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CCC’s 2021 Crash Course Report Tries to Get a Glimpse at the “New Normal” by Ed Attanasio

W hat will the “new normal” look like and how will it affect the collision repair industry? The C O V ID -1 9 pandemic has forced businesses to evaluate key issues such as supply-chain sourcing, telecommuting, and how to work with your insurance partners, vendors, and customers. G et ready for more and more AD AS technology; fewer drivers on the road, and more severe accidents due to speeding, and reckless driving. In addition, more and more people will continue to work at home

and as a result, will change the types of car insurance they acquire. R ecently, C C C Information Services, Inc. (C C C ) unveiled its annual C rash C ourse report, the cumulation of one full year of research, analysis, and looking for trends that can potentially impact the industry for many years to come. The person behind the report is C C C ’ s D irector/ Industry Analyst S u s anna G ot s c h, who authors the report every year. She wrote the first one back in 1 9 9 5 , when AD AS was still in its infancy and today many See Crash Course Report, Page 26

Auto Insurers See Greater Profitability, but Fewer Premiums by Ryan Smith, Insurance Business Magazine

Profitability improved in the .S. private passenger auto insurance segment in the third quarter of 2 0 2 0 , although premium volume declined, according to a new report from A M B e st. The loss ratio of private passenger auto insurers improved by 9 . 2 percentage points year-over-year to 5 7 . 3 % , according to the new Best’ s M arket Segment R eport. The improvement was largely driven by a reduction in accidents due to a pandemic-induced reduction in the number of

cars on the roads and miles driven. O ther prime factors were improvements that auto underwriters have made in recent years to enhance their focus on rate adequacy, improving auto repair management and making greater use of innovative measures, AM Best said. At the same time, the reduction of drivers on the road also led to a 1 . 7 % drop in direct premiums written through Q 3 compared to the same period in 2 0 1 9 . W ith the lower loss frequency, AM Best predicted a four percentage-point improvement See Fewer Premiums, Page 22



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AUTOBODYNEWS.COM Vol. 39 / Issue 4 / April 2021

Shops Stuck in the Middle in Battle Over OEM Vehicle Safety Inspections by John Yoswick

M i k e A nd e r s on is convinced the vehicle safety inspection procedures called for by automakers in the O E M electronic service manuals as part of collision repair work have become the single biggest friction point in the industry. “It’ s not scanning. It’ s not ‘ feather, prime and block. ’ It’ s these safety inspections,” said training and consultant Anderson, of C ollision Advice. “M y heart bleeds for shops. There are some out there really trying to do the right thing. But they’ re

An Illinois shop conducting safety inspections called for by the automaker found a broken dash carrier in a vehicle involved in a low-speed collision

getting stuck in the middle. ” Anderson said virtually all of the automaker collision repair proSee Stuck in the Middle, Page 12

GM Builds Pickups Without Fuel Economy Modules Due to Chip Shortage by Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press

G eneral M otors said it will build certain 2 0 2 1 light-duty full-size pickups without a fuel management module starting M arch 1 5 until the end of the model year in late summer. The goal is to keep pickups rolling off the assembly line despite a global shortage of semiconductor chips used in the modules. But the result is those affected pickups will not achieve top fuel economy performance. “D ue to the global shortage of semiconductors impacting the global auto industry, we are making Active F uel M anagement/ D ynamic F uel M anagement unavailable on certain 2 0 2 1 model year full-size trucks,” said M i c he l l e M al c ho, G M spokesperson, on M arch 1 5 . That means 2 0 2 1 light-duty C hevrolet Silverado and G M C Sierra pickups equipped with the 5 . 3 -liter E coTec3 V 8 engine with both six -speed and eight-speed automatic transmissions will have lower fuel economy by one mile per gallon, M alcho said.

“By taking this measure, we are better able to meet the strong customer and dealer demand for our full-size trucks as the industry continues to rebound and strengthen,” M alcho said.

A GMC Sierra pickup on the assembly line at the General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly Plant in 2019 in Roanoke, IN. Credit: Ryan Hake, General Motors

G M builds its light-duty pickups at F ort W ayne Assembly in Indiana and Silao Assembly in M ex ico. G M builds its heavy-duty Silverado and Sierra pickups at F lint Assembly, where the chip shortage has not had an impact. “W e have not had a single part outage on anything,” said E r i c We l t e r , shop chairman of UAW L ocal See Chip Shortage, Page 22

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CONTENTS A California City Just Banned New Gas Stations. What’s Next?...................................................4 Bold Thefts of Catalytic Converters Remain High, Slowing Repairs for Car Owners....................18 CA Mulls Extending Group Discounts to Lower-Income Drivers...................................19 California Auto Care Industry Backs Legislation to Expand Inspection of Vehicle Safety Components .........................6 EverCharge is First to Offer CDFA-Approved Charging Station ...........................................12 Forest Service Employee Allegedly Accepted

Alex Goodemoot Named World Class Technician ....................................................58 asTech Acquires adasThink ...............................54 Auto Insurers See Greater Profitability, but Fewer Premiums.......................................1

CCC’s 2021 Crash Course Report Tries to Get a Glimpse at the “New Normal” ................1

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, Griffin Reinhard, Norman Morano (800) 699-8251 Office Manager: Louise Tedesco Digital Marketing Manager: Bryan Malinski Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Graphic Designer: Vicki Sitarz Online and Web Content Editor: Abby Andrews Accounting Manager: Heather Priddy Permissions Editor: Randi Scholtes Office Assistant: Dianne Pray

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. ©2021 Adamantine Media LLC.

3M Automotive Aftermarket Division ................. 5

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers .................... 52

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers .......................... 41

Industrial Finishes and Systems .................. 7, 60

AutoNation Collision Parts ............................... 15

Insta Finish ..................................................... 11

AutoNation Honda Costa Mesa ........................ 14

Kearny Mesa Subaru-Hyundai ......................... 25

AutoNation Infiniti Tustin ................................. 36

Kia Downtown Los Angeles ............................. 18

AutoNation Roseville ......................................8-9

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers ...........50-51

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers ........................ 49

Kia of Carson .................................................. 44

Car-O-Liner..................................................... 17

Kia of Irvine .................................................... 39

Car Pros Kia .................................................... 32

Larry H. Miller Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram ....... 28

Car Pros Kia Renton ........................................ 38

Maita Chevrolet................................................. 6

Park Outside .................................................57

Certified Automotive Parts Association ............ 10

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers ...................... 57

Kia Top Mass-Market Brand: J.D. Power............22

Classifieds ...................................................... 58

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers ........ 57

Colortone Automotive Paints ........................... 20

Michael Hohl Motor Company ......................... 42

Courtesy Chevrolet San Diego ......................... 19

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers.......................... 48

Cutter Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram ................... 24

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers ..................... 35

Drops in Miles Driven ....................................54

DCH Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram-Fiat............... 12

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers............ 59

PPG Appoints Director .......................................33

Eagle Abrasives ................................................ 2

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers .................... 53

Eckler’s Automotive ........................................ 13

Reno Buick-GMC ............................................ 28

Equalizer Industries, Inc .................................. 26

Sandberg Volvo Cars ....................................... 40

Fairview Ford-Lincoln-Mercury ....................... 22

SATA Dan-Am Company .................................. 27

FH Dailey Chevrolet......................................... 40

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes ............ 23

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers .......................... 55

Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-Subaru ...................... 33

Future Nissan of Roseville ............................... 34

Spanesi Americas ........................................... 29

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

Steck Manufacturing Company ....................... 16

Garden Grove Kia ............................................ 39

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers...................... 45

Saving Time Begins ......................................49

Glenn E. Thomas Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep ........... 21

The Bay Area Automotive Group ...................... 43

WIN Announces 2021 Conference .....................36

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

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers .............. 46

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers .......30-31

Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers ........................ 42

CDC: Vaccinated May Gather Without Masks .....28 CIF Announces Annual Donor Program ..............53 Classic Collision Announces Third Multi-Shop Acquisition in California.................................10

Auto Repair Work ..........................................16

Cutting Out the Middleman on Electric Car Sales ......................................................57

with Underreporting $8M in Sales, Filing

Electric Vehicle Repair: No Room for Error .........38

False Tax Documents ....................................20

EVs Could Enter a Golden Decade with

MT, Veteran in Need ......................................20 Man Clad in Body Armor Smashes Car Through Gate of Pasadena, CA, Auto Body Shop ...........4 Portland Auto Body Shops Flooded with Business After Historic Winter Storm .............18 ProColor Collision Joins California Autobody Association as Corporate Sponsor ...................6 Tesla Files to Expand Fremont Factory, Make Model Y ‘Tent’ Permanent .............................14 Tesla Megapack Battery Farm in Moss Landing, CA, Nearing Completion ..................................4 Tesla’s Fremont Factory Partially Shut Down .....16 COLUMNISTS Anderson - Nissan Launches ADAS Calibration Course ..........................................................32 Attanasio - Symach Invents Game-Changing Technology to Create the Shops of Tomorrow..52 Attanasio - Who Says Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees? ......................................................24 Chess - Kool Tools: Past and Present .................40 Phillips - Benefits of In-Process Quality Control Technology Discussed by Lee Rush, Sherwin-Williams..........................................34 Sisk - ASA Leaders Discuss Scanning, EVs, Data Access and Inaccurate Data ..................46 Yoswick - Artistic Auto Body Set for Expanding Electric Vehicle Population with Stand-Alone EV Center......................................................36 NATIONAL 3M Invests in asTech ........................................56


Nationwide ...................................................56

Crash Champions Picks Procurement Supplier ....4

Local Body Shop Gives Away Car to Great Falls,



Catalytic Converter Thefts Skyrocketing

Bribes, Kickbacks for Approving No-Bid Fremont, CA, Dealership Owner Charged


Newly-Introduced U.S. Bill.............................49 Farmers Adds App Feature ................................14 Fire Breaks Out at Tesla Fremont Factory Involving Giga Press Machine........................24 Ford Recalls F-Series Trucks for Windshields that Detach ...................................................53 Garage Gurus Continues Scholarship Program .......................................................28 GM Builds Pickups Without Fuel Economy Modules Due to Chip Shortage ........................1 GM Investing $100M in U.S. Plants ...................18 Kia Cadenza and Sportage Owners Should

Mike’s Auto Body Awarded Green Repair Network Certification for All 17 Locations .....10 Motor Vehicle Deaths in 2020 Estimated to be Highest in 13 Years, Despite Dramatic

SEMA Challenges EPA’s Motorsports Regulations in Court......................................58 Service King Supports 844 Teammates .............36 Shops Stuck in the Middle in Battle Over OEM Vehicle Safety Inspections.......................1 Tesla Dominates U.S. EV Market With 79% Share in 2020.......................................56 Toyota RAV4 Fires Originating at 12-Volt Batteries .......................................................54 Why Car Accidents Increase After Daylight



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Autobody News P.O. Box 1516 Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 603-3229 Fax www.autobodynews.com editor@autobodynews.com

autobodynews.com / APRIL 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS 3

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A California City Just Banned New Gas Stations. What’s Next? by Brad Bergan, Interesting Engineering

Officials in Petaluma, CA, have decided to ban the construction of new gas stations in a unanimous vote from the city council following a two-year moratorium passed in early 2 0 1 9 , according to a local news source. The P etaluma C ity C ouncil needs to approve the measure once more at another reading, but once this happens the bill will immediately take effect—making the city the first in the .S. to permanently halt the construction of additional gas stations. This new decision is linked to the city’ s overarching climate goals to reach zero emissions by 2 0 3 0 , and also reifies the growing status of all-electric in the automotive industry for cars and trucks. C rucially, this sends a message to other cities that the industry is beginning to shift, and there’s no better time to prepare than the present. Petaluma has a si e of only 15 square miles, with 16 gas stations and one more recently approved for construction. City officials think 1

will be more than enough for the city’s 61,000 residents, and those of the future. “Based on this inventory, there are multiple stations located within a five-minute drive (2.1 miles at 25 mph) of every existing residence as well as all areas planned for residential development by the 2 0 2 5 G eneral Plan but not yet constructed,” said the bill. The ban will also prohibit existing gas stations in the city from adding more pumps. But to streamline the conversion process, the new legislation includes steps to help gas stations add electric vehicle chargers—and even hydrogen fuel cell stations—in the coming years. “This is a massive step forward in the fight to protect communities and the climate from fossil fuels,” said the environmental nonprofit Stand. earth, whose program called Stand Against Fossil Fuel Expansion Cities lent support for the bill’s campaign, according to a tweet from the nonprofit. Another environmental organizing group, the C oalition O pposing New Gas Stations (CONGAS),

Man Clad in Body Armor Smashes Car Through Gate of Pasadena, CA, Auto Body Shop by Brian Day, Pasadena Now

A man wearing full body armor and armed with a bow and arrow and a large ax smashed a car through the gate of a Pasadena, CA, auto body shop before being arrested early F eb. 2 1 , police said. P e t e r Ju l i an B r od y , 2 , of Altadena, was arrested in connection with the bizarre crime, which unfolded about 2 0 a.m. in the 500 block of North ake Avenue, according to P asadena police officials and os Angeles C ounty booking records. He was at the wheel of a J eep that plowed through the front gate of the auto body shop, causing an estimated $ 2 ,0 0 0 in damage, P asadena police L t. Anthony Burgess said. O nce inside the business’ parking lot, Brody got out of his car and hid, he said. Responding police officers quickly found and detained Brody, who was found to be wearing full body armor, includ-


W e t h ank Int erest ing E ngineering f or rep rint p erm ission.

C rash C hampions, L L C , an established leader in automotive collision repair, announced M arch 9 it has selected O verall Parts Solutions, Inc. (OPS) and O P S Technologies as its preferred parts procurement platform. Enterprise-wide implementation of the OPS Technology Suite will allow C rash C hampions to leverage a standardized parts ordering solution to help accelerate the company’ s growth in sales. C rash C hampions has worked with O P S to achieve a successful implementation of its parts procurement tool. W hile C rash C hampions’ management system allows shops to manage repairs and accounts and communicate with all of their customers, the OPS suite of products provides online access to parts ordering, parts availability, order status updates, return processing, parts credit tracking and delivery notifications. Source: Crash Ch am p ions

Tesla Megapack Battery Farm in Moss Landing, CA, Nearing Completion

ing a K evlar helmet, the lieutenant said. A compound bow, with arrows, as well as a “large ax,” were also found in the parking lot near the spot where Brody was taken into custody, Burgess said. M ethamphetamine and a pipe were discovered inside the suspect’ s car, he added. A motive for the crime was not clear. Brody made a series of erratic statements to police in which he denied crashing through the gate, claimed he was the owner of the business and claimed he was an undercover police officer. He was booked on suspicion of vandalism. Bail for Brody was set at $ 2 0 ,0 0 0 pending his initial court appearance, records show. W e t h ank P asad ena N ow p rint p erm ission.

pushed for two years for a ban on new gas stations in the entirety of Sonoma C ounty, which includes not only P etaluma, but also eight other cities. At present, transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the country. This includes not only cars and trucks, but et airplanes and other forms of public transportation. In other words, gas station bans are likely only the beginning of steps to reduce carbon emissions in the U. S. “In the 2 0 2 0 s, this is not the time to be expanding fossil fuel infrastructure,” said CONGAS Co-Coordinator Wood y H as t i ngs in an Axios report. As public familiarity with all-electric vehicles grows, consumers will have a larger variety of brands—General Motors aims for 0 new models by 2025, for example. And, as options multiply, so will public support and demand for gas stations begin to ebb, in favor of sustainable ones.

Crash Champions Picks Procurement Supplier

f or re-

by Maria Merano, Teslarati

Tesla’ s massive M egapack battery installation in M oss L anding, C A, is nearing completion. A recent drone flyover of the site revealed most of the gridscale batteries are already set up. It would not be surprising if the Moss L anding M egapack meets its early 2 0 2 1 completion target and Q 2 2021 full deployment goal. The site’s footage was shared on Y ouTube by E K M M etering, who dubbed the system one of the world’ s largest energy storage installations. The M oss L anding M egapack will be a 1 8 2 . 5 M W / 7 3 0 M W h system when completed, dwarfing pro ects like the Hornsdale P ower R eserve, which held the crown of the world’s largest battery for some time. The M oss L anding M egapack farm will comprise 256 gridscale battery units, practically all of which have already been set up in their designated location on the site. The batteries are set up on 3 3

concrete slabs at P G & E ’ s M oss L anding electric substation. O nce deployed, the massive M egapack farm is expected to help meet peak energy demands in the area, storing excess solar and wind energy generated when demand is low. This energy can then be used as demand picks up, particularly during times when solar and wind are unavailable. Ultimately, the battery is expected to provide about $100 million worth of savings to PG E over the pro ect’s estimated 20-year lifespan. The pace of the Moss anding battery installation has been quick considering the si e of the system, partly because of the M egapacks’ integrated controller, inverter and BM S. C onsidering each Megapack comes fully-assembled from the factory with up to MWh of storage and 1.5 MW of inverter capacity, even largescale installation could be completed quickly. W e t h ank T eslarat i f or rep rint p erm ission.

