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Vol. 36 / Issue 6 / June 2018

Former TX Body Tech Alleges Uptown Collision Owes Overtime Pay, FLSA Mandates 1.5 Time OT

SCRS Meeting Includes Election, Awards, Info Related to DEG

by Noddy A. Fernandez, Southeast Texas Record

by Autobody News Staff

A former employee of an automobile repair shop has alleged he was paid only regular time for overtime work. Luis Rodriguez filed a complaint on May 3 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Uptown Collision Center LLC alleging violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleged that he worked for the defendant as an hourly paid auto body repair worker from Sept. 1, 2017, to Feb. 27, 2018. He claimed that he worked an average of 57 hours per week but was allegedly not

compensated for overtime hours at a rate of time-and-a-half for all hours worked in excess of 40 per week. He alleged the defendant owes him $472.60 for the week of Jan. 14 alone for his “and-a-half” portion of his overtime premiums. The plaintiff held Uptown Collision Center LLC responsible because the defendant allegedly failed to compensate its employee’s hours worked in excess of 40 hours at the rate of one-andone-half times their regular rate. The plaintiff requested a trial by jury and seeks payment for overtime compensation, an equal amount as liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees, costs and See Overtime Pay, Page 53

CA Jury Awards Fired Allstate Employee More Than $18 Million by Denise Johnson, Claims Journal

A former Allstate Insurance Co. employee who was fired following an arrest has been awarded more than $18 million in damages. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported a San Diego jury awarded 55-year-old Michael Tilkey about $2.6 million in actual damages and nearly $16 million in punitive damages in his wrongful termination lawsuit. Tilkey was fired by Allstate in

2016 after he was arrested in Arizona the prior year following an argument he had with his then-girlfriend. According to the original complaint, Tilkey had worked for Allstate for 30 years, starting with the company soon after receiving his bachelor’s degree. He worked his way up to field sales leader, advising 30 independent agents and support staff. He alleged that despite his stellar work performance, he was fired without warning in May 2015. The See CA Jury Awards, Page 6

A fourth open seat on the board was filled by Dominic During several days of Brusco of PPG, who had events in Denver in midpreviously spent five years April, the Society of Collion the SCRS board earlier sion Repair Specialists this decade. He defeated in(SCRS) elected new board cumbent Mark Bodreau of Matthew members, presented several Caliber Collision, who durMcDonnell ing his 5-year term on the awards and held a meeting that offered presentations on techni- board had sold his Virginia collision cal issues and free tools available to repair business to that consolidator. SCRS Chairman Kye Yeung said Bothe industry. dreau had been “an integral Three current SCRS part of the board,” and hoped board members were rehe would continue to play a elected to another term. Rerole in the association. taining their seats on the board were Michael BradDuring discussions and presentations at the “open shaw of K&M Collision in North Carolina, Bruce Halmeeting” portion of the association’s board meeting in cro of Capital Collision CenAmber Alley Denver, Matthew McDonters in Montana and Paul See SCRS Meeting, Page 26 Sgro of Lee’s Garage in New Jersey.

LA Collision Shop’s Business Operations Questioned by State, Concerns are Holding Vehicles Too Long, Fees by Brittany Weiss, WBRZ

The Attorney General has sued a body shop with a 30-year history, alleging that the company’s business practices and advertising are dishonest. The suit, filed May 11 against Owens Collision in Baton Rouge, LA, asked a judge to force the company to stop work and maintain its records until the lawsuit moves forward. A lawyer for the body shop said the business is working with the Attorney General to correct the problems and resolve complaints. “We are going to take all the Attorney General’s actions serious and we’re going to work with them and try to work to try to resolve the issues that they have,” said Earl & Messer Attorney Ashly Van Earl. The suit said Owens misrepresented the contract customers signed

and held vehicles longer than necessary “to increase non-repair fees.” It also claimed that Owens marked up the cost of parts and billed for unreasonable fees. Henry Cobb brought his 2012 Honda Civic to Owens a year ago. To his knowledge, his now dismantled car is still on the collision center’s property. “I just don’t know how he’s still doing it,” said Cobb. Last May, Cobb was involved in a minor vehicle accident. The left side doors of the car were dented and scraped. His insurance company awarded him $4,500 for the damages. Cobb said he went to Owens Collision and signed a two-page contract. It wasn’t until the next day did he notice a copy of his insurance award was in the original’s place. He never endorsed See Shop Questioned, Page 16



Change Service Requested

P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018




ASCCA/CAA Takes On the Capitol at 2018 Annual Legislative Day in California

CONTENTS Abra Auto Body Repair: 5 New Centers in NJ, CO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 AMM Collision Joins the ProCare Automotive & Collision Family in TX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 ASA Insurance Discusses Impact of Auto Insurance Rate Increases in UT . . . . . . . . . . 14

‘You’ve Got the Power’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Sisk - Mike Anderson’s 3rd Webinar Discusses Nissan/INFINITI Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Yoswick - Association Leader 5 Years Ago Called for DRPs to Include ‘Grandfather Clause’ . . . 46 Yoswick - Chipotle Executive Offers Concepts That Resonate With Collision Repairers . . . . 52

ASA-AZ Plans 2018 ATE With Networking, Educational Opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 ASA-CO Awards $2,000 Scholarship to Lincoln Tech Student. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Automotive Students Succeed at SkillsUSA in CO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 AZ Shop Leads Way for Women in Auto Body Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 CARSTAR CO Business Group Joins CREF Career Fair in Denver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Collision Repair Students Donate Services to Guitar Art Project in OK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Colorado Senate, House Vote to Concur on Warranty Bill. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Announces On-Demand Self-Driving Car Service on TX Public Roads. . . . . . . . . . 10 Former TX Body Tech Alleges Uptown Collision Owes Overtime Pay, FLSA Mandates 1.5 Time OT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 LA Collision Shop’s Business Operations Questioned by State, Concerns are Holding Vehicles Too Long, Fees . . . . . . . . . . 1 Phillips - AZ Body Shop Uses YouTube to Educate Consumers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 ProCare Automotive & Collision Opens 29th Location in San Antonio. . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Technology Centers Help Empower Students, Equip Businesses in OK. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Victim Buys Flooded Pickup That Went From Florida to Texas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Waymo’s Self-Driving Car Service to Launch in Phoenix, AZ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

NATIONAL ABPA Annual Meeting & Convention Exceeds Expectations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Abra Auto Body Repair: 5 New Centers in NJ, CO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 ACA Adds Filter Manufacturers Community . . . 38 ACA Releases 2018 Collision Trends Report . . 35 ACA Testifies Before U.S. Trade Representative on Section 301 China Tariffs . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Aftermarket Professionals Applaud FTC’s

Autobody News to Collaborate with Discovery Channel on Auto TV Shows . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 CA Jury Awards Fired Allstate Employee More Than $18 Million . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 CARSTAR Encourages Teen Drivers to Put Safety First, Enjoy the Moments . . . . . . . . . 54 CARSTAR Gears Up for Shine Month Fundraising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Certified Collision Group Adds 57 Locations . . . 8 Don't Blame Self-Driving Cars for Accidents Caused by Humans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Elite Body Shop Solutions Launches Free Educational Webinar Series. . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Finishmaster Donates $50,000 to CREF . . . . . 58 Free Auto Data Labels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 FTC’s Compliance Warning to Hyundai . . . . . . . 4 Golfers Play With a Purpose at 3rd Annual Caliber Classic Golf Tournament . . . . . . . . . 28 How Much Would You Trust an Autonomous Vehicle? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 How Safety Shapes Driverless Car Technology . . 4

Attanasio - Does Email Marketing Still

Millenials Are Creating Demand for Hybrid,

Attanasio - Voyomotive Takes Telematics to Whole New Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Ledoux - AMi: Out of the Shadows . . . . . . . . . 36 Ledoux - Dave Illg Collision Repair Center: The Risen Phoenix. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Ledoux - Oldest Body Shops in America: Sirl’s Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Phillips - 10 Simple Steps to Collision Repair Success From VECO Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Sisk - ‘Why WIN? Why Conference?’ Webinar Provides Useful Conference Tips . . . . . . . . . 56 Sisk - ASA Partners With Bosch for 4th Webinar:

Every year, the California Autobody Association co-hosts CAA/ASCCA /Joint Automotive Aftermarket Industry Legislative Day as automotive repair industry members in the Golden State convene at the Capitol in Sacramento to let their voices be heard. On April 24, 80 collision and mechanical repairers were on hand at the Capitol Event Center to discuss crucial issues that can affect their businesses in one way or another while preparing to meet with their representatives. Body shops are opposed to AB 2276 (Burke), the Auto Body Labor

Compliance Warning to Hyundai . . . . . . . . . 56 ASA Testifies on Repair Procedures Bill . . . . . . 61


Work for Body Shops?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

by Ed Attanasio

Electric Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Mission 2 Hire Program: 400th Veteran . . . . . . 59 Nominations Now Open for 2018 Impact Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Nominations Open for NABC Awards . . . . . . . . . 4 Pentagon Aims to Develop Self-Driving Vehicles for Battlefield. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 School Grant Applications Due June 1. . . . . . . 14 SCRS Meeting Includes Election, Awards, Info Related to DEG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 University of Cincinnati Is Researching Autonomous Vehicle Technology . . . . . . . . . 21



(l to r) Rick Lezcano, the owner of Simply Superior Auto Body in Concord, CA, and ASCCA/CAA Political Analyst Jack Molodanof network at ASCCA/CAA Joint Legislative Day held on April 24 in Sacramento

Rate Survey Bill that allows insurers to conduct an “alternative labor rate survey” but eliminates standards set forth in the CDI regulations that proSee Legislative Day, Page 54

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

Serving Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, Colorado, Arizona, Utah and adjacent metro areas. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2018 Adamantine Media LLC.

Ancira Volkswagen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Assured Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Audi South Austin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 55 AutoNation Chevrolet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 AutoNation Chrysler-Dodge-JeepRam NRH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 AutoNation Chrysler-Jeep-DodgeRam of North Phoenix . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Axalta Coating Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Berge Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Big Mike Naughton Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Bill Luke Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . . 24 BMW of North America, LLC . . . . . . . . . . 11 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 53 Bob Howard PDC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Chapman Chevrolet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Chevyland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Christopher’s Dodge World . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Christopher’s Mitsubishi . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Classic BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Classifieds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Dallas Dodge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Dent Magic Tools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Diamond Standard Parts, LLC . . . . . . . . . 43 Don Carlton Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Emich Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Emich Volkswagen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 EMS Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Equalizer Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Finnegan Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . . . . . . 2 Fisher Acura . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Fisher Honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Flatirons Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 25 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 51 GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 57 Greeley Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

H.E.W. And Associates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32-33 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 59 Ken Garff Mopar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . 49 Larry H. Miller Chrysler-Jeep-DodgeRam/Sandy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Launch Tech USA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Matrix Automotive Finishes . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . . . 61 Mercedes-Benz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Mercedes-Benz of Littleton . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . 52 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 37 North Freeway Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 O’Reilly Auto Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Original One Parts™ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Part of the Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Peak Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Polyvance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Prestige Imports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Ray Huffines Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Red Kap Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Rickenbaugh Volvo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Robaina Industries, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 SATA Dan-Am Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Schmelz Countryside. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 South Pointe Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . . . 14 Subaru of Little Rock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 47 Symach. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Toyota of Laredo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 58 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Young Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Autobody News Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


How Safety Shapes Driverless Car Technology by TJ Martinell, Lens

A new WA state law that takes effect in June creates a state work group that assists the Washington State Transportation Commission on making annual recommendations to state lawmakers for public policy on the use of driverless or self-driving vehicles. Meanwhile, self-driving tech companies such as Waymo intend to have driverless vehicles available for public rider service by the end of the year with level four technology,

tests that had employees operating them. “You have someone texting, not paying attention to the road, fumbling around with cords,” he said. “It’s actually very easy for humans to start trusting the technology. I made a decision at that point that we would only pursue level four autonomy, because it’s the safest.” He added that complications arise with creating level 2–3 self-driving cars where the driver frequently takes and yields control, which also compounds liability issues.

As driverless technology develops, one company is focusing solely on near-fully autonomous vehicles (AV), a move they believe will address public safety concerns Credit: National League of Cities

which means the car can operate without human control under certain conditions. The highest is level five, where the vehicle is fully autonomous under all conditions. At an April 18 event in Seattle hosted by the Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) and the U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC), Waymo Senior Counsel David Tressier outlined how it created the technology to make the vehicles work and in what ways public concerns over safety have driven development. “We are very excited at the prospect of bringing self-driving car technology to the public and improving road safety,” he said. The way to do that is by “building the world’s most experienced driver” through a combination of public road testing and aerospace simulation. Formerly the Google self-driving car project, Waymo later split off to form its own separate company in 2016. Since 2009, its AV software has driven 5 million autonomous miles on public roads. Unlike other autonomous vehicle (AV) companies, Waymo is only focused on level four technology, a decision made based on its experience with Google’s self-driving car 4

One barrier they hope to surmount is public anxiety. A 2017 Pew Research Center survey of 4,135 U.S. adults found that “although they expect certain positive outcomes from these developments, their attitudes more frequently reflect worry and concern over the implications of these technologies for society as a whole.” That worry was perhaps demonstrated after a recent deadly accident in Arizona involving a self-driving Uber vehicle. Although the driver was found to be not at fault, Uber quickly pulled those vehicles from the roads. In January, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced plans to release a new set of guidelines for autonomous vehicles this summer, in part to promote greater safety. “The deployment of self-driving cars is going to depend on the public acceptance and public trust, so we do feel a responsibility to start educating the public about how it works,” Tressier said. He also argued that part of public acceptance comes with understanding how the technology can eliminate the kind of human error that causes around 90 percent of car accidents in the U.S. In 2016, there were almost 40,000 vehicle accident


fatalities. There are also costs that might be saved. In 2010 alone, motor vehicle crashes cost the U.S. $871 billion in economic loss and societal harm. That same year, there were 32,999 fatalities, 3.9 million non-fatal injuries and 24 million damaged vehicles. “The status quo is not acceptable,” Tressier said. “As we think then about the future of torts and the … liability regime for this emerging technology, I think it needs to be with the consideration of the backdrop of the status quo. (It) shouldn’t be acceptable. “The prospect and the promise of self-driving cars when deployed… is to reduce these traffic fatalities and increase road safety. They don’t get drowsy … they can see 360 degrees, they can respond, and they can see up to three football fields in every direction.” A 2017 RAND Corporation study concluded that waiting for “nearly perfect” driverless cars could waste an opportunity to reduce accident fatalities. “At best, fatalities are comparable, but, at worst, waiting has high human costs. Under none of the conditions we explored does waiting for significant safety gains result in fewer fatalities.” Another RAND study released that year recommended “an approach in which AVs are introduced gradually as the vehicles meet a set of incremental, performance-based benchmarks” and “that the target benchmark of AV performance can determine the cap on vehicles’ deployment or, conversely, the number of vehicles desired can determine what benchmark should be set.” Also released in 2017 was Waymo’s safety report, the first of its kind, which described in detail how the vehicles operate. One feature of these vehicles is overlapping sensors, which Tressier said “will be important when it comes to liability, because it is so critical for safety. It (AV software) has to make sense of what it’s seeing in the world.” We thank Lens for reprint permission.

Nominations Open for NABC Awards

The National Auto Body Council (NABC) announced online nominations are now open for its Annual Awards Program. Nominations are being accepted in two award categories:  The Award of Distinction recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond in volunteerism, charitable, selfless acts and made a difference in changing and saving lives. 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 Body Shop Image Award recognizes the most significant improvements made to a shop’s interior, exterior and operations and as a result, helped enhance the customer's experience with the collision repair process. Any body shop completing a remodeling during the calendar year 2017 is eligible to be nominated.

FTC’s Compliance Warning to Hyundai

On April 9, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a “compliance warning” to Hyundai Motor Company regarding violations of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act's (MMWA) prohibition against tie-in sales of branded products and services as a condition of warranty coverage. FTC specified the following website statement as problematic: “The use of Hyundai genuine parts is required to keep your Hyundai manufacturer’s warranties and any extended warranties intact.” Should Hyundai fail to eliminate such statements, FTC may take “legal action.” While AOCA, Auto Care and the Tire Association of America wish that the FTC action had been stronger, they are pleased that the agency has publicly warned the companies that it is illegal under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act to require the use of a manufacturer part or service in order to maintain a warranty. / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


ASA-CO Awards $2,000 Scholarship to Lincoln Tech Student by Chasidy Rae Sisk

ASA-CO’s Board recently partnered with Lincoln Tech to award a $2,000 scholarship to Robert Wierman, an aspiring automotive technician working to attain his ASE certification. A 4.0 student in his second year of technical education, Wierman is working at a heavy duty diesel repair facility while pursuing his education. He plans to seek employment with an independent au-

tomotive repair shop after he graduates.

The scholarship funds will support his enrollment at Lincoln Tech and were raised through generous donations by shop owners during the 2018 ASA-CO Summit held at Lincoln Tech in January. ASA-CO Executive Director Julie Massaro shared, “Thank you so much for your donations and support working to raise the level of professionalism and education within the automotive industry. Your support of our future technicians is greatly appreciated. We are looking forward to Robert’s continued success in the automotive ASA-CO’s Board partnered with Lincoln Tech to award a $2,000 scholarship to aspiring automotive technician industry. Best of luck, Robert Wierman Robert!”

Continued from Cover

CA Jury Awards

reason given for his abrupt termination was that “threatening anyone” was against company policy. The prior year he stated he had been falsely arrested based on complaints made by a former girlfriend who was under psychiatric care. The charges were later dropped. Allstate’s human resources department conducted an interview with Tilkey about the charges in late 2014. He said he had heard nothing further until his sudden termination. In his suit against Allstate, he contends he had never been convicted of a crime before or since then. Tilkey’s first cause of action alleged Allstate violated the California Labor Code, since it prohibits an employer from using an arrest that didn’t result in a conviction as a reason for termination. Tilkey’s second cause of action cited wrongful termination in violation of public policy and the third cause of action cited defamation. Additional case documentation 6

revealed that Allstate discovered the situation when an email between Tilkey and his ex-girlfriend about the incident was flagged for review. Allstate conducted an internal investigation and initially determined no action would be taken; however, after the girlfriend sent an emotionally charged email directly to an Allstate CEO discussing the situation, the decision to terminate Tilkey was made. His attorney, Joann Rezzo, said the firing violated state labor law, which prohibits employers from considering arrest records that don’t result in a conviction when considering termination. She explained that on May 3, the jury found in favor of Tilkey on his two claims for wrongful termination in violation of California Labor Code Section 432.7 and coerced self-publication defamation. As a result, the jury awarded Tilkey $2,663,137 in compensatory damages ($960,222 for the wrongful termination claim and $1,702,915 for the defamation claim). According to Rezzo, “The jury concluded that Allstate had violated See CA Jury Awards, Page 12


CARSTAR CO Business Group Joins CREF Career Fair in Denver

One of the significant opportunities in today’s collision repair industry is inspiring young adults to pursue careers as collision repair professionals—filling the need for skilled technicians trained to work on technologically advanced vehicles.

