($1,100 foursome team) after April 1, 2013. Registration includes 18 holes of golf, cart rental, complimentary beverages/snacks on the course, BBQ lunch, dinner, attendee promotional items, and the opportunity to participate in several contests on the course. To register, sponsor, or participate with the golf ball drop fundraiser, contact Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at 847-463-5244.


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New Georgia Law Increases Tax on Car Leases

Georgians who lease a car starting March 1 will pay more in taxes than if they buy the vehicle outright, a change that has angered some motorists and one lawmakers are working to address, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reported. In lawmakers’ haste to push through last year’s bill that would phase out the so-called “birthday tax” on cars, they failed to account for the nuances of car leases, which account for 42% of new car transactions in Georgia. When a car is leased, the consumer pays an initial sales tax as well as monthly sales taxes. On a straight purchase, the consumer only pays the initial sales tax and an annual property tax on his or her birthday. The massive tax bill signed into law in 2012 eliminates both the initial sales tax and the birthday tax for car buyers and replaces them with a single title tax when the vehicle is purchased. That tax will be 6.5% as of March 1, and it could go as high as 9% if the state revenue falls short. Under the new law, however, those who lease cars will pay the same 6.5% title tax when the deal is signed but will continue to pay the monthly sales tax based on their local


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jurisdiction’s rate. While the leasing company actually pays the title tax, that expense is typically passed on to the consumer. While most Georgia counties have a sales tax rate higher than the 6.5%, a few, such as Cobb and Cherokee, assess 6% on purchases. People who lease cars in those counties will then pay a higher tax rate under the new law. Even in counties with a higher sales tax rate, the overall effect would be to make leases more of a tax burden than outright buying a car and less attractive to consumers like Eric Hankinson of Roswell. Hankinson has leased nine vehicles in the past and does his homework to determine if a lease or purchase makes the most financial sense. If the law takes effect without changes, Hankinson said it’s doubtful he’d sign lease number 10. Rep. Tom Rice, R-Norcross, has filed legislation to try to address the problem. House Bill 80 would lower the initial title tax on leases to 4%, but would not address the monthly sales tax. Negotiations are continuing among lawmakers, car dealers and companies that typically finance leases, meaning that rate could change.



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Sherwin-Williams Hosts Workshop in Las Vegas

Alabama Dealer Wins Truck Dealer of the Year Award

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes will host the next A-Plus™ EcoLean™ Level 1 workshop Feb. 27-28 at the Aria Resort/Hotel in Las Vegas. The Sherwin-Williams’ exclusive EcoLean Level 1 workshops are offered to collision center owners and dealer managers from across the United States and Canada. They are designed to educate attendees about maximizing profitability by improving productivity and eliminating waste throughout their facilities. The EcoLean 1 workshop curriculum includes: • Principles of reducing environmental waste • An overview of lean production, and its practical application in collision repair • Approaches to making the collision facility more efficient and consistent • How to build a lean culture from the ground up To register online for the upcoming Las Vegas workshop, go to en/Events.aspx. For more information on EcoLean or the A-Plus Network, call (800) 3863881.

Hundreds of truck dealers stood up and cheered as Drew Linn, Jr., president of Southland International Trucks in Homewood, AL, accepted the national award for Truck Dealer of the Year. During his acceptance speech, Linn commended his employees. “We’re very proud of the entire dealership,” Linn said at the American Truck Dealers (ATD) Convention and Expo. “It’s an accomplishment made possible by our 200 dealership employees. “I spend more and more of my time coaching all these people, because the team’s getting bigger,” Linn said in remarks prior to the award presentation. “I love the interaction with customers, but I love even more the interaction with the people [with whom I work]. The older I get, the more gratifying it is to see them become successful.” The award is co-sponsored by ATD and Heavy Duty Trucking magazine. Linn was selected from an elite group of truck dealers, including Steve Bacalis, president & CEO of Tom Nehl Truck Co. in Jacksonville, FL, who was named a finalist.

Missouri Aims to Abolish Biennial Vehicle Inspection Requirement; ASA Urges Repairers to Oppose Bill

Ford Family to Collect $28 Million in Dividend Increase

Missouri State Sen. David Sater (R29) has introduced legislation that would dilute the Missouri State Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Program by eliminating the requirement that all motor vehicles obtain a biennial certificate of inspection, and instead be inspected triennially. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) opposes these changes to the Missouri Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Program. The bill’s effect would be to create less-safe highways in Missouri, more accidents leading to loss of property, more injuries and possibly more deaths. State government studies of vehicle safety inspection programs in Missouri and Pennsylvania have indicated that inspection programs deter accidents, injuries and deaths. ASA asks Missouri repairers to contact their legislators and express their opposition to S.B. 136. Repairers can go to ASA’s legislative website at to send an opposition letter. Sending a letter takes only a few minutes. See the full text of the bill at

The Ford family, which owns more than 70 million shares of the Ford Motor Co., stands to make $28.3 million this year with the news that the automaker is doubling its quarterly dividend, The Detroit News recently reported. Ford’s dividend, which sat at 5 cents per share for the past year, will bump up to 10 cents per share, a sign analysts say points to strong 2012 financial results and a promising 2013 outlook. Among the biggest beneficiaries of the increased dividends is Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr., who has 14.5 million common shares of Ford stock and more than 4 million Class B shares, according to last year’s company proxy statement. He will make nearly $7.5 million this year in dividend payments. And outside the Ford family, company CEO Alan Mulally, who owns nearly 22.4 million shares of Ford’s common stock, stands to receive about $9 million this year in dividend payments. For a five-year span dating from late 2006 through 2011, Ford paid no dividend. It announced in late 2011 the return of a nickel-per-share dividend.


NABC Raises Thousands

The National Auto Body Council (NABC) said its annual golf fundraiser raised roughly $55,000 towards helping military veterans get started in the collision industry through Operation Comfort. The tournament, held in Palm Springs, CA, the day before the start of the Collision Industry Conference’s annual planning meeting, took in between $25,000–$30,000 of gross profit, said NABC executive director Chuck Sulkala at CIC. “[Operation Comfort] is not an NABC program,” Sulkala said. “This is coordinating on behalf of the industry. This is your program.” NABC has raised $300,000 in pledges to Operation Comfort, onefifth of the way to its overall goal of $1.5 million to purchase, renovate and equip a repair facility in San Antonio, TX, with the purpose of training and educating military veterans on skills that will prepare them for jobs in the collision industry.