4 APRIL 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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California Auto Care Industry Backs Legislation to Expand Inspection of Vehicle Safety Components C onsumers in C alifornia are one step closer to achieving safer vehicles with the introduction of AB 4 7 1 , a measure that would ex pand the inspection of vehicle safety components and systems. Authored by Assemblymember E v an L ow (D-Silicon Valley), AB 4 7 1 combines the state’ s current brake and lamp inspection program required for salvage vehicles to be registered by the state D epartment of Motor Vehicles (DMV), renames it the C alifornia V ehicle Safety Inspection Program (CVSIP) and will include additional safety inspection criteria and systems as developed by the C alifornia Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). The bill also allows safety certificates to be electronically sent to the D M V by BAR , saving money for the state, and creating convenience for consumers, inspection stations and repair shops. “W e applaud Assemblymember L ow and BAR for recognizing there is a safety concern with respect to salvage vehicles and taking action to protect consumers,” said R od ne y P i e r i ni , president & C E O of

C AW A, representing the automotive parts industry and convener of the industry vehicle safety inspection task force. “Unfortunately, many of the revived total loss salvage vehicles could have additional safety concerns beyond lamps and brakes, including cracked windshields, illuminated or damaged air bags, faulty seat belts, etc. Y et they still pass inspection and are sold to unsuspecting consumers who think they are purchasing a safe vehicle,” P ierini said. “AB 4 7 1 will ensure consumers who purchase a salvage vehicle are purchasing a safe vehicle. ” AB 4 7 1 will also allow BAR to collect additional information from the automotive repair dealer application, including educational and training certifications that are nationally recognized and generally accepted by the automotive repair industry, such as the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and Inter-Industry C onference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) certifications. “Automotive repair professionals spend a considerable amount of

time and money training automotive service technicians to properly and safely repair vehicles,” said D av e K u s a, chair of the Automotive Service Councils of California (ASCCA) Governmental Affairs Committee, representing automotive service professionals. “Under AB 4 7 1 , these training certifications would be included on the BAR public website to assist consumers to easily identify auto repair shops that have proper training and certification credentials,” usa said. “I think it’ s a win-win for both consumers and automotive repair shops. ” C AW A formed an advisory task force in 2 0 1 9 to ex plore options to create a C alifornia V ehicle Safety Inspection P rogram. L ed by C AW A, the task force includes the ASC C A, Auto C are Association, C oalition for Automotive R epair E quality (CARE), Automotive Service Association (ASA), Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Motor Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (MEMA) and the Association for Sustainable Manufacturing (MERA) and other

ProColor Collision Joins California Autobody Association as Corporate Sponsor P roC olor C ollision announced March it has oined the California Autobody Association (CAA), one of the largest nonprofit trade associations of automotive collision repairers in the U. S. , as a corporate sponsor. L aunched in the U. S. in September last year, P roC olor C ollision is an iconic brand owned by F ix Network W orld. It aims to become a leading player in the American aftermarket business with its focus on outstanding customer service, high standards of repair and state-of-the-art facilities. “An increasing number of body shops are aligning with P roC olor because it equips them with the right proprietary tools and technologies that can help them drive their business with total control,” said P e t e r P ol i t o, P roC olor’ s general manager for the western U. S. “This essentially gives them the power to ex perience the ‘ local operation, global thinking’ business model. ” The C AA aims to enable the auto body industry to survive and prosper by helping its more than

1 ,0 0 0 members produce a quality repair for the consumer at a fair price for a fair profit. By aligning itself with the C AA, P roC olor C ollision is keen to empower C AA members to grow their business through their established operational best practices. The association with the C AA comes close on the heels of P roColor Collision launching the first three of its U. S. locations in F ebruary. The three shops—L a P uente, C hino and Y ucca V alley—are all located in southern C alifornia and are part of F ix Network W orld’ s growing family of advanced collision repair facilities. P roC olor leverages established national and global partnerships with insurers, fleets and suppliers to help drive business to its franchisees. P roC olor franchise partners receive a host of benefits across the network such as territorial protection, marketing and technical support, advanced training and certification and access to technical infrastructure support for multishop operations. Source: P roColor Collision

C AW A member automotive companies. “I am pleased to introduce AB 4 7 1 , which seeks to address consumer protection and transparency within the automotive repair industry while ex panding our vehicle safety inspection program,” L ow said. “W hile C alifornia has put many laws and regulations into place to provide oversight to the industry and provide greater consumer protection, AB 4 7 1 continues to improve upon these advances. “I want to thank the Bureau of Automotive R epair and the D epartment of Consumer Affairs for their dedication to improving the automotive repair industry and protecting consumers from unsafe salvage vehicles” . L ow represents the 2 8 th Assembly district in C alifornia and is the chair of the assembly Business and P rofessions C ommittee. The tex t of AB 4 7 1 can be viewed here https: / / leginfo. legislature. ca. gov/ faces/ billNavC lient. x html? bill_ id= 2 0 2 1 2 0 2 2 0 AB4 7 1 Source: CA W A

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Mike’s Auto Body Awarded Green Repair Network Certification for All 17 Locations by Ed Attanasio

All 1 7 of M ik e’ s A ut o B od y’ s Bay Area locations were recently awarded the G reen R epair Network certification, a program sponsored by C SAA Insurance G roup, a AAA insurer, that recognizes auto repair facilities committed to environmental sustainability. By meeting or ex ceeding the requirements of the G reen R epair Network program, M ike’ s Auto Body is oining an elite group of independent repair shops dedicated to responsibly interacting with the planet to maintain our natural resources. “W e are proud to be recognized as part of the G reen R epair Network program,” said C or y F l i e s , manager of the Fairfield, CA, Mike’s Auto Body. “Sustainable practices help reduce the overall impact on the environment and improve the health and safety of our customers, communities and employees. ” “F ollowing strict standards around emissions, pollutants, water and electricity usage, and the disposal of hazardous waste is critical

to ensuring the health of our planet,” said D an T e s s ad r i , manager of physical damage vendor, C SAA Insurance G roup. “C ongratulations to M ike’ s Auto Body, and we look forward to working together to be environmentally responsible to best serve AAA members. ”

ty leader when it comes to being green,” she said. “M ost of our shops are running on solar power, and we were one of the first companies to spray waterborne paint in C alifornia to help reduce the number of V O C ’ s emitted, for ex ample. ” M ike’ s Auto Body is continually looking for new ways to save energy, recycle waste and provide a safe environment for its customers and employees. “W e’ ve installed cardboard bailers at the ma ority of our locations to wrap and compact cardboard box es. This reduces the number of pickups and ensures that the cardboard will be recycled,” The Rose family, left to right, Ragen, Mike, Laurie and R ose-O rtland said. “W e also Brennan, has always strived to make Mike’s Auto partner with some of the top Body one of the greenest companies in all of the environmental and safety communities in which it’s located. compliance companies in the R age n R os e - O r t l and , C F O of state to ensure that we are taking the M ike’ s Auto Body, is proud of going proper steps in recycling and disabove and beyond when it comes to posing of our hazardous waste mabeing as green as the company pos- terials. “W e also have large scrap metsibly can. “W e at M ike’ s have always al containers at all locations that are prided ourselves as a communi- picked up on a monthly to bi-month-

ly basis by a recycling company, rather than filling up landfills. We also have sand/ oil separators are at all locations that is pumped bi-annually so that we do not distribute contaminated water back into the sewers. ” R ose-O rtland also noted the company’ s North Broadway location in W alnut C reek, C A, received a pollution prevention award in 2016 for its recycling efforts from C entral C ontra C osta Sanitary D istrict at the Sustainable C ontra C osta Annual L eadership Sustainability and G reen Building Awards G ala. F lies knows his shop always stresses green practices, so he is delighted but not surprised by the award. “At M ike’ s Auto Body, we stress being green every day and make it a priority. O ur motto here is ‘ Q uality M atters,’ and leaving a smaller carbon footprint is part of that quality promise. ” C SAA Insurance G roup created the G reen R epair Network program in 2020 to recogni e the efforts by auto repair facilities to limit their impact on the environment.

Classic Collision Announces Third Multi-Shop Acquisition in California C lassic C ollision, L L C , a national multi-site collision repair operator based in Atlanta, announced its third multi-shop acquisition in C alifornia, with the acquisition of all three Signature Auto C ollision locations in the San Bernardino area. C lassic C ollision now has 1 2 C alifornia locations and operates 6 5 centers total in G eorgia, F lorida, Alabama, South C arolina and C alifornia. Signature Auto C ollision has been the go-to auto body shop for the communities of Hesperia, Barstow and P helan for more than a decade. “Signature is a dominant player in San Bernardino C ounty and we are ex cited to capitalize on new growth opportunities and look forward to serving the community un-

der the C lassic name,” said R y an Wi l s on, former owner of Signature Auto C ollision. “Signature Auto C ollision has an integral reputation in San Bernardino C ounty, and we are pleased to welcome all of the courteous, competent and helpful team members to the C lassic C ollision family,” said T oan N gu y e n, C E O of C lassic C ollision. “W e ex pand our footprint into the largest county in southern C alifornia with our three newest locations, C lassic C ollision Barstow, C lassic C ollision Hesperia and C lassic C ollision P helan. Throughout the year, we will continue to advance our presence and growth across the country. ” Source: Classic Collision

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Fire Breaks Out at Tesla Fremont Factory Involving Giga Press Machine by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs

R eports came in late M arch 1 1 there was smoke rising from the area around Tesla’ s main factory in F remont, C A. As it turns out, one of the automaker’ s giant G iga P ress machines had a small fire. It was quickly put out with sand, and no in uries have been reported. As soon as we saw the breaking news, even before we knew the details or knew if it was true, we figured it would end up all over the news. Tesla and “fire” in the same title is something most media outlets will ump on. Hopefully, they did their homework and learned this wasn’ t any sort of catastrophe, but it’ s still concerning for many reasons. Teslarati reported as smoke was rising from the G iga P ress area, onlookers were standing beside it, so it doesn’ t seem like it was very serious. W e’ re not talking about a raging fire that encompassed and destroyed a whole site, but rather, a smaller flame and a bit of smoke caused by molten aluminum and hydraulic

fluid.The Fremont fire department, along with Tesla’ s in-house F ire R esponse Team, were able to stop the fire from spreading and extinguish it with sand, rather than water. The Fremont fire department shared M arch 1 1 : “Fremont firefighters coordinated the firefighting effort with the Tesla Fire Response Team. The fire is under control. Two F remont F ire engines and one truck remain at the scene monitoring the fire. “The cause of the fire is molten aluminum and hydraulic fluid. Hydraulic fluid was identified as the source of the fire. There are no reports of in uries to Tesla or Fremont F ire personnel. ” The question now is related to whether or not this will force any setbacks for Tesla. O ne would assume it could slow production, especially related to the M odel Y . However, we don’ t know ex actly what was damaged, if parts need to be replaced or if a larger repair effort is necessary. W e t h ank Insid e E V s f or rep rint p erm ission.


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inspections are required only if an airbag deploys, but there often are inspections required even when airbags don’ t deploy. ” cedures he’ s reviewed include a Subaru, for ex ample, is among variety of safety inspections a shop the automakers that call for safety needs to do on vehicles involved in inspections following any collision a collision. These inspections can repair of its vehicles. Speaking at an include checking seat belts, measur- industry event in late 2 0 1 9 , N i c ol e ing the steering column, checking R i e d e l of Subaru of America reitersupplemental restraint system con- ated the automaker’ s stance. “E very time,” R iedel said of when the inspections are required post-repairs. “E ven if you are in New Y ork C ity and vehicles are ust getting sideview mirrors clipped, you still have to do it. W e will not deviate from that procedure. W e are having conversations with J apan to review that. But at The broken dash carrier was discovered in a 2018 Silverado with only moderate damage this time, we need you to do it every single time. ” nectors, looking for damage to knee Anderson said Subaru is hardly bolsters or seat components and oth- alone in this. He points to O E M proer procedures ust to gain the access cedures for the 2 0 1 8 J eep C herokee needed to perform inspections. that state, “If a vehicle is involved “These inspections will vary by in a front-end collision, or the airbag O E M and by the year and model of has deployed, or both, the steering the vehicle,” Anderson said. “Some column must be replaced. ” Continued from Cover

Stuck in the Middle

He shares ex amples of similar O E M safety inspection procedures called for by F ord, M ercedes-Benz, Toyota, Audi, BM W , F iat C hrysler and Hyundai. “The O E M procedures for the 2 0 1 8 C hevrolet Silverado include four or five pages of things a shop is supposed to inspect if a vehicle is any collision,” Anderson said. “A shop owner sent me photos of a Silverado he repaired, and when they removed the dash as part of the required safety inspections, sure enough, they found that the dash carrier was broken. ” That shop owner, T i m P aap of P aap A ut o B od y in M attoon, IL , said that damage occurred even in a relatively low-speed 20 mph accident in which the occupants were wearing seat belts. “M y only conclusion was their lower ex tremities were propelled forward into the lower dash, which absorbed the impact,” P aap said. “W e have found several steering columns collapsed in what would seem like low-speed collisions. This is the reason the required inspections need to be done. ” Anderson said another shop he


EverCharge is First to Offer CDFA-Approved Charging Station EverCharge is the first electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) manufacturer to receive C alifornia D epartment of F ood and Agriculture’s (CDFA) California Type E valuation P rogram (CTEP) certification. E verC harge, the leading smart electric vehicle (EV) charging provider, is currently the only E V SE manufacturer to receive CDFA certification. These new C D F A standards, which mirror those on gasoline pumps, ensure accuracy and transparency at every E V charging station in the state. This means every kilowatt-hour is accounted for in the billing process and that the cost to the consumer is displayed accurately on the station. All new charging stations installed that accept payment in C alifornia require this C TE P certification as of an. 1. “E verC harge has consistently been at the forefront of tackling some of the E V SE industry’s most difficult prob-

lems,” said Jas on A p p e l b au m , C E O of E verC harge. “This certification means that every EverC harge station tracks the power used with complete accuracy, so our customers have full transparency. ” E verC harge pioneered the load management technology known as SmartP ower, which drastically lowers installation costs and significantly expands the charging capabilities at any site. This technology allows most preex isting structures the ability to add E V stations while avoiding the high infrastructure upgrade costs and allowing more EV owners and fleet operators easy access to charging where it once was difficult. “F irst and foremost, E verC harge is a customer-focused business and we feel accuracy in billing is key to the long-term success of not only the company, but the E V industry as a whole,” said Appelbaum. Source: E verCh arge

works with has measured 4 3 steering columns in one automaker’ s vehicles, as called for in its procedures following collisions. O f those, 1 1 had collapsed. “That’ s a 2 6 % rate,” Anderson said. The friction arises because such inspections can potentially require a dozen or more labor hours. Shops doing the procedures can ex perience push-back from insurers. But there’ s also some shops pushing back because the added labor can lead to vehicles being declared total losses. “I recently got some shops really angry with me at some virtual meetings when I polled them why they weren’ t doing the procedures,” Anderson said. “I asked them if it was because they were unaware of the need to do these procedures, if they thought they were smarter than the engineers and don’ t think it was necessary, or if they’re ust afraid it will create an issue with an insurance company. It was about onethird each. ” Anderson said he’ s not going to argue about whether the inspections are necessary or not.


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BMW custo and c

“But I’ m certainly not going to second-guess the O E M engineers who say they are,” he said. “E very time we fix a car, we’re playing Rus-

don’ t do it, and somebody gets hurt, you’ re liable. Y ou can’ t say, ‘ The insurer wouldn’ t pay me. ’ An insurance company refusing to pay you to

BMW lays out damage that warrants replacement of a steering box on its 2020 330i, noting if a customer or insurer refuses “for cost reasons, a memorandum to that effect must be drawn up and countersigned by the party bearing the costs of the accident repair.”

sian roulette. If we don’ t do these things, is it going to come back to haunt us? W e’ re playing the odds. “At the end of the day, if you

do it does not remove you from the liability. ” That said, Anderson also thinks insurance companies need to rec-

ognize the tough position they are putting shops in when they refuse to pay for necessary inspections. “It’ s not fair, and it’ s not right, for the shop or the consumer,” he said. “Insurers need to step up and be part of the solution to this issue, not add to it. ” Anderson said his goal in challenging shops on the safety inspections isn’ t to make anyone angry or add to the friction, but to create awareness about the safety inspections and work toward some resolution to the issue. He’ d like to see automakers, shops and insurers come together to find ways to reduce the friction. He sees a number of things he thinks could help. First, automakers could refine the safety inspection requirements by better defining when they are needed. Some call for some of the inspections only when there’ s been an airbag deployment, which is helpful, Anderson believes. “But others use such phrases as ‘ minor to moderate collision. ’ I think we need to get a better definition of what qualifies as a ‘minor to

moderate collision,’ ” Anderson said. As an ex ample, he points to a definition the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed of a “minor crash” in relation to when child safety seats must be replaced. Some automakers may be headed in that direction. L ast summer, G eneral M otors said it was reviewing its published requirements for inspections it currently says must be completed “after any collision. ” Those procedures include inspection of the steering wheel and column, the instrument panel mounting points and brackets, and seat and seat belt mounting points. “W e recognize that the requirements and processes we had laid out… are ex tremely labor intensive and vehicle invasive,” G M ’ s John E c k said during an online industry meeting. O ne proposal E ck said was under consideration would establish inspection requirements for each of four levels of collision severity, ranging from ust visual inspections and diagnostic confirmation without any part removal for the most minor

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crashes involving no structural damage, up to the ex isting required procedures as part of repairs involving airbag deployment. “O nce we ex plain to the engineers the realities of what’ s going on in the collision industry and the challenge that repairers are facing, the light bulb goes on and they get

spection requirements. “For example, one OEM told me they put a plastic bushing in the steering column that’ s made to collapse under inertia forces,” he said about the requirement to measure the steering column. “If so, let’ s spell that out so everybody knows why the inspection is critical. ”

“My heart bleeds for shops. There are some out there really trying to do the right thing. But they’re getting stuck in the middle.” — Mike Anderson it,” E ck said. “So far, everybody has been very understanding of the need to readdress this and see where we can make changes that will help repairers. ” But like Subaru’ s R iedel, E ck emphasized that prior to new procedures being finali ed, GM’s current post-collision inspection requirements remain in place. “Until then, nothing has changed,” E ck said. Anderson said the automakers also could help by providing more of the “why” behind the safety in-

Anderson said a document from Toyota also offers another way automakers could provide more information and ustification for the inspections. It shows, for a list of replacement parts, the necessary procedures that must be completed and lists the possible negative effects if that procedure isn’ t done. “The automaker spells out, ‘ If you don’ t do x , then y will not work properly,” Anderson said. “This is a very clear statement. ” Some automakers suggest in their documentation if a called-for proce-

Tesla Files to Expand Fremont Factory, Make Model Y ‘Tent’ Permanent According to past permit filings with the C ity of F remont’ s Tesla has filed an application with local government, Tesla initially the C ity of F remont, C A, to ex - opened the tent outside during pand its vehicle production facil- this time and has added to the tent on several occasions. ity by 6 4 ,0 0 0 square feet. Tesla is now looking to make GA 4.5 permanent by adding a 6 4 ,0 0 0 square foot structure onto the F remont factory. The spring structure that was used before was erected in a pinch as Tesla’s General Assembly 4.5 line at the Fremont Factory. Tesla was planning to Credit: Ryan Ferrin|YouTube begin the production The application describes of the Model Y, but didn’t have plans to implement foundations the space for it with Model S, and install below-ground utilities Model and Model production under General Assembly 4.5 (GA all going on under the same roof. The filing states “Founda4.5), where the Model Y production lines are located at the F re- tions and underground utilities for proposed 6 4 ,0 0 0 sf south ex panmont factory. GA 4.5 is currently a tent, or sion. ” W e t h ank T eslarat i f or rep rint spring structure, that sits outside of Tesla’ s F remont factory. It has p erm ission. been home to the Model Y production and possibly the Model as well since F ebruary 2 0 2 0 .

dure isn’ t done, it should be noted in writing and signed by the insurer and customer as a sort of hold-harmless agreement. O ne automaker suggests noting inside the vehicle’ s owner’ s manual, where service and maintenance records are documented, if a procedure wasn’ t done. Anderson said he understands legal reasons for this, but still has some concerns with it as a solution. “If you don’ t do it, and that customer sells that car to somebody else, they certainly didn’ t waive their rights to that,” Anderson said. “The hold-harmless would need to indemnify the repairer as long as that vehicle is on the road. ” Anderson said he’ s open to hearing from anyone who is interested in working on resolving the issue. He’ d also like shops to help him compile data on what they do and do not find when conducting the safety inspections. “I don’ t know the solution, but if we get the right people in the room, including insurance companies and the OEMs, we could come up with some solutions that keep shops from being stuck in the middle,” Anderson said.

Farmers Adds App Feature Farmers Insurance on March 9 announced the launch of C rashAssist, a new feature included within the Signal app that helps connect drivers with emergency services in the event of an accident and offers help in reporting a claim, if desired. The crash detection feature will be available via app update to all Signal customers by midMarch. Using the same phone sensors already in use by the Signal app, C rashAssist will deliver a push notification if a crash is detected. C ustomers will be prompted to confirm whether or not a crash occurred and if they are in need of emergency services. D rivers can also access additional support services including tips to document the crash, share their location, request roadside assistance or report a claim. F or more information, visit F armers. com/ Signal. Source: F arm ers Insurance

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Forest Service Employee Allegedly Accepted Bribes, Kickbacks for Approving No-Bid Auto Repair Work A U. S. F orest Service employee was arrested M arch 1 on a federal grand ury indictment charging him with illegally directing nearly $ 9 0 0 ,0 0 0 in no-bid F orest Service vehicle repair and maintenance work to a San Bernardino C ounty, C A, auto body repair shop that illicitly paid him more than $ 3 6 0 ,0 0 0 in bribes and kickbacks. F r anc i s c o I s ai as , 3 8 , of San Bernardino, surrendered this morning to authorities and was ex pected to be arraigned M arch 1 on seven counts of honest services wire fraud and 12 counts of conflict of interest. A second defendant in this case—Joaq u i n P e r e z , 4 4 , of R ancho C ucamonga, the operator of J P ’ s Collision and A ut o B od y Cent er, Inc. , a Bloomington-based car repair shop—was arrested F eb. 2 5 . Both P erez and J P ’ s Auto have been charged in this case with seven counts of honest services wire fraud. F ederal prosecutors have issued a summons for J P ’ s Auto, the corporate defendant. According to the indictment, the defendants ex ecuted a scheme

to defraud the U. S. F orest Service of its right to the honest performance of Isaias’ duties as the agency’s fleet maintenance inspector. As part of his ob duties, Isaias selected the businesses that would maintain and repair F orest Service vehicles, and approved specific expenditures related to the vehicles.

