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2019 ASCCA/CalABC/CAA Joint Legislative Day To Take Place April 23 by Ed Attanasio

Every year, without exception, more than 2,500 separate bills hit the Capitol in Sacramento, CA, all at once. How many of these will impact the collision repair industry, either positively or negatively? And how can body shops be a part of the legislative process before decisions are made that will change the industry forever? These are important questions often discussed in detail and addressed every year during the ASCCA/CalABC/CAA Joint Leg-

islative Day. This year, it will be held in Sacramento on April 23 and give automotive repair professionals an opportunity to meet with their state representatives. The day is sponsored by California Autobody Association (CAA); California Automotive Business Coalition (CalABC), an organization that has represented the automotive industry since 1992; and Automotive Service Councils of America (ASSCA), which represents the mechanical side of the industry. CAA lobbyist Jack Molodanof works closely with the association’s See Joint Legislative, Page 12

Class Action Against Allstate Can Continue; Company, Not State, Sets Rates, Appeals Court Says by Dan Churney, Cook County Record

In a split decision, an Illinois appeals panel stripped Allstate Insurance of its defenses against a class action that alleged the company unfairly billed long-term auto policyholders more than it charged new ones. The panel said Illinois insurers can’t protect their rates from lawsuits because their rates are not controlled by the Illinois Department of Insurance. The Jan. 29 ruling was delivered by Justice Judy Cates with concurrence from Justice Melissa

Chapman of Illinois Fifth District Appellate Court in Mt. Vernon. Justice James Moore dissented.


AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 37 / Issue 4 / April 2019

NV Introduces Bill Requiring OEM Procedures, Prohibiting Aftermarket Parts on Newer Cars by Chasidy Rae Sisk

Four Nevada legislators recently introduced Assembly Bill 173, which would require repairers to adhere to OEM repair procedures and prohibit the use of aftermarket parts on vehicles 5 years old or newer. Assemblymen Richard Carrillo (D), Edgar Flores (D), Susie Martinez (D) and Bea Duran (D) are the bill’s sponsors. The bill would add the following verbiage to NRS 690B (which includes Nevada’s anti-steering law): “An insurer shall not require any body shop or garage to repair a motor vehicle in a manner which is contrary to the recommendations of the manufacturer of the motor vehicle.” This update would enact into law a prohibition against what Ne-

vada Insurance Commissioner Barbara Richardson deemed an unfair claims settlement practice in a 2016 Department of Insurance bulletin. She wrote, “If an insurer does not provide the required disclosures or refuses to authorize repairs in accordance with (OEM) specifications and/or repair industry standards, the insurer is engaging in unfair claimssettlement practices as defined in NRS 686A.310.” Despite the 2016 bulletin, last year Property and Casualty Chief Insurance Examiner Rajat Jain refused to confirm whether the agency considered it “reasonable” for the insurance company to reimburse the cost of following OEM repair procedures. In a letter to the SCRS, Jain wrote, “Repair procedures and instructions See OEM Procedures, Page 11

Court Junks Body Shops’ Antitrust Claims Against State Farm, Other Carriers by Greg Land,

The ruling favored Illinois residents Jeffrey A. Corbin, Margaret A. Corbin and Anna Tryfonas in their class action complaint against Allstate. They brought the suit in 2016 to downstate Madison County Circuit Court, which is known as a See Class Action, Page 28

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has scrapped five combined lawsuits filed by auto body repair shops accusing State Farm Insurance and several other insurers of conspiring to punish shops that didn’t cooperate with its alleged scheme to fix prices and use sub-standard replacement parts. No Price-Fixing Eight of the nine judge en banc panel agreed that the repair shops’ complaints didn’t rise to the level of price-fixing and group-boycotting under the Sherman Antitrust Act, agreeing with a trial judge who dismissed the actions in 2016. The case has divided courts. In 2017, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh

Circuit had split the other way, with Judge Charles Wilson and a visiting judge sitting by appointment saying complaints should move forward, while a third, Senior Judge R. Lanier Anderson, dissented. The majority opinion made March 4 was written by Anderson with the concurrence of Chief Judge Ed Carnes and Judges Gerald Tjoflat, Adalberto Jordan, Kevin Newson, William Pryor, Beverly Martin and Elizabeth Branch. The dissenting opinion was crafted by Judge Charles Wilson, who had written the earlier opinion favoring the body shops. The most recent ruling dismissed the federal causes of action and two of three state claims, leaving alive only a claim for tortious interference. See Antitrust Claims, Page 24



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CONTENTS REGIONAL After the Donation: Caliber Collision, Allstate Step Up to Help Army Veteran . . . . . . . . . . . 51 CAA Announces New Board Members, Executive Director. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Sisk - ASA Webinar Features ‘G’ Jerry Truglia’s ‘Why a DTC is Not Always Displayed’ . . . . . 48

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


Yoswick - Survey Finds Trends in How Shops Are Charging – And Being Paid – for Shop


Supplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Emergency Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 CARSTAR Celebrates New Santa Clara, CA, Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 CAWA Chair Appoints Sam Rusenovich to Advisory Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 CAWA Enjoys Successful Leadership Days . . . . 6 From Self-Driving Cars to Virtual Road Trips, the Future Is Riding Around San Mateo, CA . . 8 Healdsburg, CA, Body Shop Owner Retires After 64 Years in the Industry . . . . . . . . . . . 10 NV Introduces Bill Requiring OEM Procedures, Prohibiting Aftermarket Parts on Newer Cars. . 1 Sisk - ASA Northwest’s ITAC Rolls Out Apprenticeship Program for General Service Technicians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

NATIONAL AAPEX 2019 To Welcome Global Automotive Aftermarket. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Allstate Sues Auto Glass America & Its Owner . . 4 ASA Launches New Video Series . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Automotive Education & Industry Roundtable April 27. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 CARSTAR Introduces Collision Repair Industry to 49ers Foundation’s STEM Leadership Institute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 CARSTAR on Entrepreneur’s Top Franchises List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Anderson - Moving Beyond Paper QC Process Necessary to Ensure Documented Proper Repairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Attanasio - Broadly Helps Body Shops Shine Online . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Attanasio - Mike’s Auto Body Estimator Chases Fame as Stand-up Comic . . . . . . . . 62 Ledoux - Vehicle Safety Equipment Through The Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Phillips - How Implementing a Lean Process Can Improve a Shop’s ROI & Decrease Cycle Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Phillips - How to Implement an Effective Scheduling Process to Achieve Revenue & Cycle Time Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Sisk - ASA Washington D.C. Representative Bob Redding Delivers Legislative Update. . . 60

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

Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists, LLC. . . . . . 28

Kearny Mesa Subaru-Hyundai. . . . . . . . . . 51

Anchorage Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . 26

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . 56-57

Audi Burlingame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Kia of Carson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 65

Laramie Auto Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Launch Tech USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

AutoNation Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram-Fiat. 16

Matrix Electronic Measuring . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . 5, 10

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

Blowtherm USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Mercedes-Benz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36-37

CIF Reports Success at 9th Annual Fundraiser . 22

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 66

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 67

Class Action Against Allstate Can Continue;

Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram of Seattle . . . . 29

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 66

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Mirka USA, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Collision 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . 68

Colortone Automotive Paints . . . . . . . . . . . 44

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 39

Courtesy Chevrolet San Diego. . . . . . . . . . 50

Moss Bros. Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . . . . 25

Cutter Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram. . . . . . . 22

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 63

Dave Smith Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Pacific Best, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

DCH Auto Group Temecula . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

PaintEx . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Dent Fix Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Penske Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Dent Magic Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Porsche Burlingame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Dominion Sure Seal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 62

Downtown Motors of LA (Audi, VW) . . . . . . 59

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

Eckler’s Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Prima Welds, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Puente Hills Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

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

RBL Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Equalizer Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Sandberg Volvo Cars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

First Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

SATA Dan-Am Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Ford of Kirkland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-Subaru . . . . . . . . 42

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 61

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

Galpin Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 58

Glenn E. Thomas Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep . . . 15

Tacoma Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram . . . . . 31

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . 69

The Bay Area Automotive Group . . . . . . . . 55

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts

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

Company, Not State, Sets Rates, Appeals Court Says . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1



CAA East Bay Chapter Hosts ‘Know Your Rights’

Court Junks Body Shops’ Antitrust Claims Against State Farm, Other Carriers . . . . . . . . 1 CSN Collision Centres Conference Focuses on How To Achieve Excellence. . . . . . . . . . . 64 Customer Research, Inc. Renews Commitment to CIECA Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Elon Musk Promises ‘Fully Autonomous’ Teslas This Year. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Hacked Self-Driving Cars Would Cause Chaos, Study Suggests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 How 4 Recalls May Impact Your Business . . . . 68 Prosecutor: No Crime by Uber in Self-Driving Death; Crash Still Under Scrutiny . . . . . . . . 26 Subaru Recalls 783,000 Vehicles for

Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32-33

U.S. Chemical & Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Hyundai Motor America. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Vintage Flatz/Cumberland Products . . . . . 43

The Race Towards Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Hyundai of Kirkland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 62

Volvo Imposes Speed Limits on Cars to

Hyundai of Seattle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 64

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 67

YesterWreck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Takata Airbags . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Reduce Fatalities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Industrial Finishes and Systems . . . . . . . . 72 / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Allstate Sues Auto Glass America & Its Owner by Staff,

Allstate Insurance*, one of the nation’s largest writers of auto insurance policies, has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Orlando division, against Auto Glass America LLC of Florida (AGA) and Charles Isaly of Arizona. The suit, which was filed just before Christmas 2018, alleges AGA and Isaly directed an “extensive and complex scheme … to pressure Allstate’s insureds into hiring AGA for windshield replacements, obtaining assignments of benefits (AOBs) from insureds, submitting invoices to Allstate for excessive and unreasonable amounts and fil[ing] over 1,400 lawsuits for recovery of excessive and unreasonable amounts.” The 48-page complaint details 10 separate counts against the defendants. Allstate also alleges AGA got insureds to authorize the replacements through high-pressure sales tactics, omissions and misrepresentations that were in violation of Florida law. The complaint states, “The owner and sole member of AGA is the scheme’s mastermind, Isaly.”

The defendants have since responded. “Notwithstanding the Complaint’s length and verbosity, it is little more than a cornucopia of hyperbole and legal conclusions that float freely on a sea of bombast,” says a response by the defendants on Feb. 4, 2019. The response goes

on to say, “Nowhere … is there any reference to a single customer or single transaction or a single claim made on a single Allstate policy for a single windshield replacement.” The response also argues that Allstate lacks standing in its case because allegations center on violations of consumer protection statutes, while Allstate is not a consumer, it suggests, nor are AGA’s customers. In the response, AGA argues “… There is no authority for the

proposition that the consumer-consumer status of an insured extends to the insurer.” In its original complaint, Allstate argued AGA filed more than 1,400 lawsuits against it and that the replacements were performed without notice to Allstate after insureds hired AGA. Allstate contends that AGA billed it, on average, $900 per invoice for the period of January 1, 2015, through September 30, 2018. Meanwhile, the company reports that the average invoice amount for all other glass vendors in Florida during the same timeframe was $350. AGA’s response says that of 1,185 cases identified so far, approximately 600 have been settled on terms favorable to AGA, while the rest remain pending. All were filed before Allstate’s action. A discovery deadline of March 2 has been set for the case with expert reports due Dec. 16 of this year. * The suit was filed by Allstate Insurance Company and three other related Allstate companies. We thank for reprint permission.

ASA Launches New Video Series ASA is partnering with an auto repair industry leader to produce a series of videos aimed at building an online dialogue to help business owners solve everyday challenges in their shops. With Arizona shop

owner and social media guru Frank Leutz hosting, the online “Garage Challenges” videos will be produced twice monthly. They will be made available online at www and through ASA’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts. The goal is to produce needed information for shop owners and then for it to create discussion among ASA members. “We want the industry to weigh in on these challenges and share their experiences and ideas for the betterment of your shop and the industry as a whole,” ASA Executive Director Ray Fisher said.

The Race Towards Electric by Chana Perton, CBT Automotive Network

It’s becoming clearer and clearer that we’re at the start of an electric revolution. Fluctuating fuel prices, increased environmental protection efforts and new technology are all pointing toward a bright future for electric cars. It feels like every day there is yet another announcement from a leading brand about its expansion into electric vehicles. It’s only a matter of time before one manufacturer claims the crown and reigns over the market. Among the loudest competitors are Volkswagen, Tesla and General Motors. All three are making names for themselves in the electric market, working hard to edge out the opposition. Volkswagen: An All-or-Nothing Gamble Perhaps the most surprising entry in the electric vehicle race, Volkswagen has set its sights on becoming the manufacturer of electric cars. The decision came soon after the emissions scandal when regulators found that the company used software to 4

fake passing results. Though at first the decision to mass-produce electric cars was born of necessity—if enough were made to balance its ordinary stock, it could circumvent emission standards regardless of how many sold—Volkswagen has embraced the choice and

is investing heavily in electric. It plans to phase out its gas and diesel models by 2026 and go forward solely with electric cars. The company looks ahead to governments legislating tougher emissions legislature and truly believes the future is in electric. When that day comes, it is positioned to have the largest stock available.


Tesla: Keeping It Cool Tesla has really made a name for itself in the electric vehicle market. It currently stands as one of the most recognizable brands that produce electric cars and technology. It’s at the forefront of affordable pricing for electric and is often hailed for its cool tech and innovative design. That said, Tesla is not without its problems, most recently in relation to the polar vortex that hit the Midwest this winter. When the temperatures dropped well below freezing, Tesla drivers found they had difficulty getting into their cars. Many were surprised to discover their door handles had frozen shut. More seriously, in a message to employees earlier this year, Tesla’s Elon Musk apologized for the need to lay off a number of workers—despite the second profitable year for them—due to challenges facing the company as it fights to build itself up against traditionally fueled competitors. General Motors: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Right now, General Motors is riding a wave of success having announced a great last quarter and year. Part of this is due to a complete restructuring of its operations, which has already begun to shift workers to other plants as the company looks to jettison less popular sedans in favor of trucks and other trend pleasers. As part of the many chances, in January GM announced it would be wading into the electric car market with its Cadillac brand, promising to release fully electric cars biannually over the next few years. That said, the manufacturer is being cautious, saying it doesn’t plan to see returns on the investment for a while, which is understandable given how new this sector is and its current struggle to bring down costs. We thank CBT Automotive Network for reprint permission.


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


AAPEX 2019 To Welcome Global Automotive Aftermarket The rapid changes and transformation taking place in the $1 trillion high-tech global automotive aftermarket industry will be in the spotlight at AAPEX 2019 as attendees experience new product introductions, advanced training and current and futuristic technology demonstrations.

The event will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5 through Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas, NV. New products and technologies to keep the world’s 1.2 billion vehicles on the road will be on display from 2,500+ exhibiting companies. More than 48,000 targeted buyers are expected to attend, including automotive service professionals, auto parts retailers, warehouse distributors (WDs), service chains, automotive dealers,

fleet buyers and engine builders. Approximately 162,000 automotive aftermarket professionals from 126 countries are projected to be in Las Vegas during AAPEX and the SEMA Show. Online attendee registration will be available in April. Attendees can be notified when registration is open by signing up on the AAPEX website, AAPEX 2019 also will feature the popular New Product and New Packaging Showcases. The industry’s top trainers and experts will deliver an extensive AAPEXedu, including Let’s Tech presentations, Mobility Garage underhood and alternative fuel vehicle training, and interactive sessions on advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), international trade, trends, the outlook for 2020 and more. A Technology of Tomorrow section on the show floor will showcase the future through technologies that are not yet available but are currently being tested and discussed. For an added glimpse of technology, attendees will be able to test their skills during a virtual vehicle challenge.

