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GEICO Wins Appeal in Case Filed by Miracle Body & Paint Over Labor Rates in TX by Takesha Thomas, SE Texas Record

A San Antonio, TX, auto body shop has lost an appeal against GEICO to recoup funds it says were lost in a breach of contract claim. On Feb. 13, the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio affirmed the 45th Judicial District Court of Bexar County’s ruling granting a traditional and no-evidence summary judgment to GEICO Casualty Co. Chief Justice Sandee Bryan Marion ruled that MRG Inc. and Miracle Body and Paint “failed to produce evidence of mutual assent to the terms of an express or implied contract.”

Miracle is a San Antonio-based, independently owned auto body shop. The company sued GEICO over allegations of breach of contract, breach of implied contract, quantum meruit and suit on a sworn account, and, in the alternative, negligent misrepresentation, fraud and fraud by nondisclosure. This story was breaking just as Autobody News was going to press. Please see fuller account at n-case-filed-by-miracle-body-paintover-labor-rates-in-tx.html

2,200 Attendees Hit the City by the Bay for 2019 NADA Show by Ed Attanasio

This year, more than 2,200 industry professionals attended the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show from Jan. 24–27 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. U.S. and international new car dealers, commercial truck dealers, automaker executives and allied industry professionals from 37 countries converged in the City by the Bay for four days of work and fun. At the start of the show, NADA forecasted sales of 16.8 million new


AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 37 / Issue 3 / March 2019

Emergency CAA Meeting on Storage & Towing Fees Experiences Record Attendance by Victoria Antonelli

clear up any fee confusion. The night began with a meet-and-greet at 5:30 p.m. and was followed by a tri-tip steak dinner at 6:30 p.m. Gibson was introduced by former Los Angeles CAA President Anthony Guinn at 7:30 p.m. Gibson’s slideshow presentation lasted until 8 p.m. and was followed by an hourlong Q&A session.

On Wednesday, Feb. 6, 210 industry members gathered at The Phoenix Club in Anaheim, CA, to discuss legislation passed in January concerning storage and towing fees. Dave March, owner of Fountain Valley Body Works and longtime memDave March, ber of Orange County/Los multi-shop owner in Angeles California Auto- Southern California Gibson’s main points were: and longtime CAA • Insurers can’t cap storage body Association (CAA), member, helped rates. said the meeting had the navigate the Q&A • Insurance companies are highest attendance in the portion of the trying to use California Highchapter’s history. meeting way Patrol (CHP) rates, Mathew Gibson, a top Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) which are half of the normal rate. official in the Department of Con- • CHP rates aren’t meant for body sumer Affairs, flew down from Sacra- shops—more for towing and storage mento to explain the new laws and See CAA Meeting, Page 18

New ASA Executive Director Ray Fisher Shares His Goals for the Industry by Chasidy Rae Sisk

UpdatePromise was on hand in full force to unveil new products and meet with current clients. (l to r) Owner/CEO Curtis Nixon, merchant services manager Krista Lucchino, product specialist Bridgette Amador, product specialist Taylor Su, marketing manager Jennifer Marmolejo and sales rep Adam Guizado See 2019 NADA Show, Page 22

Recently appointed Automotive Service Association (ASA) Executive Director Ray Fisher held a press conference on Thursday, Jan. 10 to provide some information on his plans and goals as he transitions into his new leadership responsibilities. “I’m excited to bring my background into this role, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” Fisher stated. “We definitely want to engage our membership more. We want to listen to our members and provide venues for quicker availability. All facets of the industry across the globe are caught in different demographics and attempting to reach their constituents. We plan to utilize different mediums and platforms to reach ASA’s membership. My main goal is to represent my customer; our memberships are

our customers, and it’s important that we represent them well.” Fisher emphasized the association’s focus on its mission statement: to enhance the professionalism of the industry.

“I believe our industry is made up of a bunch of professionals, and ASA represents that professional group,” he said. “That was our foundation in 1951 and continues to be today. We plan to take that into 2019 and listen to our membership, enhancing our interactions and commuSee ASA Executive Director, Page 26



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CONTENTS 2 Las Vegas Roadways Digitized for Autonomous Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 2,200 Attendees Hit the City by the Bay for 2019 NADA Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 ASA Northwest Hosts 2019 Winter Retreat in Leavenworth, WA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 ASA Northwest’s 2019 ATE Gearing Up To Be Another Successful Event. . . . . . . . . . . . 12 CSU Sacramento To Add On-Campus,

Phillips - Solving the Tech Shortage: AR Collision Repair Instructor Calls Out to Industry: ‘Please Employ My Students’ . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Sisk - ASA Presents ‘The Even Better I-CAR’ Webinar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Industry Consensus Around Part-Type Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34


Legislation Might Affect Auto Glass Shops

AASP/NJ, WMABA Announce Collision P.R.E.P.

Labor Rate Survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Riverside, CA, Army Vet Receives Refurbished Vehicle Through NABC Recycled Rides . . . . . 6 Shelley, ID, Woman Sentenced for Insurance Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Snowy Conditions Keep Billings, MT, Auto Body Shops Busy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Wyoming ‘Crash Parts’ Legislation Stalls in House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 YANG Holds Meet-Up in Napa, CA, in Conjunction With CAWA Meeting . . . . . . . . . 24

Schedule for NORTHEAST 2019 . . . . . . . . . 28 Accountable Estimating Joins CIECA . . . . . . . . 39

Anderson - It’s Time to End Shops’ Accounting, Scorecard Nightmares by Creating New Parts Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Attanasio - Fledgling Auto Body Technician is Well-Known and Dedicated Bagpiper. . . . 54 Attanasio - Team-Building Events Make Your Business Better on Many Levels . . . . . 32 Chess - Kool Tools: SEMA 2018. . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Ledoux - Denver Body Shop Manager Discusses Position Statement on OEM Repair Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Ledoux - Does the Collision Industry Have a Crisis of Opportunity? . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Ledoux - The 1960s – The Collision Repair Industry Gets a Voice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Phillips - An Insider’s Guide to Handling Media Interviews During a Crisis . . . . . . . . . 30 Phillips - Celebrity Car Enthusiast Courtney Hansen Helps Reunite Car Lovers With ‘The Ride That Got Away’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

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: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Rochelle Beckel Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Editorial/Sales Assistant: Randi Scholtes

Serving Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the collision industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2019 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax

Accuvision-3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Industrial Finishes and Systems . . . . . . . . 80

AkzoNobel Coatings, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Kearny Mesa Subaru-Hyundai. . . . . . . . . . 52

Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists, LLC. . . . . . 30

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . 66-67

Anchorage Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . 14

Kia of Carson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Audi Burlingame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Killer Tools & Equipment Corp . . . . . . . . . . 16

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 75

Launch Tech USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Malco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

AutoNation Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram-Fiat. 20

Matrix Automotive Finishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . 5, 11

Matrix Electronic Measuring . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Blowtherm USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 68

CARSTAR Expands Dealership-Based Facilities . 76

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 73

Mercedes-Benz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13, 40-41

CARSTAR Expands Into Piqua, OH . . . . . . . . . . 58

Car-O-Liner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 74

CARSTAR Voted a 2019 Best of Omaha, NE,

Certified Automotive Parts Association . . . 42

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 72

Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram of Seattle . . . . 56

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . 68

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 43

Colortone Automotive Paints . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Moss Bros. Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . . . . 35

Courtesy Chevrolet San Diego. . . . . . . . . . 48

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 69

Cutter Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram. . . . . . . 32

O’Reilly Auto Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Dave Smith Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Pacific Best, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

DCH Auto Group Temecula . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

PaintEx . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Dent Fix Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Penske Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Deer Park, TX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Dent Magic Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Porsche Burlingame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Join CIECA for Webinar on March 19 . . . . . . . . 72

Diamond Standard Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 64

Missouri Anti-Safety Inspection Bill

Downtown Motors of LA (Audi, VW) . . . . . . 49

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

Eckler’s Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Puente Hills Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

RBL Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Enterprise Rent-A-Car. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Riverside Kia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Equalizer Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Sandberg Volvo Cars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

First Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

SATA Dan-Am Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Ford of Kirkland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-Subaru . . . . . . . . 57

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 71

Spanesi Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Galpin Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 65

Glenn E. Thomas Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep . . . 17

Symach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Tacoma Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram . . . . . 29

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts

The Bay Area Automotive Group . . . . . . . . 63

Aftermarket Crash Parts Legislation On Fast Track in WY Legislature . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Bill on MA Gov. Baker’s Desk Creates Crime of Airbag Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Car Accident Total Loss Lawsuits Allege Insurance Company Violations - Consumer Article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 CARSTAR Celebrates 30 Years of Business . . . 24

Winner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 COLUMNISTS


1st Meeting of 2019 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Yoswick - Committee Seeks to Build

Gardena, CA, Collision Center Reports for Duty. 10

in MT, TX. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Sisk - Women in Auto and Collision Holds

Self-Driving Shuttle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

NABR Launches New Version of Its CA




Advertise in our Classified Section for $50 per column inch!

CAWA Board of Directors Chair Appoints 2 Industry Associates to Board . . . . . . . . . . 14 GEICO Wins Appeal in Case Filed by Miracle Body & Paint Over Labor Rates in TX . . . . . . . 1 Hodges Collision Centers Expands to

Reintroduced . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 New ASA Executive Director Ray Fisher Shares His Goals for the Industry . . . . . . . . . 1 New Training Model Helps Autonomous Cars See AI’s Blind Spots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 PEMCO Joins CIECA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Self-Driving Vehicles To Make Traffic Even More Miserable, Says New Study . . . . . . . . . 4 Sherwin-Williams Joins I-CAR Program. . . . . . 18 Symach To Sponsor IBIS USA 2019 . . . . . . . . . 76 Toyota Works With Carma Project to Encourage Drivers to Check Vehicle Recall Status. . . . . 76 WIN Calls for Board of Director Candidates . . . 74

Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36-37

Tonkin Parts Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8, 9

Hyundai Motor America. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Vintage Flatz/Cumberland Products . . . . . 38

Hyundai of Kirkland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 70

Hyundai of Seattle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 73

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 72

YesterWreck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Self-Driving Vehicles To Make Traffic Even More Miserable, Says New Study by Taylor Donovan Barnett, Interesting Engineering

Whether you like it or not, self-driving cars will be hitting the road in fullforce in the coming years. Thanks to new technology developed by companies such as Tesla and even Uber, autonomous vehicles will become a staple of modern culture, with nearly 10 million self-driving cars expected to hit the road by 2020. Yet, not all is well across the autonomous landscape. Like any new

Credit: Waymo

technology, there have literally been speed bumps in the world of self-driving cars. From accidents to malfunctioning AI, self-driving vehicles are still very much in their infancy.

However, new research in the world of autonomous vehicles has uncovered another potential issue down the line: parking. Anyone living in a metropolitan area will tell you that parking is always a long-winded adventure. According to a new study, autonomous vehicles could create a problematic parking issue. Parking in 2020 and Beyond Imagine a scenario: You and your family are dropped off by your electric car in the center of the city. However, like most already know, parking in the city is expensive, so rather than park, your vehicle cruises around the city until you’re done. Though this may sound like a sweet set-up and a potential perk of owning an autonomous vehicle, this could be detrimental to transportation in the near future. “Parking prices are what get people out of their cars and on to public transit, but autonomous vehicles have no need to park at all. They can get around paying for parking by cruising. They will have every incen-

tive to create havoc,” said Adam Millard-Ball, an associate professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Robotfilled gridlock is a real potential issue if something is not done. The Autonomous Vehicle Parking Problem Professor Millard breaks down his concerns further in his published paper

and congestion pricing may ease the transition into the driverless world. Self-driving owners might be charged just a flat fee upon entering a city, or more sophisticated models could charge by miles driven or assign different fees to particular streets. Though Millard’s proposed idea does tackle the issue at large, there are other potential solutions to the gridlock issue. The emergence of the smart city

“...autonomous vehicles have no need to park at all. They can get around paying for parking by cruising. They will have every incentive to create havoc,” — Adam Millard-Ball “The Autonomous Vehicle Problem.” In his paper, he estimates that just the presence of the relatively small amount of 2,000 self-driving vehicles in the San Francisco area will slow traffic to less than 2 miles per hour. Considering where the autonomous vehicle market is headed, imagine what would happen if tens of thousands of vehicles were to hit the road. What’s Millard’s solution? Regulation

could be equally important to the rise of self-driving cars. In a smart city, cars could be monitored and controlled, optimizing traffic pattern via an IoT ecosystem. Properly addressing the challenges of this inevitable automotive change will lay the framework of how this technology will evolve. We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.

New Training Model Helps Autonomous Cars See AI’s Blind Spots by John Loeffler, Interesting Engineering

Since their introduction several years ago, autonomous vehicles have slowly been making their way onto the road in greater and greater numbers. However, the public remains wary of them despite the undeniable safety advantages they offer the public. Autonomous vehicle companies are fully aware of the public’s skepticism. Every crash makes it more difficult to gain public trust. The fear is that if companies do not manage the autonomous vehicle roll-out properly, the backlash might close the door on self-driving car technology the way the Three Mile Island accident shut down the growth of nuclear power plants in the United States in the 1970s. Making autonomous vehicles safer than they already are means identifying those cases that programmers might never have thought of and to which the AI will fail to respond appropriately but that a human driver will understand intuitively as a potentially dangerous situation. 4

New research from a joint effort by MIT and Microsoft may help bridge this gap between machine learning and human intuition to produce the safest autonomous vehicles yet. Reassuring a Wary Public Were public hesitancy not a factor, every car on the road would be re-

Credit: Tesla

placed with an autonomous vehicle within a couple of years. Every truck would be fully autonomous by now and there would be no Uber or Lyft drivers, only shuttle cabs that you would order by phone. They would pull up smoothly to the curb in a cou-


ple of minutes without a driver in sight. Accidents would happen and people would still die as a result, but by some estimates, 90 percent of traffic fatalities around the world could be prevented with autonomous vehicles. Autonomous cars may need to recharge, but they don’t need to sleep or take breaks, and they are singlemindedly concerned with carrying out the instructions in their programming. For companies that rely on transportation to move goods and people from point A to point B, replacing drivers with self-driving cars saves on labor, insurance and other ancillary costs that come with having a large human workforce. The cost savings and the safety gains are simply too great to keep humans on the road behind the wheel. We fall asleep; we drive drunk; we get distracted; sometimes we are simply bad at driving, and the consequences are both costly and deadly.

A little more than a million people die every year on the roads around the world, and the move to autonomous commercial trucking alone could cut transportation costs for some companies in half. Yet, the public is not convinced, and they become more skeptical with each report of an accident involving a self-driving car. Edge Cases: The Achilles Heel of SelfDriving Cars? Whether it is fair or not, the burden of demonstrating autonomous vehicle safety is on those advocating for selfdriving vehicle technology. In order to do this, companies must work to identify and address those edge cases that can cause high-profile accidents that reduce public confidence in the otherwise safe technology. What happens when a vehicle is driving down the road and it spots a weather-beaten, bent, misshapen, faded stop sign? Though an obviously rare situation—transportation departments would have likely reSee New Training Model, Page 31 / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Riverside, CA, Army Vet Receives Refurbished Vehicle Through NABC Recycled Rides

Aftermarket Crash Parts Legislation On Fast Track in WY Legislature

boldened to show my family that their work ethic, their love and their An Army veteran from Riverside, support helped change my life.” At RCC, Hooper served as presCA, recently received a newly refurbished car in San Bernardino, ident of the Student Veterans AssociCA, courtesy of Caliber Collision ation and worked to secure a $10,000 grant to revamp the campus’s Veterand Encompass Insurance. ans Resource Center. Hooper, mother to a 4-year-old, was RCC’s 2016 Student of the Year. She is studying management and human resources. The donation was part of the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program, which pairs collision reRiverside’s Melissa Hooper, second from left, recently pair industry businesses received a newly refurbished car as a thank you for her to repair donated cars military service. Courtesy photo for those in need of reliMelissa Hooper, a first-gen- able transportation. Caliber Collision and its ineration Mexican-American and the first in her family to go to col- dustry partners have repaired and lege, currently works full-time and donated nearly 300 cars over the takes a full course load at Cal Poly past six years. Pomona. A graduate of Riverside Community College, Hooper said We thank The Sun for reprint perin a news release that she is “em- mission.

The Wyoming legislature is considering legislation that would negatively impact collision repairers and consumers relative to aftermarket crash parts. The legislation, SF0095, has passed the Wyoming state senate and is now being reviewed by the Wyoming House of Representatives. The bill is sponsored by state Sen. Tara Nethercott. The Senate summarizes the legislation as follows: AN ACT relating to insurance; providing standards for the use of aftermarket parts in automobile damage repairs; requiring disclosure when any use is proposed of a non-original manufacturer part; requiring that all aftermarket parts be identified and be of the same quality as the original part; and providing for an effective date. The bill was introduced Jan. 15 and, in a very brief period of time, is on its way to potentially becoming state law. This legislation has been attempted in other states and numerous legislatures have rejected this

by Brian Whitehead, The Sun

NABR Launches New Version of Its CA Labor Rate Survey National AutoBody Research (NABR) recently announced the launch of its newly revised California Standardized Auto Body Labor Rate Survey, based on the labor rate survey format defined by the California Department of Insurance (CDI).

