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State Farm and PartsTrader Defend Parts Program, Questioned about Benefits to Shops by John Yoswick
Perhaps the most interesting question at the latest Collision Industry Conference (CIC) came at the end of a 2-hour discussion regarding PartsTrader, the electronic parts ordering system State Farm is requiring its Select Service shops in four markets to use (see related cover story). Denise Caspersen, the collision division manager for the Automotive Service Association (ASA), asked State Farm’s George Avery the same question the association first posed to the insurer formally
five weeks earlier in a press release, namely, what benefit, financially or operationally, does required use of P a r t s Tr a d e r George Avery offer shops? “If State Farm is not able to clearly demonstrate the benefits of this pilot application to the repair community, then this application should not move forward,” ASA’s June 12 press release stated. See PartsTrader Defends, Page 40
PartsTrader Coverage Continues from Cover Stories See additional coverage of PartsTrader on pages 34, 35 and 42
PartsTrader Draws Blistering Reaction at CIC, Shop Owners Line Up to Comment in Person
See PartsTrader Pushback, Page 36
P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018
A capacity crowd of more than 400 heard State Farm Claims Consultant George Avery and PartsTrader CEO Rob Cooper give an overview of the very controversial parts procurement system at the CIC in San Antonio. Avery, who is also the incoming Chairman of the CIC starting in January, has endured some harsh criticism since the details of the
PartsTrader program were first announced. Avery and Cooper outlined the program for the few unaware of it, and explained State Farm foresees shops orderRob Cooper ing all their parts (recycled, aftermarket and OEM) from a single provider, PartsTrader.
Change Service Requested
by Autobody News Staff
VOL. 30 ISSUE 7 AUGUST 2012
CDI Proposes Amendments to Standards Regulation on Usage of Aftermarket Parts The California Department of Insurance (CDI) has submitted proposed amendments to its Standards for Repair and Use of Aftermarket Parts Regulation. Included in language is a requirement that insurers disclose in writing if they require “that such parts are of like kind, quality, safety, fit and performance as original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts.” “No insurer shall willfully depart from or disregard accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike repair in the preparation of claim settlement offers or estimates prepared by or for the insurer,” reads the proposed amendment. “An insurer shall not prepare an estimate that is less favorable to the claimant than the standards, costs and guidelines provided by the third-party
automobile collision repair estimating software used by the insurer to prepare the estimate.” The amendments also specify that the insurer would incur the cost of replacing non-original replacement parts if they require those parts to be used. Insurers specifying the use of nonoriginal equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts that the insurer has implied, actual, or constructive knowledge are not equal to the original equipment manufacturer parts in terms of kind, quality, safety, fit and performance, or do not otherwise comply with this section, shall pay for the costs associated with returning the part and the cost to remove and replace the nonoriginal equipment manufacturer part with a compliant non-original equip-
The Superior Court of the State of California has ruled that James and Patricia Scott are entitled to diminished value from Mercury Insurance Company, notwithstanding that their vehicle had been repaired. Judgment was entered, and no appeal was filed within 60 days as permitted by California law. Thus, the judgment was made final. What distinguishes this case from all others, says Montie Day, attorney for the plaintiffs, is that it’s an “unlimited jurisdiction case,” meaning that it has sufficient legal effect, or “collateral estoppel,” on future litigation or claims made by Mercury. “Thus, for future claims against Mercury Insurance Company, the doctrine of ‘collateral estoppel’ should bar Mercury from alleging that a claimant is not entitled to consideration for diminished value in California,” says Day. “Furthermore, the denial of such claims on the basis that
Californians are not entitled to claim diminished value against Mercury would be subject to a violation of the California Insurance Code and should be reported to the state’s insurance commissioner.” For years, Day claims that Mercury has denied in California that it or its insureds are liable for diminished value based upon California law. “This, among other practices, including suggesting that the victimclaimant can avoid the damages from diminished value by simply selling the vehicle to an individual without disclosing that the vehicle was in an accident, has resulted in Mercury avoiding such liability on a massive scale in that the average consumer/insured does not have the ability to litigate against such insurance giants,” says Day. “If Mercury continues its current practices, the California state insur-
See CDI Aftermarket, Page 20
Court Rules California Couple Entitled to Diminished Value Claim Against Mercury Insurance
See Diminished Value, Page 3
Presorted Standard US Postage PAID Oceanside, CA Permit #236
2 AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Contents COLUMNS Attanasio - Collision Repair is an Art Form at Uptown Body & Fender . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Franklin - Capturing the Tough Ones . . . . . . . 26 Hey Toby! - Part 2: Matrix Wand is a Game Changer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Insider - With Estimates, Insurers See the Emperor’s Underwear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Weaver - Problem on the IN-Side . . . . . . . . . 31 Yoswick - Non-OEM Parts Industry Meets to Discuss Patent Law Change . . . . . . . . . 24 NATIONAL Adelmann Elected to CAPA Board . . . . . . . . . . 4 America’s Top Auto Students Crowned at SkillsUSA Competition Held in Kansas City . 45 Brunori Elected to CREF Board . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 CARSTAR Adds 8 New Independent Locations. 12 First Ever SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Mike Causey Wins Republican Nomination for North Carolina Insurance Commissioner. . . 3 Mustang Build Powered by Women Team Finalized. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 NABC Needs Seven Directors . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 NHTSA Publishes Changes to Safety Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Rhode Island Gov. Chafee Vetoes Auto Body Bill for Insurers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Service, Diagnostic and Mechanical News . . 30 Supreme Court Won’t Hear Appeal on Kia Brakes Suit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Texas’ Collision Repair Schools—No Lone Reason for Success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Tie Rod for 1975 Maserati . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Two New Members Elected to SEMA Board . . 8 Win a Trip to SEMA as a Garmat Sharp Shooter. 16 WMABA Labor Rate Survey Complete. . . . . . 10 YouTube is a Valuable Sales Tool for Body Shops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Continued from Cover
ance commissioner may bring an action against them, which he has failed to do for years. Furthermore, it would appear that attorneys, including personal injury attorneys who have principally ignored this issue, are now
PartsTrader Coverage ASA-Michigan Members and Vendors Discuss State Farm’s PartsTrader Pilot Program. . . 35 PartsTrader Announces 5-Year Deal with One of the Largest U.S. Auto Insureres; Adds 3 New Leaders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 PartsTrader Draws Blistering Reaction at CIC, Shop Owners Line Up to Comment in Person . 1 PartsTrader Forms Industry Advisory Council . 34 SCRS Says PartsTrader Has Sparked Four New Industry Associations . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 State Farm and PartsTrader Defend Parts Program, Questioned about Benefits to Shops. 1
ination, earning 57 percent of the vote. Causey ran as the Republican nominee against former Democratic Insurance Commissioner Jim Long in 2000. He was defeated when Long captured 57 percent of the vote. In a newspaper interview with the Beaufort Observer in January of this year, Causey said, “One of the main reasons I’m running is that I want to help people who are having problems with insurance companies.” Causey has a website to support his campaign: www.gocausey.com. See his columns at autobodynews.com. obligated to seek such relief on behalf of the clients and the public against Mercury and other insurance companies. With respect to Mercury, such attorneys may use a ‘certified’ copy of the judgment and jury verdict with the ‘collateral estoppel’ argument to defeat Mercury’s claim that a claimantvictim is not entitled to diminished value if the vehicle was repaired.
Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Assistant Editor: Melanie Anderson Contributing Writers: Tom Franklin, David Brown, John Yoswick, Lee Amaradio, Rich Evans, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Mike Causey, Tom McGee, Ed Attanasio, Chasidy Sisk Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Sean Hartman, Jay Lukes (800) 699-8251 Sales Assistant: Kristy Navarro Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia
AAPEX Trade Show . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .49 Automotive ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . .33 Buerge Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . . .5 California Superstores . . . . . . . . . . .11 Capitol Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Chief Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 Downtown Motors of LA (Audi, VW, Porsche) . . . . . . . . . . .17 Drew Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Elk Grove Toyota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Enterprise Rent-A-Car . . . . . . . . . . .47 Equalizer Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers AZ, CA, & NV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Galpin Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27, 35 Garmat USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . .42 Henderson Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28-29 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . .45 I.C.E. Institute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Irvine Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Kearny Mesa Subaru-Hyundai . . . . .18 Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers .25 Levan Group, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 LKQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55
Serving California, Nevada and Arizona, Autobody News is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2012 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1516, Carlsbad, CA 92018 (800) 699-8251 (760) 721-0253 Fax www.autobodynews.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Named . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 VQ Medallion Status for Drew Collision-Fix Auto & Glass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Watsonville Shop Owner Due Back in Court . . 6
Mike Causey, a former Autobody News columnist, advocate and lobbyist for auto body associations in the Southeast, has earned the Republican nomination for North Carolina Insurance Commissioner. Causey ran for the office previously and once served as the Director of Government Affairs for the Independent Auto Body Association (IABA). He was a registered lobbyist in North Carolina for the IABA, the North Carolina Autobody and Glass Association, and the Automotive Service Association of North Carolina. He defeated Richard Morgan in a July 17 runoff election for the nom-
REGIONAL A&A Midwest Auto Wrecking Expands Service to Vegas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Alaska Troopers Search for Autobody Scammers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Autovation Reality Brings Car to Life . . . . . . . . 9 Barrett-Jackson Wraps Up OC Auction with 400 Cars Sold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Bay Area Voters Name Top 5 Auto Body Shops . 4 Black & White Auto Helps to Clean Waterways. 13 Boyd Group Buys Pearl Auto Body for $4.4 Million . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 CA, AZ Among Top 5 States with Highest Repair Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 CAA Santa Clara Hosts LETF and Recaps Activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Calif. Deposits $1.5 Million from Travelers Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Calif. Legislators Act on Two Insurance Bills . 14 California Takes Top Three Spots for Most Cars Stolen–Again . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 CARSTAR Adds 30-Yr Old Escondido Shop to Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 CAWA Says it Helped Stop CA Key Access Bill. 14 CDI Proposes Amendments to Standards Regulation on Usage of Aftermarket Parts. . 1 Chief Automotive Approves GarageFly National Account . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Court Rules California Couple Entitled to Diminished Value Claim Against Mercury Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Designer Rich Evans Travels to Nova Scotia to Film New Show “World Wide Car Building”. 22 Fatality in ‘03 Leads to New Car Safety Laws . 34 Fire Destroys Fontana Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Fire Ravages Auto Body Shop in Coos Bay, OR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Haddick’s Hosted Hot Rods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Kaanapali Collision Relocates . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Labor Enforcement Task Force Visits San Diego CAA Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 More Details on New CA AB 1854 Safety Law. 34 NABC Schedules CIC Golf Tournament for Jan. 23 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 New Law Protects California Car Buyers from ‘Junk Cars’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Ontario Metal Theft Leads to Hostages and Standoff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Part 2: Western Schools Prep the Future of Collision Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Perfection Auto Body Stays in Business Despite Fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Precision Collision Adds Two . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Santa Clara’s CAA 29th Annual Golf Tournament Attracts 80 Competitive Golfers . . . . . . . . 23 Scrap Dealers Charged with Environmental Violations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 The Body Shop Partners with Insurer on Car Giveaway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Top 5 Sacramento Area Auto Body Shops
Mike Causey Wins Republican Nomination for North Carolina Insurance Commissioner
Maita Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Malco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .52 MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .48 Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers .53 MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . .37 Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 North County Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Preval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 Prevost USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Rare Parts Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 RBL Products, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Reliable Automotive Equipment . . .12 Replica Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Riverside Metro VW-Honda-HyundaiNissan-Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Safety Regulation Strategies . . . . . .36 SEMA Trade Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Shingle Springs Nissan-Subaru . . .22 Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-MazdaSubaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Solution Finish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 Star-A-Liner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .44 Timmons VW-Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Toyota Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .49 Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers .51 Volvo Crash Wholesale Dealers . . .53 Weatherford BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
www.autobodynews.com | AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
Fire Destroys Fontana Shop
Precision Collision Adds Two
Adelmann Elected to CAPA Board
Brunori Elected to CREF Board
A fire that erupted in a pallet yard on June 28 in Fontana, CA destroyed an adjacent auto body shop and several vehicles housed inside it. The two-alarm blaze, reported at 6:15 p.m. in the 8600 block of Beech Avenue, was extinguished in about an hour, said Christopher Prater, a spokesman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department. Firefighters remained on scene for several hours of mop-up operations. Investigators have yet to determine how the fire started, he said. No one was hurt and no evacuations of nearby homes were needed, Prater said.