F rom J une 2 0 1 3 to M arch 2 0 1 7 , in ex change for bribes and kickbacks, Isaias allegedly provided favorable official action on the Forest Service’ s behalf to P erez and J P ’ s Auto by steering F orest Service vehicle maintenance and repair work to them.

The defendants allegedly circumvented federal regulations requiring maintenance or repair services costing more than $ 2 ,5 0 0 to be arranged and bid under federal contracting procedures. In furtherance of the scheme, Isaias failed to create written work orders before awarding work to J P ’ s Auto, while P erez and J P ’ s Auto submitted multiple charges, each less than $ 2 ,5 0 0 , to the F orest Service for auto repair and maintenance, according to the indictment. F rom J une 2 0 1 4 to November 2 0 1 6 , the F orest Service paid J P ’ s Auto $ 8 9 8 ,5 2 8 , with Isaias personally approving the vast ma ority of the payments, the indictment alleges. In ex change, P erez and J P ’ s Auto allegedly paid more than $ 3 6 0 ,0 0 0 in bribes and kickbacks to Isaias. F rom September 2 0 1 5 to F ebruary 2 0 1 7 , P erez and J P ’ s Auto paid $49,866 to Isaias’ fictitious company, SIK P arts. Also, during a 1 0 -week span

in late 2 0 1 6 and early 2 0 1 7 , P ere caused P’s Auto to finance the purchase of $ 3 1 3 ,9 4 7 worth of tractor trucks and trailers on behalf of Isaias’ trucking business. The F orest Service placed Isaias on suspension in 2 0 1 7 . At his arraignment F eb. 2 5 , P erez pleaded not guilty and was ordered to stand trial April 2 0 . An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. E very defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. E ach charge of honest services wire fraud carries a statutory max imum sentence of 2 0 years in federal prison, while each charge of conflict of interest carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment. This matter was investigated by the U. S. F orest Service and the F BI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney S e an D . P e t e r s on of the R iverside Branch Office. Source: U .S D ep art m ent of J ust ice

Tesla’s Fremont Factory Partially Shut Down by Michael Cantu, Inside EVs

According to a tweet from S aw y e r M e r r i t , Tesla’ s F remont, C A, factory has been partially shut down for a few days. It could ust be certain production lines and not a total shutdown. UP D ATE : Tesla is indeed shutting down part of the factory for two weeks. P er Bloomberg: “W orkers on a M odel 3 production line in F remont were told their line would be down from F eb. 2 2 until M arch 7 , said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private,” Bloomberg reported. “Impacted staff were told they would be paid for F eb. 2 2 and F eb. 2 3 and not paid for F eb. 2 8 , M arch 1 , 2 and 3 . They were advised to take vacation time, if they had it. ” M errit claimed his sources said some M odel 3 line workers have been sent home for two weeks. E verything is still unclear, but it might be due to a parts supplier. His source speculated that it’ s likely a chip supplier, possibly Samsung. “Samsung was shutdown on 2 / 1 6 . The F remont parking lot was then empty on 2 / 2 1 . Samsung was

able to get power resumed on 2 / 2 0 . Tesla is taking the opportunity to address some needed downtime,” M errit tweeted. Supposedly, there are rumors circulating the refreshed M odel S and M odel X have production delays. None of this is official. M errit also claims to have reached out to refreshed M odel S and X owners who have yet to receive a V IN. Inside E V s reported refreshed M odel X s could be delivered to customers in F ebruary, and M odel S P laid deliveries could start in M arch. However, M errit then said Tesla has enough inventory to offset any recent factory downtime. So maybe those production delays are really ust rumors. Some Tesla fans didn’ t care much for M errit’ s breaking news, but he stood behind his sources. R eplying to his tweet, The K ilowatts posted a video of the F remont factory’ s parking lot. They agree it looks a little empty. L et’ s see if E lon M usk replies to the tweet. This is still a developing story, Inside E V s will have more information soon. W e t h ank Insid e E V s f or rep rint permission.

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Bold Thefts of Catalytic Converters Remain High, Slowing Repairs for Car Owners by Jolanie Martinez, Hawaii News Now

Auto repair shops across Hawaii are seeing more cars needing a new catalytic converter, but because thefts of the valuable part are spiking, it’ s taking longer to get replacement parts. “I would say nine out of every 1 0 of the vehicles that do come in, we’ re waiting for parts, and the parts delays are a lot longer than your normal one to two weeks,” said M i c hae l C hong, president of Auto Body P ainting Association of Hawaii. C hong not only leads the association, but also owns UniBody Auto Tech C ollision in M apunapuna. In early F ebruary, one of his technicians parked his truck outside the shop, where thieves stole its catalytic converter. “This was broad daylight, it happened ex actly at noon,” said C hong. “W e have it on surveillance cameras, showing them waiting, and then going under the truck, cutting the catalytic converter and putting it into a duffel bag, and actually walking off the property.”

State lawmakers are trying to crack down on these thefts. They’ re proposing a bill that would require buyers of used car parts to ask for proof of ownership from the seller. If not, the buyer would be required to report it to the police.

“We’re going to make sure that the people that is receiving it, if they get caught buying without these documentation, or requesting the documentation, that they also can lose their license of recycling,” — Kurt Fevella “W e’ re going to make sure that the people that is receiving it, if they get caught buying without these documentation, or requesting the documentation, that they also can lose their license of recycling,” said Sen. K u r t F e v e l l a. C atalytic converter thefts would face a C lass C penalty. “So what we’ re hoping is that the criminals wants to get wind of this of this new bill, and that they’re now facing stiffer penalties,

Portland Auto Body Shops Flooded with Business After Historic Winter Storm by Drew Reeves, KPTV News

Auto body shops say they are seeing an increase in business following the F eb. 1 3 -1 4 weekend’ s historic snow and ice storm. M ack in’ s A ut o B od y in North P ortland, O R , is one of those businesses, that said it is doing about four or five times its normal business. “It’ s been pretty crazy honestly,” said M i c hae l R oy , who works at the business. M any people may have been out of the office this week because of the slick roads, but that certainly was not the case at M ackin’ s Auto Body. “{ F eb. 1 5 } morning hit and then it seems like the phones never stopped ringing. W e’ ve got several cars that were damaged by either trees, poles or weather-related accidents,” R oy said. They’ re seeing a lot of cars that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. M any have been damaged by trees and limbs unable to hold the weight

you know, that hopefully, it deters them,” said Honolulu C rimestoppers C oordinator C hr i s K i m . C hong believes this is a step in the right direction. “I actually think that’ s a good positive step to move, because of the fact that if the recyclers are re-

of the ice and snow this weekend. It’ s bringing business to an industry R oy said was hard hit by the C O V ID -1 9 pandemic. Now, keeping up with business can be a challenge for them. “J ust tree claims alone, we’ ve had six here, but on everything else, we’ ve had about 2 0 since [ F eb. 1 5 ] scheduling out,” said R oy. Adding to their challenges is the winter weather that other parts of the country are ex periencing. “The State F arm in Tex as, their roof collapsed, so their claims systems have been down, so people have not been able to get their claims processed in a timely fashion,” said R oy. R oy said M ackin’ s is working through claims as quickly as it can. He said they have seen about as many claims this week as they normally get in a month.

sponsible for information or where the catalytic converters from, I think that’ ll deter thieves to actually go in and cut these converters off,” said C hong. C hong added the association is gathering data on catalytic converter theft claims from insurance companies statewide. They want to show just how serious the issue has become. W e t h ank H aw aii N ew s N ow f or rep rint p erm ission.

GM Investing $100M in U.S. Plants G eneral M otors announced F eb. 1 1 a $ 1 0 0 million investment in two of its manufacturing facilities—$ 9 3 million at the R omulus, M I, propulsion plant and $ 7 million at the Bedford, IN, casting operations. The R omulus investment will add machining capability, while the Bedford investment will increase the plant’ s die casting capabilities. Both investments will support increased production of G M ’ s 1 0 -speed automatic transmissions used in the award-winning C hevrolet Silverado and G M C Sierra light-duty, full-size pickups. W ork will begin immediately at both locations. R omulus currently builds V -6 engines and 1 0 -speed transmissions used in a variety of C hevrolet, Buick, G M C and C adillac vehicles. Bedford C asting O perations is located in south central Indiana, and and produces transmission casings, converter housings, heads and small gas engine blocks used in C hevrolet, Buick, G M C and C adillac vehicles. Source: GM

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18 APRIL 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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CA Mulls Extending Group Discounts to Lower-Income Drivers by Steve Hallo, PropertyCasualty360

In an effort to extend group discounts for auto insurance to lower-income drivers, blue-collar workers and motorists of color, C alifornia has issued revised draft regulations following a two-year study that found group discounts disproportionately benefit wealthier and more highly educated C alifornians when it comes to auto rates, according to the C alifornia D epartment of Insurance. The move would be the first maor reform to group discounts since C alifornia voters approved P roposition 1 0 3 in 1 9 8 8 , the department reported. The revisions include: R educing barriers to the creation of new groups for lower-income drivers. The revised draft regulations require that insurance companies offering group discounts make sure they are available to drivers at different income levels who have similar driving ex perience. Increasing incentives for the creation of new groups for underserved communities. The revised draft regulations were improved by adding an incentive system whereby insurers

that ex cel in writing policyholders from underserved socioeconomic communities will receive a small increased allowance in their ex pense calculation to account for the added costs of making this effort. Increasing public awareness of available groups. C urrently, insurance companies must provide a list of all available discounts to every new policyholder at every renewal. The revised draft regulations now require that all of an insurer’ s available group plans must also be included in this list to help drivers avail themselves of discounts they may be entitled to but not aware they presently ex ist. W hile around 2 5 % of C alifornia drivers receive a group premium discount, ranging from 1 . 5 % to 2 5 . 9 % , the study found that participation in these types of group programs decreases with declines in income and education levels. D rivers in Z IP codes with average per capita income above $ 4 9 ,0 0 0 are twice as likely to receive discounts as those in Z IP s with average per capita income of $ 2 2 ,5 0 0 or below, according to the C alifornia D epartment of Insurance, which notes

in some high-income districts, participation can be three to four times higher.

Credit: Blackwhitepailyn, Shutterstock.com

“W ith this pandemic continuing to dramatically widen the country’ s income and equality gap, I am proposing these new rules that make car insurance discounts more equitable and available to the communities who can least afford to pay more for insurance,” Insurance C ommissioner R i c ar d o L ar a said in a release. “Whether you’re a doctor or a anitor with comparably safe driving records, you should have the same access to these discounts. ” P roposition 1 0 3 , which mandated insurance prices be based on how a person drives, also allowed for groups of consumers to band together

and negotiate lower premiums. That has resulted in the subsidization of discounts for higher-paying occupations and college degrees at the ex pense of other drivers, consumer rights groups argue. “Some insurers are taking advantage of a gap in P roposition 1 0 3 regulations to create phony, occupation-based ‘ affinity groups’ that force blue-collar and lower-income C alifornians to subsidize wealthier motorists,” D ou g H e l l e r , insurance consultant for C onsumer F ederation of C alifornia, said in a release, adding rates should be based on driving records and not socioeconomic status. E choing this, C ar m e n B al b e r , ex ecutive director of C onsumer W atchdog, said in a statement: “The proposed rules move C alifornia one step closer to ending this unequal treatment for drivers without a college degree or a well-paid ob. Wait staff and custodians with a good driving record shouldn’ t pay more than doctors or attorneys. ” W e t h ank P rop ert yCasualt y3 6 0 rep rint p erm ission.

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Local Body Shop Gives Away Car to Great Falls, MT, Veteran in Need by Nicole Girten, Great Falls Tribune

Je r am y M y e r s of F law less A ut o B od y Sh op held back emotion as he presented a free car to a local veteran in need F eb. 1 6 . “W hen we talked about this, about a year and a half ago… it was ust a dream,” Myers said. “And now, today’ s the day. ” U. S. Army and Navy veteran B e nj am i n F ont ana, 4 5 , beamed when he was presented with a navy 2 0 1 6 Honda C ivic in the shop garage. F ontana served for 1 0 years, first enlisting at 1 years old in the shadow of his grandfather’ s service in W orld W ar II. O riginally from P ittsburgh, F ontana has two daughters in their 2 0 s living in M innesota. F ontana said it was a lot to take in but that he “absolutely” liked his new wheels and described the opportunity as an amazing honor. “W hat’ s not to like? ” F ontana said, looking inside the vehicle’ s black interior. F ontana spoke to the crowd and ex pressed his gratitude to everyone who participated in the event, including the M almstrom Air F orce C olor

G uard and the C . M . R ussell High School C hanteur C hoir, as well as all the businesses who donated funds that went toward restoring the car.

Benjamin Fontana, left, hugs Flawless Body Shop owner Jeramy Myers after accepting the Honda Civic. Credit: Kevin Kofod

“The benefits to bridging that gap between the community in which we live and the veteran community is… That’ s a powerful thing,” F ontana said. Several local businesses contributed, with F irst Interstate Bank sponsoring his first year of liability insurance and Schulte’ s 3 8 th Street Store donating his first tank of gas along with a gift card, among many others. Je anne M y e r s , wife to J eramy and marketing director at F lawless, said they worked with the National Auto Body C ouncil’ s R ecycled

R ides program to acquire the car their team worked on from Allstate Insurance. She said the local chapter of V olunteers of America Northern R ock helped select the individual who would receive the vehicle. “R ecycled R ides has a very strict criteria,” M yers told the Tribune. The individual needed to be able to afford the vehicle’ s maintenance, insurance and licensing so that it “wasn’ t being put on them as a burden. ” R ecycled R ides also was looking for someone with specific personal goals. “Being a veteran, down on their luck, so to speak,” M eyers said. “But was able to come back and fight strong. ” B r ook e C or y of V olunteers for America said they chose to nominate F ontana for the program because “he needed a second chance. ” “W hen you face challenges in life, knowing that there are resources out there to help you get back on your feet is a very reassuring and powerful feeling,” F ontana said to the crowd, adding it was an unfamiliar feeling before meeting the ladies at the V O A. F ontana is a recent graduate of V eterans Treatment C ourt, a program

established by former C ascade C ounty D istrict J udge G reg P inski to help military veterans come back from crime, addiction and mental illness. “You learn a lot of stuff going through V eteran’ s Treatment C ourt and identifying psychological stressors that have presented unique challenges to my life since I was a child, and there’ s a lot of transition that happens with that,” F ontana told the Tribune. “W riting a new chapter in my life. ” F ontana is now working to turn his life around. He’ s two weeks into a new construction ob with orgensen C onstruction and was attending G reat F alls C ollege, but that’ s on hold for now he said. “I’ m still in that rebuilding phase,” F ontana said. “The opportunity that this provides adds a great measure of security to that progress. ” The R ecycled R ides P rogram has been bringing together different businesses from across the automotive industry to donate used cars to people in need since 2 0 0 7 . In the past 1 4 years, they have donated more than 2 ,5 0 0 cars. W e t h ank t h e Great F alls T rib une f or rep rint p erm ission.

Fremont, CA, Dealership Owner Charged with Underreporting $8M in Sales, Filing False Tax Documents by Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News

Alameda C ounty, C A, prosecutors have charged the owner of a local car dealership after state tax investigators determined he’ d misrepresented $ 8 million in sales, according to court records. Jos e p h N ad e r , 5 3 , was charged last year with five felonies and a dozen misdemeanors, alleging he committed grand theft by embe lement and filed false tax returns. At a court hearing in F ebruary, Nader formally pleaded not guilty to the charges. In an email to The M ercury News, Nader’ s attorney, D av i d S t e r nf e l d , cautioned against believing the authorities’ claims outlined in a probable cause statement filed in court. “M r. Nader has not admitted any wrongdoing nor has he been found guilty of any wrongdoing,” Sternfeld wrote. According to the probable cause statement, the charges are the result of a 2 0 1 8 audit

by the C alifornia D epartment of Tax and F ee Administration, which looked at records related to Nader’ s business, G reenlight M otors, from 2 0 1 5 to 2 0 1 7 . The investigation found Nader “unreported sales tax he received from customer’s (sic) for nearly a decade. ” Investigators found $ 8 million in unreported sales from the two-year period, which amounted to roughly $ 7 2 0 ,0 0 0 in unreported sales tax , according to the probable cause statement. Nader is nex t due in court for a preliminary hearing, where a udge will review evidence from the C D TF A investigation and determine whether it is enough to order Nader to stand trial. In the meantime, Nader remains out of custody, court records show. W e t h ank T h e M ercury N ew s f or rep rint p erm ission.


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Continued from Cover

Chip Shortage 5 9 8 representing hourly workers at F lint Assembly. “W e’ re running three shifts, six days a week and we’ re hitting our production target every day. ” M alcho declined to say how many pickups will be affected by the absence of the module, but she said it will not have a substantial impact on G M ’ s U. S. corporate average fuel economy (C AF E ) numbers. “We routinely monitor our fleet for compliance in the U. S. and C anada, and we balance our portfolio in a way that enables us to manage unforeseeable circumstances like this without compromising our overall greenhouse gas and fuel economy compliance,” M alcho said. “This is a temporary change and we look forward to making” the fuel-saving technology available as soon as possible. G M has been producing its full-size pickups without interruption despite a shortage of the semiconductor chips since last year. The deficit is caused in part by the coronavirus pandemic, which led to increased demand for laptop computers and other personal electronics that use the chips. C ars also use them in a variety of parts and infotainment systems. In fact, one Continued from Cover

Fewer Premiums in the segment’ s combined ratio for 2 0 2 0 , from 9 4 . 4 to 9 8 . 8 . At the start of last year, personal auto insurers had been benefiting from a couple of years of positive underwriting and operating performance momentum. This reflected the robust risk-adjusted capitalization of most writers and the positive impact of technology and data analytics on their underwriting, ratemaking and claims handling, AM Best said. These factors, along with the unex pectedly positive impact of C O V ID -1 9 on auto travel, improved the sector’s profitability significantly. Twenty-one insurers generated more than $ 1 billion in private pas-


car part could use 5 0 0 to 1 ,5 0 0 chips depending on the complex ity of the part, analysts said. According to C ox Automotive data, G M has a 3 1 - to 4 7 -day supply of the Silverado depending on the model. F or the Sierra, G M has a 3 2 to 3 6 -day supply. F or F ebruary, the industry average day supply was 7 7 . M alcho said G M is still building all of its pickups, which is a point C E O M ar y B ar r a emphasized during the fourth-quarter earnings call with analysts. P ickups and fullsi ed S Vs are GM’s most profitable vehicles. Barra said G M would try to protect pickups and full-size SUV s from any impact from the chip shortage. But the shortage could cost G M up to $ 2 billion in lost earnings this year. Barra said G M ex pected chip supplies to return to normal in the second half of the year. G M presently has two of its assembly plants shuttered until at least mid-April, another until the end of M arch and will idle a fourth, all due to the chips shortage. G M on F eb. 8 shut down production for both shifts—initially until mid-M arch—at the following plants: F airfax Assembly and Stamping P lant in K ansas C ity, K S: About 2 ,0 0 0 hourly workers build the C hevrolet senger auto direct premiums through the third quarter. However, for 1 0 of those 2 1 , their topline premium showed a decline compared with the prior-year period. Three ex perienced premium growth of 1 % or less, and most of the sector’ s leading auto insurers offered premium discounts, rebates or refunds during the C O V ID -1 9 surge. U. S. roads are ex pected to remain less congested than normal for an indeterminate period in 2 0 2 1 , which could ex tend the favorable loss frequency trend, AM Best said. However, cars traveling at faster speeds on less congested roads can cause more serious accidents, increasing the severity of claims. W e t h ank Insurance B usiness M agaz ine f or rep rint p erm ission.