To help meet that need in the Denver region, CARSTAR’s Colorado Business Group joined forces

with the Collision Repair Education Foundation for the recent Denver Career Fair on Friday, April 13. Approximately 150 students from local area tech schools attended

the event and visited CARSTAR facility owners regarding present and future job opportunities. Students also competed in the CARSTAR Pit Stop Challenge, where they raced one another, and the timer, to remove and replace tires. The best time was 26 seconds! “There are tremendous opportunities in the collision repair industry for young people who want to pursue a career that offers independence, growth potential, hands-on craftsmanship, reliable employment and the longer term potential to become an entrepreneur and business owner,” said Jeremy Robideau, owner of CARSTAR Kraftsmen Collision in Colorado Springs and CARSTAR West Auto Body in Denver. “There will always be a local need for collision repair professionals, and as vehicle technology advances, so does the need for highly skilled technicians.” / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Waymo’s Self-Driving Car Service to Launch in Phoenix, AZ by Emil Protalinski, Venture Beat

In a huge surprise, Google invited Waymo CEO John Krafcik on stage at its I/O 2018 developers’ conference. Waymo has not been part of Google since December 2016—it’s an Alphabet company. Google presumably made an exception because Krafcik had big news to share: Waymo’s self-driving car service is launching in Phoenix, AZ, “later this year.” Waymo already has self-driving cars in Phoenix, but launching a service means anyone in the city will be able to download the Waymo app and hail an autonomous vehicle. Waymo won’t be requiring someone to sit in the driver’s seat, either. “We’re not just building a better car,” Krafcik said onstage. “We’re building a better driver.” The theme here was clear: Google may be obsessed with AI, but Waymo depends on it for absolutely everything. In other words, AI advances in image search and speech recognition are cute, but Google’s AI researchers are helping Waymo drive self-driving cars.


Waymo’s self-driving engineers have been working side-by-side with the Google Brain team to apply deep neural nets to the Alphabet company’s pedestrian detection system. Specifically, Krafcik revealed the two teams used deep learning to reduce Waymo’s error rate for detecting pedestrians by 100-fold. This was achieved within a matter of months. Krafcik made clear that Waymo is not going to be a one-stop shop. Self-driving isn’t a solution that one division can solve. As such, Waymo will be partnering with multiple companies to bring self-driving cars to more cities. But that didn’t stop him from claiming Waymo is ahead of the pack by saying it’s the only company in the world with a fleet of truly autonomous cars on public roads. Waymo CTO Dmitri Dolgov was also on stage. He shared that Waymo has driven 6 million miles on public roads so far. More impressively, he said Waymo’s fleet drives more in a single day than the average U.S. driver does in a year. Waymo also tests its machine learning models in simulation, where the system


drives the equivalent of 25,000 cars operating 24 hours every day, in order to improve its neural nets. The self-driving vehicle movement is really starting to gain steam, and Waymo is playing a pivotal part in the process. A few months back, Waymo revealed it was piloting selfdriving cargo trucks for Google’s Atlanta data centers, while it also announced a partnership with Jaguar to build a fleet of all-electric self-driving cars. It’s clear that technology and automotive firms are going allin on vehicular automation, but until the public can finally start riding in self-driving vehicles at scale, it will remain the stuff of science fiction in many people’s minds. And that is why the news announced on May 8 by Waymo at Google I/O 2018 is particularly notable. It will soon begin testing a passenger program in Phoenix, which isn’t the first time such a program has been announced—but doing so without a human sitting in the driver’s seat is a big development in the push to normalize driverless cars. We thank Venture Beat for reprint permission.

Certified Collision Group Adds 57 Locations

Certified Collision Group™ (CCG), the OE Certification and KPI-focused solutions provider to the collision repair and insurance communities, announced the signing of 57 new locations since January. The CCG network of 200-plus locations is on pace to eclipse $1B in annual collision sales prior to year’s end. “Since CCG’s launch September of 2015, our finite target audience for participation continues to be guided by strongly vetted Key Performance Indicator results that we strive to consistently deliver. The stability of our platform allows CCG to scale smartly at a rapid pace—solely with those that both perform and are committed to advanced OE certification capabilities. With recent additions of single-store operators, our team is on track to deliver against a plan that creates industry stability. Our growth continues to enhance stronger-than-ever value propositions for our affiliates, insurance and supplier partners,” stated Bruce Bares, CCG President and CEO.

Colorado Senate, House Vote to Concur on Warranty Bill

Automotive Students Succeed at SkillsUSA in CO by Staff, Brush News-Tribune

Morgan Community College automotive collision repair student Walker Graff brought home the gold from the state SkillsUSA Conference April 18– 20 in Colorado Springs, CO.

Graff came in first in the college-level automotive refinishing technology competition. His topplace finish qualifies him to advance to the national competition this June in Louisville, KY. Hunter Evans and Jaime Ramos, MCC concurrently enrolled students, earned bronze medals in the high school level of the contest. Evans earned third place in collision repair and Ramos placed third in automotive refinishing technology. Classmates Alfonso Martinez, Anthony Chavez and Sheryl Hass

also earned the privilege of competing at the state level. Students in the collision repair contest were tested in metalworking, welding, plastics, frame analysis, job interview skills and on how well they completed a written test and hand-written repair estimate. Refinishing contestants were evaluated on their skills in base/coat blend and clear coat, primer application, masking, paint code identification and assessment, color tinting, job interview skills and preparing an estimate. “All of the MCC students who competed did well. Everyone on the team earned a Dura-Block tool set used for blocking primer and fillers. I am very proud of them,” said MCC Automotive Collision Repair Faculty Tim Grauberger. SkillsUSA is a national membership association serving middle school, high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations. Additional information can be found at For information about MCC’s auto-

by Penny Stacey,

MCC students competed at the 2018 state SkillsUSA Conference in Colorado Springs. Back row: Alfonso Martinez, Anthony Chavez, Sheryl Hass and Tim Grauberger. Front row: Medalists Hunter Evans, Walker Graff and Jaime Ramos. (Courtesy photo)

motive programs, visit or call 800-622-0216.

We thank Brush News-Tribune for reprint permission.


The Colorado House and Senate recently voted to concur on a bill designed to “require motor vehicle manufacturers to fulfill warranty obligations.” “A manufacturer must compensate each of its motor vehicle dealers in accordance with a set of standards designed to reflect the current market rate for labor and the profit margin on parts the dealer can expect to obtain,” reads a summary of the bill from the Colorado legislature. “Dealers must submit certain repair orders to the manufacturer as required by the bill to establish compensation rates.” The bill, SB18-219, is co-sponsored by Sen. Jack Tate and Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp. It was introduced on March 26 and assigned to the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee. The Senate voted to pass the bill on April 25. The House voted to pass the bill with amendments on May 3, and the Senate voted to concur on May 3. We thank for reprint permission. / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS

9 Announces On-Demand Self-Driving Car Service on TX Public Roads

On May 7, California-based self-driving car company announced a pilot program to bring an on-demand self-driving car service to Frisco, TX, beginning in July 2018. Working in cooperation with the Frisco Transportation Management Association (TMA), will offer rides to more than 10,000 people in self-driving vehicles within a geofenced area comprising retail, en-

tertainment and office space. The initial pilot will run for six months, beginning with fixed pick-up and drop-off locations around HALL Park and The Star with planned expansion into Frisco Station. This program is a milestone for the state of Texas, marking the first time members of the public will have access to an on-demand self-driving car service on public roads. This pilot program is a model for the deployment of self-driving ve-

hicles in a public setting—one of the first of its kind in the nation—and a major step forward for the industry.’s self-driving on-demand service will be operated in conjunction with Frisco TMA, a public-private partnership dedicated to bringing innovative last-mile transportation options to the growing population of Frisco, TX. The Frisco TMA includes the City of Frisco, HALL Group, Frisco Station Partners, The Star and the Denton County Transportation Authority, which will administer the program. Leading up to the July launch date, office employees, residents and patrons of these partners’ Frisco developments will gradually onboard into the program, gaining access to’s ride-hailing smartphone app. Once the program is live, riders will use the app to hail complimentary on-demand rides in self-driving cars that connect to popular destinations in one of Frisco’s most lively areas. “Frisco is recognized as a leader in using ‘smart,’ innovative traffic technologies,” said Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney. “’s autonomous ve-

hicles will help people get around one of our most vibrant commercial areas along Frisco’s ‘North Platinum Corridor.’ We applaud the collaboration of the Denton County Transportation Authority, as well as our private partners at HALL Park, Frisco Station and The Star, which gave the green light, so to speak, to this pioneering pilot program. Today definitely marks a mobility milestone for our entire re-

gram. In addition, informational signage will be placed throughout the route, the vehicles will be painted a highly visible orange and will feature four external screens that communicate the vehicles’ intended actions to pedestrians and other drivers on the roads. “Self-driving cars are here and can improve the way we live right now,” said Sameep Tandon, cofounder and CEO of “Our

gion. It also gets us closer to achieving one of our council’s ‘Top Ten’ goals, which is to improve traffic throughout Frisco, one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.” is dedicated to partnering with cities and transit authorities to safely deploy self-driving technologies in a scalable, measured way. Leading up to the July launch, will work with its partners to engage with members of the Frisco community, ensuring they are educated about and comfortable with the self-driving pro-

technology is safe, smart and adaptive, and we are ready to work with governments and businesses to solve their transportation needs. Working with the City of Frisco and Frisco TMA, this pilot program will take people to the places they want to go and transform the way they experience transportation.” More information on the pilot program can be found at RideFrisco More details on can be found on its website, https://

“Self-driving cars are here and can improve the way we live right now,” — Sameep Tandon

Your One-Stop Shop for

AMM Collision Joins the ProCare Automotive & Collision Family in TX

ProCare Automotive, LLC (ProCare) recently announced Austin Motor Mile (AMM) Collision has joined its family of collision centers. The merger of the two successful collision repair companies means ProCare has more than two dozen auto body shops in the Austin market and eight in the San Antonio market. “AMM Collision strives for operational excellence with a personalized approach, resembling the methods ProCare uses,” said Vince Brock, CEO of ProCare Automotive. “We are proud to offer more high-quality collision repair services across Central and South Central Texas.” The merger will not be evident as the AMM name will not change, all employees will remain and the methods used to meet exceptional standards for collision repair will continue. AMM has four locations in Austin, plus locations in Buda, Cedar Park, Dripping Springs, Kyle, Leander, San Marcos, Schertz and San Antonio. ProCare began in 1999 with two locations in San Antonio and 10

now has an additional location there, plus locations in New Braunfels, Live Oak, Victoria and Magnolia, TX. It is the parent company of six Ellis & Salazar Automotive & Collision locations in Austin, San Marcos, Hutto and Buda; four Fogle Collision Centers in Houston, Katy, League City and Cypress; and Art’s Paint and Body in San Antonio. The company employed more than 320 people before the merger and will now have 550 employees at all locations, including AMM. Auto technicians at all ProCare locations are required to be trained on industry standards in automotive repair and by vehicle makers. ProCare offers collision repair, auto paint services and paintless dent repair. For more information about ProCare’s services, please visit


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ASA-AZ Plans 2018 ATE With Networking, Educational Opportunities by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On June 22–24, ASA-AZ will host its annual Automotive Training & Expo (ATE) at the WeKoPa Conference Center & Casino in Scottsdale, AZ. This year’s theme is “Don’t Get Left Behind.” “We look forward to you joining us again this year for our statewide training and expo,” said Diana DeLeon, ASAAZ event coordinator. “This event offers top-quality training, networking with peers and the opportunity to meet vendors that can work alongside you to help capitalize the profitability of your business!” The 2018 ATE will begin on Friday morning with a golfing networking event. On Friday afternoon, collision repairers can enjoy a threehour clinic on “Advanced Safety Systems: Collision Service and Repair” with AutoNation. At the same time, AutoNation will also offer a technical presentation on Duramax 6600 Diesel: LB7, LLY, LBZ, LMM, while service advisors and managers enjoy the opportunity to learn about “Confident Selling” from Maylan Newton and Preston Osborn. The educational portion of the day will

end with a demonstration from Bolt On Technology, and the first day of the conference will culminate with a reception and expo. On Saturday morning, the day will begin with breakfast and networking. Saturday morning’s educational offerings will include AutoNation’s “Hybrid Vehicle Maintenance Procedures,” “Lab Scope” presented by Calvin Higgins and “The Power of the Phone” and “Marketing without Price” discussed by Newton and Osborn. Shop owners will have a chance to attend a 20 Group open discussion seminar facilitated by Jeremy O’Neal. This seminar will be held in three parts on Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. Attendees are encouraged to participate in all three parts. On Saturday, collision repairers can learn about GM structural safety in a three-hour clinic presented by AutoNation. A marketing seminar on Google Ad Words will also be presented by Patrick Egan. On Saturday afternoon, AutoNation will cover “Hybrid Electric Vehicles: Repair it Safely after Collision,” while Ken Waterbury will talk to managers about “Fleet, Increase Car

ProCare Automotive & Collision Opens 29th Location in San Antonio

ProCare Automotive, LLC announced that its newest location at 3103 SW Military Drive in San Antonio, TX, opened May 14.

This is the fifth ProCare location in San Antonio and the 29th auto body shop to join the company’s growing portfolio of collision centers. “We are proud to make our high-quality collision repair services more convenient for southwest San Antonio residents,” said Vince Brock, CEO of ProCare Automotive. “ProCare started on SE Military Drive in San Antonio and we are very excited to come back to 12

our roots with this new location on SW Military Drive.” ProCare began in 1999. The company continues to experience growth and is now in several cities across central, south and southeast Texas. The company employs more than 550 people and will add 20 new employees consisting of technicians, estimators, customer service staff and office staff to the SW Military Drive location. Auto technicians at all ProCare locations are required to be trained on industry standards in automotive repair and by vehicle makers. ProCare offers collision repair, auto paint services and paintless dent repair. For more information about ProCare’s services, please visit: www


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Count.” Newton and Osborn will present “I Object!” for service advisors, and the following technical seminars will be offered: AutoNation’s “Next Generation GM Diesel Engines” and “Advanced Driver Assist Systems,” sponsored by Advance Auto Parts. Sunday morning will feature an Owners/Manager Roundtable. Saturday’s attendees and guests will also have a chance to participate in a fun wine and painting event. A limited number of participants will be permitted, so those interested should sign up early. The evening will wrap up with the expo and silent auction. The 2018 sponsors include Bolt On Technology, Federated Insurance, Auto Zone, Parts Authority, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Kukui Corporation, WORLDPAC, NAPA, AutoNation Parts Center, ReliableRisk Management, Factory Motor Parts, Jasper Engines & Transmissions and LKQ. Additional exhibitors at the expo include Cardconnect First Data, RO Writer and Klein & Flemming Insurance. For more information about ASAAZ’s 2018 ATE or to register, visit

CA Jury Awards

Labor Code 432.7 when terminating Mr. Tilkey by basing its termination decision on records of his arrest and/or participation in a diversion program. The jury also determined that Allstate’s stated reason for the termination (i.e. alleged threats made by Mr. Tilkey) was not true and that Allstate failed to use reasonable care in determining the truthfulness of the stated reason for termination. The jury also concluded that Allstate had acted with malice, oppression and/or fraud (a prerequisite to an award of punitive damages).” The next day, the jury awarded Tilkey $15,978,822 in punitive damages, making his total award $18,641,959. An Allstate spokeswoman said the company disagrees with the verdict and plans to appeal. The Associated Press contributed to this article. We thank Claims Journal for reprint permission. / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


School Grant Applications Due June 1

Now in its 10th year, the Collision Repair Education Foundation announced that the application for its Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grant is now

Students in the Marengo Community High School collision program in Marengo, IL, show off the work uniforms donated through the Foundation as well as the $1,000 grant the school received

available online for high school and post-secondary collision school programs. The application deadline will be Friday, June 1, 2018. Instructors are advised to begin the application early and industry professionals are encouraged to get involved with the Makeover grant by working with their local school's collision instructors to help them apply. The winning schools will be announced during the SEMA show in Las Vegas, NV, in October 2018. Awards of up to $50,000 will be given.


ASA Insurance Discusses Impact of Auto Insurance Rate Increases in UT

According to Kiplinger, a business forecast publisher, car insurance rates in Salt Lake City and throughout the state have increased by 21.5 in the previous five years. This is the largest increase over a five-year span since the early 1990s. These numbers have helped raise the Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index (CPI) by 3.6 percent, which is above the National CPI of 2.1. The auto insurance rate increases are not the only factor of the rising state CPI. Additional factors include an increase in costs for housing and transportation, which is influenced by the strong economy in the state. Prices in communication technology and education have also gone up during this period. Those buying new vehicles or shopping for car insurance in Salt Lake City should be aware of the increase in rates. One reason for the rising rates is the increased cost of repairs to newer vehicles. With all the safety technology that has been added to the newer models, it is not surprising that the cost of repairs has also gone up. Features such as rearview cameras and parking sensors are im-


portant improvements in safety technology, but they are also more expensive to replace or repair. Creed Anderson of ASA Insurance said buyers should not let this cost deter them from seeking out vehicles with the safety technology or adding it in optional packages. “You can’t put a price on safety. Yes, it may cost more to fix these parts if they stop working, but they can reduce the risk of incidents and save lives,” Anderson stated. Many of the safety systems that are being developed and added to vehicles are designed to prevent accidents. Features such as lane departure alerts or advanced collision warning let the driver know when they are at risk of an accident so they can take the right steps ahead of time to prevent one from occurring. In the event that they cannot avoid an accident, they may be able to reduce the damage or extent of injury by slowing down and being prepared. “It’s important to understand the safety features on your car and know how to use them,” Anderson recommended. Otherwise, he said, a person will not get the maximum benefit

from the technology. For instance, parents can use teen safety systems to set the maximum speed and radio volume for their young drivers. They should keep sensors and cameras cleaned so they work properly and do their job to keep the occupants safe in various situations. Even though the cost of car insurance may go up because of the addition of new safety technology, the results are worth it, according to Anderson. And as the number of claims goes down with the new features, rates may once again level out in time. This can be an important consideration for anyone shopping for a new vehicle and considering car insurance in Salt Lake City and throughout the state.


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AZ Shop Leads Way for Women in Auto Body Field by Staff, The Journal

Xtreme Auto Works is a booming woman-owned business. A lot of automotive repair shops are what you call a mom-and-pop business, but one shop in Arizona is a bit more mom than it is pop.

Donielle Lopez sits on a bench with Chris Donno that his son, Anthony, designed. Credit: Journal Photo

Donielle Lopez is the majority owner of Xtreme Auto Works, located near Arizona and Warner roads in Chandler, AZ. Lopez came to the auto body business from the world of business development and sales. She met her life and business partner, Chris Donno, and left the corporate world to take a leap of faith.

“Chris is my future and we have a shared dream,” she said. “When he asked me to become part of [Xtreme], it was about what we [could] create as a couple.” She became the majority owner in December, when the shop filed to become a limited liability company. Donno has a 49 percent stake in the auto body, paint and restoration business. Lopez said the shop has seen a big jump since the LLC paperwork was filed. She credited that to a business focused on integrity, quality and results. “Our customers mean everything,” she said, adding that most find out about the shop through word-ofmouth instead of advertising. The family feel of the shop may also be contributing to the uptick in business. Xtreme only has five employees, including Donno, who is the shop’s primary painter. He has been in the auto body business for 25 years and is very proud of the progress the business has made since Lopez came on board. Donno’s son, Anthony, also builds his own projects in the garage. The shop itself is welcoming. The spotless work area includes a paint shed

and room to work on multiple cars, such as two classic Chevrolet pickups that were on the floor. The walls are adorned with various pieces of automobile parts, including the back end of a Corvette. “We want to [have] that old-school garage feel where people come and want to stay and have a beer,” Lopez said. But there are no plans to remain static. Lopez—a member of both the Chandler and Gilbert chambers of commerce, along with a few other networking groups—already has her eye on the future. Lopez said innovative ideas will keep the shop growing.