CAWA Enjoys Successful Leadership Days by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, CAWA hosted its Leadership Days and Educational Forum meeting at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, CA.

According to CAWA President and CEO Rodney Pierini, “Members and prospects, in record numbers, enjoyed the venue, general session information, meetings and social events during our Leadership Days.” The general session included four informational presentations: • Mark Seng of IHS Markit presented “Key Automotive Trends Impacting the North American Af6

termarket.” • Joe Register, vice president of Emerging Technologies for the Auto Care Association, presented “Our Connected Future.” • Tom Marx, principal of HartMarx Advisors, presented “Grow or Die.” • “What You Might Expect in Legislation Next Year that Will Impact Your Business” was presented by Aaron Lowe, senior vice president of Regulatory and Government Affairs for the Auto Care Association; Gary Conover, California legislative advocate; and Jennifer Zins, director of Government Affairs. CAWA’s Leadership Days event was sponsored by Armstrong & Associations Insurance Services, the Automotive Distribution Network, Dorman, ENEOS, GPC, K&N, MotoRad and Parts Authority. CAWA’s next Leadership Days event is scheduled for June 20–21 at the Kimpton Goodland Boutique Hotel in Santa Barbara, CA. For more information about CAWA and its events, visit


CAA Announces New Board Members, Executive Director On Saturday, March 9 in Cerritos, the California Autobody Association swore in new officers for 2019. Most notably, Tiffany Silva of Accurate Auto Body in Richmond was sworn in as the new CAA president CAA’s current board includes:

• • •

President Tiffany Silva (Accurate Auto Body - Richmond) Vice President Doug Marshall (Autotrends - Oakland) 1st Vice President of Finance Dave Picton (Fix Auto - Sacramento)


• • •

Treasurer Dave Mello (Anderson Behel - Santa Clara) Interim Secretary Ted Stein (Penske Collision - La Mesa) Past President Kathy Mello (TGIF Body Shop - Fremont)

Rick Johnson, who has been in the collision repair business for 35 years in Rancho Cordova and was CAA president in 1999, was announced as the new executive director. The CAA would like to thank former Volunteer Executive Director Don Feeley for all his hard work and the vision he developed in moving the CAA into the future. The CAA would also like to express its gratitude to former President Kathy Mello for her outstanding efforts in leading the CAA for the last two years. The CAA is especially grateful to Brian Sinnett of CCC, who hosted the CAA Board Meeting at its offices in Cerritos.



From Self-Driving Cars to Virtual Road Trips, the Future Is Riding Around San Mateo, CA by Diana Shook, KCBS Radio

Imagine taking a road trip with your friend or relative who’s half a world away. That’s what’s coming. Valeo, a French automotive technology company, is already developing virtual reality that makes it seem like your far-away loved one is riding shotgun as you navigate through the Bay Area’s epic scenery and traffic. Let’s reverse for a moment. Valeo doesn’t manufacture cars, but its inventions wind up under the hood of many automakers. If you have a car, there’s a 1 in 3 chance it has a Valeo system for electrification that includes features such as assisted parking sensors and start-stop systems that are also used in self-driving cars. The company’s mobility tech center is in San Mateo, CA, which has become a hub for experimenting with self-driving cars. It has been authorized by California’s DMV to put autonomous vehicles on the open roads. KCBS Radio recently got a ride on the high-tech highway in a Range Rover equipped with ultrasonic, radar, lidar and camera sensors made

by Valeo. All it takes is the press of the button, and the car is driving along. There are six levels of automation— from level zero, which is completely manual, to level five, which is a ride sans steering wheel.

Credit: Margie Shafer/KCBS Radio

Alexandre Garnault, a technical leader at Valeo, demonstrated the Range Rover’s level-four capabilities during a spin around San Mateo. He sat in the driver’s seat, but didn’t press the gas or brake pedals or keep his hands on the steering wheel. “So the system is steering the wheel; it’s pushing the pedals and turning on and off the blinkers; it does everything,” he said. “It knows


503.546.6900 877.787.2787 8


the speed limit; it knows the lanes, where the traffic lights are; and it’s constantly monitoring all the surroundings, the cars, the pedestrians, [and] the bicycles that could interfere with the mission of the car.” Built-in redundancies make the system extremely safe, according to Garnault. “You see I’m really comfortable ... and you get very used to it, so quickly,” he said. Riding in a car without an active driver behind the wheel is an exciting sign of things to come. But as driverless cars become more commonplace, and fewer people actually engage in the act of driving, Valeo’s development team believes people will have more time to connect with one another. That’s why Valeo is integrating its sensors with virtual reality, so virtual passengers can come along for the ride. “What if you could bring others into your car who aren’t physically with you,” asked Valeo research and innovation manager David Hermina, “and experience the driving as if you

were together?” Hermina recently shared a ride to Tahoe with his grandmother, who lives in Puerto Rico. All she needed to enjoy a conversation with her grandson and see the sights of California was a special headset connected to the car’s cameras that allowed her to “look” out the windows by turning her head to the left or right. “So you can see the person, and you can wave and say hi,” Hermina said, waving to his grandmother, who laughed and waved back. “Hey, how are you?” Hermina asked. “Doing great,” she replied. “Every team member within my team is from a different country,” Hermina said. “So we had a lot of motivation for creating a system that could bridge the gap between people.” We thank KCBS Radio for reprint permission.


INSTAGRAM : @autobodynews / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Healdsburg, CA, Body Shop Owner Retires After 64 Years in the Industry by Ed Attanasio

If you have been in any industry for more than six decades, you have a lot of memories to look back on—and hopefully most of them are fond. Such is the case for Gino Bellagio, 81, who recently retired and closed his body shop, Bill & Gino’s Body & Paint. The shop had been a fixture in Healdsburg, CA, since 1961. The collision repair industry has been good to Bellagio, who has no regrets. “This business has changed a lot since I entered this industry as a tech back in 1955,” Bellagio said. “These cars now are more like computers than automobiles, and it has become a lot tougher to make a buck as a shop owner. “We always kept our business small and were involved in everything from the very beginning, so we never compromised our quality. We built a reputation for being honest and straightforward. Healdsburg is a small town with only a few shops, so


our reputation here was always important because a lot of my customers were a lot more than just customers; they were also friends and neighbors.” Bellagio never really wanted a career in collision repair, but life doesn’t always go exactly as planned, he said.

“One day, Bill told me about a job at a local Chevrolet dealership, but when I found out it was for a body man, I said no thanks. He told me to come down anyway and maybe they would hire me as a mechanic. But there weren’t any openings on the mechanical side, so I took the job working in their colli-

“These new cars are built for comfort and safety, which is nice for car owners but tougher for shops to stay in this industry,” he said. “Today’s vehicles are full of computers, sensors and cameras, and they change every year, so I think I might be getting out at just the right time.” — Gino Bellagio “I started working at a gas station here in town while I was a senior at Healdsburg High, and my good friend Bill Bonham would come by and do our body work,” he said. “My goal at that time was to be a mechanic because I liked tinkering with cars.


sion center and realized it was more challenging and interesting than being a mechanic. I never thought I would do this for 64 years, that’s for sure!” After working at the dealership in his hometown for almost two years, Bellagio went to Cloverdale,

CA, to work at M&M Garage with Bonham, a shop that still exists but is now in Berkeley, CA. “By working with Bill as an apprentice, I learned every aspect of the business, including body work and paint,” Bellagio said. “I took a pay cut when I went there, but it turned out to be a smart move. If I can last here, I told myself, I can make more money down the road, and that’s exactly how it happened.” Eventually, Bellagio landed a job at Silveira Pontiac in Healdsburg. “They had closed their collision center, so we made a deal with Lee Silveira and started doing all of their collision work,” he said. “I was there for four years until one day Bill said, ‘Let’s start our own shop,’ and that’s what we did.” Gino & Bill’s was an immediate success and had to move to larger facilities to accommodate its increased workload over the years. By keeping its operation lean, the duo was able to control every aspect of the production and experience steady growth, he said.

“We were busy right at the start because there were only two other shops in town and the market was growing,” he said. “Now there are nearly a dozen shops in the area, so it’s much more competitive here in Healdsburg.” When DRPs entered the picture in the 1980s, Bellagio and Bonham decided not to go that route, he said. “Once you sign up with the insurance companies, they control things and start to dictate, and we didn’t want to compromise our work,” he said. “They approached us several times over the years, but we never went that route and looking back, it was a good move. Our customers trusted us, and that’s why they brought us their vehicles. It was just that simple.” As the vehicles changed, Bellagio’s job became more challenging, he said. “It was so much easier working on older cars,” he said. “Color matches were easier, and we could use lacquers instead of waterborne paint. We used the old guns and loved them. Bill and I were always combo techs, which means that we

fixed the cars ourselves instead of relying on someone else to finish the job. Now, it takes 5–6 people to repair a vehicle, so that has been a big change in the industry.” Bellagio isn’t going to miss all of the new technology that has made fixing cars a lot more expensive and difficult. “These new cars are built for comfort and safety, which is nice for car owners but tougher for shops to stay in this industry,” he said. “Today’s vehicles are full of computers, sensors and cameras, and they change every year, so I think I might be getting out at just the right time.” Bellagio’s partner, who passed away in the early ‘90s, retired in 1982, and Bellagio kept running the shop for another 37 years. He looks forward to a retirement spent being with family, gardening and possibly visiting Italy. “My health is still good, and I want to enjoy this time of my life because I’ve earned it, to be honest,” he said. “It’s been a good run working in a great industry, so I can look back at it fondly.”

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OEM Procedures are not within the Division’s purview. The terms and benefits stated in the policy would be reviewed.” Assembly Bill 173 would cement this legislation in the event that Richardson’s successor does not agree that failing to follow OEM repair procedures is an unfair claims settlement practice. The proposed bill would also prevent insurers from requiring the use of aftermarket parts on vehicles younger than five years as of the date of damage without written consent from the consumer. Assembly Bill 173 states, “An insurer shall not require a body shop or garage to use aftermarket parts to repair physical damage to a motor vehicle that was manufactured less than 60 months before the date of the damage unless the insurer has obtained written consent from the owner of the motor vehicle to install aftermarket parts. “If a motor vehicle was manufactured less than 60 months before

the date of the damage, the insurer shall provide written notice to the owner of the motor vehicle of the appraisal of the physical damage written on behalf of the insurer and the estimate prepared by the body shop or garage. The written notice must indicate that, with regard to damage which is the subject of the claim, the owner may require the insurer to provide for the repair of each damaged part of the motor vehicle with either: (a) an original equipment manufacturer part; or (b) an aftermarket part. “Use of aftermarket parts on vehicles 60 months and older would also require insurers to provide written notification to the consumer, expanding upon the current statue which only applies to a body part defined as a sheet metal, plastic, or composite part of a motor vehicle which is nonmechanical and used to replace a part on the exterior of a motor vehicle. The term includes the inner and outer panels of a motor vehicle.” Assembly Bill 173 has been submitted to the Commerce and Labor Committee, which oversees insurance.

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Joint Legislative executive committee to alert it of proposed bills that can affect the industry. Staying on top of these bills is always a big job for him and his team—a task that has to be performed literally every day, according to Molodanof. “We dedicate hundreds of hours every year to monitor these bills,” he said. “There are always a lot of different groups out there with different agendas, so we need to be vigilant and thorough to target the ones we need to address. Bills are often amended and completely changed in some cases, so this is an ongoing process that we need to scrutinize on a continual basis.” One bill that is of particular importance to the automotive repair industry this year is SB 522 (Hertzberg), Molodanof said. “This is the taxation bill, and it could affect us in a huge way because if it passes, consumers would have to pay taxes on services such as collision and mechanical repairs.


Governor Brown has expressed interest in restructuring the state’s tax system and realigning the ‘outdated tax code with the realities of California’s 21st-century economy,’ so yes—we’re concerned about this one and want to play a role in blocking it,” he said.

Legislator of the Year award for his work last year on AB 3141 (Bureau of Automotive Repair: Automotive Repair Dealers: Maintenance and Services), and Pat Dorais, Bureau of Automotive Repair. The day always kicks off with a breakfast featuring the day’s speakers and a

“Sometimes we react like Chicken Little (‘The sky is falling!’) in this industry with proposed bills that can affect our businesses, but that is shortsighted thinking,” — Don Feeley Each Legislative Day, ASCCA/ CAA members form smaller groups to ensure their meetings with representatives are as efficient as possible. Members of both organizations race through the hallways of the Capitol to make it on time to their meetings or appointments, as it’s all about covering as much territory as possible. The speakers at this year’s Legislative Day will include California Assemblyman Evan Low (San Jose), who will receive the


presentation from Molodanof on how to approach state legislators during the day. CAA’s Interim Executive Director Don Feeley weighed in on the importance of Legislative Day. “Sometimes we react like Chicken Little (‘The sky is falling!’) in this industry with proposed bills that can affect our businesses, but that is shortsighted thinking,” he said. “If you want to be effective in your district, you need to know the political landscape there because it

differs from region to region. We’re in this for the long-term, so building ongoing relationships is vital to our success. CAA provides this opportunity every year for shops to reach out to their representatives and be heard, so I would suggest that you consider attending this year’s Legislative Day so that you can be part of the process.” Molodanof knows shops can make a difference because he’s witnessed it happen year after year. “Legislative Day is our platform to be heard as an industry in Sacramento,” he said. “We work yearround to make this happen, and we know from our experience that we’ve changed bills and have had others blocked through our efforts. There are some bills every year that are more important than others, but the main goal of Legislative Day is to meet your representatives and develop personal and professional relationships with them. That way, when you return back to your districts, they know you and vice versa.” / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Northwest 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 Northwest’s ITAC Rolls Out Apprenticeship Program for General Service Technicians In 2018, ASA Northwest established the Independent Technicians Automotive Committee (ITAC) to create an apprenticeship program for auto technicians. The program’s goal is to provide valuable skills and certifications for new technicians, including high school students, who are dedicated to developing real-world skills for the region’s automotive repair industry. Butch Jobst, chairman of the board for ASA Northwest, noted, “We believe that providing both students and adults who have an interest in a career within the automotive industry with an opportunity to start and complete an apprenticeship before they graduate will undoubtedly give them a leg-up on finding a meaningful career and well-paying opportunities in the future. Our goal is to provide a clear career path for those interested in being a professional automotive technician. This is a program you simply cannot pass up, and we feel it will transform our industry for the better in many ways. “ITAC is an industry-driven apprenticeship organization founded on the belief that mastery occurs on the job. Through youth apprenticeships and adult apprenticeships, all people have the opportunity to earn competitive wages, find meaningful and fulfilling work, and pursue lifelong learning.” This project has been in the works for five years and demanded many volunteer hours, as it touches on all aspects of the automotive industry as well as the state’s education system. On Oct. 18, 2018, the program’s standards were approved and registered with the State of Washington L&I and the Washington State Apprenticeship Training Council (WSATC). Jobst shared, “We’ve spent five years on this since our first exploratory meeting, but the last 24 months were very intense. We received fantastic help from the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee though; they have the process figured out and helped us get every14

thing right.” Thus far, ITAC has developed three approved apprenticeships that offer programs for general service technician youths, general service technician adults and master service technicians. The committee is considering adding a service advisor program but wants to solidify the program before moving ahead with additional plans.