M alibu sedan and C adillac X T4 SUV C AM I, Ingersoll, O ntario, C anada: About 1 ,5 0 0 hourly workers build the C hevrolet E quinox SUV San L uis P otosí , M ex ico: Builds C hevrolet E quinox and Trax and G M C Terrain SUV s G M said production at F airfax and C AM I will now be shuttered until mid-April. G M is ex tending downtime at San L uis P otosi through the end of M arch. Additionally, G M ’ s G ravatai plant in Brazil will take downtime in April and M ay. The G ravatai factory, in R io G rande do Sul, Brazil, builds the C hevrolet O nix , which is a top-selling car in South America. C rosstown rivals F ord M otor C o. and Stellantis (formerly F iat C hrysler Automobiles) have also seen production disruption caused by a shortage of chips. F ord, which had to stop production of its profitable F-150 pickup due to the chip shortage, has said the shortage could hurt annual profits this year by up to $ 2 . 5 billion. W e t h ank t h e D et roit F ree P ress f or rep rint p erm ission.

Kia Top Mass-Market Brand: J.D. Power K ia was ranked No. 1 among mass-market brands by J . D . P ower in the 2 0 2 1 V ehicle D ependability Study (V D S), with a reported 9 7 problems per 1 0 0 vehicles. The achievement has been strengthened by three of K ia’ s most popular-selling models--the Sorento, Sportage and O ptima---each besting their respective segments. The study measures the number of problems per 1 0 0 vehicles (P P 1 0 0 ) ex perienced over the last year by owners of their three-year-old vehicles, meaning this study focused on 2 0 1 8 model year vehicles. It included 3 2 nameplates and 1 5 3 models, covering problem symptoms grouped into eight major vehicle categories: seats, HV AC , features/ controls/ displays, driving ex perience, interior, engine/ transmission, ex terior and audio/ communication/ entertainment/ navigation. Source: K ia M ot ors A m erica

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New Product Showcase with Ed Attanasio

Day Job/Night Job

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

with Ed Attanasio

Who Says Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees? N at han S i m m ons has co-owned at it. W e started painting all of our C& C Collision in Alhambra, C A, friends’ vehicles until one day some for 2 3 years, and has worked hard to guys in suits dropped by.” with The city’s chief fire inspector help the company grow.Gary Wickert D uring the same time, he has and other officials informed Simbeen able to build a healthy side mons in a very direct way his little business that is also growing Bon- business was no longer in operation. “W e tried to tell them this is sai trees, a passion that has turned not a job, just a hobby, but they weinto much more. D uring the week, Simmons ren’t buying it,” he said. “The City of South P asadena wasn’ t thrilled manages 1 4 collision professionals with Stacey Phillips with his co-owner, R e t t C om e r , a about what we were doing and they childhood buddy who worked with told us they could fine us as much him painting cars in Simmons’ s ga- as $ 5 ,0 0 0 a day, so we had to shut it rage when they were 1 6 in South P a- down.” That experience was unpleasadena. “One day, I asked my mom if I sant, of course, but it planted a seed with Stacey Phillips in their minds that eventually led to cleaned up the garage, could I paint cars in there and she said yes,” Sim- the establishment of C & C C ollision. “M aybe we can actually purmons said. “I don’t think she realized that we were going to turn it into sue this,” Simmons said. “So, we a little business. W e put tarps ever- started saving our money and began ywhere, drywalled it and hung lights improving our skills by going to C iand after a while, we got really good trus C ollege in Azusa, C A, to learn

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Nathan Simmons, pictured with his wife, Joyce, and bulldog, Winston, co-owns C&C Collision in Alhambra, CA, and has been growing and selling Bonsai trees for the past two decades

Shop Secrets and Strategies more about fixing cars. We reali ed with Stacey Phillips

that we already knew most of the in-

Fire Breaks Out at Tesla Fremont Factory Involving Giga Press Machine


Shop Services fluid.The Fremont fire department, along with Tesla’ s in-house F ire R e-

by Steven Loveday, Inside EVs

Phillips sponse Team, were able to stop the R eports came with in late M Stacey arch 1 1 there was smoke rising from the area fire from spreading and extinguish around Tesla’ s main factory in F re- it with sand, rather than water. The Fremont fire department shared mont, C A. As it turns out, one of the auto- M arch 1 1 : “Fremont firefighters coordimaker’ s giant G iga P ress machines had a small fire. It was quickly put nated the firefighting effort with the Tesla Fire Response Team. The fire out with sand,with and noStacey injuries have Phillips is under control. Two F remont F ire been reported. As soon as we saw the break- engines and one truck remain at the ing news, even before we knew the scene monitoring the fire. “The cause of the fire is moldetails or knew if it was true, we figured it would end up all over the ten aluminum and hydraulic fluid. news. Tesla and “fire” in the same Hydraulic fluid was identified as the title is something most media out- source of the fire. There are no reVictoriathey Antonelli ports of injuries to Tesla or F remont lets will jumpwith on. Hopefully, did their homework and learned this Fire personnel.” The question now is related wasn’ t any sort of catastrophe, but it’ s still concerning for many rea- to whether or not this will force sons. Teslarati reported as smoke any setbacks for Tesla. O ne would was rising from the G iga P ress area, assume it could slow production, onlookers were standing beside it, so especially related to the M odel Y . with Antonelli However, we don’t know exactly it doesn’ t seem like itVictoria was very serious. W e’ re not talking about a raging what was damaged, if parts need to fire that encompassed and destroyed be replaced or if a larger repair effort a whole site, but rather, a smaller is necessary. W e t h ank Insid e E V s f or reflame and a bit of smoke caused by molten aluminum and hydraulic p rint p erm ission.

formation, but we wanted to learn as much as we could.” The duo purchased an existing shop and jumped in with both feet. “G oing from the garage to running a full-blown business with employees was a big reality check, and it got a little scary,” he said. “We realized that we had to make a minimum of $ 3 5 ,0 0 0 just to keep the doors open, but we always figured out a way to do it.” The shop moved several times before landing at its current location in Alhambra, C A, in 2 0 1 2 . The business has grown every year via wordof-mouth. C & C C ollision has established a name for backing up its motto, “There’s no question with perfection,” and its 0 five-star reviews on Y elp are a testament to doing things right. In addition to running his shop,

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24 APRIL 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com 45472_COL10_Q_AB.indd 1

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n as

ting et. runemand “W e mithe ured

mes tion busiord-

shed otto, ectis on ings


Simmons served as the president of the G lendale/ F oothill chapter of the C alifornia Autobody Association and as a member of other trade associations. “I networked with other shop owners to learn how to play the game, primarily with the insurance companies,” he said. “M y customers were being steered to other shops, and I could see that some of their labor rates were bogus. So, I did my own survey and have used it successfully for many years now. ” Since the age of 1 2 , Simmons has been fascinated by Bonsai trees and the culture surrounding them. It all began in 1 9 8 8 , when he saw a collection of these miniature trees at the San D iego C ounty F air in D el M ar, C A. “They were the most magnificent things that I had ever seen,” he said. “Around that time, a lot of people were getting into Bonsai trees because of the ‘ K arate K id’ movie, and I guess I was one of them. ” Bonsai have been around for more than 1 ,0 0 0 years. The goal of growing any Bonsai is to create a miniaturized but genuine represen-

tation of nature in the form of a tree. Bonsai are not genetically dwarfed plants, and any tree species can be used to grow one. Simmons takes J apanese black pine, juniper, J apanese maple, olive and oak trees and turns them into Bonsai.

Simmons sells Bonsai trees for $1,000 on average, but some of his trees can go for a much as $2,500

O nce he sinks his teeth into something, Simmons is a man on a




MON-FRI 7-6 / SAT 8-5

e. It ju st ma ke s se ns

mission. He went to the local library and did his research while talking to anyone who he could about Bonsai. He bought his very first tree from a small J apanese nursery in San M arino, C A, and from then on, he was hooked. “I was calling nurseries and I read as many books as I can, but I knew I wanted to go even further. I started going to a school to be trained on how to develop Bonsai trees, every weekend for almost a year. It wasn’t exactly wax on, wax off, but it was an amazing ex perience. ” Simmons has had many Bonsai teachers along the way, including John Wang of E l M onte, C A, who is probably one of the country’ s top ex perts on the subject. He is a member of the Bonsai Society at D escanso G ardens in L a C anada, C A, and sells his trees at several large Bonsai shows annually. Today, Simmons raises Bonsai that sell for $ 1 ,0 0 0 on average, but his biggest sale was $ 2 ,5 0 0 . He is known for raising high-quality trees and it can be a profitable business if the cycle time won’ t kill you. “Time is your friend when it

comes to Bonsai,” he said. “I started this process 2 0 years ago and my goal back then was just to keep them alive. I wasn’ t advanced to grow them yet. I love this from an artistic aspect and also from a horticultural aspect and when people are thrilled about my trees, that’ s truly special. ” Ten years ago, Simmons planted 3 0 0 trees on his father’ s avocado ranch. Every year, he takes five to 10 from the ground, puts them in pots and takes time to develop them. As a result, Simmons has access to some ex cellent cuttings year round, and his customers love the results. Now, people know Simmons as “Bonsai Nate,” a knowledgeable veteran and an ex pert on Bonsai. “P eople reach out to me all the time and I often do demonstrations,” he said. “Bonsai has taught me a lot of things about life and ex posed me to some wonderful people who share this passion. ”


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from processing more than 2 0 0 -million claims-related transactions, 5 0 -billion miles of driving data, and millions of auto BI and P IP / M edP ay shop owners all over the world covet casualty claims. C C C is committed the information presented in C C C ’ s to providing the industry with inforC rash C ourse report. mation and data to create more visIf you’ ve been in the collision ibility into what’ s ahead, informing industry for more than a few years, understanding to positively impact you know that C C C ’ s C rash C ourse business outcomes. report provides revealing indusK ey topics covered in C rash try-leading insights on the business, C ourse 2 0 2 1 include: The rise of consumer, environmental, and tech- tech-enabled D IY customer ex penology trends shaping the riences in insurance; How P & C insurance economy. C ovid-1 9 became the spark This year’ s report profor consumers to take anvides a substantive view other look at usage-based of how C ovid-1 9 reshaped insurance; why 2 0 2 0 saw the industry with shifts in more severe accidents and driving behavior, attitudes the impact on the repair proCCC’s Director/ toward personal mobility, cess; C ovid-1 9 ’ s impact on Industry Analyst adoption of telematics-enthe casualty claims process Susanna Gotsch abled usage-based insurance, and healthcare, and the role authors the CCC and ex ponential growth in of vehicle technology in inCrash Course the digitization of operations report every year by creasing repair costs. across the claims and repair accumulating data W hen people stopped from myriad sources ex perience. driving last M arch, G otsch year-round “C rash C ourse illuswitnessed some very distrates how C O V ID -1 9 impacted our tinctive trends that appeared literalindustry and the trajectory of change ly overnight. “E verything that hapmoving forward,” G otsch said. pened was the byproduct of the fact “C C C has published C rash C ourse that people stopped driving,” she for 2 6 years and this edition reveals said. “It meant that there was less unprecedented change. And though congestion, which led to things such we ex pect some changes like miles as erratic driving habits, speeding, driven to revert to pre-pandemic and more cases of distracted driving. levels, we project other changes will There were more younger drivers on become the new baseline as photos, the road than normal because elderly mobile, AI, and customer demands people were also driving less due to have reset ex pectations and changed their compromised health and other how we work. reasons. Y ounger drivers equal more “To help make sense of the rap- distracted driving as well as drunk idly changing market dynamics and driving and drug-related driving. It accelerating innovations, the C rash led to a riskier, faster, and more danC ourse team is evolving how we gerous cocktail of driving behavior. bring information to you,” she said. C alifornia and less-populated states “W e’ re ex cited to deliver a unique such as W yoming and Nebraska reC rash C ourse report each quarter in ported a huge spike in the total num2 0 2 1 , sharing the most current data ber of citations that were written for available and even timelier insights drivers who were driving in ex cess for the auto industry and related eco- of 1 0 0 mph, for ex ample. ” system, how people decide to buy, “The numbers of people who own, insure and drive their cars will die every year in this country are determine, in part, how we move equivalent to a 7 4 7 crashing every forward as an industry. How these day without any survivors, but peointerconnected decisions and data ple don’ t seem to want to underpoints are shifting and changing as stand how broad the devastation aca result of the C O V ID -1 9 pandemic tually is,” G otsch said. “P eople say is important to monitor and frame in that it’ s more dangerous driving to the reference of what we are seeing the airport as opposed to getting on in the market right now. ” a plane. The 1 3 0 -page report draws inAs previously noted, the sights from decades of ex perience C O V ID -1 9 pandemic led to a sigContinued from Cover

Crash Course Report

nificant decline in claims and congestion, logically leading to fewer but more ex pensive claims. C onsumer preference for light trucks and vehicles loaded up with the newest technology forged ahead, further driving repair complex ity and higher costs. W hen a claim did happen, insurers offered customers new curated digital capabilities embedded with AI, helping accelerate overall cycle time at the front end by enabling the customer to make faster and more informed decisions. In 2 0 2 0 , carmakers didn’ t slow down when it came to developing new AD AS technology, which means that shops have to be more knowledgeable than ever about the newer models in order to survive. “W ith rising repair complex ity and costs, repair cycle times continue to grow,” G otsch said. “C ustomer satisfaction with a repair typically falls as repair costs rise, as does a customer’ s corresponding satisfaction with the insurer’ s handling of the claim and the customer’ s willingness to recommend that shop or insurer. As repair costs rise, consumers may need more frequent updates

to feel informed, and potentially increase the average service score. ” P ost-pandemic changes in people’s lifestyles will directly affect shops’ car counts for many years to come. “No one really knows how long it will take before people will feel safe enough to return to something resembling pre-pandemic life, what is clear is that things are likely to be different. With the option for more individuals to work from home in the future, people may choose to relocate to be closer to family, find less ex pensive housing, or other reasons as we saw early in the pandemic. This could potentially slow the shift toward urban areas that the U. S. ex perienced over the last decade. M any do anticipate some share of remote work in the U. S. will be permanent. ” P eople will continue to work at home or virtually in 2 0 2 1 and beyond. If approx imately 4 0 percent of jobs could be done remotely, but workers chose to do so only one day per week, there would still potentially be an impact to daily travel. O verall miles driven and trips taken might not see a significant decline,


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but more telework would still lead to fewer rushhour trips, less congestion in urban areas, and freer movement of remaining traffic, Gotsch stated. “In many ways, the pandemic environment has actually given us some idea of what the future may look like, and what that means to our industry. Despite an estimated $18 billion in auto premium returned to customers because of the pandemic, the percent of consumers that indicated they were ‘very satisfied’ with their auto insurance carrier fell from 68 percent late March 2020 to 56 percent by the end of August.” As of early December, a study conducted by ENGINE CARAVAN found that 50 percent of vehicle owners continued to drive less, with 54 percent of those who reported driving less posting at least a 50 percent decline in miles driven, according to CCC’s Crash Course report. Not surprisingly, interest in user-based insurance (UBI) policies grew as people recognized they were driving less and wanted more transparency around how their policies were priced. In their annual reports submit-

ted to NHTSA, automakers also showed just how far they have come toward equipping vehicles with the building blocks for full vehicle autonomy and ADAS. ADAS includes technologies such as front crash prevention or warning, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, park assist, back-over prevention, obstacle detection, and autonomous emergency braking. The reports are submitted annually by the 20 manufacturers that pledged to equip at least 95 percent of their light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 lbs. or less with the crash avoidance technology by the production year of 2022. “When ADAS technology went mainstream a few years back, the collision repair industry was put out on the front lines first (vs. me-

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chanical repair) which is unusual,” she said. “The main challenges for body shops are daunting because the OEs have different names for these systems and with consumer demand high, they’re all packaged differently and operate differently. So, understanding what’s going on with a car when it comes into your shop and then trying to fix it—these are some pretty significant challenges. The question is where and what should you invest in, or should you use a third-party company to do your diagnostics?” 2020 was a year of questions… will 2021 provide us with some of the answers as we emerge from these uncertain times? To find out more, get a hold of the CCC Crash Course report to hopefully anticipate trends before they affect you.

AUTOBODY www.autobodynews.com

Garage Gurus Continues Scholarship Program Garage Gurus, a training and support platform from Tenneco’s DRiV division, will award up to $30,000 in scholarships to future automotive technicians who are accepted or currently enrolled in accredited, U.S.-based automotive technical schools, colleges and universities, or enrolled fulltime at a U.S. high school. Applications are now available on the Garage Gurus website for the opportunity to receive one of 12 $2,500 Garage Gurus Automotive Technician Scholarships for the 2021-22 school year. All materials must be submitted by April 30; winners will be announced on or about June 1. In addition to the application, students are also required to submit two letters of recommendation from non-family members, as well as a typed essay or video introducing themselves and indicating “Why I Want to Be a Top Technician.” Visit www.garagegurus.tech. Source: Garage Gurus

CDC: Vaccinated May Gather Without Masks The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it is easing person-to-person COVID restrictions for fully vaccinated people. As employees continue to get vaccinated, the tight Cal/OSHA emergency temporary standard restrictions may seriously fly in the face of the federal easing.

For now, CDC is advising people to follow workplace guidance on COVID protections. But “based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” the agency says.

CDC says if you have been fully vaccinated, you can gather indoors with others who are also completely inoculated—those who have had both shots—without wearing masks. You can also gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household without masks unless any of those people or anyone they live with is at high risk of contracting COVID. The fully-vaccinated do not need to stay away from others or get tested if they have been around another person with COVID-19 “unless you have symptoms.” CDC says there is increasing evidence that fully vaccinated people are less likely to transmit COVID than others. The agency cautions fully vaccinated people in congregate settings such as correctional facilities or group homes who are exposed to positive cases should still quarantine for 14 days and get tested “even if you don’t have symptoms.” Source: Celly Services Inc.

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with Stacey Phillips

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.

Nissan Launches ADAS Calibration Course Advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) calibrations are an increasingly important part of a safe and proper repair, and that may prove a challenge for collision shops that lack relevant training and equipment. F or those ready for some O E M hands-on training, Nissan recently launched an AD AS calibration course. ust as some automakers offer training on how to work with their particular aluminum structural components, AD AS and calibrations are ust as important and unique to each automaker. C ertainly, more shops are wanting to do a greater share of this work in-house because subletting it can add complications and negatively impact cycle time. Sometimes there are even concerns whether those doing the sublet work are doing it properly. I know shops are eager for more O E M training related to AD AS. W e surveyed nearly 4 0 0 shops last summer and found 7 4 % would be interested in hands-on calibration training offered by an automaker. O ne respondent said after months of being holed up because of C O V ID , the training could be in Antarctica and he’ d still want to go. E ven among those who said they weren’ t interested at the time, many said this was only a temporary view because of C O V ID concerns or because they’ d taken a revenue hit last spring. I shared my findings with some of my contacts at various automakers, and Nissan umped right on it. I asked M ar k Z ob a, manager of Nissan and INFINITI’s Certified Collision R epair Networks, if I could publish our conversation about his focus on OEM-specific advanced training. F ull disclosure: M y company worked with Nissan and asTech to adapt this training for the collision industry.


Tell me more about how Nissan views AD AS, and how important it is for shops to know how to repair this advanced technology.