Two cars awaiting restoration sit outside Xtreme Auto Works. The truck in the middle is used as a driver by shop employees. Credit: Journal Photo

“It’s about being optimistic and saying the opportunities are endless,” she said. She wants to partner with similar shops to educate people, especially

those who feel uncomfortable in body shops, such as teenagers and women. A move to a bigger space could also be in the cards.

An area of the shop where cars are restored. The “Undertaker” is a joke meant to signify how much work some of the vehicles need. Credit: Journal Photo

Lopez and Donno plan to work in the shop for another five to 10 years, when they plan to buy a house and land—complete with a garage to work on hobby cars. The shop will likely be passed to an employee who already works at Xtreme. But until then, Lopez will continue to make headway for women in the automotive industry. “Don’t tell me that I can’t. I’ll show you each and every time [that] I can.” We thank Journal for reprint permission. / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Collision Repair Students Donate Services to Guitar Art Project in OK

guitars have been painted and been in the process of having a clear coat of A couple of civic-minded sponsors are automotive UV sealant applied by stuneeded to complete the next round of dents of the auto body and collision Muskogee’s public guitar art projects program at Indian Capital Technology so the next 20 colorful links to Musko- Center in Muskogee, OK. “We did 20 electric guitars inigee’s musical past can be installed. tially,” Stratton said. Those helped commemorate Muskogee’s ties to music legend Merle Haggard with the next round, featuring acoustic-style guitars. “The challenge this time has not been in getting them painted by artists, but in getting them sealed to protect them against the elements” when they are placed on Billy Butler prepares to apply a coat of automotive body public display, Stratton said. sealant on a 7-foot-tall fiberglass guitar painted by The auto body shop that doMuskogee artist Ann Davis. The guitars are part of 20 nated the sealing service on additional art guitars scheduled to be put on permanent the first set of guitars is no display around the city through a program of the longer in business. Muskogee Area Arts Council. Credit: Mike Elswick, Then Kevin Baize, auto Muskogee Phoenix collision repair instructor at Wren Stratton, project coordina- ICTC, stepped forward to donate the tor for the Muskogee Area Arts Coun- services of students to apply the sealant cil, said a couple of sponsors willing to supplied and paid for by the arts counpay $2,000 and an artist to paint the cil. “This is great practice for them,” guitar replicas are needed. So far, 18 by Mike Elswick, Muskogee Phoenix

Continued from Cover

Shop Questioned

the check, but later found it had been signed by an employee at Owens Collision. The suit said contracts signed by customers allow Owens to make repair decisions for the consumers. The state said “any and all transactions which require the vehicle owners’ signature that were signed by Owens on their behalf are improper and are illegal.” Cobb said he became suspicious when he received a call from Owens Collision about an estimate. That estimate was for $14,000, far more than the insurance company had settled for. He then went to go check on his car and found it had been dismantled. The two left side doors were missing and lower paneling to the car had been removed. He also said the rear window was gone, which hadn’t been damaged in the first place. The car was covered in plastic, but that plastic had holes. Cobb said his car had significant water damage to the interior leather seats. 16

“Apparently that’s in their contract, too,” he said. “That I give them the right to go ahead and do a teardown instead of doing a pre-estimate first.” The 18-page suit also outlines a number of fees charged by Owens Collision that are contrary to regional industry standards. It says, “Owens delays or denies insurance adjusters access to the damaged vehicles while holding consumers’ vehicles for extended periods of time.” The suit says storage fees range from $18 to $42 a day. Before any repairs were made to Cobb’s car, he’d racked up a storage bill for almost $1,000. It’s been a year, and as far as he’s concerned, Cobb will never get his car back. Court records show there are other lawsuits involving Owens Collision. Greg Owens told WBRZ in April that he stands by his business and its fees. We thank WBRZ for reprint permission. AUTOBODY


Baize said. “It mimics what they’ll be doing on the job and provides them hands-on practice.” Stratton said the gesture is a big step in getting the next 20 guitars placed in public areas. “We see this as a win-win; the students get practice and the community gets more public art,” she said. “They’re real proud of the work they’re doing, and it gives them ownership of the project in the community.” ICTC students Kyrin Smith, Edward Gandy Jr. and Billy Butler were preparing a couple of the guitars for sealing on May 15 in an auto paint booth on the campus. “We’re so grateful these guys have the equipment to do it and then to take it on,” Stratton said. Gandy said the sealant provides a shine to the guitar replicas and also provides extra protection from ultra-violet sun rays so the paint does not fade out. Stratton hopes the final few sponsors step forward in coming days to get the final guitar replicas completed so they can be put on display. For information, contact Stratton at (918) 869-8453. We thank Muskogee Phoenix for reprint permission.

Elite Body Shop Solutions Webinar Series

Dave Luehr’s Elite Body Shop Solutions announced the launch of its free monthly educational webinar series covering a wide range of topics designed to keep collision repairers and those that serve them abreast of the latest information required to be successful in today’s challenging business environment. The next webinar is Thursday, June 14 at 1 p.m. Central, will feature Ryan Taylor of Bodyshop Booster, presenting “Photo Estimating: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly!” To register, visit: https://events June2018 The webinars kicked off earlier this year when Jake Rodenroth, director of industry relations at asTech, presented “More Than Just Scanning.” In April, Mark Olson, CEO of VECO Experts, highlighted the “10 Simple Steps to Collision Repair Success.” Most recently, in May, the webinar series featured Nick Schoolcraft of Phoenix Solutions Group. All of the webinars can be viewed at

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Don’t Blame Self-Driving Cars for Accidents Caused by Humans by Eric Boehm,

The below is an opinion article from on autonomous vehicles in reaction to a collision involving two human-operated cars and a selfdriving car in Phoenix, AZ, on May 4, 2018.

A car accident in the Phoenix, AZ, suburbs that wouldn’t otherwise have even made the local news reports has become a national story because of the involvement of an autonomous, or self-driving, car. Involvement is the key word, because the self-driving car was an innocent bystander in a crash that was entirely the fault of two humanoperated cars. But you wouldn’t know that from some of the headlines spattered across social media, often accompanied by pictures of the dented Chrysler Pacifica sporting the blue-and-green Waymo logo. As for what actually happened, here’s how the Chandler police described the May 4 afternoon accident in their official report: “This afternoon around noon a vehicle (Honda sedan) traveling eastbound on Chandler Blvd. had to

swerve to avoid striking a vehicle traveling northbound on Los Feliz Dr. As the Honda swerved, the vehicle continued eastbound into the westbound lanes of Chandler Blvd. & struck the Waymo vehicle, which was traveling at a slow speed and in autonomous mode.” And if you’re skeptical of police officers’ ability to tell the honest truth, dashcam video from the minivan confirms their account. As both the police report and the dashcam video show, the accident was caused by the darker car attempting to enter Chandler Blvd., causing the lighter colored car to swerve out of the way at the last second. It’s not clear from the video which vehicle had the green light. One thing that is clear about this is that the self-driving car simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. If the Waymo minivan had been parked on the side of the road when the crash occurred, it would have played the exact same role in what happened. Local news playing a car accident for clicks and “likes” is to be expected, I suppose, but that sort of coverage has real consequences. First,

Autobody News to Collaborate with Discovery Channel on Auto TV Shows

Autobody News is excited to announce a new collaboration with the Discovery Channel and The Velocity Network. ABN will be running weekly features, including an exclusive video on our website at Keep an eye on our site and social channels for updates! Shows featured are: Wrench’d – with Justin Nichols and the crew at Nichols Paint and Fab. The show follows the day to day operations of the shop, which designs and fabricates some of the most appealing hot rods and custom motorcycles in the business. The show Premiered on Velocity, Tuesday May 15 2018. Currently shown on the Velocity Network, Tuesdays 10pm ET Misfit Garage follows the projects of “Fired Up” Garage Mechanics Tom Smith and Jordan Butler with fellow car pros Thomas Weeks and Scot McMillan. The venture rivals wellknown Gas Monkey garage—featured in Discovery’s series “Fast N’ Loud” and owned by Richard Rawlings. Bad blood is rampant and tensions are high between the two shops, since Tom Smith and Tom Smith and Thomas Weeks of Misfit Garage Jordan Butler worked Credit: the Discovery Chennel for Gas Monkey and were previously fired by Rawlings. Currently shown on the Discovery Channel Wednesdays at 9PM PST. For more information visit:,, and 18


there is the strong implication—if not an explicit message—that these selfdriving cars are some sort of danger to public safety. Readers are quick to draw that conclusion, at least based on the responses to tweets that were released after the incident. Second, that fear metastasizes into policy. As two writers at Wired put it, the crash on May 4 is “threatening to resurrect tough questions about the safety of autonomous technology and rip the barely-crusted scab off the technology’s reputation.” That would be like blaming someone sitting in your back seat for an accident that happens three cars in front of you. No reasonable person can look at the May 4 crash and conclude that it should raise any questions—tough or otherwise—about the self-driving minivan. What was the Waymo car supposed to do? Apparate to avoid the oncoming, swerving, human-operated car? What this minor accident in Arizona really shows is that human beings are pretty [bad] drivers. We make mistakes like pulling into oncoming traffic. Around 100 people lose their lives every day in car crashes in America, and about 90 percent of all

car accidents (including the one in Chandler) are the result of human error. Americans spend $230 billion annually to cover the costs of accidents, accounting for approximately 2 to 3 percent of the country’s GDP. Autonomous cars won’t be perfect, and they should face criticism when it’s appropriate, but there is a humongous margin for self-driving vehicles to be imperfect but still better than human drivers. Within that margin, cars like the ones Waymo is currently testing will literally save lives. Even when they are at fault for accidents—and sometimes they will be—we should keep testing self-driving cars. That is the only way to find out if they can indeed be safer than human-driven cars, and it is the only way the technology will improve. Unless politicians get in the way, that is. And nothing makes politicians more likely to overreact to a perceived threat than a bunch of garbage journalism that inflates a potential threat—see: terrorism, human trafficking, letting your child play outside—like the coverage of the May 4 accident. We thank for reprint permission. / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Oldest Body Shops in America: Sirl’s Automotive by Gary Ledoux

From November 2017 to February 2018, Autobody News ran an ad looking for the oldest continuously operated body shops in America.

Sirl’s Automotive is documented as being the third-oldest towing company in the United States

The oldest was George V. Arth and Son in Oakland, CA, founded in 1877 and still going strong. However, we received information from a number of other long-running businesses, several of which will be featured in this column over the next few months. Sirl’s Automotive It was 1914. Ford Motor Company initiated the eight-hour work day. A worker on Ford’s assembly line made


other “side lines” of work. In one season in 1939, he built 80 to 100 trailer hitches. His fame at this type of manufacturing spread over northern Ohio. Eventually, Ralph’s son, Dale, also joined in the family business and has been the owner since the mid-1960s. While running the business, Sirl’s Automotive is currently a full mechanical and Dale was also a vocational collision repair shop, along with 24-hour towing service. Sirl’s Automotive has ranked on the Towman automotive school teacher for 500 “Most Experienced Towmen in America.” Valley Forge High School, in Parma, OH. Some of his stuLike other blacksmiths of dents are still working for Dale in the his time, he could see that body shop, mechanical and towing dechange was coming. He partment. Dale is the third-generation owner. knew automobiles would be the next wave of personal Dale’s sons, Dale Jr. and Gary, are curtransportation, and he could rently working at the business, looking see that the blacksmith trade at taking over as the fourth-generation was disappearing. He knew to own Sirl’s. Sirl’s Automotive is documented he had to turn to repairing automobiles. Michael’s son, as being the third-oldest towing comRalph, joined him in the pany in the United States. Sirl’s Automotive is currently a auto repair business. At one point, Michael de- full mechanical and collision repair cided to build trailer hitches shop, along with 24-hour towing servfor the new motorized vehi- ice. Sirl’s Automotive has ranked on Dale is the third-generation owner. Dale’s sons, Dale Jr. cles. It was not uncommon the Towman 500 “Most Experienced and Gary, are currently working at the business, looking at taking over as the fourth-generation to own Sirl’s for service garages to have Towmen in America.”

a minimum of $5 per day—good wages and hours in those times. Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox and WWI was under way in Europe. On August 14, 1914, Michael Sirl started Sirl Automotive at 7541 York Rd., Parma, OH. Like many “transportation businesses” at that time, Sirl’s started out as a blacksmith shop shoeing horses and mending farm equipment. Before long, “horseless carriages” started appearing on Ohio’s muddy roads. Michael became curious and bought one.


ABPA Annual Meeting & Convention Exceeds Expectations by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On April 24–27, the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) hosted its 2018 Annual Meeting and Convention at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa in San Diego, CA. According to Edward T. Salamy, executive director of ABPA, “The event went extremely well and exceeded our

expectations. Attendance was at an alltime high and we set a record with corporate sponsorship. The annual ABPA convention is a gathering of aftermarket collision part distributors, manufacturers, insurers and other industry partners. “Our members lead busy lives running their businesses and have little time to travel to related industry events where they may or may not be able to meet. The ABPA convention is important for our members as it is

the perfect opportunity for them to meet with the leaders of their industry as well as make new business connections. In short, if you are a distributor or manufacturer of aftermarket collision parts, you need to be at this event. “In addition to being our best annual convention in years, the ABPA is proud to have partnered with the National Auto Body Council (NABC) in once again participating in their Recycled Rides program. This was the second time that the ABPA has done this, and once again, the event did not disappoint. A disabled Marine veteran was the recipient of this year’s vehicle, a 2016 Sentra. ABPA members such as Quality Plus Automotive in San Diego and LKQ donated parts to the cause.” Tuesday featured a Board of Directors meeting and Open Reception with a golf tournament, cocktail reception, tradeshow and reception dinner. In addition to a keynote by Steve Fodor of Customs Services & Solutions Inc. on “The Ever-Changing World of Importing into the USA,” Thursday and Friday both offered many educational seminars for attendees to choose from, presented by

companies such as LKQ, NSF, Intertek, and PartsTrader. “The response from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. In addition, initial results from the attendee survey are coming in with a 35 percent response rate as of this morning. One question we ask is if they felt the ABPA meeting was a valuable experience, and all respondents have answered ‘yes.’ This is something we take pride in as we try to not only offer our attendees many educational topics, but we also incorporate a fun social atmosphere,” Salamy noted. “The event exceeded our expectations with a higher than expected attendance rate and record sponsorship. At the last minute, we had to raise meal counts with the hotel and add tables to our ballroom meeting space. This is a problem that we do not mind having.” The ABPA represents the interests of the aftermarket collision parts distributors and manufacturers, primarily in the United States and Canada. The site for the association’s Annual Meeting and Convention is chosen by the ABPA Convention Committee, which is led by association Chair Kim Hicks and ABPA President Dolores

Richardson. Richardson shared, “This being a male-dominated industry, Kim and I are humbled to have been voted by our board to serve as Chairman and President during the past year. We worked with Ed for our 2018 conference and will continue for 2019. Since his debut in this position, he has done a tremendous job increasing membership and sponsorship.” ABPA’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Convention will be held April 30–May 3, 2019, at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort in FL. Salamy added, “After we made the announcement in San Diego, the ABPA members seemed extremely pleased with the selection, and there is already interest raised from sponsors.” For more information on ABPA, visit




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Technology Centers Help Empower Students, Equip Businesses in OK by Sharla Bardin, The Oklahoman

Jade See credits Moore Norman Technology Center for boosting her confidence and skills while providing a path that led to her dream job. A few years ago, the single mom was working a series of jobs in sales and retail. But she wanted a better job and a career. See received financial

ness classes. The affordability, accessibility and variety of programs offered are some of the reasons why students are attending the centers. See, for one, said she chose Moore Norman Technology Center “because of its convenient location and because of all the classes they have available here.”

“It really makes me feel good when I see students out doing well for themselves and providing for themselves,” — Joe Booker Jr.

assistance and enrolled at the technology center. She chose the auto collision repair and refinishing program because she liked the hands-on aspect of the program, including the painting and repair work. See, whose father is a mechanic, grew up with an interest in cars and discovered she has a “natural knack” for painting and restoring cars. See finished the program in 2015, worked in the industry and is now an instructional assistant in the auto collision class where she helps teach painting and assists students with projects. It’s a job she loves and

Last year, 343,351 adults enrolled in technology centers, along with 20,088 high school students, according to the fiscal year 2017 annual report from Oklahoma’s CareerTech system. There are 29 technology center districts in the state, and the centers are a component of the CareerTech system that offers career and technology education programs statewide. “Our goal in CareerTech is to improve Oklahoma’s economy,” said Marcie Mack, state director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. That work includes, for example, educating youth and adults about career options in the state and helping them find the training and acquire the skills needed for those jobs. “I think it’s important that Oklahoma students understand all of the career opportunities we have in our state,” Mack said. Another outreach with the CareerTech system is with Jade See is an instructional assistant in the auto collision businesses and offering inclass at Moore Norman Technology Center. See is also a former student at the center. She credits the center and the dustry-specific training for auto collision program for helping her find an occupation employees. That includes, she loves. Credit: Sharla Bardin, for The Oklahoman for example, providing trainan opportunity she’s grateful to have. ing and resources for volunteer fire“Being here is such a privilege,” fighters and short-term professional she said. “Moore Norman Technol- development for adults. ogy Center as a whole and this proLast year, the CareerTech sysgram have done so much for me as a tem served 7,824 companies and asperson. It’s helped me grow a lot.” sisted companies locate to the state Like See, thousands of Okla- and provide training for 1,542 new homans are turning toward technol- jobs, according to the annual report. ogy centers for workforce training, Mack said the CareerTech syscareer development, industry certifi- tem is also “a part of the conversation cations or general interest courses, around helping attract new compasuch as cooking, photography or fit- nies” to the state and making sure 22


training is available to meet the needs of those businesses. Mack said there has been in-

offer career and technology education to adult and juvenile offenders. Last year’s total enrollment in CareerTech programs was 522,908, according to the annual report. Mack said she believes a significant reason for the enrollment increase is because all the CareerTech programs put in place “are directly in line with workforce needs.” Mack said she gets the opportunity to talk with students in the CareerTech proSieara Johnson, left, and her instructor, Joe Booker Jr., grams across the state and auto collision instructor at Moore Norman Technology Center, check out Johnson's test piece for a welding project. hear their stories about how the programs helped them Johnson said she likes working on cars and getting to do hands-on projects in the auto collision class. Credit: Sharla find a career or enhanced Bardin, for The Oklahoman their existing jobs. She takes creasing demand for CareerTech pro- those stories to heart. “For me, that’s what makes my grams and that a pivotal moment in the system was about eight years ago job a great place to be every day,” when enrollment increased to more she said. than 500,000. That number includes industry-specific training, adult and Preparing for a profession career development, programs in sec- At Moore Norman Technology Cenondary schools and skills centers that See Technology Centers, Page 28 / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Shop Strategies with Stacey Phillips

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

AZ Body Shop Uses YouTube to Educate Consumers When you walk into the main office at Orlando Auto Body in Mesa, AZ, one of the first things you’ll notice is the numerous magazine articles and awards that decorate an entire wall. They are reminiscent of the custom cars Shane Orlando has worked on throughout his career. He and his younger brother, Jason, began repairing and restoring cars and trucks as teenagers working out of a 600-square-foot garage. They quickly attracted the attention of car enthusiasts, classic car restorers and those who were involved in auto colli-

Shane and Jason Orlando

sions. It wasn’t long before the brothers opened Orlando Auto Body in a 1,500-square-foot facility in Tempe, AZ, repairing about 100 vehicles per year. Fast-forward to today—30 years after working informally from their parents’ home—and they now operate in Mesa out of a 12,000-squarefoot building generating $3 million annually and working on more than 1,000 vehicles per year. With a primary focus on collision repair, the company has built a reputation for friendly service and quality workmanship, always putting safety first. Autobody News recently visited the family-owned-and-operated shop and learned first-hand how the collision repair facility is addressing the tech shortage and uses digital marketing to enhance its business. Congratulations on your recent 30-year anniversary celebration at Orlando’s Auto Body. How did you get started in this business and where has your custom work been featured?