In consideration of new California storage laws that took effect this year and California market activity, NABR added new survey questions on shops’ pricing for storage, scanning and alignment. This revised survey enables collision repairers to better understand their local market prices for these additional services and to make more informed business decisions regarding their individual shop’s pricing for these items. Upon completing the compliant survey, body shops can also purchase their customized California Prevailing Rate Report, which provides data and documentation for the “prevailing rates” in that body 6

shop’s unique “geographic area,” as defined by the CDI regulation. The NABR independent report now includes market-area shop prices for storage, scanning and alignment. It helps repairers demonstrate the true market prices in their area and negotiate more effectively with customers and insurers. “Once again, we’re pleased to offer this complete survey and reporting solution to all California collision centers,” said Sam Valenzuela, president of NABR. “With new laws for storage now in effect, our new independent market area report will enable repairers to prove what reasonable market rates are both for labor rates and these additional services. “This solution provides exactly what the California collision repair industry needs: one independent, third-party conducting labor rate surveys and providing one source for market area pricing that shops, insurers,and regulators can use to all get on the same page.”


policy, as it dramatically changes the consumer-collision shop marketplace. ASA opposes SF0095. There are numerous questions that SF0095 raises, including: • Who is to determine that parts meet OEM standards? • What state agency is equipped to evaluate certification standards? • How does this protect the consumer? Any discussion about automotive crash parts invokes an examination of quality issues. More importantly, what has been the policy dialogue about vehicle safety as impacted by SF0095? These are important issues that should require more than two weeks of policy debate. ASA encourages Wyoming collision repairers to contact their state legislators and ask that they oppose Aftermarket Parts Bill SF0095. / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


CSU Sacramento To Add On-Campus, Self-Driving Shuttle by Kyla Osburn, Mustang News

California State University (CSU) Sacramento is welcoming a new addition to its campus in February: an autonomous shuttle named Olli. Olli is on loan to the university from Arizona-based Local Motors until the end of the 2019 spring semester.

Credit: Sacramento State/Courtesy

The university was one of two winners in the first Olli Fleet Challenge last September. In this competition, Local Motors invited businesses, campuses and local governmental bodies in the Sacramento, CA, and Phoenix, AZ, area to propose a plan for a three-month use of the electric self-driving vehicle. In Sacramento, two eight-passenger Olli shuttles will be transporting students on a paved route

between Amador Hall and Bay Laurel Way. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo civil engineering professor Anurag Pande, who teaches Fundamentals of Transportation, said having autonomous shuttles could have similar benefits on Cal Poly’s campus. Pande said he foresees many possible benefits of using electric shuttles to move people from parking lots and bus stops on the edges of Cal Poly to the campus’s core. In addition to transporting students and staff, Pande said having autonomous vehicles operating on campus could allow for student research on the safety benefits of autonomous vehicles. “The companies that run these automated vehicles are not yet ready to share their data publicly with us,” Pande said. “We could get access to that data if we had these shuttles on our own campus. With this data, we would definitely benefit and be able to more precisely estimate what the benefits of those vehicles might be.” Despite the potential for a positive impact, Pande said he does not see autonomous shuttles coming to Cal Poly any time soon.


503.546.6900 877.787.2787 8


“We are a ways away from that,” Pande said. “We are not at a point where we could have them running right now. It’s something that has potential but not something that could happen right away.” This sentiment was echoed by university spokesperson Matt Lazier.

Olli shuttles are currently in the testing phase at CSU Sacramento and are expected to be functional in late February. Credit: Sacramento State/Courtesy

“At a surface-level look, [those in Transportation and Parking Services] believe it would be difficult to make something like [Sacramento State’s autonomous shuttles] work here because of the dearth of road capacity on campus,” Lazier wrote in an email to Mustang News. We thank Mustang News for reprint permission.

CARSTAR Voted a 2019 Best of Omaha, NE, Winner CARSTAR was voted a “Winner” in the Best of Omaha competition for 2019. “We are excited our customers and friends voted CARSTAR as one of Omaha’s top body shops,” said Margaret Keith, CARSTAR marketing manager.

This is the fifth year that CARSTAR has been selected. There are three CARSTAR locations in Omaha. Votes are cast online. The “Best of Omaha” competition was started by Omaha Magazine in 1992. The contest recognizes favorite businesses in more than 300 categories, including transportation, dining, health and nightlife. The contest boasts 25,000 individual ballots annually. Voters told the magazine their preferences in July and August. The 2019 results were published in the December issue of Omaha Magazine. Less than 3 percent of Omaha-area businesses win a Best of Omaha award. / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Gardena, CA, Collision Center Reports for Duty by Gary Kohatsu, Gardena Valley News

In a ribbon-cutting gala, the city of Gardena, CA, and its police department hailed the opening of the firstever collision reporting center in the state of California—as a “windfall” for motorists in non-injury “fender-benders” and car crashes that occur within the 6.6 square miles of Freeway City. With press statements, Mayor Tasha Cerda, Police Chief Thomas Kang and Steve Sanderson, president of the CRC Accident Support Services International Ltd., cut the ribbon and opened the doors Jan. 10 to the collision reporting center on the corner of Western Avenue and 162nd Street. The center is a “pilot” platform that could fill a need that might seem overdue. “This will streamline the process of collisions and fender-benders in the city, and it takes it to the next level when dealing with insurance companies,” said Mayor Cerda. “I am very excited about being the first city in California to have a referral center for traffic accidents,” said Chief Kang, who credited the pilot program to Ed Medrano, former GPD chief and now city manager, during the


more pressing issues.” Free of charge to the local government and citizens, the CRC services, according to the release, provide support that insurers writing out automobile policies in California require to fund the program. Traffic crash reporting has moved from the side of the road to a safe and comfortable facility. This reduces the potential for secondary collisions that result in needless injury or death of citizens and police offiMayor Tasha Cerda, with support from police and cers. Traffic congestion city officials, opened the new Gardena, CA, Collision will be alleviated by this Reporting Center. The center is designed to assist new procedure. motorists in documenting non-injury traffic accidents Non-injury traffic colliwhile avoiding wasted police hours on fender-benders. sions in Gardena average Credit: Gary Kohatsu about 1,100 per annum, ing, documenting and measuring” and approximately 700 hours of ofnon-injury traffic collisions “while ficers’ time are devoted to the inputting the data into a state-of-the process of assisting motorists with exchanging information, according art software program for analysis.” Kang earlier stated in a release to Lt. Steve Prendergast, GPD that ASSI will “help simplify the public information officer. “It’s a win-win. The insurance collision reporting process and allow officers to be more proactive companies appreciate it as well bein the community as a result of hav- cause they receive a more detailed reing additional time to respond to port on the collision and the center 20-minute press conference. Sanderson claimed the center would deter insurance “fraud” with its efficient protocol for “photograph-


assists drivers with filing their claims in a more timely manner,” said Prendergast.

“I am very excited about being the first city in California to have a referral center for traffic accidents,” — Chief Thomas Kang There is a four-step procedure, suggested by ASSI, that motorists in these collision accidents should heed and follow. This includes removing the vehicle(s) from the roadway, exchanging information with other parties and going to the CRC and submitting documentation such as driver’s license, vehicle registration and insurance. The ASSI offices are located at 16206 S. Western Ave. on the corner of 162nd and are open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. We thank Gardena Valley News for reprint permission.

2 Las Vegas Roadways Digitized for Autonomous Vehicles by Colin Wood, StateScoop

A transportation authority in Las Vegas, NV, has become the first in the world to put roadway information in a digital format for consumption by autonomous vehicles, according to a company that provided technology for the project. The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, which covers Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County, used software firm Inrix to digitize the roadway rules for Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas and another area near the Las Vegas Convention Center. The rules include speed limits, number of lanes, school zones and crosswalk locations, among other information. Theresa Gaisser, a principal traffic engineer with the commission, told Phoenix radio station KJZZ that although she believes AVs are already capable of navigating their environments without being prescribed maps of rules and infrastructure, these digital files can fill gaps where vehicles may be missing information.

“I do think that it is what we refer to as one of those ‘emerging technologies’ that can add another layer of confidence to the public and help their understanding,” Gaisser said.

Auto parts company Aptiv and ride-hailing company Lyft launched a pilot project in May 2018 that allows the Las Vegas public to hail rides from a fleet of 30 autonomous vehicles. Other companies are now testing commercial and freight vehicles across Nevada roadways. Gaisser said the cars in use in Nevada today meet Level 4 on the Society of Automotive Engineers’ taxonomy of self-driving vehicles,


meaning they can steer, brake, accelerate, monitor roadways and respond to events autonomously but must rely on a human occupant to take control in dynamic situations such as traffic jams. (Vehicles meeting the top rating, Level 5, can operate without human input and do not require pedals or a steering wheel.) According to a press release from Inrix, its software, called AV Road Rules, also allows vehicles to autonomously report roadway damage such as potholes or worn lane striping to local government. The company said six other localities have adopted its software for early pilot tests, including Austin; Boston; Cambridge, MA; Portland, ME; and the West Midlands and Scotland in the United Kingdom. We thank StateScoop for reprint permission.


4x Monthly E-Newsletter.

PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company recently joined CIECA as a Corporate Member. Founded in 1949 and celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, PEMCO is based in Seattle and serves markets in Washington and Oregon, offering auto, home, boat and umbrella insurance coverage. Paul Barry, PEMCO vice president of claims, has known about CIECA for many years and served as a board member, which included spending time on the executive committee in the roles of secretary, treasurer and vice chairman. Barry said CIECA has played a valuable leadership role in driving operational efficiency in the collision repair industry. “PEMCO is heavily focused on process improvement and optimizing our technology, and CIECA is a natural fit for our efforts to automate relationships with the suppliers we work with,” said Barry. “We are proud to join CIECA and expand our integration with partners using CIECA standards.” For more information, visit / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


ASA Northwest’s 2019 ATE Gearing Up To Be Another Successful Event by Chasidy Rae Sisk

ASA Northwest is busy gearing up for its 2019 Automotive Training Expo (ATE), which will be held March 22– 24 at the DoubleTree Hotel Seattle Airport. In addition to offering more than 60 management and technical courses from the industry’s leading instructors, the expo will feature more than 50 vendors, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a no-host bar, and access to the industry’s foremost consultants, products and suppliers. Jeff Lovell, president and executive director of ASA Northwest, noted, “The most exciting thing is seeing members come together. We have 25 volunteers that help put this event together; our volunteers are the ones who make it all happen, and it’s exciting to watch them come together from all over the state as a family. “We are just 26 seats away from being completely sold out this year, and 17 classes are completely full already with two months to go before the event!” Attendees will be treated to a

lunch keynote presentation titled “Your Passion – Is It Nowhere?” delivered by John Burkhauser and sponsored by BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY. The presentation will be one of the 26 educational seminars offered on Friday. All ASA members are encouraged to attend the annual educa-

tors’ meeting from 4–5 p.m., where they can meet shop instructors in their local area and learn about ASA Northwest’s new apprenticeship program. Lovell stressed, “With the current shortage of techs and skilled workers, it’s important that we all network and support one another in order to help grow technicians required to fill the needs of our industry.” Saturday’s offerings will include 25 educational sessions, beginning with a breakfast keynote, “Stopping Long Enough to Consider What Lies

Ahead,” delivered by Bill Haas and sponsored by Worldpac Training Institute. Chris Chesney will deliver the lunch keynote, “To ADAS or not to ADAS; That is the Question,” sponsored by CARQUEST Technical Institute. Bob Ward will kick off the 12 sessions offered on the final half-day of the 2019 ATE with a keynote presentation titled “Next Generation Owners” and sponsored by Perpetual Business. The event will conclude at noon on Sunday. Some of the industry’s best presenters will be in attendance at ASA Northwest’s 2019 ATE to share their wealth of knowledge with industry professionals who participate. These include Cecil Bullard of WORLDPAC Training Institute, Maylan Newton of ESi, Bob Pattengale of Bosch, Jeremy O’Neal of WORLDPAC, and many, many more. The expo floor will be open on Friday evening from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. with hands-on demonstrations of the industry’s latest cutting-edge products. More than 60 exhibitors have already registered to attend, including ALLDATA, BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY, Hunter Engineer-

ing, Jasper Engines and Transmissions, Kukui Corporation, LKQ, NASTF, RepairPal, WORLDPAC and dozens of other industry companies. The all-inclusive package costs just $430 for ASA members and $525 for non-members. Educators can receive a discounted package. To register for ASA Northwest’s 2019 ATE or to obtain more information, visit or call 877257-2100. ASA Northwest will also debut a second ATE event on Oct. 4–5 in Spokane. Lovell shared, “We want to offer something on the east side of our coverage area. It won’t be as big, maybe 25 classes, some of which will be duplicated from our March event, and we will have a sponsor evening instead of a major expo. However, ATEEast will serve the eastern part of the state along with Idaho and Montana so we can ensure that we are bringing our members in those areas the same value without requiring them to travel as far.” For more information on ASA Northwest, visit

Wyoming ‘Crash Parts’ Legislation Stalls in House A bill deemed harmful to collision repairers and consumers has stalled in the Wyoming House of Representatives. Opposed by ASA and collision shops in Wyoming, the “crash parts” bill—SF0095—had been on a fast track after garnering quick approval from the Wyoming Senate. The Wyoming legislation stated: “AN ACT relating to insurance; providing standards for the use of aftermarket parts in automobile damage repairs; requiring disclosure when any use is proposed of a non-original manufacturer part; requiring that all aftermarket parts be identified and be of the same quality as the original part; and providing for an effective date.” ASA and Wyoming shop owners had raised issues regarding the legislation, including: • Who would be responsible for determining what parts meet OEM



standards? • What state agency is equipped to evaluate certification standards? • What are consumer protections provided by the legislation? Collision repairers communicated their concerns to members of the Wyoming legislature—and it appears the Wyoming House won’t be moving forward this session with SF0095. The Wyoming legislature is scheduled to adjourn at the end of February. “It is important that collision shops continue to educate policymakers about the impact this bill would have on small businesses and consumers,” said Robert L. Redding Jr., ASA’s Washington, D.C., representative. “ASA would like to thank Wyoming collision repairers and industry partners for their support in educating policymakers about this harmful bill.”



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Missouri Anti-Safety Inspection Bill Reintroduced Once again, legislation has been introduced in the Missouri legislature that seeks to repeal the state’s vehicle safety inspection program. State Rep. J. Eggleston, assistant floor leader of the House, introduced House Bill (HB) 451. Eggleston introduced similar legislation last session—HB 1444. ASA opposed HB 1444 and successfully worked with ASA members in Missouri, as well as coalition partners, to ensure the bill did not become law. ASA opposes HB 451 and has begun efforts to stop this bill from moving forward. A hearing for the legislation has not been scheduled to date. “There are approximately 15 state vehicle inspection programs,” said ASA Mechanical Division Director Tom Piippo, AMAM. “With the number of recalls and rapidly increasing vehicle technologies, the trend should be more state inspection programs, not less. Missouri’s program is one of the best in the nation, and ASA has profiled it in hearings in Washington, D.C. and in other states. Any effort to repeal the program is nonsensical.”


CAWA Board of Directors Chair Appoints 2 Industry Associates to Board CAWA Chair of the Board Dan Hanson, Jr. of Hanson Distributing Company has appointed two industry associates to the association’s board of directors.

Hanson said, “These two individuals will add value to CAWA and by virtue of their positions in the industry will assist the association in achieving its goals as a relevant and viable automotive aftermarket industry organization. “We know and appreciate the contributions these auto care industry associates will make to the future successes of CAWA and the industry we serve.” The appointees are: • George Hritz of California Au-


tomotive Teachers • Heather Williamson of CARQUEST Hritz started his automotive career at age 15 working in an automotive machine shop, where he performed engine disassembly and clean-up. Throughout his college years, he worked in a variety of automotiverelated jobs. In 1975, Hritz began his teaching career at San Marin High School, where he taught six periods of automotive classes. He has also worked as an assistant sales manager for Sun Electric, a general technician for an independent BMW repair dealer and as the service manager for a large electrical contracting company until he accepted a teaching position at College of Marin. Hritz represents automotive educators on the California Bureau of Automotive Repair Advisory Group. He currently serves as the executive director of the California Automotive Teachers (CAT) organization where he also served as a past president. He is a board member of the Automotive Service Councils of California

and the California Automotive Business Coalition. Williamson is a third-generation automotive industry associate. She grew up in the remanufacturing industry with her father at Python Injection from 1991 to 2005. At the company’s peak, they employed 100 people and reached annual sales of $3.5 million. Throughout the remainder of her career, she held numerous positions: with CARQUEST Auto Parts as store manager, outside sales, specialty markets team, US government sales and strategic accounts; as an outside salesperson with Warren Distributing; and in her current position with CARQUEST on the independent store team as a market development manager. She is married, has a son and enjoys drag racing.


Autobody News / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Snowy Conditions Keep Billings, MT, Auto Body Shops Busy by Spencer Martin, KULR-8

Many people dealt with headaches following a series of crashes on Billings, MT-area roadways the week of Jan. 20. The sudden heavy snowfall on Jan. 21 left many vehicles crippled and in need of professional help.

With all those crashes, you can expect that insurance adjusters and body shops were busy. KULR-8 spoke with American Auto Body, who said they had seen a pretty significant uptick in phone calls and vehicle tow-ins due to the winter conditions. They said the biggest rush at their shop will come on the days after the snow storm, when the streets have been plowed and the weather clears up. Kelsey McCarthy with Amer-


ican Auto Body said the shop sees a wide range of vehicle damage, from small fender benders in parking lots to large collisions at intersections where vehicles didn’t anticipate how long it would take to stop. She said that with the warm winter they had been experiencing, the heavy snow that week seemed to have caught some off guard. McCarthy said, “We’re going to see probably a little bit more because people need to get used to snow again. We need to get back on the road, and we need to give each other space and time to stop and turn. It’s going to be interesting, but we’ll be ready for it. We have a great staff in there.” American Auto Body offered a couple of tips to help out drivers on icy roads. They advised drivers to check the tread of their tires and make sure they’re in good condition. They also advised drivers to keep some kitty litter in their car that can be thrown in front of their tires in case they get stuck. We thank KULR-8 for reprint permission.


Shelley, ID, Woman Sentenced for Insurance Fraud Attorney General Lawrence Wasden recently announced a Bingham County, ID, woman was sentenced Monday, Jan. 28 for insurance fraud.

Danielle Collins, 38, of Shelley, ID, pleaded guilty in November 2018. Seventh District Court Judge Darren B. Simpson withheld judgment and placed Collins on three years of supervised probation. He ordered her to pay $800 in fines, $245 in court costs, $500 in reimbursement to the public defender and $538 in restitution to the Idaho


Department of Insurance. Judge Simpson also ordered Collins to complete 100 hours of community service. The court ordered and then suspended 180 days of discretionary jail time. Collins was in an automobile accident in an uninsured vehicle on August 25, 2017, and documented the accident on Facebook. Later that day, she purchased auto insurance on the same vehicle. On August 28, Collins submitted a claim for an accident she said happened on August 27. During a Department of Insurance investigation, Collins admitted the accident had happened before she obtained insurance. Deputy Attorney General Nicole Schafer in the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted the case.