Precision Collision Auto Body, a multiple shop operator (MSO) headquartered in Bellevue, WA, announced it acquired two new collision centers in Tacoma, WA and Kennewick, WA. The acquisition brings the Precision Collision Auto Body network to 20 locations in Washington. “With increased growth over the past few years, Precision Collision is one of the fastest growing auto body companies in the U.S. maintaining excellent customer service,” said Mark Lovell, marketing director.
CAPA has elected Tim Adelmann, executive vice president of business development at ABRA, Inc., to its board of directors. Adelmann was elected to the collision repairer position vacated by Mike West, who recently retired and closed his repair shop in Tukwila, WA. “Tim Adelmann is a long-standing and respected leader in the collision repair industry, and we’re excited to have him join CAPA’s efforts to insure that the market has truly high quality alternative parts,” said Jack Gillis, CAPA’s executive director.
Executive VP/GM, Dave Brunori has been elected to the Collision Repair Education Foundation Board of Trustees. The mission of the Collision Repair Education Foundation is to secure and distribute charitable donations to support endeavors that promote, qualify, and properly train employees entering the collision industry. Brunori brings over 29 years of experience in the Vehicle Refinish market and has been with Matrix System Automotive Finishes for 19 years.
Top 5 Sacramento Area Auto Body Shops Named
Bay Area Voters Name Top 5 Auto Body Shops
In Sacramento, CA, KCRA Channel 3 viewers recently voted for their top five auto body shops for the 2012 KCRA A-List. More than 273,000 votes were collected to determine the winners. Coming in first was Bertolucci’s Body Shop. Bertolucci’s Body and Fender Shop, located at 1717 Stockton Blvd., first opened its doors in 1948. Sixty years later, they are Sacramento’s premier collision repair facility and one of the largest in the area, with a capacity to repair over 100 vehicles concurrently. Runner-up is Kniesel’s Collision Centers, a family-owned auto body business with three locations in the greater Sacramento area. Since 1968, the Kniesel family has been committed to quality repairs and great customer service. The three finalists are TNT Auto Body, Nor Cal Auto Body, and Capital Auto Restoration Inc. TNT Auto Body is located at 3210 51st Ave., Nor Cal Auto Body is located at 7621 Auburn Blvd. in Citrus Heights and Capital Auto Restoration Inc. is located at 6224 Turner Rd., Ste A.
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ABC Channel 7 recently announced its 2012 Bay Area A-List. Voting took place in February and March and was conducted by ABC7 and CityVoter. With 72,000 votes collected, 113 body shops were nominated out of more than 2,500 auto body shops. The top 5 are: Coming in at #1 is Spectrum Auto Body in San Francisco. In second place is Fremont’s Maaco Auto Body and Paint. For the second year in a row, the shop has been honored by local residents as one the top five collision centers in the community. Last year, the shop placed first. The auto body shop serves Fremont, Newark, Union City and surrounding areas. In third place is Cars Dawydiak in San Francisco, an authorized, dealer-approved body repair facility for Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Land Rover and Panoz automobiles as well as a Jaguar authorized aluminum collision repair center for structural and non-structural repairs. In fourth place is Mike Rose’s Auto Body located in Walnut Creek, and the fifth place winner is Uptown Body Shop in Oakland.
4 AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Kaanapali Collision Relocates
Haddick’s Hosted Hot Rods
Kaanapali Collision is now open at a new location on Limahana Place in Lahaina on the island of Maui in Hawaii. A wide range of services are offered, from headlight restoration to paintless dent repair. The technicians can repair any year, make or model car. Kaanapali Collision can accept claims from all insurance companies. “We do not work for any insurance company, so a quality repair is what we strive for - not the insurance company’s bottom line,” the company noted.
On July 14, Haddick’s Auto Body & Towing, in conjunction with the cities of Industry and La Puente, CA held the 2nd Annual Charity Hot Rod & Car Show at its primary facility. Sponsored by local businesses and larger corporations, the event featured food, games and a live band. Proceeds benefitted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Industry Station’s Youth Activities League (YAL) program that supports and helps at-risk youth in the area with free after-school sports and activities. Last year’s event raised $12,500.
NABC Needs Seven Directors
Tie Rod for 1975 Maserati
The National Auto Body Council (NABC) is now accepting nominations for its 2012 board of directors. The NABC said it will fill seven vacant positions on its board. Board candidates must be members of the organization or designated representatives of member companies in order to be included on the voting ballot. Candidates can be nominated either by themselves, or by three other NABC members. Board nominations can be submitted by mail, email or fax by Aug. 11, 60 days prior to the election. Visit autobodycouncil.org for details to submit a nomination.
Rare Parts Inc. is now manufacturing Diamond Series tie rod assemblies for the 1975 Maserati Khamsin, part number RP29180. This assembly is now greaseable and is made from larger forgings for increased strength. Rare Parts manufactures steering and suspension parts for any make/model/year vehicle. All parts are made in the USA. If we don’t have it, we will build it. For more information, call us at 800.621.2005 or visit our website at www.rareparts.com.
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www.autobodynews.com | AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 5
A&A Midwest Auto Wrecking Expands Service to Vegas
A&A Midwest Auto Wrecking has expanded from its primary location in the Chicago area to now offer end-oflife vehicle processing at its location in the Las Vegas area. The company purchases vehicles that are ready to be recycled and exports many items to developing countries. “Though a vehicle may no longer be usable to the owner, A&A Midwest Auto Wrecking sees great value in the parts that can be disassembled and reused,” said Scott Stolberg, president and CEO. “We buy used vehicles and parts, sell used auto parts for remanufacturing, and export used vehicles and parts. Plus, we offer top dollar whether the vehicle is running or not.” The Las Vegas location will process approximately 25 vehicles a month and ship one or more containers for export to developing countries. Parts salvaged for reuse include engines and transmissions, steering gears, sheet metal including doors, hoods and clips, wheels, catalytic converters and tires. All vehicles are disassembled in accordance with all regulations that apply to the proper recycling or disposal of all automotive related fluids and components.
Boyd Group Buys Pearl Auto Body for $4.4 Million
The Boyd Group Income Fund in early July completed its $4.4 million acquisition of Pearl Auto Body based in Denver, which doubled its presence in the Denver market with the acquisition of Pearl Auto Body and its six locations. With the new acquisition, the Boyd Group now operates 12 collision repair centers in Colorado. The six Pearl Auto Body locations, which generated $13 million in revenue during the past 12 months, will continue to operate under the same trade name. “Pearl represents our third multi-location collision operator acquisition over the last 12 months. This is in line with our strategy of being alert to opportunities for accelerated growth through the acquisition of multi-location operators in attractive geographic markets that can expand our footprint in North America and solidify our leadership position in the industry,” said Brock Bulbuck, president and CEO of the Boyd Group. “These acquisitions also provide us an opportunity to leverage existing relationships with insurance companies that have direct repair programs.”
Calif. Deposits $1.5 Million from Travelers Insurance
Travelers Insurance Regulators in California announced that the state is receiving more funds from an enforcement investigation they brought against Travelers Insurance for several violations that included denying discounts to eligible drivers. Travelers agreed with regulators last month to settle the case for a total of more than $10 million in refunds and fines stemming from violations in the first seven months of 2006. Commissioner Dave Jones announced on July 3 that he deposited $1.5 million from the case into the state’s general fund. During the investigation, regulators found 125 instances in which the insurer charged policyholders incorrect premium amounts. In some of those cases, drivers who were eligible for a 20 percent good driver discount were denied the markdown because the insurer “did not follow proper procedures,” according to a department statement. Investigators also uncovered 19 instances in which policies were denied, canceled or not renewed against state regulations. Some of those cases involved the insurer canceling policies when the policyholder failed to complete informational actions with the insurer.
One of those actions was the “policy verification program” in which policyholders would be interviewed by phone to verify coverage information. Regulators said they found cases in which policies were canceled because phone interviews hadn’t taken place. The insurer also canceled coverage because policyholders failed to return “quote acceptance” and “state coverage” forms and erroneously cited state regulations as their reason for doing so. According to regulators, state law requires that policy cancellations be due to “an increase in the hazard insured against,” a condition that they said invalidates the cancellations made by Travelers because policyholders failed to submit information. Regulators are available in every state to deal with consumer complaints about insurers, conduct investigations into market conduct and answer auto insurance policy questions that consumers have. Pat McConahay, deputy press secretary with the California Department of Insurance (DOI), said Jones was “pleased with the cooperation” that the DOI received from Travelers during the investigation. “It’s not uncommon to have these kinds of violations,” McConahay said.
6 AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Watsonville Shop Owner Due Back in Court
The Santa Cruz Sentinel has reported that Martin Calvario Moya, 48, the owner of an Watsonville body shop who prosecutors say bilked clients, is due back in court on July 31 to set a preliminary hearing date. Moya was charged for forging documents, making false insurance claims and failure to have required workers’ compensation insurance coverage for his employees. Moya is the owner of Moya Auto Body Shop in Watsonville, CA. The District Attorney’s Office filed the charges after an undercover investigation that began earlier this year, conducted by representatives from the California Bureau of Auto Repair, the Santa Cruz County Auto Theft Unit and the DA’s Investigations Bureau. The investigation was prompted by complaints from customers. Moya has pleaded not guilty to the current charges and is being represented by Salinas-based defense attorney Brian Worthington. He’s currently being held in County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. Moya is also charged with violating the terms of his probation for previous charges.
Scrap Dealers Charged with Environmental Violations
The city of Los Angeles has charged four Los Angeles-area scrap metal recyclers with criminal misdemeanor charges for environmental violations. In a release, Los Angeles’ City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has announced that the department’s Environmental Justice Unit has filed criminal misdemeanor charges against the four companies following a coordinated multi-agency sweep and inspection of the facilities that were completed in January and February 2012 to determine compliance with environmental safety requirements. “The mishandling and unlawful release of toxic chemicals and water pollutants pose a serious threat to the health and safety of our residents,” says Trutanich. “Facilities that use such hazardous substances have the obligation to properly store and dispose of their wastes, and will be held accountable when they unlawfully fail to do so.” Assistant City Attorney Patricia Bilgin is prosecuting all of the cases.
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email@example.com www.autobodynews.com | AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 7
Alaska Troopers Search for Autobody Scammers
Alaska State Troopers are looking for help tracking down a small group of scammers who have approached several people about autobody work this summer in Fairbanks and have taken advantage of two men, both in their 70s. It’s believed the group, which appears to consist of between two and four people, has left Alaska, but troopers still are hoping to collect evidence from people who might have encountered them, said Trooper Edward Halbert, who is investigating the case for the Alaska State Troopers. In one incident, one of the victims was approached by a man and woman at Fred Meyer West. The victim said he was not interested in body work, but they were not deterred. They followed him back to his University West neighborhood home and started to work on his car without his permission. They left the vehicle worse than they found it, drilling holes on the side where there had not even been any damage, Halbert said. After an hour of work, they demanded $1,000. The man did not know what to do and to get rid of them, he went to the bank and got $500 to give them, Halbert said. “They wanted cash only,” he said. “They’re bullies and they get right in
people’s faces.” In that case, the male suspect was described as a bald, Hispanic-looking man in his 40s, about 6 feet tall. He went by the name “Jack.” The woman also was Hispanic-looking, slightly heavyset and attractive. In another incident, also about two weeks ago, a North Pole classic car enthusiast reported he was a approached by a woman like the one described in the other case and a man who could have been “Jack,” or maybe someone else, Halbert said. The two talked him into having them do work on his vehicle and then demanded $10,000 after doing about eight hours of work. He paid it. A few days later they called back demanding more payment, Halbert said. In particular, troopers are trying to link a license plate number with the scammers. Victims have reported seeing them in a black SUV in Fairbanks and a blue Ford station wagon in North Pole. Both were newer-model vehicles.