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Sherwin-Williams Donates $60,000 in Products

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes donated more than $60,000 in products to several schools involved with the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s 2012 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grant program. “Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes believes in supporting secondary and post secondary educational facilities so that they can better their programs which help to make well-educated students into employees in our industry,” said Rodney Habel, director of training operations for SherwinWilliams Automotive Finishes. The schools that requested Sherwin-Williams products as part of their application include: Sarasota County Technical Institute in Sarasota, FL, Freedom High School in Freedom, WI, and Applied Technology Center in Rock Hill, SC. Sherwin-Williams also donated paint for the collision shop walls of the 2012 grant winners, Nichols Career Center in Jefferson City, MO, and Manhattan Area Technical College of Manhattan, KS.


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Make us your one-stop shop today! | MARCH 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 33

Mitchell Forecasts Shift in Property & Casualty Industry Mitchell’s 2013 Industry Trends Report (ITR) for the first quarter presents expert insight into trends, current events in the industry and the economic outlook. The ITR leverages Mitchell’s sophisticated data sets and state-by-state data from Enterprise Rent-A-Car on the repairable length of rentals. This interactive report offers a comprehensive look at data-driven trends in the Property & Casualty (P&C) industry.

The Auto Physical Damage edition Written by Greg Horn, Vice President of Industry Relations at Mitchell, the feature article, “The State of Repairs: Does Repair Efficiency Vary from State to State,” explores the relationship between rental length and labor hours for repairable estimates, and which body labor type has the greatest influence on rental length and overall labor hours. The significance of this is that operating efficiency does vary from state to state, and shop owners who are able to incorporate rental and estimating data into business decisions can increase efficiency.

The data from Enterprise Rent-ACar shows that the industry’s average length of rental (LOR) decreased by 0.1 days in Q4, 2012 but in the Northeast, due to Hurricane Sandy, the average LOR was 12.4 days. Weather, climate, economics, age of vehicle and parts availability are factors in determining LOR. “With this new information, industry resources have finally caught up to market demands,” said Horn. “Thanks to the state-by-state look at the relationship between rental hours and body shop labor, repair shop owners can now take the combined data to see how they rank against the overall state average, or measure how they stack up against in-state competition.”

The Auto Casualty Solutions edition The feature article Analytics in Action, written by Dr. Edward Olsen, Mitchell’s Senior Claims Consultant, underscores the importance of data analytics in the P&C industry, especially for carriers who need to understand every aspect of the claims resolution process. Sharing insight on two projects derived from the newly an-

Hot Hoods Help Troops Wounded Warrior Project

Four eBay auctions were held recently to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. Each auction consisted of a race car hood autographed by Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and/or Ray Evernham, as well as a photo of the car as it competed in the 2013 Chili Bowl Midget Nationals and a photo of Stewart or Kahne signing the hood.

“I am extremely excited about these auctions and I hope we can raise a lot of money for the Wounded Warrior Project,” said David Prickett, owner of Western Performance Parts and Neverlift Motorsports in Fresno, CA. “This whole deal has been a lot of fun and I’ve had the pleasure of talking with some great people.” The auctions lasted 10 days on

eBay, and at the completion of the auctions, Neverlift Motorsports made the donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. Prickett, former BCRA Most Improved Driver and BCRA Champion and 2012 USAC WS Dirt Champion,, has a long history in midget racing, both with BCRA and USAC and have a complete BCRA / USAC schedule planned with a three car team in 2013. Neverlift Motorsports would like to thank everyone involved in this project: Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Ray Evernham, Tony Stewart Racing, Fabozzi Motorsports, Kassik Motorsports, Jesse Frazier, Crysalli Artesian Water, Mt. Rose Mixes, Western Performance Parts, Wunder-Bar, Millican Farming Service, Frazier Construction, TK All State, Memorial Machine, Pro Screen Signs and Graphics, Top Shelf Design, Afco Racing, Hoosier Tire, Simpson Race Products, K&N Engineering, Shell Shock Design, Wilwood Engineering, Moose Motorsports, SpeedTech Chassis, Caps Jet-Hot Coatings, XRP, MPD Racing, Schoenfeld Headers, Royal Purple and MaxiLube.


nounced Mitchell ClaimsLab, Olsen discusses how the Medical Severity Index (MSI) and Casualty Loss Triangle Reporting will impact the industry in 2013. Currently, the MSI is a quarterly report based on the results of the open claims data benchmarked with Q1, 2008 results. The addition of ClaimsLab data will allow carriers to monitor performance and change procedures in a more proactive and precise manner through the MSI. In 2013, ClaimsLab will enable Mitchell to develop a loss triangle tool that will provide a series of analytical reports to allow carriers to assess the composition of their claim losses from a unique perspective that includes a mix of provider and treatment information. A casualty loss triangle is a valuable tool for the projection of future losses and reserving, and to benchmark performance against the industry. “We’ve heard the industry buzz about the term Big Data and data analytics, but there hasn’t been an easy way for P&C insurance carriers to receive valuable data, analyze it in

meaningful ways and have it presented in a manner that is visual, compelling and easy to understand—until now,” said Olsen. “Mitchell’s new ClaimsLab is the missing link and these initiatives are just two examples of how Mitchell is applying analytical expertise to help the industry gain a deeper understanding of business and outside forces. Readers of this ITR will have a greater understanding of the MSI and Casualty Loss Triangle Reporting initiatives we have in place in 2013.” The ITR has highlighted ongoing and emerging industry trends and key performance indicators for auto physical damage collision and casualty industries for over a decade. The insights and perspectives via several editions focus on the data-driven, technology-enabled innovations impacting the insurance claims handling marketplace. The complete report is available at First published in April 2001, Mitchell’s ITR now reaches more than 33,000 collision and casualty industry professionals.

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Automotive Shop Explodes in Fitchburg, Massachusetts

A large explosion at a Fitchburg, MA, automotive supply shop Feb. 5 caused serious damage to nearby buildings and displaced about a dozen people. The explosion occurred at Victory Auto Supply-Speed Shop at 214 Lunenburg St. around 5:21 p.m., said Fitchburg Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Curran. No one was injured in the explosion, he said. “It was really quite a horrific blast initially, and fortunately no one was in the immediate area of the explosion,” said Curran. The cause of the explosion is under investigation and numerous departments, including the State Fire Marshal’s office, responded to the scene. After the blast, four buildings, including the auto supply shop, were boarded up and flagged as unsafe, displacing about 10 to 12 people, he said. The Red Cross worked to find shelter for those unable to return to their homes, he said. The initial report of the incident came from a Fitchburg police detective who happened to be in the area, he said. The scene was described as a loud explosion and “a wall of flame,” said Curran.