Continued from Cover

CAA Meeting facilities. • Body shop owners have the right to charge reasonable, competitive rates that make sense for collision repair facilities. • Insurers cannot cap the number of days a vehicle is held in storage.

on Jan.1, three changes were made to vehicle code sections that govern towing and storage fees (10652.5, 22524.5, 22651.07): 1. Insurance companies are obligated to allow consumers’ repair facility of choice. 2. Insurance companies are permitted to inspect stored vehicles at no charge. 3. Storage rates must be reasonable.

According to Gibson, a tow“We are pretty much in the ing and storing charge is reasame position we were in Top BAR official sonable for an auto body before the regulation passed Mathew Gibson flew down from shop “if it is comparable to Jan. 1,” explained March. Sacramento to storage-related rates and fees “These laws came into play speak with industry charged by other facilities in [because] the BAR got members in the same locale. This does wind that some shops in Anaheim about new regulations not preclude a rate or fee that San Francisco and Los Anregarding towing is higher or lower if it is othgeles were charging exorbiand storage fees erwise reasonable.” tant amounts—around $500 a day—for storage, and no rules [were] in the books to regulate this. The following fees are considered Now, the BAR is able to say that’s “unreasonable,” according to the new BAR regulations: unreasonable.” According to March, the going • Administrative or filing fees, exrate for storage for a shop in the Val- cept those incurred related to doculey, for example, is around $100 a mentation from the DMV and those day, but several insurance companies related to the lien sale of a vehicle have been trying to charge around • Security fees • Dolly fees $52 because that’s the CHP rate. Gibson said the BAR has clari- • Load and unload fees fied that the competitive rate can • Pull-out fees • Gate fees, except when the owner continue to be charged. or insurer of the vehicle requests that Gibson stated in his presentation that the vehicle be released outside of

Sherwin-Williams Joins I-CAR Program Beginning in 2019, automotive refinish professionals can earn I-CAR credits for completing SherwinWilliams training courses at no additional cost. That’s because SherwinWilliams Automotive Finishes® has joined I-CAR’s Sustaining Partner™ program, an initiative designed to mobilize organizations in support of I-CAR’s mission to enhance collision repair industry training and ensure complete, safe and quality repairs.

As a Sustaining Partner, Sherwin-Williams will be a valuable contributor to this long-term plan for the collision repair industry. “The more we can help our customers achieve I-CAR Gold Class designation, the more successful they will be in their business,” said Rod Habel, SherwinWilliams Director of Training. “Better service and better education for our customers is the key to strengthening the industry and keeping people safe.”

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regular business hours Gibson also clarified the difference between a “lien” and “lien sale” in his presentation. A “lien” is a right to keep possession of property belonging to another person until a debt owed by that person is discharged. A “lien sale” is a sale of a consumer’s vehicle to satisfy an unpaid repair or storage debt.

The Feb. 6 CAA meeting had 210 attendees, the highest number in the chapter’s history

According to Gibson, civil code section 3068 defines when a lien arises in an automotive repair transaction. It also describes the necessary steps when filing for authorization to conduct a lien sale. For a facility to be authorized to conduct a lien sale, it must: • Obtain the consumer’s authoriza-

tion to perform repairs • Complete the contracted repairs or teardown • Provide the consumer with an invoice of the completed repairs • File with DMV for authorization to conduct a lien sale within 30 days after the repairs are completed The lien limits specified in 3068 (c) are: • $1,500 for repairs (unless prior authorization is obtained from the legal owner or lessor) • $1,025 for storage • $1,250 for storage (at the request of any person other than the legal owner) • $1,750 in attorney’s fees (if applicable) This section of civil code 3068 does not apply to insurance companies in any way. The above limits are for the legal owner of the vehicle as defined by the DMV, not the registered owner or an insurance company. Guinn concluded the meeting around 9 p.m. Questions or concerns can be sent to Gibson at mathew or 916-4038060.

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Legislation Might Affect Auto Glass Shops in MT, TX by Emmariah Holcomb,

Two new bills could impact auto glass industry businesses in Montana and Texas. A Montana State Senator introduced SB 251, a new bill that would require an auto repair shop to perform repairs that follow the guidelines and directions from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). The new bill also would “prohibit insurers from disregarding repair directives.” According to SB 251, there will now be specifications for what will be understood as OEM, if passed. “… directives by the original equipment manufacturer include: •

Repair procedures


Technical service bulletins

• Requirements to scan a vehicle electronic system prior to beginning a repair procedure or at the conclusion of a repair procedure •


The use of parts, paint and ma-

terials,” a section of the bill reads This provision was added to the bill, which involves Montana insurance companies. “An insurance company … that issues or renews a policy of insurance in this state covering, in whole or in part, a motor vehicle may not: … unilaterally disregard a repair operation or cost identified by an estimating system that the insurer and an automobile body repair business or location have agreed to utilize in determining the cost of repair, including repair directives issued by an original equipment manufacturer,” a section of the bill reads. The House introduced a new bill in Texas, also referred to as HB 1348. A portion of this new bill defines an industry repair person. “A ‘repair person or facility’ does not include a person who exclusively provides automobile glass replacement, glass repair services or glass products,” a section of HB 1348 reads. If passed, this definition would go into effect Sept. 1, 2019. We thank for reprint permission.


Bill on MA Gov. Baker’s Desk Creates Crime of Airbag Fraud by Michael P. Norton, State House News Service

Insurers called on Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker to sign legislation establishing criminal penalties for selling or installing a counterfeit airbag in a vehicle.

The legislation was among dozens of bills that lawmakers suddenly rushed to the governor’s desk in the days leading up to and on New Year’s Day. Under the bill, anyone found guilty of airbag fraud would face a fine of no more than $5,000 or imprisonment for no more than 2.5 years, or both. “The insurance industry is a

strong advocate for highway safety and diligently works to protect against the use of unsafe parts,” Frank O’Brien, a vice president at the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, said in a statement. “When an accident occurs, consumers expect to be protected by their safety equipment. It should be a criminal act to market or install a counterfeit airbag that may not open properly and potentially cause serious injuries or even death.” The House approved the bill in April; the Senate passed it New Year’s Eve, just before the session ended. It is based on a bill filed by Rep. Jennifer Benson of Lunenburg. NOTE: Gov. Baker signed the bill on Jan. 10. We thank State House News Service for reprint permission.

ASA Northwest Hosts 2019 Winter Retreat in Leavenworth, WA by Chasidy Rae Sisk

From Jan. 24–27, ASA Northwest hosted its 2019 Semi-Annual Retreat and Management Conference at the Icicle Village Resort in Leavenworth, WA. Jeff Lovell, president and executive director of ASA Northwest, noted, “What a great turnout—we had 92 attendees and 12 new attendees this year who had never attended a retreat before.”

Friday featured the association’s General Business Session. The Ascettes, a group of women who support the association by raising funds for ASA Northwest activities and scholarship initiatives, made pillowcases that will be donated to the local Leavenworth area. On Friday evening, the group enjoyed networking and fun at the arcade during the

designated “Fun Event.” Saturday’s agenda was jampacked with educational information for attendees, beginning with an AMI seminar titled “Resilient – The Ability for Your Business to Thrive in the Next 10 Years and Beyond,” presented by Jeremy O’Neal of AdvisorFix. Lovell shared, “We learned that the automotive industry is preparing for a major shift that it hasn’t seen since the model T and Henry Ford arrived. The objective of this seminar was to prepare us with the critical skills needed to see what is coming and how to position our business to survive the coming changes and thrive in the years ahead.” During Saturday’s lunch, Todd Black, general director of ASA National, joined the group to deliver an informative state of the industry address as well as to provide an update on the national association. ASA Northwest held its awards banquet on Saturday evening, during which Butch Jobst, chairman of the board, presented the 2018 Outstanding Member of the Year award to Kandie Jennings-Molloy of Tom’s Automotive in Seattle, WA.

Jennings-Molloy worked at Tom’s Automotive as a service advisor and manager from 1991 until July 2010, when she purchased the business.

ASA Northwest Chairman of the Board Butch Jobst presents the 2018 Outstanding Member of the Year award to Kandie JenningsMolloy

Jobst stated, “During her tenure as a service advisor and manager, Tom’s Automotive received numerous awards, including the Mayor of Seattle’s Small Business Award. She has earned her Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) designation and the prestigious Accredited Master Automotive Manager (AMAM) certification from the Automotive

Management Institute.” Jennings-Molloy is active in many community organizations and in ASA Northwest. She spent the last two years helping develop the association’s Independent Technician’s Automotive Committee (ITAC) apprenticeship program. She shared, “I’ve always had a personal mission to get people into our industry.” Jobst added, “Within ASA Northwest, Kandie has been an active force on many levels. She served as treasurer of the Seattle Chapter (now Sno-King South) for more than a decade, as well as president of that group. She is the former president of our Ascettes group and currently serves on the regional board of directors of ASA Northwest as our secretary. Please join me in honoring Kandie Jennings-Molloy as our 2018 Outstanding Member of the Year.” ASA Northwest will host its next Semi-Annual Retreat and Management Conference from June 27—30 at the Clearwater Resort in Squamish, WA. For more information on ASA Northwest, visit / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

2019 NADA Show cars and light trucks in 2019. “We expect the sales momentum to continue this year,” said Patrick Manzi, NADA senior economist. “The 2019 auto show season kicks

tory, according to Manzi. Last year, consumers continued to abandon car segments. Light trucks accounted for 69 percent of sales, while cars accounted for 31

the board, not just on crossovers but also traditional SUVs and pickups.” Manzi also said he expects gasoline prices to remain low enough this year to not cause a panic and a consumer shift back to the car market. When NADA comes to a city for its annual show, it always leaves a little something behind as its way of saying thanks. This year, the or-

I-CAR’s large booth made quite an impression at the NADA Show. (l to r) National MSO manager Doug Schlueter and manager, business development Armin Price Director of Operations Zach McGregor displayed DJS Fabrications’ line of dollies and accessories at the four-day NADA show

off in Detroit. Dozens of new vehicles, with auto show rebates and incentives, will soon arrive in dealer showrooms across the country that will appeal to consumers and spark auto sales during the first quarter.”

percent of sales. In 2017, light trucks accounted for 65 percent of sales and cars accounted for 35 percent. About 10 years ago, the sales mix consisted of 48 percent light trucks and 52 percent cars.

ganization donated $50,000 to the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank to assist with the purchase of a new, refrigerated commercial truck. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to receive this generous donation,” said

Accudraft was represented by (l to r) account specialist Stacy Defnall and business development manager Steve Boda (l to r) David Cosio, Cody Workman and Adolph Cosio from Automotive Collision Equipment and Lorinda Teague from Pro Spot International

New light vehicle sales topped 17.3 million units in 2018, marking the fourth-best sales year in U.S. his-

“One of the main factors of this shift has been continued low oil and gasoline prices, and the fact that crossover utility vehicles are nearly as fuel efficient as their sedan counterparts,” Manzi said. “And we’ve seen fuel economy increases across

Hodges Collision Centers Expands to Deer Park, TX Steve Guinn, president/CEO of The Woodlands-based Hodges Collision Centers, announced that the company has expanded to Deer Park, TX, with the acquisition of Crossroad Collision Center. With this sixth location, the company continues to serve customers as the largest independent body shop in the Houston area. Michael Cheatum was named the new Hodges Collision Deer Park location manager. The facility is 20,000 square feet and located at 306 Center St. 22

Big Ass Fans exhibited at this year’s NADA Show to unveil its Light Bar. (l to r) Exhibit manager Pam Lawless, national account manager Scott Fehrenbach and vertical market business development manager John Nunnelley

“We are excited to expand our Hodges Collision Centers offering to Deer Park. It is a great location for us, and we are especially pleased to have Michael Cheatum serving as our new location manager,” noted Guinn. “Hodges Collision Deer Park is here to offer quality, positive customer experiences, and we hold each collision repair to the highest standards in the automotive industry. We are looking forward to meeting our local insurance agents and getting involved in the local community!”


Paul Ash, executive director of the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. “Our trucks are the lifeline of our entire operation, and I can tell you that this new truck, courtesy of NADA,

Broadly, a marketing and social media company, exhibited at its first NADA Show. (l to r), customer success manager Janna Dolson, account executive Todd LoGuidice and senior account executive & sales trainer Jenna Simon

will be put into service immediately to help feed the thousands of people who rely on us for healthy meals each day.” NADA’s donation helped complete the purchase of a 2019 Kenworth T370, a 24-foot fully refrigerated box truck that will be used for pick-ups and deliveries in the food bank’s network of 270 pantries. / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


YANG Holds Meet-Up in Napa, CA, in Conjunction With CAWA Meeting an event’s success, it is more the recognition that comes with the On Jan. 31, the Young Auto Care event itself. CAWA is a huge supNetwork Group (YANG) gathered porter of YANG, and thus they feel it for a Meet-Up at the Meritage Resort is important to provide young memand Spa in Napa, CA, held in con- bers of the association with benefits junction with CAWA’s Leadership to attend these meetings free of charge and hear from industry leadMeeting. According to Michael Rukov, ers. “Tom Seboldt, former VP of chairman emeritus of the YANG Advisory Council, “We had a great Merchandise at O’Reilly and current turnout for this event. We always vice chair of CAWA, spoke to the support events geared toward future group, which was a tremendous bonus. His personality and humbleness are things we all hope to strive for. It was great listening to him talk about his career and offer advice to the group.” The purpose of YANG’s Meet-Ups is to provide young industry professionals with an opportunity to network with one another and learn from some of the industry’s leaders. YANG members enjoyed the opportunity to network Rukov stated, “Everywith their peers during the YANG Meet-Up in Napa, CA, one was very eager to hear on Jan. 31 from Tom, but they were generations that will eventually be also excited to network with their inleading our industry. Even though dustry peers. We had a good mix of sponsorship is sometimes crucial to young professionals and older

by Chasidy Rae Sisk

sponsors of YANG. I was actually surprised to have such a large turnout given the location. Napa Valley is hard to get to, especially

for younger people in our industry; however, given that this occurred in conjunction with CAWA’s Leadership and Educational Forum, we were able to draw in the younger attendees. “CAWA is a front line of defense for our industry because of the states that it covers. That being said, I think people have to start realizing that CAWA is not only a warehouse distributors’ association, but rather representative of the entire automotive industry.” For more information about YANG, visit

CARSTAR Celebrates 30 Years of Business CARSTAR is celebrating its 30th year of business with plans to only accelerate its rapid growth. “This landmark anniversary means the world to our organization, and we know that we would not have been able to make it to this moment without the support of our tremendous network, customers and communities we serve,” said Michael Macaluso, president, CARSTAR. “Offering tokens of appreciation throughout the year is our way to say thank you, and as we accelerate our growth in 2019, we look forward to celebrating many more milestones with all of you.” CARSTAR has celebrated many milestones over the years, including repairing a total of more than 6 million vehicles, employing more than 8,000 people across the U.S. and Canada, opening its 600th location in 2018 and upholding a customer service NPS score of 80 percent across the continent.

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quicker we get the message out, the we all are. We plan to revisit ASA Executive Director better the affiliate model to determine how to best help them succeed and nications through various platforms.” enhance that for everyone. ASA’s Looking at the long-term plans success is based on affiliates reprefor the association, Fisher acknowl- senting their areas well, and we also edged that ASA’s board of directors plan to explore how we can reach has developed a strategic plan that areas where we don’t currently have will be reviewed over the first quar- affiliates.” When asked about changes ASA ter of this year. “The board works very hard for may see under his leadership, Fisher the association,” Fisher praised. “I stated, “We are working diligently to cannot say enough about how hard be more interactive and more timefriendly. We plan to utilize these volunteers work and Facebook Live going forall they’ve done over the ward and to constantly make past months to fill the role sure our feeds are available I’m transitioning into.” to members and the indusFisher then discussed try. We represent our some of the experiences members, and in turn, we that took place during his 20+ years working in deal- Ray Fisher stepped represent the industry. I’m erships and management into the role of ASA really excited about the roles before joining ASA- executive director in things we have coming and January 2019 like to use my passion and Michigan in 2004 and becoming its executive director in background to ask the challenging 2010. He recounted some of the suc- questions, look at the future and precesses that the affiliate saw under his pare for it.” Turning to ASA’s legislative inileadership, especially on the legislative front. As Fisher transitions into tiatives, Fisher discussed Washington, his role in Texas, he will also be rep- DC Representative Bob Redding’s resenting ASA-MI for the next sev- work to ensure OEM procedures are eral months while the group figures used as a proper source of informaout how to restructure some of its af- tion. There will also be legislative focus on telematics and who owns that filiates. Expressing gratitude for the information. Fisher stressed, “We have to support he has received, Fisher explained, “I plan to carry that passion make sure we have access for differand challenge forward for the na- ent technologies and also that we tional group. We are only going to be look at OEM procedures. We have to successful if we engage our member- make sure we are at the table and ship. Joining a country club doesn’t having conversations with manufacmake you a better tennis player, but turers and legislators. It’s important it gives you an opportunity to get in- that we have legislative representavolved and improve your game. We tion for our industry, and Bob is inneed member shops to get involved valuable in D.C.” In addition to legislation, trainand improve their game. “ASA is focused on giving back ing is a vital component to ASA proto the industry. Everything we do viding members with what they need will be based on our membership’s to be successful. While the details drive and needs. I like to be proac- have not been completely ironed out tive and use the windshield, not the yet, Fisher plans to deliver more rearview mirror. Education and train- content going forward that will hit every aspect of the automotive busiing are what make us all better.” Fisher elaborated on how his ness. ASA will also continue to host role with the affiliate chapter led to monthly webinars. Fisher stressed, “I am all about his involvement with the national ortraining. As a manager, I was one of ganization. “The affiliates represent the local the first dealers in my area to have Imembers and work hard to bring local CAR Gold [status], certified welding programs to their region, chapter or techs and more. I don’t like to be a state,” he said. “They are vital to de- follower; I like to be a leader, and that livering our message because the will carry forth in my new role.” Continued from Cover



Noting the importance of change in the industry, Fisher identified one of the industry’s biggest challenges as “making sure we don’t bury our heads in the sand. We need to look for the opportunity of what’s next. Our mechanical operations and col-

the Annual Meeting from April 30 through May 2, Fisher anticipated. Multiple topics for different generations will be discussed at the meeting, including succession planning. Fisher invited everyone to come learn more at the meeting.