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Great Lakes Edition will publish in September!
Two New Members Elected to SEMA Board
Russell Stephens, representing the manufacturer category, and Nick Gramelspacher, representing the distributor/retailer category, have been elected as new members of the SEMA Board of Directors. Three incumbent Board members were re-elected to a three-year term: John Hotchkis in the manufacturer category, Jim Bingham in the distributor/retailer category, and Luanne Brown in the services category. The new board members were recognized during the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser on July 27 in Pomona, CA. The event also recognized outgoing members Ron Funfar, John Iannotte, Bob Moore, Adrian Murray, Ed Orzetti, Chris Thomson and Tim Watts, along with the 2012 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees Nick Arias Jr., Bill France Sr., Mark Heffington, and Bob Larivee Sr. Members of the 2012–2013 SEMA Board of Directors are: • Chairman of the Board: Scooter Brothers, COMP Performance Group • Chairman-Elect: Nate Shelton, B&M Automotive Group • Immediate Past Chairman: Rick Rollins, Rollins Performance Marketing/Consulting
• Greg Adler - CEO, Transamerican Auto Parts • Joel Ayres - Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Bedslide/Takit LLC • Jeff Bates - Principal/Partner, Bob Cook Sales • Jim Bingham - President and CEO, Winner’s Circle Speed & Custom Inc. • Luanne Brown - President & CEO, eTool Developers • Jim Chick - Director, Sales & Marketing, Bestop Inc. • Donnie Eatherly - President, P&E Distributors Inc. • Nick Gramelspacher - National Sales Manager, Meyer Distributing • John Hotchkis - President, Hotchkis Performance LLC • Myles Kovacs - President & CoFounder, DUB Publishing Inc. • Tim Martin - Vice President, K&N Engineering Inc. • JR Moore - Director, Warehouse Operations, Performance Warehouse • Mike Spagnola - President, Street Scene Equipment • Russell Stephens - President, MSD Performance • Steve Wolcott - CEO, ProMedia LLC • Van Woodell - President/Owner, Weathers Auto Supply • Jeep Worthan - Vice President, Sales, Auto Meter
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8 AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
VQ Medallion Status for Drew Collision-Fix Auto & Glass
President Bill Drew of Drew Ford in and fender repairs. The business beLa Mesa, CA, announced that the Drew came a Ford dealer in 1934. Collision-Fix Auto and Glass has been awarded the coveted VQ Medallion for collision repair quality. The Medallion signifies recognition that the facility has achieved and sustained the highest possible quality in collision repair, as determined and documented by the independent repair inspection firm VeriFacts Automotive. There are only 54 collision repair businesses in the U.S. who have reached Attending the award ceremony (left to right) Medallion level. Drew Ford’s colwere Kevin Earlywine, VeriFacts Automotive VQ lision center is the first auto dealer Coach, Ted Stein, Drew Ford General Service of any brand to have its collision Manager, Larry Houk, Drew Collision-Fix Auto repair operation so recognized. and Glass Center manager, Mike Stacy, VP The monthly VQ inspections Marketing of VeriFacts Automotive , and Paul are unannounced and exceptionally Gange, President of Fix Auto USA rigorous. They exhaustively examine and record over 300 different aspects of the repair process, including equipment, repair materials, technical information, quality procedures and hands-on observed skills of the technicians. The Medallion rating must be To advertise continually re-earned with every incall Sales at: Advertising spection. 800-699-8251 Bill Drew is the third generation to guide the Drew Ford dealership, e-mail: which has operated in La Mesa for 85 firstname.lastname@example.org years, starting as a garage that serviced and repaired model T’s, including body www.autobodynews.com
Autovation Reality Brings Car to Life
A new display was recently unveiled at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland, OR. The display features an auto body shell hanging from the ceiling and uses augmented reality technology to bring the vehicle’s inner workings to life.
of hub between industry and academia and display their work for the benefit of the general public,” said Mark Patel, OMSI’s vice president of marketing, retail and sales. “This innovative showpiece will allow visitors to see the automobile in a whole new way.” Dene Grigar, program director of WSU Vancouver’s Creative Media and Digital Culture Program, said, “I am so proud of these students who worked tirelessly to deliver such an amazing piece to be enjoyed by OMSI visitors for years to come. This experience will be invaluable as these students pursue related careers.” It’s easy to see how the augmented reality technology The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in works. Visitors point one of the Portland, OR brings automation to life with its built-in iPad viewers, or even new exhibit their own smartphone, at the Autovation was a collaboration car and it comes to life. For example, by OMSI, Dick Hannah Dealerships if you point at the hood, you’ll see an and Washington State University Van- animated 3-D engine that appears to couver’s Creative Media and Digital float in space. Prompts on the screen Culture Program. The idea was to de- give you more detailed views and adsign something that would highlight ditional information. how advances in automobile technolAutovation will be a permanent ogy have improved safety and in- feature at OMSI. It’s housed in the creased fuel efficiency. museum’s engineering-themed Tur“We are delighted to play the role bine Hall. www.autobodynews.com | AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 9
Fire Ravages Auto Body Shop in Coos Bay, OR
Bystanders said windows exploded and metal doors melted away as a fire raged inside Sweeney’s Auto Body & Paint on June 18. Nobody was injured in the fire, but the building was completely burned out. Fire officials had no word on how the fire started, but Coos Bay police Chief Gary McCullough said a UPS worker said welding work may have started the fire. He said welders were set down on fire mats briefly, as workers attended to something, and when they returned, the fire had already started and was spreading quickly. A man getting cigarettes at a nearby gas station called 911 after he smelled rubber and saw brown and black smoke coming from the shop. “You could hear the windows shattering and see flames coming from the doorway,” Tim Orr said. “People were walking out in a daze. They looked pretty upset.” Orr said a man in the shop told him a newly restored 1963 Chevy Nova was lost in the blaze. An employee of Bay City Ambulance also said an ambulance was lost in the shop. Bystanders said Sweeney’s is a well-respected body shop that does great collision repair and body work as
well as paint jobs. Chief McCullough said that Bay Cities uses Sweeney’s whenever they need work done. Aguestin Cervera, who works next to Sweeney’s, said he heard something explode and saw flames shooting from the side of the building before he ran to the back of his building to avoid chemicals from the smoke. Ryan Hutchins said he stood by and watched as a metal garage-style door on the side of the building crumpled under the heat. “It was cracking and popping,” he said. “It went like an avalanche and just started incinerating.” The call came into fire departments around 1:45 p.m. as smoke billowed down Newmark Avenue, completely engulfing Bay Area Athletic Club and neighboring businesses. Police cars blocked off traffic on Newmark for a couple of blocks starting at the 7-11.
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WMABA Labor Rate Survey Complete
The Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) has announced that the results of its 2012 labor rate survey. The survey was conducted to determine a more equitable labor rate since, according to WMABA Executive Director Jordan Hendler, some areas around DC haven’t seen a rate increase in five-plus years. “So many of our members tell us that they’re very rarely, if ever, surveyed by any insurer,” says Hendler. “When they attempt to tell the carrier their new rates, they’re often stonewalled or referred to another manager. In many cases, the shop is told that their rates aren’t competitive, and [the insurer] will have to inform all of their customers not to go to that shop or risk paying the difference. This type of threat seems to be the unnecessary approach that most insurers take with any labor rate request or needed repair procedure.” Results for average body labor rate were: Baltimore: $43.64; Annapolis: $43.51; Hagerstown: $43.59; Washington DC: $43.35; Virginia Beach: $44.4; Charlottesville: $44.28; Richmond: $45.34; Roanoake: $43.34 In addition to showcasing posted labor rates throughout the WMABA
region, the project uncovered a surprisingly small number of shops that actually utilize paint and material (P&M) cost accounting programs. “I think mostly it’s a lack of understanding or going against the norm,” said WMABA President Barry Dorn. “I know that many insurers do not and will not recognize [a cost accounting program]. The old method of using a multiplier as a method of reimbursement is antiquated at best. Petroleum prices, and thus paint prices, continue to escalate; for some reason, the rates do not. The calculators take all arguments away from everyone. They’re accurate and something this industry needs to embrace.” According to WMABA, hundreds of shops participated in the labor rate survey process, although many didn’t, something that Dorn doesn’t understand. “I don’t understand the logic behind their decision,” Dorn says. “Without this survey, you’re forced to ‘go it alone,’ balance bill the customer or complain to anyone who will listen – none of which is a solution. I don’t remember the last time a carrier surveyed me. Your association did this to get a real, factual and third-party perspective rather than hearsay.”
10 AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
CARSTAR Adds 30-Yr Old Escondido Shop to Network
CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts, one of North America’s largest multishop operator (MSO) networks, has announced the addition of CARSTAR Autopark Appearance Center of Escondido, CA, to its network of collision centers. Although new to CARSTAR’s national lineup, Autopark Appearance Center has served the “Hidden City” of Escondido for more than 30 years, and shop owner Scott Hillery has worked in the automotive industry since 1974. Bringing CARSTAR Autopark Appearance Center on board gives the company a strong foundation of collision centers in the Southern California area. CARSTAR says the new store will benefit from the CARSTAR Management Systems, which provide resources to improve key business metrics such as cycle time, participation in CARSTAR’s 19 corporately managed DRP programs, and improved purchasing power from 45 corporately managed purchasing programs. “We are excited to welcome Scott Hillery and CARSTAR Autopark Appearance Center to the CARSTAR network,” said David Byers, CEO of CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts. “We are thrilled to expand our presence in California with this new top-notch collision repair center.”
Supreme Court Won’t Hear Appeal on Kia Brakes Suit
The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a $5.6 million verdict against Kia Motors Inc. in a class-action suit over allegedly faulty brakes in Sephia sedans. The high court decision ends an 11-year legal battle. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last December upheld a decision that awarded $600 — $5.6 million total — to 9,400 owners of 1997 to 2000 Kia Sephias in Pennsylvania that had brakes that allegedly wore out much faster than normal. Owners in other states have pursued separate claims. A jury in New Jersey found Kia Sephia owners could be reimbursed up to $750 for brake repairs. The Pennsylvania suit was first filed by a Kia owner that had gone to a dealer five times to get the brakes repaired on her 2001 Sephia between January and October 2000. Kia changed the brakes beginning in the 2001 model year.
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Chief Automotive Approves GarageFly National Account
Chief Automotive Technologies has added Arizona-based GarageFly, LLC to its official list of national accounts for structural repair and computerized measuring equipment. Chief will offer GarageFly-affiliated collision repair shops throughout Arizona a full-range of products and services to meet all their pulling, measuring and data needs. “Our relationship with Chief Automotive Technologies ensures that our more than 110 affiliated collision shops have access to state-of-the-art equipment at competitive prices, as well as training from Chief University,” says John Rang, president of GarageFly. “We are committed to encouraging and assisting our affiliates to become properly equipped and trained to repair the vehicles of today and the future.” “We are pleased to have been selected as one of GarageFly’s equipment partners,” says Robert Holland, Chief national sales manager. “Chief is committed to providing GarageFly’s affiliated collision shops with the equipment, specifications, training and support that will enable them to continue to improve their cycle times, increase efficiency and document their repairs.”
CA, AZ Among Top 5 States with Highest Repair Costs
California, Wyoming, Utah, Montana and Arizona have the highest average car repair costs, a study by CarMD.com finds. These states are also home to half the nation’s top driving destinations. The study by the Irvine company found that these states, home to half the nation’s national parks, have the highest costs. CarMD, which sells automobile diagnostic systems, analyzed more than 160,000 repair bills given to drivers in 2011 who pulled into auto shops because the “check engine” light came on. The average nationwide cost of repairs in that situation was $334 in 2011, down 6% from 2010, primarily because of a drop in labor costs, the study found. But the average cost of those repairs were higher in Wyoming ($389), Utah ($379), California ($368), Montana ($364) and Arizona ($363), according to the study. Road trips can put extra wear and tear on a car, resulting in more serious automotive problems, said Kristin Brocoff, a spokeswoman for CarMD.com. “You can look at so many facets of this study and draw your own conclusion,” she said.