Regarding ITAC employers, Jobst noted, “To become a ‘training agent’ of the program, we have established straightforward requirements, which will soon be listed on our website under the ITAC Apprenticeship tab.” ITAC’s registered general service technician (GST) youth apprenticeship program includes 2,000 hours of on-the-job training as well as 160 hours of related supplemental instruction. It’s designed to facilitate the development of high school students’ career-ready skills in the automotive repair industry. It combines structured, paid, on-the-job training at an ITAC employer with collegelevel classroom instruction, which can lead to a high school diploma, journey-level credentials and tuitionfree college credits. The youth program will take two years to complete, but the adult track, which requires the same amount of on-the-job training and supplemental education, is available for completion within one year. The master service technician track requires 8,000 hours of on-the-job training in addition to 640 hours of supplemental education. It will take four years to complete. The on-the-job task hours will include training related to vehicle inspection and shop safety (800 hours),


the engine and its systems (200 hours), the transmission and trans axle systems (100 hours), suspension and steering systems (200 hours) and brake systems (200 hours). Jobst noted, “The apprentice shall be instructed, rotated and trained in all operations and methods customarily used in the industry. Each company will adhere to the schedule as closely as facilities will permit in order to provide the apprentice with consistent, wellrounded, practical experience on all relevant equipment and processes in the shop.” A GST apprentice will be trained to perform a wide variety of basic automotive maintenance, repair and diagnostic duties used in the trade. In addition to being able to inspect and diagnose many brake systems and replace components, GSTs will learn to identify and interpret

suspension and steering concerns as well as determine automotive corrections. Apprentices will also determine fluid levels and leaks and will learn to perform preventative maintenance measures. The ITAC employers are committed to training their apprentices on as many makes and models as possible. The GST youth apprenticeship program is available at no cost to qualified apprentices. To qualify for the program, applicants must: • Be at least 16 years old • Be enrolled in a high school or skills center with which ITAC has partnered • Have a 2.0 or higher GPA • Have a letter of recommendation from a partnering school district or skills center teacher • Have participated in an NATEF/ / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


ASE Education Foundation-certified automotive career and technical education course • Have a valid driver’s license and transportation to and from work. Jobst added, “To succeed, you should be detail-oriented, a problem-solver and capable of working independently and as part of a team. You should also have a good work ethic, basic math skills and an interest in working with your hands. “Apprenticeships are the ideal vehicle to teach young adults jobready skills through mentorship while providing quality education and creating productive, lifelong learners. Many young people enter the profession by starting with oil changes, but because they never receive structured training or guidance, they are unable to advance. The apprenticeships allow us to create a career path for these beginning technicians. “Apprentices earn, on average, $300,000 more over the course of their career than non-apprentices. In the next decade, 7,000 industry jobs will likely be needed, and in Wash-


ington, general service technicians earn on average $48,000 per year with no college debt. “Averages are tough because so many entry-level techs with no guidance and no career path are likely making only a little over minimum wage, but top-level techs make significantly more. This industry is in a hard spot because we are unable to attract people to enter our profession because of the perceived low wages based on lack of training, but properly trained and educated technicians would be hired immediately, thus raising the average wage. That’s one of the many reasons ITAC feels it’s so important to establish a career path for those entering the industry.” Youth apprentices will be employed for 10–20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during the summer with ITAC’s partnered independent automotive repair shop, allowing them to earn money while learning the skills necessary to succeed in their future career. In 2019, the minimum journeylevel wage for a GST in Washington


is $13.11. Apprentices will receive $12/hour during the first 1,000 hours of on-the-job training and $12.67/hour for the remaining 1,000 hours. Wages are expected to increase in 2020. Jobst pointed out, “These are the minimum wages, but shops are likely to pay a higher amount.” Apprentices will also attend classes at participating schools and skills centers, where they will learn the theory behind the art of automotive repair from the industry’s top instructors. Doing so will earn them 13–15 college credits from a local community or technical college at no cost to the student. ASA Northwest’s ITAC apprenticeship program is still in the pilot phase, but apprentices and employers are signing up this spring, and ITAC hopes to increase the number of participants by fall. For more information on ASA Northwest and its ITAC apprenticeship program, email asanw.itacapprenticeship or call 253-473-6970. Information about ITAC will soon be available on

Automotive Education & Industry Roundtable April 27 Plans are underway for the firstof-its-kind Automotive Education and Industry Roundtable. NATA, ASA Northwest and the ASE Education Foundation are collaborating to bring together all parties who may have an interest in an automotive career. Attendees will include industry employers, automotive educators, school counselors, students and parents. The event will be Saturday, April 27, hosted by World of Speed in Wilsonville, OR. More details will be forthcoming. To register, call NATA at (503) 2539898 or fill out and return a registration form. If you have questions or are interested in participating, please contact NATA’s Margaret Ragan at (503) 423-7355 or “Our greatest challenge will be bringing students and counselors to the table,” Ragan said. “This is key in making this event successful.” / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


CARSTAR Celebrates New Santa Clara, CA, Location by Ed Attanasio

On Feb. 28, CARSTAR hosted a grand opening event in Santa Clara, CA, to celebrate Chilton Auto Body’s inclusion in North America’s largest network of independently owned and

(l to r) Ken Mattos, operations manager at CARSTAR Chilton Auto Body; Hannah Ross, senior VP of marketing at CARSTAR; Mike Chilton, owner of CARSTAR Chilton Auto Body; and Bob Zimmerman, VP of business development at CARSTAR Chilton Auto Body celebrated the opening of its new Santa Clara location


operated collision repair facilities. One of the highlights of the grand opening took place when CARSTAR announced it would make an $11,000 donation to the San Francisco 49ers Foundation’s STEM Leadership Institute. The institute’s six-year curriculum works to prepare students with high academic potential for careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through more than 300 extra academic hours each school year. Insurance partners, vendor partners, franchise partners and VIP guests from the San Francisco 49ers attended the event to mingle with SF 49ers’ mascot, Sourdough Sam, and tour the newly CARSTAR-branded facility. The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute, launched in 2014 in partnership with the 49ers Foundation, Chevron, Silicon Valley Education Foundation and the Santa Clara Unified School District, currently hosts five cohorts of scholars totaling 300 students enrolled in the seventh through eleventh grades in Cabrillo


Middle School and Santa Clara High School. “The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute cultivates high-potential middle school and high school youth by increasing their exposure to STEM subjects so our nation’s youth go on to STEM careers,” said San Francisco 49ers Foundation Ex-

“My father started Chilton Auto Body 50 years ago with our San Mateo location and brought me into this business in 1984,” Chilton said. “Our business has grown leaps and bounds since then, not only expanding in size to 11 locations, but evolving our repair processes to get ahead of modern vehicle technology. Join-

“This substantial grand opening event is representative of how massive this multistore owner is for the Bay Area, both in scale and expertise,” — Michael Macaluso ecutive Director Justin Prettyman. “We’re thrilled to link up with automotive industry leaders like CARSTAR and CARSTAR Chilton Auto Body to provide our students with a real-world, hands-on learning experience.” CARSTAR Chilton Auto Body owner Mike Chilton seconded the importance of a STEM-based education, particularly with the advanced technology in vehicles today.

ing CARSTAR helps us accelerate our growth, and we are excited to celebrate this partnership today at this grand opening event with our valued partners.” “This substantial grand opening event is representative of how massive this multi-store owner is for the Bay Area, both in scale and expertise,” said CARSTAR President Michael Macaluso. “CARSTAR is growing at an accelerated rate but re-

mains committed to welcoming the right franchise partners into our network, and the CARSTAR Chilton Auto Body team, who prioritizes customer experience and repair quality, is exemplary of that.”

(l to r) San Francisco 49ers Foundation Executive Director Justin Prettyman and CARSTAR Senior VP of Marketing Hannah Ross celebrated an $11,000 donation made to the San Francisco 49ers Foundation’s STEM Leadership Institute with SF 49ers’ mascot Sourdough Sam

Rob Zimmerman, vice president of business development at Chilton Auto Body, is happy to be associated with CARSTAR. “We have been with CARSTAR since the beginning of the year, and

we’re already seeing an increase in business,” he said. “CARSTAR is able to help us in the area of training, which is so vital in this industry today.” Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, CARSTAR is North America’s largest network of independently owned and operated collision repair facilities with more than 600 locations in 35 states and 10 Canadian provinces. The San Francisco 49ers Foundation harnesses football to educate and empower Bay Area youth through collective innovative and community-focused strategies. From the foundation’s award-winning STEAM education initiatives and nationally recognized youth football programs to impactful community partnerships with leading nonprofits, the franchise is dedicated to inspiring the confidence and collaboration youth need to tackle possible. In recognition of their unparalleled commitment to charitable giving, the 49ers were the winners of the ESPN Humanitarian Sports Team of the Year in 2017 and the Beyond Sport 2015 Sport Team of the Year.

CAA East Bay Chapter Hosts ‘Know Your Rights’ Emergency Meeting On Feb. 20, the CAA hosted a meeting in Pleasant Hill, CA, focused on towing and storage fees.

The event was one of the largest and well-attended CAA meetings in Northern California. Mathew Gibson, an official from the Bureau of Automotive Repair, was on hand to answer questions and discuss the new laws.

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A few of the issues addressed were: • The elimination of storage rate caps • California Highway Patrol (CHP) rates being applied to body shops • What the BAR considers to be a reasonable storage rate • Which services a body shop can charge for, such as tear-down, writing estimates, scanning and oil clean-up BAR Chief Patrick Dorais and Bill Thomas of BAR Enforcement Operations were also on hand for the meeting. The meeting took place from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and was hosted by the East Bay Chapter of the CAA at Back Forty Texas BBQ in Pleasant Hill.




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CAWA Chair Appoints Sam Rusenovich to Advisory Council CAWA Chair of the Board Dan Hanson, Jr. of Hanson Distributing Company recently appointed Sam Rusenovich of Brake Parts Inc., to the association’s Manufacturers Advisory Council.

When Hanson announced the appointment, he commented, “Sam will add value to CAWA and by virtue of his position 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 he will make to the future successes of CAWA and the industry we serve.” Rusenovich has spent his entire professional career in the auto-


motive aftermarket in a variety of leadership roles. He is currently serving as the director, sales - commercial vehicle & customer experience for Raybestos Brakes/BPI. In this role, he oversees the national CES sales team and manages the commercial vehicle program for Raybestos. Previous to joining Raybestos, he worked for a large independent NAPA group as a regional vice president, during which he oversaw a group of 15 stores, including their sales people. Previous roles within this organization included VP, operations and VP, support services. Prior to the independent NAPA group, Rusenovich was with Genuine Parts Company (GPC) for several years. His most recent position with the company was as a district manager, during which he oversaw a group of stores and sales people. Other roles within GPC included area manager, district operations manager & loss prevention manager. Rusenovich lives in Naperville, a suburb of Chicago, with his wife and two children. He is an avid motorcycle rider and enjoys spending time with his family.


Customer Research, Inc. Renews Commitment to CIECA Standards Customer Research, Inc. (CRI) recently renewed its commitment to CIECA and the CIECA standards. CRI was founded in 1967 and is based in Seattle, WA.

The company has 55 employees and provides several industries internationally with leading multichannel CSI (Customer Satisfaction Indexing) measurement, customer loyalty, marketing and reputation solutions. “Collision center clients gain increased customer traffic through an enhanced reputation,” said Dusty Dunkle, owner and president of CRI, who has been ac-


tive in the company for 27 years. “At the same time, CSI services result in elevated customer loyalty as well as improved employee performance and processes.” Dunkle said CIECA has been a household name to CRI, and the company has been a member for many years. “CIECA has created a platform to better CSI services to the industry and has allowed CRI to contribute to this platform by participating in the CIECA CSI Committee for many years,” said Dunkle. “CIECA has helped standardize processes that have provided efficiencies to a large number of businesses, and CRI is happy to be part of that.” For more information about CRI, visit For more information about CIECA, visit



CARSTAR Introduces Collision Repair Industry to 49ers Foundation’s STEM Leadership Institute CARSTAR recently introduced the collision repair industry to a group of remarkable seventh-grade students who were part of the San Francisco 49ers Foundation’s STEM Leadership Institute.

The institute’s six-year curriculum works to prepare students with high academic potential for careers in STEM through more than 300 extra academic hours each school year. The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute, launched in 2014 in partnership between the 49ers Foundation, Chevron, Silicon Valley Education Foundation and the Santa Clara Unified School District, hosts five cohorts of scholars totaling 300 students enrolled in the seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th grade program across Cabrillo Middle School and Santa Clara High School.

Presenting to more than 120 students, the CARSTAR team highlighted how the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are prevalent in the collision repair industry. From the initial engineering of the vehicle to the technology embedded within it, collision repairers must navigate more than most expect. “Technologies like scanning and 3D measuring have been created to help us perform repairs just as advanced as the vehicles themselves,” said Rob Zimmerman, VP of business development, CARSTAR Chilton Auto Body. “Vehicle manufacturers have never been this innovative, and there is so much room for STEM leaders to emerge in the collision re22

pair field as a response to these new and amazing technologies in our cars.” Designed with more than just transportation in mind, vehicles are equipped with new capabilities that keep consumers safe and comfortable. Features such as lane departure warnings that prevent drivers from drifting out of their lanes are becoming standard. When collision centers repair vehicles, they must consider these technologies during the repair process to ensure the initial engineering remains intact and customers are safe when they drive away in their vehicle.

“It is an exciting time for our field with more advancement coming as the automotive industry is expected to change more in the next couple of years than it has over the past several decades,” said Hannah Ross, senior director of marketing, CARSTAR. “CARSTAR has a proprietary operations EDGE Performance Platform as well as an online library of training materials in CARSTAR University to help keep us ahead of these ever-evolving technologies, and we were excited to share a small bit of this with these in-

credibly intelligent students.” Participating students learned about the latest in vehicle manufacturing as Toyota presented its hydrogen-fueled vehicle and CARSTAR demonstrated the technologies needed to perform repairs on such a vehicle. CARSTAR also explained the opportunities available in the collision repair industry as a whole.


“The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute cultivates high-potential middle school and high school youth by increasing their exposure

to STEM subjects so our nation’s youth go on to STEM careers,” said San Francisco 49ers Foundation Executive Director Justin Prettyman. “We’re thrilled to link up with automotive industry leaders like CARSTAR and CARSTAR Chilton Auto Body to provide our students with a real-world, hands-on learning experience.” Local to the San Francisco Bay Area, the CARSTAR Chilton Auto Body team has performed collision repairs on the most innovative vehicles for years.

CIF Reports Success at 9th Annual Fundraiser The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) held its ninth annual Gala Fundraiser in Palm Springs, CA, alongside the Collision Industry Conference. The gala successfully raised funds for CIF’s mission. The foundation’s major focus has been the Collision Industry Relief Fund to assist collision repair professionals who have lost their livelihoods from a natural disaster or other catastrophe. Victims of the wildfires in California most recently benefitted from the fund. Cheryl Boswell, CFO at DCR Systems and CIF treasurer, said, “Our donors—companies and individuals—see the value of the Foundation’s work and continue to support us. We are grateful for their support so we may continue serving those in our industry impacted by natural disasters.” CIF’s vision is to bring awareness and emergency relief to collision repair professionals. If you know of anyone in need from our industry, please direct them to the CIF website www.collisionindustry

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Antitrust Claims Cases Began in 2014 As detailed in the opinions and other filings, the cases began in 2014, when the first of nearly two-dozen lawsuits was filed around the country accusing State Farm and insurers including Allstate, Progressive, GEICO, Nationwide, USAA, Liberty Mutual, Hartford and others of conspiring to drive down the prices they pay for repairs by agreeing among themselves on a preset “market rate,” enforcing compliance by steering their policyholders to businesses that agree to their terms and boycotting those that refuse. The complaints were combined in multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, where some were dismissed with prejudice and others remain pending. The March 4 decision involves five complaints combined as Quality Auto Painting Center of Roselle Inc. et al. v. State Farm Indemnity Co. et al. The actions were dismissed by


Judge Gregory Presnell in 2016 for failure to state a claim. Price-Fixing or Price Leadership? In general, the complaints alleged that the defendants insurers all agreed to follow a market rate established by State Farm, which is accused of using a method of ranking body shops by criteria, including number of employees, number of work bays and area density, which it then “manipulates” as it solicits businesses to be part of its “direct repair program.” Shops not complying are dropped from the DRP program, and customers are “steered” away by the insurer. In briefing for the en banc hearing, the appellate panel posed two questions as to the federal claims: whether the complaints could plausibly be inferred to support per se claims of illegal price-fixing and whether they could support claims of an illegal boycott by the insurers. In ruling against the repair shops, Anderson relied heavily on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly. That decision toughened the


standards for price-fixing claims and concluded that simply showing that parties engaged in “parallel conduct” without evidence of an actual agreement is insufficient to support such claims. Anderson first took issue with the plaintiffs’ decision not to amend their complaints when Presnell first issued his ruling, writing that “the body shops’ appellate briefing takes undue liberties in construing the inferences that can be fairly read from their pleadings.” The plaintiffs provided several “plus factors” to indicate more than parallel conduct by the insurers, which Anderson’s opinion took up and discarded one by one. The assertion that the body shops are barred from changing the rates they charge without authorization from State Farm was not supported in the complaints, he wrote. “Quite the contrary, the only relevant specific allegation of fact is that the non-State Farm Insurance companies advise the plaintiffs that they will pay no more than State Farm pays,” Anderson said, which is “mere price leadership” and perfectly acceptable.