AD AS is an important element of Nissan’ s Intelligent Mobility (NIM) initiatives to deliver real benefits to drivers. As a result, Nissan is pushing to make more AD AS technologies accessible to all of our vehicle owners. Safety Shield 3 6 0 is now standard across many models, and breakthrough technologies like P roP IL O T Assist 2 . 0 is debuting on our upcom-

ing electric crossover AR IY A. Shops, like our dealers, need OEM-specific advanced training to properly ensure that all safety and AD AS systems are functioning as designed. Thus, collision shops must be able to identify the systems present on a specific vehicle. AD AS components also may be disconnected or moved during the repair process, requiring a calibration. This is why a post-repair vehicle scan is also essential to help assess AD AS system functionality and resolve all diagnostic trouble codes.

Q: A:

Is this training the same that dealer technicians receive?

It is similar, but not ex act. I invited C ollision Advice and asTech to attend the hands-on AD AS and calibration training that Nissan currently offers to our dealerships’ service technicians. W e then worked together to “translate” that training for the collision repair world. All of the calibration processes are the same, but Nissan wanted this training to focus on what collision techs encounter when working on Nissan and INF INITI vehicles after an accident. O ur collision-tailored

AD AS training includes what shops need to know about paint thickness over sensors, for ex ample, or calibration issues related to the unibody alignment and specs.

Q: A:

W hat does the training look like? Where is it offered?

Although the collision industry offers many courses online, we felt that this needed to be hands-on training. It’ s about 2 0 % classroom training, but the ma ority is devoted to actually setting up and performing calibrations on real vehicles. W e originally thought the training needed to be three days given the amount of information. But we understand it’s difficult for techs to be out of the shop, so we wanted

to condense the in-person training as much as possible. W e piloted the course and found we could get it down to two days, though they are two very full days. P art of what makes that possible is the pre-work that is required before the course. F or those in the industry who said they wished there was more meat in O E M training programs, we deliver it with this class. E ven before setting foot in the training center, students complete e-learning modules on navigating Nissan TechInfo for repair procedures, on understanding AD AS components, etc. They have to know how to use TechInfo before they show up. Students work on five new Nissan and INF INITI vehicles; each has been “bugged” with an AD AS problem that needs to be diagnosed and resolved. Students rotate through the vehicles, working in pairs, do-

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ing five hands-on calibrations. Then each student has to do three calibrations by themselves to pass. There may be some students who may not pass this class. In fact, many that have taken the class have acknowledged that this is the most advanced and intense O E M training they have ever attended.

Q: A:

How has Nissan addressed C O V ID -related concerns?

I understand the concerns, and I also know shops need the information to work with our vehicles’ AD AS systems. Shops can’ t ust tell customers, “Come back in a year and we’ ll calibrate your vehicle’ s systems then. ” If shops are performing these operations, Nissan wants to help ensure they have the proper training within a safe environment for learning. Nissan has C O V ID -related controls, which everyone must follow. Nissan worked with asTech to create a dedicated training facility for the course in J acksonville, F L . There are ust 10 students at a time, working with two instructors, within

a 3 ,0 0 0 -square foot space, so social distancing isn’ t a problem. E veryone wears a mask and gloves. E veryone gets their temperature taken in the morning before they enter the classroom, and everyone is using their own factory scan tool. That reminds me: O ne of the things we do in the class is let students scan vehicles first with their choice of aftermarket scan tool, then scan that same vehicle with the C O NSUL T factory scan tool. E veryone has their opinion on factory versus aftermarket scan tools. W e challenge them to compare the tools themselves, and students can see the results firsthand.


W ho is eligible to attend? Is the training required by Nissan or INF INITI?


The course is currently open to Nissan and INF INITI certified collision centers, and we’re working on a solution to make it available to the industry in the near future. W e’ re prioritizing our certified shops, but we also want to help educate as many shops as possible.


It’ s important to Nissan to help make sure our vehicles are fixed correctly. For our certified shops, the training is not required, although we strongly recommend it to shops that want to perform in-house calibrations. O ne thing I found interesting after we did the pilot class was that some shops said they wished they had sent both a technician and an estimator. It’ s helpful for them both to experience firsthand how to use TechInfo and see what’ s involved in the calibration processes. This can lead to writing a more complete initial estimate.

Q: A:

So how does a shop get more information or sign up?

Shops can contact my team at NNAC ollisionR epairNetwork@ nissan-usa. com for more information. F or Nissan and INF INITI certified shops, support may also include help registering for the course. Non-certified shops will be added to our current waitlist, and we will contact them once we open up the course to the industry.


PPG Appoints Director P P G on M arch 2 announced John S t e p he ns on, current business controller, industrial coatings, has been promoted to director, acquisition integration. In this new global role, Stephenson reports to M i c hae l M c G ar r y , P P G chairman and C E O . Stephenson is responsible for the overall integration of P P G acquisitions. He will work to prioriti e and achieve pro ect goals, plans and key actions; assure integration plans meet P P G ’ s standards for operational ex cellence; and deliver strategic synergies. He will also serve as the integration leader for the recently announced Tikkurila acquisition, sub ect to close. Stephenson brings a proven track record in a wide range of business unit and functional roles, and has played leadership roles in a number of key P P G acquisitions. Since oining PPG in 1985, he has held finance leadership positions in all P P G industrial segment businesses and P P G ’ s global architectural coatings business. Source: P P G


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with Stacey Phillips

Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

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

Benefits of In-Process Quality Control Technology Discussed by Lee Rush, Sherwin-Williams O ne of the universal issues in the defects, comebacks, poor quality collision repair industry and a pain and missed opportunities. W ith the point on every production floor is a introduction of new technology, that with Stacey Phillips lack of in-process quality control, is starting to change. according to L e e R u s h, manager In his presentation, he shared of business development for Sher- insight about the benefits of using win-W illiams® . quality technology to help identify “In-process quality control has and correct issues throughout the reeluded this industry for years and pair process long before the final continues to do so today,” said R ush. inspection. “Not only is it awith huge Victoria liability risk, Those who don’ t incorporate Antonelli but it can cost every collision shop in-process quality validation can profit and sales.” suffer greatly, said Rush. This could mean poor Y elp reviews, restrictions put into place by insurance programs, an impact on the quality of employees hired and increased with Ed Attanasio liability for not performing a proper repair. Rush discussed the importance of validating in-process “Q uality has a broad quality impact and many ramificaD uring a virtual presentation tions on your business,” said R ush. given as part of the Society of C ol- “By providing a process in which lision Repair with Specialists Gary(SCRS) Ledouxa repaired vehicle is returned to the Repairer Driven Education (RDE) customer free of defects, safe and the Series, R ush discussed the impor- overall crashworthiness is restored, tance of validating in-process qual- it allows us to reduce and eliminate ity and explained how it differs from in-process quality delays. ” quality control ( C), typically done R ush said it also increases the in many shops across the country to- number of quality inspectors. day. with Stacey Phillips “Instead of one or two people W hereas q ualit y cont rol occurs in the business being responsible at the end of the repair cycle when for inspecting vehicles, everyone in the vehicle is inspected before being the business becomes a quality inreturned to the customer, R ush said spector,” he said. “This can greatly in- p rocess q ualit y valid at ion is live reduce the amount of time manageon the production floor, where ad- ment spends addressing and readustments can be made throughout dressing quality delays. ” the repair cycle. with Mike Anderson The key, said R ush, is to incorR ush used the analogy of a porate digital tools that help achieve sports team where the coach gives these goals. an overview of the game and what This means moving away from went wrong. paper checklists and “check the box ” “A review at the end of the game procedures, as well as electronic standoesn’ t do anything to improve per- dard checklists that do not relate to the formance,” he ex plained. repair. R ush has spent more than 2 0 Shop owners and managers who years managing collision centers do incorporate technology to validate and M SO s and has ex tensive ex pe- in-process quality typically ex peririence in business center ex pansion ence numerous benefits. These could using lean and process-driven oper- include cost reductions, more consisations. tent repair quality, reduced vehicle O ver his career, he has found comebacks, improved cycle time, reshops lacked the technology to mea- duced liability and overall customer sure the dollar value of in-process and employee satisfaction.


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R ush shared 1 0 best practices when implementing quality validation technology. The technology should: Electronically verify, validate and measure quality from any device. Offer digital features that can be implemented at a low cost. Have high mobility and be simple to use so every employee can easily adopt. Communicate to all employees in real-time to help them stay on task. Have the capability to increase the number of quality inspectors in the business. Provide a quality check and validation for each phase of the repair process prior to final inspection. Have robust reporting features that track performance so all failures can be resolved quickly, minimizing

delays and improving on-time delivery. Focus on eliminating the maor reasons for production delays including parts mistakes, supplements and in-process delays due to errors and defects. Electronically document the repair for all stakeholders, including the vehicle owner, insurance company, certified repair program, etc. Capture photos and allow for an audit of the shop’ s standard operating procedures (SOPs). “We’re going to find that many of the OEM certification programs are going to be gravitating toward these ex pectations,” said R ush. Up until recently, R ush wasn’ t aware of a method that was available to consistently and predictively measure the impact of in-process See Quality Control Technology, Page 39

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with Erica Schroeder

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 www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.

Artistic Auto Body Set for Expanding Electric Vehicle Population with Stand-Alone EV Center

Shop Showcase

“I can already see that specialC ount A rt ist ic A ut o B od y among the shops geared up and ready for the izing makes sense not only from coming wave of electric vehicles what we’ re doing today, but certainwith Ed Attanasio ly as you look to the future,” M ostul (EVs). said. “That’ s what we’ re trying to do: anticipate where things are going, and try to get there before we have to,” shop owner T e r r y M os t u l said, standing outside the 2 1 ,0 0 0 -square foot stand-alonewith E V center he’ s esEd Attanasio tablished nex t to his company’ s original shop in Tigard, O R . “I like to be proactive rather than reactive. ” He acknowledges some of his colleagues have questioned whether his investment in an E V -only Technician Kyle Liddane performs a structural repair on a Tesla Model 3 in one of the three center almost two years ago wasn’ t with Ed Attanasio aluminum bays at Artistic Auto Body’s location premature, at best. But the growth in Tigard, OR of E V vehicles in M ostul’ s P ortArtistic Auto Body’ s two shop land area market, coupled with the nearly weekly automaker announce- locations had ample ex perience with ments in recent months of new elec- E V s prior to segmenting those vetric-powered models, indica- hicles to a stand-alone center. The with are Edan Attanasio company, which has had I-C AR tion he made the right move.

Social Media for Shops

SEMA Show Goes On

things. So there are lots of interior parts that have to be taken out of the car and stored. P reviously, all those parts were put on carts, and that’ s ust not a safe place to put seats and trim, or the glass you may need to remove ust to get door handles out.” The Artistic E V center includes a large storage area of stacked and labeled bins where such parts can be safely stored and kept clean. D amaged parts to be replaced are stored on carts near the parts delivery area all the Tigard location parts are now delivered to the E V center, reducing truck and part congestion at its two other buildings to be mirror-matched as new parts are delivered. The space the EV center offers also enables Artistic to ex pedite repairs by stocking some of the most common E V vehicle fasteners and other parts even some bumpers,

G old C lass designation for 1 8 years, holds a do en automakers’ certifications including some from OEMs such as Audi, J aguar, Nissan and Tesla that produce EVs. It’ s that ex perience trying to incorporate E V repairs into the company’ s production that prompted M ostul to think about segmenting it out. “There’ s a long list of things we learned that motivated this,” M ostul said. “O ne of those things centers around parts. Here we have space and loading docks to receive all our parts for this location, even the E V parts that arrive by semi truck. W e have a couple golf carts with beds on the back where we can deliver parts from here right to the technician, ust in time. And when you take an E V apart, you often have to remove much of the interior to disconnect certain

Media and Publicity for Shops

WIN Announces 2021 Conference

Service King Supports

Shop Strategies 844 Teammates

The W omen’with s Industry Net-PhillipsW hen unforeseen, pandemic-reStacey work (WIN) has announced the lated challenges affected Service schedule for its 2 0 2 1 V irtual K ing C ollision’ s employees in C onference: M ay 4 -5 , starting 2 0 2 0 , the company was eager to at 1 0 a. m. E T. show its support for teammates This year’ s theme, “Stronthrough the P resident’ s F und. ger Together,” will be reflected In 2 0 1 0 , Service K ing esthroughout the agenda of thePhillipstablished the P resident’ s F und, with Stacey two-day event that brings eduthe organi ation’s own 501(c) cation, connection and celebra( ) that serves as a resource for tion to collision industry profesteam members ex periencing an sionals each year. unexpected or unusual financial The conference is free for obligation or crisis. The fund W IN members and $ 1 4 9 for provides the Service K ing faminon-members. ly with the unique opportunity to Stacey The 2 0 2 with 1 V irtual AnnualPhillipsboth support fellow teammates C onference will feature live and and request assistance in times of playback-enabled content to fit need. attendees’ schedules; topics relIts mission was amplified evant to all aspects of the colin 2 0 2 0 as the organization used lision industry; interactive feacollections to aid its deserving tures a V irtual Scholarship W alk teammates. Since 2 0 1 7 , the most open to families, partners and employees Service K ing made with Stacey co-workers; and national mediaPhillipsmonetary donations to in a sinpanels discussing latest trends. gle year was 8 2 team members. M ore details and registration In 2 0 2 0 , the comprehensive auto coming soon, but save the date collision repair operator contribon your calendar now. uted donations to 8 4 4 employees through the P resident’ s F und. Source: W IN Source: Service K ing

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36 APRIL 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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rebars and fenders that may not be immediately available locally for some models. P arts delays, though far less of an issue than they were in the past, were another consideration M ostul had in mind when adding the E V center.

Blueprinter Sophia Goodrich prepares an estimate on a Tesla in for repairs

“I ust don’t like having an electric vehicle sitting outside in the wet and the cold, even if covered in plastic,” M ostul said. “It’ s bad for the battery. So having inside storage here in the E V center has been wonderful for keeping them much, much safer. And the customers love knowing the vehicles are stored inside too. ” M ostul said E V repair production also has a slightly different

“tempo” than work on other vehicles. There’ s more involved in disassembly for blueprinting and more diagnostic work upfront, for ex ample. F or everyone involved in working on the vehicles estimators, technicians, parts staff and even detailers there’s a learning curve that only steepens if they’ re working on E V s only occasionally amongst a regular flow of other vehicles, he said. The E V center allows those employees to specialize in those vehicles. “W e started with a blueprinter, taking them out of the other building and saying, ‘You’re ust going to focus on these vehicles,’ ” M ostul said. “And the minute we did that, boom, things really started getting traction. ” The EV center includes five stalls for blueprinting, allowing for a mid-tech to be disassembling one vehicle as an estimator prepares the paperwork for another. P arts and O E M procedure research can be completed on the other vehicles before they are moved to storage or into production. All the cars can be fully charged via charging stations in that area, as well as connected to the automaker

via a standalone W iF i network, separate from that used to run the business or to provide connectivity for customers. “W e want to leave them there in that area until we are done with all those preliminary processes,” M os-

The EV center includes a large storage area of stacked and labeled bins where interior parts that must be removed can be safely stored and kept clean, separate from parts that will be replaced

tul said. “Having it separate allows us not to eopardi e accuracy by trying to maintain the same flow we use elsewhere in production. ” Scheduling of E V s is also done differently. “Every incoming drivable ob gets put on a list, and instead of scheduling by date, we’ ll notify

them when we have all the parts, and then bring them in for repairs,” M ostul said. “That may mean an E V written later may ump ahead of one brought in earlier. But we keep in contact with our customers throughout the process. ” W hile actual repair and paint work are currently done in the shop’ s other buildings, that will change as the company plans to build the capability to do it within the E V center, M ostul said. W hile some of the company’ s other mechanical work is done it in its other buildings, its lead mechanic, and its scanning and calibration work, are in the E V center. “W e want to do as much as we can in-house, both so we can control it to make sure it’ s done right, and also for cycle time, so we don’ t have to take something to a dealership, which has ex tra days and costs associated with it,” M ostul said. The E V center’ s charging stations are programmable, allowing charging to generally take place overnight, when energy rates are lower. All vehicles are fully charged the See Artistic Auto Body, Page 45


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Electric Vehicle Repair: No Room for Error by Gary Ledoux

V ehicle technology has seen some tremendous changes and developments in recent years, including the use of high-strength steels, aluminum and magnesium, along with AD AS systems and all the intricate technology that includes. And while the industry is still learning how to cope with that, we are on to the next hori on the fast-growing adoption of electric and electric-hybrid motive technology. O nly a few years ago, car makers were more focused on different fuels, leaner-burning internal combustion engines (ICE) and more exotic transmissions. Today, the trend is toward full and hybrid electric. In 2 0 2 1 , there are 7 5 fully-electric vehicles; in 2 0 2 0 , there were 5 9 . Tesla is the name most people come up with when electric cars are discussed; they command a large share of the market and are top-ofmind in the electric car world. But most every legacy car manufacturer has a dog in the hunt, and new technology brings with it new players, such as R ivian and L ucid. D riving the growth of this market is the ex panding vehicle choice. F ord has an all-electric M ustang now available for order, and an all-electric F -1 5 0 truck will soon be here. G M recently announced an E V Hummer. Another growth-driver is fleet adoption. Startup electric vehicle maker R ivian will produce an entire delivery fleet for Ama on. P r e s i d e nt Joe B i d e n plans to replace all 6 4 5 ,0 0 0 government-run gas and diesel vehicles with electric vehicles, 3 5 % of those belonging to the U. S. P ostal Service. And E V driving range is getting progressively longer. That, together with ex hilarating performance and lower costs, will soon start to change the face of the American fleet. But who will work on these cars and how will technicians be trained and educated, especially those at independent mechanical garages and techs at collision repair shops? O n a conventional IC E vehicle, a technician may get away with a slight olt touching a wrong wire.

O n a high-voltage E V , touching the wrong wire at the wrong time could have serious consequences. According to D i r k F u c hs , recently-appointed director of program services for I-C AR , it is one thing for a dealership technician to work on an electric vehicle all in one piece where proper procedures can be followed and all on-board ap-


The biggest difference in training/ education for technicians working on electric vehicles between the U. S. and E urope is government regulation. F irst, there is E uropean regulation E C E R 1 0 0 . This covers the most basic information concerning electric vehicles, and safety while working on them.

“We need to all get on the same page because with the new high-voltage electric vehicles, there is no room for error.” — Dirk Fuchs pliances and switches are accessible and working. It is quite another thing to work on a piece of twisted metal where switches may not be accessible, or may not work, or loose or ripped “hot” wires are ex posed. D uring the most recent C IC virtual meeting, F uchs, who has a degree in electrical engineering and has spent considerable time in E urope, ex plained the E uropean model for training and educating technicians for working on electric vehicles. A ut ob od y N ew s followed up with an additional interview. To start, there are several social and cultural differences between Europe and the U. S. which foster the dramatic differences in training, how it is delivered and how it is viewed. Typically, F uchs ex plained, the E uropean training model is not really training as such, but more an education. In E urope, they learn more about why the problem manifested and why the vehicle must be repaired in a certain way. In the U. S. , training is solution-based diagnose a problem and fix it as quickly as possible. In a production shop, time is money. Another cultural difference is how training/ education for a technician is viewed. In E urope, shop owners don’ t think twice about sending a technician off for 12 days of training at some remote location. The cost and production schedule are ad usted to allow for it. In the U. S. , getting a tech to any off-site training is tough and is always an imposition on productivity.