“I am all about training. As a manager, I was one of the first dealers in my area to have I-CAR Gold [status], certified welding techs and more. I don’t like to be a follower; I like to be a leader, and that will carry forth in my new role.” — Ray Fisher lision operations committees do a great job of bringing important issues to us, and we want to utilize these volunteer committees much more through polls and surveys. The biggest thing we need to do is prepare the industry for upcoming changes, but we have the personnel in place and the right people doing the right things to keep these messages coming in a timely manner.” Many more questions about ASA’s future will be addressed at

As the webinar drew to a close, Fisher stated, “I want to use my passion to give back and represent ASA’s membership. It’s important that the industry has a structured association to deliver messages and represent the industry like we do at ASA. Sometimes, you fall into the mode of simply trying to maintain, but we need to make sure our goals are priorities and our priorities are what’s right for the industry. We’re here for the industry.” / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


AASP/NJ, WMABA Announce Collision P.R.E.P. Schedule for NORTHEAST 2019 Seelinger, VisionPLUS program manager at BASF

by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Jan. 29, AASP/NJ and the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) proudly announced the schedule for Collision P.R.E.P. (Professional Repairer Education Program), which will take place during the 2019 NORTHEAST ® Automotive Services Show.

• “Justification for Scanning and Diagnostics,” a new course by Mike Anderson of Collision Advice The three options available Saturday at 10 a.m. include: • “OEM Repair Methods and Advanced Technologies,” presented by Dave Gruskos of Reliable Automotive Equipment • “Today’s Diagnostics, Calibrations, and Programming,” presented by Eric Newell of asTech

The show is scheduled for March 15–17 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ. Collision P.R.E.P. will kick off Friday at 3 p.m. with: • “Expand Your Customer Base – Reach More Online Collision Repair Customers,” presented by Brent Betts of AP Digital • “Business Data, Knowing Your Unknowns,” presented by Craig

• “Write It Right, With Life Nuggets to Live By,” presented by Anderson At 12:30 p.m., Collision P.R.E.P. will host an OEM Repair Panel on “The Changing Landscape in Certified Repair, and Under the OEM Repair Procedures.” The panelists will be announced soon. The three options available Saturday afternoon include: • “Building the Bulletproof File:





Documentation for Repair and Reducing Liabilities,” presented by Mark Olson of VECO Experts • “The Estimate Toolbox: Using FREE Resources to complete an accurate vehicle damage repair plan,” presented by Danny Gredinberg of DEG • “Safety System Alignment: A New Focus on Body Shop Profitability,” presented by Paul Stern of Liftnow Automotive Equipment At 5 p.m., K. Michael Bradshaw of K & M Collision will present “Repairer to Repairer: Realities of Structural Repair and Tooling.” The three options available Sunday morning include: • “Scanning and Calibration – Getting It Right for Successful ADAS Diagnostics,” presented by Chuck Olsen of AirPro Diagnostics • “Damage Assessment Documentation: Key Steps for Maximum Reimbursement,” presented by John Shoemaker of BASF •

“Expand Your Customer Base –

The three options available Sunday at 12:30 p.m. include: • “Embracing the Post-Repair Inspection,” presented by David Smith of Auto Damage Experts • “Not Included Operations – Commonly Missed Items in Estimating,” presented by Gredinberg • “You Schedule How?” presented by Charlie Whitaker of AkzoNobel The trade show will be open Friday from 5–10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.– 3 p.m. Dozens of exhibitors will be in attendance, including Accudraft, asTech, Axalta, 3M, Spanesi, BASF, Mitchell International and many more. As usual, the trade show will include a variety of demonstrations and celebrity appearances and a multitude of networking opportunities. For more information on NORTHEAST 2019 or to pre-register, visit



s s

Reach More Online Collision Repair Customers,” presented by Betts


OR FOR A SNEAK PEAK go to or call

760.489.6600 Ask for Bob / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


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

An Insider’s Guide to Handling Media Interviews During a Crisis There’s an important question everyone in the collision repair industry should ask themselves, according to award-winning journalist and communication trainer Jeff Ansell: If your body shop or business is accused of transgressions, real or imagined, would you know how to respond to the media? “There is no shortage of badnews scenarios or allegations the collision repair industry could experience, whether that includes allegations of deliberately damaging cars, installing used parts but billing for new ones, or invoicing for phantom repairs,” said Ansell. “The answer is to have the skills necessary to properly tell your story to all stakeholders, especially when the news about your organization is not positive.” During the 16th annual CSN Collision Centres conference held in Scottsdale, AZ, in November, Ansell


offered insight on how to confidently communicate with the media during a crisis. This included how to respond to difficult questions, confidently tell a business’s story and frame the media narrative before others frame it.

Award-winning journalist and communication trainer Jeff Ansell during the CSN Collision Centres conference in Scottsdale, AZ

Ansell’s perspective was based on his experience over the years as an investigative reporter and a media and crisis communications advisor.


People often ask Ansell why it’s important to be media-trained and rehearse answering questions when all you have to do is tell the truth. Every day, he said, the media, especially social media, sets the public agenda that can impact a business. “A social media onslaught focusing on you and your business can come at you like an avalanche,” said Ansell. Not only will good communication help manage a business’s reputation, he said, but it will also help the problem dissipate more quickly. “Regardless of what the future holds, communication will always be a big part of it,” said Ansell. “What you say and how you say it to the media, customers and employees are very important now, more than ever, because communication these days is beyond instant.”

Undercover investigations involving hidden cameras are very common in this line of work and can portray auto repair shops and the people who work in them as incompetent, dishonest and, in some cases, criminals, according to Ansell. “When bad news strikes, the media and the public are quick to make up their minds about you,” said Ansell. “Reporters can show up at your business anytime. How you respond speaks volumes about who you are.” As a result, Ansell shared what he referred to as “the rules of the game” when talking to the media. 12 Do’s and Don’ts for Communicating With Confidence: 1) 2)

When you mess up, ‘fess up. Remember there is no such thing See Insider’s Guide, Page 46

Continued from Page 4

New Training Model moved such a sign long before it got to this awful state—edge cases are exactly this kind of situation. An edge case is a low-probability event that should not happen but does happen in the real world—exactly the kinds of cases that programmers and machine learning processes might not consider. In a real-world scenario, the autonomous vehicle might detect the sign and have no idea that it’s a stop sign. It doesn’t treat it as such and could decide to proceed through the intersection at speed and cause an accident. A human driver may have a hard time identifying the stop sign too, but that is much less likely for experienced drivers. We know what a stop sign is, and if it’s in anything other than complete ruin, we’ll know to stop at the intersection rather than proceed through it. This kind of situation is exactly what researchers at MIT and Microsoft have come together to identify and solve, which could improve

autonomous vehicle safety and, hopefully, reduce the kinds of accidents that might slow or prevent the adoption of autonomous vehicles on our roads. Modeling at the Edge In two papers presented at last year’s Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems conference and the upcoming Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence conference, researchers explain a new model for training autonomous systems such as self-driving cars that use human input to identify and fix these “blind spots” in AI systems. The researchers run the AI through simulated training exercises like traditional systems go through, but in this case, a human observes the machine’s actions and identifies when the machine is about to make or has made a mistake. The researchers then take the machine’s training data and synthesize it with the human observer’s feedback and put it through a machine-learning system. This system will then create a model that researchers can use to identify situa-

tions where the AI is missing critical information about how it should behave, especially in edge cases. “The model helps autonomous systems better know what they don’t know,” according to Ramya Ramakrishnan, a graduate student in the computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory at MIT and the lead author of the study. “Many times, when these systems are deployed, their trained simulations don’t match the real-world setting [and] they could make mistakes, such as getting into accidents. The idea is to use humans to bridge that gap between simulation and the real world, in a safe way, so we can reduce some of those errors,” Ramakrishnan said. The problem arises when a situation occurs, such as the distorted stop sign, in which the majority of cases the AI has been trained on does not reflect the real-world condition that it should have been trained to recognize. In this case, it has been trained that stop signs have a certain shape, color, etc. It could even have created a list of shapes that could be stop signs and would know to stop for

those, but if it cannot identify a stop sign properly, the situation could end in disaster. “Because unacceptable actions are far rarer than acceptable actions, the system will eventually learn to predict all situations as safe, which can be extremely dangerous,” said Ramakrishnan. Meeting the Highest Standards for Safety By showing researchers where the AI has incomplete data, autonomous systems can be made safer at the edge where high-profile accidents can occur. If they can do this, we may get to the point where public trust in autonomous systems can start growing and the rollout of autonomous vehicles can begin in earnest, making us all safer as a result. We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.


4x Monthly E-Newsletter. / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Media and Publicity for Shops with Ed Attanasio

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

Team-Building Events Make Your Business Better on Many Levels In the old days, they were called retreats: A group of employees would meet at a hotel and go out in the woods or up in the mountains to bond, and the really smart people would figure a way out of it. Now, however, they’re called team-building activities, and more and more companies, including body shops, are holding several every year for their staff. Some employers are saying good-bye to the traditional company events and replacing them with team-building activities, removing the possibility of employees getting drunk and making a scene at the company holiday party or getting hurt by trying to be a hero at the company softball game. Some shops hire motivational speakers to inspire their crew. One MSO in northern California takes all of its employees on a three-day cruise. As the team-building event industry has grown, companies have created activities with names like Mr. Treasure Hunt, Paint Night, Parties that Cook, Laser Quest and Mystery by Design, among others. Loni Amato, president of Ingenious Solutions in Sacramento, CA, has helped the company’s clients discover team-building activities that match their goals and company mission. “Team-building is the process of turning a group of a company’s employees into a cohesive team by doing interesting and entertaining things together,” Amato said. “After participating in team-building activities together, employees can better understand one another’s strengths, weaknesses and interests. We have discovered that these events improve productivity while increasing motivation, collaboration and communication. When people spend time with each other away from the workplace, they start trusting each other more and get positive reinforcement from each other.” Here are some popular and affordable team-building activities that usually require one full day or an evening of your employees’ time. Some of these have different names 32

depending on your location, but you should be able to find these types of events no matter where you are. Paint Nights are more popular now than ever before because they provide a great opportunity for bonding through art. No painting experience is required as a performing artist teaches your crew how to paint an image that they get to take home while enjoying food and refreshments. Mr. Treasure Hunt is a city-wide scavenger hunt that stresses problemsolving and teamwork with clues, puzzles and races. Urban Putt features 14 different mini-golf courses for groups of any size, including food and libations. Some other shops host kart racing, fake mountain-climbing at a climbing gym or even bungee jumping, but make sure everyone signs a release form before embarking. Adventure Challenge courses, consisting of cables, ladders, ropes and other obstacles, provide physical, emotional and mental challenges together to build a stronger team. The Go-Game is an app that makes team-building easy and convenient and can be done in or out of the office. Mystery by Design is a great way to build your crew while solving a mystery! With more than 20 intriguing plots, your employees can get into character and let their imaginations take over. Matt McDonnell, the forwardthinking owner of Big Sky Collision Center in Billings, MT, truly believes that team-building activities help his employees become smarter, healthier and more engaged on many levels, he said. One of McDonnell’s most popular team-building events is a book club, which shows you don’t even have to leave the building to get your people involved. “Every Monday, we meet to discuss a book for one hour. The club is always well-attended,” McDonnell said. “The first book we read was ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie, and we can


see that some of our people are now using some of the theories outlined in the book. We also read ‘Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demand of Reality’ by Dr. Henry Cloud, and now we’re reading ‘Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depends on It’ by Chris Voss. We pay for the books and buy the coffee, and it turns out to be a great experience with at least half of our employees involved. Some of our people have told us that these are the first books they’ve read since high school, so the club gets their creative juices going, and it helps them with their jobs.” Another team-building and selfimprovement vehicle that McDonnell uses every day involves physical exercise, he said. “I built a CrossFit gym in our basement, and we have a few workout groups consisting of 10–12 people who go down there daily,” he

said. “We encourage them to get in shape, and several of our employees have lost a ton of weight and turned their lives around by working out during business hours. Our motto here is ‘Look better, feel better and perform better,’ and this gym is a big part of that.” Five days a week, Big Sky Collision Center engages its employees in activities that build a better crew and enrich their lives. “We have estimator training, captain’s meetings, customer service training and negotiating schools, and we do it all in-house. We are making our people better through these classes, and the investment has paid itself back in many ways,” he said.



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

Committee Seeks to Build Industry Consensus Around Part-Type Definitions The confusion within the industry related to part-type definitions was evident at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) held in Palm Springs, CA, in January when a CIC committee walked attendees through a series of multiple-choice questions. It was a topic raised at the preceding CIC at a time when the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) was reiterating its rule that all parts must be identified only as new, used, rebuilt, reconditioned, OEM or non-OEM. The BAR has stated that the terms “alt-OE” or “opt-OE” are too unclear or inconsistently used and therefore cannot be listed on cus-

the committee hopes to address in the coming year. The lack of consensus on parttype definitions became even more glaring when Weiss asked CIC attendees in which part category they would put: • A “surplus OEM part” (65 percent said they would label it “new OEM” while 15 percent said “aftermarket” and 17 percent said “other”) • A “blemished OEM part” (32 percent said “new OEM,” 20 percent said “used,” 16 percent said “reconditioned,” and 25 percent said “other”) • An “OEM take-off part or assembly” (56 percent said “used,” while 27 percent said “new OEM”).

CIC committee chairman Ken Weiss led attendees through a series of questions that demonstrated a lack of consensus within the industry about parts-type definitions

tomer estimates or invoices in that state without providing additional information about such parts, including what warranty they carry. To demonstrate the lack of consistency among part types within the industry, Ken Weiss, the new chairman of the CIC “Parts and Materials Committee,” asked the more than 250 people at the Palm Springs meeting whether an OEM part “must come in branded OEM packaging,” and 81 percent of respondents agreed that it did. But he also asked if that OEM part can be sourced only through one of that OEM’s branded dealers, and only 40 percent agreed that it did. (Most automakers in the past have said OEM parts can only be purchased through one of their dealers.) Weiss said the nearly 50-50 split over where OEM parts can be sourced is somewhat emblematic of the confusion in the industry and is something 34

How about an OEM’s private label part, Weiss asked, such as a BMW part engineered by Bosch for BMW and sold in a Bosch box? CIC attendees were about evenly split on whether they would categorize that part as “new OEM” or “aftermarket.” About half of CIC attendees agreed with the statement that “optOEM” is a “catch-all part-type description to avoid labeling a part as aftermarket,” but 30 percent of CIC attendees weren’t aware that “optOEM” (along with “alt-OEM or “surplus-OEM”) can’t be used on customer estimates or invoices under California BAR regulations. “What I’m trying to underscore is there is confusion. There is not a consensus in the industry,” Weiss said. “Different platforms should not be using different terminology to describe identical part types. We need, as industry partners, to get together and come up with clear definitions that the industry accepts [so] we at least understand what a part is.” That process, he said, will require the involvement of shops, insurers, parts suppliers and the estimating and parts platform providers. Anyone interested in participating in the CIC committee (which holds conference calls in between CIC quarterly meet-


ings) can sign up at the CIC website ( Downsides to Not Accessing OEM Information Directly Two other presentations at industry meetings held in Palm Springs offered examples of some of the potential limitations of relying on aftermarket scan tools or sources of OEM procedures other than the automaker’s own information websites. Speaking at CIC, Greg Potter of the Equipment and Tool Institute outlined how the organization conducts its primary function as a conduit of technical data from the automakers to the independent aftermarket (primarily aftermarket scan tool-makers). It is the frequency with which that data is provided by some automakers that could be a concern to those seeking the latest information. “Some manufacturers provide us data about six times a year,” Potter

said. “Some manufacturers provide us a single year’s packet of data each year.”