“The body shops also argue that the conspiracy is shown by the presence of a common motive, namely desire to maximize profits,” he said. “However, under this logic, most businesses with similar pricing would be deemed in cahoots with each other because that is the goal of most corporations.” Neither was there support for claims that State Farm kept its rating decision a secret, he said. “Quite the opposite,” Anderson wrote, “the complaints reveal that State Farm must necessarily tell the rate to every repair shop in a given geographic area.” Similarly, he said, there is no indication that the insurers are making identical demands of the repair shops. “The body shops argue that the insurance companies have engaged in uniform tactics in that they require the Body Shops: to repair faulty parts rather than install replacement parts; to install used or recycled parts; and to offer discounts and concessions,” the opinion said. “All of these purported ‘highly uniform’ tactics are easily explained See Antitrust Claims, Page 27 / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Prosecutor: No Crime by Uber in Self-Driving Death; Crash Still Under Scrutiny by Ray Stern, Phoenix New Times

Uber, the corporation, didn’t commit any crimes in the self-driving fatal crash last year that killed a woman in Tempe, AZ, the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office announced March 5. But backup driver Rafaela Vasquez may still be in trouble. The prosecutor’s office is asking Tempe police to provide more information and evidence that would help determine whether she was at fault. The Prescott-based office is also referring the criminal case against Uber back to Maricopa County for further review. The March 18, 2018 crash that killed Elaine Herzberg, a 49-yearold homeless woman, rocked many in the tech world who assumed autonomous vehicles wouldn’t blindly plow into people in the street. Herzberg had been walking across Mill Avenue just south of Curry Road about 10 p.m. when Vasquez rolled up about 40 mph in one of Uber’s Volvo XC90 vehicles outfitted with self-driving technol-


ogy. An investigation showed the brakes hadn’t been applied; Herzberg died soon after the impact. Vasquez, who was supposed to be monitoring the road as the vehicle was in autonomous mode, can be seen in an interior video looking

Credit: Tempe Police

below the dashboard of the vehicle in the moments before the car struck Herzberg. Evidence later showed her personal cellphone had been streaming a TV show at the time. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery declared a conflict of interest early on because his office had done some work with Uber. Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk


then took up the case. “After a very thorough review of all the evidence presented, this Office has determined that there is no basis for criminal liability for the Uber corporation arising from this matter,” Polk wrote in a letter released to the news media March 5. “Because this determination eliminates the basis for the MCAO conflict, we are returning the matter to MCAO for further review for criminal charges.” However, Polk went on that her office concluded the collision video “as it displays, likely does not accurately depict the events that occurred.” An expert needs to analyze the video to “closely match what (and when) the person sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle would or should have seen that night given the vehicle’s speed, lighting conditions, and other relevant factors,” Polk wrote. The crash video was released by

Uber and disseminated widely in the media. It shows the woman appearing from the dark just before impact. That led Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir and others to conclude there was no way the crash could have been avoided. However, Tempe investigators concluded months later that the crash was “entirely avoidable.” Phoenix New Times pointed out in several articles that the video did not accurately show conditions at the scene. The video shows the street as much darker than it really is; in fact, a streetlight is nearly just above the crash site. A GoPro video made by New Times of the scene soon after the crash shows more light on the road than the Uber video depicted, and multiple drive-throughs of the area by New Times also indicated the crash video wasn’t realistic. Polk wrote that the purpose of a new expert analysis should be “to closely match what (and when) the person sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle would or should have seen that night given the vehicle’s

speed, lighting conditions, and other relevant factors.” Uber told New Times last year that Vasquez had been trained on the capabilities and limitations of the vehicle and was supposed to look at the road and prepare for any emergencies. Her hands weren’t on the wheel, and her feet weren’t on any pedals before and during the crash, Tempe’s report showed. Uber pulled its self-driving operation out of Arizona after the crash. Herzberg’s family members have filed notices of claim against Tempe and the state of Arizona, seeking $10 million from each. Polk’s office said it would make no further comments about the case because it’s still pending. We thank Phoenix New Times for reprint permission.


Autobody News

Continued from Page 24

Antitrust Claims by the most common of corporate stimuli: a desire to increase profits,” the opinion said. None of the plaintiffs’ “plus factors” sufficed to “tip the scale from equipoise toward conspiracy sufficiently to prevent dismissal of this count,” Anderson wrote. Boycott Allegations Insufficient “The boycott allegations in this case are even weaker than the allegations of price-fixing,” the opinion said. “Neither the ‘steering’ allegations nor the ‘boycott’ section of the complaint allege even in conclusory fashion that there was an agreement to do so.” “For the same reasons that it forecloses the body shops’ price-fixing claim, Twombly forecloses the body shops’ group boycott claims,” it said, which “allege only parallel conduct which is insufficient to create an inference of prior agreement or conspiracy.” The complaints also included state law claims for unjust enrichment,

quantum meruit and tortious interference, only the last of which narrowly survived the judges’ scrutiny. Even that claim, Anderson noted, may be knocked out of district court on remand if Presnell declines to exercise jurisdiction. In dissent, Wilson wrote that the majority’s reading of Twombly was too narrow for dismissal of the suits at the pleading stage. “Antitrust laws are often underenforced against anticompetitive exercises of buyer market power,” Wilson wrote. “And yet, under the majority’s interpretation of the Twombly standard, never has it been harder for an antitrust plaintiff to proceed to discovery.” Allowed to proceed, wrote Wilson, discovery “might uncover, for example, that the insurers agreed at industry meetings to use the same market rate, same reimbursement formulas, and same standards of quality … And it might not.” The plaintiffs’ appeal was argued by former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, now in private practice in Salt Lake City, and John Eaves of John Arthur Eaves Law Offices in Jackson, MS.

3 Remaining Cases Pending Shurtleff said he was disappointed with the ruling but still had hope that three remaining cases that have been combined with amended complaints and are pending will bring some relief to the repair shop owners. “He did dismiss the amended complaints, but he put them on hold until the Eleventh Circuit ruled in this one,” Shurtleff said. “We’ve been dealing with this since 2014, and I know how harshly these clients of ours are being treated. It’s a daily struggle for them, but we’re not giving up.” Arguing for the insurers on appeal were Alston & Bird partner Michael Kenny for State Farm, Dentons partner Rick Fenton for Allstate and Daniel Goldfine of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie for GEICO. In response to queries, a State Farm spokesman said only that the insurer was pleased with the ruling. Reprinted with permission from the March 7, 2019 issue of ©2019, ALM Media Properties, LLC. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved. / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

Class Action venue favorable to plaintiffs. Allstate, which is one of the country’s largest insurers, is headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Northbrook. All plaintiffs said their vehicles were covered by Allstate for 20 years. Plaintiffs alleged Allstate had been violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act since at least 2012 by charging its longtime customers higher auto insurance premiums than it charged newer customers. Allstate figured out loyal policyholders would tolerate higher premiums than would new customers, plaintiffs alleged. Further, Allstate allegedly told neither the Illinois Department of Insurance nor existing customers of this practice. Allstate moved to dismiss the suit, citing the so-called filed rate and primary jurisdiction doctrines. Madison County Judge Barbara Crowder refused to dismiss, prompting Allstate to ask the appellate panel to address whether the doctrines served


as defenses to the suit. By a 2-1 margin, the appellate court ruled the doctrines were not applicable. The filed rate doctrine protects public utilities and other regulated entities from lawsuits involving rates if the rates must first be filed and pass muster with a regulatory agency.

agency, which has the appropriate expertise, decide the issue in dispute. In the Allstate matter, the company said the director of the Department of Insurance is empowered to determine if an insurer is engaging in unfair or deceptive conduct. However, Cates concluded, the suit doesn’t allege wrongdoing unique

“The allegations of unfair and deceptive business practices and unjust enrichment come within the experience and conventional competence of the Illinois courts,” — Justice Judy Cates Justice Cates found the legislature decided to leave insurers free to fix rates according to market conditions without approval from the Department of Insurance. As a consequence, the filed rate doctrine is useless for Allstate. “Illinois has embraced open competition in regard to rate-setting for auto insurance,” Cates observed. Under the primary jurisdiction doctrine, a judge can halt court proceedings and let an administrative


to the insurance industry, saying the Department of Insurance doesn’t have any specialized knowledge or technical expertise with regard to Allstate’s alleged conduct. “The allegations of unfair and deceptive business practices and unjust enrichment come within the experience and conventional competence of the Illinois courts,” Cates said. Justice Moore disagreed, finding the Department of Insurance does have authority to weigh whether a

rate is improper. “While, under Illinois law, the director and Department of Insurance do not have the power to set insurance rates or pre-approve filed rates, there is a comprehensive statutory scheme whereby the legislature has given the Department of Insurance the power to disapprove rates based on unfair or deceptive acts or practices by those engaged in the business of insurance,” Moore said. Plaintiffs have been represented by the following firms: Mehri & Skalet, and Tycko & Zavareei, both of Washington, D.C.; Law Offices of Thomas E. Kennedy, III, of St. Louis; and Berger & Montague, of Philadelphia. Allstate has been defended by the firms of HeplerBroom firm, of Edwardsville, and DLA Piper, of Baltimore. We thank Cook County Record for reprint permission.


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Hacked Self-Driving Cars Would Cause Chaos, Study Suggests by Maddy Foley,

As the battle for the autonomous car market amps up, with Tesla, Waymo and emergent start-ups all vying to be the first to render human drivers irrelevant, the public’s worries about crashes and pedestrian fatalities have slowly abated. But new research suggests that at least some of the fears about self-driving cars, particularly their potential to exacerbate traffic jams, aren’t unfounded. Essentially, that ridiculous scene from “The Fate of the Furious” isn’t all that far-fetched. The latest academic to sound the warning that autonomous driving might worsen traffic rather than improve it is Skanda Vivek, a postdoctoral researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In a new paper whose findings Vivek presented March 4, he argues that not only are internet-connected autonomous vehicles hackable, but hacking even a small percentage of the self-driving cars currently on the road in the U.S.’s largest city could completely stop the flow of traffic and impede the effectiveness of emergency vehicles. Vivek and his team presented their findings at the American Physical Society March Meeting in Boston.

“Compromised vehicles are unlike compromised data,” Vivek wrote in his study’s press release. “Collisions caused by compromised vehicles present physical danger to the vehicle’s occupants, and these disturbances would potentially have broad implications for overall traffic Self-Driving Cars Will Still Cause Traffic Jams After realizing that risk management studies around autonomous vehicles had all focused on the individual crashes caused by, say, poor vehicle reaction time when stopping, Vivek wanted to take a step back and review the situation from a larger perspective. No research had been done to quantify the effect of a “large-scale hack” on traffic flow, and studies focused on the problem of human error tend to find that replacing humans are likely to make roads safer. To determine the impact of a possible hack, Vivek and his team ultimately turned to percolation theory, a section of probability theory that focuses on the behavior of connected clusters in a random graph, to determine how hacked autonomous cars would affect the already-compli-

cated traffic ecosystem of New York City in real time. The findings? Not great: city-wide gridlock, millions of commuters trapped, and emergency vehicles stuck miles from potential emergencies. It would not take many cars at all to make the worst-case scenario possible, Vivek’s team found. In fact, 90 percent of the cars on the road in New York City could be unaffected by the theoretical hack, and the city would still be plunged into chaos and gridlock, the study found. How to Make Self-Driving Safe This does not mean that self-driving cars should be relegated to the scrap heap. Indeed, after terrifying all of us with visions right out of a dystopian action movie—think Pixar’s Cars but horrible and with real vehicles—Vivek has also presented a possible solution: a “compartmentalized multi-network architecture.” By ensuring no more than 5 percent of autonomous vehicles are on a given network, Vivek thinks the risk of a city-wide traffic jam would drop. Hackers would have to execute multiple breeches simultaneously in order to effect real mayhem. Ultimately, Vivek’s research isn’t intended to scare us away from

the prospect of autonomous cars. It’s ensuring that when they hit the road (not “if”), they avoid some of the more serious pitfalls.”Our work is not in opposition to the future of connected cars,” said Vivek. “Rather, the novelty of our work lies in identifying and quantifying the underlying cyberphysical risks when multiple connected vehicles are compromised. By shining a light on these technologies at an early stage, we hope we can help prevent worst-case-scenarios.” Other researchers have raised the possibility that self-driving cars will not exactly be a traffic-killing panacea. In early March, another researcher from the University of California, Santa Cruz, argued that, by negating the need for parking—after all, why park when your autonomous car could ferry ride-sharing passengers for cash or whisk off to the post office to grab that Amazon package on your behalf—self-driving cars will almost never leave the road. If that scenario comes to pass, self-driving cars won’t need to be hacked to make your morning commute a nightmare. We thank for reprint permission.

Elon Musk Promises ‘Fully Autonomous’ Teslas This Year by Jordan Bowen, KCBS Radio

Fully autonomous cars that could pick up passengers and take them to their destinations will be ready by the end of this year, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Speaking on the ARK Invest podcast, Musk said he’s “fully certain” the technology is ready to go. “The car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up, take you all the way to your destination without an intervention,” Musk said, who is known for splashy actions and controversial pronouncements. Developing the last “1 percent” of full autonomy is the most difficult part of the project, he said. Still, the all-electric Teslas will be “feature-complete” by the end of the year, and the tech will be even more reliable in 2020. “My guess as to when we would think it’s safe for somebody to essentially fall asleep and wake up at their destination? Probably towards the end of next year,” Musk said. The entrepreneur said regulators must decide when the au30

tonomous features will require human oversight and derided California regulators as “overzealous” but characterized federal regulators as “good.”

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Last February, the California Department of Motor Vehicles announced new rules for the testing and public use of autonomous vehicles, including protections to prevent the vehicles from being hacked. Support for the technology slipped among those surveyed in the Bay Area, following the killing of a pedestrian by an autonomous Uber vehicle in Arizona. Uber suspended testing of its autonomous vehicle program for several months to address safety concerns. Musk has previously landed in hot water with the SEC for his public pronouncements, suggesting that Tesla had secured funding to take the company private—a claim that later proved false. We thank KCBS Radio for reprint permission.