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CARSTAR Adds 8 New Independent Locations
CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts has added eight new independent collision repair centers to its network in 2012, including the company’s first two locations in California. CARSTAR said its new shop locations include the following: • CARSTAR Grove Collision Center in Lemon Grove, CA, owned by Michael French • Crown Coachworks CARSTAR Auto Body in Los Angeles, owned by Jacob Dunkel • Tyler’s CARSTAR Collision Center in Niles, MI owned by Scott and Chris Tyler • Preferred Collision CARSTAR in Macon, GA, owned by Walter Lee • Memorial CARSTAR Collision in Houston, owned by Elias Michalopoulos • CARSTAR Magic Auto Solutions in Redmond, WA owned by Gabriela Amaral • CARSTAR Bothell Auto Rebuild in Bothell, WA owned by Kevin Parsons • CARSTAR 911 Auto Centers in San Antonio, TX owned by Martin Gutierrez
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Perfection Auto Body Stays in Business Despite Fire
Bob’s Perfection Auto Body Repair in Shoshone, ID is rebuilding after a fire destroyed half of the shop on April 7. Owner Bob Jutila said the new shop would be larger and more modern. Jutila didn’t wait long to get back to business. Just a week later, he was back to work fixing automobiles and getting people back on the road. Jutila said the fire left him without many of his tools and melted a great deal of the wiring inside the Pinehurst shop. He and his staff are repairing cars from the parking lot and the portion of his shop that survived. He said working outdoors makes things more strained, as the weather plays a big part in keeping business going without a roof overhead. However, Jutila’s weather woes haven’t been too costly. He said his customers have been loyal and patient. “We appreciate our customer’s support through this,” Jutila said. Investigation into the cause of the fire was left undetermined, but Jutila said it appeared to be electrical. “We will be coming back with a new, more modern shop the first or second week of August,” Jutila said.
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NABC Schedules CIC Golf Tournament for Jan. 23
The National Auto Body Council (NABC) has selected Wednesday, January 23, 2013 for its upcoming Annual Golf Event Fundraiser, which will again take place at the Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort in Palm Springs, CA. The event is being held in conjunction with the NABC’s open board meeting, which will take place the day before, Tuesday, January 22. Because it’s a major source of funding for the NABC, the fundraising event plays an integral part in providing the resources that support the organization in its mission of promoting the image of all dedicated collision industry professionals, while ensuring the industry is recognized as essential in serving the community. The event is open to both individuals and teams, and will be played using a four-person scramble format. Breakfast will be served at the course prior to the 10 a.m shotgun start and the event will conclude with a buffet reception, awards ceremony, and prize package drawings. Transportation will be provided to and from the conference hotel to Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort.
New Law Protects California Car Buyers from ‘Junk Cars’
Car buyers in California will get increased protection under a new law that took effect on July 1. Most bills passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor take effect on Jan. 1 each year. But all or part of about two-dozen other laws are taking effect at midyear. The state is enacting a first-inthe-nation law to protect those shopping for used cars. As of July 1, car dealers must mark vehicles with bright red warning stickers if they are listed in the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System database as junk, salvage or inundated during floods. Recreational vehicles, motorcycles and offhighway vehicles are exempted from the requirement. “California is a dumping ground for salvage cars. We’re the biggest market. We have a lot of young people and low-income people, a lot of immigrants and military people,” said Rosemary Shahan, president of Sacramento-based Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety. “What we tell consumers is any time you’re buying a used car, look for that red warning sticker. If it’s there, you don’t want that car.”
Black & White Auto Helps to Clean Waterways
Black & White Auto and Paint in Colorado Springs, CO announced its participation in the City of Colorado Springs’ Adopt-A-Waterway Program. The program focuses on keeping the city’s waterways clean by encouraging local businesses and organizations to formally sponsor a stream or river to protect and improve riparian habitat and water quality. When asked why his shop employees, who normally stick to paintless dent repair and other various car services, decided to sign up for the program, owner Rick Lujan commented, “We heard that with all the recent fires in Colorado that the quality of our drinking water was going to be low due to all the erosion settling into the streams and rivers. We kind of decided as a group that the least we can do for the community is to help the waterways out as much as we can by cleaning one up a few times a year.” In order to qualify for the program, each business must have a minimum of six people, with at least one adult of over 21 years of age. In addition, the adopted waterway must be at least a quarter mile to half mile stretch of creek or stream. Larger areas are also open for adoption, but must be
approved by the Colorado Springs storm water staff. Black and White Auto will then balance its normal regimen of auto body with at least two days a year of cleaning their adopted waterway. The city will provide the auto body staff with trash bags and equipment in order to help support Black & White Auto and Paint’s goal of keeping their adopted waterway clean. Lujan continued, “After all, this community has been great to our business for decades. We want to show them that we are good for more than just auto repairs. We want to give back.” The shop, which normally provides services such as paintless dent repair and body work, will adopt its waterway for at least two years, with the option to renew when the allotted time has passed. Black & White Auto and Paint will receive recognition for their work by having signage provided by the city by the businesses’ adopted waterway.
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California Legislators Act on Two Insurance Bills Two bills seeking to regulate auto insurance coverage in California saw recent action from lawmakers, including one that would exempt public safety officers from liability in work-related crashes and transfer that liability to the public agency employing the officer. AB 1551 would apply to firefighters, police officers and other public peace officers using their personal vehicle for work-related functions and duties, barring insurance companies from raising premiums on those policyholders because of crashes while using their cars for those purposes. The legislation passed the state Assembly by a 69-3 vote in late May before clearing the Senate Insurance Committee in late June. It is currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee. One of the bill’s main backers, the California Professional Firefighters (CPF), said firefighters are especially strained by an increase of “daily details” in which they use personal cars to, among other duties, attend training exercises and transport relief crews and equipment. “With more ‘detailing out’ of firefighters comes an increased demand on fire departments to provide transportation and, in certain cases, greater
pressure on firefighters to use their privately-owned vehicles for such activities,” stated the Senate Insurance Committee’s legislative analysis. Current law protects authorities from insurance liability when they are involved in on-the-job crashes in agency vehicles authorized by their employer, but those involved in the “few instances” in which they have to use their personal vehicle are exposed to unfair financial risk, according to the bill’s supporters. However, several local and county agencies have decried the bill as an excessive burden on them. The California Association of Joint Power Authorities (CAJPA) said transferring liability to local agencies exposes them to the same financial risk, something that they “cannot afford in these times of economic stress,” according to the analysis. The Regional Council of Rural Counties (RCRC) has also publicly opposed the bill, saying that the shift of financial responsibility to rural counties would be “troubling.” “Employees will be required to use scarce public safety vehicles to travel to non-emergency work destinations,” RCRC officials stated in a letter to the Senate committee. “This
CAWA Says it Helped Stop CA Key Access Bill
The California Automotive Wholesalers Association (CAWA) celebrated a victory on June 28 with the failure of SB 750 to garner the state assembly vote. California State Sen. Ed Hernandez’s (D-24) Senate Bill 750, relating to motor vehicle manufacturer production of replacement keys, recently failed to pass the California Assembly. The bill would make indefinite an exemption from a requirement for motor vehicle manufacturers to provide for the production of replacement keys. According to CAWA, the defeat of SB 750 marked a victory for consumers and the automotive aftermarket alike because the bill aimed at locking out the industry from important information relative to key information for replacement in certain automobiles. The bill failed to pass the Assembly Floor by a vote of 29 to 25, with 41 votes needed to pass. SB 750, sponsored by BMW, sought to exempt automakers from providing electronic key code information to locksmiths, requiring motorists to contact the automaker to get a replacement key for their vehicle. Under current California law, motor vehicle manufacturers are required to provide a way for the regis-
tered owner of a car, or their family member, to access information that would allow them production of a replacement key by a locksmith. A provision in the current law allows exemptions until 2013. Under the leadership of CAWA, industry advocates and AAA successfully communicated concerns about motorists being inconvenienced and often stranded in dangerous situations because they were not able to obtain a replacement key from a locksmith due to automakers refusal to provide this information. These concerns helped convince legislators to vote against SB 750. In addition, CAWA argued that this bill is anti-consumer and anticompetitive, which resonated with many legislators. “The key is much more than the instrument that enables one to start their vehicle,” stated Steve Sharp of WORLDPAC and CAWA Chair. “The key is coded with security information that is tied into the vehicles computer system and will disable a number of auto components, including, in some cases, the transmission, making the vehicle immobile as well as preventing a vehicle from being started after certain major repairs.” CAWA successfully argued that See CAWA Says, Page 42
14 AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
will add costs to providing work-related vehicles or result in existing vehicles being used for alternative purposes.” Assemblywoman Norma Torres (D-Pomona), who authored the bill, called it “simple and straightforward.” “This measure will help safeguard public safety employees from jeopardizing their personal finances when engaging in on-duty, employerdirected activities,” Torres said in a statement. AB 1551 last saw action with an amendment striking language from the bill that would have set looser crash reporting rules for authorities. In the bill’s original version, officers would not have had to report work-related crashes in their personal vehicle to their insurer. The bill’s latest version requires the employer and employee to give notice to the insurer about such crashes within 10 days of the incident.
Autobody News is pleased to announce our
Great Lakes Edition will publish in September!
The Body Shop Partners with Insurer on Car Giveaway
Civil Service Employees Insurance Company, in partnership with Ben Clymer’s The Body Shop, hosted a car giveaway July 3. Yucaipa Mayor, Dick Riddell was present for the giveaway. Rick Lozano from Fox 11 local news was the Master of Ceremonies. The car was given to a deserving family, and came equipped with a full year of auto insurance donated by a CSE Insurance Group Independent Agent, SCP Insurance Services, and a trunk full of groceries. This year’s winner was Rhonda Abrams, a resident of Yucaipa, CA, a certified nursing assistant at Loma Linda V.A. hospital. She has five children, including a high schooler and another who is college-bound. Ms. Abrams has also worked for the Palm Springs Unified School District, working on autistic and bipolar student programs. “CSE Insurance Group is proud to partner with The Body Shop to help a family in need. This family has been through very difficult times and has managed to persevere with limited resources,” said Pierre Bize, president and CEO of CSE Insurance Group. “We are pleased to bring relief to this deserving family of six.”
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California Takes Top Three Spots for Most Cars Stolen–Again The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s annual report has again named California as the state in which your car is most likely to get stolen. The state has seven spots on the list of the top 10 cities, with Washington and South Carolina filling out the other three.
4. Spokane, Wash. (4) 5. Yakima, Wash. (10) 6. San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, Calif. (9) 7. Stockton, Calif. (7) 8. Anderson, S.C. (33) 9. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif. (5) 10. Visalia-Porterville, Calif. (8)
Fresno, Modesto and the Bakersfield area take the top three spots, respectively, unchanged from last year. Spokane, WA again takes number four. Auto theft dropped 3.3 percent last year to a total of 712,816 cars taken.
Warning devices: The second layer of protection is a visible or audible device that alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected. Popular devices include:
2011 Rank (2010 Rank) 1. Fresno, Calif. (1) 2. Modesto, Calif. (2) 3. Bakersfield-Delano, Calif. (3)
Tips to Avoid Theft Use Common Sense: The common-sense approach to protection is the easiest and most cost-effective way to thwart would-be thieves. You should always: • Remove your keys from the ignition. • Lock your doors and close your windows. • Park in a well-lit area.