When I was 17 years old, I was working seven days a week, 15 hours a day. My brother, Jason, and I primarily focused on hot rods at the time. It was a lot of fun. Our custom work has been featured in more than 100 car magazines and television shows, including Truckin’ Magazine, Hot Bike Magazine, and at car shows at World of Wheels, Good Guys Car Show, the Low Rider Custom Car Show and the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. We have also done paint prototypes in the past for General Motors, Yamaha, Polaris and Kawasaki and created custom cars for many celebrities, such as boxing great Mike Tyson and Phoenix Suns’ Shawn Marion and Joe Courtney. Those same individuals would bring in their wrecked cars. I quickly realized that I made more money fixing their wreck than I did their Harley or Hot Rod, so I started focusing more on insurance work. After a few years, Jason left the business and took on more of a corporate role in the industry. I’m proud to say that we recently reunited, and Jason runs the shop on a day-to-day basis. We do 100 percent collision repair and the occasional custom job for our own vehicles. Although most of my skills are self-taught, I attended vocational school to learn automotive mechanics and upholstery. I also took continuing education courses to learn how to estimate. I had to learn the hard way. I made every mistake there was. One of the hardest lessons I had to learn was how to say no to people and charge what you are worth.


Q: A:

What sets your body shop apart from others in the industry?

With all of the recognition we’ve received over the years, we’ve had steady growth at our Mesa shop. We have distinguished ourselves from the competition by operating with the utmost integrity. This includes strong attention to detail and unmatched customer service. As an independent shop, we strive to deliver the highest quality


repairs and service found anywhere in the valley of the sun. We tell our customers that we will have their

tinue to support our community and their needs for years to come. In fact, we are looking to expand through the

360-degree photo of the main office at Orlando Auto Body

cars completed when we promised at the price agreed upon and the work will be high quality. In an environment of consolidation, treating people like people is a big deal and we pride ourselves on that. We even offer customers deductible assistance through financing and/or discounts. Our intention is to meet or beat our customers’ expectations and con-

valley and open another shop by the end of the year.

Over the years, how have you managed to staff your body shop with the shortage of technicians in the industry?

Q: A:

Every year for the last decade, we have offered a part-time inSee AZ Body Shop, Page 27

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finishing the repaired panel to 320 grit. Gredinberg shared information from the estimating system providers related to this not-included process— nell of Big Sky Collision in Montana such as whether it is identified as a (who was appointed to the board ear- paint labor operation rather than lier this year following the departure body—noting there are some differof another board member) said he had ences among the systems. “One thing that all three [estifound some discrepancies between the owners’ manuals for some vehi- mating system providers] mention is cles and the automakers’ repair pro- that the material allowance for feather prime and block, if necessary, is not cedures for those vehicles. For two different automakers, included,” Gredinberg said. John Yoswick of CRASH Netfor example, “Within the repair procedures, it says that [seatbelts] need work provided an update at the meetto be inspected for frays or any dam- ing on the “Who Pays for What?” age” following a collision, McDon- surveys his company conducts with nell said. “But within the owners’ Mike Anderson of Collision Advice. manuals, it says to replace every seat- He said the four quarterly surveys belt” that was in use during the crash. ( “So we just want to [know] advice), each of which asks about whether or not we are to look at the shop billing (and insurer payment) owners’ manual, which is crazy, or is practices for about 25 different notthere something like a position state- included operations, also ask shops ment we could get that [states] one if participating in the surveys has will override the other,” McDonnell helped them improve their business. “We consistently have found said. He said he suspects the discrep- that 80 percent or more say that it has,” Yoswick said. “But ancy is likely the result of those of you who know documentation for the ownMike know he won’t rest ers’ manual and the repair until that percentage is procedures being prepared closer to 100 percent, so we by different groups within keep working with him on any given automaker. He other ways to pack more insaid the vast scale of all the automakers’ operations hit Danny Gredinberg formation into the survey reports to help shops.” home for him when he reHe said the latest such addition cently had an opportunity to tour the Fiat Chrysler of America headquar- will be links to DEG inquiries that ters, which encompasses 5 million relate to the procedures being asked about in each survey. Gredinberg has square feet. “So the left arm might not al- been tracking down those inquiries ways be talking with the right arm,” so they can be included in the 2018 reports on the “Who Pays” survey McDonnell said. Also during the meeting, Danny findings. “In addition to providing survey Gredinberg of the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG) (www participants with more information shared a presentation and resources for using the results, on what’s often referred to as “the we think this will keep the DEG in gap.” That’s the necessary process front of a lot of shops regularly between when repair work ends throughout the year, and will help get (with the technician finishing off a DEG resources out to the industry,” panel at 150 grit), to getting that Yoswick said. During an awards luncheon folpanel to the equivalent of new and undamaged, which is when the esti- lowing the meeting, SCRS recognized mating systems say paint labor times the “Who Pays for What?” surveys begin. To get to that level requires with an “Industry Service Award.” the feather, prime and block process, SCRS board member Amber Alley, Continued from Cover

SCRS Meeting





who presented the award, said the surveys have “helped reshape the conversation that so many of us have on a daily basis.” “It has provided the industry with a tool that has made negotiations more transparent, and for many of us has made this complicated industry feel a little more manageable,” said Alley, who manages Barsotti’s Body & Fender, an OEM-certified shop in San Rafael, CA. “As a shop operator, I find this resource to be valuable beyond words. It has given me and my shop the confidence to say, ‘I know I’m not the only one.’” Yoswick accepted the award, noting that Anderson regretted that he couldn’t be there as well. “But he is out on the road doing what he does 300-plus days of the year, which is helping improve this industry,” Yoswick said. “Mike and his team at Collision Advice, and Chuck Cogan and I at CRASH Network, while we’re grateful to receive this, feel it’s actually the 3,237 shops that have taken at least one of the surveys over the three years … that are the ones who make possible what we have done with the surveys.”

SCRS Board Member Brett Bailey, who chaired the association’s awards committee, said the award is not presented every year but recognizes organizations that “provide the industry and its members with a critical resource.” Past recipients include I-CAR, the National Auto Body Council and the Collision Repair Education Foundation. He said the “Who Pays” surveys are well-deserving of the award because “the tool that they have put in place is delivering information to shops that aren’t able to be in this room, information that is invaluable to shops … across the country.” PPG Director of Business Development Bill Shaw was also honored at the luncheon, receiving the SCRS “Humanitarian Award” for his work as president of the Collision Industry Foundation ( The nonprofit organization assists members of the industry impacted by natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. Most recently, the Foundation helped 78 families with ties to the industry in Texas and Florida after hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Continued from Page 24

AZ Body Shop

ternship. We employ one or two kids from a local high school and we spend time training them. When they graduate and if we have an opening, they can come back and work as a helper in the shop. If they don’t work for me, then most likely they will stay in the industry. I also speak occasionally at colleges or high schools to help encourage the kids to get involved in this industry. First, I tell them that whether or not they want to go to college, I recommend taking business courses and accounting. It’s great if they want to work with their hands and get a job in this trade; I encourage it. They can make a great living. But it’s important for them to have some education and learn how to manage money.

Q: A:

How do you currently market your business? Back when we first started out, I always thought our cus-

tom work would generate revenue. I regularly received phone calls from people saying they saw me in a magazine. Now, I realize that it was incredible marketing being featured in the media. That wasn’t my intention, but the reality is that it helped me build a great reputation for providing

We currently have more than 20 informative YouTube videos online. They include helping customers understand the repair process, how to choose a body shop, how to navigate the insurance industry and the differences between OEM and aftermarket parts.


helped provide people with the tools they need to make an educated decision about who is going to fix their cars.

For shops that aren’t taking initiatives to do digital marketing, what advice would you give?


Given the digital age, I think they are missing out on a great opportunity to build their businesses, so they are sustainable. Most shops spend less than 2 percent of their budget on marketing because they don’t have to. With that being said, I believe they are paying a premium for the relationships they have with the insurance companies. They may not see a line item that says ‘marketing,’ but they are at the beck and call of those relationships. More often than not, if they lose an insurance relationship, their shop is at risk of going under. I recommend shops build their businesses organically through social media and marketing, so they are not heavily dependent on DRP relations. In fact, I believe they can deliver a better-quality repair in a lot of cases.


360-degree photo showing the back shop

impeccable quality work. In addition to doing radio ads valley-wide, we are currently very active in social media using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus. We also have a YouTube channel where we educate clients about the repair process. I would say that digitally, we are dominating the market in the Phoenix area the best we can.

Can you tell us about your YouTube videos and how they have been helpful for customers?


Not many people get into wrecks. It’s not like something that happens all the time, so most of the time they don’t know what to do and they are being told what to do. We’ve found that if you can educate them, they can make their own choices. It benefits the entire industry in that people are free to choose, because ultimately, they are. The insurance companies are there to pay the bill and the collision industry is there to fix cars, and that’s been a very muddy line for a long time. Our videos have


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Continued from Page 22

Golfers Play With a Purpose at 3rd Annual Caliber Classic Golf Tournament

Caliber Collision teammates, partners and friends played their hearts out at the third annual Caliber Classic and raised more than $120,000 to help the Caliber Collision Centers Foundation benefactor programs.

Proceeds from the golf tournament hosted on May 7 by Caliber Collision at The Tribute at The Colony Golf Club went toward supporting the Annual Caliber Rhythm Restoration Food Drive, which provides more than 3 million meals each year to 58 food banks across the U.S., as well as the Recycled Rides program. Caliber will gift more than 80 fully restored vehicles this year to military veterans, active duty service mem-

bers and deserving local community members in need of reliable transportation. “Caliber Collision is committed to giving back as we become a part of the fabric in every community we serve. I am humbled and grateful to our colleagues, partners and teammates who generously supported the Caliber Collision Centers Foundation,” said Steve Grimshaw, Caliber Chief Executive Officer. Key sponsors of the third Annual Caliber Classic Golf Tournament included:

 Axalta – Presenting Sponsor  Enterprise, LKQ Corporation

and PWC – Gold Sponsors  Logic Source, Johnson & Sekin Advertising, Image National Signs, All Data/AutoZone, Chief Automotive Technologies, and Global Finishing Solutions – Silver Sponsors  AutoBahn and Grubbs Infiniti – Vehicle Sponsors  More than 40 local and national business partner

Victim Buys Flooded Pickup That Went From Florida to Texas

A young man who bought a pickup truck in Houston is now warning buyers to follow the advice of the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) before closing a deal on a used vehicle. Kenton Basinger shelled out $14,000 for a 2012 Chevy Silverado that normally would sell for about $18,000. But the good deal he thought he was getting quickly turned into a nightmare when he realized he had purchased a pickup that had been flooded. The NICB was contacted by the investigative reporter at KPRCTV in Houston after the victim went to them for help. NICB determined the pickup was originally in Florida and appears to have been up for sale at a dealer there when Hurricane Irma hit the state with devastating winds and rain. The pickup was not insured at the time and no claim for flood damage was ever made. So the vehicle did not have a salvage title and did not ap-



pear in the VINCheck® database that consumers can go to to see if an insured vehicle was given a salvage title. Instead, the truck eventually ended up in Texas where it was sold at an auction with a clean title. Basinger purchased the truck from the dealership that had bought it from the auction. Basinger began to notice problems within days of buying the vehicle. The engine light came on and the power windows stopped working. He took it to a mechanic who said it looked like the truck had been flooded. NICB and the TV news crew were on hand to have it inspected by a trusted mechanic who found numerous signs of flood damage, including possible damage to the electronics that set off the airbags during a crash. Basinger advised consumers to follow NICB’s advice and leave it to a professional to examine the vehicle before you buy.



Technology Centers

ter, See works alongside Joe Booker Jr., who is in his 20th year as the auto collision instructor at the center. “Mr. Booker is a great instructor,” she said. “I’m constantly learning new things from Mr. Booker every single day.” Like See, Booker also was a student at a technology center. He enrolled in an automotive program at Southern Oklahoma Technology Center in Ardmore. After finishing the program, Booker’s career included working at independent body shops and a General Motors dealership body shop. He also kept in touch with his instructor from the technology center, who encouraged Booker to teach. Booker said one of his goals with his students is to provide them with the training and skills necessary to meet current industry needs. He learns about those needs through regular conversations with those in the automotive and related industries. One of those professionals is

Garold Mills, owner of Mills Body Shop in Norman. Mills works with Booker on student internships and said the interns are “very interested and willing to absorb knowledge and learn their trade.” Mills said the shop experience and the instruction they receive at the technology center help better prepare them for the profession. “They get the training necessary to go out into the field and start a career,” Mills said. Booker said one of his favorite aspects of the job is hearing his students’ success stories. “It really makes me feel good when I see students out doing well for themselves and providing for themselves,” he said. Booker also works alongside a former student who is grateful for his instruction and for the opportunities she’s experienced at Moore Norman Technology Center. “I’ve landed my dream job,” See said. “This is where I’m supposed to be. I love being here.” We thank The Oklahoman for reprint permission.


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Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

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

10 Simple Steps to Collision Repair Success From VECO Experts Collision repair facilities can typi- “This is where the disconnect often cally increase profits by raising prices comes in,” said Olson. “We have to and/or working to become more effi- follow the procedures, and this recient, according to Mark Olson, quires a culture shift.” CEO of VECO Experts (Vehicle ColHe used the example of technilision Experts, LLC). cians welding. “Raising your prices can some“Even great techs will say, ‘I times be difficult,” said Olson. “There took 20 welds out; I’m going to put are a number of ways to achieve effi- 20 back in.’ Well, sometimes they are ciency in your body shop and have a going to want 30 back in or a slot predictable high-quality reweld or a MIG braze,” he pair outcome.” said. “We may repair the VECO Experts provehicle differently than it vides onsite assessments was built originally.” and repair inspections at When repairers tell body shops across the counOlson that they have been try to ensure manufacturers’ doing it a certain way for processes and materials are more than 30 years, his reMark Olson followed. sponse is that if you want Olson shared 10 steps to provide to repair cars with 30-year-old techquality collision repairs as part of nology, work on cars that are 30 Dave Luehr’s Elite Body Shop Solu- years old. He recommends looking tions webinar held in April. Luehr, the closely at the following procedures: founder of Elite Body Shop Solu- weld count, electronic reset, corrotions, hosts monthly webinars to help sion protection, sectioning locacollision repair shops reach their busi- tions, parts removal/location, etc. ness goals and achieve their true personal potential. 5. Proper welds Olson’s “10 simple steps to collision repair success:”

1. Pre-health check scan (post and electronic reset /calibration) on every car 2.

Procedures at time of estimate

Olson stressed the importance of knowing as much as possible about a vehicle prior to the repair and including the information on the original estimate. He recommended accessing repair information from the I-CAR Repairability Technical Support Portal (; information providers, such as ALLDATA and Mitchell; OEM 1 STOP (www and position statements from the car manufacturers.

3. Procedures given to technician or sublet vendor during the final repair plan meeting before beginning repairs 4. Procedures followed 30

In addition to ensuring shops are utilizing the proper welding equipment, Olson suggests doing a test weld and destroy every time. “This is not new—I-CAR has been saying this and teaching this since the 1980s and it is in accordance with American Welding Society (AWS) standards,” he said.

said they are often not used correctly. “It’s either being ‘pencil whipped,’ meaning you put it [the QC sheet] on a car and at the end of the job, the detailer checks every box, or it is in the paint department not filled out yet, but miraculously at the end of the job it is,” said Olson. “That’s not a quality control system; that’s a pencil whip form. You might as well not even have it because what you are teaching your techs to do is just fill in the boxes.” 8. Proper refinish

When doing a repair, Olson pointed out the importance of a proper refinish. “The color has to match the exterior as well as the underhood,” he explained. This means the vehicle needs to look the same as it did before, rather


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than painting the underhood color the same as the exterior. He also said to pay close attention to the texture, back sides and gravel guard. 9. Proper use of intake (check-in) SOP

“The proper use of an intake checkin SOP is to fill out every blank every time,” said Olson. “If you have a box on the form that you aren’t going to use, take it off the form.” A free check-in form can be obtained by emailing info@elitebody with the subject line “Request Check-in Form.” 10. Proper vehicle protection

Are the vehicle’s windows rolled up or the openings covered? Are fluid lines capped and pigtails covered? These are just some of the items

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6. Proper corrosion protection

Olson advises shops to be aware of how much cavity wax they are buying. “If you aren’t buying a can a week per technician, you’re probably not properly corrosion protecting,” he said. “If you don’t corrosion protect it, whatever work you do is likely not going to last.” 7. Proper use of quality control (QC) sheet

Although the majority of body shops use a QC sheet of some kind, Olson


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Olson said to be aware of in regard to proper vehicle protection. Risks to Avoid Every month, VECO Experts visits body shops throughout the United States to help them find their weak spots and elevate their operations. Part of this includes addressing the 10 steps to quality collision repair. Those that have been completed the way they were designed are marked green, the ones partially done are marked yellow and red is for tasks not being addressed at all. “When you look at these 10 checkpoints, you can see very quickly what the scope of your shop is,” he said. “The goal is to get all of these green, [indicating they’re] appropriate.” He highlighted the “Big Rocks” he notices in shops—those things he considers high risk to their companies. “These are the things that could possibly put you out of business,” he said. They include not using the quality control sheet as designed, 200 amp welders not being used when appropriate and neglecting to review and follow OEM procedures. Olson recommends reviewing all of the information relevant to the vehicle with the technicians and manager, having them sign it, then taping it to the car and taking a photo. “Accountability will go way up with that very simple step, and that way you know it happened,” he said. Another high risk for body shops is not using enough cavity wax. “Every technician—if doing heavy structural repairs—should be using at least a can a week of cavity wax,” said Olson. “What we find is that they might buy two or three cans a month or they might buy one can per quarter. That’s clearly not enough.” Olson said many shops do not understand the importance of doing a test weld and destroy. He suggested documenting this test every time in the file in case the information is needed later. In addition, he reminded participants on the call to ensure equipment is properly maintained and operable. “Equipment that is not being maintained properly definitely cuts into your profitability,” he said. 34

Also, he talked about buying a new set of welder tips to be used on a squeeze-type resistance spot welder for every single major collision repair that is done in the shop, and then including the cost on the invoice. Afterward, the tips can be given to the customer or saved so the copper can be traded in later and the shop can buy the technicians lunch with the money. Some of the “Medium Rocks” he notices in shops are risks that are customer service-oriented and may or may not affect the body shop. These include check-in sheets not being completed, electronic files not being fully documented and frame measurements not being completed. In some shops, Olson has noticed copper weld-through primer being used instead of zinc. “No manufacturer recommends copper,” he said. “It should not be in your shop under any circumstance because no manufacturer recommends it.” In addition, he said epoxy primer is often not present or it is used incorrectly, vehicle protection is not complete and painting is done under urethane set glass. The other medium-risk item he mentioned is having self-etch primer in the body department. “Many technicians use it under seam sealer or body sheets, and it doesn’t belong there,” he said. Is your company embezzling from you? During the webinar, Olson also talked to attendees about their business process and how to avoid the net profit being negatively affected. He then explained the “Canary in the Coalmine” principle. “A Canary in the Coalmine is an advanced warning of some danger,” Olson explained. “The metaphor originates from the times when miners used to carry caged canaries while at work; if there was any methane or carbon monoxide in the mine, the canary would die before the levels of gas reached those hazardous to humans.” In this case, Olson said the canaries are the problems in your shop that can affect profitability. 10 “Canaries” to look out for:


1) Come-back rate This is when a car comes back to your shop for any reason to have something repaired, even if it is parked outside and a customer notices something before driving away. “For shops that properly track this, the average we find is 20 percent come back,” said Olson. “We haven’t found one below 10 percent.” He said the minimum average cost of come-backs is $400–$500 per vehicle. “If you take the number of cars you repair every month and 20 percent on average are coming back, multiply this by $400–$500 to calculate what is being embezzled from your company,” said Olson. “Track it for 30 days and it will blow your mind. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but the exception is not the rule.” 2) Internal come-back rate between departments Olson said the internal come-back rate can also cost a shop more than $400–$500 per vehicle. He mentioned three different types. The first is when a technician re-

ceives a vehicle from another department, notices something that needs to be repaired and does the work himself/herself. “That technician is going to lose 10–15 minutes of productivity and you’re going to spend more on materials,” said Olson. “If that technician is a 200 percent effective tech, you just lost 20–30 minutes of production from your shop.” A second type is when a technician receives a vehicle and brings another employee over to repair something. “Now you have two technicians wasting time,” said Olson. The third is when a technician receives a vehicle and sends it back to a prior department. “If you track that, you’ll be shocked at how much inefficiency you have,” he said. 3)

Average start-stop rate

This is when a vehicle comes in and the work has to stop for some reason. That might be due to parts not being available or another car becoming a priority. Olson advises shops to look

at how many times technicians stop during a repair. 4)

Supplement number record

“If there are one or two supplements, it’s not a real big deal,” said Olson. “Every time you find more damage or change the repair, that is a change that hurts productivity.” However, he often says shops have eight to 12 supplements. “That’s killing productivity,” he said. “All you have to do is track it. If you can’t measure it, you can’t fix it.” 5) Are SOPs used the way they are designed? 6) If you are using SOPs the way they are designed, do they work? 7) Gross profit/net/expense percentage

Olson said it’s very important to a shop’s success to understand these three basic principles—gross profit, net and expense percentage. 8)

Days to repair (keys to keys)

Keys to keys is the total amount of time the car is at the shop—from the time it is dropped off until it is picked up. “A lot of people call this cycle time, but it’s not,” said Olson. “It’s how long the car is there. A car might be there for a week before it is touched.” 9)

Cycle time or touch time

This includes the time the vehicle enters production through the day it is ready for delivery. 10) Safety

Olson asked webinar attendees how many of their technicians wear safety glasses in the shop. “You can talk about safety all you want, but you need to demonstrate it in your shop,” he said. In addition to wearing safety glasses, he said safety includes a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), training plans, safety meetings and respirators. “People have different concerns in the shop and every business runs a little differently,” said Olson.

Rather than trying to focus on changing everything, he recommends picking one or two items and working with technicians to address them to be successful. “Take it one step at a time,” he said. “Everything has to go in a process. You can’t do it all at once.” To watch a replay of this webinar, visit https://attendee.gotowebinar .com/register/7978064457470349825. All registered attendees will automatically be notified of upcoming Elite Educational Webinars held each month. For more information about Elite Body Shop Solutions and to sign up for the next monthly webinar, email

For more information about VECO Experts, LLC and the 10 steps to quality collision repair, call Mark Olson at 206-771-2111.


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ACA Releases 2018 Collision Trends Report

The Auto Care Association recently announced the release of its new report, “Collision Repair Trends: Industry Statistics and Analysis,” which delves into the latest data on the collision repair industry. The report aggregates industry sources available from government entities, independent research supplier databases and the Auto Care Association’s internal research. The 2018 Collision Repair Trends report provides in-depth insight into the U.S. collision repair sector of the auto care industry, including the paint, body and equipment (PBE) industry, and also provides an overview of key industry trends in Canada. According to new data, Americans drove a combined 3.2 trillion miles over the last recorded 12-month period, which resulted in $45.8 billion in collision repair-related sales and services— representing nearly one in every five dollars spent in the automotive aftermarket (16.5 percent). The 54-page report is $225 for Auto Care Association members and $450 for non-members. Contact: / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


AMi: Out of the Shadows

tions, phone skills and more. To best describe what AMi does, think of it as The Automotive Management Insti- “I-CAR for the collision shop’s front tute, better known simply as AMi, office, customer service representabegan in 1989 as the Automotive tives, estimators, shop managers or Service Association Management In- owners”—anyone who has direct constitute. tact with the customer. Perhaps because it was With that said, there are so closely tied to the Autoplaces where AMi works motive Service Association hand-in-hand with other in(ASA), which focuses heavdustry training and support ily on the mechanical, rather entities. For example, AMi than the collision side of the has two estimator profesbusiness, and/or perhaps besional designations: ACE cause AMi did not have a and AMCE. They require Jeff Peevy high-profile person to repreverifiable achievement from sent the organization to the collision AMi, I-CAR, ASE and estimating repair industry, AMi stood mostly in systems. It is the most comprehensive the shadows and was for years virtu- recognition in the industry for estimaally invisible to the collision repair tors. world. But this did not belie the fact In 2015, Jeff Peevy, former Ithat AMi provided and continues to CAR senior director, was hired as provide a great service for both the president of AMi and tasked with mechanical and collision sides of the updating the organization’s infrabusiness. Eventually, the orstructure, designations and ganization became known accreditation process to ensimply as AMi. sure ongoing relevance and As described on its value to the industry. Fiwebsite, AMi is a 501(c)(3) nally, AMi had a high-prononprofit organization dedfile person to help raise its icated to providing indusvisibility to the collision intry-recognized professional dustry. And most recently, Mike Cassata management designations, industry veteran Mike Cascertificates and career paths to the sata joined the AMI team and was service and collision repair segments named Director of Industry Outreach of the automotive industry. As a non- for Collision for AMi. profit, AMi collaborates with trainRecently, Autobody News caught ing providers across the industry, up with Peevy and Cassata to check on reviewing, recognizing and awarding their current status and future plans. credit hours for quality management and leadership education. ABN: Mike, those who are able to atIn other words, and contrary to tend CIC and other industry events what one may think, AMi does not have seen you at these events for actually create training content, but several years. But please give our rather vets and approves content cre- readers a quick review of your backated by other entities within the in- ground. dustry that fits into a pre-determined curriculum as designated by AMi. Cassata: I grew up in Rochester, NY, When the student completes the as- where my family had a body shop. I signed curriculum, they earn a pro- did some repairs but knew I was not fessional management designation cut out to be a technician. But I cersuch as AAM (Accredited Automo- tainly knew the business, so I ended tive Manager) or AMAM (Accred- up running the shop for over 10 ited Master Automotive Manager). years. Eventually, I sold the shop and The curriculum focuses not on the became an independent appraiser. technical side of the automotive busi- That led to my long career with ness, but on what might be called “soft Amica Insurance where, among skills.” To earn the AAM designation, other things, I was their DRP mana student must complete courses on ager, catastrophe manager and salsuch areas as time management, effec- vage manager. I got to work with a tive communications, customer rela- lot of shops and learned a lot about by Gary Ledoux



the industry.

ABN: Mike, how did you first get involved with AMi?

Cassata: For years, I have been very active with I-CAR and served as the Committee Chairman in Rochester. So of course, I knew Jeff Peevy. Working as the DRP manager with Amica, I got to know our DRP shops pretty well. I knew their technical skills were good at making safe and complete repairs. But for some shops, their customer service skills and financial and business management skills needed some help. This is true of many shops around the industry. AMi provides the help these shops need. So when Jeff called me about the position at AMi, I knew it was a perfect fit. ABN: Who in particular are you trying to reach? Cassata: I will be reaching out to shop owners, estimators, shop foremen—basically anyone in the shop

who touches the customer. I also want to reach others, including paint company representatives, insurance estimators, insurance managers, independent adjusters—basically anyone who supports the industry. In a nutshell, this would be anyone who attends events like CIC. If we are going to raise the level of professionalism of the industry, it’s important that everyone be involved. We need full industry support to continue our work. ABN: How is AMi relevant to today’s collision industry?

Peevy: Walk into any hospital in America and look around. Most of the people that you see working there have to be accredited or have some sort of degree to work at their profession, and must take additional training each year to maintain that accreditation. Why? Because it is a profession. They do a job where people’s lives and well-being are at stake. They are expected to act responsibly and be knowledgeable

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about the business of medical care and what they do. This is the same for many professions. In collision repair, we have the I-CAR individual Platinum status for technicians and estimators, but little emphasis is placed on people skills or other business skills for shop management, the front office and many others in support positions. This is what makes AMi relevant—to help increase the professionalism of the entire industry, including most support people—not just technicians.

ABN: What makes AMi relevant now? Peevy: It’s no secret [that] the entire industry is growing more complicated in the way cars are built and repaired and in the way we do business. Customers are more sophisticated and discerning. And the industry is contracting. Fewer accidents in the future will mean a need for fewer shops. Competition for the next repair is more intense than ever. At AMi, our core belief is “Knowledge equals competitiveness; learning then is the only source of a sustainable competitive advantage.” And I believe that is true. The knowledge you gain today may be obsolete tomorrow. So we must keep learning and growing, both with technical information and with people and business skills that help sustain your shop’s business model. Cassata: The more we learn, the more we empower ourselves.

ABN: Mike, what is your overall vision for your new job as Director of Industry Outreach? Cassata: I am going to start by approaching the people I know and

branch out from there. Jeff Peevy and I will be attending industry events and, between the two of us, will become the face of AMi. ABN: Jeff, what are you doing to reach and communicate with shops?

Peevy: We send out email blasts called the “Management Minute” to over 13,000 shops. It contains, among other things, a note from myself, a short profile on an AMi graduate, information about one or more courses and other helpful information.

ABN: Jeff, you have been AMi’s president for about three years and already have brought AMi to a higher visibility within the industry. Besides naming Mike Cassata as your Director of Industry Outreach, what other changes have you made?

Peevy: I spent my first seven months just looking at the company and learning everything about AMi. I had to get my arms around it, and that took a while. AMi had been basically “flat” for several years—out of sight and out of mind. It needed a “jolt.” I’m not sure that anyone had a vision of AMi out this far into the future. But we put some great people on our team—like industry veterans Darrell Amberson of LaMettry’s Collision and Bob Keith of Assured Performance, and things started happening. On June 20, 2016, we launched what we called the “next generation of AMi” initiative with a state-of-the-art website and Learning Management System with over 130 online courses.

Peevy: We presently have about 350 instructor-led classes and 160 online courses. Some of our instructor-led courses are taught by some of the best people in the business, including veterans Mike Anderson, Mark Claypool, Frank Terlep and of course our own Mike Cassata. ABN: Jeff, do you have plans for any new or additional classes?

Peevy: We are constantly looking at new classes. It seems like every day we have different companies presenting us with great material. But it takes time to review the material, vet it and see if it fits our model. It just takes time. ABN: Jeff, what is the toughest challenge to get people to take advantage of AMi classes?

Peevy: Basically, it’s just becoming visible and letting industry people know we are out here, we exist and can help professionally and personally. ABN: Do you have any future plans?

Peevy: We are working on a curriculum for high school students and will be looking for local body shops to sponsor a student. This is in the early stages.

Cassata: I spoke at a high school a short time ago about a career in the collision industry. All the students had the same preconceived idea that everyone in the industry simply bangs on fenders for a living. They had no idea there were so many other positions and career paths open to them, or that it took so many people to support that one person banging on that one fender. ABN: Mike and Jeff, what is your end game? What is your vision for AMi?

Cassata: I’m hoping to increase the visibility of AMi and obtain industry support from all stakeholders. This includes stronger participation in donations and of course, class participation. Peevy: We want to play a part in raising the professionalism of the industry. We want AMi to be the instrument of change. We want to be out of the shadows—and we have a good start.

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ABN: How many different classes do you have now?

ACA Adds Filter Manufacturers Community

The Auto Care Association recently announced the addition of a new community to its membership with the introduction of the Filter Manufacturers Community (FMC). The group will join 10 additional auto care communities currently represented by the association. The formal announcement was made at the Auto Care Association’s annual Spring Leadership Days event, which took place May 9–11 at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta. The addition of FMC to the Auto 38

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Mike Anderson’s 3rd Webinar Discusses Nissan/INFINITI Technology tion, and the page explains what is included and excluded. It includes On Monday, April 23, Mike Anderservice manuals, TSBs, TechTalk son of Collision Advice presented Magazine and ELearning training for the third webinar in his Learn to Re- both Nissan and INFINITI for model search, Research to Learn series. The years 1989 to current. It will not inwebinar focused on “Using Nissan/ clude diagnostic software, ECU reINFINITI Technology.” programming files or any other item He was joined by Will Latuff of not listed as being included. Latuff Brothers, Justin Miller of Online subscriptions cost $720 Nissan and Mark Zoba of Nissan/ for a year or one day for $19.99. INFINITI. The webinar was created Monthly and quarterly subscriptions by Collision Advice in collaboration are also available. Nissan’s certified with FCA, but Anderson also thanked collision centers receive a free subCIECA for its contributions to the in- scription to Nissan’s technical infordustry. mation portal. The website provides Explaining why he decided to a legend to explain the icons used host these webinars, Anderson re- throughout the website. ported that his annual Who After logging in, there will Pays for What surveys, conbe tabs on the right-hand ducted in conjunction with side. The “What’s New” tab the Crash Network, have shows additions and updates led him to determine that to the technical service bulshops are not researching letins. Clicking the “eye” OEM repair procedures 100 icon allows document viewpercent of the time as they ing. Mike Anderson should be. Anderson pointed out, file photo Because of this, Colli“This is a great feature since sion Advice will be hosting a webi- it lets you know if something has nar with a different OEM each changed since you last looked somemonth to raise awareness of the re- thing up.” sources each OEM offers to research The next tab is Technical Trainrepair procedures. He will guide at- ing, which has mostly mechanicaltendees on a step-by-step tour of related resources, but Anderson each specific OEM’s website, in- demonstrated how he found value in cluding logging in, areas of the web- them. He encouraged attendees to resite and how to improve search view this document on vehicles not results. He will also demonstrate previously repaired to better underhow to research some common pro- stand the vehicle. There are also cedures needed by collision repair- eLearning modules available for ers, explore the differences between download, or users can purchase spean OEM scan tool and aftermarket cialized training videotapes in DVD scan tool and investigate OEM parts or VHS format. information and support tools. Accessory Instructions require Nissan/INFINITI has two sites, that you select a vehicle (model, year both of which require paid access. and accessory type), and hit “Search” Information is available through to research all the accessories that or www may be on that vehicle. Proper access “Now you have a way to underto the websites requires Internet Ex- stand how this accessory feature is plorer, the most recent version of supposed to work,” Anderson said. Adobe Reader and the disablement Next, the menu offers subscribed of pop-up blockers. users the ability to view current or back “If your hyperlinks do not work, issues of Nissan/INFINITI’s TechTalk it’s probably because of one of these Magazine, which can be opened and reasons,” he said. printed as a PDF. On the site, select your country “There’s a ton of information in and then the main screen will load. there, and I would encourage you to Going to “Purchase Subscription for print as a PDF and share with your Viewing Publications” provides the team,” he said. opportunity to purchase a subscripAnderson was excited as he by Chasidy Rae Sisk



started covering the Purchase Tools/ Equipment tab. Nissan/INFINITI provides special discounted pricing on a variety of equipment and tools for certified collision centers, and certified collision centers can receive up to 15 percent bonus cash back on qualifying orders. Additionally, they now offer special financing opportunities on equipment orders for qualifying collision shops. The Recall Information tab offers the opportunity for research into any open recall on a Nissan. Anderson explained that customers are looking for trust, empathy and direction when they are choosing a body shop. “What creates more trust than inputting the consumer’s VIN and being able to tell them the specific recalls on their vehicle? It’s very VIN-specific,” he said. At the bottom of the homepage, Nissan provides links to NASTF, Nissan USA, Nissan 4 Parts and INFINITI TechInfo. To begin researching repair procedures, click “View Nissan Publica-

tions,” and choose a publication type from the drop-down. Anderson focused on the service manual during his webinar, but noted, “I found so much cool stuff for Nissan/INFINITI [that] I couldn’t fit it into one webinar. So Team Nissan/INFINITI has agreed to do a part two, and when we do that, we’ll take you through the other options available.” Users can search by publication title or for publications related to certain models or years. Explaining the search feature, Anderson said contents of all the boxes are used together to narrow the search, but an empty box will not affect the search. The search is not case-sensitive, but it does match all typed characters, so it’s better to only type part of a word if you’re not confident about it. After selecting your model and year, you’ll be able to click on the service manual for the vehicle. Nissan uses an HTML 5 interface for any vehicle from 2018 forward; older models’ service manuals are viewable as PDFs. On the left-hand side,

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you’ll see a series of dropdowns. You can also input a symptom code to research a DTC much quicker. Looking at the Armada service manual, Anderson navigated to BRM Body Repair in the table of contents and then Fundamentals to access general repair information. Looking at electric resistance spot welding, he revealed where Nissan instructs repairers to perform a destructive test weld before welding on the vehicle. The site also explains how to perform the test weld and includes information about using the weld through primer. He reminded participants, “I’m going through this rather quickly, but the goal is to create awareness so you will be able to find this information in the future.” Responding to a participant’s question, Anderson clarified that OEM repair procedures cannot be researched by VIN—only by year, make and model. Nissan’s representatives also clarified that shops certified through the Assured Performance Network will still need to reach out directly to Nissan for access to the site and discount programs.