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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

Vehicle Safety Equipment Through The Years By the mid-1950s, more than a million Americans had been in car accidents and died on the nation’s roads and highways. The general consensus was that it was all on account of driver error and/or the drivers in question not following the laws. Surely, that must be the cause because, it was thought, cars couldn’t be built any better … could they? Many in the industry thought they were already at the epitome of automotive design and safety—there was nowhere else for automotive technology to go! Automotive writer James Crate wrote in 1993 that from the birth of the automobile up until 1956, the auto had been largely unmolested by federal laws largely because those ideas were left over from the days when horses were the primary mode of personal transportation. The thenmotoring public and the federal gov-

ernment considered the automobile a personal item, much as a horse had been. Thus, it was viewed as an inviolate part of a person’s way of life that should not come under the scrutiny of some government law or entity. That began to change on July 15, 1956 when Congressman Kenneth Roberts, an Alabama Democrat, opened the first session of the first House subcommittee on traffic safety by proceeding directly to the subject of automotive design standards. The auto industry was not ready for Congressman Roberts. They weren’t ready to be asked if the vehicles they were putting on the road might be designed better and safer, to first help mitigate accidents and/or to reduce their severity and save lives. The motoring public, at the time, was apathetic. Even Roberts’ fellow legislators and other federal personnel were apathetic at best and

condescending at worst. Roberts was not re-elected. However, during his tenure, he managed to get H.R. 1341 passed, which set safety standards for those vehicles purchased by the U.S. government. At the time, the federal government purchased about 35,000 vehicles a year, a proverbial

“drop in the bucket” in the total scheme of things. But it set a precedent and got people and the government to give vehicle safety and design another look. Coincidentally, this was the same year that Ford tried selling

safety as a vehicle feature. An optional safety package came with seat belts, padded dash and padded sun visors, among other items. (Seat belts would not be federally mandated until 1964.) Fewer than 2,000 of Ford’s safety packages were sold. Since 1956, the federal government has mandated much of the safety technology used in cars today. Left up to their own devices, would carmakers have advanced automotive safety on their own? Consider the following: On Feb. 10, 1885, way before the automobile was even thought about, the first U.S. patent for a seat belt was issued to Edward J. Claghorn of New York. In the patent, it was described as “designed to be applied to the person and provided with hooks and other attachments for securing the person to a fixed object.” They would not be re-

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quired for use in automobiles for another 80 years! But seat-belted carriage passengers aside, the earliest “horseless carriage” drivers changed a car’s direction of travel with a tiller, not unlike steering a small boat. It was clumsy and not very practical. So in 1900, the steering wheel was invented, introduced in the Packard. Early cars could only be driven safely during the day because they had no headlights! So, the first automotive headlamps were introduced for use on the 1898 Columbia Electric Car from the Electric Vehicle Company of Hartford, CT. But the new electric lamps were not very popular—the rather fragile filaments didn’t last long bouncing over the rough, early roads, and it was difficult for the car to produce enough current to even power the lamp. Thus, in 1904, a more durable and practical headlamp was introduced— powered by acetylene. (That doesn’t sound very safe?) Vehicle lighting with headlamps, tail lamps, and side lamps, as we know it today, was not used until 1908 and then powered by an 8-volt battery. Side marker lamps

would have to wait until 1968. Center-mounted, high brake lamps would have to wait until 1986. Early cars moved along at not much more than walking speed. But that didn’t last long. To gauge how fast a vehicle was going required a speedometer. The first one appeared in the 1901 Oldsmobile. Ironically, early mechanical brake systems were still rather crude, and cars didn’t stop well. But for the first time, by watching the speedometer, it was possible for a person to judge beforehand how badly they and their vehicle would be damaged if the car collided with something. Shock absorbers also appeared around this time. Early shocks were “knee-action” as opposed to the reciprocating tubular style we are most familiar with today. Dampening the suspension controlled wheel shimmy while traveling along unpaved roads. It also helped drivers better control their vehicle and keep themselves out of ditches and out of the way of oncoming traffic.You might call this the first lane-keep assist system. In 1951, German Walter Linderer and American John Hedrik

applied for patents for early airbags. The bags were largely ineffectual because they could not deploy fast enough, and a system to trigger the deployment did not yet exist—but they had the concept right. An acceptable triggering system would have to wait until 1968 when Allen Breed would submit for a patent for his invention, the first electro-mechanical airbag triggering system. The first airbags sold commercially on a passenger car appeared on the 1973 Oldsmobile Tornado. In 1953, the iconic Chevrolet Corvette was introduced. It was the industry’s first production fiberglass body, which presented some new challenges to the collision repair industry. It was also the first mass-produced American car with a wrap-around windshield, which eliminated a troublesome blind spot at the corner of the windshield, increased the driver’s line of vision and ostensibly made the car safer. The wraparound design was the brainchild of legendary car designer Harley Earl. Interestingly, Harley’s father, J.W. Earl, developed and patented a tilting windshield in 1911, another innova-

tion of its time. Of all the safety equipment ever invented for a motor vehicle, none has been as ubiquitous, been damaged as many times in so many accidents, generated as much income for so many parts suppliers and provided as many labor hours for so many collision technicians as the item invented by Frederick R. Simms. Simms was born in Hamburg, Germany on August 12, 1863. He became a British mechanical engineer, businessman and inventor. He was a personal friend of Gottlieb Daimler and became involved in the company that eventually became known as Daimler-Benz. In association with Robert Bosch, he invented the magneto and started the Simms Magneto Company in New Jersey. The company eventually went on to produce electrical items through the 1940s and later was bought out by the British company Lucas. But by those in the collision repair industry, Simms is not remembered for his achievements in the world of automotive electrics. Simms is known as the inventor of what is arguably the most maligned safety item ever—the automotive bumper. / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


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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.

Moving Beyond Paper QC Process Necessary to Ensure Documented Proper Repairs While working with a shop on some quality control (QC) issues recently, I discovered they were still using a paper QC checklist. It reminded me of the somewhat dated checklist that’s among the forms and tools available for free on my website ( It’s not that such checklists are bad. They serve as a good reminder of the things that are often not quite right and can result in a needless comeback. But a paper system has become an outdated way to accomplish quality control effectively. I believe shops need to move to an electronic QC process. There are several reasons why. First, there are more and more young people working in shops who have grown up using computers, tablets and cell phone apps. If you hand them a piece of paper, it’s like a step back in time for them. How else, they may wonder, is this shop not staying up to date? Second, we’ve all seen people “pencil-whip” forms, signing or initialing the top item on the list and drawing a line from that right down the rest of the list. They may well have done everything on the form, but perhaps not. Just rapidly filling in all the boxes at the end is no substitute for checking each item at the appropriate time. An electronic system helps make employees more accountable. Third, some of the lawsuits out there related to incomplete or incorrect repairs have raised the industry’s awareness of the need for proper documentation of repairs. An electronic QC process ensures that every step is time- and date-stamped, a record that helps ensure—and document—that things were done properly. That documentation isn’t just important to you as a business owner. It can be equally important to those with whom you have business agreements, such as automakers that certify your shop or insurance companies. An electronic system allows your shop’s quality control efforts to 38

be more easily audited. Several electronic quality control systems are out there. CCC Information Services has “Checklists,” which can be customized and integrated

That highlights how quality control isn’t just about holding employees accountable and ensuring you have a documented process that can be audited and used to demon-

with CCC ONE. (It’s a stand-alone product that can be used regardless of what estimating or shop management system you use.) Shops in the Assured Performance Network have access to that network’s electronic QC system. I’m aware of another program out there called “myQCiQ,” and there may well be others. Using an electronic QC system also makes sense because more of the QC process itself involves electronics, namely, post-repair vehicle scanning. The old paper checklist that asks if the headlights and turn signals are working, or if moldings are missing or loose, was fine in its day, but it is no longer enough. Those things still need to be checked, but there’s no way to ensure all of the vehicle’s safety and comfort features are working without conducting an output and functionality test through a post-repair scan. It’s an absolute must. We all, of course, think of scanning in terms of ensuring the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are functioning. But you’ve no doubt had the experience of delivering a vehicle after a $5,000 or even $10,000 repair that seems just perfect, only to have the customer come back because their seat-warmer isn’t working or their Bluetooth device won’t sync.

strate exactly what was done to that vehicle. A robust QC process also ensures your customer drives away satisfied in a safe vehicle.


Another great tip I learned from my friend Ray Chew at CCC: Ask customers early in the process what some of their favorite features of their vehicle are. There’s no way any of us can possibly be aware of and understand every feature on every vehicle. By knowing upfront what in particular the customer appreciates about their vehicle, you can integrate checking those features into the QC process for that extra level of attention. Keep in mind that when consumers are asked if their vehicle was fixed right the first time, the industry average is just 82 percent. That really concerns me. That means 1 in 5 cars comes back for a problem. That’s not acceptable. It’s time every individual in this industry takes responsibility for quality. QC inspections must be part of the process—not just at the end, but at every stage of repair. / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


Industry Insight with John Yoswick

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

Survey Finds Trends in How Shops Are Charging – And Being Paid – for Shop Supplies Although two-thirds of shops say they use an invoicing system of some kind to charge for such items as clips and fasteners, foams and weldthrough primer, nearly one-third (30 percent) say they simply charge a flat fee for seam-sealer, and more than 1 in 5 (22 percent) say they calculate their charge for seam-sealer with no more than an educated guess.

These were among the findings of a “Who Pays for What?” survey last fall that examined shop billing practices (and insurer payment practices) related to shop supplies and aluminum repair. The survey found that despite a growing increase in the percentage of shops using an invoic-


ing system for supplies—66 percent versus 58 percent in the same survey in 2017—3 in 10 shops still just charge a flat fee for seam-sealer. “Many shops commonly charge that flat fee without researching how much seam-sealer they actually will be using on that particular job,” said Mike Anderson of Collision Advice, who conducts the quarterly “Who Pays for What?” surveys in conjunction with CRASH Network. “I recall a shop in Minnesota that was putting a rear body panel and a rear frame rail on a vehicle, and when they added it up, they had used more than $300 of corrosion protection items, such as seam-sealer, cavity wax and weld-through primer.” The survey found that nearly all shops (96 percent) charge for seamsealer, and 84 percent say they are reimbursed for it most of the time or always by the eight largest U.S. in-


surers. But according to Anderson, the amount being charged is not always correct. “At the end of the day, is the amount you are charging for these items adequate and appropriate? You

bead size,” Anderson said. Calculations such as this can be difficult, but Anderson recommends several tools developed by 3M that can help shops estimate the amount of seam-sealer that will be needed. A

Shops reported which factors they take into account when charging for seam-sealer (adds up to more than 100 percent because shops were permitted to select multiple responses), with number of tubes or cartridges used being the most common factor

have to keep in mind what type of seam-sealer you are using—self-leveling, two-part, sprayable, brushable, etc.—as well as how many tubes you are using based on the length and

comment submitted by a shop manager from Illinois while taking the “Who Pays” survey last fall supports Anderson’s recommendation. “The 3M CRiMP (Collision Re- / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


pair Materials Planner) tool really opened our eyes to the materials cost that we weren’t billing for,” the manager wrote. “It also streamlined things during our estimating process so that we can easily produce an invoice that insurers have never disputed.” But even with these types of tools, knowing what to put on the estimate can also require knowledge about the vehicle make. “Keep in mind that all Toyota/Lexus hoods, doors and decklids—as well as the majority of those replacement parts from Nissan/Infiniti—do not come seam-sealed from the factory,” Anderson said. “That may be true of some other manufacturers as well.” Four “Who Pays for What?” surveys are released each year, each focusing on different aspects of the collision repair process. The current survey, which asks shops about their billing practices—and insurer payment practices—related to “not-included” body labor procedures, is open throughout April. Shops can click here (https://www.crashnetwork .com/collisionadvice) to take the current survey before May 1.

More than 700 shops across the country responded to the survey last fall, which found shops are more frequently being paid regularly for certain shop supplies. About 22 percent, for example, said they are paid “always” or “most of the time” for acid

Although the percentage of shops that view their investment in OEM aluminum certification as a “great” business decision has fallen slightly since 2015, the percentage of shops that say they are already seeing a return on their investment has risen

brushes when they are needed as part of the repair. This was up slightly from 20 percent in the two preceding years, and up from just 14 percent in the 2015 survey. But about threequarters of shops acknowledged they have never sought to be paid for such brushes. “I suspect a lot of estimators


and bill for clips, fasteners and other items, you can add acid brushes to that system.” The survey also asked about fees shops may charge for some administrative expenses. The 2015 survey found that less than half (46 percent) of shops responding said they were paid “always” or “most of


the time” when charging an administrative fee for processing total losses, but by 2018, that had risen to 59 percent. The percentage of shops that said they have never sought such an administrative fee has declined from about 30 percent in 2015 to about 25 percent last fall. Just over half of all shops (52 percent) responding reported having at least one annual subscription to an automaker information website to research OEM repair procedures. About 21 percent say they have annual subscriptions for between two and five different OEM information sites, and another 22 percent have annual subscriptions to six or more. The survey also asked shops if or how they charge for the subscription fees for these sites —aside from any administrative fee they may charge to cover their research labor/time. Among the 536 shops that answered the question, most (78 percent) say they do not currently include a charge on their estimate to specifically cover subscription fees. The others (22 percent), however, said they do add a charge for these fees, with about twothirds of those saying they add the


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don’t understand what the brushes are used for,” Anderson said. “It’s not uncommon for technicians to use one or even multiple acid brushes to apply seam-sealer—and match OEM texture—or epoxy primer. If you’re using an invoicing system to track










charge when they need to gain access to an OEM website for which they do not already have an annual subscription. Although the percentage of shops that view their investment in OEM aluminum certification as a

on tooling, training, fees and facility upgrades to become OEM-certified in aluminum repair. Every year since, the survey has asked how satisfied shops are with that investment. Given that the median amount spent by shops in 2015 to become certified

Shops reported their aluminum repair labor rates (structural and non-structural) when working on vehicle makes for which the facility is not OEM-certified; the 75th percentile body rate of $65 indicates 75 percent of shops reported a labor rate of $65 or less, while 25 percent reported a rate higher than $65

“great” business decision has fallen slightly since 2015, according to the survey findings, the percentage of shops that say they are already seeing a return on their investment has risen. The percentage of shops that believe they will eventually see a return on their investment also has grown. Back in 2015, the survey asked shops how much money they spent

was more than $84,000, their views on what return they are seeing on that money seem noteworthy. Last fall, just 23 percent of shops expressed negative feelings about their investment, down from 29 percent in 2016. Although 4 percent still feel it was a “terrible” business decision, the percentage of shops concerned about recouping their in-

vestment dropped from 25 percent to 19 percent in 2018. Of those who are upbeat about OEM aluminum certification, 28 percent report already seeing a return while another 50 percent now believe the investment will eventually pay off (that was up from 44 percent in 2016). Shops can take the current “Who Pays for What?” survey (or sign up to be notified about future surveys) at /collisionadvice. The four different surveys, conducted at one per quarter, each take about 15–25 minutes. Anderson said they can be completed by any shop owner, manager or estimator who is familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of the largest national insurers. Individual responses are not released in any way; only cumulative data is released. On the website, shops also can download the results of previous surveys and reports that break the findings down by region, insurer, and DRP vs. non-DRP. The reports also include analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented.