ASRW Appoints New Chair

Automotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW) has announced that Dan Stander, AAM, Fix Auto Highlands Ranch in Littleton, CO, will serve as the next event chairman for the International Autobody Congress & ExDan Stander position (NACE). Stander succeeds Ron Nagy. Stander is a second-generation collision shop owner with 30 years of experience. He holds the Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) designation from the Automotive Management Institute (AMI) and is a graduate of the University of Colorado. As an ASA member for 30 years, Stander is active in the ASA-Colorado affiliate, currently serving as president of ASA Colorado’s Collision Division and on the state organization’s Board of Directors. Stander is also instrumental in ASA’s activities at the national level with his involvement in the ASA Collision Division Operations Committee and its Refinish subcommittee, as well as serving on the ASA Board of Directors as Collision Division director.

Decreasing Crashes, but Higher Costs for Collisions

Even as the number of fatal and injury crashes decline, the societal cost of injury and fatal traffic collisions is on the rise, according to a report from the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR). The societal cost of fatal traffic collisions reached an estimated $6.4 million in 2012, a 100% increase compared to $3.2 million in 2005. Injury crash costs follow the same upward trend. The community’s cost of an injury crash rose to $134,555 in 2012, a 97% increase from 2005. The NSCR reports that these costs would have been much higher had fatal crashes and injury crashes not declined by 24% and 7%, respectively, from 2005 to 2010. Based on these numbers, the NSCR urges communities to continue setting better standards on roadways to reduce collisions, such as adding red-light and speed safety cameras.

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CCC and URG Join Forces in Parts Listing Service

CCC Information Services Inc. (CCC) and United Recyclers Group (URG) announced Jan. 25 the implementation of a new parts listing service within CCC ONE Estimating. The service uses parts data gathered by URG to provide CCC ONE Estimating customers direct access to a comprehensive recycled parts inventory from auto recyclers. “CCC is making significant investments in its alternative parts solutions to improve the coverage and availability of insurance-quality parts for our estimating users,” said Jim Dickens, senior vice president for CCC. “URG has created a dynamic organization and a quality parts listing service that is open to all recyclers looking to present their parts information to auto repair professionals.” URG’s technology provides inventory and pricing data to CCC ONE Estimating, allowing users access to recycled parts inventory and information as estimates are being written.






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Speaking to Body Shop Owners is a Tough but Rewarding Gig by Ed Attanasio

I have been a standup comic for 15 years, so I’m familiar with tough crowds. Luckily, I didn’t get any hecklers when I talked recently about social media and Internet marketing to the Santa Clara chapter of the California Autobody Association (SC-CAA) at their January meeting. I put my arsenal of one-liners, knock-knock jokes and shadow puppets on hold. I tried to provide a presentation focusing on useful information that body shops could put to use almost immediately. Overall, my presentation, entitled “Marketing and the Internet for Body Shops,” went well—until I mentioned Yelp, at which point the 50 people in attendance frowned in unison and rolled their eyes almost on cue. Body shop owners have their multiple issues with Yelp for obvious reasons and when I told them about my opinion of the highly-popular site, they didn’t like my stance in general. “Yelp is like commuter traffic,” I told the membership. “Trying to control it is difficult or even impossible, so

Iowa Senate Bill Introduced to Study DRPs

ASA has reported that Iowa state Sen. Brad Zaun (R-20) recently introduced Iowa Senate Bill 42 requesting an interim study committee on automobile insurance direct repair programs (DRPs). Under the legislation, the interim study committee is to study DRPs used by some automobile insurance companies to provide repairs for claimants. The study is to include the following: A review and analysis of the use of such DRPs by the automobile insurance industry in Iowa and the effect of the use of such programs on automotive body repair shops, insurance costs and Iowa consumers. Membership of the interim study committee will include: ● Three consumers, ● Four members who represent auto body repair shops in the state, ● Four members from the automobile insurance industry. To view the full text of the bill, visit ASA’s legislative website at and click on the “Track State Legislation” tab in the left menu.

spend your limited time doing other things where you can have more significant impact. Shops that have only positive reviews on Yelp can backfire, because the public knows no one is perfect, even for shops that have the word “Perfect” in their name.” After some discussion on the topic, I realized that I had opened Pandora’s Box

ship in attendance, consisting of body shop owners and their personnel, car dealership parts people and various vendors. First we tackled the basics, starting with a question I still hear often from body shops—Why do I need a website? For the same reason why you need a business card and a sign out front. Having a website is as

The SC-CAA chapter recognized its 2012 board, including (from left) 2013 President Randy Greenblat, Tabias Padilla, Steve Sturken, Don Dutra, Adam Piper, Miguel Espana, Alex Ornelas, David Mello and Nathan Chukes

and that Yelp warrants its own presentation in the future. Search for previous articles on Yelp, pro and con. Here are some of the other things I shared with the SC-CAA member-

Honda Dealership Doesn’t Want Body Shop Next Door

important as having a paint booth. Most consumers will use your site primarily for three reasons: Directions to the location, contact information, and a list of your services and capabilities. Bells and whistles and

other features are nice. (Photo galleries, testimonials from satisfied customers, how-to articles, etc.) But in the end they mainly want your address and phone number. One thing I can’t understand is when body shops don’t have their contact information on their home page. It should always be large and prominent and the first thing visitors will see, because time is money and people have miniscule attention spans. Then, I tried to pinpoint several forms of social media that are most appropriate for the collision industry, because not every form of social media works for body shops, in my opinion. For instance, I suggested that unless Justin Bieber is your newest estimator or Paris Hilton is your receptionist, Twitter is probably not ideal for you. Even though Twitter is popular in the collision industry, the Twitterverse is best suited for directing traffic to a website. To be effective in a consumer-oriented social universe that changes daily, I suggested to everyone that they save time and research by concentrating on the following and in this


Honda of Watertown, CT, is appealing a Planning and Zoning Commission decision to allow an auto body shop to be built next door. The dealership filed a complaint Jan. 12 asking the Waterbury court to overturn the commis-


2006 SL600 Roadster The Watertown Planning and Zoning Commission approved an auto body shop at this old industrial building. Honda of Watertown is appealing that decision.

sion’s decision to approve the 3,000-square-foot repair shop in an existing industrial building at 29 New Wood Road. The building is currently used for an industrial machine shop, which is allowed in the Business Shopping Center District as a nonconforming use. Auto body shops are not allowed in the zone, but the commission can change one non-conforming use for another by a two-thirds vote if it finds the new use is more appropriate than the former use.