Then, as a second step, every individual country in E urope has its own rules and regulations regarding technician certification for working on electric vehicles. The strongest of these is G ermany, with its V D E 1 0 0 0 -1 0 regulation. F or ex ample, in G ermany, to be fully certified to work on electric vehicles, could be as much as a 3 . 5 -year process for a technician, including a very specific educational curriculum

under the umbrella of an apprenticeship program, culminating in a 1 2 day high-voltage certification training with end-of-training final exam. E uropean manufacturers rolling out their training programs under G erman regulations worldwide will affect collision repair technicians in the U. S. If you are a shop owner, at this point you are probably saying, “I don’ t want to train a guy for two years ust to work on electric cars and I sure don’ t need any more government regulation and interference in my business! ” Agreed. The reason all this training and education is mandated by the government is because the government covers medical costs if a technician is hurt on the ob. “W hen you go to an emergency medical facility in Europe, the first thing they ask is if you are there because of a work-related accident or not,” F uchs ex plained. “If you are, treatment goes in one direction. If not, treatment takes another direcSee No Room for Error, Page 45


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Quality Control Technology quality failures and dollarize them. The failures may be related to paint, body work, mechanical, parts defects or detail and delivery. “These are real issues that cause you profitability and impact your ability to produce additional revenue every day, every week and every month,” said R ush. “W e’ ve become desensitized to them; we accept them and tolerate them, saying that it’s ust how we do business. However, it costs us profitability and additional revenues. ” Today, it is estimated failures such as starts and stops, reworks, comebacks, reversals in production, etc. , may represent a potential revenue constraint of 2 0 % of a shop’ s monthly revenue. “W e know time is money, especially on the production floor,” said R ush. “E very minute of every day, we produce a product, or we don’ t. ” He stressed the importance of using quality technology to help reduce and eliminate in-process quali-

ty-related delays and defects. To help measure a shop’ s success, R ush said the industry is now using a new key performance indicator ( PI) sales per labor hour sold. This is the total sales divided by the total labor hours sold. F or ex ample: $ 2 . 5 million in total sales, divided by 1 6 ,0 0 0 total labor hours sold equals $ 1 5 6 . 2 5 . O nce the impact and cost of in-process quality are understood, R ush said shops can then work toward eliminating waste and improving profitability. R ush highly recommends focusing a shop’ s quality program on labor optimization to help dollarize the cost of failures and improve quality and outcomes for all parties involved in the claim. “Up until the early 2 0 0 0 s, we thought about quality as right or wrong it looks good or doesn’t, it functions or doesn’ t function,” said R ush. “Now, we look at quality from the perspective of labor optimization. ” R ush used the ex ample of a shop bringing in $ 2 5 0 ,0 0 0 in monthly revenue. If there are 1 . 5 failures

per day per technician, and the shop has eight technicians, that equates to 1 2 failures per day. If you multiply that number by an average of 4 5 minutes per failure, it equals 5 4 0 minutes or nine hours of unproductive time per day. At $ 1 6 0 sales per labor hour, multiplied by nine hours, that is $ 1 ,4 4 0 in lost revenue per day at 1 0 0 % technician efficiency. $ 1 ,4 4 0 in lost revenue per day multiplied by 1 2 working days equals $ 3 0 ,2 4 0 per month in missed revenue $ 62,800 annually. “Based on your labor efficiency, every dollar spent on in-process failures is a labor hour not spent generating new revenue,” he said. “Y ou can begin to calculate what the cost is to your business due to in-process failures because they can be measured. ” R ush advises shop management to implement a well-defined set of individual or departmental responsibilities for each step of the repair process and then ensure employees know ex actly what is ex pected of them. “This is revolutionary for our

industry,” said R ush. “This type of quality validation tech is a win for everyone, improving production and labor effectiveness, customer and employee satisfaction, profitability, cycle time and reducing liability. ” F or more information, email L eroy. v . rush@ sherwin. com. The presentation is part of the curriculum from Sherwin-W illiams’ s A-P lus™ University, which focuses on education and the ability to deliver it when and where it is needed. The courses and workshops are designed around the company’ s core ethos: “labor optimization and connecting metrics for demonstratable improvement. ” V isit www. ecoleanuniversity. com.


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Hey Toby! with Toby Chess

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

ficie scan min “Th ning appl tics.

Kool Tools: Past and Present As you are all probably aware by a M IG welder. The best is one can now, SEMA 2020 went virtual re- use . 0 3 5 wire on 1 1 0 volts. named SEMA 60 and it preventR y an S w ans on, training maned K ye and me from walking the ager for P ro Spot, and I welded 5 floor looking for those unique items mm coupons in a fillet setup. Tothat we would obtain and test out tal penetration to the bottom plate, for our K ool Tools of SE M A annual and we could have welded thicker presentation. with David McClune pieces if they were available, as the The SC R S E ducation C ommit- machine has a 6 mm setting. A part tee, chaired by A m b e r A l l e y , asked welded to frame on a BO F vehicle its members to look at SE M A 3 6 0 can be done in a stall with only 1 1 0 for items for K ool Tools of SE M A. volts and this welder. I submitted a few items I found, but The welder sells for under I decided to check out some of the $ 2 ,0 0 0 . C heck pricing with your lopast tools and see what was new and cal distributer. ex citing. M y nex t item is a mobile estiSo here are the K ool Tools P ast mating/ AD AS stand-alone cart. and P resent. John Yoswick Here is mywith first item, from Pro Spot International (Fig. 1)

comes as a base model no computer, printer and printer drawer, but with both computer screens to the most delux e model with everything but the kitchen sink. See website for details. This unit is battery powered (not included) and can be moved anywhere in the facility. Y ou will not have to plug it in, as it has an inverter for 1 1 0 -volt printer. P rice range is $ ,099 to $4,699 (Fig. 4). The other stand-alone cart is from P ro Spot International. This station can also be moved anywhere in the shop and does not need electricity. It has an inverter for 1 2 0 -volt equipment. This unit does not come with the two screens as shown, but the mounting brackets are included. Battery, computer and printer are not included. M SR P is $ 2 ,7 5 0 . Nex t is a battery charger/ maintainer from PowerMax (Fig. 5).

California Autobody Association

Year in Quotes


Fig. 5

uestion does your shop do AD AS calibrations? And if you answer yes, do you have a battery maintainer? There is a big difference between the two. A battery charger uses pulsed voltage, which goes up and down, whereas a battery maintainer, uses constant voltage. M y friend C hu c k O l s on, vice president of all AD AS knowledge at


Collision Repair Association of CA. VOLVO CARS with Richard Steffen Fig. 3 Fig. 1

P roSpot introduced its new P R 2 2 0 -M V . J ust like its little brother, P R 2 0 5 -M V , it can be plugged into 1 1 0 or 220 volts (Fig. 2).

Two manufacturers, G oliath and P ro Spot, introduced new selfcontained mobile carts for estimating and/or ADAS calibrations (Fig. 3 ). Goliath’s cart (goliathcarts.com)

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Fig. 2

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40 APRIL 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

with David M. Brown West_Issue_0421.indd 40

Air cour pert

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a co ple from terie a kn elec sequ cura batte

unit and and repa leve hicle supp char

Air P ro D iagnostics, gave me quick course on a battery maintainer as it pertains to AD AS. “It is imperative to have sufficient, consistent voltage during scanning and is critical for programming and calibrations,” O lson said. “There are no written O E M scanning requirements to charge, test or apply battery support for diagnostics. “P erforming diagnostics after a collision event produces multiple potential voltage issues ranging from discharged or damaged batteries, connector damage, etc. It is a known fact that a voltage or base electrical problem renders all subsequent diagnostics useless, inaccurate and a waste of time, unless battery voltage addressed first.” He went on to say, “All control units are affected by battery voltage and repairers need to be aware of and correct these issues before any repairs are performed. If the voltage level is below 1 1 . 0 volts with the vehicle off, the need for battery voltage support and or battery inspection, charging and testing are indicated. “M any in collision repair are

not aware low voltage from discharged, failing or damaged batteries will deliver false codes and/ or skewed data. Best practice is to check base electrical system, connect battery support to prevent ex cessive discharge if O K . Add labor operations for battery charging, testing replacement, etc. , as needed. ” F inally, he said, “M any shops use ‘ ump boxes’ as opposed to battery maintainers. A ‘ ump box’ can be used in some situations but they must be maintained and monitored closely. I must warn that ‘ ump boxes’ discharge with use same as a battery and can also allow the voltages to drop causing possible false codes, improper readings or failed programming/ calibration procedures. “If your shop needs a new battery charger look for one that has a ‘ programming’ or ‘ maintain’ setting for use during scanning, calibration and programming procedures. Standard battery chargers are O K for charging a battery, but are not recommended during scanning, programming or calibrations due to voltage fluctuations that can produce voltages above or below mod-

ule normal operating conditions. “M aintainers are good to use if the battery already has a full charge. K eep in mind, a maintainer will not recharge a discharged battery. ” Now that you are familiar with the difference between a battery charger and maintainer, let’ s take a look at the P owerM ax AC to D C # 7 5 C onverter/ C harger. This piece of equipment is a compact unit, but with a ton of features: Provides a constant clean fixed out of voltage for the power supply during diagnostics and calibrations • V oltage can be regulated between 1 3 . 2 volts mfg standard setting and 14.6 volts check OE specifications • C an be switch to a battery charger with a flick of the wrist • 1 5 -foot cables • L E D indicator lights and digital voltage output display • Two-year warranty OEM specified piece of equipment Very affordable pricing L ooking for a battery-operated blind

rivet gun? Here are two I have tested (Fig. 6 and ).

Fig. 6. MFG Car-O-Liner

Fig. 7. MFG Geispa

Here are two battery-operated rivet guns that will pull structural rivets found on today’ s vehicles. I tested the C ar-O -L iner rivet gun with R ob e r t H or ne d o, owner of P acific Collision Equipment, and I was little skeptical that it would pull a

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structural rivet. To my surprise, this gun worked effortlessly (Fig. 8 and 9 ).

Fig. 8

cleaners and nothing comes close to this product. Use the same process for overspray on metal or plastic surfaces. Here is the beauty of this product: Y ou can use it without the clay mitt on all ex terior surfaces including plastic, rubber or vinyl. Spray on the surface it lifts any dirt or dust off the surface and traps it in the liquid and wipe with microfiber followed by a dry microfiber. This product also works on interior vinyl surfaces to clean and semigloss finish. With this one product, you eliminate the need to have a separate glass, vinyl and metal cleaner. Nex t up is a light unit from Miller Electric (Fig. 11).

Fig. 11 Fig. 9

I tried the same F ord structural rivets using the P ower Bird R ivet gun and again was amazed by the results. How many of you use a razor blade and/ or steel wool to remove overspray from glass? I have a solution that will eliminate those products (Fig. 10).

I have conducted more than 6,000 I-CAR welding certification tests and one of the biggest problems facing technicians is poor lighting when welding on a vehicle. M iller E lectric solved this problem by furnishing a lighting kit for its helmets. The lights attach to a helmet on the two headgear ad usting knobs. It is a great addition to the helmet. Speaking of helmets, M iller introduced a digital helmet with clear lens technology (above picture). C learL ight L ens Technology allows more colors of the visible light spectrum to come through the lens for

much contrast or clarity and can lead to increased eye fatigue. In other words, when welding, the viewing screen is clear instead of a greenish tint (see Figs. 12 and 1 ).

Fig. 14 Fig. 13

The second biggest problem I have encountered is most technicians have trouble seeing. These helmets come with slots for magnifying lenses (Fig. 14). E ven if a tech has good eyesight, this lens is a must. If their helmets do not have magnifier slots, another product to consider is a pair of 2.0 diopter (200-times magnification) safety glasses from ent Automotive (1442650) (Fig. 15).

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Fig. 15

O ne last product from M iller E lectric: The M illermatic 2 5 5 Auto Body (Fig. 16). I had this welder as a K ool Tool two years ago. The 2 5 5 Autobody has three guns, M IG braze, M IG steel and aluminum, a spool of each wire, all the various drive rollers, Michael

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two gauges and a running cart that will hold two welding tanks, for under $6,200. (Check with your local distributor for a better price. )

ing rivets and is a Ford-certified tool. The kit comes with an arm, a set of SP R dies and a gun, for under $ 3 ,8 0 0 . Nex t on my list is a P D R light from K ool Tools of SE M A 2 0 1 8 (Fig. 18). I repurposed this light from K eco Tabs to aid estimators when photographing vehicle damage (Fig. 1 9 ).

ation and has three different wavelength bulbs. W hile we are on K eco Tabs, here is another K ool Tool, its frame glue tab puller (Fig. 21).

Fig. 22

Fig. 16

Fig. 21

It is a great deal, but here is the only drawback you can only use one gun at a time. Y ou will need to change the gun, wire, drive rollers and gas set up for each of the three welding operations. Another past K ool Tool item was the portable drill-operated SP R gun (Fig. 1 ).

This tool is a high strength steel U-bolt and 6 5 -mm C entipede adapter which allows securely pulling C entipede create tabs with chains, hooks, ratchet straps, ropes, frame and other heavy-duty pulling equipment. The side thumb screw secures the adapter to C entipede tabs, preventing separation during setup or after removal. Two am nuts on the U-bolt secure the adapter to ensure minimum movement and max imum lifting energy.

Fig. 19

This picture of the damage to the left fender was taken by an ex perienced estimator. The door was damaged, but the photo does not show any damage. I put the P D R light on the door and retook the photo (Fig. 20).



Fig. 17

W eilander+ Schill demonstrated a battery-operated drill attaches to a SP R rivet gun at SE M A 2 0 1 8 and we highlighted it as K ool Tool. The arm was attached to the gun and power rating was on the low side. The engineers at W + S redesigned the tool and it now has twice the rivet setting pressure and multiple interchangeable arms with a host of different manufacturer die sets, does both flow form and self-pierc-

Fig. 18

M y last item for K ool Tools is a One Pass Water Blade (Fig. 22).

The patented T-bar and Y -blade edges are safe for all paints and clearcoats, removes 9 0 % of rinse water with one easy sweep and has 1 5 times less friction than a terry cloth towel. I time tested this with a chamois and there was a 5 0 % labor saving in the time to remove the water. Another point is it does not wear out. I filmed a number of these tools with my partner in crime, K ye Y eung, for SC R S K ool Tools of SE M A 3 6 0 . G o to SC R S. com to view the video of these tools, along with a few other K ool Tools tested by various SC R S board members. Contact Information P ro Spot P R 2 2 0 M V welder

The right part makes the difference.

Fig. 20

The three light bulbs need to be parallel, but you will notice the bulb closest to door edge bent out of shape. The estimator marked the damage with water soluble marker and took another picture along with the one above to send to the insurance company. I checked with the estimator a couple of weeks later and he told me the inside ad uster had approved his labor estimate on the door, and the light made his ob easier. I know there are estimating boards on the market and you can get similar results, but I am recommending this unit because it mounts to the car with an ex tremely strong suction cup for a hands-free oper-

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night before they are to be delivered. “Because of how we’ ve positioned ourselves, it’ s not unusual to have someone come from 2 0 0 or 00 miles away have their car fixed here,” M ostul said. “So it’ s important we return the E V to them fully charged, and triple-checked to make sure everything is like new. ” M ostul said he sees his company’ s E V center as a logical step in the changing nature of the collision industry’ s work. “Being a body man is now so much than it used to be,” he said. “A bigger and bigger portion of the bill is related to the work you do with a computer at the diagnostic rate. Y ou really need the right facility with people who are good at that. That’ s what we’ ve tried to build here. ”

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So, the training/ education mandates are at least qualified. But what about working on electric cars in the U. S. ? “In my new position at I-C AR , our team is working with all car manufacturers to come up with a comprehensive training solution for safely repairing collision-damaged electric cars,” F uchs said. “G erman carmakers may think U. S. training is way behind E urope, while other manufacturers may consider the U. S. approach adequate. “At I-C AR , we have one goal: To ensure that every person in the collision repair industry has the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer. This includes E V s. “W e need to all get on the same page because with the new high-voltage electric vehicles, there is no room for error. ”




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Historical Snapshot with John Yoswick

Associations Assembling with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

ASA Leaders Discuss Scanning, EVs, Data Access and Inaccurate Data confidence is at stake. We Southeast sumer’s News work hard to gain the respect of our

O n F eb. 9 , the Automotive Service Association (ASA) hosted a virtual media briefing with to discuss important Chasidy Rae topics related to vehicle electrification and data accessibility. T ony M ol l a, vice president of industry relations for ASA, welcomed attendees and ex plained the purpose of the briefing. with “A new year has Chasidy begun, we’ Rae ve got the results of the 2 0 2 0 election, and we’ re in the transition, so we wanted to share with you issues that are ongoing, things that may be on

customers and can’ t let that be torn Sisk down because of inaccurate reporting of information, not to mention the potential liability or assumed data breach that may have to be defended. ” C AR F AX was “equally conSisk cerned about the breach and the information being incorrect” and reached out to F isher to elaborate on its platform data functions and how it acquire its information. The

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wards safety using autonomy. “O ur industry is challenged with these new technologies that require new procedures, equipment, knowledge and information that aren’ t included within the current information platforms that we rely on when writing estimates,” he said. “W hen it’ s not there, it can cause issues. These procedures require time, equipment and training, so we thought it was important to define this standardized technology. ” AD AS is at the top of that list, according to L eV asseur, though it’ s been going on for a long time, mentioning the need for pre- and postscans. “AD AS continues to be developed to assist drivers with autonomy and create safety. This isn’ t really new, but it’ s because more and more complicated. ” L eV asseur shared the collision

operations committee’s efforts to work with scan tool manufacturers, industry associations, O E M s, repairers, educators and consultants, including M i k e A nd e r s on of C ollision Advice, to look at various service procedures with safety as a priority. “W e gathered and documented a lot of information, filtering through for commonalities to help identify the differences in standardized technology. ” O ver the past eight months, the committee has been developing a scanning compensation position in an attempt to reduce friction between payers and repairers. L eV asseur hopes to have it finali ed by the spring C IC , but he shared a sneak peek of the statement as currently written. In part, it states: “The Automotive Service Association acknowledges the act of scanning a vehicle

with Chasidy Rae Sisk ASA hosted a virtual media briefing on Feb. 9 to discuss important topics related to vehicle electrification and data accessibility

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the rise and challenges that we see company does not mine informacoming in the not-so-distant future,” tion from databases; information is with Chasidy Rae Sisk M olla said. pushed to it with ex plicit consent M olla acted as moderator for the from 112,000 different data sources, informative presentation. Speakers including shops, dealerships, municincluded R ay F i s he r , AM AM , pres- ipalities and more. ident and ex ecutive director of ASA; According to F isher, he and with Rae Sisk R ob e r t R e d d i ng, ASA’Chasidy s W ashington C AR F AX had a “highly informaD . C . representative; M i k e L e V as tive conversation” which “paved the s e u r , collision division director for way to find out more about the probASA; and ASA’ s mechanical division lem and get it fixed. director, T om P i i p p o, AM AM . “ASA wants to find solutions Fisher kicked things off by pro- to industry problems. Someone who with Chasidy Rae Sisk viding an update on ASA’ s recent claims to have authorization pushed communications with C AR F AX af- inaccurate information to C AR F AX , ter members reported consumer data and if that data was pushed out erregarding estimates written by inde- roneously, what other information pendent repairers, M SO s and dealer- could be provided that’ s incorrect? ships had reached C AR F AX , wheth- I’ m really concerned about this and er the work waswith completed or not. determined to find the leak. We’ll Ed Attanasio “O ur purpose in bringing this keep moving forward and pushing to CARFA ’s attention was to fix for an answer and also a solution,” a problem, not to bring attention to F isher continued. a particular entity,” he said. “This is L eV asseur then discussed manan important issue because the con- ufacturers’ continued trending to-

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using a qualified scan tool as a necessary and not-included operation that is legitimately ex pressed on a repair order with either a fixed cost in labor hours and/ or set dollar amounts. ” The statement goes on to say all additional operations to fix the D TC s are considered separate operations, not to be included in the scanning operation. It also included definitions and a series of facts about scanning and qualified scan tools. “I feel pretty good about where we’ ve gone, and where we are right now,” L eV asseur said. “The spirit of it is really coming into view. ” ASA is still gathering information on this topic and invites industry professionals to complete its Industry Survey on Servicing Advanced Technologies at http: / / survey. constantcontact. com/ survey/ a0 7 ehkvx uezkkx 1 4 0 cc/ a0 0 6 kkzl n7 x i/ questions Nex t, P iippo addressed the fact O E M s are increasing production of electric vehicles, referencing G M ’ s commitment to a 1 0 0 % E V lineup by 2 0 3 5 .