CARSTAR on Entrepreneur’s Top Franchises List CARSTAR has been ranked in the top 100 franchisees in Entrepreneur magazine’s 2019 Franchise 500. Recognized by entrepreneurs and franchisors as a top competitive tool of measurement, the Franchise 500 places CARSTAR 96th on the list, up from 255th last year. It also was named the top franchise in the auto repair and services category. “It’s an honor to be recognized among the top companies in the world,” said Michael Macaluso, president, CARSTAR. The key factors that go into Entrepreneur’s evaluation include costs, fees, size, growth, support, brand strength, financial strength and stability. All franchises are given a cumulative score based on more than 150 data points, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500 in ranking order. CARSTAR, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, ended 2018 with record sales, growth and industry performance. / APRIL 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

How to Implement an Effective Scheduling Process to Achieve Revenue & Cycle Time Goals For body shop owners and managers who are still “winging it” when scheduling repair jobs, there is a better way to manage the process and proactively run a collision repair shop, according to Dave Luehr and Ron Kuehn. Luehr, owner of Elite Body Shop Solutions, and Kuehn, owner of Collision Business Solutions, teamed up during an Elite Body Shop Academy webinar to teach body shops how to schedule optimum WIP (work in process), create a balanced workflow, optimize a shop’s work mix and create a simple scheduling form. “In today’s collision repair world, old thinking and poor scheduling systems are a recipe for disaster,” said Luehr. “Modern shops can no longer afford to bring in a majority of their week’s work in on Mondays and expect to survive.” When Luehr meets with shop owners and managers to help manage their businesses, his first operational priority is to look at their scheduling process and optimum WIP.

“You can’t implement anything successfully in an environment where you have too many cars sitting around,” he said. “The best blueprinting efforts typically fail because [owners] don’t understand scheduling and optimum WIP.” Why Most Scheduling Systems Don’t Work Many shops across the country schedule jobs based on labor hours, the number of cars or dollars. Although there is nothing wrong with scheduling this way, according to Kuehn, there is a tremendous opportunity to analyze the information 44

available to a repair facility and finetune the scheduling process. Luehr added that the labor hours used to schedule jobs aren’t always accurate due to incomplete estimates. This can create a tremendous amount of instability, not only with scheduling but also with the entire production system.

In a typical body shop, Luehr said, the culture has always been to “grab the keys” for as many jobs as possible. However, that approach often isn’t effective, especially in some markets across the country. “It’s killing people,” said Luehr. “It seriously creates health problems from the amount of stress and chaos that goes on every day in a typical body shop.” Kuehn said some shop owners and managers find comfort in knowing they have a lot of work on the shop floor and premises. However, he said, more often than not, the bigger the parking lot they have compared to the number of technicians, the worse the shop’s cycle time is going to be. Kuehn often calls shop owners like these “wipaholics”—those who don’t mind having too much work in process. Luehr said another main reason most scheduling systems aren’t effective is that shops “push” work through the shop, rather than allowing production to “pull” work from a pool of production-ready jobs. Instead, he recommends determining the needs and capacity of the shop’s production system and bringing in just the right amount of productionready work to feed it.


Excess WIP has been found to drive up operating costs, leading to poor cycle time, cash flow problems, quality defects and wasted resources. “If your WIP is too high, cycle time can suffer and chaos ensues,” said Luehr. “If it is too low, revenue can suffer.” Kuehn said three key ingredients need to be addressed: a shop’s WIP; monitoring intake and system of repair planning/blueprinting to identify what is needed regarding labor and parts up front; and most importantly, leadership. “Leadership has to set the tempo,” said Kuehn. “You have to come up with a number, then you have to monitor it and see what works and what doesn’t and continue to make modifications to make it better.”

Learning to Schedule to Optimum WIP Using Little’s Law Luehr also discussed Little’s Law, a mathematical equation for cycle time, introduced to him by Rich Altieri from AutoBody Management Solutions. Using the model of Little’s Law, Luehr said, shops can design their desired cycle time days and then figure out how many cars to ideally have on the property. To calculate optimum WIP, divide the number of cars on the property (WIP) by the daily production units (the average number of vehicles delivered daily). That will tell a shop its average cycle time. For example, if a shop with 10 cars in its production system consistently produces an average of two per day, it translates to a five-day cycle time. In contrast, a shop carrying 20 cars on the property would

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have a cycle time that would double to 10 days on average. Creating a Balanced Workflow When scheduling for production, Kuehn said, most management systems include four dates: arrival; repair start (when a technician is ready to

work on the vehicle and it can hopefully go through the system without stopping); repair complete (when the file is finished, ready to close and the vehicle is completed and inspected); and delivery. “The time between the start or ‘repair time’ and complete time, which you can think of as your manufacturing plant, is where you make your money,” said Kuehn. “The more efficient you can make your manufacturing plant, the more cash velocity [a component of cash flow] you are going to have.” In a perfect world, Luehr said, a

shop should bring in the same number of vehicles per day that are delivered to help maintain optimum WIP. For example, in a shop that repairs 20 cars per week, four would be brought in each of the five days it’s open and four would be delivered each of those five days.

“That would create the optimum workflow that would allow your business to be firing on all cylinders at its most profitable state,” he said. “The bottom line is to monitor intake because you can’t afford to have those cars sitting around,” said Kuehn. “You have an investment in all of those cars and a lot of cash tied up. It’s not just about getting those cars through the shop; it’s also the administration you have that can backlog the shop and your office.” Optimizing Work Mix Wise shops, according to Luehr and

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Kuehn, implement “triage” methods and bring in a mix of work each day. Different triage methods can be used based on the number of estimating hours, number of damaged panels, dollars spent and drivable vs. nondrivable vehicles. While many of these methods work well for shops, Luehr said it can often complicate the process. Instead, he recommends using a simple category size triage system using dollars or labor hours. For example: Category 1: $0-$1,499 Category 2: $1,500-$3,999 Category 3: $4,000+ “By overloading your system and not having the proper mix because you have too many small jobs at any one point in time, it will slow down the overall work,” said Kuehn. In other words, to keep all departments running at optimal profitability, he said, a mix of small, medium and large jobs need to be scheduled throughout the week. How to Create a Simple Schedule Form Luehr said a good first step is to cre-

ate a scheduling form to maintain optimum WIP and revenue goals. Every repairable vehicle should be accounted for on the form, regardless of the actual arrival date. If no openings are available, then the shop probably shouldn’t bring in another car, he said. If a loyal customer happens to come in, he said shops will likely agree to repair the car but will have to let the customer know the timeframe. “At least you have a scheduling system that allows you to communicate a little smarter with your customer,” said Luehr. “If you get ahead of schedule, you can always blueprint the vehicle and pull it into production, but don’t force-feed it,” said Kuehn. Luehr said the typical work mix for DRP shops can be determined by pulling historical data from the shop management system, and then space can be created on the scheduling sheet for those vehicles. “You may not know exactly how many are coming in or when, but you can still block out space for them,” he said. “The worst thing that See Scheduling Process, Page 50 / APRIL 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 Webinar Features ‘G’ Jerry Truglia’s ‘Why a DTC is Not Always Displayed’ On Feb. 20, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) hosted its monthly Webinar Wednesday. The webinar featured wellknown industry trainer “G” Jerry Truglia of Automotive Technicians Training Service, who presented “Why a DTC is Not Always Displayed.” Truglia covered how to alleviate issues related to a check engine light that comes on after the vehicle is repaired and how to diagnose and repair DTCs and drivebility more efficiently.

ASA Vice President Tony Molla began by welcoming attendees and introducing Truglia. Truglia began by examining the right way to diagnose DTCs and drivability problems. He noted that the most important tool needed to diagnose DTCs is a generic/global scan tool, but a factory scan tool is not always necessary. He stated, “You’re not going to become an expert in an hour, but we can put some lights on and help each other.” Repairers also need a game plan. Truglia explained, “Information on iATN, Identifix, ALLDATA, Mitchell, Autodata, MotoLogic, or even Google and YouTube can be very helpful in identifying if the vehicle you are working on needs a reflash or has a silver bullet problem. Remember, when looking at a silver bullet solution, always check and test the components and the system before replacing anything.” As he began to explain how to understand the diagnostic process, Truglia noted, “Before we go too deep, let’s get the caveats out of the way. When it comes to diagnosing engine performance, DTCs or driveability problems use a general/global scan tool to expedite your diagnosis. 48

A general/global OBD II scan tool allows us to view information quickly while allowing access to pending DTCs, Monitors, Mode 6, Mode 10 and Freeze Frame, to name a few. You won’t get all that information in the enhanced side of your scan tool, so start with the generic/global side first, and if you need more data PIDs or bi-directional control, switch to the enhanced side. Also, general/global PIDs are the same on every vehicle, whether it’s a GM, Toyota or a BMW. The data PIDs are all the same and easier to understand.” Truglia explained that repairers can get factory scan tool capabilities with J2534 and LSID/VSP, and he encouraged everyone to sign up at because “when you replace just about any computer on today’s vehicles, you’ll need that information to get the vehicle back online.” Displaying a slide that showed the modes of the OBD II, Truglia pointed out that this is the powertrain data that everyone has been looking at for years. He emphasized the importance of Mode 6, Mode 9 and Mode 10. “Mode 9 is super important because it gives us VIN information and allows us to see calibration files. Mode 10 will give us information that is stored in computer systems. This information is only erased after the vehicle has passed multiple times in special criteria,” he said. Truglia proceeded to demonstrate how to use the scan tool’s different modes, providing examples of scans and discussing what each of them could mean. Truglia explained, “If a monitor is not ready and you give the vehicle back to the customer without telling them, the client may get their check engine light illuminated again, and they won’t know whether it’s on for something they already paid to fix. I recommend that you print these screens and give them to the customer.” Reminding everyone to use the generic/global OBD II first, Truglia noted that generic scan tools cannot


substitute a value like an enhanced tool can. He talked through selecting the correct PIDs that should be viewed, pointing out that generic tools don’t have as many so they are less confusing. Truglia then moved on to discussing scan data fuel trim and the importance of knowing the good and bad limits so imbalances in the engine can be identified. He walked through many examples and explained the different issues that can be identified with this data. He noted, “Why does the number of fuel trim make a difference? Knowing which cell lets us know what and where to look for problems. Most mapping systems use a total of 16 cells, while some others will use a few more for other cells for fuel cut off, power enrichment, and EVAP purge, to name a few. Looking at RPM and map or load,

you can see the difference of how we add or subtract fuel using fuel trim cell data. “If fuel trim is normal, you can see there’s no problem, but don’t forget to look at the monitors so you don’t have a customer problem. Use data to determine what the problem is and which cell the problem is located in. The problem is with the load sensor most of the time. If we don’t have enough voltage at a component, it could be a power or a ground problem right, then we have an issue. These things are sometimes masked so you don’t see a directly related DTC.” Truglia demonstrated how Mode 6 shows the minimum and maximum values. The goal is to have a value in between, which would indicate that the item is working well. “Mode 6 is a quiz that fails a number of times; it then turns into a / APRIL 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS


pending DTC,” he explained. “It means that if the item failed enough times in Mode 6, it is escalated to a pending DTC, then on to a DTC. Remember: If it continues to fail as a pending DTC, it will turn into a DTC and cause a check engine light to illuminate. Use Mode 6 to predict what’s going to happen to that vehicle. Go to the test results to figure out which areas have possible concerns.” Truglia went on to explore Mode 10 and looking at permanent DTCs if the codes are already erased. He also stressed the value of looking at relative compression to become alerted to possible mechanical problems. He emphasized, “Never erases DTCs. It’s like pouring Clorox on a crime scene—nothing will be revealed.” Many examples were provided via screenshots as Truglia talked through what repairers should pay particular attention to in specific scenarios. Explaining how to understand O2 – AFR voltage levels, Truglia noted, “The lower the AF sensor voltage, the richer the mixture, while the

higher the voltage, the leaner the engine is running. This is opposite of what we’re normally used to, so take note of that.” Discussing the PIDs that absolutely need to be viewed, Truglia explained that graphing PIDs helps problems stand out. He recommended looking at the LTFT, MAF, MAP, Calculated Load and when checking for a P0420 and P0430 catalyst efficiency DTCs. He recommended graphing the front O2 or air fuel sensor along with the rear O2 sensor at idle, 2000 and 3000 rpms to make sure that the rear O2 sensor does not dither. This efficiency test will uncover a potential issue that causes the P0420 and P0430 DTCs. Regarding time to temperature, Truglia pointed out, “This tells us if the engine is warming up too slowly or too fast. If the thermostat doesn’t open at the right pace, there could be transmission or drivebility issues. Be assured that you need to look at time to temperature.” After providing several more case studies, Truglia advised that CO2 and the ATS Bulleye leak detection tool, along with thermal im-

aging, can be helpful tools for some DTCs and how to find problems. He ended his presentation by reminding participants, “Don’t just look at the DTCs. Look at all of the information that’s available to you. That’s the moral of the story here.” Molla then resumed control of the broadcast and led a question-andanswer session based on attendees’ feedback. ASA will host a bonus webinar on Feb. 27 on “How Engaging with AMi can Increase Profits” with AMi President Jeff Peevy. On March 20, ASA’s Webinar Wednesday will feature Robert L. Redding Jr., ASA legislative representative for the D.C. office. He will provide an update on the 2019 state legislative sessions and shop-relevant items on the legislative agenda. For more information on ASA, visit


4x Monthly E-Newsletter.

Continued from Page 46

Scheduling Process could happen is maybe one doesn’t show up and then you can bring in somebody else ahead of schedule.” Luehr cautions shops not to be too aggressive when reducing optimum WIP (car count) because it takes time to improve. He recommends decreasing the work in process incrementally while continuing to refine the shop’s systems to avoid losing revenue. Kuehn agrees. “You can’t change your culture overnight,” he said. “Instead, you need to start with a scheduling process gradually and fine-tune the system.” “The ultimate goal is to simultaneously achieve your revenue goals and cycle time goals and adjust to keep your optimum WIP on target,” said Luehr. For an example of Elite Body Shop Solutions’ scheduling form and to watch the free webinar, visit https:// webinar.

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After the Donation: Caliber Collision, Allstate Step Up to Help Army Veteran by Ed Attanasio

Some deserving people receive donated cars to make their lives a little easier, while others use them to get better jobs and improve their situations. For Eboni Strader, a disabled U.S. Army veteran and single mother of two children, her new vehicle has allowed her to continue receiving critical medical treatment, take her children to school, continue her education and work with the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet), which serves veterans throughout the entire state. “I work in the executive suite with the Women’s Division. This car has given me the ability to achieve all of this in just two short months after receiving the car. Life was exceedingly difficult for me and my children before we received the gift of this vehicle,” she said. In October 2018, Caliber Collision, in conjunction with Allstate Insurance as part of the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides pro-

gram, presented a completely refurbished 2014 Toyota Corolla to Strader at the sixth annual Military Women’s Appreciation Day at American River College in Sacramento, CA.

Army Veteran Eboni Strader, with her son Isaiah, received a 2014 Toyota Corolla from Caliber Collision in conjunction with Allstate Insurance as part of NABC’s Recycled Rides program last year

More than 200 female veterans and active service members attended the event, which was hosted by VA NorCal and produced in cooperation with Operation: Care and Comfort, The Soldiers Project and the American River College Veterans Resource



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Center. “The car changed my life because it removed a lot of stress,” Strader said. “This entire experience changed my life because it made me a better mother, student and employee and has allowed me to gain the freedom and independence I desperately needed. Now I can obtain the medical treatment and care that I desperately need, and it allows me to keep my children enrolled in the current charter school they attend because I can get them to and from school every day.” In 2015, Strader relocated to California to escape a domestic violence situation and start anew. “I got on an airplane with my two children, and we had to leave a lot of our possessions behind,” she said. “We came to seek shelter with a family member in another city but were unable to stay there, and eventually we had to move. We then came to Sacramento, and I sought help from the VA here. I was placed in VA housing for women with SVRC (Sacramento Veterans Resource Center).