• Audible alarms • Steering-column collars • Steering-wheel/brake-pedal locks • Brake locks • Wheel locks • Theft deterrent decals
CAA Santa Clara Hosts LETF and Recaps Activities
The Santa Clara Chapter of the California Autobody Association held its recent meeting on July 18, hosting guest speakers from the Labor Enforcement Task Force. The LETF is a coalition of state and federal agencies working together to fight the underground economy through education and enforcement. Participating agencies include: Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) for wage and hour issues; Employment Development Department (EDD) for payroll; CAL/OSHA for health and safety; Board of Equalization (BOE) for sales tax; and the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) for licensing. The LETF has been visiting CAA chapters across the state to discuss auto body compliance. The task force is randomly inspecting body shops to ensure they are in compliance with laws regarding wages, payroll taxes, OSHA compliances, sales tax and fair labor practices. In a recap of chapter accomplishments so far this year, the CAA - Santa Clara chapter newsletter reported: “Our first big event was legislation day, April 18. Six members of our chapter made the trip. This represented the largest number of people from any chapter of the California Auto Body Association. We met with various senators and representatives from our areas to discuss
issues affecting our industry. The hot topic was SB1460, known as the automotive repair replacement parts bill, introduced by Senator Yee. Our first appointment was with his office. Our goal was to point out the problems with the bill. The bill was withdrawn two days later after a letter from the insurance commissioner and has been laid to rest for the time being. “In May our board members Bob McTaggart, Auto Body Instructor, and Nathan Chukes, Paint Instructor from CCOC ( Central County Occupational Center) gave us the names of their top four students. We presented each student with $250 worth of tools and materials, certificates for an I-CAR class, and Martin Auto Color donated a $100 gift card for each student and an additional $200 for the students to upgrade their tools. “The 9th annual CCOC Custom and Classic Car Show was held May 11. Teachers, administrators and classified staff all pulled together to make the show a huge success, promoting CCOC and SkillsUSA. With food sales, CTA raffle, participant fees and donations from partners of the school, the sum of $10,393 was raised. All proceeds go into the SkillsUSA club fund to support students competing in their chosen field.
16 AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
• Identification markers in or on the vehicle • VIN etching • Micro-dot marking Immobilizing device: The third layer of protection is a device that prevents thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some electronic devices have computer chips in ignition keys. Other devices inhibit the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine until a hidden switch or button is activated. Some examples are: • Smart keys • Fuse cut-offs • Kill switches • Starter, ignition and fuel-pump disablers •Wireless ignition authentication
Tracking devices: The final layer of protection is a tracking device that emits a signal to police or a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems employ telematics, which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.
Win a Trip to SEMA as a Garmat Sharp Shooter
GARMAT USA has announced the return of the immensely popular Garmat Sharp Shooter contest for shop owners and paint techs. This contest is designed to recognize quality paint techs and shop owners that use Garmat equipment. The Garmat Sharp Shooter Contest will run through September 18. Paint techs and their managers will have the opportunity to tell their Garmat story, in either video testimonial or written statements. Judging is based on the shop owner and paint tech's dedication to providing quality paint jobs, superior customer service, attention to safety and overall equipment knowledge. Bonus questions include an inquiry on how Garmat can improve their Garmat experience with product improvements. The first 100 entrants will receive a custom Garmat Sharp Shooter Cap. First place prizes of two leather jackets (one for the contestant and one for the owner) will be awarded to five finalists, and the Grand Prize of a trip for two to Las Vegas will go to the contest winner. Contest rules and regulations can be found at www.garmat.com.
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Audi of Downtown LA 1900 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90007 Tel: (213) 747-7248 Fax: (213) 222-1261 Parts Manager: Fausto G. www.audiofdowntownla.com Service Hours: M–F, 7:30 – 6:30; Sat 8 - 4 www.autobodynews.com | AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 17
First Ever SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women Thousands of fans voted for a satin black luxury Mustang concept in the first ever SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women. The project, which is a collaboration between Ford Motor Co. and the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), invited the
High Gear Mustang Exterior by Jennifer Seely
public to view three concepts online and vote for the one they would like to see built by a group of female volunteers. The winning concept, “High Gear,” was designed by Jennifer Seely of Ford Motor Co. Inspired by international products in categories
such as jewelry, couture clothing and architecture, the concept is meant to stimulate the senses by fusing luxury and power. Highlights include Rosegold chrome accents throughout the exterior and interior, satin black body, plush quilted suede
seats and a leather wrapped interior. Women builders will perform modifications to the engine, undercarriage, drive train and sound system this summer. As title sponsor of the project, Ford Motor Co. donated a 2013 Ford Mustang GT for the project.
is comprised of Task Force Chair Rose Kawasaki (Exports International), Project Vehicle Coordinator Sherry Kollien (Ford Motor Company), Assembly Coordinator Kellie Colf (eTool
High Gear Mustang Interior by Jennifer Seely
Developers), PR/Media Coordinator Camee Edelbrock (Schiefer Media Inc.) and Product Coordinator Susan Carpenter (JR Products). Advisors include Mike Spagnola (Street Scene), Joel Ayres (Bedslide) and Marla Moore (Hypertech). To learn more about SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women, visit www.sema.org/SEMAMustangBuild or contact SEMA Project Manager Bryan C. Harrison at: email@example.com.
SUBARU se. It jus t mak es sen
The finished vehicle will debut at the 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, then auctioned off on eBay to raise money for the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund is dedicated to fostering the next generation of automotive aftermarket leaders and innovators. “We appreciate our readers and fans helping us determine which concept will be used for this very exciting project,” said Doug Evans, Executive VP of Source Interlink Media (SIM). SIM, a partner in the project, hosted the voting on several of its websites and will also host the physical build at its El Segundo, CA headquarters. “The concept selected by everyone who voted is amazing,” continued Evans. “It will be very exciting to see the vehicle transformed in just eight short weeks by the dedicated group of women participating in the project. The drive and talent this collaboration of women from the SBN, Ford and Source Interlink Media brings to this project is nothing short of phenomenal.” The SBN Vehicle Build Task Force
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Mustang Build Powered by Women Team Finalized The all-female build team is finalized for the SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women. The team of technicians, enthusiasts and industry personnel will work together in El Segundo, CA to customize a 2013 Ford Mustang GT donated by Ford Motor Co. The finished vehicle debuts Oct. 31 at the 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV. The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) assembled more than 30 women for the team that will install 50state, street-legal aftermarket parts provided by SEMA-member manufacturers and suppliers on to the Mustang GT. The team will transform the vehicle into the winning black chrome satin luxury Mustang concept known as “High Gear,” which was designed by Jennifer Seely of Ford. The completed vehicle will be auctioned off on eBay Motors with Kellie Colf proceeds being donated to the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund. Kellie Colf, SBN Assembly Coordinator and President of Colf Creative
Resources, said, “I am thrilled to be working with such a talented team of women. There are SBN members coming in from all corners of the industry, with all levels of expertise and it’s amazing to witness. The best part is that I get to work with other like-minded female gearheads, build an amazing car and help fund scholarships for future industry leaders all at the same JoAnn Bortles time!” The SEMA Mustang Build was a brainchild of JoAnn Bortles after she participated in a successful all-female motorcycle build. Bortles has more than 30 years of experience as an award-winning custom painter, airbrush artist, welder/fabricator, photojournalist and is the author of six books. In addition to having owned a Mustang repair shop in the early ‘80s, she is one of the first women to own and operate a custom paint shop in the United States. With a background in graphic design, Theresa Contreras’ vast ex-
perience includes vehicle design concepts and renderings, with a specialty in custom painting. She’s been featured numerous Theresa Contreras times in paint tech articles and recently participated in an episode of “Car Warriors,” where she was the first female team leader. During the competition, Contreras led her team to victory with their 1970 Chevrolet C-10. Mollie Lewis has been in the automotive/diesel service and repair industry for 25 years. As an ASE certified technician, Lewis is well equipped to lead the team of Mollie Lewis women who will install the aftermarket exhaust, suspension, wheels and tires. Kristin Cline’s automotive experience began when she acquired her first classic car more than six years
ago. Cline is comfortable working on various years/makes/models of vehicles and maintains a blog about the automotive hobby at greasegirl.com. She is also a founding member of the Gasoline Girls car club where she shares her knowledge and encourages other women to get their hands dirty in the garage. Jennifer LaFever has been in the automotive industry for several years and has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and attended Universal Technical Institute for automotive Jennifer LaFever technology and motorsports. LaFever’s expertise is in component inspections, mathematical calculations and diagnostics with a strong understanding of electronics. For more information about the women behind the project, visit www.sema.org/SEMAMustangBuild and follow the build at www.youtube.com/MotorTrend and www.HOTROD.com.
www.autobodynews.com | AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 19
Continued from Cover
ment manufacturer part or an original equipment manufacturer part. The proposed amendments include the following additional text: ■ If partial losses are settled on the basis of a written estimate prepared by or for the insurer, the insurer shall supply the claimant with a copy of the estimate upon which the settlement is based. The estimate prepared by or for the insurer shall be of an amount which will allow for repairs to be made in accordance with accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike automotive repairs by an “auto body repair shop” as defined in section 9889.51 of the Business and Professions Code, and in accordance with the standards of automotive repair required of auto body repair shops, as described in the Business and Professions Code, and associated regulations, including but not limited to Section 3365 of the California Code of Regulations, Title 16, Division 33, Chapter 1, Article 8. No insurer shall willfully depart from or disregard accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike repair in the preparation of claim settlement offers or estimates
prepared by or for the insurer. An insurer shall not prepare an estimate that is less favorable to the claimant than the standards, costs and guidelines provided by the third-party automobile collision repair estimating software used by the insurer to prepare the estimate. ■ Reasonably adjust any written estimates prepared by the repair shop of the claimant’s choice and provide a copy of the adjusted estimate to the claimant and the claimant’s repair shop. The adjusted estimate provided to the claimant and repair shop shall be either an edited copy of the claimant’s repair shop estimate or a supplemental estimate based on the itemized copy of the claimant’s repair shop estimate. The adjusted estimate shall identify the specific adjustment made to each item and the cost associated with each adjustment made to the claimant’s shop’s estimate. ■ Insurers specifying the use of nonoriginal equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts warrant that such parts are of like kind, quality, safety, fit and performance as original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts. The insurer must disclose in writing, in any estimate prepared by or for the insurer, the fact that it warrants that such parts are of like kind, quality, safety, fit
and performance as original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts. ■ Insurers specifying the use of non-original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts that the insurer has implied, actual, or constructive knowledge are not equal to the original equipment manufacturer parts in terms of kind, quality, safety, fit and performance, or do not otherwise comply with this section, shall immediately cease specifying the use of these parts and shall, within thirty (30) calendar days, notify the collision repair estimating software provider, or other estimating entity it contracts with, of the part and request this part be removed from the collision repair estimating software. ■ Insurers specifying the use of non-original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts that the insurer has implied, actual, or constructive knowledge are not equal to the original equipment manufacturer parts in terms of kind, quality, safety, fit and performance, or do not otherwise comply with this section, shall immediately cease specifying the use of these parts and shall, within thirty (30) calendar days, notify the distributor of the part of the defect, safety issue or non-compliant aspect of the part.
■ Insurers specifying the use of nonoriginal equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts, which are certified by a non-original equipment manufacturer replacement crash part certifying entity and the insurer has implied, actual, or constructive knowledge are not equal to the original equipment manufacturer parts in terms of kind, quality, safety, fit and performance shall, within thirty (30) calendar days, file a report with the nonoriginal equipment manufacturer replacement crash part certifying entity. ■ Insurers specifying the use of nonoriginal equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts that the insurer has implied, actual, or constructive knowledge are not equal to the original equipment manufacturer parts in terms of kind, quality, safety, fit and performance, or do not otherwise comply with this section, shall pay for the costs associated with returning the part and the cost to remove and replace the non-original equipment manufacturer part with a compliant nonoriginal equipment manufacturer part or an original equipment manufacturer part. Comments can be submitted for this regulation until Aug. 9, 2012. To view the full text of the proposed amendments, please visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.
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Designer Rich Evans Travels to Nova Scotia to Film New Show “World Wide Car Building” Longtime Autobody News columnist Rich Evans is taking his brand international, having set out in July with a team of nine other automotive experts to Elmsdale, Nova Scotia for the filming of an upcoming episode of “World Wide Car Building Rich Evans with Rich Evans,” a car building show with a cultural twist. “World Wide Car Building with Rich Evans (WWCB)” is a documentary-style TV series in which Evans collaborates with car builders around the world, engaging the audience in a cultural exchange of creativity, technique, and the universal love for the automobile. In this episode, Rich and crew teamed up with Curtis MacLean of Curtis Customs Designs for a ten-day build in late July. Together, the team built a customized 2004 Hummer H2. Evans also made a public appearance on the Curtis Customs Classic Car Show on July 28 and 29. Each episode of WWCB begins
with a client’s request for Rich Evans to build a one-of-a-kind car. Evans assembles a team of specialists who travel to that country for the build. Working with the local crew, Rich and his team must confront and adapt to challenges as they use local resources, collaborate on technique, and work with a limited amount of time on the build. Evans is widely known as a car designer and builder ready for a challenge. His unique vehicle graphics, customization and modification are sought by celebrities who want Evans to work on special projects around the globe. Evans was team leader on Car Warriors on SPEED Channel as an AllStar fabricator, painter and designer. He appeared in 26 episodes of Chop, Cut, Rebuild on SPEED Channel, two episodes of Junk Yard Wars on TLC and once on MTV’s Pimp My Ride. Evans also teamed up with Ebay Motors on Mod Jobs for a custom build.