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have misconceptions about blogs, because they’ve seen so many bad ones online, consisting mainly of baby or pet pictures and somebody’s bad poetry. But the reality is that blogs are now increasingly popular and more and more body shops are creating them. Two important tips for blogging: 1) Provide only 100% original content for a blog and 2) Make it fresh by posting at least two new blog articles every month, at a minimum. I also talked about Google, YouTube and LinkedIn at some length, three portals that I greatly value because I have seen them work for body shops nationwide. Google is an amazing company that proMarketing Manager Cristina Vargas, owner John Roast vides approximately 30 busi(left) and Estimator Travis Dickson, all from German Auto ness tools for businesses, Body, attended their first SC-CAA meeting including Google+, Google a “Social Media/Internet Starter’s Places, Google Maps, Google CalenKit,” and after setting it up, maintain- dar, Google forms and of course, ing your social media and website can Gmail. After a quick tutorial, you can be achieved in less than 10 hours quickly learn how to use Google to immonthly. prove your shop in a multitude of ways. I talked about the subject of blogs YouTube is now one of the most and how you really need one and how effective search-oriented sites on the they can cost very little. Many people web. Collision repairers producing order: Facebook, Google, YouTube, FourSquare and LinkedIn. On top of that, by performing monthly Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts and establishing a blog, any body shop can quickly establish a presence online without dedicating a large amount of time and money to it. Think of it as

fun, informational and/or witty videos and posting them on YouTube while

After my presentation, the SCCAA covered some new business, outlining the chapter’s schedule of meetings and other events to take place during 2013. One piece of exciting news was the announcement of the chapter’s Trade Faire, and event that has been a huge success in the past, but was suspended for a few years due to financial constraints and limited participation. Now, it’s back and slated for sometime in September, according to John Rost, the owner of B2B Perfection in Sunnyvale 2013 SC-CAA President with Nathan Chukes, head collision instructor at CCOC were on hand at the SC-CAA’s January meeting Randy Greenblat. Also, the chapter’s golf tournament linking them to their websites, blogs, will be back again this year, after Facebook pages, has proven to be being a success and a money maker very effective. YouTube videos can be for the organization in 2012. In inexpensive to produce and can pro- March, the University of Toyota will vide an easy way to disseminate use- be on hand to talk about its curriculum ful information while differentiating and most importantly, how to properly you from the competition. work on hybrids, according to Alex With LinkedIn, body shops can Ornelas, SC-CAA board member and strengthen their position with their parts manager at Toyota of Palo Alto. vendors and the business community. After the meeting, the SC-CAA swore It can also be used to find and hire in its 2013 officers and board and pregood front office people, estimators, sented them with plaques for their techs and other personnel. service to the chapter in 2012.

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Albuquerque (800) 642-2697 (505) 217-0289 Fax | MARCH 2013 AUTOBODY NEWS 37 CEO Jody DeVere Receives Award

Jody DeVere, founder and CEO of, received the Women’s Automotive Association International Distinguished Service Award. The award was presented during the 14th Annual WAAI Spirit of Leadership Awards Reception on Saturday, February 9 at The Peabody in Orlando, FL. DeVere founded in 1999 as a social media site to provide expert advice to women on automotiverelated topics and to teach strategies to enhance women’s experiJody DeVere ences in dealing with automotive-related businesses through the Certified Female Friendly program. Currently, more than 7,000 individuals employed in auto dealerships as well as tire, collision and repair centers hold AskPatty certification credentials. A long-time member of the WAAI Board of Directors who previously served as chairman, DeVere currently holds the position of vice chairman and treasurer.

Sterling Auto Body Offers Student Scholarships

Sterling Auto Body Centers is offering an interactive student scholarship this spring for secondary and postsecondary collision students located in close proximity of the MSO. The scholarship is being offered through a $25,000 donation to the Collision Repair Education Foundation. In order to qualify for the awards, students must meet with their local Sterling Auto Body Centers store manager for an interview. From the list of candidates, eight collision students will be selected to receive a $2,500 scholarship to help with their education expenses. “With the serious shortage of quality technicians on the horizon, helping to fund the education of students interested in collision repair should be a priority of every major repairer in our industry today,” said Mike Nuxoll, human resources vice president for Sterling. “We’re thankful for the work of the Foundation, and you can bet that we’ll look to have first shot at these students as they near graduation.” Sterling Auto Body Centers also donated $5,000 to the Education Foundation’s Collision Repair Education Campaign.

CIF Names New Trustees

At the recent Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) meeting at the Hilton in Palm Springs, CA, the CIF Board elected two additional members to the Board of Trustees to carry on the Foundation’s initiatives throughout the coming years. The two new trustees are Shawn Heimback with Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Inc. and Cheryl Boswell with DCR Systems. In addition, the CIF Board elected in the fall of 2012 Dave Merrell, PartsTrader; Petra Schroeder, DuPont Performance Coatings; Kelly Broderick, Dedoes; Brandon Devis, Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes; and Rick Tuuri, Audatex, a Solera Company. The current CIF Board of Trustees Executive Committee are William Shaw, PPG Industries, as Chair; John Bosin, Akzo Nobel Coatings, as Vice Chair; Jim Muse, FinishMaster, as Treasurer; and Rod Enlow, CCAR, as Secretary. Remaining in their positions as trustees are Stacy Bartnik, CARSTAR, and Jeanne Silver, CARSTAR Mundelein.

RI Body Shop Owner Caught Vandalizing for the Business

A man was caught on surveillance camera keying cars at a Warwick car dealership, and investigators say the suspect is the owner of a nearby auto body shop. Stevie D’s, a car dealership in Warwick, RI, has had dozens of cars vandalized over the years. The dealership’s owner, Steven Davis, set up surveillance cameras to try to catch the vandals responsible. The video captured a man keying cars, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. Davis identified the man as Tony Lombardi, owner of Airport Body Shop. For the last few years, Steven Davis has sent damaged cars to Airport Auto Body to get them repaired. Police confirm the surveillance video shows Lombardi pull into the dealership, then check inside and walk along two cars, dragging his keys along the way. “This is a gentleman, a guy we thought was working with us on a business and he was working against us,” said Davis. Police report that Lombardi damaged five cars, and Davis says the damage could cost $7,500. arrested and GiveLombardi us yourwasopinion on charged with vandalism.