“My children and I were housed with them for over a year before I received my own permanent housing through a special program set up for veterans called Hud-Vash. During this time, I was diagnosed with several health issues as well as MTSD. As a disabled veteran, it was vital for me to continue getting the treatment I desperately needed from the VA hospital located at Mather Airfield. “Shortly after receiving housing, my car was repossessed, and I had no other means of getting another car. I had used all the money I had saved up to pay the deposit on our townhome and was unable to afford the $400 car payments any longer. “For a while, I was able to borrow a vehicle to take my children to school until the rear right tire broke off and was slung into oncoming traffic. I then was able to get my case manager to graciously take time out of her day to travel from Mather to pick me up for a couple of vital appointments I had at the VA hospital. I also was given a bus pass, and I ocSee After the Donation, Page 54



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Media and Publicity for Shops with Ed Attanasio

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

Broadly Helps Body Shops Shine Online In 2013, engineers Josh Melick and Assaf Arkin founded Broadly, a company that facilitates businesses’ success online through Facebook, Yelp, Google and NextDoor, while living in Oakland, CA. According to Broadly’s website, after years of watching his father’s roofing business struggle to find an effective, simple and affordable solution to market itself, Melick recognized a need in the local business community. He and Arkin set out to find an impactful way for businesses to engage with today’s consumers and thus, Broadly was born. Autobody News recently sat down with Melick to find out how his company is helping auto body shops all over the country grow organically online and bring more business through the door. If the majority of the work comes from the insurance companies, why should shops care about their online presence and online feedback?


In the collision repair industry ... the consumer writes the check, either to the insurer or the shop itself ... in the end, the customer makes the ultimate decision. In today’s modern world, more and more consumers like to look online, and they want to know that their cars are being fixed properly. They have the family mini-van, for example, and they want to make sure that it’s repaired perfectly after an accident before they put the kids back in it. That’s where word-of-mouth comes in. Word-of-mouth is always present—there is nothing new about that—but what has changed in our modern world is how we access it and where we go to find it. It’s not just people talking to people anymore. Although I might talk to my neighbor, they’re more likely looking on NextDoor or Facebook to see where their friends had their cars repaired. I might use my cell phone to search using Google to find shops near me or by my office.



This is the modern world we live in, so shops have to care about it in a way they didn’t before. Ultimately, the insurance company cares about the shop’s online presence too because they want to look reputable and don’t want blowback from consumers. What you do

Josh Melick co-founded Broadly, a company that facilitates businesses’ success online through Facebook, Yelp, Google and NextDoor. Credit: Todd Johnson

with online reviews can seal the deal. But if they’re done incorrectly, they can also kill the deal. If consumers start seeing one-star reviews on Yelp, for instance, the consumer might rebel and say I don’t want to take my car to that shop because I don’t think that they can do a good job on my car. Every business today needs to figure out how to get word-of-mouth happening. That’s where online reviews enter the picture, whether it’s Yelp, Facebook, Google, NextDoor or others. That’s why shops need simple ways to follow their customers, ask for feedback and get it posted in the right spot. That’s why we started Broadly.

Q: A:

your customers. We enable businesses to follow up with their customers automatically. We make it easy for them to capture that feedback and leave that feedback in places that matter, like Google, NextDoor, Yelp, etc. It’s all about doing everything you can to make it easy, because it’s a lot of work to tell someone to go online and write a review about your shop. But if it’s done automatically, it’s much more likely that the consumer will actually do it. Most customers, to their credit, are willing to do that, especially if you’ve done a good job for them, but they will only go so far. Helping them by simplifying the process is the key. At Broadly, we can integrate with the shop’s management system in many cases, making it even simpler.


If a shop gets a one-star review, should the shop respond

either online or in person? Yes, but your response should always be short and sweet. You’re not going to win any public relations battles by responding to a one-star review online, because in most cases a bad review is caused by a breakdown in communications somewhere. The best way to avoid that is to prevent it from happening in the first place, so that’s why our tools, such as automatic feedback, can catch problems sooner. If you can catch it before it goes online, it’s better for both parties. Once a negative review is out there, it’s not easy to fix, so communicating with the customer during every stage of the repair is the best way to go. If consumers can see that a business responds quickly to a bad review and tries to make it better, that will resonate with them and they will


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How do you get people to review a shop after the repair?

Every business owner wants feedback; that’s always been a good business practice. That’s a great starting point, but you need to do more than just ask the customer for feedback. If you simply ask them to write about the car or the experience, that feedback is helpful for you to know, but it can do so much more for your business if it goes online. At Broadly, we’ve done the hard work by figuring out how to integrate with the social networks—to email, text message and communicate with


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usually be willing to accept that. Secondly, once the one-star review is out there, you should definitely respond promptly with a short response. Consumers like to see that because it shows you care. But the best way to deal with it is by picking up the phone to apologize personally and try to find out a way to fix it. Every business wants to make things right, but stuff happens. In the end, it all comes down to volume because if you have one bad review, but most of them are positive, it won’t be a problem.

Q: A:

Is it wise to pay for a high position on Google?

In collision repair, if you have a great presence online and you’ve done it organically, you’re going to get more business through the door whether you pay for advertising or not. First, you should make sure that you have a good image online before you think about advertising. Advertising is the icing on the cake, but not the cake itself, so you need that core organic presence first, and that comes from reviews.

Continued from Page 51

After the Donation casionally took a Lyft if I needed to go grocery shopping. There was one period of time over the summer that my children were home for more than 30 days straight without being able to go anywhere. Thank God for the Dollar General store across the street from our home because I was able to walk there for any crucial items we needed.” Without a vehicle, Strader and her family weren’t able to enjoy California. Once she received the car from Caliber Collision, she was able to take a significant trip with her kids, she said. “One of the greatest gifts I received with the gifting of the vehicle was the ability to fulfill a dream for my children by taking them to Disneyland,” she said. “My children had been through so much; this was something incredibly special for us to do together as a family. With the help of Allstate Insurance and Caliber Collision, I was able to make that dream come true for my children last year

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during the Thanksgiving break. They gifted my family $400 in gift cards as well as $100 in gas cards. That is a memory my children and I will never forget.

“I want to provide my children with a better life and show them that if you keep trying and believe in yourself, things will get better. From this experience, they have also learned there are wonderful people out there who are willing to help without expecting anything in return.” Strader has resided in a townhouse with her children in the Natomas, CA, area for over a year now. She is a full-time student working toward a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix and is a straight-A student.

Several groups and organizations were instrumental in helping this single mom receive the car, especially her Hud-Vash case worker, Misty Ogsaen, who recommended Strader for the donation, and Caliber Collision field account representative Larry Lane. “When I heard her story, it was inspirational, and once she got the vehicle, I was confident that she would start paying it forward,” Lane said. Caliber teamed up with its industry partners to donate more than 100 cars in 2018 and plans to do the same this year. Recycled Rides is a 12-year-old program in which insurers, collision repairers, paint suppliers, parts vendors and other collision industry companies collaborate to repair donated vehicles for deserving individuals and service organizations throughout the country. The company has repaired about 2,000 donated vehicles.



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Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

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

How Implementing a Lean Process Can Improve a Shop’s ROI & Decrease Cycle Time Collision repairers often don’t recog- time at a lower internal cost with less nize the tremendous value of incor- stress on the entire staff.” porating well-defined processes into Autobody News recently reached their body shops, according to Steve out to Feltovich to learn more about Feltovich, president of SJF Business the lean process and why he encourages shop owners and managers to Consulting LLC. Feltovich said that since be- take the steps necessary to implement it into their businesses. ginning to apply lean production principles to the How would you decollision repair environfine the lean process? ment in the early 2000s, he has seen committed shops Lean is a very merealize a multitude of benthodical, reliable and efits for their businesses. holistic approach to busi“The lean process is deSteve Feltovich, president of ness improvement. It puts signed to increase sales and SJF Business customer value at the foreprofitability, improve ROI Consulting LLC front, so everyone wins— and decrease cycle time,” said Feltovich, who works with deal- the customer, the insurance company, ers, independent collision repairers the organization and the supplier. and MSOs to make business improve- What I’ve taught shops for many ments and achieve performance goals. years is to look at lean as customer “It can also help a shop deliver a first. Although the insurance comhigher-quality product in a lot less pany transfers policyholder dollars to

Q: A:

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the shop, at the end of the day, everyone is ultimately paid by the customer. There are five principal elements that make lean work: the elimination of waste; teamwork; the efficient use of resources; continuous improvement; and effective communication.

Q: A:

Why do we need a better business model, such as lean?

The reason we need a better business model is that cars have changed; they are not manufactured the same, they don’t function the same and as a result, they can’t be repaired the same. Today’s customers have also changed. They are more educated, more empowered and more knowledgeable. Whether we call it “Lean,” “Six Sigma” or the “Toyota Production System,” it’s just

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What advice do you give shops looking to implement the lean process?



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a label. The bottom line is we need an absolute business transformation bringing in a better business model. Body shops have essentially operated the same way for the last 60 or 70 years. Across the board, everybody has been utilizing the same processes, and there is much waste in the system. The industry as a whole is still plagued by many of these wastes that we identified in the early 2000s. I think the primary reason is that we haven’t trained managers to manage their businesses any differently. We continue to hire managers who have experience in the collision repair industry but don’t necessarily understand how to transform business into a leaner operational platform.

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I tell them that you have to become a student in lean. Lean only works when the owner(s) and management team embrace the process improvement and philosophy. Employees are managed differently using the lean process. Rather than dictating to them what you want them to do, you instead bring them into the problems that the business encounters and work together to make improvements. Management becomes more of a facilitator than a dictator of operational processes. Training at the top of the tower is an absolute must. I think that is where most companies can derail— when the top people don’t understand the importance of continuous learning, embracing it enough and fully believing in it confidently before they try to roll it out to the shop floor. That’s where it fails—and fails ferociously in many cases. Many people attend one 20 Group meeting or one lean process training session. I caution those who are first introduced to the lean process that they aren’t going to learn enough in one session to transform their busi-


ness successfully. They can often do more damage than good. You need to attend many sessions and read books such as “The Toyota Way” by Jeffrey Liker. That’s the first book I recommend and the bedrock of beginning to even consider implementing lean in a process improvement way that will be sustainable. Like any well-run business, it takes dedication, time and commitment from the people at the top of the organization. The lean process can often take a little additional effort because shops are undoing the traditional management learning and changing that outdated thinking into more of a process-oriented and continuous improvement philosophy. This requires considerable maintenance from the management team to keep it on track.

Q: A:

How does the lean process differ from other processes?

The lean process differs from traditional managed processes on one key element: There’s a daily obsession with eliminating non-valueadded, wasteful activities from getting

in the way of producing greater customer value. For example, if you have to order parts two or three times on a car because you didn’t do a complete, 100-percent damage analysis with disassembly and discover all of the damage and broken components the first time, then there are wasted activities. They are non-value-added because you were paid to buy or order parts one time and they were ordered two additional times. Wasteful activities can be found in administration, production and paint processes.

Q: A:

How long does it typically take to implement the lean process?

People want to put a timeframe on lean; however, it all depends on how quickly you as a leader can build the culture around it. This includes how quickly you learn it, embrace it, understand it and then communicate it. It really varies and is about getting the team to understand that everyone’s job is to continually improve the business’s processes, so they get better

and better. Why is it becoming increasingly important to get onboard with the lean process?


OEMs are now looking for their certified shops to have more refined processes in place, such as a front-end sales process, a scheduling process and damage analysis. Some manufacturers are starting to say you can’t get certified unless you have lean practices in place. Whether you understand lean or not, ask yourself if you are doing some of the basic elements of lean that give you a better throughput, higher quality and lower internal costs. Shops that don’t even know what lean processes are and have had no exposure to it are really going to be left behind at some point. Another vital reason is due to the new technology in vehicles. I’ve heard from OEMs that 60 percent of collision repair is going to be related to technology and electronics. This includes cameras, computers, smart wiring, calibration, road-testing and checking for functionality. All of the


See Lean Process, Page 66

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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

ASA Washington D.C. Representative Bob Redding Delivers Legislative Update On Feb. 6, ASA’s Washington D. C. representative, Bob Redding, delivered a legislative update two blocks from the U.S. Capitol to discuss national and state legislation relevant to the automotive industry. Referencing the previous evening’s State of the Union address, Redding mentioned that transportation infrastructure is a big issue. Beginning at the federal level, Redding noted that the SELF DRIVE Act passed last year, which addresses new vehicle technology, autonomous vehicles and how states and the federal government should interact regarding the regulation of these vehicles. He noted that the bill “passed overwhelmingly” in the House and the Senate Commerce Committee; however, an amendment to address cyber security and data access issues was attached, and the bill never reached the Senate floor. Pointing out that the 2018 election flipped the House from Republican to Democrat, Redding stressed that priorities change and require a new beginning. “ASA is pleased with the data access amendment and supports it, but we have to start all over now,” he said. “We’re looking for federal legislation regarding autonomous vehicles soon, and we’ll work to ensure data access and cyber security are addressed.” Redding stressed the importance of being at the table for legislative conversations. “ASA’s goal is to be part of the process, to learn and share with members and leadership, and to be sure we’re at the table when a lot of decisions are made. If you’re not at the table, you’re very likely to be on the menu,” he said. Redding moved on to the variety of bills for the 2019 state sessions, beginning with Missouri. He noted that Missouri has one of the premiere vehicle safety inspection programs in the nation. “In fact, ASA has used it as a template we’d like to see other states follow,” he said. “Almost every year, 60

the Missouri Vehicle Safety Program is attacked in the state legislature. Last year, it was in the form of House Bill 1444, which we fought, but it has been reintroduced as House Bill 451. ASA is opposed to this legislation, and we need to stop it.” While 30 states have had vehicle inspection programs in the past, only 15 states currently have them. Redding said, “We believe these programs are invaluable to the motoring public, and ASA would like to protect the 15 programs in play today [and] see them enhanced and spread to other states. There are many responsible repairers who look up vehicles and inform customers of safety recalls without mandates and regulations, but this piece of consumer education could be wrapped into these safety programs.” Moving along to Massachusetts, Redding noted that Right to Repair was approved in 2013; however, a bill was dropped at the end of 2018 and was reintroduced in 2019 with changes that touch on telematics, expands the Right to Repair legislation of 2013 and includes some data access provisions. He stated, “Data access is the new service information. ‘Data access’ is the catch phrase you are going to see over and over in legislation, at the state and federal level. We need to ensure, in legislation, that it does what automotive repairers need it to do.” Turning to New Hampshire, Redding discussed House Bill 664, which calls for the use of and reimbursement for OEM repair procedures. According to Redding, “This is just the tip of the spear. Multiple states are drafting similar legislation, but this has nothing to do with parts—just OE repair procedures.” Redding then requested complete attention for an “important story of David and Goliath” and delved into Wyoming Senate Bill 0095, which was introduced in midJanuary and attempts to define na-


tional certification of aftermarket crash parts. He explained, “Legislation on this subject has been attempted in multiple states with little success, and the NHTSA has rebuked attempts to certify aftermarket parts. The legislation passed within two weeks without enough collision shop input, and it is now being considered by the House.” Redding then spouted off a series of important questions regarding this legislation that need to be considered. “What state agency in Wyoming is fully equipped to evaluate the certification standard of aftermarket parts? Who will determine if these parts meet OEM standards? How does this protect consumers? What value does it offer? Any discussion about aftermarket parts evokes discussion of the quality issue, and


these are important issues that require more than a superficial review. Cheaper and quicker does not ensure a quality, safe repair. ASA opposes the Wyoming legislature and is working to stop the bill from going forward without more review and input from the impacted entities. It provides no protection for shops or consumers,” he said. As the feed wrapped up, Redding announced that ASA plans to provide more periodic updates on legislation at the state and federal levels. “We are dealing with huge issues and want to keep you informed, to work with you. We have found there is strength in numbers, and we need more members to speak up,” he said. ASA will host a webinar on March 20 to further discuss legislative issues impacting the automotive industry. For more information, visit

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Day Job/Night Job

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

with Ed Attanasio

Mike’s Auto Body Estimator Chases Fame as Stand-up Comic Ron Bello, an up-and-coming standup comedian, has been working as an estimator at Mike’s Auto Body in Fairfield, CA, since November 2018. Bello, who has 20 years of experience working in retail, took Mike’s Auto Body’s one-week estimator’s training program at its Fairfield facility last year. He knows he has a lot to learn about estimating and the collision repair industry as a whole and is highly motivated and intrigued by the job. “Everyone here at Mike’s has been so great,” Bello said. “My manager in Fairfield (Corey Flies) has been very supportive, and the company is giving me all of the tools I need to succeed in this position. Mike’s is investing in me and everyone here is willing to answer all of my questions, so I know I’m not alone, and that gives me a lot of confidence.”