After Fundamentals, the site shows Repair Information Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 refers to the information available for USA and Canada, whereas Type 2 refers to information for Mexico. Under the Vehicle Information tab, the section starts by showing the exterior paint colors, trim codes and hard clear. It also identifies which vehicles are two stage, three stage, or pearl. This tab also provides the tensile strength of the steel and lists the components. Another useful item in this section is Preparation, which advises which foams and adhesives should be used. The same tab shows Body Component Parts, which complements what is found in the substrate list. Moving to Corrosion Protection provides useful information and warnings as well. Talking about his estimating classes and viewing several examples in the manual, Anderson stated, “If you want to get paid, your opinion doesn’t mean jack. The only thing that matters is what you can prove, substantiate or justify. We encourage shops to stick to the facts. Is what you’re asking for required? Is

it included? Is there a predetermined time? If not, what is it worth? This is going to help us prove the things that we need to do and justify adding them as line items.” Anderson continued to look at service data and specifications that provide vehicle dimensions. He explained the quick reference index works like a home page before going to Common Repair Research Operations. In this section of the webinar, he demonstrated how clearly Nissan indicates non-reusable parts in their removal (symbolized by a black circle with a white x in illustrations) and installation process manuals. “This is why we must research every component we remove from a vehicle to make sure we know if it’s a non-reusable part,” he said. An additional example showed that seat belts must be replaced after a collision. He covered required wait times when the battery is disconnected, required recalibrations after the battery is disconnected and wiring diagrams that show what the connector is. He also took a detailed look at repair requirements related to blind spot monitors and telematics sys-

tems. He then explored NissanConnect, which makes the car very interactive for drivers, and what this means for repairers. Anderson repeatedly stressed the importance of researching OEM repair procedures. The webinar continued with Anderson exploring sectioning procedures and demonstrating how to search the publications available on the website. He discussed painting requirements and removing the 12V battery before diving into requirements on the 2016 Nissan GT-R requirements. Nissan’s training on this vehicle, which is constructed with aluminum, is delivered through ICAR. As the webinar drew to a close, Anderson covered the steps to take when unable to find the information being sought. First, exhaust your search of the Service Manual, then submit a question to Ask I-CAR and provide a link. If I-CAR doesn’t know, certified collision centers can email nnacollisionrepairnetwork@ Shops that are not certified should complete the “Help Make This Service Manual Better” See Mike Anderson, Page 46

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Media and Publicity for Shops

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

with Ed Attanasio

Does Email Marketing Work for Body Shops Anymore? How many emails do you get every day and how many of them should really be in your spam folder? Did you sign up for something and then the company sold your email address to everyone on the planet? Every once in a while, so-called marketing gurus announce the death of email marketing, but Luke Middendorf, the owner of WSI Connect in Northern California, is happy to tell the world that it’s still alive and actually thriving. “I think it was about a decade ago that I first read an article boldly proclaiming that email marketing was dead,” he said. “I laughed at the time as I could plainly see from our internal metrics that email marketing was still highly effective. Year after year, new technologies try to make the elimination of email marketing their claim to fame. Yet, year after year, email marketing continues to produce a better ROI than just about any other marketing strategy. “Email marketing is still the best way to put your message in front of your target audience. You don’t have to wait for them to Google the types of products or services that you offer and you don’t have to hope that they will notice your Facebook campaign. Email marketing delivers the content directly to them.” Email marketing does not need to be expensive, Middendorf explained. “It’s relatively low-cost,” he said. “We actually utilize the free version provided by MailChimp for a number of our clients. Their only costs are content development and building out email lists.” What are the key elements of a successful email marketing campaign? “There are two critical components to any effective email marketing campaign: providing high-quality content and building a great list,” Middendorf said. “Building a list is the second important component of any successful email marketing program. There are tons of different ways to build an email list. The first one is just good old-fashioned net-


working. If you exchange business cards with another professional, you have their email address. I recommend sending them a personalized email before you add them to any email marketing campaign.” Educating and engaging your readers is paramount because they’re savvy and can see an ad from a mile away. “One of the best newsletters that I subscribe to is produced by a business consulting firm,” Middendorf said. “Each week I receive 2–3 emails from them and I learn something useful in each email that I read. That’s the key. I learn something that I can apply to the growth of my business; therefore the content is very valuable to me. After receiving six months of valuable information from them, I decided to utilize their services. By giving away valuable information, the consulting firm was able to establish themselves as industry experts and convert me into a client.” Trading useful and pertinent information for an email address also works well. “We often create an eBook or white paper, set up a landing page and give it away in exchange for an email address,” he said. “Mine your LinkedIn contacts. Most people make their email addresses available to their first degree connections. I still recommend a personalized email beforehand. We also often experiment with lightboxes. We use SumoMe on a couple of the websites that we support. This provides an easy way for readers to add their email to the subscriber list.” Other tips for email campaigns:

• Specialization is key. Some body shops do separate email campaigns for their customers and insurance partners with specialized content that caters specifically to each. • Present your email using the same tactics as you use for blogs or social media. Open with interesting, engaging content and funnel readers through to your company’s landing


pages. • Think mobile: Most of your customers are perusing email on their phones today, so design your emails to be mobile-friendly. • Present small bites: Separate content using headlines, subheads and bullet points. Give your readers information that can be quickly scanned and absorbed. People will not read lengthy articles, because they just don’t have the time. • Make it personal: Email is a personal form of media, so cater your campaigns to be as personalized as possible. • Avoid spam: Set up a regular contact routine, but don’t flood your contacts with advertisements and products. You want your readers to look forward to hearing from you, so be consistent and courteous. • Unsubscribe link: Make it easy to unsubscribe. Small or hidden un-

subscribe links are very annoying.

So, the $64,000 question is: Does email marketing still work? “Absolutely,” Middendorf said. “Email marketing is considered an important part of any robust online marketing campaign. Your company should still consider other well-established marketing strategies, such as blogs and branded websites; however, email is an affordable way to reach more people with minimal expense. For the best results, turn your online marketing campaign over to a company experienced in the field that is able to assist you with keyword strategies and reaching target audiences.”


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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

ASA Partners With Bosch for 4th Webinar: ‘You’ve Got the Power’ On April 18, ASA partnered with Bosch for the penultimate webinar in their Advanced Collision and Diagnostic Training Webinar Series. Titled “You’ve Got the Power: Diagnostic Power in Your Hands,” this fourth webinar focused on key scan tool procedures for collision and mechanical repair and was facilitated by Bosch’s Duane “Doc” Watson and Pat Pierce. The webinar began with ASA Vice President Tony Molla

welcoming attendees and explaining that the techniques taught during the webinar are transferable to many other professional diagnostic tools. Watson began by talking about scan tool assets and emphasized the value of getting as much from your scan tool as possible. He pointed out, “Your scan tool can do more than just read codes. It can bring diagnostic and repair information to you, and it can be paired with other tools to enhance your diagnostics and repairs, but it needs to be easy to use and must have embedded user-assisted diagnostics. “If you replace the battery, certain model vehicles require a reset tool or scan tool to reset the battery life in the vehicle’s computer when an old battery is replaced. This is done to keep the electrical system running at maximum efficiency since many newer vehicles automatically adjust charge cycles and alternator settings based on battery age and mileage. When the battery is replaced, the new battery might need to be electronically reset within the vehicle’s computer system to ensure that it is properly recognized as a brand-new battery. Failure to do so may create an over charging system, thus shortening the battery life. Battery reset is a very simple and straightforward procedure. You 44

can purchase a standalone battery reset tool, but some scan tools have the function built in.” During the battery registration process, battery capacity is set to 80 percent, the current odometer reading is stored and stored battery statistics are deleted, so there is no need to worry about completing the steps individually. “The battery reset saves the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic memory and other onboard memory components such as anti-theft radios, digital clocks, radio presets, seats, mirrors or comfort settings when the vehicle’s battery is removed or disconnected,” Watson said. “Using the memory saver during a battery replacement is highly recommended, but you have saved the previous battery charging settings as well. You still need to perform reset procedures when using the memory saver.” Watson demonstrated the Ford model truck battery reset and showed how to check DTCS on a vehicle with a check engine light on. He stressed the importance of following the steps under scan test and showed how to use the links and diagrams on the scan tool to learn more about what needs to be done. Watson also showed webinar attendees how to test the heating circuit and how to determine if the heating element is bad, noting “Always test—don’t guess!” Turning to tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), Watson explained that if a vehicle manufacturer recommends 35 pounds of pressure, the tire is considered significantly underinflated at 26 pounds, but may not look low until it hits 20 pounds. Reasons for the tire light to come on could be low tire pressure, a broken sensor or the wheel sensor not being recognized by the vehicle. Tools to be used for properly servicing TPMS include sensors/valves, service packs, scan/learn tools and accessories. Watson advised, “Never use a brass valve core with an aluminum TPMS sensor. Always use a nickelplated valve core with aluminum TPMS sensors.


“What should you be replacing on a TPMS-equipped vehicle? What’s included in a service pack? Service packs provide the sealing components for each applicable sensor (clamp-in or snap-in) and can be replaced just as valve stems are today. Always use new grommets, nuts, valve caps and valve cores when performing any tire service.” It is important to replace all components within the service pack because rubber grommets replace old seals that may have taken permanent compression and may leak. The valve stem nut replaces the old nut, which may have been over-torqued and contain invisible hairline fractures. Nickel-plated valve cores prevent galvanic corrosion and ensure the integrity of the primary seal. Valve caps with seals prevent dirt and moisture from entering the sensor, and they also act as a secondary

pressure seal. Old valve caps may have a seal that is compressed or missing. A washer replaces the old washer, which may also have hairline cracks from over-tightening. Watson recommended seeking the following types of damage when inspecting a TPMS sensor: broken casing, broken antenna, tire sealant clogging holes, internal and external thread damage and galvanic corrosion. He explained that valve stem caps are important to take care of because they could impact the output, and he warned that the sensor may not relearn because it’s the wrong cap. He demonstrated how to start testing the sensors with a walk-around, pointing the tool at the valve stem on each tire. Using a scan tool with TPMS/ TPR capabilities makes the job easier because it displays additional information, allows access to quick referSee ASA Partners, Page 53

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Historical Snapshot with John Yoswick

—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, 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

Association Leader 5 Years Ago Called for DRPs to Include ‘Grandfather Clause’ 20 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (June 1998) Caliber Collision Centers has announced the appointment of Bill Lawrence as its chief operating officer and senior vice president. Lawrence, a 28-year veteran of Allstate Insurance, was an architect and corporate strategist responsible for Allstate’s “Pro Shop” direct repair network. He also previously served as president of Allstate’s “Tech-Cor” subsidiary, which includes a collision repair shop research center. Lawrence will have responsibility for all of Caliber’s collision repair operations as well as the associated corporate support functions. “Bill is a highly talented, wellknown and highly regarded insurance industry executive who’s been thinking ‘outside the box’ about collision repair for more than a decade,” Caliber’s Chief Executive Officer Continued from Page 41

Mike Anderson

form on the third page of the Service Manual. Nissan also offers its Identifix Hotline, a complimentary service to help shops identify procedures or help diagnose an issue. The hotline is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST at 1-855-828-4018 and is available to the entire industry. Anderson also shared some other helpful websites:, www.collision.nissanusa .com/genuine-parts-advantage and http: // -parts-advantage/. He discussed the benefits of shops acquiring Nissan /INFINITI certification. After looking at OEM position statements, Anderson stressed, “I am concerned that as an industry, we are becoming too reliant on OEM position statements to tell us how to repair a vehicle safely! OEM position statements CANNOT and SHOULD NOT replace the emphasis and importance of researching OEM repair 46

Matthew Ohrnstein said. “We are pleased to welcome him as our head of operations, and we expect he will continually lead change in the industry.” Founded in 1991, Caliber is a consolidator with operator collision repair facilities in California and Texas. In addition to its corporateowned centers, it also manages a preferred provider network of 120 independently owned collision repair centers. – As reported in The Golden Eagle. The first to bring Wall Street investment into collision repair, Ohrnstein left Caliber after seven years and launched a private consulting firm involved in many consolidation transactions; he died in 2013. Lawrence left Caliber in 2004. He is now an executive with the 7-shop 1st Certified Collision Centers chain in Southern California, which is also

procedures.” He emphasized that researching OEM repair procedures is “the only way to guarantee a safe and proper repair!” Anderson will be doing a deeper dive into some of the other publication types from Nissan/INFINITI in Part 2 of the Nissan webinar in the near future. Anderson fielded questions throughout the webinar, but since all of the attendees’ questions could not be answered during the webinar, Collision Advice will be sending out a document containing responses to all attendees’ questions. The next webinar in the series will be held on Thursday, May 24 at 2 p.m. EST and will feature Ford. The Nissan webinar is available free of charge at .com/watch?v=FEqIjoLLGk4&list= PL1aFHg6buULn0MyuhG5EkbYf AIyvRqkTG


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15 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (June 2003) Maaco announced that is it beginning a new campaign to “expand the brand” and give greater emphasis to collision repairs. Maaco is changing its name to “Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting” from “Maaco Auto Painting & Bodyworks.” Maaco has traditionally been a repaint operation offering little in the way of crash damage repairs. The new slogan is “America’s Body Shop.” Maaco’s 530 franchisees claim to paint more vehicles than anyone else in America—about 800,000 a year, and 20 percent of that is fleet work. It recently offered its franchisees additional collision repair training.

Maaco has been “so busy owning the repaint business that it forgot to remind the public that it also performs collision and spot repairs, and does them well, even on newer vehicles,” the company said. While maintaining its core paint business, Maaco will target “newer vehicle spot paint and repairs,” which it identifies as lease returns and outof-pocket paid collision work. – As reported in Autobody News. Maaco’s website says it still has more than 500 locations (though prior to that it had dipped to as low as 470 in 2015). It was acquired in 2008 by Driven Brands, operated by the same private equity firm that acquired CARSTAR in 2015. 10 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (June 2008) Mike Poulard, State Farm estimatics section manager, wrote in a letter last

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week that after several months of review, the insurer will no longer include a full rear-body sectioning procedure (or “clip”) on State Farmprepared estimates. “As a result of this review, we have determined that this repair method is less feasible on newer model vehicles which incorporate special or alternative metals,” Poulard wrote to Pam Pierson of Princeton Auto Body in Princeton, IL.

In 2013, Dan Risley of the Automotive Service Association said insurers that change requirements for a direct repair program should give participating shops a “grandfather clause” to decide whether to adopt the change or drop the program

He said although full rear-body sectioning may be practical in some situations, State Farm will not include it on its estimates and will leave that

decision to the customer and shop. “If your repair facility, while working on a vehicle involved in a State Farm claim, receives a State Farm written estimate for a full body section, please contact the assigned claim person,” Poulard wrote. Pierson has been doggedly contacting State Farm and shop association leaders on this issue for several months after seeing the procedure called for on State Farm estimates. – As reported in CRASH Network (, June 16, 2013. 5 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (June 2013) Now that State Farm has said it will begin rolling out PartsTrader to more markets this summer, the trade associations are focusing their criticism less on PartsTrader itself and more on the broader issue of insurers requiring the use of any particular product or service. “Insurance company mandates don’t work,” said Dan Risley, executive director of the Automotive Service Association (ASA). “We went through a similar thing many years

ago with the estimating systems, and we had shops paying for three different estimating platforms that all did the same thing. And who’s to say that a product won’t come out tomorrow that’s three times better than one being mandated? So now I have to use an inferior product because of a mandate from an insurer?” Risley said although direct repair agreements obligate a shop that wants to stay on the program to accept changes made to the insurer requirements, he thinks insurers should give shops more time to make a decision and prepare for either implementing the change or dropping the program. “I would like insurance carriers to consider what I’ll call a grandfather clause, where shops have six months to adopt the change in the program,” Risley said. “At least then you have six months to start building a business model moving away from that program so that dropping it doesn’t have such an immediate negative impact on your business.” – As reported in CRASH Network (, June 10, 2013. ARIZONA

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Nominations Now Open for 2018 Impact Award

On May 6, the Auto Care Association announced it is accepting nominations for the 2018 “Impact Award: Four for the Future.” The annual award recognizes four aftermarket professionals aged 40 or younger who have made outstanding contributions to the auto care industry. The recipients will be awarded at Auto Care Association’s 2018 Fall Leadership Days, taking place Sept. 5–7 in Austin, TX. The Impact Award provides businesses within the auto care industry the opportunity to highlight the success of individuals in their roles who demonstrate hard work, dedication, professionalism and exceptional abilities. The online nomination form is now available and the deadline to submit nominations is June 30, 2018. A resume or professional biography must accompany the nomination. Nominees must have at least two years of relevant work experience in the auto care industry and applicants can be self-nominated or nominated by a peer or manager.


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How Much Would You Trust an Autonomous Vehicle? The two researchers, still early in their investigations, are using drivWould you trust a car that does the ing simulators and sensors to test the driving for you? Do you trust the physiological responses of people adaptive cruise control available in who are in simulated autonomous venewer cars? What about the hicles on road-like circumtraction control feature? stances. Eventually Feng Would you trust a car to and Kim plan to conduct brake for you in an emersimilar tests using an actual gency? autonomous vehicle. Passengers’ trust of “Human factors engithese features is based on neering is human-centered many factors, most particu- Computer scientist design,” Kim said. “Instead larly their experiences with Lu Feng said that if of forcing people to adapt to elements that can transfer a designers can’t win the design of an engineered certain amount of the driv- people’s trust, they system, we are focused on won’t sell many auing to the car. But few peoengineering systems that are tonomous cars ple have any experience adapted to the needs of the with autonomous cars, and so will human. In this case, we’re working need to see—and eventually experi- to understand what factors influence ence—how these self-driving vehi- trust in autonomous systems, the incles work, with proof that they will tersection of human and vehicle inoperate safely. It takes a lot of trust teraction.” to relinquish control and leave the To build trust in autonomous vedriving to the car. hicles, Feng and Kim said, there Two University of Virginia re- must be interaction between the syssearchers in the School of Engineer- tem and the people who are riding in ing and Applied Science have such a vehicle. The vehicle must proteamed up to begin understanding vide to the passengers indications of how people gain trust in autonomous situational awareness and “intent”— and semi-autonomous vehicles, and that the vehicle “knows,” in a sense, how to build trust factors into the de- what it is doing—and then follow sign of those vehicles. Lu Feng is a through in an orderly, rational way. computer scientist working on com- For example, the car could demonstrate in some manner—a tone, a voice warning, maybe a seat vibration— that it “sees” a bicyclist or pedestrian ahead, and therefore is moving over in the lane. But it also must not overload its passengers with too much information or unneeded communications. The vehicle must behave similarly to how a human Using a simulator, for now, UVA researchers are probing the driver would behave in the factors that lead people to feel more or less comfortable same situation. That builds with letting go of the steering wheel Credit: Dan Addison, trust. Likewise, the vehicle University of Virginia must be responsive to the puter systems for autonomous cars human rider’s actions and intents, that would benefit riders. And Inki such as when the human wants to Kim is a human factors engineer take over as the driver. That also who specializes in understanding builds trust. how humans and technologies interFeng and Kim will use sensors act. on human participants to detect brain by Fariss Samarrai, UVA Today





signals, eye movement, heart rate new technologies accept the changes and perspiration, as well as collect to technologies better than people questionnaire data to see how people who are later adopters,” Feng said. respond to different scenarios while “But as technologies emerge and become more commonly and actively driving a simulawidely used, even later tor, while being driven adopters often come to trust around in autonomous and accept the technologies mode, while actually drivas the technologies prove ing a car on the highway trustworthy. Building expeand eventually while riding rience with a system is imin an autonomous vehicle. portant to developing trust. They want to compare Inki Kim, a human We are interested in how responses in experiments as factors engineer, people shift between ac- said the cars must trust factors can be built into tively driving a car and pas- somehow signal to the design, safety being the their human pasbiggest issue—or people will sively being driven in a car, sengers that they under-trust, and just won’t and also under changing ex- are aware of situaternal circumstances, such tions, and how they buy autonomous cars.” Feng and Kim work toas when weather conditions will react to them gether in the UVA Engineerchange—from rain to ice, for example. Trust levels change over ing School’s Link Lab, a new $4.8 time as conditions change, the re- million, 17,000-square-foot facility searchers said. Data from such tests that brings together researchers from will help inform the design of au- five departments to collaborate on a tonomous systems for a wide range range of big-issue, multidisciplinary of scenarios, so the cars can respond engineering problems and chalvery similarly to how human drivers lenges. would when driving safely. We thank UVA Today for reprint “We know that early adopters of permission.