The Houston Chronicle reported these strange, but true traffic laws: 1) Don’t burn rubber in Derby, KS. Burnouts are illegal. It could cost you 30 days in jail for the misdemeanor charge. 2) If you get convicted of a DUI in New Jersey, the state will permanently strip you of the right to have a vanity license plate. 3) Ice cream trucks are banned in Indianola, IA. 4) Honking is illegal in Oxford, MS, because it might scare nearby horses. 5) It’s illegal to drive with a gorilla in your back seat in Massachusetts. 6) If you’re riding a camel in Nevada, stay off the freeway. It’s illegal to ride a camel on a Nevada freeway. 7) If you leave an elephant at a parking meter in Florida, you have to pay the meter. An elephant requires the same fee as any vehicle. 8) It may be news to some that in San Francisco, CA, you are barred from wiping your car windows with your used underwear.

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Maryland Bill Explicitly Bans Counterfeit Airbags, Global Automakers Support Increased Counterfeit Penalties Maryland’s HB 885 will explicitly prohibit a person from ● making, distributing, or selling a counterfeit airbag or a substandard airbag; ● installing a counterfeit airbag or a substandard airbag in a motor vehicle; ● selling or installing a device that causes the vehicle diagnostic system to inaccurately indicate that the airbag is functional when a counterfeit airbag or a substandard airbag is installed; ● representing to another person that a counterfeit airbag or a substandard airbag that is installed in a motor vehicle is not a counterfeit airbag or a substandard airbag If the violation of this act contributes to death or bodily injury, the person is guilty of a felony. The Association of Global Automakers has announced its support of Maryland House Bill 885. The association has been working closely with bill sponsor Delegate Keiffer Mitchell Jr.’s office to provide technical expertise on the issue. “Counterfeit replacement airbags are a serious safety problem,” said Mike Stanton, Global Automakers’

Education Foundation’s Leadership Circle Expands

Five collision industry members have joined the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s Industry Leadership Circle through personal contributions to the organization. Tim Adelmann, executive vice president of ABRA Auto Body & Glass; Stacy Bartnik, vice president of field services for CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts; Eric Bickett of Fix Auto USA; Chris Northup of General Distribution Consultants; and Michael Minutillo, owner of Master Auto Body, each donated $1,000 or more to the organization. The monetary donations will be used to financially support secondary and post-secondary collision repair students and school collision programs. “I applaud these industry members for their support and joining an exclusive list of individual, highlevel contributors,” said Clark Plucinski, executive director of the Education Foundation. “Through the collision industry coming together and supporting its future workforce can we create the best educational opportunities for these students.”

president and CEO. “We want to do everything we can to ensure that consumers' vehicles are repaired with airbags that operate as intended, meeting strict manufacturer and government standards.” Global Automakers and its members assisted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), based on the agency’s discovery of recent sales and installations of counterfeit airbags that posed a risk of serious injury to the public. “Individuals who knowingly sell or install dangerous counterfeit and substandard airbags should be punished,” Stanton said. “That is why we are working to pass legislation in Maryland and other states to bring attention to this important consumer issue.” The bill was referred to the Maryland House Environmental Matters Committee. The committee will hold a hearing on the legislation on March 1, where Global Automakers will testify.

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Ford Learning from its Mistakes with Escape Recalls

Ford Motor chief executive Alan Mulally says the automaker is learning from its four recalls of the new 2013 Ford Escape, including two that required owners to stop driving their vehicles until they could be repaired. Mulally said the automaker is improving processes to reduce issues with new vehicles and that the automaker is learning from its mistakes. “We learned from every one of them. A couple of them were a surprise. One was a manufacturing issue,” Mulally said. “Nothing is going to change about that number one focus is on quality. That’s why we hold vehicles up when they are not ready. Those are great lessons learned. We’re dealing with them now,” he said. “We were very disappointed it happened on a fantastic vehicle. ... We’re always learning new things and we'll fix the process.” Mulally said Ford pays a lot of attention to make sure its suppliers can keep up with higher production. Mulally said last year that Ford would lose sales in 2012 because of capacity constraints. He said that supplier capacity was also an issue last year that has been largely resolved. On Nov. 30, Ford issued its fourth recall for its 2013 Ford Escape

since introducing the new SUV in June—a recall of 89,000 Escapes and Ford Fusions for fire risks— and said it didn’t have a fix. About 10 days later, Ford unveiled a software upgrade to fix the vehicles. Ford urged owners of the vehicles with 1.6-liter engines to contact dealers to immediately get alternative transportation. Ford said it was issuing the recall after reports of engine overheating followed by engine fires while the vehicle was running. There were reports of 13 fires, including 12 in Escapes. In July, Ford recalled 11,500 new 2013 Ford Escape SUVs with 1.6-liter engines and urged owners to stop driving them immediately because of fire dangers caused by damaged fuel lines. In that recall, the risk stems from a possible damaged fuel line that may lead to a significant fuel leak that could lead to a fire if the vehicle is running. Ford reported there have been three fires since June 9, including one in a customer vehicle in Canada and two at its Louisville Assembly plant. In September, Ford issued another recall for its 2013 Ford Escape, saying an improperly installed part could lead to a risk of a fire.

Snapshot Survey Open to Participation till Feb. 28

The Collision Repair Industry Snapshot Survey, co-sponsored by the Collision Repair Education Foundation and I-CAR, is open for responses from collision shop owners and managers. The collected data will be compared to previous benchmarks. Trends over the years will be analyzed, with results published and shared with the industry. The electronic survey is intended only for shop owners or managers. All responses will be kept confidential and results will be reported in aggregate; respondents will not be contacted; and the list will not be sold or shared. Collision shop owners or managers are invited to take the survey at this link: ollision_Industry_Snapshot_Survey The deadline for survey response is Feb. 28 and a report to the industry will be made sometime in May, although the timeline may fluctuate, depending on responses. Availability of the report will be available on the Collision Repair Education Foundation and I-CAR websites.