Confidence is key for Bello as he attempts to break into the stand-up comedy industry—one of the toughest things anyone can do. He hit the stage for the very first time back in August 2018, and after doing 20 gigs in the six months since then, he is hitting his stride. Bello’s influences include George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Robin Williams. He appreciates the challenge presented by doing comedy, he said. “Doing stand-up is very satisfying, but it’s also difficult. I now have 20 minutes of material, and my goal is to eventually do a one-man show, which means I’ll need to have 60 minutes or more of jokes and stories to tell,” he said. Bello’s first gig took place at Compadre’s in Napa, and although he was a little nervous, he got some big laughs and surprised a lot of peo-

ple, including himself. “I told my first joke and the audience started laughing, so I was definitely encouraged and gained

Ron Bello is a fledgling estimator at Mike’s Auto Body in Fairfield, CA, who has dreams of being a successful stand-up comic

momentum. When I was done doing my five minutes, the emcee said that I must have done stand-up before, but it was truly my first time on stage,” he said.

In November, Bello signed up for a comedy competition at Sally Tomatoes in Rohnert Park and walked away as the first-place winner. “They had three judges who were big-time, including Ron Vingh, who does all the booking at the Punchline in San Francisco,” Bello said. “After my set, the judges critiqued my jokes and gave me some helpful feedback about my stage presence and the quality of my jokes. They said they liked my energy on stage and that my punch lines were strong, so that was definitely a great evening I will never forget.” In February, Bello and two other comedians kicked off their “Woke and Broke” tour at the Lucky Penny Theater in Napa with a sold-out show. As he writes more and more jokes and refines his style, he’s pleased and anticipating a bright future. “That was a big night because See Stand-up Comic, Page 66

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CSN Collision Centres Conference Focuses on How To Achieve Excellence by Stacey Phillips

Astronaut, IndyCar Driver and Vietnam War Survivor Featured at Annual Conference A Canadian astronaut, an IndyCar driver and a Vietnam War survivor were all part of the 16th annual CSN Collison Centres Conference held in Scottsdale, AZ, this past November. Established 16 years ago, CSN Collision Centres is a Canada-wide network of collision repair facilities with 350 locations throughout the country. Each of the collision centers

Kim Phuc, Vietnam war survivor (left) and Ashley Thorpe, national marketing manager at CSN

is hand-picked based on having the highest quality of standards and vehicle repair technology. CSN’s mission is to bring safety, reliability and trust to every Canadian. According to Jay Hayward, vice president of operations for CSN Collision Centres, “Our mission is what drives us to bring the very best service and technology to every repair to make sure our customers have peace of mind.” This year’s theme, “On the Horizon,” showcased a variety of speakers who shared personal and professional advice with body shops through inspirational stories and experiences. “I’m excited about what’s before us—an adventure that allows us the opportunity of continuous improvement and providing everybody a world-class experience,” said Flavio Battilana, CSN’s chief operating officer. Battilana talked about CSN’s recent accomplishments, including the establishment of a new head office, its new insurance partners and new licensees as well as future company plans “on the horizon.” “As we travel toward our horizon, we will encounter both challenges and opportunities, and we will 64

embrace both,” he said. “We will begin to realize that the horizon evolves, constantly moving and creating a different adventure from the one we might initially have planned for, and we will embrace that.” “At CSN, we pride ourselves on being performance-driven,” said Ashley Thorpe, national marketing manager at CSN. “We also pride ourselves on being leaders in the collision repair industry.” Thorpe introduced the keynote speaker, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who she said exemplifies those same traits. “As a 9-year-old boy, [Chris Hadfield] watched Neil Armstrong land on the moon and decided right then and there that’s what he wanted to do,” said Thorpe. “He put in the hard work and was motived to reach his goal, and sure enough, he became the first Canadian to walk in space and the first Canadian to be the commander of the International Space Station and spend 166 days in space. Our theme of the conference is ‘On the Horizon.’ Who better to speak about being on the horizon than someone who has not only seen the horizon but gone well beyond the horizon?” Hadfield talked about “Achieving Excellence” by paralleling his experiences with space travel.

the absolute best way to deal with what’s beyond the horizon,” he said. “Visualizing success is nice … it doesn’t really help when the actual reality of the problems of the world arrive. If you truly want to be ready for whatever challenge you are facing in your life, what we do professionally as astronauts is visualize failure…” He said they are then able to determine if they are prepared, how to readdress a problem and ensure they are constantly improving. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield talked about achieving Kim Phuc, a Vietnam excellence. He is pictured with Ashley Thorpe, national War survivor often referred marketing manager at CSN to as the “Napalm girl” or To achieve success, Hadfield en- “the girl in the photo,” addressed the couraged attendees to visualize fail- audience about “Staying Grounded.” Phuc, who was severely burned by ure. “If you haven’t visualized all of napalm when she was 9 years old, the failures and all of the obstacles is best known as the naked girl dethat are bound to roll out there in picted in the Pulitzer Prize-winning front of you, if you wait until it’s too photograph taken during the Vietlate, especially the more isolated you nam War. She shared what it was like when are, then your odds of success are much diminished … To me, that’s her village was bombed in 1972 and and fundamentally change their own capabilities and their own perception of what was impossible to try and gain the skills to do this.”

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some of the lessons she learned from her experience, how it changed her life, shaped her values and helped her become who she is today. “Sometimes terrible things can happen to us,” said Phuc. “We are lucky we can learn from our experiences, and it can make us even stronger—that was my first lesson.” In addition to motivational presentations, attendees also had the opportunity to hear business advice related to the collision repair industry. This included a CSN marketing update, an overview of the network’s 2019 business strategy and an insurance panel. Osvaldo Bergaglio, Symach’s president and CEO, gave an overview about the company’s equipment, technology and layout solutions for body shops. The Italian-based company specializes in building and retrofitting collision repair shops worldwide. During his presentation, Bergaglio shared some of the key benefits of Symach’s patented Drytronic technology, the Symach Paint Application Process (SPA) and the FixLine repair process. Tim Ronak, senior services consultant for AkzoNobel, talked about

KPIs, why some are challenging to be evaluated by and what to do about it. After giving an overview of basic statistics and the key components needed to understand KPIs, he said that typically, severity is too variable to actually be used to meaningfully measure performance.

“Like it or not, big data KPIs are being used to make decisions about your business performance whether or not the KPIs are valid,” said Ronak. “Being able to discuss those variables in an intelligent way is crucial for you to be able to deflect a negative critique, especially when it is beyond your control.” Award-winning journalist Jeff Ansell shared his knowledge on how to communicate with confidence.

Following the daytime presentations, Canadian IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe, CSN’s brand ambassador, hosted the Evening of Excellence Dinner and Awards Ceremony. Top-performing shops were recognized in a variety of categories, including CSN Dana’s in Fredericton, New Brunswick in the category of Shop of the Year. During the awards gala, Larry French, vice president of sales and marketing at CSN Collision Centres, announced that CSN shop owners and industry partners raised $175,000 for Make-A-Wish Canada. “Our CSN shops have worked extremely hard leading up to the holidays to raise funds that will help children live their dreams through the Make-A-Wish organization,” said French. “I’d like to thank all of them for their passion and commitment and going the extra mile to help kids experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” The next CSN Collision Centres Conference will be held in Quebec City in October 2019. For more information, contact Thorpe at

Continued from Page 59

Lean Process scanning of codes and clearing codes are going to be tied to electronics and technology. Therefore, it will be important to have an effective operational process in place to help drive precision and eliminate defects and redundancy. If we don’t, I believe it’s going to be a chaotic mess to try to fix these advanced technological platforms coming our way. We often go out and spend money on a new spray booth or frame machine. Although I’m in favor of purchasing efficient, up-to-date equipment, in a lot of cases we’ll spend our time and effort utilizing advanced equipment with broken processes when we could have worked on our processes and extracted a real return on investment. I believe it’s critical for shops to begin building a new business model based on “lean processes” to remain competitive in the future. For more information, email Feltovich at

Continued from Page 62

Stand-up Comic we taped the show so we could use the footage for promotional purposes,” he said. “In this industry, you have to always be promoting yourself, which is why I do things like podcasts and radio shows to sell my brand. I have been a guest on a podcast called ‘The Grind’ that’s hosted by Hank Hardister, a fellow comic, and on Fridays I often appear on a radio show on KVON (1440 AM) hosted by Barry Martin, which is a lot of fun.” Bello is in a good space right now—happy with his job and delighted with the prospect of excelling as a stand-up comic. “I’ve always wanted to be a comedian, so this is huge, and Mike’s Auto Body is an incredible employer and the best job I’ve ever had,” he said.

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Volvo Imposes Speed Limits on Cars to Reduce Fatalities by Jessica Miley, Interesting Engineering

Volvo, a car company synonymous with safety, is taking it one step further by introducing speed limits on its cars. In an announcement made March 5, the Swedish carmakers said future models will have a 112 MPH (180 kmh) limit to ensure the optimal use of the vehicles’ built-in safety systems. The move is part of the company’s Vision 2020, which has the goal of ensuring that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020. Volvo’s ambition makes it a safety leader in the industry. Tech Doesn’t Make Good Drivers But Volvo understands that all the technology in the world doesn’t make good drivers. To give them the best chance at achieving their vision, the company is opening up its policies to include driver behavior. Volvo said speeding is one of its main concerns as it moves towards a fatality-free future. “Volvo is a leader in safety: we always have been and we always will be,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “Because of

our research, we know where the problem areas are when it comes to ending serious injuries and fatalities in our cars. And while a speed limit is not a cure-all, it’s worth doing if we can even save one life.”

Credit: Volvo

Volvo Vows to Continue to Lead the Industry The reduced maximum speed limit is just one idea to tackle the gap between driver and technology. In addition to limiting overall maximum speed, Volvo is investigating using geofencing technology that could possible automatically reduce car speeds when around schools and hospitals. “We want to start a conversation about whether carmakers have the right or maybe even an obligation to install technology in cars that change

Finish i t lik e a M asterp iece

their driver’s behavior, to tackle things like speeding, intoxication or distraction,” said Samuelsson. “We don’t have a firm answer to this question, but believe we should take leadership in the discussion and be a pioneer.” Drivers Need to Understand the Dangers of Speed Better As cars become safer and safer, they can often give the driver an inflated feeling of protection, which in turn causes poor driver behavior. Above certain speeds, in-car safety technology and smart infrastructures such as automatic braking and lane-change assist no longer work optimally. Even without these technologies, any car traveling above certain speeds has reduced handling and control, which may result in accidents. In fact, data from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration shows that 25 percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2017 were caused by speeding. “As humans, we all understand the dangers with snakes, spiders and heights. With speeds, not so much,” said Jan Ivarsson. “People often drive too fast in a given traffic situation and have poor speed adaptation

in relation to that traffic situation and their own capabilities as a driver. We need to support better behavior and help people realize and understand that speeding is dangerous. “ Distraction, Intoxication Next On the List Volvo has identified intoxication and distraction as the other two leading causes of accidents. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a leader in causing traffic accidents despite it being illegal in most parts of the world. Distraction is a new, on-the-rise problem that is often associated with using devices while driving. Volvo vows to tackle these problems and will present its initial ideas in Gothenburg, Sweden on March 20. We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission.



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How 4 Recalls May Impact Your Business by Emmariah Holcomb,

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued four recalls with implications for the auto glass industry. The three vehicle manufacturers included in the recall are Nissan North America Inc. (Nissan); a variety of Mercedes-Benz models; and Subaru’s 2018 Legacy, Outback and BRZ models. Mercedes-Benz and Subaru have notified their affected vehicle owners. Nissan More than 340,000 Nissan Altima drivers are affected by the company’s latest recall. According to the NHTSA, Nissan is recalling vehicles that were previously addressed in recall number 17V-040. The administration stated the 2015–2017 Altima’s door latch-lock cable might not have been routed properly in the rear door when the remedy was applied. Glass shop representatives working on the recalled models can assure their customers that the latch-lock cables will be secured in the correct position at no cost. Shop owners can

advise their customers to contact Nissan’s customer service center if they have more questions at 1-800-6477669 or the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236. Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz had two new recalls in February, the first being its 2018–2019 GLA250 and GLA250 4MATIC vehicles. More than a dozen vehicle owners are impacted and may experience a loss in visibility. The administration states the vehicle’s sunroof bonding may allow water to leak into the vehicle. The water leak may reach the vehicle’s electrical components, thus increasing the probability of an accident. Auto glass technicians and owners can assure their customers that the panorama sliding sunroof bonding and the electrical contacts will be replaced as necessary at no charge. Shop owners can advise their customers to contact Mercedes customer service at 1-800-367-6372 if they have further questions.

Subaru Recalls 783,000 Vehicles for Takata Airbags by David A. Wood,

We thank for reprint permission.

Subaru is recalling 783,000 vehicles to replace dangerous Takata airbag inflators in two recalls that include the 2010–2014 Subaru Tribeca, WRX, Legacy, 2010–2011 Subaru Impreza and 2010–2013 Subaru Forester. The Takata passenger frontal airbag inflators contain ammonium nitrate used as the propellant that deploys the airbags in crash impacts, but the chemical can become unstable and explode. Even a minor crash can cause the metal inflators to explode into sharp pieces of metal. Nearly 453,000 of the vehicles are recalled if they were sold or registered in the following states:


Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. In a separate Takata recall of the same Subaru vehicles, more than 330,000 are recalled in these areas: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Owners should have received recall notices explaining how Subaru dealers will replace the frontpassenger airbag inflators. For questions, please call the automaker at 844-373-6614.


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Mercedes’ second recall involves its lane departure and steering in its 2018 S450 4MATIC, S560 4MATIC Coupe, S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe, Maybach S560 4MATIC, S560 4MATIC, S63 AMG and S63 AMG 4MATIC Cabrio vehicles. More than 6,000 vehicle owners are affected. According to the NHTSA, the Hands-offDetection system may malfunction, causing the Active Steering Assist system to remain engaged regardless of whether the driver’s hands are on the steering wheel. Mercedes stated it has notified all affected owners of both of its latest recalls. Shop owners can notify their customers that they will update the steering control unit software, free of charge. Subaru More than 71,000 Subaru owners are affected by the company’s latest visibility recall. The company’s 2018 Legacy, Outback and BRZ are the affected vehicles. NHTSA stated that

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all models have a software issue that may prevent the audio display system from initializing. This can result in the camera display remaining blank and increase the likelihood of an accident when a driver is in reverse. “If this occurs, the rearview image will not display while backing up the vehicle. As a result, the vehicles fail to comply with requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety (FMVSS) number 111, Rearview Mirrors,” according to the NHTSA. Subaru stated it has notified all affected vehicle owners of the issue. Shop owners can assure their customers they will reprogram the audio system display software, free of charge. If customers have additional questions, vehicle shop owners can advise them to contact Subaru customer service at 1-844-373-6614. This recall’s number is WTZ-85. We thank for reprint permission.


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