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Dave Illg Collision Repair Center: The Risen Phoenix by Gary Ledoux

“Make integrity your first priority,” said Dave Illg, owner of Dave Illg’s Collision Repair Center in Nashua, NH. “Charge for what you do, don’t charge for what you don’t do, treat everyone with respect and your shop can’t help but be successful.” Sage words for sure, from a man who learned through some extreme strife and struggle. Lesser men would have bailed out of the bad situation Illg found himself mired in a few years ago. You might say the body business is in Illg’s blood. In 1977, at 19 years old, Illg went to work at a shop partially owned by a family member. An uncle, John Illg, was the “I” in BIG&R Auto Body (Belowski, Illg, Gurette and Rantilla), one of the oldest, largest and most respected shops in the city. The shop had been in business since the early 1950s in a large

BIG&R Auto Body circa early 1970s. Vehicle owner unknown

purpose-built building right off one of the city’s main thoroughfares. All of the principal owners had worked in dealer body shops prior and thought they could do a better job as an independent shop. At one point, in the days before companies such as Garmat, Accudraft and such, Dave Illg’s father, Victor Illg, built the shop’s two spray booths—out of 2X4’s and drywall, high-tech for their time. For the next eight years, despite being a relative of one of the owners, Dave Illg worked in the shop as a regular employee learning the trade and doing quality work. He became adept with his pick-hammers and dollies … and lead filler. Despite plastic filler being introduced in the mid-1950s, the body men at BIG&R used body lead right up until the late ‘70s. Around 1985, there was some upheaval amongst the owners. Of the four original owners, two were still 50

active in the business, with one running the shop and the other running the front end. Neither saw eye-to-eye with the other. The man running the shop felt the entire operation could be run “from the hood of a car,” meaning there was little concern for

“It was rather odd to go to work at a place where I had picked up my new washer and dryer only a few years before,” said Illg. The building obviously was not designed as a body shop and was very tough to work in.

office procedures, keeping records and the like. The man running the front end, of course, had different ideas. Ultimately, the “front-end” man left, leaving a hole. Dave Illg was named General Manager and filled the position. For the next three years Illg ran the front of the business, writing estimates, scheduling work and so forth. He was able to increase business and profits. But the internal strife between himself and his uncle, the last remaining owner, put a big strain on Illg, so he decided to leave the shop. His next stop was as an independent appraiser. “This was a welcome relief from the everyday grind at the shop,” noted Illg. “I learned how to negotiate. I worked fewer hours and made more money. Life was good … for a while.” Then the appraisal company’s business took a down-turn. “It got so bad that at one point, I would walk into the bank to cash my paycheck and if I was fifth or sixth in line, the cashier would see me and check the account,” Illg said. “If there was no money to cash the check, she would just wave me on so I wouldn’t have to wait for five or six people only to walk away empty-handed.” And then came another job offer—one that would set him on the path to the lowest depths of his life and to his crowning success. The local Lincoln-Mercury dealer was in need of a body shop manager. Its body shop had been through four managers in the last year. It was losing thousands of dollars per month. It was located a few blocks away from the main dealership in a small brick building that had once been the warehouse for the local Sears store.

Illg laughed, “If we had to bring a truck in the shop, we had to take the mirrors off. That’s how small the door was!” Nevertheless, Illg made it work and the shop showed a profit within the first month. Once again, he had taken a shaky business and turned it around and the dealer-principal, Dick Stahl, appreciated it. Time went on, and eventually Stahl decided to sell the Lincoln-Mercury business and buildings. Unlike some dealer buy-sells where the new

“It got so bad that at one point, I would walk into the bank to cash my paycheck and if I was fifth or sixth in line, the cashier would see me and check the account,” — Dave Illg


dealer “cleans house” and removes all existing managers and employees, the new dealer kept all body shop personnel. It was a blessing, as everyone was able to retain their jobs. But it was a curse, because of what would eventually happen. As part of the new dealer’s plan, the shop moved out of its “Sears building” and into a large, modern building a block away that had been built as a service department for a Ford dealership, also owned by Stahl, but that had been purchased by the same party that purchased LincolnMercury. It had recently been outfitted with over $100,000 worth of brandnew equipment, including a frame machine and spray booth. Things were looking good. But then, things began to unravel under the tutelage of the new dealer. Vendors who provided paint, parts and other services were not getting paid. Long-time vendors would not sell to the Lincoln-Mercury body shop any longer. Some would only deliver if they got paid in cash—on See The Risen Phoenix, Page 54

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Industry Insight with John Yoswick

—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, 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

Chipotle Executive Offers Concepts That Resonate With Collision Repairers

Why did the chief financial officer of food that he was proud of. You have can always be fresh and the process ver, who participated in the panel the 2,400-location Chipotle Mexican to start with what you stand for. Then is efficient and easy to master for discussion with Hartung. Nylund’s Grill chain speak at this spring’s make sure the business model sup- employees. (Hartung said Chipotle’s shop specializes in luxury vehicles, “Repairer Roundtable”? ports that.” fastest location can serve 300 peo- including Lexus, Mercedes, Audi Aaron Schulenburg of the Sociand BMW. ety of Collision Repair Specialists “I think we may start paring off “Trust is an incredibly valuable, intangible (SCRS), which organizes the event, brands, and specialize more in standcapital investment,” — Jack Hartung said he invited Chipotle CFO Jack alone facilities for [each of] those Hartung to speak to help shops “think brands,” Nylund said. “We could get outside the box” about how compaHartung discussed the importhose people really underple an hour, with a cusnies differentiate themselves in terms tance of building trust with customers, tomer moving through the standing those particular veof their commitment to—and invest- something that he acknowledged had burrito line every 12 sechicles, so they’re the very, ment in—quality. suffered at Chipotle following an E. onds.) Chipotle’s entire very best.” “Communicating that message coli outbreak in 2015. The company’s menu includes only 52 inHartung also offered [to consumers] can be challenging,” stock, trading at nearly $750 at the gredients. By comparison, shops a number of tips reSchulenburg said. “Creating sustain- time, tumbled and was trading at half he said, just the sauce alone garding employees. He said able business models that support that when Hartung spoke at the event for a McDonald’s Big Mac investing in people through Robert Grieve that also can be really challenging.” this spring. (In the weeks following, has 30 items in it. training is a great way to Hartung said that’s it rose by about $100 to Part of this has been enabled by motivate them and demonstrate that something his company has above $400.) the company’s decision to open other the company appreciates them. accomplished, paying more “Trust is an incredibly restaurant chains rather than adding “There’s nothing worse than for humanely raised, horvaluable, intangible capital more items to the Chipotle menu. working a job where you’re insecure mone-free meat, for examinvestment,” Hartung told That resonated with Robert Grieve [because] you’re not sure if you’re ple, but not charging more shops at the SCRS event. of Nylund’s Collision Center in Den- doing it right, because no one really than comparable “fast ca“When they trust you, they sual” restaurants. trust you all the way. When Aaron Schulenburg “We find efficiencies you break their trust, it takes throughout the rest of our P&L so we time to get it back. We’re on that can invest more in the food,” Har- page right now. We’d built the trust, tung said. “We looked at the restau- the expectations, so high. We said rant: Can we make it smaller? We you should expect more from food, Genuine Mitsubishi don’t spend much on advertising. in terms of where it comes from and Replacement Crash Would your customers rather have how it’s cooked, keeping the impact Parts are close at hand you spend more money on advertis- on the animals and the environment from the following ing, or on the materials you use to re- as low as possible. We care about all quality dealerships: pair their cars?” those things. We taught our cusHartung said the company tomers to expect that.” founder originally opened a Chipotle He said shops can do the same ARIZONA TEXAS in 1993, hoping to generate enough thing, pointing to the trust he’s deMark Mitsubishi Don Herring cash-flow to eventually veloped in the shop that open a fine dining restaurant restores his small collecGLENDALE Mitsubishi - Irving (which he never did, given tion of muscle cars. They 623-842-8908 866-375-4074 Chipotle’s growth), so from do that through time and (623) 842-8915 Fax (469) 443-1872 Fax the start he wanted to use transparency, he said, takM-F 7:30-6:00 / Sat 8:00-2:00 #3 Volume Parts Dept. in the the type of quality ingrediing him back in the shop to Nation. $600,000 Inventory. ents he planned to use at that show him things, taking higher-end restaurant. Peotime to educate him. Jack Hartung West Loop Mitsubishi ple told him at the time that “I’m learning while getCOLORADO SAN ANTONIO few customers really thought or ting to know them, even getting to Christopher’s Mitsubishi 800-224-1968 cared about where or how their food know their family,” Hartung said of GOLDEN (210) 681-4583 Fax was sourced. the shop. “There’s a bonding that hap888-604-5284 M-F 7:30-6:00 “He didn’t care. He had a vi- pens.” (303) 590-7112 Fax #1 Volume Dealer in All of Texas. sion,” Hartung said. “He wanted to He also said part of what has elevate the food. He didn’t care if his made Chipotle successful is keeping customers noticed. He knew. And he the menu simple, not trying to be knew he was going to serve them “all things to all people,” so the food



trained you,” Hartung said. Trained employees who understand the company’s vision “will work really hard for you,” because “people want to work for something bigger than themselves,” Hartung said. “If you just tell people to work hard and kick them in the ass now and again, keep kicking them and they’ll keep working hard,” he said. “But when you leave, their energy level will drop dramatically.” He said it’s also important to not keep mediocre employees around because doing so can cause good employees to leave. “They will feel underappreciated. ‘Why am I working so hard to cover for the person next to me who is just mailing it in?’” Hartung said. Those employees will assume management is dumb if they don’t know who the weaker workers are. If

you really don’t know, Hartung said, take some employees aside and ask. “You’ll be shocked at how much they’ll tell you,” he said. “Be ready with the flood gates. You’ll get an earful.” He said young motivated workers want to be someplace where they see a chance for growth and a career path. He said his son worked at a dealership after graduating from an automotive tech school, but found the company didn’t respond to his desire to do more. “Eventually he quit and ended up at Tesla, because there wasn’t a system [at the dealership] to satisfy this young guy’s appetite,” Hartung said. “He’s a kid with passion. Imagine what can happen when you can find people like that, who have a passion, and then you have a leader who can channel that passion.”

Continued from Cover

may be entitled. He is represented by James M. Loren, George Z. Goldberg and Rachael Rustmann of Goldberg & Loren, PA in Dallas. We thank Southeast Texas Record for reprint permission.

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expenses, pre- and post-judgment interest, such other relief as to which

Continued from Page 44

ASA Partners

ence data, automatically uploads sensor IDs and saves time, making technicians more productive. The tool can also automatically read the sensor ID and upload information to the vehicle’s ECU as seen on the scan tool. Watson provided a system demonstration on a 2008 Honda CRV EX tire pressure monitor system, showing how the sensor ID memorization procedure instructs you to turn it off and wait five minutes for the sensors to active sleep mode before the procedure can begin. Then, select Special Test and Tire Sensor Special Registration. Go to the TPMS sensor to see searching, and once found, it will transfer information to the scan tool and then advise Process Completed. Watson stressed, “Just follow exactly what the tool says.” Watson mentioned that the key fob may also be part of the TPMS and can affect how TPMS relearns, and reminded that the NHTSA has developed a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard that requires the in-

Original Thought #78


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stallation of TPMS that warn the driver when a tire is significantly under-inflated, which could mean an amount of four to 10 psi. Watson concluded, “Everyone in your shop deals with TPMS, from your lead tech to the lube tech, so remember: It’s not just a nuisance for the customer; TPMS is a safety feature as well. If you’ve done anything to render any safety system inoperative, due to negligence, accident or lack of knowledge, it can open liability issues for you. TPMS is a safety system, and all vehicles sold in the U.S. since 2008 have it.” Zak then provided a demonstration of using the scan tool for power window testing. He emphasized, “Use the scan tool to ensure things are performing as designed by the vehicle manufacturer. It can help you diagnose quicker and more accurately.” The webinar concluded with Zak offering a brief summary of what will be covered during the last ASA-Bosch webinar, “Recalibrating Safety: The Road to Repairing Autonomous Vehicles,” scheduled for May 16 at 11:30 a.m. CST

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Continued from Page 50

The Risen Phoenix

the spot. They had not been paid in months. But there were still cars in the shop and work to be done. Illg broke out his own credit card and started paying people himself and purchasing parts and supplies, not knowing exactly how he was going to be reimbursed, but hoping that it would all work out. Customers were depending on him, and his crew and their families were depending on him. He couldn’t let them all down. It didn’t take long for things to turn desperate. Vendors still weren’t getting paid. Illg had run his personal credit cards up to their limit. There was no longer any health insurance or 401K plan. The shop had essentially gone out of business—but nobody told the customers, who kept coming. And nobody told the body shop crew, who kept on working. It was time to take drastic action. The shop needed some strong leadership—immediately. Illg knew he had no choice. He had to buy the

Continued from Page 3


duce consistent, accurate and reliable labor rate results. It instead allows insurers to skew the results in a manner that will suppress market rates. “On behalf of the CAA, we must regretfully oppose AB 2276, the successor to AB 1679 which failed earlier this year in the Assembly Appropriations Committee,” CAA stated in a letter to Assembly member Burke, the bill’s author. “Although AB 2276 offers improvement over AB 1679, concerns are still present and the bill remains fundamentally flawed.” ASCCA/CAA Political Analyst Jack Molodanof always opens with a joke or humorous anecdote, but after that he’s all business. Coaching the members of ASCCA/CAA about how to approach their local representatives is always crucial, which is why Molodanof always sets down the rules first. By strategically scheduling appointments throughout the Capitol’s offices all day long, ASCCA/CAA members break into 54

shop and run it himself. And he knew he could do it; he had already turned two other shops around. And now it was his turn to help himself. Illg was able to purchase the shop from the then-current dealer. The original dealer, Stahl, showed him how to work with the banks, purchase the business and get back on an even keel financially. He was

even able to purchase all the shop’s fairly new leased equipment for virtually pennies on the dollar. Illg was never reimbursed for all the purchases made on his personal credit cards but eventually, he was able to pay those off as well. The shop needed a new name, as it was no longer associated with smaller groups to cover as much territory as possible and then hit the halls immediately after their morning briefing. Speakers this year included Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (San Luis Obispo), who discussed AB 1743 (O’Donnell), the Career Tech Education (CTE) Incentive Grants Bill; Betty Jo Toccoli, California Small Business Association; and Pat Dorais, Bureau of Automotive Repair. Cunningham discussed AB 1743 and the importance of CTE in California. “CTE programs like auto shop have the potential [to engage] students who may be otherwise disengaged and at risk of dropping out,” he said. “These programs provide handson learning and can lead to solid careers down the road, so we need to keep funding these programs and make them available to our young people. It’s important to the future of our workforce, and that’s why AB 1743 is so important. By providing $500 million annually to these programs, this is a vital bill and we need to support it in every way we can.”


the Lincoln-Mercury franchise. Stahl suggested simply calling it Dave Illg Collision Repair Center, noting, “The name Illg is different; people will remember it. In business, you want people to remember your name.” As soon as he started getting the shop back on its feet, he was able to get some of his former DRP agreements reinstated—insurance companies that had bailed when they saw the trouble the shop was in. He made arrangements with the local paint jobber, Towers Motor Parts, for an open line of credit as well as a Ford dealer in a neighboring city, as he worked on so many Ford products. On Feb. 3, 2010, Dave Illg Collision Repair Center opened for business as a “reborn” shop—a phoenix risen from the ashes of a financial meltdown. Illg now not only owns the business, but the property it sits on and some adjacent property for parking. Illg explained, “People tell me how brave I was going into business for myself. I laugh and tell them brave had nothing to do with it. I had no choice. My family was depending on me. The shop personnel were depending on me. I couldn’t let them

down. I just had to do it.” Those who have done it know that going into business for yourself is a big undertaking—not for the faint of heart. When asked what went “right” with the process, Illg replied, “I had a lot of support, both financial and emotional from a number of family members—my brother, my motherin-law and my wife all believed in me. I also had a lot of help from the original owner of the Lincoln-Mercury dealership, Dick Stahl. Not only is he a mentor, but he believed in what I could do with the business.” When asked what he might have done differently, Illg said, “I should have gone into business for myself a long time ago. I turned BIG&R around, and basically, there was no reward for it. I turned the Lincoln-Mercury shop around, and for my efforts, I took a financial beating. Now, this shop—my shop—feels right … for the right reasons.”




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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

‘Why WIN? Why Conference?’ Webinar Provides Useful Conference Tips by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Wednesday, April 25, Michelle Sullivan, Membership Committee Chair for the Women’s Industry Network (WIN®), hosted an informative webinar highlighting what to expect during WIN’s 2018 Educational Conference in Indianapolis, IN, on May 7–9. Sullivan began by identifying WIN’s mission to engage women in collision repair and explained that WIN is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging, developing and cultivating opportunities to attract women to collision repair. WIN recognizes excellence, promotes leadership and fosters a network specifically for and among women. All segments of the industry are represented. WIN’s purpose is to offer educational and leadership development opportunities, such as WIN board and committee opportunities and scholarship programs, to build skills that are important for success. The group provides networking opportunities for women in the collision repair industry through its annual educational conference, industry events, panels, webinars and regional events. Additionally, WIN recognizes the contributions and achievements of female industry leaders through the Most Influential Women (MIW) award. “For decades, a small group of female pioneers made significant contributions to a highly male-dominated industry,” Sullivan said. “Recognizing the critical need for an organization to support this group and attract more women to join them, WIN was born in 2006. Over a decade later, we achieved a milestone of over 500

WIN members, and we continue to grow! Members include females and males from all segments of the collision repair industry across the U.S. and Canada.” WIN is supported by sponsors and powered by its all-volunteer membership. The Board of Directors makes up the association’s Executive Committee, and WIN currently has 12 active committees with specific descriptions, time commitments and KPIs.

events as well as the two additional events held earlier this year. Additionally, WIN has increased its presence by participating in major industry events, such as NACE, SEMA, CIC and more. Sullivan believes that the industry needs WIN because “women influence the majority of the buying decisions in households so we ask, ‘What does the face of your business look like?’ We help position your organizations for growth by encourag-

“WIN is one of the best ways to expand your network and demonstrate an ability to step up to a leadership position,” Sullivan stated. WIN began strategic planning in 2008 and narrowed its focus to two goals in 2015: facilitate the growth of the WIN network and build organizational capacity to better serve WIN’s growing network. Both goals include key initiatives with KPIs and dashboards for each committee, and WIN holds a monthly board review to track progress. Turning to the benefits of WIN membership, Sullivan shared information about WIN scholarships, noting that six scholarship winners will be recognized at this year’s conference. She also talked about the MIW program and mentioned that four MIW honorees will receive awards this year. In 2017, WIN also began hosting regional network events in Atlanta, Chicago and Southern California due to member requests. More than 150 women participated in last year’s

ing gender diversity and ensuring industry sustainability. Scholarships help attract women into the industry, and membership in WIN helps retain them.” Encouraging webinar participants to get involved with WIN, Sullivan emphasized the value of engaging in WIN committees, encouraging women in their businesses to join WIN and becoming corporate sponsors. She also suggested attending regional network events and WIN’s Annual Conference. Turning her attention to the 2018 Conference on May 7–9 at the Hyatt Regency in Indianapolis, Sullivan shared details about the conference agenda. She urged attendees to attend a member orientation on Monday afternoon and explained that the following seminar with Dr. Goldstein was scheduled because members have expressed the desire to learn more about themselves and others. After the Welcome Reception, attendees will have a free evening during which they are encouraged to find new friends or

“WIN is one of the best ways to expand your network and demonstrate an ability to step up to a leadership position,” — Michelle Sullivan

Aftermarket Professionals Applaud FTC’s Compliance Warning to Hyundai

On April 9, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a “compliance warning” to Hyundai Motor Company regarding violations of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act's (MMWA) prohibition against tie-in sales of branded products and serv56

ices as a condition of warranty coverage. FTC specified the following website statement as problematic: “The use of Hyundai genuine parts is required to keep your Hyundai manufacturer’s warranties and any


extended warranties intact.” Should Hyundai fail to eliminate such statements, FTC may take “legal action.” While AOCA, Auto Care and the Tire Association of America wish that the FTC action had been

connect with old friends. Tuesday will be a full day. It will begin with the WIN Scholarship Walk, which benefits the association’s scholarship programs. At 9 a.m., Dr. Louis Frankel of Corporate Coaching International will deliver the keynote presentation, “Leadership is a Women’s Art.” Additional seminars on Tuesday and Wednesday will focus on a variety of beneficial industry topics. After sharing the rest of the agenda details, Sullivan provided some tips for making the most of the conference experience. “Attend an orientation session at the start of the conference,” Sullivan said. “It’s a great way to meet people you don’t know. Sit with people you don’t know, and set a goal to meet 10 new people a day to expand your network. Stay engaged and resist the See Conference Tips, Page 61

urge to use breaks to be consumed in email or texts; use that time to network instead. Introduce yourself to the board members, scholarship winners and MIW honorees. Sign up for the scholarship walk and wear what makes you comfortable. Most come in business casual apparel, but the Gala is a festive event, and most people dress up. The most important thing is to have fun.” Reporting that 202 attendees were signed up as of that morning, Sullivan concluded, “Bring your business cards, be comfortable, be ready to engage with other members and have fun!” For more information on WIN and the 2018 Educational Conference agenda, visit: thewomensindustry stronger, they are pleased that the agency has publicly warned the companies that it is illegal under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act to require the use of a manufacturer part or service in order to maintain a warranty.