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CAA Meeting Showcases Toyota’s ‘Predictive Estimating” Tool by Tom Franklin

The first California Autobody Association meeting of 2013 for the Pasadena/Glendale/Foothill chapter was held at Brookside Country Club in Pasadena on Jan. 30. Chapter president Linda Holcomb was unable to attend, but Lillian Maimone from Marcos Auto Body presided in her place. The relatively short meeting was sponsored Lillian Maimone by Joe Carrier of (file photo) Auto Equipment Solutions, and Eric Eberhart with G&K Services. G&K Services provides uniforms for 170,000 businesses and has operated since 1902. The meeting also included a brief introduction by Anthony Guinn from WIN Auto. He is heading up the new Los Angeles CAA chapter. Their first meeting will be February 21 at the Carson Holiday Inn, and a special meeting is set for April 21 at the Toyota Museum in Torrance.

Although the meeting room was only supposed to hold up to 100 people, 118 actually showed up. There was enormous interest in Toyota’s new Auto Parts Bridge. It is an electronic parts catalog that integrates with an estimating system to provide exact parts prices, taken from manufacRick Leos (file turer’s bill data, photo) and includes technical service bulletin information. Although Rick Leos, Toyota Body and Collision Business Development Consultant, did the actual presentation, he was supported by Ruben de Loera, Scott Nunez, and Terry Banks, who is a Dealer Operations Consultant. Leos showed, on screen, a prototype predictive estimate with parts line items provided for the estimate. Because of the completeness of the database, even little parts generally not available in estimating systems, will appear complete with exact prices. Where aftermarket parts have been entered, the system will display the

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OEM parts for comparison. With this Auto Parts Bridge (APB) being used, he said, it’s impossible to make a parts price error. This could eliminate most supplements except judgement time and missed damage. More than just parts, however, a simple click would display all of the steps needed to install the part and any technical issues that would have to be addressed. There will always be an indication if there is a requirement for “don’t repair, replace only.” The system will indicate a “onetime use” part to avoid compromising safety. Some notations could save a shop a significant sum. For example, he mentioned a ground bracket on a fender which, if removed, could damage a wire harness that would cost $4500 to replace. Adjuster disputes over procedures could be eliminated because the procedures required will always be indicated, like color sand and buff, use seam sealer and more. A 3-M tie-in provides specific information. No labor times are included in the package because no time studies will be done and warranty times are

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too incomplete. The package will be integrated with one of the three main estimating information providers, but no decision has yet been made on which of the three providers will be selected. Various shop personnel in the audience wondered why only one provider would have this product and whether or not it would make the other two providers irrelevant. The real power of this product lies in the fact that it doesn’t apply to Toyota only. The product provides templates for other automobile manufacturers to plug in their prices. When a vehicle’s VIN is entered in an estimate, the APB brings in the exact parts prices for that vehicle. This feature could conceivably impair the competing information providers, or even drive them out of business. The product is not yet on the market. Thirteen pilot stores are doing the blueprinting. While the product is being used, missing or needed information can be added, continually making the product more complete. Leos stated that this Auto Parts Bridge will create a new industry standard.

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Custom Corner

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

with Rich Evans

‘55 Panel Truck Converted into a Pickup on 2006 SSR Chassis Last September while I was in Eastern Canada working on the 2004 H2 Hummer build for the filming of the pilot for “World Wide Car Building,” we were also challenged by a local Nova Scotia resident to do another build at the same time.

puzzle. The project was a 1955 panel truck and this customer wanted to make it into a pick up truck and put it on top a SSR chassis. I thought that was cool. I thought, wow, we could go with new, modern build and old school with new modern technology.

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his dream project. As we got into it, we found out we had to widen the body to fit over the chassis. We also had to build the full structure of the floor and we had to make hundreds of modifications to make everything work. With a short

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I was hesitant at first to take on a second vehicle, but the group I with brought out with me toDick NovaStrom Scotia are over the top builders and it raised the bar on the challenge, so I agreed. I looked at what this customer had and basically he had all the pieces to the

told the guys we were going to step it up and do a second build. None of the guys even hesitated about jumping on board, especially Ian Roussel. He was excited about it because this was more

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deadline, we had to simplify the project. By simplifying the project, we welded fenders on, welded the hood, grill, bumper all in one piece and made a tilt front end for it. I had to widen the front end 2 1/2 inches on each side just for clearance, for turn-

ing radius and tire fit and to make everything look proportionate. That was a big obstacle. I left the headlights in the original position. I took the fenders and widened them 2 1/2 inches, did a pie cut along the fenders, pushed it all together and didn’t have to do too much more except fab together a couple pieces above the headlight and then filled in the 2 1/2 inch gap on the fenders. We had to borrow doors from another project while we were up there to get us ahead of the game. We took out an extra five inches off the roof. The customer had already started this and the cab was too long. I took two tailgates and used one as the front of the bed and one as the tailgate. We took a clam hatch window from a 1955 Suburban and actually utilized that so the window would pop open. From that point, while were there, we got into a real rough primer,

so we had the customer ship it out here to my shop in Huntington Beach. We received the truck Oct. 8. We really had the odds against us. We reached out to some of my folks at Wyotech and some of the team flew out from Texas and Phoenix to help finish it up so we could get it done before SEMA. With everybody helping out and working around the clock, we

were able to get it to SEMA 2012 in the Wyotech booth. Every turn of the wrench, every pull of the trigger, every stroke of the sand block, every-

body’s help into finishing this project, all the way to the interior guys being called in the last minute, and with pieces and parts going back and forth between the customer in Canada, we made the impossible possible and with quality. So, we actually unveiled two vehicles at SEMA. The customer had not told his wife about this project and he

brought her to SEMA. We unveiled the vehicle in the Wyotech booth with his wife there and just seeing the look on her face made everything worth it.

I don’t like to push projects to the very end and skip steps over the quality, but I know we all walked away from this project knowing everything we did was on or above our standards and the truck was absolute beautiful. We had Tuff Skin step up and spray in the bed liner about midnight, and they were able to turn that around in about four hours, which was a huge help, so thanks to Tuff Skin. 3M provided us with all our sand paper, fillers, seam sealers, panel bond, compounds, tape, paper, etc. We could not have done this without them. Two 3M reps even showed up and helped us buff the vehicle. Jack with Manson Radiator made us a oneoff radiator. Thanks to everybody that helped. I think a lot of people were surprised we made it. We had a lot of people with sleepless nights helping out. At the end of the day, we showed up with a great project and a lot of memories.