Ontario Metal Theft Leads to Hostages and Standoff
A Whittier man held two family members hostage near Montclair, CA after fleeing from police for alleged metal theft. Felipe Vega, 43, was arrested by Ontario police officers after taking the hostages and barricading himself for more than two hours in their residence on Kadota Avenue. The hostages were able to safely escape during the ordeal, Ontario police Sgt. David McBride said. “He forced his way into the home but there was no damage,” McBride said. “He then forced them into a room and told them not to go outside.” Vega was arrested on suspicion of possessing stolen property, grand theft, burglary, kidnapping and false imprisonment. Vega had allegedly been involved in metal thefts along with Steven Ray Harris, 53, of Rancho Cucamonga and Jason Isaac Day, 32, of Norco. Detectives had been investigating the theft of more than $1,500 worth of recyclable metal products and pallets taken from an Ontario business. Their investigation led to a Pomona recycling center on East Mission Boulevard where three men were trying to sell what was believed to be stolen metal products.
Police officers had made area scrap yards aware of the theft and were informed about 4 p.m. Tuesday by a worker at the Pomona center that someone was trying to sell the metal, McBride said. Detectives arrested two of the men - Harris and Day - for possession of stolen property and grand theft. A third man - later identified as Vega - fled to a nearby neighborhood and forced his way into the home on Kadota Avenue. The house was surrounded and officers tried for two hours to order him out of the house. Vega retreated to the attic of the house, but was taken out of the house after a police dog bit him, McBride said. More than 20 police officers responded to the house. San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies assisted in the investigation. The battle with metal thieves has been an ongoing problem for Ontario as well as many Southland cities as the price of metal increases, McBride said. The Ontario Police Department has even dedicated two detectives and a technician to track metal thefts in the area, he said. “Most cities battle with these thieves because metal brings in top dollar,” McBride said.
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Santa Clara’s CAA 29th Annual Golf Tournament Attracts 80 Competitive Golfers by Ed Attanasio
For some automotive vendors, body shop owners and employees, golf is a lost afternoon spent in the bushes, sand traps and water hazards. But for others, golf tournaments like the one held by the Santa Clara Chapter of the California Autobody Association’s (SCCCAA) held at Cinnabar Hills Golf Club in San Jose, CA on June 27, it’s a great opportunity to network, imbibe, tell tall tales and even actually play some golf.
The SCC-CAA tournament’s first place team was from D‘Angelo’s Business Group and consisted of (from left) Rod Baker, Mark D’Angelo and Bob McKim, with a score of 14 under par
Famous golf names graced the annual tournament’s leader board, like Choi, Kim and Nelson. But, unfortunately, K.J. (Choi), Anthony (Kim) and Byron (Nelson)–professional golf stars of today and yesterday–weren’t
in attendance. Instead, Ron Nelson (Enterprise’s Foursome #1), Yong Kim and Jae Choi (both in Annex Automotive’s Foursome #3), were all members of winning teams.
The afternoon’s second place team was Annex Automotive Foursome #3, represented by (from left) Yong Kim, Brandon Rojas, Jae Choi and James Mariner
There were 20 foursomes who enjoyed the great weather and won prizes on a beautiful northern California day. It was a paint jobbers’ war when a pair of them captured the tournament’s two top spots by playing strategic, skilled game on Cinnabar’s tough Lake and Canyon courses. The first place team was comprised of Mark D’Angelo, Rod Baker and Bob McKim, representing D‘Angelo’s Automotive Coatings. The second place team was comprised of Yong Ko, James Mariner, Jae Choi, and Brandon Rojas and represented
Annex Automotive Finishes. The tournament’s chairperson was once again Tobias Padilla from Hertz. “Tobias did an awesome job of pulling the tournament together, which is not an easy task,” SCC-CAA Past President and Treasurer David Mello said. “This is his second year as the chair of the event, and he really stepped up again this year and was our go-to guy all the way. Every successful tournament needs a person like Tobias and we’re grateful to have him. I should also thank our platinum sponsors–Hertz, PPG, 3M, and Enterprise Rent a Car and our gold sponsors–National Auto Parts, Last Call Marketing, FinishMaster, Carborundom and Lord Fusor.” One of the tournament’s winners, Mark D’Angelo from the D’Angelo’s Business Group, was pleased to see a great turnout and all of the talented golfers on the course. “This event raises money for the chapter and offers a good opportunity to spend some time away from our businesses. I am happy to see more body shops participating and surprised to learn some of them are very good golfers.” SCC-CAA President Randy
Greenblatt was pleased about the tournament’s turnout and is anticipating a larger crowd in 2013. “The tournament raises muchneeded money for us help the chapter in several ways. The funds go directly into our operational budget, so that we can donate money to organizations like the Central County Occupational
The Having Too Much Fun Team (Enterprise Foursome #1) finished third and featured (from left) Razo Navari, Shawn Saidi (with a huge cigar), Chad Iken and Ron Nelson
Center’s (CCOC) automotive repair school. We recently gave them $1,000 earmarked for operations and another $7,500 to completely build a vehicle in their classes. If the golf tournament will allow us to do things like that, it’s a win-win for the chapter and for great organizations like CCOC! The buzz this year was very positive, so I think we’ll get even more people to participate next year,” Greenblatt said.
www.autobodynews.com | AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 23
John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has a body shop in the family and has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). Contact him by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
Non-OEM Parts Industry Meets to Discuss Patent Law Change with John Yoswick
Non-OEM versions of many more vehicle parts could be manufactured and available much sooner after a new vehicle model is introduced if backers of proposed changes to federal patent laws are successful. An update on the legislation being pushed by the Quality Parts Coalition (QPC) was among the topics at the recent Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) convention, held in Vancouver, British Columbia. Eileen Sottile of the QPC urged the aftermarket part manufactures and distributors attending the conference to contact Congress to support the coalition’s legislation (HR 3889), which would reduce the time automakers can use design patents to prevent other companies from producing replacement crash parts. Sottile said the bill would reduce the patent protection from 14 years to just 2.5 years, and the 2.5-year clock would start ticking when the automaker introduces the car, even if that vehicle introduction is in another country months before it is introduced in the United States. Sottile said the QPC wanted to eliminate all design patent protection on the parts, as called for in earlier bills it introduced in Congress, but settled for a 2.5-year moratorium because Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.), who is sponsoring the bill in the U.S. House, “felt very strongly that we had to find a balance between protecting intellectual property and allowing competition.” She said a sponsor is being sought to introduce a similar bill in the Senate. Although one has not yet been announced, the QPC has recently announced that three more members of Congress have signed on as cosponsors of the House bill. Reps. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Walter Jones (RN.C.) and Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) are now supporting the bill At the ABPA event, Sottile outlined how the QPC’s monthly lobbying and public relations budget of about $70,000 is being funded. LKQ Corporation has donated $3.7 million, she said. The ABPA has contributed $1.5 million, mostly through an optional $50 fee that some ABPA mem-
bers voluntarily contribute for each shipping container of non-OEM parts they ship or receive. Other major contributors include Nationwide and State Farm ($115,000 each), the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association ($99,000), Allstate ($92,000) and AutoZone ($60,000).
Certification program update Also speaking at the ABPA event, Bob Frayer of NSF International, said his organization has certified about 1,800 non-OEM parts, and is adding about 100 parts a month to that list. Launched in 2010 with the backing of the ABPA, the NSF parts certification program is in part a response to unhappiness within the nonBob Frayer OEM parts industry with the time and expense involved with having parts certified through the 25-year-old Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) program. Frayer acknowledged that most of the NSF-certified parts are bumper-related parts, the first category for which NSF offered certification, but he said NSF is now certifying non-OEM plastic, sheet metal and lighting parts as well. He said EMC Insurance, Farmers, Grange and USAA are among the insurers calling for the use of NSF-certified parts. “We’re continually talking to insurance companies, and hopefully as the program grows and we have more part in the program, you’ll see more insurers writing NSF parts,” Frayer said. Unlike the CAPA certification program, NSF does not require that its labs conduct the actual testing of the parts; NSF merely audits that the parts manufacturer has had testing done by a qualified facility. But Frayer said NSF subsequently pulls 25 to 30 individual parts out of the distribution stream each month for testing at NSF. “We expect by the end of this year to have over 250 parts that we’ve ac-
24 AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
tually tested at NSF,” Frayer said. “If we do see problems with parts, those testing numbers will increase. We’ll be testing more parts if we see any indication that there’s something less than what was (initially submitted and)certified and being supplied to the market.” Frayer was asked at the ABPA event how it develops the specifications that determine whether a part earns certification. “The basis for the certification is always the OE (original equipment) service part,” Frayer said. “The OE service part is the standard with which we use to measure the aftermarket part.” Frayer said a committee, which includes parts manufacturers, determines acceptable tolerances for deviations from the OEM service part. “Because we can measure the OE service part and find, for example, it has a yield strength of ‘x’ or an ten-
sile strength of ‘y,’” Frayer said. “The question is: What kind of tolerance would seem reasonable to put around those numbers. So the (non-OEM) manufacturers help provide the initial guidance with that. But I can tell you what happens is as we go forward, we start testing parts. We start seeing how much variation we see in the OE parts. And that gives us a pretty Eileen Sottile good indication of whether the tolerances that we initially applied (for non-OEM part certification) are appropriate or not. I can tell you without exception the tolerances that our manufacturers have given us and worked with us to develop up front are as tight or tighter than what we’re seeing in the OE service parts.” See Patent Law Change, Page 27
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www.autobodynews.com | AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 25
On Creative Marketing
Capturing the Tough Ones with Thomas Franklin
I was recently talking with an estimator at a relatively busy shop in my area. I asked what his biggest problem was these days. He said it was the people who came in for an estimate but wouldn’t leave the car. He said no matter how much he promised, he couldn’t close the deal on many of the tough customers. It occurred to me that he might be putting too much faith in the power of words. Some people simply have a distrust of sales pitches, phony promises and fancy words. Maybe they responded to one too many TV commercial promises or a phone solicitor or one of the many over-hyped ads for products that never live up to their promises. So what do you do when you run into one of these supreme word skeptics? I suddenly remembered a Caribbean black fellow who owned a small shop in an affluent white neighborhood and had an almost perfect
record for closing jobs and getting the keys. I asked him how he does it. He told me that because of his color, he had to work harder to win a prospective customer’s trust. He knew they might doubt what he said, so he used several tactics to hold onto a prospective job. He would often bring his top body man out to give a professional opinion on what needed to be done. He might also take a prospect into the shop and show him or her some jobs in progress and a couple of recently competed jobs. If that didn’t close the deal, he had one final strategy. He would have his body man come out and actually buff out a scratch or two or make some minor repair right on the spot. Then he’d have the customer touch a buffed out area to feel how smooth the surface had become. He said when a customer would see how serious he was about going the extra mile, they would almost always let his shop do the job.