Greg Potter of the Equipment and Tool Institute said some automakers share updated technical data—used by aftermarket scan tools—as infrequently as once a year

That indicates that some changes made by a manufacturer could take up to another year to reach those using aftermarket scan tools. Other potential shortcomings are in the process as well. See Industry Consensus, Page 39

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From the Desk of Mike Anderson with Mike Anderson

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

It’s Time to End Shops’ Accounting, Scorecard Nightmares by Creating New Parts Code It’s time for this industry to resolve the parts code mess. You probably know what I’m talking about. It’s no secret that a lot of collision repair shops, particularly those on direct repair programs, price-match parts. Rather than use an alternative (non-OEM or recycled) part, they put a new OEM part on the vehicle, billing for it at the alternative part price. My goal here isn’t to debate whether this practice (or DRPs in general) is good or bad. Those are business decisions that aren’t the focus of what I’m calling for here. But I am saying that the pricematching practice has negative consequences for shops. First, the paperwork that shops give to their customers should always accurately reflect what was done to the vehicle. If you install an OEM part, the paperwork given to


the customer should state that, not inaccurately indicate that an alternative part was used. Second, price-matching makes it tough for a shop to have accurate financial reports. Let’s say a shop chooses to use a new OEM part, but because of how it is measured under a DRP, the part remains on the estimate as a non-OEM part. When that data gets transferred into the shop’s management system, the sale goes in as a non-OEM part, but at an OEM part cost. The system ends up overstating—sometimes wildly—the shop’s gross profit on non-OEM parts and understating the gross profit on OEM parts. I have a degree in accounting, and I work regularly with more than 350 shops, coaching them on their financials. I can’t tell you how many of those financials I look at show that the shop made, say, 70 percent gross


profit on aftermarket parts and lost money on OEM parts. They didn’t really lose money on the OEM parts, and they didn’t make that much money on aftermarket parts. It’s all a coding issue. And I can tell you, accountants and bookkeepers spend countless hours trying to figure out why the gross profit information isn’t right. So why not switch the parts code from alternative to OEM when transferring to the management system? One reason: Some shops offer some insurance companies a discount on OEM parts. So they may already be taking a hit by buying an OEM part but only charging for nonOEM, and then get hit again with the OEM discount to the insurer. A third potential downside to all this for shops: It’s known that many automakers are moving toward using scorecards to evaluate the perform-

ance of their certified collision shops. Shops that are certified and have DRP agreements will be faced with the risk of coding an OEM part they use as an alternative part to not hurt their DRP score, only to have that hurt their scorecard for OEM parts usage with the automaker certifying their shop. Some people will suggest that price-matched parts could be coded as “opt-OE.” But that label has become so convoluted and misused as a parts type category. Some automakers have an “opt-OE” part that they sell, for example, and others don’t recognize that label at all. The California Bureau of Automotive Repair has said “opt-OE” and “alt-OE” aren’t adequate as parts descriptors. At the end of the day, I believe there’s a simple solution to all this. We need to recognize a new partstype code in the estimating and manSee New Parts Code, Page 62

Continued from Page 34

Industry Consensus “When we receive all this data, we have no idea whether what we receive from a manufacturer is complete,” Potter said. “Nobody really knows that until they have to implement it and make it work. So we let our members know there’s new data provided by, say, Acme Car Company. They will access the information that they need to repurpose into their databases and implement into their scan tools, and they will always find missing pieces. So they come back to us and say, ‘We can’t find information on this controller,’ or ‘We can’t find this routine,’ and we go back to the manufacturer and say there are some things missing. They find it and provide it to us and we upload it. So it’s a constant process we do with the manufacturers all year round.” Insufficient Information in Estimating System The other example of possible limitations of third-party providers of

OEM information was shared by Montana shop owner Matthew McDonnell during the Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ (SCRS) open board meeting held in Palm Springs.

Montana shop owner Matthew McDonnell said he found insufficient OEM repair information in one of the estimating systems

McDonnell, an SCRS board member, said his shop recently repaired a 2017 Toyota Highlander that involved replacing the dogleg on the quarter panel. The shop used the Mitchell International system to prepare the estimate and access the Toyota repair procedures incorporated into Mitchell’s system. [General Motors will be similarly incorporating its repair procedures into the Mitchell system.]

The issue? McDonnell said the Toyota procedures available through Mitchell included “maybe about 20 percent” of what was needed. “We were able to pull about four OEM documents related to the full quarter-panel replacement, but what we couldn’t pull was the corrosion protection [procedures], the foam location and installation and the safety inspection information after a collision,” McDonnell said. He said all of the Toyota information for the job they did download through the Mitchell system was at least six months old, and some was as much as a year old. The shop was able to locate the additional information needed through Toyota’s website, but McDonnell said the “bill-payer” on the job questioned the amount of time the shop spent on OEM research for information that the insurer presumed “was just a click of a button” away within the Mitchell system. “We have spent a lot of time [using] the OEM websites, and I feel that is the most accurate and up-todate source that we can find,” McDonell said.

Accountable Estimating Joins CIECA Accountable Estimating recently joined CIECA as a Corporate Member. Established in 2018 by Kent Ruppert and Scott Ellegood, the company focuses on training individuals involved in the estimating and repair planning process, including estimators, blueprinters, CSRs and their management. Members of Accountable Estimating’s leadership team have followed CIECA from its inception. “CIECA standards allow our customers to share their data with us in real-time so that we may offer solutions to their problems as they need them,” said Ruppert. “This allows our customers to use their information more effectively and make decisions that grow their businesses.” “CIECA’s standards are the gold standard of electronic commerce in the collision industry and offer us the ability to provide meaningful solutions to our industry,” said Ellegood. “With the help of CIECA, Accountable Estimating will guide the collision industry in taking control of their estimating process.” / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS





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 Presents ‘The Even Better I-CAR’ Webinar On Jan. 30, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) hosted a webinar on “The Even Better I-CAR” at 1 p.m. EST featuring Nick Notte, senior vice president of sales and marketing for I-CAR. Notte discussed some of the refinements to I-CAR’s Professional Development Program (PDP). ASA Vice President Tony Molla welcomed attendees and introduced Notte. Molla noted that I-CAR has made some recent improvements since November’s plans and is constantly evolving. Notte explained that I-CAR evaluated its PDP 2.0 Launch and made some refinements between NACE and SEMA. “That three-month period was especially busy for us because we got so much feedback about the Professional Development Program,” Notte said. Due to delays in the learning management system design, I-CAR has delayed the launch from January to April 1. I-CAR has received feedback from shops regarding the perceived complexity of the program, such as increased levels of training, increased spending levels and a high demand for the new hands-on courses. After receiving an indication that more training would happen than initially planned, I-CAR also evaluated its staffing levels and realized it needed to adjust its capacity. Additionally, I-CAR realized that the plan to utilize schools to deliver these hands-on courses was not feasible because the majority of the schools lacked the required equipment and facilities to hosts hands-on skill development classes. Notte stated, “As we are changing our core product and service offering, all refinements must work in a logical and synchronized manner. [It is] a somewhat 3-dimensional, complicated process. We believe the outcome is a better solution for the industry and I-CAR.” At NACE, I-CAR promised that Platinum would go to ProLevel 3 and Gold Class would turn to ProLevel 2, including the prohibition of 42

one person in the shop from holding all four of the roles—though a single person can hold two roles in the new PDP. They talked about shop-level electrical/diagnostics and mechanical courses being required, eliminating turnover rules and adjusting

requirements for annual training. In addition to welding certification and aluminum training, they also talked about the elimination of Road to Gold in December. However, that has now been extended through Feb. 28. “I’m happy to say none of this has changed. We’re still delivering this to the industry,” Notte announced. Notte then provided a summary of the future state refinements. The PDP protocol will include industry common and agreed protocol with a complete update based on industry feedback to cover knowledge and skills in more detail. I-CAR has designed a purpose-built curriculum with a national schedule at fixed training sites (FTS) and is working to make core PDP courses available in Spanish. Many shops are uncertain of how pricing would work for the hands-on training because they have not yet been exposed to these courses. Therefore, I-CAR has decided to phase these in at two courses per year over an expected six-year period and likely beyond. I-CAR addressed cost concerns by offering a two-for-one deal for Gold Class shops on the two mandated classes (MIG Brazing and Squeeze Type Resistance Spot Welding) for 2019 only, with more information to come. I-CAR’s plans for in-shop knowledge assessments have also undergone some refinements. Because many shops have already taken these weld-


ing and hands-on courses and have participated in in-shop assessments, there were objections to paying for these services again through the subscription. In response, I-CAR has debundled them from the subscription package and provided them on an a la carte pay schedule. Some changes were also made to the transition from ProLevel 1 to ProLevel 2, providing more time for shops to achieve the 50/100 requirements. “Let’s give the industry another year to get through that scaling and get up to the ProLevel 2,” Notte noted. “There are a couple of additional courses you’ll need to take; not a whole lot, but some of your technicians will have to train up to the new PDP courses as you transition, giving you an extra year to level up and figure out the program.” Moving on to a couple more

changes, Notte noted that the renewal dates always seem to collect in December. I-CAR has opted to spread out the renewal dates for Gold Class throughout the year. Annual training required will now include six VTST courses per technician, compared to the current requirement of six credit hours, which often winds up being more hours of training. I-CAR will offer an unlimited access subscription that includes classroom, online and instructor-led virtual classes as well as turnover coverage and all-staff training. Continuing in 2019, I-CAR will recognize I-CAR training as well as training through the qualified Industry Training Alliance during Gold Class onboarding. To keep Gold Class status, shops will undergo knowledge and skills protocol, recognition requirements and skills re-verification. See ASA Presents, Page 50 / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


In Reverse with Gary Ledoux

Gary Ledoux is an industry veteran with 48 years’ experience in the automotive and OEM collision parts industry. His column appears exclusively in Autobody News. He can be reached at

The 1960s – The Collision Repair Industry Gets a Voice Each month, collision industry trade magazines provide readers with a glimpse of the industry at that point in time. Each issue is a microcosm of an entire ecosystem of repairers, estimators, adjusters, shop owners and managers, paint suppliers, parts suppliers, equipment suppliers, consultants, trainers and all the other people who help keep the industry running. They provide a “voice” to the industry that few other mediums can. From the end of WWII to the early 1960s, the collision repair industry grew exponentially—but the entire industry was in the dark! Nobody knew what was going on within the industry. Yes, there were associations, such as the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association, that communicated their information to their constituents, but this was on a local or regional level. People in Miami had no idea what was going on in Los Angeles and vice-versa. And then—there was a light! Already a magazine publisher, Emil Stanley started something that would eventually do more to bring the industry together and help it coalesce than anything else in the 60-plus years that people had been repairing fenders. In September 1962, Stanly introduced Volume 1, Number 1 of Auto Body News and Good Car Care magazine, believed to be the first nationally distributed collision industry trade journal. Finally, the industry had a “voice.” The monthly circulation was 45,000. (At the time, depending on your source, there were about 80,000 shops in the country.) The opening article stated, “The business of auto body rebuilding and appearance maintenance is a growing industry in itself. No auto body publication exists today that supplies staff-created news and features according to the ABN formula. A number of publications carry limited auto body sections or departments treating auto body work in a ‘fringe’ manner. ABN is a specific auto body publication for the specific auto body market and pro44

vides leadership and readership in a proven formula of ABN’s several companion publications, all in the automotive industry.” A letter from a body shop owner published in the following issue stated, “Wonderful idea, this magazine. For years, we’ve needed such a circulation. I’m so happy to see a publisher cater to [us] fender-benders.” It wasn’t long before “Letters to the Editor” started appearing on a regular basis. If subscribers read nothing but the Letters to the Editor page, they could experience a microcosm of the entire industry on a single page. It was a place where everyone in the industry could air a grievance—not just body shops. As collision repair publications do today, the magazine carried articles about current trends, IGO and other association news, technical articles and articles about how to be more profitable. In the seeming absence of today’s I-CAR, AMI and other collision industry training, S.M. “Silvie” Licitra, ABN editorial director, started a multi-installment course on “Auto Damage Insurance Adjustment.” One of the first articles that appeared in this magazine was titled “Body Restoration – A Profession.” It stated in part, “Time was (not so many years ago) when a dinging hammer and block , a metal rasp and body solder could produce fairly good results, even in the hands of the average garage mechanics. Those were the days of easy-to-get-at- fenders, straight panel sections, and smoothly flowing contours—when there was little under the hood but a simple engine, unencumbered by with the modern maze of filters, gadgets and accessories that fill every available space. Today’s master of body rebuilding must be a practical diagnostician, with the delicate touch of a surgeon, plus the skill of a practical mechanic. The blending, preparation, and application of modern paints is something acquired only by long experience with the aid of proper equip-


ment. Verily, today’s auto body craftsman no longer is ‘just a body mechanic.’ He’s a skilled artisan—a professional. And his business is a profession!” The editors of ABN noted that they would not display any “cheesecake” advertising, showing “shapely female legs” or “scantily clothed” women, as was the norm in automotive advertising at the time. They wanted a magazine that could be read by “the whole family” and be welcome in anyone’s home. A short article called for better corrosion protection, used by the OEs at the factory and made available to refinishers. This was due to the increased amount of salt used on roads in snow-belt areas. Another article noted, “Among the strongest allies of the independent shops are manufacturers of replacement body panels and other

items available through independent automotive wholesalers. Such suppliers and independent insurance companies are the reasons independent shops are still in business.” This was true because the magazine was loaded with ads from different manufacturers of replacement body panels. Another article noted three classifications of work for today’s body shop: 1.) Customer-paid work, for which the customer generally wants good-quality work and is “not afraid to pay for it.” 2.) Work generated by independent insurance companies that want work done as cheaply as possible, pitting shops against one another on price, issuing a check to the vehicle owner and leaving the owner to his/her own devices for repair, and 3.) The so-called “captives.” These were cars financed and insured See The 1960s, Page 50 / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


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Insider’s Guide as “off the record.” 3) Don’t change your story mid-interview. 4) Be aware that cameras are always rolling, even before interviews begin. 5) Don’t snap at people who ask you questions that you don’t like. 6) Be mindful of political correctness and gender insensitivity. 7) When the heat is on, don’t get defensive, especially if your business is accused of being sleazy and unethical. 8) Don’t trivialize problems experienced by your customers. 9) Media interviews and public appearances are not the appropriate time to engage in a confession. 10) Don’t be too quick to take your lawyer’s advice when you are dealing with a bad news issue. 11) Don’t repeat negative words that might convince people you are guilty. 12) Don’t make promises you can’t keep. How to Tell a Business’ Story “You never know what questions you might be asked by a reporter—some are straightforward; some are curveball, off-the-wall, leading questions, loaded questions, politically incorrect and uncomfortable questions,” said Ansell. “Knowing the right thing to say during media interviews, especially during stressful times, isn’t easy.” Ansell acknowledged that it’s easy to get angry at reporters or customers, especially when they are aggressive. After interviewing and training thousands of people over his career, Ansell has observed that when people are put on the spot and the question gets tough, they often experience a physiological default. “When hijacked by a question, we teeter on the precipice of fight or flight,” he said. “Do I stay here and answer this in-my-face question, freeze or flee? Our sole objective is survival, which is easier said than done.” In stressful moments, Ansell said, people tend to hold their breath, stop listening, feverishly ask how to answer the question and fall into every reporter trap. It often becomes an outof-body experience. What can a shop do if it finds it46

self dealing with bad or controversial news and its reputation is in peril? Ansell said it’s often helpful to tell a story. “If you’re not there, others are going to tell it for you,” he observed. “How we come across in front of the media is critically important and clearly impacts how our story will be told.” This involves being responsive to the questions asked, knowing how to answer them properly and then telling the story. However, if a shop plans to do multiple interviews, he recommended not telling the same story the exact same way with the same words every time. The communications expert also suggested invoking what he called the “value compass,” which can be a valuable tool when the trust in an organization is threatened. This involves looking at the stakeholders’ emotions, asking what would enhance the well-being of the people directly affected, identifying the elements of the spokesperson’s nature and touching on the spokesperson’s standards. “The value compass is the collection of words we would use to describe how we want and need our stakeholders to see us and perceive us when we find ourselves mired in the blinding glare of the media spotlight,” explained Ansell. In a bad news situation, he stressed the importance of showing the business spokesperson is upset, genuine, honest, emphatic and trustworthy. “When bad news happens, show you are among the most disturbed, aggrieved and outraged by what has happened,” Ansell advised. “The idea is to take every question asked, every answer given, the message delivered, and every policy, process and procedure talked about and filter it through the value compass, sentence-by-sentence, action-by-action.” In addition to telling a story, Ansell also stressed the importance of creating messages for the media to report. He said to use simple language and short sentences that are focused, compelling and quotable. Once these messages have been created, the next step is to find a credible way to introduce them into the interview, regardless of whether the reporter asks about them.


Ansell also shared the framework to use if and when shop owners find their business is in the news, and the news isn’t positive. The framework, called the problem-solution formula, consists of one sentence, helps influence how reporters tell the story and can be used with customers too. “In the front part of the sentence, answer, acknowledge, address or frame your problem from your perspective; in the back-end of the sentence, provide whatever solution is at hand,” he said. “Put the problem and solution together in one sentence.” Although it goes against his short-sentence rule, if the reporter uses a quote that mentions the problem, Ansell said there’s an elevated likelihood that he or she will quote the person talking about the solution. Ansell offered an example of a sentence that meets the problem-solution formula criteria and could be used in the case of someone at a shop doing something he or she shouldn’t have been doing: “We are deeply distressed that a customer was treated in this manner and we not only apologize and reimburse the customer, but

we also terminated the employee responsible.” “Owning a problem, especially one that’s in the news, requires people to take ownership of their problems,” said Ansell. “Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also makes it go away faster.” Ansell lectures on crisis communications at Harvard Business School and on leadership presence at Duke University. For more than a decade, he was an instructor in an MIT-Harvard public disputes program called Dealing with an Angry Public. For more information, contact Jeff Ansell For more information about CSN Collision Centres, visit www

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Celebrity Car Enthusiast Courtney Hansen Helps Reunite Car Lovers With ‘The Ride That Got Away’ by Stacey Phillips

Every car lover has the one that got away, according to celebrity car enthusiast Courtney Hansen. Whether it’s the car they grew up riding around in with their parents, the first car they purchased or the dream ride they had to sell when they fell on hard times, Hansen’s goal is to reunite car lovers with their beloved rides in her new television show “The Ride That Got Away.” A self-described “pit kid,” Hansen grew up in Minnesota spending much of her time at racetracks and garages. Her father, Gerry Hansen, raced at Formula Race Car Club of America (FCCA) and won 27 national championships throughout his career. Her family also owned Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota. Growing up in the automotive world, Hansen said, she quickly became an enthusiast. “Cars are in my blood, and I’m thankful that I was able to parlay my love for cars into a TV career that started 15 years ago,” she said. “Here

I am now, executive producing my latest project and one of the characters on the show. It’s all very exciting.” Hansen gained popularity as the co-host of TLC’s car-makeover show “Overhaulin’,” starring legendary auto designer Chip Foose. The show

shows for NBC Sports and CBS Sports in which she showcased million-dollar rides, rare classics and “tricked” vehicles. In Hansen’s newest project, she is the executive producer of History Channel’s auto-themed TV series “The Ride That Got Away,” which premiered in January. Hansen hosts the show with renowned custom designer and builder Troy Ladd under the brand ROYL (Ride of Your Life) Garage. Autobody News recently talked to Hansen about her new show, the advice she offers young women interested in the automotive field and current industry trends.