It was a big learning curve for the guys from Wyotech seeing something go from almost next to impossible to being completed. These are challenges that I live for, surrounding myself with guys that are better than me, bettering myself at what I do, and learning from other people. Time will always be against you, but keep it positive. If you put your mind to it, you can do it.

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Shoddy Airbags Made in China, Sold on eBay

The federal government recently issued an urgent national alert to warn drivers of a potentially deadly safety risk of shoddy airbags. The feds say Dai Zhensong flooded the U.S. with shoddy airbags forged inside his factory in China. His potentially deadly crime is “an extreme safety risk,” the federal government said. Zhensong pleaded guilty and received 37 months in federal prison. Bodyshops that buy and install cheap or knockoff bags like Zsensong’s for a few dollars fraudulently charge insurers $1,000 or more for new replacement versions. The danger is almost impossible for motorists to detect because the airbag is well-hidden inside its compartment. The con usually only surfaces in a crash, when airbags are needed the most. Zhensong bought airbag systems made by legitimate car companies, then copied them at his factory. They were made of cheap and substandard materials, and poorly put together. Zhensong then bought trademark emblems from Honda, Toyota, BMW, Audi and other dealerships in China, and fastened the emblems to the bags. He sold them on the Internet and

black market for only $50–$70 each. To untrained consumer eyes, his knockoffs could’ve been the real thing. He sold potentially thousands of deadly airbags from his U.S. base in Chattanooga, TN. Charlotte, NC, body shop owner Igor Borodin sold about 7,000 of Zhensong’s counterfeit airbags on eBay for at least $1.4 million, federal officials say. Investigators found another 1,514 airbags at Borodin’s home, ready for sale. Other fakes were found at his body shop, waiting to be installed in customer vehicles. The feds intercepted yet hundreds more bags being shipped to him. The feds tested some of Zhensong’s airbags on crash dummies. Some bags didn’t inflate or inflated only partially. Other bags sent out searing fireballs when inflated, or spewed sharp pieces of shrapnel at the crash dummies. A bolt lodged in one dummy’s forehead. The fakes could involve as many as 250,000 vehicles, feds say. Vehicles with airbags replaced in the past three years by a repair shop that isn’t part of a new car dealership may be at risk.

21 States to Consider Electronic Proof of Insurance With almost half of state legislatures in the country likely to consider changing their laws to allow drivers to use their cell phones to show their insurance identification card in order to prove they are insured, electronic proof of coverage is one of the hottest insurance-related legislative trends for 2013, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). “States are taking another step into the electronic age by changing their laws to allow drivers to show their insurance ID cards on their smartphone,” said Alex Hageli, PCI director, personal lines policy. “Pretty much every motorist has been there at one time or another, digging around in the glove compartment box desperately trying to find your insurance card after being pulled over by the police. No longer will motorists be ticketed and have to take time off of work to go to court for driving without insurance just because they couldn’t find a current ID card in their car. This is such a common sense switch that will save everybody time and effort.” PCI anticipates over 20 states will consider electronic proof of coverage bills or regulations in 2013. The states discussing e-Card proposals include:

DuPont Performance Coatings Renamed Axalta by Chasidy Rae Sisk

When the Carlyle Group completed their acquisition of DuPont Performance Coatings in February 2013 for $4.9 billion, they also announced that DPC will be renamed Axalta Coating Systems. As DPC serves over 120,000 customers in 130 countries around Mike bennett the world, a large concern is how this will affect their customers. Luckily, Marketing Director Mike Bennett was willing to answer a few questions about what this means for current DPC customers. Bennett assures customers that the transition from DPC to Axalta Coating Systems will be as seamless as possible. There will be no changes made to the company’s products, formulas, location or personnel. The only changes planned pertain to rebranding their products as they remove the DuPont name and labels. Axalta Coating Systems is working hard to continue with business as usual as they attempt to do what is best for their customers, and Bennett notes “this is a bit liberating for us as it allows

us to focus on our market instead of getting involved with the strategic planning necessary for the larger company.” He hopes that customers will recognize the focus being placed on their needs as Axalta Coating Systems rebrands their products. Axalta Coating Systems will continue functioning as DuPont Performance Coatings until the second quarter of 2013 when their new name is officially launched. Additional branding information will be released over the next two months, and though Axalta Coating Systems has two years to remove DuPont’s name from their products per their agreement with their former parent company, they intend to complete the rebranding process far ahead of schedule. Bennett believes that the division from DuPont into Axalta Coating Systems will allow the company to best serve their customers since profits made will now be funneled directly back into the automotive finish business, enabling them to improve their offerings. According to Bennett, focusing on manufacturing quality automotive paint will “provide a great opportunity for us and our customers, allowing us to focus on what is most important to our company.


Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Wyoming’s measure, SF 87 has already cleared the Wyoming State Senate. “Electronic proof of coverage, or e-Card, is a win-win-win for consumers, insurers and state officials. Consumers are using their cell phones for more and more things. They want less paper and more online account features,” said Hageli. “Like any other business, insurers want to meet their policyholders’ needs and are developing apps and expanding online services to satisfy customer expectations. Without changing the law, though, insurers are still required to send paper ID cards to each customer. These proposed laws will enable insurers to adapt to changing consumer behavior. Finally, the courts win because the docket will be cleared up of individuals who had insurance but just didn’t have a current ID card,” he said. In 2012 five states made the change to e-Card including: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana and Minnesota.


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New Utah Auto Body Association Gets Off to a Great Start by Janet Chaney

The Utah Auto Body Association held its first formal meeting January 12 at the ASET warehouse in Salt Lake City. In spite of a blinding snow storm, over 100 people showed up for this inaugural event. The Utah Auto Body Association was formed by a small group of shop owners and vendors recognizing the need for a united industry to meet the ever growing barrage of industry challenges. Before the association was formed, two informal meetings were held to get feedback and support from the Utah industry. Both well attended meetings, standing room only, brought vigorous and positive discussion and the decision was made to move forward with a state association The Utah Auto Body Association is now managed by an interim Board of Directors. Bob Torrey (recently retired from Ken Garff Collision Centers) currently chairs the Board consisting of Cory Stanger, Alpine Auto Body, Jeff Miller, Miller Auto Body, Stan Ware, Dave’s Body Shop, Brian Nichols, Cascade Collision

Centers, and Alex Ware of Dave’s Body Shop who is currently Treasurer. This hardworking and dedicated group is building the infrastructure of the association and developing the working agenda for the coming year and the future. They are listening to the Utah repair industry. A questionnaire was handed out at the January meeting, asking attendees what issues are most important to them. Committees will focus on education, membership, legislative affairs, and EPA regulations. The UABA will have biannual statewide meetings and six smaller member meetings a year. The smaller meetings will be more ‘work sessions’ where committees will be developed and offer opportunities for industry people to work together to make a difference. The second meeting of the UABA will be held in St. George, UT, February 28. “Most of the Board will be traveling to St. George for this meeting on the 28th of February,” said Torrey, “The UABA is a statewide organization and we feel it is important to try to reach as many shops as we can.”