26 AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Tom Franklin has been a shop sales and marketing consultant for fifty years. He has written numerous books and provides marketing solutions and services for many businesses. He can be reached at (323) 871-6862 or at email@example.com. See Tom’s columns at www.autobodynews.com under Columnists > Franklin
It occurred to me that another reason for his show-and-tell success with some of these people is the fact that nationally, about 28 million people have some sort of hearing loss. And there are probably another million or so who have English as a second language. And then there is the possibility that the prospective customer’s mind is distracted. Perhaps he or she is still emotionally tied up in recalling the accident. It’s possible that many estimators mistakenly think that their prospective customers have heard what they were saying. And even if they did hear it, how many might not have understood what they heard? My Caribbean friend’s show and tell – and possibly touch – approach to selling the job could have somehow bypassed these comprehension limitations and reached the prospective customer on a different level. There are several major ways people receive and process informa-
tion: the usual auditory method of listening, plus visual-verbal (reading words), visual non-verbal (simply seeing an object), and tactile (also called kinesthetic). Kinesthetic people mostly respond to real-life situations or objects they are able to touch and feel. These people perceive best by experiencing or doing things. It would seem some other industries make use of this information. Miller & Associates (Dallas, Texas) excels as a premier provider of sales, customer service, and support to the foodservice equipment industry. They say they view themselves as the customer’s best conduit for information. They say they take a tactile approach to sales by encouraging touching every channel in which equipment is supplied. Through this kind of education and after-the-sale service they say they thrive with end-users like schools, chains, and institutions.
A visual and tactile approach has also been used to improve driving skills. Usually we steer a car using mainly visual information to perceive the road’s shape and bends. One professional driving school went beyond this usual approach and developed a driving simulator with visual and/or tactile information guides. These were used to virtually present the drivers’ lateral position and to enhance their steering performance. The tactile guide improved driving accuracy more than the visual guide, proving that the tactile information of the virtual position of a car is the more useful for assisting and improving a driver’s performance. The estimator doesn’t have to get into these technical details on why a prospective customer will respond better to a visual and/or tactile presentation than to a predominantly talking approach. Just knowing it is possible to have this alternative to the usual estimate delivery should improve closing results. And there should be some satisfaction in knowing the prospect won’t be turned off by distrust of what he or she thinks may just be exaggerated sales pitches and phony promises.
Continued from Page 24
Patent Law Change
OEM replacement part is the standard Frayer said NSF uses OEM replacement parts – rather than those originally sold on the vehicle – as the standard because it has found examples of variation between OEM replacement parts and the original parts. He cited an example of bumper absorbers for a Ford Mustang. “What we found was there was a huge difference between the OE part and the OE service part,” Frayer said. “It’s obviously a change made by the manufacturer. The vehicle was introduced with one set of requirements for the absorber, and then they changed to a different set (of requirements). Our thinking is that, generally speaking, the OE service part represents what the manufacturer’s latest thinking is as to what is needed for that vehicle.” Frayer said NSF has not received a single verified complaint about a certified part. “We’ve had three complaints to date that I’ve been made aware of,” Frayer said. “One complaint was due to some shipping damage. One was a part
that was actually shipped to the body shop as a certified part but as it turned out it was not a certified part. And the third one was a part that reportedly did not fit the application. We were not able to get the part back. But through some pictures that we received, we were able to verify the lot number of the part. We acquired another part from that same lot, put it on a vehicle and verified that it did fit. So we were not able to verify that there was a problem with that part.” Frayer said anyone with concerns about a NSF-certified part can notify him directly through NSF’s website (www.nsf.org), or “there should be some indication on the part or packaging itself who you would contact relative to a complaint.” Frayer said the problem of shops receiving a non-certified part when a certified part was ordered is something NSF’s parts distributor certification program is designed to address. Separate from the parts certification program, the distributor certification was launched last year. Three companies – LKQ Corporation, PartsChannel, and most recently Michigan-based Micro Platers and Paint – have earned the NSF distributor certification, and Frayer said about a half-dozen other
distributors are in “various stages of discussion with NSF regarding getting certified.” A certified distributor can sell any parts, whether those parts are certified (by NSF or CAPA) or not. A distributor can be certified, however, only if it (among other requirements) picks up return parts from customers within two business days (for customers serviced daily); has a system of tracking returned parts confirmed to be defective; evaluates on a case-by-case basis reimbursement of a shop for labor associated with the sale of a defective part; and has a tracking and recall procedure to support a manufacturer’s recall of safety-related parts (hoods, lights, radiator supports and bumper parts). One of the keys to the distributor certification program, Frayer said, is ensuring that distributors have a system in place to ensure that a non-certified part is not substituted when a certified part is ordered.
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(818) 778-2090 FAX www.autobodynews.com | AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 27
+ 28 AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
The Honda and Acura Dealers Listed Here are HO N DA CA LI FO R N I A
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www.autobodynews.com | AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 29
Service, Service, Diagnostic D Diiagnostic and an d Mechanical M eec ch aniccal al NEWS nd Mec Mech ech hanical ca
GM to Recall 413,418 Cruzes Made in 2011 and 2012 GM says it will recall a total of 413,418 Chevrolet Cruze cars in the U.S. from the 2011 and 2012 model years to fix a problem that could lead to an accumulation of automotive fluids in the engine compartment. It’s the car’s fifth recall in the past two years. The company said fires can break out during engine oil change procedures. Oil spilling or dripping onto hot parts of the engine, exhaust-system or the engine shield could cause the shield to ignite and fire could spread in the engine area. The company knows of 30 fires caused by the problem, but no injuries have been reported, spokesman Alan Adler said. Flames engulfed and destroyed cars in two cases reported to federal safety officials. GM said it will modify engine shields under the vehicles to prevent fluids from being trapped. GM is notifying owners about the repairs, which are free and should take about 30 minutes.
Isuzu Recalls Rodeo Sport, Amigo SUVs for Rust Risk
More than 11,000 Isuzu SUVs are being recalled because parts in the rear suspension can rust and break away from the frame. The recall affects Amigo SUVs from the 1998 to 2001 model years and Rodeo Sport SUVs sold as 2001 and 2002 models, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in documents posted on its website. Isuzu said the rear suspension link brackets can rust and become detached from the frame. The problem can hurt the vehicle’s handling and cause a crash, but it was unclear if there have been any wrecks or injuries. The recall covers SUVs sold or registered in 21 states and Washington, D.C. Those are places where salt is used to clear the roads. Salt can cause metal to rust.
CALIFORNIA • NEVADA • ARIZONA
Honda Recalls 172,200 US Vehicles for Faulty Doors
Honda is recalling 172,200 small SUVs and cars in the U.S. because the doors may not close. The recall affects 166,000 CRV SUVs from the 2012 model year and 6,200 Acura ILX small luxury cars from the 2013 model year. Honda says that if the inside driver or passenger door handles are used at the same time as the power or manual door locks, the inner door latch may not work. This means a door may not latch, or it could latch and open when the locks are used. The company says no crashes injuries have been reported because of the problem. Honda says dealers will inspect the cars and fix them if needed. Owners should get letters from the company starting in mid-August
Audi Recalls 13,000 Q5 Crossovers for Faulty Glass
Volkswagen, the corporate parent of Audi, will recall over 13,000 Q5 crossovers because the front glass panel on its panoramic sunroof may shatter in extremely cold temperatures. In a filing posted to the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, VW said it was made aware of the problem last winter by dealers who reported that the front glass panel on some Q5s had broken. Subsequent laboratory testing of the sunroof panels at temperatures as low as -40 indicated that the glass on some units might separate from the surrounding frame, potentially causing the glass to shatter. If the glass were to break with the vehicle in motion, the glass could injure passengers and cause a potentially hazardous distraction for the driver, the automaker said. On June 20, VW decided to conduct a recall. Andrew Lipman, an Audi spokesman, wrote in an e-mail that there were no known accidents or injuries attributable to the defect. VW said that beginning in early August, dealers would replace the front glass panel on the affected vehicles.
30 AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Ford Recalls 2013 Escapes for Engine Fire Danger, Previously Carpet Potentially Interfering with Braking Ford Motor Co. is telling owners of one version of the brand-new Ford Escape not to drive the SUVs until dealers can fix fuel lines that can crack and spill gasoline, causing engine fires. The company issued the unusual warning on July 19 and said it is recalling 2013 Escapes equipped with 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines. Dealers will pick up the Escapes and drop off a loaner car that customers can use until the repairs are finished. The company is hoping to ship parts and get all the SUVs repaired in the next two weeks. Ford says it has three reports of fires: two at the factory and one while a customer was driving an Escape. No one has been injured. The recall affects 11,500 Escapes in the U.S. and Canada. Only 4,800 have been sold to customers. The rest are on dealer lots and will be fixed before they are sold, spokeswoman
Marcey Zwiebel said. “We are obviously taking very quick action in the interest of our customers’ safety,” she said. Escapes powered by other engines are not affected, nor are other Ford models with 1.6-liter engines, Zwiebel said. This is the second recall of the redesigned Escape, which went on sale in June. On July 14, the company said it would recall more than 10,000 Escapes to fix carpet padding that could interfere with braking. The new version of the SUV is among Ford’s top-selling vehicles. People bought 28,500 Escapes last month, up 28 percent from June 2011. Ford says owners should call dealers to get the problem fixed. If parts aren’t available, dealers will drop off loaner cars for use until the repairs can be made. Once the parts arrive, it will take less than an hour for technicians to replace the fuel lines, Zwiebel said.
Lexus is Latest in Toyota Pedal Entrapment Recall
The long, nagging problem of reports of unintended acceleration and sticky pedals just won’t go away for Toyota Motor Corp. The Japanese automaker expanded its 2009 recall of vehicles for pedal entrapment to include 154,000 model year 2010 RX 350 and RX 450h (hybrid) SUVs from its Lexus luxury line, the first new recall for the issue since early 2011. The automaker told National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it is still seeking a fix for the Lexus vehicles. “We are aware of 12 reports of accidents and two reports of minor injuries that may have resulted from this condition,” Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said. This is the third expansion of the recall. Toyota has now recalled more than 7 million vehicles to address the issue since November 2009, when it first recalled 4.5 million vehicles. In total, Toyota recalled more than 10 million vehicles to address trapped pedals and sticky accelerator pedals. NHTSA said it was urging “consumers impacted by the recall to immediately remove the floor mat and
have their vehicles serviced promptly.” The government safety agency said it approached Toyota regarding this most recent condition in May, “after the agency observed an increase in consumer complaints and other reports regarding pedal entrapment in these vehicles. When Toyota confirmed last week it had received a significant volume of complaints on the same issue, NHTSA asked the manufacturer to conduct a recall.” Toyota said, “The remedy plan is under development, but will involve modification or replacement of the accelerator pedal and replacement of any Toyota-designed all-weather floor mat not specified for the vehicle.” The 2009 recall initially covered 2004-10 models because the accelerator pedal can get stuck wide open by an unsecured or incompatible floor mat. That remedy was different than the November 2009 entrapment recall, so if both versions of pedal entrapment are counted, Toyota has recalled 7.8 million vehicles. The government already has imposed fines of nearly $49 million on Toyota for failing to conduct three separate recall campaigns in a timely manner.