Hansen grew up in the auto industry and spent much of her time at racetracks and garages

What is the focus of your new show “The Ride That Got Away”?

focused on transforming a viewer’s ride into a show car within one week. She also co-hosted two specials for TLC: “Rides: Biggest Spenders” and “Million Dollar Motors.” Hansen then hosted 10 seasons of Powerblock/PowerNation for Spike TV and later four automotive


This is not a show just for “gearheads.” This is a show for the entire family to sit down and watch. It’s a fun, feel-good show with heart and characters and art. That has been the response we’ve received


from fans and viewers since the premiere episode. In every episode of “The Ride That Got Away,” we are on a mission to find these missing pieces of personal and family history and return them to their rightful owners who said goodbye to them long ago. What the owners don’t know is that they’re about to meet again. After finding their ride that got away, we meticulously repair, restore, re-imagine and create a fantasy version of the dream car. Every transformation is unique and personal to its owner. For example, we turn a ‘64 Impala into a lowrider and a 1920s Ford into a TBucket hotrod. At the end of each episode, we coordinate the “surprise of a lifetime” with the owners’ loved ones. With these amazing transformations, we’re making people’s dreams come true.


Can you tell us about your role on the show and your co-


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I created the project, so I’m the executive producer and I’m one of the characters on the show. I also dive in and help with the builds, so you’ll see me do some welding and grinding and taking part in all aspects of the build. I wear a lot of hats on this project. My co-host is renowned car designer Troy Ladd. He is one of the best in the world, and I’m honored he came on board with the project. He basically swept the 2017 awards season for custom car building. Together, we assembled a team of the industry’s best, so we have these incredible fabricators who work on the vehicles. They are also amazing characters who make you laugh and at the end of the show even cry a little bit. I absolutely love our team, and they are so welcoming of me and the garage. They trust me and seem to love having me join in and get my hands dirty.


What was your inspiration to create “The Ride That Got Away”?


My inspiration was wanting to give back. The automotive industry has been very good to me and my family and I wanted to pay it forward. I always dreamed of doing a show with a give-back angle and I always wanted to work with Troy Ladd.


When we reunite these deserving people with their beloved rides that got away, what I feel is so powerful are the family relationships that grow even stronger because of what we are doing. What is your advice to young women considering a career in the automotive industry?


I always tell young women, including my 4-year-old daughter, Holland, you can do absolutely anything that you put your mind to. I honestly can’t believe I was able to execute this projCourtney Hansen hosts “The Ride That Got Away” with ect. Everything possible custom car designer and builder Troy Ladd stood in my way. There were I also wanted to make dreams countless obstacles and challenges to come true for the people who love surmount, so I believe you can do anytheir cars. The show highlights family thing if you are focused, work hard, relationships and the special bonds maintain a good attitude and don’t between family members. When you compromise your values and who you watch the show, you can really see are. I say, “Go for it; you can do whatthat it’s not just that they love the cars, ever you want to do.” We’re seeing more and more but the cars have meaning to their family and there is a strong history women in the automotive industry working for big automotive compathere.


nies, in the garage, on car shows and racing. I think it’s beautiful and there’s room for many, many more. I’ve found that the men in this industry support and actually encourage women’s involvement. I personally feel zero chauvinism, which I think is awesome. There are many different facets of the automotive world and opportunities women might not even realize are available if they have a love of cars. Depending on your skillset, there’s everything from getting hands-on with the vehicle to designing cars, working in production or even working for a big auction house. In addition to your television career, you’ve written a book. Can you tell us about “The Garage Girl’s Guide to Everything You Need to Know About Your Car”?


I wrote that book to educate women and first-time car buyers about the basics of owning a vehicle. I wanted to share the knowledge that I have, inspire more women to get involved in the automotive industry and pay attention to what they are driving.


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I was honored to receive Ford’s “Life in Drive” Award. This prestigious award recognizes women who combine talent with that little something extra that allows them to break free from convention to live life with style and attitude.

“The Ride That Got Away,” starring Hansen and Troy Ladd, premiered in January

I’m starting to work on a second book that focuses on being able to achieve your dreams with integrity, without compromising what you stand for.

Q: A:

What current trend have you noticed in the industry?

We’re definitely shifting toward the hybrid and electric car movement, but I can’t lie. I’m a

Continued from Page 42

ASA Presents While in-shop assessments will be optional in 2019, Notte anticipates it will become a requirement in the future. Notte then moved into a pricing comparison of the core curriculum, noting that Gold Class shops receive 20 percent off the standard pricing. In the new program, only five live courses are required. Standard pricing will increase by less than $500 for an average nine-technician shop, but the pricing includes 126 courses compared to the 71 courses currently offered, which will get a shop to ProLevel 3. “One of the stories this doesn’t tell is that the pricing is about the same, but you’re training more technicians, and again, the price is about the same. However long it takes you to get to ProLevel 3, this is the price to do that,” Notte explained. “There is also a monthly option to pay for that subscription.” Applying the subscription ap50

combustion engine woman. That’s my world. That’s my passion. I love the sound of them; I love the smell of them; I love the performance of combustion engines. At the same time, I understand we’re more environmentally conscious these days, so I also respect the trend that’s happening. There are a lot of impressive rides out there that are electric and there is performance there as well. Although vehicles are changing, those who love cars and racing aren’t going anywhere. I don’t think cars are disappearing as fast as some people say they are. At the same time, I think there is a shift with the millennials, unfortunately, away from cars and into electronics. I would love to see the younger generations care more about cars and I think these car shows, such as “The Ride That Got Away,” will help that. If people want to submit a story on behalf of their loved one who has a ride that got away, they don’t need a car. All they need is a deserving story, which can be submitted to ROYL Garage at ROYL Garage has offices in Burbank, CA; New York City; and southwest Florida.

proach, Notte examined the scaling formula to show that the annual base shop fee is $1,000, plus $325 per technician annually. This includes unlimited consumption of live FTS delivery, online/virtual courses and Ask I-CAR through the RTS product. The skills re-verification process will actually be less expensive because a full course is not required unless the re-verification of skills cannot be demonstated. The in-shop knowledge assessment price will be reduced because I-CAR promises better efficiencies with a two-day visit in the future, compared to the current three-day visit for a shop of nine technicians. After concluding his presentation, Notte answered questions from attendees about “The Even Better ICAR.”


Autobody News


Continued from Page 44

The 1960s by the car manufacturer. They usually ended up at dealer-owned body shops. This deepened the rift that already existed between independent shops and dealer-owned shops. In the days before computers and the mountains of statistics we have today, an article promoting maintenance, vehicle-painting and restoration for older cars stated that this type of work is necessary to generate profits because the collision repair customers are generally “one-time patrons.” It was unknown at that time that statistically, a person is going to be in an accident periodically. Another article encouraged shops to intermix their own paint, as opposed to buying factory-packaged paint from the local jobber or allowing the jobber to mix it. The article claimed that it is more profitable and efficient for even a small shop to intermix its own paint. Depending on the workload for the paint mixer at the local jobber, a shop could wait half a day

for a mixed pint of paint. Arco Paints, the paint and chemical division of the Martin Marietta Company, was one of only two paint manufacturers advertising in this first collision industry magazine. The other paint manufacturer was Rinshed-Mason Company. An advertisement placed by the Equipment and Tool Institute of Kalamazoo, MI, asked, “Why service today’s cars with equipment and tools born in the ‘50s?” The ad invited shops to upgrade their tools and equipment to meet the needs of modern cars and replace tools that were worn or outdated. Today, there are several collision trade journals serving the industry, each with its own special twist. Autobody News is unique in the industry because it offers local news and information but with a national flavor in both paper and digital media, providing a great service to readers and advertisers. As you browse through this issue of Autobody News, consider what Emil Stanley started almost 60 years ago ... and thanks for being an Autobody News subscriber.

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Does the Collision Industry Have a Crisis of Opportunity? by Gary Ledoux

Ever since the earliest days of “motoring,” when vehicle owners had to depend on blacksmiths, plumbers, bicycle mechanics and other artisans of the day to repair a broken spring or a crumpled fender, there has been a cry about the shortage of qualified technicians that is still heard today. But Josh Carlisle, auto collision instructor for the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center in Cape Girardeau, MO, has a slightly different perspective. He claims the current situation is more of a crisis or shortage of opportunity, rather than a shortage of people. “The younger generation has little to no chance of breaking into the collision repair business,” said Carlisle. His reasoning for the “crisis of opportunity” is two-fold: 1.) “Most shops are not interested in hand-holding new techs” said Carlisle. “They want people with five-plus years of experience. They want their

new tech to hit the ground running. The new techs can’t gain any experience if they can’t get hired in the first place.” 2.) “There is a crisis of opportunity because there is a crisis of pay plans,” he continued. “Most shops want to pay a new tech around $9 per hour. For a 48-hour week, that’s only around $23K per year. Meanwhile, the new tech might have $30K in student loans, plus they have to buy tools. It doesn’t pencil out.” Based on this assumption, Autobody News went to several industry leaders and consultants to ask, “Do we really have a ‘crisis of opportunity’?” Doug Irish, department chair of Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology at Fayetteville Technical Community College in Fayetteville, NC, said he thinks there may be a lack of opportunity at the local level for students and graduates just entering the collision industry workforce. New people may have to relocate to find the opportunity.



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Irish said, “They may not find work in their own backyard. Right here in Fayetteville, we have three of the largest MSOs in the country. A new tech may find an opportunity with them, but it may be at one of their other locations. We had one student get a job offer on the West Coast. It took a lot of commitment to move.” As for the crisis of hourly pay, Irish said, “I have not seen anyone lowballing new techs at $9 per hour in this market.” When asked about the high end of the pay scale, Irish replied, “I’ve seen a graduate with an associate’s degree start at $75,000 per year. It wasn’t in this area, but the point is there is opportunity out there. “It is true that some shop owners have no appetite for new techs. Their perception is that they have no time for mentoring people. They don’t want to be ‘babysitting’ the new guy. What we need to do as an industry is foster a ‘mentor mentality’ within each shop so we can grow people. The age-old act of ‘pirating’ people from other shops does not solve our

problem.” Brandon Eckenrode, director of development for the Collision Repair Education Foundation, said he feels there are certainly some shops that only want experienced techs. But plenty of work is available for basic techs too, and plenty of new people are going through training classes. “The problem is—and any instructor will tell you this—out of a class of 20 people, there are maybe five who have shown some initiative and are willing to do the work,” he said. “The others are filling a seat. Auto shop tends to be a dumping ground in some schools when they don’t know what to do with a student. “As for the $9 versus $15 per hour pay scale—that is an issue. Yes, a person with no experience can start at a higher rate in other professions. What I always look at is the potential. A person starting at a lower rate at a body shop can train, learn from mentors and be worth more and make more over time, whereas the See Crisis of Opportunity?, Page 57



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Day Job/Night Job with Ed Attanasio

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

Fledgling Auto Body Technician is Well-Known, Dedicated Bagpiper Kristopher Muse, a metal technician at Mike’s Auto Body, is only 25, but he has been playing the bagpipes for 14 years and is a member of one of the largest nationally acclaimed bagpipe bands in the country. Muse joined the Prince Charles Pipe Band (PCPB) in South San Francisco, CA, when he was only 11. J.W. Bill Merriman, former member of the City of San Francisco Caledonian Pipe Band, taught him the art of bagpiping. The band, which began with a small number of students, has

In February 2017, Kristopher Muse graduated from Mike’s Auto Body’s training program in Antioch, CA, and is currently working at the company's Vallejo, CA, location as a metal technician

trained approximately 500 pipers and drummers and has been competing in the U.S., Canada and Scotland for more than 50 years. To be a good metal technician and excel as a piper, Muse knows training is the only way to get there. “To fix a car properly, you have to be thinking and multi-tasking all the time, and playing the pipes is very similar,” he said. “We have to memorize the music, and there are a lot of different things going on when I’m piping.” In February 2017, Muse graduated from Mike’s Auto Body’s training program in Antioch, CA. He is currently working at the MSO’s Vallejo, CA, location as a metal technician. “To complete the training program at Mike’s, I went through a lot of classroom instruction along with performing hands-on repairs on metal, plastic, panel removal and vehicle construction on salvaged vehicles. After I completed the program, I had already earned I-CAR Training Pro Level 1, and I am now also fully 54

Car-O-Liner-certified. The director of the program is Lupe Algood, who is an amazing teacher who sets up all his students for ongoing success in this industry.” Since Muse’s graduation from the program, Algood has watched him progress within the company. “When he entered the program, he didn’t know much about cars, but he has worked hard to learn the trade, and his focus is incredible,” Algood said. “He is a hard worker and stands out for his commitment to the company and the craft.” After graduation, Muse went through Mike’s Auto Body’s mentoring program, shadowing journeyman techs and learning the trade by doing it all himself. “It’s great working with someone who knows what they’re doing,” he said. “I’ve had two amazing mentors, Jim Dowton and Gary Bissitt, who are awesome teachers. I am currently working with Gary at Mike’s Vallejo location, and I learn something new every day. In three or four years, I hope to become a journeyman technician and continue on this path.” Muse plays the bagpipes at a wide range of events, including the Benevolence car giveaways that Mike’s Auto Body holds every year. His connection to the instrument goes way back, he said. “My grandmother Jean is from Manchester, England, and some of my ancestors are Scottish, so I believe that piping is in my blood,” Muse said. “My grandma introduced me to the bagpipes, and we would play them along with records. Two of my great uncles played pipes in the Black Watch, the famous Royal Highland Regiment. I was 11 when I started taking one-on-one lessons before being able to play with the PCPB during practices held on Sundays.” A big highlight for Muse’s piping career took place when he competed in the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland as part of the Prince Charles Pipe Band. This iconic event was first held in 1906. The annual Cowal Highland


Gathering attracts more than 220 bands from 15 different countries, and the winners are recognized as world champions. “We were up against the best in the world, and it was a big thrill,” Muse said. “We did not make it to the qualifiers, but we’re talking about going back next year. It was a great learning experience.”

Muse is a member of the Prince Charles Pipe Band, an organization that has trained approximately 500 pipers and drummers and has been competing in the U.S., Canada and Scotland for more than 50 years

Excelling at playing the bagpipes isn’t easy. “You blow into the blowpipe to fill the bag, which you then apply

pressure to with your arm to squeeze the air out of the three drones and the Chanter,” Muse said. “While air is flowing through them, the drones and chanter each emit sound. Your hands go on the chanter, and that’s the part that plays the melody.” One bagpipe teacher remarked online that playing the bagpipes is trying to “keep a hole-filled bag inflated while also carrying a chair on your shoulder, marching around in a kilt, and keeping your fingers moving.” As a piper in popular demand, Muse constantly plays at parades, band competitions, corporate gigs, funerals and other events as a band member or solo act. He knows at least 40 songs by heart but will play some of the more well-known ones if requested, including “Amazing Grace,” “When the Battle is Over,” “Green Hills of the Tyrol” and “Scotland the Brave.” / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


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

Women in Auto and Collision Holds 1st Meeting of 2019 On Jan. 15, Women in Auto and Collision (WAC) held its first meeting of 2019 at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, MO. The meeting was hosted by Department Chair John Helterbrand and featured a presentation by guest speaker Chazzerene Howard, a Ranken collision student. Dinner was sponsored by Meramec Heights Collision. According to WAC President Shelly Jones, “We learned about Ranken’s automotive & collision program and received a tour. We also announced WAC’s new mission statement and discussed our goal to enhance our booth presence at career fairs.” WAC’s mission statement was simplified to “Industry professionals promoting automotive careers.” Jones shared, “Our mission statement was changed to be more reflec-

tive of the group of people that we have as members and to open the group to all opportunities to promote all segments of the automotive industry. This is a women-led group that has a membership of women and men from a wide range of companies and

WAC met on Jan. 15 to discuss the group’s plans for 2019 at Ranken Technical College

roles within the industry. These industry advocates collaborate on how to engage and attract talent. “WAC is moving into 2019 with flexibility and growth in mind. This year, we will continue to grow our membership and tailor it so that professionals can float in and out as time

allows. We are finding that our mission speaks to many, but time is a barrier. In 2019, we want to make certain that members know that they are welcome to join, whether they participate in one meeting or all the meetings and events. To encourage continued growth, we made the announcement that our annual individual membership will be $50 in 2019.” WAC also discussed the goal of enhancing the association’s presence at career fairs. “We currently have tools of the trade, a mannequin dressed in a paint suit and gear, career opportunity fliers, and WAC members to engage the youth and start conversations,” Jones explained. “Our next step is to have eye-catching statements and interactive activities that will draw students and their parents to the table. We are sourcing virtual equipment as an exciting way for young people to

test out the technical aspects of the industry.” The group also discussed sponsorship levels for 2019. Sheena Wagner, WAC sponsor coordinator, thanked current corporate sponsors and announced new sponsors. “It is exciting to have reps of many of these companies participate in our meetings. Sheena has worked hard to share our mission and build a sponsor base,” Jones stated. “WAC Secretary Kelle Oeste has also been vital to this initiative of bringing in new sponsors. Between the two of them, we have added sponsorships from Kent Automotive, Vintage Air and Eckler’s Automotive Parts Wholesale Division in the last few weeks.” WAC announced that the St. Louis School-Business Partnership has invited the association to participate in an annual conference in February, the theme of which will be








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“Shaping the Talent of Tomorrow.” Jones noted, “Typically, they host 75–100 educators and industry members, and nearly all school districts in St. Louis County are represented. Julie Hemann, WAC treasurer, and I are honored to be invited to sit on a panel in a breakout session on Promoting Nontraditional Careers.” Finally, WAC announced that the group’s website has officially been launched under the guidance of WAC Vice President Jess Crump. Events, meetings, articles and Gold level sponsors will be added to the website going forward as the association strives to keep members and visitors informed. WAC will host its next meeting on Feb. 19 at North Tech High School at noon with senior students in attendance. Jason Buchheit, collision instructor, will be hosting the event and will provide lunch. This will be WAC’s first lunch meeting. If it is well-attended, WAC will consider adding more lunch meetings throughout the year. For more information about WAC, visit the association’s new website at