The Utah Auto Body Association is proud to be the 40th State Affiliate of the Society of the Collision Repair Specialists. “That was the first thing we did,” said board member Stanger. “We saw tremendous benefit from being affiliated with SCRS and the national collision industry.” SCRS Executive Director, Aaron Schulenburg, was guest speaker at the UABA event, delivering a rousing industry presentation congratulating Utah on the success of a great start to this new association. “I’m so impressed with the passion, motivation and willingness to ‘roll up the sleeves’ by the Utah group right now,” said Schulenburg. “These are industry professionals who are actively looking to make a difference. I think what is most impressive is that it really seems to permeate the whole group, not just the board and the executive officers. Here we had a meeting that happened to be distracted by a blizzard and they still had nearly 100 attendees show up. The drive and determination is impressive and I think will bring the

state great results moving forward. There are a lot of passionate and bright individuals involved, and I’m excited to watch their momentum.” Schulenburg’s thoughtful message was well received. He shared industry issues, such as insurance mandated parts procurement and the national discussion on industry standards. He explained the tools and resources developed and offered from SCRS, always stressing the value of belonging and participating in an association. The UABA Board is rolling up its sleeves, literally, for the Utah Collision Industry. Chairman Torrey cooked a fabulous feast for this January meeting and the rest of the Board were the servers and kitchen help. There was no charge to attendees. The meeting was held on the warehouse floor, amidst award winning air brush automotive art at the ASET facility owned by Bill Williams, a strong industry supporter. Torrey cooked the food and the entire Board made it happen. It re-defines the meaning of association and working together.

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Ray Evernham Gives $280,000 to Autism Society of NC for IGNITE Program; Charity Car Raised Quarter Million at Auction Ray Evernham and the Evernham Family’s Racing for a Reason on Feb. 7 presented $280,000 in proceeds from the recent auction of the 1964 Plymouth Belvedere “ForPly” at the Bar-

Ray Evernham with his 64 Plymouth Belvedere

rett-Jackson Scottsdale auction to the Autism Society of North Carolina to benefit IGNITE, a new community center in Davidson, NC, co-founded by Evernham. IGNITE, operated by the Autism Society of North Carolina, offers opportunities and a community of support for young adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome enabling them to enjoy a better quality of life as

valued members of the community in which they live and work. The ForPly, housed in the restored body of a near-half-century-old 1964 Plymouth Belvedere—the year, make and model that won the 1964 Daytona 500 and NASCAR Grand National Championship—features a Kasey Kahne-driven Dodge racing powertrain, plus the driveline of a modern day race car that Evernham’s former team Evernham Motorsports built and raced at the Daytona 500. The one-of-a-kind ForPly, which was restored and built at the Ray Evernham Enterprises facility in Mooresville, NC, is the first custom design and build project by Evernham. Hot Rod magazine, which will feature the ForPly in an upcoming issue, recognized it as “One of the Top 10 Trendsetting Cars of SEMA Show 2012.” The presentation took place in Evernham’s automotive museum and restoration facility where the ForPly was built. Originally unveiled at the Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes

Urethane Supply Company Adds New Zero VOC Plastic Cleaner

Urethane Supply Company’s new EcoClean is a zero VOC (volatile organic compound) plastic cleaner for use before plastic repair and refinishing jobs to ensure the best performance from fillers, paints and adhesion promoters. EcoClean is designed to perform as well as solvent-based plastic cleaners when preparing plastic for repair and refinishing work. It’s not regulated by use limitations even in tightly controlled VOC regions. “EcoClean is the perfect, easyto-use substitute for USC’s Super Clean plastic cleaner when you want or need a solvent-free cleaner,” said Urethane Supply Company President Kurt Lammon. EcoClean removes mold release agents and silicones, and is safe for use on all plastics. It is approved for use in USC Bumper and Cladding Coat Paint and Primer plastic preparation and it’s made in the USA. Urethane Supply Company specializes in developing automotive plastic repair and refinishing products. The company serves the bodyshop, restyling, automotive repair and bumper recycling markets.

booth at SEMA Show 2012 in Las Vegas, Evernham’s street-legal 1964 Plymouth Belvedere combines old school American style with modern NASCAR racing technology. Aptly named ‘ForPly,’ the custom car marked Evernham’s debut as a car designer and builder. “We set out to design the ultimate street machine that took a vintage American muscle car with great motorsports heritage and brought it into the modern age,” said Evernham. “There is not another one like it in the world. We appreciate it being highlighted on center stage on the biggest night of the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auto auction,” he said. “Sherwin-Williams is proud to partner with Ray Evernham on his first design venture, and especially so that Ray specified the car’s color scheme using Sherwin-Williams® Automotive Finishes,” said Bobby Moody, the company’s Director of Motorsports “But more so, we’re excited to see this completed project raise more than a quarter million dollars for such a worthy cause.” CHECK IT OUT!

Toyota Settles Recall Related Suits in 29 States

Toyota Motor North America has settled its outstanding cases with attorneys general in 29 states and one U.S. territory regarding allegations of foot-dragging in its safety recall process from 2005 to 2010. As part of the settlement, in which Toyota admits no liability or wrongdoing, Toyota will pay $29 million to be divided among the states and American Samoa. This effectively closes the case as it pertains to states; no others have claims remaining against Toyota regarding recall actions. But private parties still can sue the company. In December, Toyota set aside $1.1 billion to cover recall-related suits by individuals and government entities. The $29 million settlement will be paid from those funds, Toyota said. The state attorneys general had targeted Toyota for an alleged lack of transparency in its recall process regarding tens of millions of vehiopinion clesGive over us the your five-year period, on in- ma cluding the period when incidents of alleged unintended acceleration were reported in connection with Toyota vehicles. publisher@auto



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March 2013 Southwest Edition  

Auto body information for industry in southwest United States.

March 2013 Southwest Edition  

Auto body information for industry in southwest United States.