“E ight years ago, the government was trying to push the agenda, and vehicle manufacturers and the infrastructure ust wasn’t there yet. Now, we not only have the normal O E M s working towards this, but there’ s new entries to the market that will have their cars on the market pretty soon,” P iippo said. “R ight now, there’ s more questions than answers, but we know there will be more to come for both collision and mechanical repairers: more technology, more tooling, more information. “It becomes difficult all around ASA is staying on top of this and tell our members what they can do to be aggressive. ” P iippo also ex pressed deep concerns about modifications made to vehicles equipped with AD AS increasing the burden of liability for shops. G iving the ex ample of a pickup truck that is lifted with off-road-

ing tires, he questioned what those modifications do to ADAS, camera alignment and adaptive cruise radars. “Maybe you can ‘ad ust for that,’ but what documentation does the repairer have that authorizes the modifications? As a repairer, if you reengineer outside the original specs, then you’ re responsible for the changes and the liability that might go with it. “W e need to educate the industry because this is a serious situation that involves safety and people’ s

plained, “Our ob is to educate members of C ongress and the Administration as to what matters to shops. W e do by speaking with one voice: both individually as an association and as part of numerous coalitions. “This was critical in the past year to ensure that shops were categorized as essential and included in key stimulus proposals throughout the year. ” P roviding an update on electric vehicle policy, R edding noted U. S. Sen. C hu c k S c hu m e r (D-NY) said at the end of 2018 that the electrifi-

“By staying involved, we can ensure that our priorities for independent automotive repairers are taken care of,” — Robert Redding lives,” P iippo stressed. “W ith any modification on a car or truck, we don’t have a surefire way to calibrate the system to the way it was originally designed. Shops may need to turn these obs away until we can get better documentation from the O E or a validating testing source for these modifications we’ve got to be smart about this in the long run; we’ ve got to protect ourselves. ” The last topic P iippo broached was counterfeit O E M parts. These are branded with O E M names and logos; “everything looks like it should be, but they’ re really knockoffs. Collision division has been dealing with this for years, but we’ re seeing an increase in this on the mechanical side now,” P iippo said. “Sometimes you catch it, sometimes you can’ t, but we’ ve been working with the D epartment of Homeland Security and the Automotive Anti-C ounterfeiting C ouncil so there’ s more to come. ” L astly, M olla introduced R edding, who began by ex plaining ASA tracks state legislations and regulations, in addition to federal legislation, and the association is very active in numerous small business and industry coalitions. “By staying involved, we can ensure that our priorities for independent automotive repairers are taken care of,” R edding said. Alluding to the recent change to a Joe B i d e n administration and how it impacts the automotive repair industry’ s top issues, R edding ex -

cation of the . S. fleet would be a top priority once D emocrats took the Senate. “This has certainly become a priority in this first 100 days, and I think we’ re going to see it throughout the Biden administration and also the 1 1 7 th C ongress. Some of this can be done without new legis-

lation,” R edding said. One of Biden’s first executive orders pushes for clean and zero-emission vehicles to be used for all federal, state and local government fleets, and it also indicates a goal of developing a carbon pollution-free electricity sector no later than 2 0 3 5 . “There’ s a lot of pressure for E V s,” R edding said, noting that, in upcoming stimulus package proposals, “we see we’ re going to have additional proposals for funding for charging stations and investment in other infrastructure training for E V s. ” The government’ s focus on this is evidenced by the Climate 21 Pro ect, Biden’ s plans to add 5 0 0 ,0 0 0 E V charging stations across the country, and the U. S. D epartment of Energy’s loan programs which offer financing for pro ects across the energy sectors. “W e’ re going to see some dramatic E V incentives,” R edding predicted. ASA is also working on items specific to the automotive and colliSee ASA Leaders, Page 52

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EVs Could Enter a Golden Decade with Newly-Introduced U.S. Bill by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

E lectric cars may very well enter a golden age of sorts in the U. S. , if a newly-proposed bill makes it through. D ubbed the E lectric C AR S Act, the bill aims to update the E V tax credit by ex tending it for 1 0 years and removing the number of eligible vehicles per manufacturer. The bill also seeks to support the buildout of more electric car charging infrastructure. A federal tax credit of up to $ 7 ,5 0 0 is currently available for customers who purchase an electric vehicle. However, the current system phases out this credit after an automaker sells its first 200,000 electric cars. Tesla and G eneral M otors have both passed this threshold, which means buyers of both companies’ electric vehicles no longer receive a credit. W ith this system in place, the U. S. practically makes incentives for car buyers to purchase imported E V s instead of those from local automakers like G M . Tesla has been pushing its electric vehicles without the $ 7 ,5 0 0 tax credit since the end of 2 0 1 8 —reduced credits were implemented over 2 0 1 9 —when the company passed its 2 0 0 ,0 0 0 -vehi-

cle threshold. F ortunately, Tesla’ s vehicles like the M odel 3 and M odel Y have stood well on their own merits, garnering critical and consumer support even without tax credits. If the E lectric C AR S Act passes, companies like Tesla could make an even stronger push into the automotive sector. The E lectric C AR S Act aims to improve the federal tax credit through the following means: • The elimination of the cap for E V makers. The bill would allow consumers access to the tax credit for the nex t 1 0 years, regardless of the manufacturer they buy their E V from. Under these terms, Tesla and G M electric car buyers would be able to get their tax credits once more. A five-year use period. The bill would allow buyers to use their respective tax credits over a five-year period, meaning E V customers could apply the credit either at the point of purchase or later on. Such a system would make the tax credit more applicable to buyers without large tax liabilities. • C harging infrastructure support. The bill would provide a 1 0 -year ex tension of tax credits for alternative

fuel vehicles and charging infrastructure. This incentivizes the buildout of E V charging systems like Tesla’ s Supercharger Network and other rapid charging services like E lectrify America. The E lectric C AR S Act is sponsored by U. S> Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and U. S. R ep. P e t e r We l c h (D-VT), both of whom highlighted the importance of the electric vehicle sector in the U. S. In a statement to C hannel 2 1 News, M erkley said the bill is apt, considering the ongoing climate chaos. He also highlighted the importance of supporting E V s made by American workers in American factories. “As climate chaos continues to ramp up with record-setting winter storms, violent hurricanes and catastrophic wildfires, it is imperative that we transition away from gasoline-powered vehicles, which are fanning the flames of the crisis. Consumers are already looking for electric cars, and this bill will help drive adoption faster— and make sure more of those cars are made by American workers in American factories,” M erkley said. W elch ex plained supporting electric cars would be a common-sense win for consumers, especially considering

E V s are practical to own. “W e need to quickly and aggressively invest in electric vehicles to combat the global climate emergency that threatens all of our local communities,” W elch noted. “O wning an electric vehicle can be cheaper and offers significant public health and environmental benefits, but for many Americans, they are unaffordable at the dealership. This bill makes the nex t generation of electric vehicles accessible to more people by allowing them to receive the electric vehicle tax credit right away. “E ncouraging electric vehicle adoption is a common-sense win for consumers, the environment and American workers. ” L ed by Tesla and its S3 X Y line, electric vehicles have disrupted the automotive industry, even without the presence of the $ 7 ,5 0 0 tax credit. W ith the Electric CARS Act in effect, companies like Tesla could reach an even bigger consumer market, bringing E V s further into mainstream buyers. Ultimately, the newly-proposed bill has the potential to usher in a golden age of electric cars in the U. S. W e t h ank T eslarat i f or rep rint p erm ission.

Why Car Accidents Increase After Daylight Saving Time Begins by Aaron Widmar, The News Wheel


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Now that M arch is here again, D aylight Saving Time returns to move your clocks ahead one hour and force you to wake up early. However, its effect on your life is far greater than robbing you of a much-beloved hour of sleep. M ultiple studies have found D aylight Saving Time actually affects everyone’ s safety, such as a 5. increase in workplace in uries and a significant rise in automotive accidents, according to U. S. D epartment of L abor and M ine Safety and Health Administration data. Here’ s a look at why D aylight Saving Time is dangerous for drivers. A 1 9 9 2 study by the University of British C olumbia professor S t anl e y C or e n, “Sleep Deficit, Fatal Accidents and the Spring Shift to D aylight Saving Time,” noted a 1 ump in traffic accidents the M onday after “springing” clocks ahead. It was based on data from 66,910 .S. traffic deaths that occurred between 1 9 8 6 an 1 9 9 5 .

An earlier study by C oren found auto accidents were 8 % higher the week following the onset of D aylight Saving Time versus the week prior. As reported by the New Y ork D aily News, some critics believe D aylight Saving Time forces society into a state of chronic sleep deprivation, while others believe the increase in traffic accidents is due to darker morning commutes. M ost people claim it takes a week for their bodies to ad ust to the change in schedule and sunlight, and ex perts like V irginia Tech Transportation Institute’ s Jeff H i c k m an assert the clock change results in fatigue and drowsy morning commutes. Thus, the result is an annual increase in car wrecks for the workdays following. In this day and age, we’ re all wondering if D aylight Saving Time is even worth having anymore. Until it gets discontinued, be sure to get some ex tra sleep to adust yet again to the new schedule this month. W e t h ank T h e N ew s W h eel f or rep rint p erm ission.

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with Victoria Antonelli

Product Innovation

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

with Ed Attanasio

Symach Invents Game-Changing Technology to Create the Shops of Tomorrow E very year at SE M A, the industry other day. F or more than a decade, Symach gets to see all the newest technology, and if you’ ve been in it for any in Bologna, Italy, has been producing significant amount of time, youLedoux have innovative body shop solutions for with Gary witnessed the development of new the collision repair industry. They design and manufacture everything tools and equipment at a rapid rate. It’ s no longer an evolution, but more like an ex plosion! Innovators have always led the way in every industry by taking chances and pursuing ideas others with Stacey Phillips thought were outlandish. W hen E dison unveiled the lightbulb, people called it a “conspicuous failure. ” When bicycles first hit the market, someone wrote they would doom the popularity of the wheel forev- Owner Osvaldo Bergaglio’s company is well er. And when the first cheeseburger known for its products that have helped to take Anderson was invented inwith 1 9 3 4 , Mike one critic de- the collision repair industry into the robotic age scribed it as “bizarre” and predicted the concept would flop. they sell, rather than using third-parBut, obviously, we now use ty companies to assemble packages lightbulbs, ride bikes and eat cheese- of tools and equipment. burgers in fact, I did all three the W hen you sign on the dotted

OE Shop Certification

Product Innovation

line with Symach, it’ s like taking on a very sophisticated partner, because they play a ma or role in literally every aspect of your production. F or 2 0 years, Symach has helped shops switch from conventional repair processes to an innovative lean process using leading-edge technology. O wner O s v al d o B e r gagl i o founded the company two decades ago to embark on a research pro ect that led to the development of the D ryTronic system, which uses cutting-edge technology to dry automotive paint. It was an immediate success and today, body shops all over the planet use it. Symach’ s D ryTronic drying technology allows automotive paint to cure in less than a minute. In 2 0 0 2 , Symach started the production of RoboDry, its first robot for automotive body shops, and developed a

From the Desk of Mike Anderson

Continued from Page 48

ASA Leaders sion repair industries. R eferencing the M assachusetts R ight to R epair referendum, set to go to trial in J uly, R edding anticipates there will be multiple parallel bills introduced this year related to the vehicle data access issue. W orking with the American Alliance of V ehicle O wners R ights, ASA plans to drop several bills relative to their work to “try to find a path for independent repairs to have access to vehicle data. ” As the allotted time reached its end, F isher noted, “It’ s really important, as an industry, that we understand the magnitude of the challenges we’ re currently facing and what we’ re looking at as an industry going forward. W e’ re on the cusp of innovation not seen for decades, and all these issues are really important because they are real. “V ehicle safety must be at the forefront of all repairs, both collision and mechanical,” F isher contin-

ued. “W hat we’ ve heard here today is that we must understand the importance of seeking out information, following documented procedures, using proper equipment, and we need to be serious about not compromising the integrity of what our professionals do every day. L ives depend on it, and I’ m proud of what our folks do. ” F isher also announced ASA is collaborating with affiliates to host the ASA United X 5 0 C onference and E x po, April 3 0 -M ay 1 , a virtual ex perience that mimics in-person events. R egistration will open in late M arch. “It’ s time to put our glasses on and focus on what’ s important and move forward in a positive way,” F isher concluded. “W ith challenges, there is a tremendous amount of opportunity. ” A replay of the media briefing can be accessed at https: / / www. youtube. com/ watch? v= R qJ sO M l W 0 wo.

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quick new process to spray and dry every brand and type of automotive paint, Symach P aint Application P rocess (SPAP). Symach’ s curing systems are well-known for being green and can reduce a shop’ s energy consumption by up to 9 0 % . It reduces a vehicle’ s actual time inside the shop by up to 40 , and will significantly reduce an average of three to four hours in labor cost per repair. In 2 0 1 0 , Symach began featuring a new repair process, F ix L ine, which reduces the actual throughput time inside the shop by 1 . 5 to two days, while eliminating three to four hours in labor costs per repair. Symach’ s F ix L ine process is slashing cycle time like never before. “W e have developed a system where it moves the car through the process without interruption, as opposed to the stop-and-start conven-




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tion gagl cycl do th

inclu bots pain conv buil pone

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tional way of fixing vehicles,” Bergaglio said. “In your standard shop, cycle time is four to six days and we do the entire repair in one day. ” E verything the company makes, including spray booths, drying robots, UV lamps, L E D shop lighting, paint mix ing rooms and the F ix L ine conveyor system, is designed and built using the highest quality components. All equipment is produced

O nce a body shop owner decides to become a Symach shop, the company manages the body shop conversion from a conventional process to the F ix L ine process. Symach is more than a simple equipment manufacturer; it is a collision repair solution provider with a profound understanding and knowledge of the automotive collision repair process. Symach knows every shop is

At Symach’s headquarters in Bologna, Italy, the company has manufactured more than 2,600 robots and more than 150 complete new automotive body shops with their Symach FixLine process

at Symach’ s headquarters and subsequently installed by the company’ s trained ex perts and followed by onsite personalized training. In 2 0 1 6 , Symach moved into its new 1 6 1 ,5 0 0 -square foot factory in C alderara di R eno, Bologna, Italy. Today, the company has more than 3 0 employees as part of its international team, which includes installers, engineers and trainers.

different, so Bergaglio first analy es the business before devising a custom solution based on the types of cars it repairs. “W e break it down into four categories classic cars, prestige cars, reconditioning or fleets,” Bergaglio said. “W e can work for any body shop or collision center in those categories, but they are completely different in some ways. O ur approach

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is to look at the business model, look at their data and the activities in the shop. W e’ ve developed some software that allows us to do the math and design the shop floor for optimum efficiency.” If you want to get a glimpse into the future of the collision repair industry, all you have to do is look at what Symach is doing today. C urrently, Symach has sold more than 2 ,6 0 0 robots and more than 1 5 0 complete new automotive body shops with the new Symach F ix L ine process in E urope, the M iddle E ast, Australia and North America, starting in 2 0 1 5 . Bergaglio and his team are passionate and driven to innovate and invent new products that can wow the industry and change the way we fix cars. “W e unveiled seven new products this year and hope to continue at this pace,” he said. “E verything we do is new and different and like nothing else on the market. O nce you are a Symach customer, you won’ t be able to go back to the old ways. W e create technology that doesn’ t follow trends; it begins new ones. ”

CIF Announces Annual Donor Program The C ollision Industry F oundation (CIF) has launched a new initiative to recognize organizations and individuals who make tax -deductible donations annually in support of the C IF mission of assisting collision repair professionals impacted by catastrophic life-changing events. The “C IF Annual Donor Program” offers specific benefits to donors, depending on the level of support they wish to commit to for annual funding. C IF depends solely on the generosity of donations to conduct its work, and numerous donors within the industry provide funding year-over-year. Traditionally, the annual J anuary C IF G ala is the main driver of fundraising. This year, C IF was unable to host the gala, but donors have ex pressed their desire to continue supporting the organization. To become a C IF annual donor, visit www. collisionindustryfoundation. org or reach out now via email to collisionindustryfoundation@ gmail. com. Source: CIF

Ford Recalls F-Series Trucks for Windshields that Detach by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

M ore than 8 7 ,0 0 0 F ord F -1 5 0 and F ord Super D uty trucks may have windshields that can fall off the trucks in the event of crash impacts, greatly increasing the risk of in uries to occupants. Included in the recall are 2 0 2 1 F ord F -1 5 0 trucks built in M ichigan from O ct. 2 7 , 2 0 2 0 , to F eb. 3 , 2 0 2 1 , and 2 0 2 0 -2 0 2 1 F ord Super D uty trucks manufactured in K entucky between O ct. 1 3 , 2 0 2 0 , and J an. 2 3 , 2 0 2 1 . According to F ord, the truck windshields weren’ t properly bonded to the vehicles and may not stay in place, although no in uries or crashes have been reported. The F ord truck windshield recall involves 7 9 ,0 1 7 trucks in the U. S. , 6 ,9 8 6 in C anada and 1 ,3 4 7 in M ex ico. The automaker will begin sending recall notices the week of April 6 , so dealerships can reinstall the truck windshields properly. Ford F-Series Super Duty Payload Label Recall F ord also announced a separate recall for 2 0 2 0 F ord F -Series Super

D uty trucks with 6 . 7 -liter engines because labels and documents may have incorrect information. The recall includes 9 ,9 7 9 F ord Super D uty trucks in the U. S. and 1 ,7 5 0 in C anada, all built in K entucky between M ay 1 3 , 2 0 1 9 , and Sept. 1 9 , 2 0 2 0 . F ord says the trucks have overstated payload capacity information on the tire and loading information labels, overstated accessory reserve capacity values on the safety certification labels and overstated weight info on the truck camper loading documentation. A driver could follow the information on the labels and ex ceed the gross weight or ax le weight ratings, overloading the suspensions and increasing stopping distances. F ord says it’ s unaware of any crashes or in uries related to the labels, but F ord dealerships will need to replace the tire and loading information labels, safety certification labels and possibly the truck camper loading documents. C ustomers with questions about either F ord truck recall should call 8 6 6 - 4 3 6 - 7 3 3 2 . W e t h ank CarCom p laint s.com f or rep rint p erm ission.

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Toyota RAV4 Fires Originating at 12-Volt Batteries by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

Toyota RAV4 fires are under investigation after the government received complaints alleging noncrash fires occurred where the 12volt batteries are located. The 1 2 V battery B+ terminals may be ex periencing electrical shorts to the frames that hold the batteries in place in 2 0 1 3 -2 0 1 8 Toyota R AV 4 SUV s. This will cause a complete loss of electrical power as the R AV 4 stalls, possibly resulting in a fire. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said seven R AV 4 vehicles caught fire while driving and four SUV s burned while parked with the ignitions off. It was confirmed the ma ority of fires originated from the 1 2 -volt batteries. The driver of a 2 0 1 3 Toyota R AV 4 said the vehicle went up in flames as he was trying to get fuel at a gas station. The driver says the R AV 4 shut down as he was turning into a gas station, but he got the R AV 4 restarted and made it to the pump.