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New Product Showcase

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

with Ed Attanasio

Voyomotive Takes Telematics to Whole New Level Voyomotive, a 7-year-old company in San Francisco, has developed VOYO, a highly sophisticated telematics system that increases driving safety, convenience and fuel efficiency. VOYO connects your car to your phone to stream data to the Voyomotive Cloud and to the OBD-II port of any car that has been sold in the U.S. since 1996. In addition to the VOYO device, Voyomotive will release wireless relays later this year that can be used for additional security. Company CEO Peter Yorke has identified a wide range of advantages for VOYO, many of which will improve the referral and scheduling process for body shops. “The VOYO system can tell us about defective systems or worn parts so that they can be repaired before an accident occurs,” Yorke said. “We can determine when a vehicle’s systems are out of specified values,

Abra Auto Body Repair: 5 New Centers in NJ, CO

Abra Auto Body Repair of America, a leading U.S. collision and auto glass repair company, continues its national growth with the acquisition of five centers in April. Employees were welcomed by Abra President and CEO Ann Fandozzi and other members of the senior leadership team at celebrations after the centers opened for business as Abra. In Colorado, Abra added one center in Colorado Springs. The 6,500-square- foot center has seven employees and is Abra’s fourth location in the Colorado Springs area. In New Jersey, the company welcomed 56 employees at four centers around South Jersey, located at: • 6324 Blackhorse Pike in Egg Harbor Township • 448 Route 9 in Marmora • 2702 Route 9 in Rio Grande • 3181 Delsea Dr in Vineland With these five centers, Abra has added more than 45,000 square feet of production space to the market. Abra now has 345 centers in 27 states. 58

such as low tire pressure. It can also determine if vehicle safety systems are not operating correctly, including ABS, traction control and stability control, all of which are vital to main-

taining vehicle control and avoiding collisions. In addition, with data analytics it will be possible to determine when key vehicle components, including brakes and tires, need to be inspected and/or replaced. VOYO

can also use odometer values and other vehicle data such as remaining oil life to determine when service is due, which provides an opportunity for a wider vehicle inspection.” Yorke knows that his company is smack in the middle of a rapidly evolving industry and is happy to be announcing his company’s newest feature: VOYO with Scan Pro. It runs an advanced diagnostic on the vehicle once every minute and enables users to know what diagnostic codes were set just before and immediately after a collision. “The codes set by the collision will provide some indication as to the extent of vehicle damage, what type of roadside/towing service is required, and possibly which shop might be best suited for a specific

type of repair and parts needed,” Yorke said. “It will also give an insurance company a record to determine what type of repairs should be covered or not for collision-related reimbursement. The diagnostic data combined with odometer values and accelerometer data may also allow a determination for First Notice of Loss (FNOL) at the time of the collision. FNOL is the process by which an insurance company determines whether a car is a total write-off or should be repaired.” By monitoring every system within a vehicle, VOYO is covering all its bases and providing consumers, insurance companies, and mechanical and collision repair companies with more pertinent information than ever before. “We can look at things like tire pressure and changes in tire pressure, coolant temperature and battery health—things that are relevant to

Finishmaster Donates $50,000 to CREF

FinishMaster has donated $50,000 to the Collision Repair Education Foundation in celebration of the company’s 50th Anniversary. The contribution from FinishMaster provides crucial support for the Education Foundation and its ability to support high school and college collision programs, instructors and students nationwide and help connect graduates with employers “FinishMaster is grateful for the opportunity to support the Collision Repair Education Foundation and the work it does to connect students with training and career opportunities,” said Steve Arndt, President and Chief Operating Officer of FinishMaster. Industry members interested in joining the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s roster of supporters to assist high school and post-secondary collision school programs should contact Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at 847-463-5245 or email Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation .org




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the operating condition of the vehicle and how they can tie into a repair and things such as first notice of loss,” Yorke said. “We can also then look at things such as driver behavior—has the vehicle been swerving, were the car’s doors open and were the passengers wearing their seat belts, in addition to the activation of safety systems. We’re also in discussions with mapping and navigation

trollers is made for the consumer market and utilizes Bluetooth low energy to connect to the Cloud via the driver’s cell phone,” Yorke said. “In addition, we have a line called Passport that is designed for commercial fleets [and] has a cellular modem embedded and does not require a cell phone.” Voyomotive also provides a plethora of useful data for its various applications.

companies that need more precise weather data, such as barometer, temperature and the usage of windshield wipers, and VOYO can make a car a rolling weather station. So, what you get is the ability to use multi-factorial data in order to reconstruct the operating condition of the vehicle, the conditions it was driving in and what the driver is doing at the time of a collision.” VOYO is penetrating several markets with its product offerings. “Our VOYO line of OBD con-

Yorke said, “Our partners can transfer data using our Web API on the backend, or an App API if they want to create their own application. That way, our data can appear in a body shop’s app, for example, so that they can control their customers’ user experience rather than going through our app.” With so many new vehicles coming out every year, Voyomotive has to be able to stay current and adapt quickly to car manufacturers’ rapid changes in design and functionality.

“The VOYO system can tell us about defective systems or worn parts so that they can be repaired before an accident occurs,” — Peter Yorke


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Mission 2 Hire Program: 400th Veteran

On May 2, Service King Collision Repair Centers officially welcomed its 400th U.S. Military veteran to the family as part of the organization’s ongoing Mission 2 Hire initiative. With the recent milestone, the company remains ahead of its original goal to successfully recruit and hire 500 U.S. Armed Forces veterans and family members in five years. Service King President Jeff McFadden stated, “We are always looking for top-tier talent to join our growing team and recognize the intangible qualities that so many U.S. Armed Forces veterans provide.” All U.S. Military Veterans, spouses and family members interested in a career at Service King are encouraged to visit the dedicated veterans hiring page at; providing an intuitive platform to learn more about current opportunities at Service King, connect with the company and even features a skills matcher that connects prospective candidates with positions based on their military experience.

ACA Testifies Before U.S. Trade Representative on Section 301 China Tariffs



“The core of our strategy is an ability to acquire various advanced data off of vehicles that rivals that of an OEM telematics system,” Yorke said. “We have a program where we reverse-engineer data off of vehicles in our R&D center near Ann Arbor to learn what data is available and how we can acquire it from that vehicle’s architecture. We then download our software to adapt the hardware to the architecture of that specific model. “Vehicle data is increasingly becoming central to the driving experience, and we are only now seeing how data can be used to create new services for drivers and owners that will impact the service business. With the advent of onboard telematics systems, OEMs intend to make themselves the central players to decide who gets access to the data, how it can be used and what it will cost. Service providers and collision shops need to keep abreast of both emerging technologies and changing policies in this rapidly developing field. The availability of VOYO will provide alternatives to an industry looking to connect to their customers.”

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On May 15, the Auto Care Association’s Senior Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs Aaron Lowe testified before the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on the anticipated negative effects of the Trump administration’s Section 301 tariffs on automotive parts and components imported from China. The tariffs are part of a proposed action by the administration to address unfair acts, policies and practices by China that are related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation. The Auto Care Association supports the administration’s efforts to address China’s unfair trade policies but cautions the administration to evaluate the potential economic harm and unintended consequences as the imposition of additional tariffs could raise prices for U.S. consumers and cause U.S. companies to be less competitive in the U.S. and in global markets. “Our members report that a number of products included on the tariff list cannot be sourced in the

U.S. as there are no U.S.-based factories producing some of these products,” said Lowe. “At the same time, minimal alternative sources exist, as China is the primary supplier to the world.” Earlier this week, the Auto Care Association submitted comments to USTR regarding the impact of the proposed Section 301 actions on the automotive aftermarket industry. As outlined in the comments and a recent multi-industry letter, of which the association was a signatory, the association and its members believe that the imposition of tariffs will disrupt complex global supply chains “that cannot be shifted to different countries or facilities without compromising contracts, compliance, quality and value for the consumer.” The Auto Care Association urges the Trump administration to continue engaging in dialogue with China to construct a fair and enforceable bilateral trading system that will level the playing field and protect U.S. companies doing business in China. / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


ABPA Annual Meeting & Convention Exceeds Expectations by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On April 24–27, the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) hosted its 2018 Annual Meeting and Convention at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa in San Diego, CA. According to Edward T. Salamy, executive director of ABPA, “The event went extremely well and exceeded our

expectations. Attendance was at an alltime high and we set a record with corporate sponsorship. The annual ABPA convention is a gathering of aftermarket collision part distributors, manufacturers, insurers and other industry partners. “Our members lead busy lives running their businesses and have little time to travel to related industry events where they may or may not be able to meet. The ABPA convention is important for our members as it is

the perfect opportunity for them to meet with the leaders of their industry as well as make new business connections. In short, if you are a distributor or manufacturer of aftermarket collision parts, you need to be at this event. “In addition to being our best annual convention in years, the ABPA is proud to have partnered with the National Auto Body Council (NABC) in once again participating in their Recycled Rides program. This was the second time that the ABPA has done this, and once again, the event did not disappoint. A disabled Marine veteran was the recipient of this year’s vehicle, a 2016 Sentra. ABPA members such as Quality Plus Automotive in San Diego and LKQ donated parts to the cause.” Tuesday featured a Board of Directors meeting and Open Reception with a golf tournament, cocktail reception, tradeshow and reception dinner. In addition to a keynote by Steve Fodor of Customs Services & Solutions Inc. on “The Ever-Changing World of Importing into the USA,” Thursday and Friday both offered many educational seminars for attendees to choose from, presented by

WAC Takes Shape at April Meeting by Chasidy Rae Sisk

Women in Automotive and Collision (WAC) members gathered in the NHRA Suites at Gateway Motorsports on April 17 for their monthly meeting with dinner, sponsored by ABRA. WAC Vice President Jess Crump said, “The monthly meeting was held in order to give officers reports, discuss

Women in Automotive and Collision (WAC) members pose in front of the NHRA Suites at the starting line of the drag strip at Gateway Motorsports on April 17 for their monthly meeting with dinner, sponsored by ABRA

details of upcoming events and projects, and share leads for new members and sponsorship. I think we had a fantastic turnout, and attendees really en60

joyed hearing the progress we have made thus far.” WAC’s newest officer, Sponsor Coordinator Sheena Wagner, shared that she has elicited over $1,000 in donations from companies eager to support the association’s efforts. WAC President Shelly Jones added, “Another surprise that Sheena and Jess brought to the meeting was a WAC welding helmet that Sheena personally assisted in painting. This will be a great conversation starter when talking with young people about jobs in the industry.” “The meeting went great. The organization is really starting to take shape, and we are so excited to start talking to young people about the automotive industry,” Crump stated. “It definitely seems like we are gaining some more members and interest in the St. Louis area.” Sarah Young of Original One Parts, who attended as a guest, decided to join the association during the meeting. Within a day, she designed a career information sheet for WAC members to hand out at industry events. The fact sheet covers career options, training paths and potential wages. It is designed to attract young people to the


companies such as LKQ, NSF, Intertek, and PartsTrader. “The response from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. In addition, initial results from the attendee survey are coming in with a 35 percent response rate as of this morning. One question we ask is if they felt the ABPA meeting was a valuable experience, and all respondents have answered ‘yes.’ This is something we take pride in as we try to not only offer our attendees many educational topics, but we also incorporate a fun social atmosphere,” Salamy noted. “The event exceeded our expectations with a higher than expected attendance rate and record sponsorship. At the last minute, we had to raise meal counts with the hotel and add tables to our ballroom meeting space. This is a problem that we do not mind having.” The ABPA represents the interests of the aftermarket collision parts distributors and manufacturers, primarily in the United States and Canada. The site for the association’s Annual Meeting and Convention is chosen by the ABPA Convention Committee, which is led by association Chair Kim Hicks and ABPA President Dolores

automotive industry in accordance with WAC’s mission statement. Jones noted, “I’m impressed with all of our members. They all lend their expertise to the group. Although this is a women-led group it’s not just for women. In fact, we have a few

Wagner and Crump presented a WAC welding helmet for the association to use during events to attract young people to talk about industry jobs

men that haven’t missed a meeting.” WAC plans to meet on the third Tuesday of each month at various locations. The next meeting will be held on May 15 at Gateway Motorsports. For more information on WAC, visit its Facebook group.

Richardson. Richardson shared, “This being a male-dominated industry, Kim and I are humbled to have been voted by our board to serve as Chairman and President during the past year. We worked with Ed for our 2018 conference and will continue for 2019. Since his debut in this position, he has done a tremendous job increasing membership and sponsorship.” ABPA’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Convention will be held April 30–May 3, 2019, at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort in FL. Salamy added, “After we made the announcement in San Diego, the ABPA members seemed extremely pleased with the selection, and there is already interest raised from sponsors.” For more information on ABPA, visit




Free Auto Data Labels

Auto Data Labels has announced it will continue to supply vehicle replacement labels (VIN labels, tire, emission and under-hood labels) free of charge to collision repair training programs at schools across the United States and Canada. Offering this service recognizes the important role students in these programs play in the future of the industry, as well as the importance of bringing the vehicles students work on back to factory specifications with these labels. The students in these programs are being educated on the importance of the safety data on such labels, which often indicate federal emissions information, vehicle production date, recommended tire pressure, towing weight, paint codes, seating capacity and wheel base specifications. In some cases, the lack of availability of replacement labels, or the cost of such labels, can be a challenge for schools, giving them no choice but not to install the labels. Now Auto Data Labels is ensuring they can. Instructors can orders labels at

ARA’s 2018 Hill Days and State Legislative Summit Is Most Successful Yet! Members of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) from around the United States gathered in Washington, DC on April 9 and 10 to participate in the association’s annual Hill Days and State Legislative Summit.

automakers to provide OEM parts data for recalled parts,” he said. “The Congressional feedback from the ARA member visits has been astounding, and ARA staff has already met with numerous Congressional offices to follow up on the issue. We have several more meetings scheduled for the coming weeks.”

ARA President David Gold called this year’s event “one of the most informative and productive Washington D.C. events yet.” “Recyclers from nearly two dozen states participated in over 60 Congressional appointments to ask their federal representatives for assistance in putting pressure on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to implement a 2015 federal law requiring

During the 11th Annual ARA State Legislative Summit, ARA members focused on in-depth state legislative activity that impacts the professional automotive recycling industry. As usual during this event, ARA members gathered to identify and prioritize legislative issues, share strategies and experience and enhance ARA’s grassroots advocacy. Norman Wright, Chair of ARA’s Governmental Affairs Committee,

by Chasidy Rae Sisk

The Right Parts. A Perfect Fit.

led the day’s program. It began with a roundtable discussion that included updates from more than 20 states and topics that included state association lobby days, storm water fees, environmental regulations, used tire legislation, de-titling bills, taxation and counterfeit airbags. ARA Director of State Government and Grassroots Affairs Jessica Andrews shared, “Attendees spent additional time focusing on the impact that OEM repair procedures are having and will have on the recycled parts market, relationships with environmental groups, electronic reporting and the continuing problem of illegal dismantlers. The success of the state of California’s government-backed task force on illegal dismantling was reviewed and is a great example to other states. During this same time, a delegation of Canadian recyclers visited the Canadian embassy along with ARA staff to discuss a variety of issues impacting recyclers on both sides of the border.” ARA will hold its 75th Annual Convention and Expo on November 1–3, 2018 in Orlando, FL. For more information on the association, visit


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On April 24, the RI House Committee on Corporations held a hearing on House Bill (HB) 8013. Certain provisions in the bill would not allow insurers to require “repair specifications or procedures” not in compliance with vehicle manufacturer recommendations. ASA submitted written testimony—in support of the OEM compliance requirements within HB 8013—that outlined the importance of adherence to OEM repair standards for the shop, as well as the consumer. “Vehicle manufacturers issue recommended repair procedures for a reason,” said Scott Benavidez, ASA Collision Division director and owner of Mr. B’s Paint & Body in Albuquerque, NM. “The use of materials such as highstrength steels, and the need to recalibrate modern electronic vehicle control systems, demand specific processes, tools and equipment in order to achieve a proper and safe repair. ASA Collision Operations Committee strongly supports the position outlined by House Bill 8013 to protect both the repairer and the consumer.”

Pentagon Aims to Develop Self-Driving Vehicles for Battlefield by Mark Prigg, Daily Mail

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ASA Testifies on Repair Procedures Bill

The Pentagon claims it will beat carmakers to produce widely used self-driving vehicles. “We’re going to have self-driving vehicles in theater for the Army before we’ll have self-driving cars on the streets,” Michael Griffin, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, told the House Armed Services Committee members on April 18. “But the core technologies will be the same.” It comes amid a race between Waymo, Uber, Tesla and others to get self-driving cars on roads around the world. However, the Pentagon is targeting the battlefield for its self-driving vehicles. Griffin claimed 52 percent of casualties in combat zones can be attributed to military personnel delivering food, fuel and other logistics. “You’re in a very vulnerable position when you’re doing that kind of activity,” Griffin said. “If that can be done by an automated unmanned vehicle with a relatively

simple AI driving algorithm where I don’t have to worry about pedestrians and road signs and all of that, why wouldn’t I do that?” The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which Griffin oversees, has been funding research into self-driving cars for years and sponsored its first competition for the vehicles in 2004. More than 3,000 Google employees have penned an open letter calling upon the internet giant’s CEO to end its controversial “Project Maven” deal. Calling the deal “business of war,” they said Google boss Sundar Pichai should “cancel this project immediately.” It was revealed in April that Google is allowing the Pentagon to use some of its artificial intelligence technologies to analyze drone footage. Google employees were reportedly outraged by the project from the beginning, but took their opposition a step further by publishing the open letter. We thank Daily Mail for reprint permission. / JUNE 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS



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