Continued from Page 52

Crisis of Opportunity? person who started at $15 per hour could [stay at that] rate for the foreseeable future.” Marc Gabbard is the president of GSR Quality Collision Repair in Yakima, WA, and administers a Facebook page called Collision Repair Technicians United. He said, “I prefer the new guys. All three of my current guys came from the local high school voc-tech program. They were all green. For two of them, this was their first job. I’ve had great success with hiring green talent and training, and maybe that’s because I participate in an internship and mentoring program. I have hired several technicians directly out of that program.” On the question of money, Kristen Felder, well-known industry icon and president of Collision Hub, said, “Young people today—not all, but many—have been led to believe they will make big money right out of tech school. The fact is: Most don’t. They have to pay their dues. And so many


are set up for failure from the start. “It’s not so much a shortage of people or even a crisis of opportunity. It’s much bigger than that—it’s a crisis of culture. It is something no Band-Aid will fix. There is no silver bullet. Our industry needs a change in culture, and it starts with the way most technicians are paid. “Most techs today are paid on a commission basis. The more they hustle, the more work they put out, and the more money they make. This creates a number of problems, one of which is having no time or appetite to mentor new techs. In fact, we could live without tech schools if shops had a good mentoring program and a business model to support it. ABRA, Caliber and Fix Auto all have great programs that get a new person doing productive work in weeks, not months or years. “Another issue is more societal. The WWII generation and baby boomers had a strong work ethic. They didn’t mind working hard. They didn’t mind hustling; in fact, they expected to. They were motivated to buy a new car, buy a house, buy a motorcycle and boat. The


WWII generation is gone and baby boomers are retiring. Their [type] will not be seen again. Those replacing them, the millennials, aren’t driven by the same motivation. Many couldn’t care less about owning a car or house, let alone motorcycles and boats. They want a different quality of life and yet, the current business model used in collision shops is based on the hustle mentality of earlier generations. Today’s generation wants to work 9 to 5, and then move on to other things in their life. Their work does not define them. It just doesn’t work anymore for the Xbox and Google generation. “The answer is a shop pay plan based on salary with a built-in training/mentoring component. If people are salaried, the shop owner can then better control costs and work more efficiently. If they then control other overhead and productions costs and work more efficiently, they are better able to afford training and mentoring.” David Luehr, president and founder of Elite Body Shop Solutions, offered, “If a shop is only recruiting people with five-plus years


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of experience, it is convenient for the shop owner, but not necessarily the right way to do things. They might be missing out on some very talented people with less experience. Plus, those experienced people may have years of bad habits that have to be un-learned, whereas new people can be taught the right way of making repairs and learn that shop’s way of doing things. It is easier to adopt a culture from scratch rather than unlearn one and re-learn another.” “On the question of money: Everyone has to eat, so a shop needs to set a pay schedule that is in line with the geographic area and type of work. “One of my favorite sayings is, ‘If you want to attract more people to your business, make your business more attractive.’ The newspaper and online ads that shops use today to attract people are the same ads that were used 40 years ago: ‘Wanted: Busy Shop Needs Experienced Collision Tech – Must Have Own Tools – Inquire at…’ How we advertise makes a difference. We have to tell prospective technicians why our shop is a better place to work. The current generation is driven not by a ‘hard work’ ethic but by more intangible things. They want a career path. They want a diversified work model; they don’t want to be

stuck doing the same job for an interminable amount of time.” When asked if a shop’s labor rate affects its ability to afford to train and mentor a new tech, Luehr replied, “Of course labor rates are important, but it doesn’t tell the whole story of profitability. It’s more about a shop’s efficiency. I know shops that charge $45 an hour and are doing well and shops on the West Coast with a labor rate of $100 per hour that are hurting. If your work is sloppy and you spend a lot of time re-doing jobs, or you are wasteful with materials and don’t keep your overhead costs under control, you won’t have any money for anything other than keeping your head above water.” Bruce King, a former Massachusetts owner of five shops and current coach for Elite Body Shop Solutions, offered, “We used to hire detailers for $12 per hour and burned through a lot of people because not only was it a boring, repetitious job, but it didn’t pay well. We found a pizza shop down the street paying people $20 per hour just to deliver pizzas! Deliver pizzas! We then reassessed the job of detailer and how important it was. The body guys and painter may have done a great job on the repair, but if we deliver a dirty car

CARSTAR Expands Into Piqua, OH by Sam Wildow, Piqua Daily Call

A new CARSTAR location opened in Piqua, OH, this year, bringing its expertise and customer-first mindset closer to Piqua customers. Tom Martin, owner of Piqua CARSTAR, said the shop had always serviced customers from Piqua, so expanding his business into Piqua was a natural choice. Piqua CARSTAR is Martin’s third auto body shop. His other CARSTAR shops are located in Sidney at 175 N. Stolle Ave. and in Troy at 15 S. Kings Chapel Dr. “We mainly focus on collision,” Martin said, adding that the shop also takes care of small dings and dents in addition to auto collision repairs. Martin, who has more than 40 years of experience in auto repairs, began his career when he was 18 years old at the Sidney body shop. He was hired to paint the building and then never left, he said. He bought the Sidney body shop in January 2002 and joined the CARSTAR auto body network in 58

2003. He then opened another location in Troy in 2014. Martin has also invested in renovating the 700 S. Roosevelt Ave. location, which has been there for a year. The location has always been an auto body shop, starting out as Dick’s Paint and Body shop in the 1970s. Martin said they added new equipment, new concrete and electrical work, installed drains, remodeled offices, completed interior and exterior siding, paved the parking lot and more as part of their improvements to the building. Approximately 50 employees work at the 3 locations, all of whom are trained and certified in their areas of expertise. All of the employees undergo continuous education while working at his CARSTAR locations. CARSTAR also aims to support each of the communities in which it is located, supporting youth sports programs, local chambers of commerce, Kiwanis Clubs, Rotary Clubs and more. We thank Piqua Daily Call for reprint permission.


to a customer, that’s all they see and it is how the shop is rated. So we increased the pay scale and also developed a career path for that position. “I like hiring [millenials] because they are team-oriented; all they need is some training. One of the problems shops have is they hire techs as if they were independent contractors, and then they get angry when the tech starts acting like an independent contractor by coming and going as he pleases. It’s important that they know they are part of a team and what they do affects everyone else on the team. Each person has to do what is right for the team and for the mission. As a manager, this is what we have to get across. The problem is not the individual tech—it is how they are managed. Give the techs a mission and a path and set milestones.” Jeff Peevy, long-time executive with I-CAR and current president of the Automotive Management Institute (AMi), has dealt with training collision techs for years. He realizes, perhaps better than anyone, that this is a multi-faceted issue. “We need to look in the mirror and honestly face the reality that if


we do not sincerely and effectively address this issue, we will have a crisis that will cripple our industry in the very near future,” he said. “We need a willingness to work together for the greater good and recognize our industry’s success is tied to everyone. Individual efforts, though commendable, will struggle without industrywide support and acceptance.” So … is there a “crisis of opportunity” as Josh Carlisle contends? It depends on the person with whom you discuss it, their perspective, and the degree to which the issue exists. Peevy perhaps sums it up best: “Our industry has not organized itself well enough as a whole to be competitive against other trades. We lack the industry-accepted structure around apprenticeship programs. Being an industry of small businesses, we inherit the usual small business challenges associated with offering the level of benefits to be competitive.” As of this writing, Peevy, who is also Collision Industry Conference chairman, vowed to bring up this issue at the next CIC meeting and make new-tech training and recruitment a priority for the industry.

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Denver Body Shop Manager Discusses Position Statement on OEM Repair Procedures by Gary Ledoux

On Oct. 5, 2018, Rickenbaugh Automotive of Denver, CO, distributed a position statement to its DRP insurance companies that sent ripples through the entire collision repair industry. The 74-year-old auto body shop and dealership featuring Cadillac, Volvo, Infinity and Fisker essentially told its DRP “partners”: “Here’s how we are going to do business, regardless of your policies, mandates or subterfuge.” To paraphrase, the statement said that the shop’s garage-keeper’s insurance carrier had inquired of the body shop about how it conducted business regarding repair methods. In the wake of the John Eagle Collision case, the insurance company was concerned about the shop’s liability and thus the possibility of a huge payout should the shop be sued for performing bad repairs and/or failing to follow OE-recommended or required repair procedures. The statement said in part, “They

(the garage-keeper’s insurance carrier) explained that the insurance providers are currently not educating their field staff about these procedures and that it is our responsibility to make sure that we do not deviate from any required or recommended repair procedure. They stated that should there be an incident and we were found to have not followed and documented the OEM repair procedures, they could deny coverage. Due to the extreme liability that we have when repairing vehicles, Rickenbaugh Automotive Group will not allow any of its businesses to deviate from ANY (emphasis seen on written statement) recommended or required OEM procedures.” The statement goes on to say that any manager who does not follow OEM repair procedures and does not perform the proper documentation will face immediate termination. Rickenbaugh management, most specifically company Vice President Nick Pacifico, made it crystal clear—cars would be repaired properly, or not at all.

A few months have gone by since this statement was issued— time to have the situation “shake out.” Autobody News contacted Rickenbaugh body shop manager Chris Hudson, a 28-year industry veteran, to see what effect, if any, the statement has had.

Crickets. At the time, we had DRP agreements with four insurance companies, and none of them said a word or responded in any way. This is not surprising, as I’m sure none of them wanted anything in writing that said that they didn’t support OEM repair procedures.


Based on your position statement, it looks like your garagekeeper’s insurance company called the meeting with you to discuss your repair methods. Did it surprise you that an insurer would take that initiative, especially with a 74-year-old company like yours?


Do you promote to your customers that you only follow OE procedures?


It did in a way. But when they cited the devastating outcome of the John Eagle case with its multimillion dollar payout and a few similar but smaller cases, it all made sense. They have to look out for themselves—and I understand that. And they were very clear about it; they said, “If you don’t do a proper repair, you’re on your own.”

Yes—all the time. We explain that not only do we strictly follow OEM repair procedures, but we are certified by eight OEs at the moment. We are part of the Assured Performance network, Certified Collision Group and are striving for additional OE certifications. Once a customer is informed, once they know what you are doing and why, they become one


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I must assume that the statement in question was sent to all of the insurance companies with which you have a DRP agreement. What was their reaction?



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of your best advocates. At the time, were you already following OEM repair procedures and documenting the same way?


Yes, we were. But we wanted to take a stance—get the insurance company’s attention. We wanted to make sure that they all understood what our position was and that we would not deviate from it. We had been doing proper OEM procedures all along, but with some carriers, it was always a fight. This eliminated the fighting and bickering. It’s now the right way or the highway—case closed, end of discussion.


How has this affected your business? Did you lose any of your DRP associations?


Three of our four DRP carriers just refused to honor our commitment to proper repair. We just don’t do business with them anymore as a DRP. The bickering and fighting with these carriers have simply ceased. One carrier, State Farm, didn’t seem to mind, but we get very little business from them anyway. Despite the loss of those three carriers, business hasn’t really suffered—we have plenty of cars coming through the doors, which proves you really can live without DRPs.


Q: A:

Has this had any effect on your shop internally?

Yes! Something I never thought about as the statement was being drafted was the unintended benefit of tremendously raising morale among our techs. The techs have always done a great job and been proud of where they work and the job they do. But this statement seems to have energized them. It says the company they work for is wholeheartedly supporting what they do, and neither they nor the company will be doing any kowtowing to the insurance companies. Your position statement states, “We will also be documenting any and all instances where an insurance provider attempts or recommends deviating from a required or recommended OE procedure or position statement to the Colorado Insurance Commission for review.” How many of these reports have you had to turn in?


We have turned in a few, but sadly they have fallen on deaf ears. The Colorado Insurance Commission, and probably Commissions in other states, will follow up on complaints of fraud, misrepresentation or otherwise cheating a consumer. Unfortunately, [failing to repair a car] according to OE recommendations is not a crime. Performing a shoddy, unsafe repair and placing consumers


at risk is not illegal. Until the laws change—until politicians and the legal system catch up with technology— this will continue. Insurance companies will, with impunity, continue to bully smaller shops, and shops run by owners and managers who are less politically savvy to provide incorrect and unsafe repairs. The shop is left on the hook, and there are no consequences for the insurance company. our position statement also says, “If your company will not comply with the recommended and required OE repair procedures, we will not be able to fix the vehicle.” How many of these vehicles have you had to turn away?


Oh, we have turned away a few. Interestingly enough, a neighboring (but unrelated) body shop recently took the same stance with an insurance carrier and refused to work on a car. The carrier had the car picked up and towed to our shop with the same request for the same shoddy repairs. It was a very short conversation. The insurance company will be picking up the car from


us tomorrow, bringing it to the next shop, and again requesting shoddy repairs.

Q: A:

Has this affected the repair parts that you use?

We have only used OEM parts. This is especially crucial now when you have cameras and ADAS monitors buried behind bumper covers, behind windshields and so forth. Many OEs specifically state to not use aftermarket bumper covers for that reason. Hudson went on to say that several shop owners and managers have contacted him about his statement— or “manifesto,” as he calls it—what it took to write it, deliver it, execute it and what effect it has had. “I would like to see more shops follow our lead, said Hudson. “I would like to see a new breed of auto body association with the pursuit of performing only OE repairs as its main agenda. The industry needs a more collaborative effort from more shops that are willing to take a stance on this.”

HYUNDAI Come Check our Large Selection of Genuine Hyundai Parts. 

Continued from Page 38

New Parts Code agement systems. If you price-match a part, you use that new code so your management and accounting systems recognize the sale and cost as an OEM part. You get accurate financial statements without skewing your OEM or alternative parts usage numbers with either an insurer or an automaker. Now, some stakeholders in the

industry may not want this to happen. But it’s not fair for shops to suffer from the current accounting nightmare and the risk of “being damned if they do, damned if they don’t” in terms of competing scorecards. I’m imploring the organizations in our industry that can make this happen—the information providers, CIECA, the Collision Industry Conference, the trade associations, etc.—to make this a priority. It’s time to make this change.

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Solving the Tech Shortage: AR Collision Repair Instructor Calls Out to Industry: ‘Please Employ My Students’ by Stacey Phillips

Autobody News Invites Your Input It should come as no surprise to hear that across the country, collision repair shop owners and managers are facing a shared challenge: how and where to find new technicians. With baby boomers retiring and vehicle repairs becoming more and more complex, there is a need to address this growing problem now more than ever. Autobody News is embarking on a new approach to sharing some of the ideas to solve this problem by starting a monthly column dedicated to solving the tech shortage. We invite your input and look forward to hearing about the creative ways your businesses are finding, training and hiring technicians. Whether it’s through a co-op program, apprenticeship, job-shadowing program, workplace training program, mentorships or other methods, it’s important to share ideas and start the conversation.

In Jonesboro, AR, Jeff Smith has seen this problem first-hand as a collision repair instructor at the Northeast Arkansas Career and Technical Center. The school serves 13 high schools in the area and has ap-

to be paid above minimum wage once they graduate. However, he has found that the body shops don’t have the necessary liability insurance to cover someone under 18. As a result, he said he is losing a lot of passionate auto body students to local factory jobs simply because the wages are higher than what the auto body shops are offering. With the overwhelming shortage of technicians in the collision repair industry, Smith said something must be done to reverse this trend. If the students had more experience before graduating, he said he is convinced they could earn a more competiChandler Allison (2018 National SkillsUSA Competition) tive wage at the shops and proximately 50–60 students per se- have the ability to pursue their dreams mester who take part in the collision and positively impact the current technician shortage. repair program each year. Smith recently reached out to Over the course of his career, Smith has attempted to find work for Autobody News to share some of his his students at local body shops thoughts about what is currently hapwhile they’re still in high school so pening in the industry and his recomthey can gain the experience needed mendations to solve this dilemma.

After working as a collision repair instructor for the last six years, what have you found?


The students in my class are between the ages of 16–18 and want to work in a body shop while still in high school, but they can’t due to their age. By the time they’re out of school, the body shops are only offering $10 an hour for entry-level jobs, while local factories are offering $13-$18 an hour, so they choose to take those jobs. If they received the experience needed parttime at a body shop while still in high school, I’m sure they could negotiate a higher rate after graduation. I’m finding that body shops don’t want to risk hiring someone under 18 due to liability issues (if someone were to get hurt), yet they admit they aren’t finding the skilled technicians they need. I’ve had several students who would have been excellent entrylevel collision repair technicians. Instead, our collision centers in town are competing with manufacturing


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companies because they offer higher wages in the factories nearby. We’re losing the best of the best—the kids who want to work in the collision repair industry. I have spoken with a handful of shop owners in our town, which has a population of approximately 75,000, and they have all told me that they are in need of new technicians. They have also said they are willing to train someone to do the work that needs to be done.

If we could get these high school students in a shop working part-time, then I believe that we would have a much better chance of retaining our hardworking students in the collision repair industry. Once they reach out to our competition, I believe we will continue to lose a large portion of our future technicians.


these automotive students are still in high school, employers are competing with fast food restaurants, grocery stores and retail stores.

What do you think shops can do to help address this prob-

lem? To help address this growing issue, I believe we need to begin offering students between 16–18 years old apprenticeships in a certified collision repair program in the shops. We also need to find out more about shopkeeper insurance offered to cover workers of a certain age. In my opinion, for those shops looking for technicians, owners may be able to begin taking the vocational tech students who are trained and available and put them to work as apprentices or interns. While


Chandler Allison, student

The problem that I am running into is that no one knows if they are able to cover students under the age of 18 with the insurance currently available.

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Autobody News wants to know: Is this happening in your area of the country? (l to r) Austin Bennett, Eli Hickman, students at Northeast Do you know of any shops Arkansas Career and Technical Center in Jonesboro, AR that can hire students who Apprenticeship pay would be are under 18 years old, and if yes, is much more competitive with this there workplace insurance available type of employer than it will be once in the event of something happening my students graduate and the com- to an underage worker? petition in my area becomes manufacturing positions. It’s no wonder Together, we can work to solve this problem with your feedback. Please we are losing technicians every day. If we are able to find work for contact Autobody News columnist these students who have an interest in Stacey Phillips at sphillips.autobody the collision repair industry, they are


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going to gain experience and most likely come to work full-time when they graduate. I love what I do, and I love to see my students be successful. Unfortunately, until I can get students working, my failures seem to be passed on to my students. I will continue to search for a program where I can put my high school students to work through the summer, after school or through work study.