He went into the store to prepay for the fuel, filled the RAV4 and tried to start it. “[ C ] alled my wife to get a tow truck to have it removed from the gas station, then went into station to tell attendant the situation. W hile ex iting the store I noticed sparks and glowing embers dropping to the ground from inside the left front wheel area. “I turned back and asked the station attendant for a fire extinguisher, returned to car, with 5 -lb. ex tinguisher, hood would not release, so sprayed ex tinguisher up under wheel, around hood cracks, and by this time the head light had a hole where the flames were shooting out, so sprayed fire repellent into the hole. “After about 1 0 sec ex tinguisher was empty. Told gas station attendant to call fire department as the vehicle was going up in flames.” And according to the driver of a 2 0 1 5 Toyota R AV 4 : “I was driving on the interstate entrance ramp when the battery died but then I was able

to start it back and drove ust a short distance when the hood started smoking. I pulled over and turned the motor off and raised the hood, and the battery was on fire. The battery and electrical system burned. ” NHTSA said some of the SUV s had been repaired after prior front-end collision damage, and the government also believes some of the batteries may not have been installed properly. However, safety regulators claim the overall number of vehicle fire allegations with the battery as the area of origin is larger than in other similar vehicles. The investigation includes nearly 1 . 9 million model year 2 0 1 3 -2 0 1 8 Toyota R AV 4 s. C arC omplaints. com will update its website with results of the RAV4 fires investigation. W e t h ank CarCom p laint s.com rep rint p erm ission.

f or


asTech Acquires adasThink R epairify, Inc. d/ b/ a asTech, a portfolio company of K inderhook Industries, L L C , announced F eb. 2 4 the acquisition of adasThink. adasThink retrieves information related to the vehicle-specific advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and identifies required ADAS procedures and calibration based on labor operations in an automotive repair estimate. adasThink represents the 1 0 th add-on acquisition for asTech and K inderhook’ s 1 0 1 st automotive-related transaction. F inancial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The adasThink technology leverages the vehicle identification number to properly identify the vehicle’ s build information. W ithin the information, the technology identifies the ADAS on the vehicle impacted by the vehicle’ s damage. Additionally, this technology identifies OEM calibration requirements and instructions. Source: asT ech

Motor Vehicle Deaths in 2020 Estimated to be Highest in 13 Years, Despite Dramatic Drops in Miles Driven For the first time since 200 , preliminary data from the National Safety C ouncil show that as many as 4 2 ,0 6 0 people are estimated to have died in motor vehicle crashes in 2 0 2 0 . That marks an 8 % increase over 2 0 1 9 in a year where people drove significantly less frequently because of the pandemic. The preliminary estimated rate of death on the roads last year spiked 2 4 % over the previous 1 2 -month period, despite miles driven dropping 1 3 % . The increase in the rate of death is the highest estimated year-over-year ump that NSC has calculated since 1 9 2 4 —9 6 years. It underscores the nation’ s persistent failure to prioritize safety on the roads, which became emptier but far more deadly. An estimated 4 . 8 million additional roadway users were seriously in ured in crashes in 2020, and the estimated cost to society was $ 4 7 4 billion. W ith the alarming picture painted by these data, NSC is urging P resident Joe B i d e n and Transportation Secretary P e t e B u t t i gi e g to commit to zero roadway deaths by 2 0 5 0 —a call NSC and more than 1 ,5 0 0 other organizations and individuals made in J anuary in a letter to the new administration.

“It is tragic that in the U. S. , we took cars off the roads and didn’t reap any safety benefits,” said L or r ai ne M . M ar t i n, president and C E O of the National Safety C ouncil. “These data expose our lack of an effective roadway safety culture. It is past time to address roadway safety holistically and effectively, and NSC stands ready to assist all stakeholders, including the federal government. ” States also ex perienced dramatic swings in fatalities from year to year, according to the NSC preliminary data. E stimates indicate only nine states saw a drop in deaths Alaska (- ), Delaware (-11 ), Hawaii (-20 ), Idaho (- ), Maine (-1 ), Nebraska (-9 ), New Mexico (-4 ), North Dakota (-1 ) and Wyoming (-1 ). E ight states ex perienced more than a 1 5 % increase in the estimated number of deaths last year: Arkansas (26 ), Connecticut (22 ), District of Columbia ( ), Georgia (18 ), Mississippi (19 ), Rhode Island (26 ), South Dakota ( ) and Vermont ( 2 ). A first step toward ero deaths is to D ouble D own on W hat W orks, according to guidance released by the

R oad to Z ero C oalition and NSC in 2 0 1 8 . Some of the immediate life-saving measures that would set the nation on a road to zero deaths include: • E quitable implementation of roadway safety laws, policies, procedures and infrastructure improvements is sorely needed. C ommunities of color are disproportionately impacted by motor vehicle crashes, roadway policies, lack of access to public transportation and poor infrastructure, among other critical elements that make a safe system. • M andatory ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers, lowering state BAC levels to . 0 5 and better education about the nature of impairment and when it begins. • L owering—not raising—speed limits in accordance with roadway design, using a safe system approach. Installation and use of automated enforcement to support safe speeds and adherence to traffic lights. • L aws banning all cell phone use— including hands-free—should ex tend to all drivers, not ust teens. States with ex isting bans need to upgrade enforcement from secondary to primary. • Seat belt laws should be upgrad-

ed from secondary to primary enforcement and restraint laws should ex tend to every passenger in every seating position, in all kinds of vehicles. • All new drivers under 2 1 —not ust those under 18—should adhere to a three-tiered licensing system for novice drivers. • Automated D river Assistance Systems (ADAS) that have life-saving potential should be standardized and accelerated into the fleet. • M otorcycle helmet laws should be passed or reinstated. • C ommunities and municipalities should adopt comprehensive programs for pedestrian and bicyclist safety. M otor vehicle fatality estimates are sub ect to slight increases and decreases as data mature. The National Safety C ouncil uses data from the National C enter for Health Statistics, an arm of the C D C , so that deaths occurring within 1 0 0 days of the crash and on both public and private roadways— such as parking lots and driveways— are included in the NSC ’ s estimates. The National Safety C ouncil has calculated traffic fatality estimates since 1 9 1 3 . Source: N at ional Saf et y Council

54 APRIL 2021 AUTOBODY NEWS / autobodynews.com

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3M Invests in asTech

Tesla Dominates U.S. EV Market With 79% Share in 2020 by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

R ecent data from an Automotive News/ E x perian collaboration has revealed something ex pected but shocking at the same time: In 2 0 2 0 , Tesla outsold its competitors so much in the electric vehicle sector, the company commanded 7 9 % of the U. S. E V market.

That means nearly eight out of 1 0 electric cars registered in the U. S. is a Tesla. These results mean two things. O ne, Tesla is dominating the U. S. E V segment and it’ s almost ridiculous how far behind its competitors are. And two, the rest of the players in the country’ s electric car segment, such as the Audi e-tron, P orsche Taycan and the Nissan L eaf, only competed for the remaining 2 1 % of the E V pie last year.

This domination is evident in the country’s top five EV rankings. ast year, Tesla took four out of five, with the M odel 3 and M odel Y being Nos. 1 and 2 with registrations of 9 5 ,1 3 5 and 7 1 ,3 4 4 , respectively. The C hevrolet Bolt E V , formally the third placer, only saw 1 9 ,6 6 4 registrations over the year. That makes the C hevy Bolt E V , a decent electric car with ample range and performance, a distant third place compared to the M odel 3 and the M odel Y . E ven Tesla’ s M odel X and M odel S, both of which are getting long in the tooth, still ranked fourth and fifth, with 1 9 ,6 5 2 and 1 4 ,4 3 0 registrations, respectively. W hat is rather interesting is that electric vehicles in the U. S. still broadened their share of the country’ s overall auto market despite the presence of the pandemic. E V s, thanks in no small part to Tesla’ s herculean production and delivery initiatives, commanded 1 . 8 % of all cars registered in the U. S. That’ s 0 . 4 % higher than the previous year.

Tesla’ s market share in the U. S. practically became meme-worthy

among the electric vehicle community recently after C NBC broadcasted a graphic indicating the E lon M usk-led company only held 2 % of the “E V North American M arket,” behind Hyundai, which held 5 % , Toyota, which held 1 1 % , F ord, which held 1 4 % , and G M , which held 2 7 % . The media outlet’ s graphic largely remains unex plained for now, though members of the r/ TeslaM otors subreddit have suggested C NBC may have been listing the E V maker’ s overall market share in the U. S. , which does stand at about 2 % . W e t h ank T eslarat i f or rep rint p erm ission.

3 M C ompany on F eb. 2 3 announced a strategic investment in R epairify, Inc. d/ b/ a asTech, a leading provider of remote diagnostic solutions, calibration services and key programming solutions to the automotive aftermarket industry. The strategic investment from 3 M will help R epairify further ex pand and accelerate its proprietary tools, technology and service offerings across the Americas and E urope. Terms and conditions of the investment were kept confidential and future collaboration will be announced at a later date. “The 3 M V entures strategic investment in R epairify enables us to accelerate our solutions and offerings across the entire automotive ecosystem,” said C ris Hollingsworth, president of R epairify, Inc. “W e seek to make strategic investments that will advance our innovation and growth,” said Ben W right, director, 3 M V entures. Source: 3 M

Catalytic Converter Thefts Skyrocketing Nationwide According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), catalytic converter thefts have seen a significant increase across the country since M arch 2 0 2 0 , the start of the global pandemic. “Vehicle thefts, car ackings and break-ins are all crimes we’ ve witnessed trending upward for several months, and now catalytic converter thefts are also on the rise,” said D av i d G l aw e , president and C E O of NICB. “We have seen a significant increase during the pandemic. It’ s an opportunistic crime. “As the value of the precious metals contained within the catalytic converters continues to increase, so do the number of thefts of these devices. There is a clear connection between times of crisis, limited resources and disruption of the supply chain that drives investors towards these precious metals. ” A catalytic converter is a device that looks like a small mu er along with the ex haust system. It is designed to convert the environmentally hazardous ex haust emitted by an engine into less harmful gasses. To do this, manufacturers use

platinum, palladium or rhodium. In recent years, the values of these precious metals have increased significantly. As of December, rhodium was valued at $ 1 4 ,5 0 0 per ounce, palladium at $ 2 ,3 3 6 per ounce and platinum at $ 1 ,0 6 1 per ounce. Typically, recyclers will pay $ 5 0 to $ 2 5 0 per catalytic converter. According to NIC B’ s O perations, Intelligence and Analytics study of reported thefts, there were 1 0 8 catalytic converter thefts per month on average in 2 0 1 8 , 2 8 2 average monthly thefts in 2 0 1 9 and 1 ,2 0 3 average thefts per month in 2 0 2 0 . D uring this time period, the top five states for catalytic converter thefts were C alifornia, Tex as, M innesota, North C arolina and Illinois. In 2 0 2 0 , there was a continual climb in thefts. J anuary had the fewest number of thefts at 6 5 2 , but it continued to climb markedly throughout the year, with D ecember having 2 ,3 4 7 thefts. As of the end of F ebruary, 1 8 states—Arkansas, G eorgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, M innesota, M issouri, New M ex ico, New Y ork, North C arolina, North D akota,

R hode Island, South C arolina, Tennessee, V ermont, V irginia and W est V irginia—are evaluating potential legislative actions to curb the theft problem. “R emoving a catalytic converter takes only minutes using some basic, readily-available, battery-operated tools from a local hardware store,” said G lawe. “And for the vehicle owner, it’ s costly due to the loss of work, finding and paying for alternate transportation and then paying anywhere from $ 1 ,0 0 0 to $ 3 ,0 0 0 to get your vehicle fixed.” The NIC B recommends vehicle owners: • Install a catalytic converter anti-theft device. These are available from various manufacturers and can provide a level of security from theft. Park fleet vehicles in an enclosed and secured area that is well lit, locked and alarmed. • P ark personal vehicles in a garage. If not possible and vehicles must be parked in a driveway, consider installing motion sensor security lights. W hile lights may not provide complete security, it may make

some thieves think twice, making them leave the area and your vehicle untouched. • C all local law enforcement and your insurer should you become the victim of a catalytic converter theft. In some cases, this theft is covered by insurance. The optional comprehensive portion of your insurance policy, the portion that covers damage caused to your vehicle not caused by accident, covers this kind of loss. However, the owner will be responsible for paying the deductible. If your deductible is $ 1 ,0 0 0 and the cost to repair the damage costs $ 1 ,0 0 0 or maybe a few hundred dollars more, drivers may not opt to file a claim. The NIC B advises drivers to contact their insurer to report the theft and determine the best course of action. Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 8 0 0 -TE L -NIC B (800-8 5-6422) or submitting a form on the website. Source: N ICB

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Cutting Out the Middleman on Electric Car Sales by Joann Muller, Axios

The auto industry is in the midst of the biggest transformation in a century, with cars one day running on electrons, not gasoline. But it’s not ust the cars that are changing. How we buy and service them is being disrupted, too. Instead of selling cars through franchised dealers, emerging auto manufacturers want to sell electric vehicles direct to consumers, either online or in their own stores. But that’ s illegal in more than half the states in America, which environmentalists and consumer groups argue is holding back E V adoption and keeping the U. S. from achieving emissions reduction goals. A coalition of E V companies and advocates is working state-bystate to overturn decades-old laws that prohibit car manufacturers from opening their own stores or service centers. Tesla started the fight in 2014 now newcomers like R ivian, L ucid and ordstown Motors are oining the effort, too. “W hat did the global pandemic

teach us? It’ s that people want a better way to buy a car,” R ivian’ s vice president of public policy, Jam e s C he n, told Ax ios.

Credit: Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

At least 2 0 states allow E V manufacturers to sell directly to consumers, including C alifornia, Illinois and F lorida. The latest was C olorado, which passed a law last M arch. In eight other states, including New Y ork, Tesla fought for an ex emption from the franchise laws, but it doesn’ t apply to other E V manufacturers. O ne of those states, W ashington, took up a bill this week that would remove the restriction for all E V makers.

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In M ichigan, where R ivian is based, the rules are ex ceptionally twisted: E V makers can conduct “sales-like” activities at branded stores, but the actual sale—transfer of title—must take place in another state. The remaining states, including Tex as—where Tesla is building a new gigafactory—prohibit E V manufacturers from direct sales. The dealer franchise laws were passed in the 1 9 5 0 s to protect car dealers from having to compete with factory-owned stores. As a result, carmakers like G M and F ord wholesale vehicles to independent dealers, who turn around and sell those cars to consumers at a markup. E V startups don’ t want a middleman selling or servicing their high-tech products. “W e have a desire to have direct touch with our customers,” said R ivian’ s C hen. Neither does L ucid, which plans to sell its lux ury E V s at company-owned “studios” or online. C ars would be picked up for service, or maintained by mobile service fleets.

“The direct-sales model wasn’ t built to sell E V s,” said Jar e d A l l e n, a spokesman for the National Automobile D ealers Association. “It was built to limit competition for both sales and service by creating a vertical channel for manufacturing, sales and service that allows a single entity to control everything, including prices. ” G M and F ord initially backed the dealers in their fight against Tesla, but now they have skin in the E V game, too. G M said it aims to phase out gasoline vehicles by 2 0 3 5 and F ord has a $ 5 0 0 million stake in R ivian. Both companies are investing heavily in E V development and asking dealers to do the same to get their showrooms E V -ready. D ani e l C r ane , a University of M ichigan professor tracking the issue, suggested a legislative compromise: traditional cars could continue to be sold and serviced only by franchised dealers, but E V s and future technologies could be sold directly by both legacy carmakers and startups. W e t h ank A x ios f or rep rint p erm ission.

Kia Cadenza and Sportage Owners Should Park Outside by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com

A ia engine fire recall has been issued for nearly 3 8 0 ,0 0 0 cars and SUV s even though the automaker says an “ex act cause of [ the] electrical short circuit condition is unknown. ” The ia engine fire recall includes 2 0 1 7 -2 0 2 1 Sportage SUV s and C adenza cars with hydraulic electronic control unit (HEC ) electrical circuits that can short-circuit and cause engine compartment fires. However, ia believes only 1 of the vehicles may be affected by the problem. This is an ongoing issue for K ia as the automaker recalled 4 4 0 ,0 0 0 O ptimas and Sorentos in 2 0 2 0 for problems with the hydraulic electronic control units following eight complaints about fires. However, ia says no fires have been reported in the recalled C adenzas and Sportages. O ther than obvious signs such as flames and smoke coming from the engine compartments, drivers should be aware of illuminated warning lights or burning odors.

K ia C adenza and Sportage owners can ex pect dealerships to replace fuses in the electrical unction box es to prevent over-current conditions. F or Sportage vehicles not equipped with electronic parking brakes, dealers will install two 3 0 amp fuses to replace the 4 0 -amp fuses, and vehicles with electronic parking brakes will require 2 5 -amp fuses in place of the 4 0 -amp fuses. Sportage vehicles equipped with electronic parking brakes will also receive software updates for the hydraulic electronic control units. C adenza cars will have their 4 0 -amp fuses replaced with 2 5 amp fuses. C adenza and Sportage drivers who have paid for related repairs may be eligible for reimbursements. The ia engine fire recall is ex pected to begin April 3 0 . K ia C adenza and Sportage owners may call K ia at 8 0 0 -3 3 3 4 5 4 2 and refer to recall number SC 2 0 6 . W e t h ank CarCom p laint s.com f or rep rint p erm ission.

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Alex Goodemoot Named World Class Technician

SEMA Challenges EPA’s Motorsports Regulations in Court by SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

A l e x G ood e m oot , regional manager for N. A. W illiams, has been selected a W orld C lass Technician. This prestigious honor was bestowed upon G oodemoot by the Auto C are Association and the National Institute for Automotive Service E x cellence (ASE). The Auto C are Association and ASE work together to recognize professional technicians who have tested and obtained ASE certification in 22 specialty areas to earn W orld C lass Technician status. There are an estimated 8 7 9 ,0 0 0 technicians in the U. S. , and approx imately 2 5 0 ,0 0 0 of those techs are ASE certified. G oodemoot was one of only 4 2 individuals to earn W orld C lass Technician recognition for 2 0 2 1 . He holds ASE M aster certifications as an automobile technician, medium/ heavy duty technician, collision technician and under car specialist, along with advanced level L 1 and L 2 certifications. Source: N .A . W illiam s

SEMA filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit between the U. S. E nvironmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Gear Box . Inc. (GB ) arguing against E P A’ s contention that the Clean Air Act (CAA) does not allow a motor vehicle to be converted into a racing vehicle used solely for competition. The EPA first pursued this controversial interpretation of the C AA as part of a 2 0 1 5 draft rulemaking, but it quickly withdrew the provision following a huge, SE M A-led public outcry. In the G BZ litigation, however, the E P A again maintains that once a vehicle has been certified as a street vehicle, it cannot be converted into a racing vehicle, even if that vehicle is trailered to the track and is never driven on public roads. In its brief, SE M A argues the C lean Air Act does not apply to certified vehicles used exclusively on the track. SE M A states “the agency’ s interpretation breaks from the plain language of the

C AA, the legislative history and E P A’ s regulations and guidance. ” SE M A notes the E P A’ s position contradicts its longstanding guidance and regulations and has previously stated it “has no inter-

est in vehicles that begin their ex istence as normal, EPA-certified production vehicles used on public roads and are then permanently converted to sanctioned competition-use only vehicles. ” In response to the E P A’ s efforts to regulate race parts, members of C ongress introduced SE M A-sponsored legislation to

confirm what had already been understood for the previous 4 5 years, that the C lean Air Act did not apply to vehicles modified for racing use only. The “R ecognizing the P rotection of Motorsports Act” (RPM Act) is bipartisan legislation to clarify it is legal to make emissions-related changes to a street vehicle for the purpose of converting it into a dedicated race car. It also confirms it is legal to produce, market and install racing equipment. SE M A continues to work tirelessly to pass this important legislation to counter E P A overreach. The G BZ case is before the U. S. D istrict C ourt for the D istrict of Arizona. The court has agreed to take up the issue after the E P A has responded to SE M A’ s amicus brief. SE M A will continue to fight the E P A’ s flawed interpretation in court while urging the U. S. C ongress to end the debate by enacting the R P M Act. Source: SE M A

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