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Hey Toby! with Toby Chess

Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Training specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his work with first responders and advocacy for body shops and consumers. He can be reached at

Kool Tools: SEMA 2018 It’s that time of the year again (sixth changes from pink to green. Green year in a row) for the article that all of means that the material is properly you in the collision world have been catalyzed and ready for sanding. waiting for—Kool Tools of Moreover, the filler has a SEMA 2018. longer work time than tradiAgain, Kye Yeung and tional body filler and will I walked the floors of adhere to virtually all subSEMA looking for those strates you will encounter in KOOL TOOLS, but this the body shop. More inforyear we added class to the mation on this item can be team: SCRS board member found at Amber Alley Amber Alley. She brought /optex. a whole new dimension to our team. As in the past, we purchased My next Kool Tool is from UNI-RAM most of the items that were tested. The Uni-Ram 300 is a moderately We did not purchase the two Nitro- priced sanding station. The ON / OFF gen generation welders (Polyvance control at the sander automatically and Dent Fix) and the measuring device from Car-O-Liner—but more on those items later. So let’s get started with the first item from Tru Flex Sander These sanders take a 2½ “stick it” sander paper. The sander follows the contour of the part you are sanding but only flexes in a convex or contour

shape, depending on the sander type. With car makers adding a lot of crazy shapes to their sheet metal in today’s cars, these sanders are a must. They can be reached at http://www.truflex My next item is from Evercoat ITW Evercoat won the SEMA New Product Award for Collision Repair & Refinish. This plastic filler’s color

I know it looks like a digital tram gauge, and you are right, but it also measures from underneath the vehicle three-dimensionally. When I first saw this, I was very skeptical about it measuring three-dimensionally. However, after trying it out, it really does work. You locate 3 point under the center section of the vehicle, which is outlined in the computer program. The unit has a built-in leveling unit and makes calculations to set up a datum plane. Once that center section is established, you use the Car-O-Liner data to make your meas-

OEM Parts You Need and Trust. turns the powerful vacuum on and off to collect dust and debris. Sanders store neatly on the “Y” posts. Posts can be placed on the steel pegboard to neatly store disc sandpaper. You should consider having sanding stations in the shop for several reasons. The first and foremost is the safety of your employees. The bondo dust is captured and collected in a container instead of floating around the shop. EPA rules now want all bondo dust collected and disposed of in accordance with its rules. Lastly, the shop is kept a lot cleaner. For more info, go to http://www The next item is from Car-O-Liner This is called Point X II from Car-OLiner. It is an electronic measuring device for damage analysis. The lightweight, efficient, easy-to-use measuring arm, combined with Car-O-Data,


gives you an affordable measuring system that allows you to accurately and quickly target measuring points.


Genuine Mitsubishi Replacement Crash Parts are close at hand from the following quality dealerships:

urements. Besides underneath the vehicle, you can measure door openings, engine compartment points and the truck area (Car-O-Liner data has all these point-to-point measurements in its software). Once the vehicle is measured, you can print out your measurement via a blue tooth. I want to emphasize that this unit does not take the place of a vehicle measuring system. More info can be found at point-xii. Next up is dent-pulling using a glue gun Kye and I looked at three companies: Keco, Dent Fix and Pro Spot have excellent glue tab pulling systems. Why glue tabs? With vehicle manufacturers utilizing more highstrength and ultra high-strength steels and aluminum in today’s vehicles, repair standards are becoming increas-


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ingly high. The Glue Tab Kit is another tool that can be used today to meet OEM standards and produce quality dent-pulling results.

Keco has some very good videos on its website that demo all of its products. Keco can reached at https:// Pro Spot International can be reached at /glue-kit and Dent Fix Corp can be reached at paintless-dent-repair. Want to speed up the removal of sealant, adhesive and paint? You will like this tool from Monti.

With angled heads that allow you to progressively turn fasteners and fittings in confined spaces, Tekton’s

15/30 degree wrench

Keco Glue Gun

Dent Fix

Bristle Blaster® removes corrosion, coatings, scale and adhesive residues. Grit blasting alternative surface preparation grade comparable with Sa 2½ up to Sa 3 per ISO 8501-1 roughness levels up to 120 µm Rz fast, flexible and cost-effective to use and it is ideal for spot repairs, touch-up work and preparing welds. Their stainless steel brushes are recommended for aluminum vehicles because they will not cause galvanic corrosion. Available from Kent Automotive at The next company is Tekton I was walking in the Westgate Hotel section where many companies new to SEMA start out when I came across this tool manufacturer. Being a wannabe gear head, I gravitated to the tools just to look. Greg Johnson was manning the booth and demonstrated his unique open-end wrench that was 30/60 degrees instead of the standard 15/30 degree wrench.

Pro Spot International

What I liked about hot-gluing the tabs was that there is no heat that will destroy the OEM-applied corrosion protection on the exterior and interior panels being repaired. The hot glues they are utilizing today will allow a technician to repair larger and stronger damage on both aluminum and steel panels. All three companies have a wide range of pulling tabs, but the one I liked the best is call “viper”. It allows techs to build their own pulling tab to fit any oddly shaped dent. 70

30/60 degree angle head wrenches will continue to work without disconnecting or dismantling equipment to access tight spots. Their next item was their 16piece screwdriver set—16 slotted Phillips screwdrivers for under $50. Instead of chrome-plating the shafts (very high add-on expense), the company elected to use a higher grade steel. The handles are extremely comfortable in the hand. A nice added touch is the type of screwdriver embossed on the top of the handle. The last item from Tekton was its off-set bent ratchet.

All their tools have a lifetime guarantee and are made in the USA. If you put in sales code SCRS-10, you will get an additional 10 percent discount, but the offer is only good until the end of April 2019. Additionally, if you sign up, you get free shipping. The next company introduced a new welder at SEMA Miller Electric showed off its new 220 AC/DC. This welder has a wide range of capabilities, welding up to ⅜” steel (24 gauge) and ⅜” aluminum (18 gauge) with your MIG gun. For DC stick welding, the Multimatic 220 can handle 16 gauge ⅜” steel, and the AC/DC TIG option can work with 24 gauge steel or alu-



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minum that are up to ¼” thick. You can now weld TIG in your shop and around vehicles without worrying about those nasty high frequency waves.

shielding gas and allows for a contaminant-free weld with less smoke, which creates a stronger weld. Dent

two companies. These are bumper rollers from Polyvance, which are used to push out dents in bumpers These are bumper pliers from Polyvance and are used in conjunc-

Let’s look at another type of welder: Nitrogen Plastic Welder.

Polyvance 680 GC

Polyvance 680 GC

What is unique about these two welders is, you guessed it: a nitrogen bottle is not needed. In other words, these machines make their own nitrogen. Why nitrogen welding? A nitrogen hot air welder uses compressed nitrogen gas to eliminate oxygen from the weld area. The nitrogen acts as a

Join CIECA for Webinar on March 19 Dawn Mortimer, assistant vice president of IoT/Telematics Product Management at Verisk/ISO, will host the next CIECAst webinar on Tuesday, March 19 at 11 a.m. CST. During the one-hour live broadcast, Mortimer will discuss how to build a roadmap to righttouch claims and proactive loss mitigation. She will also talk about solving the “many-to-many” problem by utilizing the exchange model framework to collect data from the OEMs, TSPs and other providers in order to streamline operations and efficiency. With 30 years of experience in insurance, Mortimer has served the industry in many capacities, including strategy, marketing, I/S, claims, agency and product lines. She is currently responsible for leading personal auto product development around IoT/telematics with suppliers and insurance companies to develop new products, services and business opportunities. 72

Fix can be reached at https://www and Polyvance at I want to look at a couple of other bumper repair tools from these

tion with the plastic welders for repairing bumper slots—a necessary tool for working on side bumper slots. This is a hand seamer from Dent Fix that is used to flatten out the plastic being repaired so the repair is the same thickness as the surrounding plastic part.

My next tool is from Power Probe This electronic tool allows the tech to search for opens and shorts. You energize the circuits, and a hand-held device will allow the tech to zero in on the problem. With more and more devices on today’s car, there are more wires to operate them and a better chance that these wires will be damaged in an accident. The cost of this unit is about $200. The website has a great video that can be accessed at



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Rolling on, my next tool is from Dent Fix These are door skin pliers. There are specialized pads for either side of the door. The inner pad spreads the

Astro Pneumatic Looking for a great color match light for under $150? Well, here it is. Dual color temperatures, quickly

Steck MFG This is a retainer clip release tool.

• Slides between molding and panel to access expansion ears and release clip from the outside. • Spring steel design provides flexibility to reach tight areas and strength to release clip.

clamping force, and the cushioned outer pad prevents paint marring. Go to

switch from warm to cool ultra-high quality color matching light. Warmwhite 4500k for lighter color paints, and for darker paint use cool-white 6000K, which provides cooler light without being blue. It has a collapsible, 360-degree rotating hook and 180-degree folding magnetic base. Easily removable and cleanable lens, impact resistant and dust proof. I gave it to Kye to check out, and he was really impressed by price and quality. Astro Tools can be reached at

My next great tool find was from

Kye found the next tool from

• The wide opening allows the tool to release all types of retainer clips Kye told me they save a lot of clips using this tool that would otherwise break. Steck can be found at https:// ClipReleaseTool.html. Kye found a tool at SEMA from Equalizer There is a set of four differently sized tools used to cut the urethane bed just before adding new adhesive and installing the glass. These anti-scratch preparation tools are designed to not

mar or knick the surrounding metal. The company can be reached at https:// Detail/1873. Did you know that the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado has a wider frame than its predecessors? What to do? Ajon

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Trust your order to the collision parts specialists above / MARCH 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


has the answer. This accessory item fits over most lifts on the market today. The

pictures that I have included tell the story better than words. Ajon can be reached at 844-355-2566.

ated drill. This tool has the same pressure delivered as its big brother, The Express 800. This is a great entry-level tool for most shops. RAE can be reached at https://www.rae Question—Have you ever tried to remove a hub bearing while it is still on the car? Most of you will say it is not possible—until now. Again, I was walking in the Westgate Hotel section of SEMA when I saw this demo back in the corner of the floor. The company had a couple of struts hanging from a

My next Kool Tool find is from Reliable Automotive Equipment RAE has worked with Weildaner &

den. The company website has a great video on the use of its tool. Kye pur-

chased a unit, which is moderately priced, and it was delivered within a week with no problems. They can be reached at /en. Drawn Arc Stud welding (on aluminum) is not new to the collision in-

Schill to develop a self-piercing rivet gun that works with a battery-oper-

fixture and watched the tech remove the hub and bearing from the steering knuckle. The company is called Wallmek Tools and is located in Swe-

WIN Calls for Board of Director Candidates ®

The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) is now accepting applications for seats on its board of directors. The board consists of representatives from various industry segments including (but not limited to) collision repair shops, distributors, suppliers, consultants, paint manufacturers, recyclers and insurance companies. Participants from all segments of the collision repair industry are welcome, the only requirement being that the applicants are WIN members in good standing. “Volunteering for board service is an outstanding opportunity to have continuous influence on our industry,” said Michelle Sullivan, WIN chair and chair of the Board Nominating Committee. “WIN is seeking members to apply for seats on our 2019 board as we continue to drive growth and success for the organization in the coming years.” The WIN board of directors provides overall strategic direction for WIN and is responsible for making policy decisions that execute WIN’s vision and mission. “Engaging at the board level is an outstanding way to advance our industry and guide the success 74

of WIN while building leadership skills, business acumen and invaluable industry relationships,” said Jenny Anderson, a member of the current board and the Board Nominating Committee. Each year, the board updates its strategic plan and each member contributes to the execution of that plan. The volunteer board members work together to foster an environment that encourages the recruitment, retention, education and networking of women in the collision repair industry. New board members will begin their term and be introduced to the organization at large at the 2019 Educational Conference, May 6–8 at the Westin in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The deadline for applications is Feb. 28. For application requirements and further details, please visit Completed applications should be emailed to michelle.sullivan@



dustry, but there were two new units added to the field: GYS and Dent Fix. Drawn Arc Stud Welding Drawn Arc Stud Welding, or more simply stud welding, is the process that quickly joins together a base metal, such as aluminum, to a fastener. This is done via a controlled electric arc process, which melts the end of the fastener to the base metal. There are many types of fasteners, which are also known as stud welds, including tapped, unthreaded, and threaded. These two welders are competitively priced, and both companies have excellent training programs. Lastly, I looked at three new spot welders from Pro Spot International, Car-O-Liner and GYS but did not have time to check them out. Look for a future article on these welders.

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Car Accident Total Loss Lawsuits Allege Insurance Company Violations by Sage Datko, Top Class Actions

Several class action lawsuits have been filed against multiple insurance companies, including GEICO, State Farm, Allstate, Progressive and First National, over their total loss auto coverage. These lawsuits cite many claims, including that the companies violated their own policies and have not fully reimbursed customers for the total value of their vehicles following a car accident total loss insurance payout. The lawsuits against GEICO and State Farm claim that the companies fail to include sales tax and title transfer fees in their valuation, wrongfully deflate values following car accident total loss insurance claims, and rely on invalid and outdated methods to assign a value to vehicle damages. Sales tax and title transfer fees vary by state but can often add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars. Policyholders claim that insurance companies should be responsible for paying these fees after a total loss car accident claim. One policyholder named as a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against GEICO claims that


she was forced to pay around $1,500 in title transfer and sales tax fees after the total loss of her vehicle. Car Accident Total Loss Lawsuits A Florida class action lawsuit filed against GEICO in 2016 claims that the company’s refusal to include sales tax and title transfer fees in total loss valuations violated its own policy language. The plaintiffs in that case argued that sales tax and title transfer fees are mandatory costs associated with replacing a total loss vehicle and that under GEICO’s own policy, the insurer is responsible for all costs associated with replacing or repairing the damaged property. The plaintiffs are suing for breach of contract. A recent class action lawsuit filed against State Farm claims that the methodology used by the insurance company to assign a value to vehicles after total loss claims is not based on any industry-standard valuation method. The plaintiffs in this lawsuit claim that the company intentionally deflates vehicle value estimations in order to pay out less than the actual pre-loss value of the vehicle. The plaintiffs in the State

Farm lawsuit estimate that the insurance company has made millions of dollars from this alleged scheme at the expense of policyholders. What is a car accident total loss claim? After a car accident, an insurance adjuster examines vehicle damage and investigates the circumstances of the crash. They use this information to make a value estimate in order to reimburse the policyholder for the damages. If the adjuster estimates that the cost to repair the vehicle is more than the insured value of the vehicle, the insurance company may “total” the car, or deem it a “total loss.” Often after a total loss is assessed, policyholders are offered the fair market value of the car as estimated on the day of the accident. If your vehicle was in a car accident and was deemed a total loss by your insurance company, you may be entitled to join a car accident total loss investigation or loss suit if the company did not pay the sales tax or title transfer fees associated with replacing the vehicle. We thank Top Class Actions for reprint permission.

Symach To Sponsor IBIS USA 2019 Symach has announced that the company is sponsoring IBIS USA 2019 – World of Opportunity. The International Bodyshop Industry Symposium (IBIS) conference is being held February 13-15 at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa in California. “We are excited to support this world-class conference by sponsoring IBIS USA as a Titanium Partner,” said Osvaldo Bergaglio, president and CEO of Symach. “As long-time attendees of IBIS events, we have great respect for the organization and how it brings together collision repair influencers from around the world to raise the safety, skills and standards in all sectors and markets.” Since Bergaglio established Symach in 2001, the Italian-based company has developed a complete range of equipment for collision repair centers and designs, installs and trains new body shops around the world.

CARSTAR Expands Dealership-Based Facilities

Toyota Works With Carma Project to Encourage Drivers to Check Vehicle Recall Status

CARSTAR is continuing to build upon its network of collision repair facilities based in auto dealerships. At the end of 2018, CARSTAR had more than 50 collision repair facilities in dealerships in the U.S. and Canada. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years as dealership owners look to improve their collision repair facility performance and profitability. Today, nearly two of every five franchised dealerships operate collision repair centers, the National Automobile Dealers Association reports. At the 2019 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) show, CARSTAR had an opportunity to showcase its powerful resources to auto dealers from around the world. “We’ve created very dynamic partnerships with automobile dealerships that combine the local dealer’s brand name with CARSTAR’s proprietary operating procedures, insurance relationships and training programs,” said Michael Macaluso, president of CARSTAR.

By the end of 2019, 55–70 million vehicles will have been recalled for defective Takata airbags.

by Samantha Serbin, WTVM

and family get their cars checked. The president of the Carma Project, Tony Lim, said the combination of heat and humidity, along with the age of the car, causes the issue with the airbags. “What happens is the airbag inflator, which is a metallic canister, if it ruptures, it is essentially shooting

and an additional $50 worth of gift cards when they actually have their vehicle repaired. “It is a tremendous opportunity for people like you and me, your mom, your dad, brother, sister, family, friends and co-workers. We can all do something really good on social media,” Lim said.

“Check your vehicles; check your mom’s; check your co-workers’,” — Tania Saldana

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this is the largest recall in U.S. history. Nineteen automakers are impacted by this recall on Takata airbags. Toyota, being one of the impacted automakers, is working on a new project to encourage its customers to get their vehicles checked out. It is collaborating with the Carma Project, giving gift cards to people for spreading information about the recall and having friends


shrapnel to people, not only on the driver’s side, but potentially the passenger side as well,” Lim said. “So it’s a very dangerous recall that a lot of car owners and consumers need to take seriously.” “Check your vehicles; check your mom’s; check your co-workers’,” said Toyota communications manager Tania Saldana. How the incentive program works: Visit and send information about this recall to your social network. You’ll receive $5 in gift cards for every Toyota owner who schedules an appointment to have their vehicle repaired

The repair is free for the Toyota owner, and they can have the service done at any Toyota or Lexus location. “What people need to understand is that sharp metal fragments could spray directly at the driver and passengers if these defective airbags deploy, and this could increase the risk of serious injury or even death,” said Saldana. You can also download the airbag recall app to see if your vehicle is impacted. We thank WTVM for reprint permission.


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