Problem on the IN-Side with Gonzo Weaver
The tow truck came around the corner of my shop with a 2003 Focus strapped down on the bed. It’s Stacey’s daughter’s car. Stacey is the office manager at the body shop just down the street from my shop. Her daughter’s little Ford had called it quits at a stop sign for a trip on the back of a tow truck. Now it was up to me to find out what’s going on. The tow driver brought the keys in to Katie (my daughter and office manager), she had already talked to Stacey and had the work order filled out. Katie asked the tow driver, “Where did you drop it at? Stacey said it won’t start.” “It started great for me,” the tow driver said, “I put it along the side of the building for ya.” I found the car right where he left it and I’ll have to admit, it did start up, but I wouldn’t call it great. I made it into the service bay with it bucking, jerking, and coughing like
This is a new story by Scott “Gonzo” Weaver as posted on his website, www.gonzostoolbox.com. Gonzo has been serving the Tulsa area at Superior Auto Electric for over 27 years. See his book “Hey Look! I Found The Loose Nut”, which provides a Good Laugh for Mechanics of Any Age. The book is available at amazon.com. Contact Gonzo at Gonzosae@aol.com.
crazy, along with a terrible rotten egg smell coming from each end of the car. The service light was on so I thought I would start with finding out what trouble codes were stored. P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304, and P0316 - all misfire codes. It’s a good thing it didn’t have any more cylinders because I’d bet it would have added them onto its list of trouble codes too. Rather than get into looking at the actual data logger section of the IDS, I figured I’ll open the hood and see what’s going on. The car has the 2.0 liter ZETEC engine under the hood. It’s a fairly easy engine to pull the spark plugs on so I thought I would at least take a look at them. The odometer shows 184,000 miles on the little pavement pounder, so I was thinking the worst, that many miles… hey, anything is possible. As I pulled the first sparkplug boot off, a splash of coolant
came out of the cavity. Well, that’s a little different, didn’t quite expect that. I pulled #2, same thing. Then the next one, again more coolant, and only the very tops of the spark plugs was sticking out. There were no signs of any kind of leaks anywhere on the engine, in fact, the reservoir was full and the engine showed no outward signs of overheating. It just didn’t make any sense how all this coolant could end up in there. I blew all the coolant out, dried all the plug wires off, and re-installed them. After giving the key a turn the little engine came back to life and purred like new. Amazing, simply amazing how well it ran considering how badly it came into the shop. But within 15 minutes or so the engine started to act up again. It coughed and chugged, shucked and stuttered, and then it finally died. Now it won’t restart, what the? What’s going on here? Time to check a little further… I pulled #1 spark plug. It was bone dry, actually “very dry” and “very hot.” Exhaust gasses, I’ll bet. I let the car sit for about another 15 minutes and tried it again. A quick turn of the key and it ran like new just as before, but this time I was ready for it. I had it hooked up to the scanner and checked out the O2 sensor readings. It was just as I suspected. The front O2 readings were a complete mess. There was no pretty oscillating wave going up and down on the screen, more like a jagged old saw blade with half its teeth missing. I watched the scope patterns for several minutes, soon the engine started to cough and die just as it did before. I checked the compression this time. Well over 200 PSI, yikes! Looks like all those misfires added up to a lot of raw gas going into the converter. With all the plugs firing now the converter was only getting even more cooked than before. I filled Katie in on everything I had found. She can handle it from here. I was expecting Katie to come out and tell me to order a converter, or send it to the exhaust shop, or drop what I’m doing because it was going to be more than she wanted to spend
on it… something like that, but that didn’t happen. Somehow the word “IN” had more meaning to it than originally intended. Before I knew it a call came from Stacey, she was going to have a new engine installed. Huh? I didn’t know I was putting a motor in. think I missed something here. So how in the world did a clogged converter turn into a new engine? It was the very first thing Katie had told Stacey. Katie said to her, “He found coolant in the spark plug area.” Even though she mentioned that I blew off all the coolant that was on the sparkplugs, somehow it got turned into a leaking head gasket. (I think the guys at the body shop were helping out with the diagnostics.) It took the better part of the afternoon to get the whole thing straightened out. Katie asked Stacey how the coolant ended up in the spark plug area. It was from a coolant hose that had split about two weeks earlier. Stacey’s daughter had someone change the hose for her, but they never thought about looking for any coolant getting trapped on top of the engine. My guess is it probably took a day or so before it ever started to miss. About then the service light would have come on and the real trouble would have started to build. I’ll bet she drove around with it misfiring for a week or so before she told her mom how bad it was. Katie explained the mix-up to me and how everyone had the wrong idea about the engine’s condition. I can’t blame anyone for all of this. In most cases, when someone hears there is coolant “in” the engine they assume it’s a bad deal and most likely in the combustion chamber causing major problems. Well, in this case, it was only “ON” the engine and not “IN” the engine. A new converter installed and everything is back “IN” great shape again. I’ve got to make a point of explaining things a little better next time. My bad, I made the assumption that everyone knew what I meant See The IN-Side, Page 54
www.autobodynews.com | AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 31
Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collision Repair is an Art Form at Uptown Body & Fender with Ed Attanasio
When people see the facility at Uptown Body & Fender in Oakland, CA, for the very first time, they’re usually pleased, confused and definitely intrigued simultaneously. “This is a body shop?” they ask. “It looks like an
Co-Owners Lisandro Allendre (left) and Giovanna Tanzillo have owned and operated Uptown Body & Fender for two decades
as 12-15 per month, in some cases. Co-Owners Lisandro Allendre and Giovanna Tanzillo started Uptown Body & Fender to create a place where its customers could come and “forget why they are here,” according to Tanzillo. Both owners are servicefocused and well aware of the fact that the customer experience is just as vital as the repair, Allendre explained, but their connection to the community is just as important. “We’re very concerned about doing the highest quality of repairs we can, but in the end, we also value our role in this neighborhood,” Tanzillo said. “Over the years, we’ve been able to help so many people by loaning our facility to non-profits and by encouraging local artists to display their works here. As a result, we’ve become a part of the creative scene here in Oakland. We believe in doing more than repairing cars, because we want to be more than just a body shop and valuable to the community.” The Uptown district is a formerly depressed industrial area in Oakland that has recently undergone a lot of changes and today is a Mecca for new restaurants, cafes, performance spaces and art galleries. Right smack in the middle of it all, Uptown Body & Fender has become an integral part of this burgeoning scene, Tanzillo explained.
art gallery or a really nice coffee house!” they say. Some have called Uptown Body & Fender the “antibody shop” and one magazine understated it as “out of the ordinary.” All of the above are accurate descriptions of this amazing shop that pipes in classical music, features a chic interior design and has an espresso/tea bar for its customers and visitors. Since it opened its doors in 1992, Uptown Body & Fender has been fixing cars Uptown’s amazing blue and gold “Car-Beast” contains all and providing its facility to of the shop’s offices and has been lauded in several publilocal non-profit and arts cations for its sleek and unique look community organizations for fundraisers, showings, performances “It’s an exciting time for this area, and meetings. If you check Uptown’s because it’s going through changes monthly schedule by signing up for and in a good way. We have a place their email newsletter online at that stores classic cars right next to us www.uptownbody.com, you’ll find and nine art galleries around us. We events such as the First Friday Art love being here, because every day is Murmur, silent auctions, jazz perdifferent and the people we encounter formances and much more—as many are wonderful, vibrant and creative in-
32 AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
dividuals and we feed on that type of energy.” The body shop’s sleek and original design was created by Oakland’s Ace Architects, and it’s been praised in publications such as World Architecture News and San Francisco Chronicle
piece of Uptown’s shop and surely a conversation starter for first-time customers coming through the door. Tanzillo started her career in collision as a bookkeeper for an auto body shop in downtown Oakland in 1978. Her late husband at the time was in the insurance business, so he helped her to get a job at a busy shop and find relief from their four teenage children, she said. After learning the business while working there, Tanzillo started Uptown Body & Fender with her business partner Lisandro Allendre 20 years ago. He is a body man with more The interior of the “Car-Beast” looks more like a high-end than 50 years of experience café than a body shop office and together they’re a formagazine. An enclosure that contains midable team. She runs the office, inall of the shop’s offices is called the teracting with customers and making “Car-Beast.” It’s a steel enclosure that them comfortable about the repair looks like a truck that married a tank. process, while he operates as the This amazing structure is the centerSee Uptown Body & Fender, Page 35
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www.autobodynews.com | AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 33
Fatality in 2003 Leads to Airbag and Safety Laws
More Details on New CA AB 1854 Safety Law
In 2003, a young San Diego man was killed when the lifesaving air bag in his truck failed to deploy. It was later discovered the air bag wasn't even installed. Tragically, as Bobby Ellsworth's grieving father later found out, the auto body shop that had bought the truck from a salvage yard had rewired the system to show it worked and also stuffed the compartment with newspapers and glued it shut to save money and avoid detection. Robert Ellsworth’s grief was compounded when he later learned that there was no law against what the auto body shop had done, so prosecutors were virtually helpless to pursue criminal charges. That will change Jan. 1, thanks in part to the San Diego County resident’s efforts. Gov. Jerry Brown on July 13 signed legislation championed by Ellsworth that makes it a crime to tamper with a vehicle’s air bag and other safety features such as seat belts. “I’m elated,” Ellsworth said. “This is another step to achieving the goal of safety.” Ellsworth eventually won a civil judgment against the body shop but never collected the $15 million award because the owner died shortly thereafter.
“It was never about the money. Money doesn’t replace lives,” Ellsworth said. “It was for the shock amount to send a message and so the law could be changed.” Julia Haus, a San Diego attorney who represented Ellsworth, said in a statement that research suggests “this happens all of the time.” Bobby Ellsworth, then 18, was a passenger in the truck when it was involved in a head-on crash on Dehesa Road near El Cajon. The truck had been involved in a previous wreck and the air bags had deployed. The bags were supposed to have been replaced. “No one knew the air bags were missing,” Robert Ellsworth said. Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica, carried the bill. “The deceitful practice of some unscrupulous vehicle repairers to mask flaws in vehicle safety systems has potentially life threatening consequences for unsuspecting motorists,” Brownley said in a statement. Assembly Bill 1854 classifies the tampering as a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and a one-year prison sentence. Ellsworth said he hopes to someday increase the penalties even more. “To me, it’s still not enough.”
Existing law makes it a misdemeanor for any person to install or reinstall for compensation or distribute or sell any previously deployed air bag that is part of an inflatable restraint system if the person knows that the air bag has been previously deployed. This bill would also make it a misdemeanor for a person, for compensation, to install, reinstall, rewire, tamper with, alter, or modify a vehicle’s computer system or supplemental restraint system, including, but not limited to, the supplemental restraint system’s onboard system performance indicators, so that it falsely indicates the supplemental restraint system is in proper working order, and for a person to knowingly distribute or sell a previously deployed air bag or component that will no longer meet the original equipment manufacturing form or function for proper operation. Because this bill would expand the definition of an existing crime, it would impose a state-mandated local program. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason. SECTION 1. Section 27317 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read: 27317. A person who installs, reinstalls, rewires, tampers with, alters, or
modifies for compensation, a vehicle’s computer system or supplemental restraint system, including, but not limited to, the supplemental restraint system’s on-board system performance indicators, so that it falsely indicates the supplemental restraint system is in proper working order, or who knowingly distributes or sells a previously deployed air bag or previously deployed air bag component that will no longer meet the original equipment manufacturing form or function for proper operation, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to five thousand dollars($5,000) or by imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year, or by both the fine and imprisonment. SEC. 2. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
In a press statement released to media in New Zealand, PartsTrader announced that it has entered into a “locked-in five year agreement” with “one of the largest auto insurers in the U.S.” While the release did not name the insurer that it signed the contract with, the New Zealand based PartsTrader has been working with State Farm in the U.S. to test its online parts bidding system for several months now. In the statement, the company said that it has “just completed a four-state pilot of its online trading platform” in the U.S. A New Zealand news source reported PartsTrader winning a fiveyear contract with State Farm to introduce its online parts trading platform to U.S. collision repairers by early next year. The online news source said PartsTrader would add about 45 employees in New Zealand and the U.S. as a result of the deal and called the U.S. contract its “first big overseas break, though its value will depend on the volume of car parts ordered.” PartsTrader US LLC Chief Executive Rob Cooper said, “We have entered the U.S. market with a
locked-in five year agreement. If successful, the business will generate a healthy profit and most of it will flow back to our NZ investors,” Cooper said. PartsTrader said that it “fended off an international field of contenders” to win the contract in the U.S. which is “modeled on the platform [that] has operated in New Zealand since 2004.” The company said that last year in New Zealand alone, vehicle parts valued at more than $70 million were obtained through the PartsTrader platform, which is used by most of the major insurers and some 80 percent of collision repair shops in New Zealand. In late June, PartsTrader also announced it hired three industry leaders to its management team. Dale Sailer, David Merrell and Troy Holm will lead the company’s efforts in implementing the PartsTrader system in the collision repair and collision parts markets. Sailer will serve as the company’s Vice President of Business Development. Merrell joins the company as its National Account Director and Holm is its first Field Relations Manager.
PartsTrader LLC announced that it has formed an industry advisory council with the stated purpose of providing the platform’s two primary user groups (repairers and parts suppliers) with the “opportunity to provide timely and critical feedback on the platform in order to maximize the value created by the platform.” “Creating an industry advisory council is both necessary and appropriate” said Rob Cooper, PartsTrader Chief Executive Officer. “While we spoke with many collision repairers and parts suppliers during our first two years of research and initial building of our U.S. product offering, it is only through an ongoing, open engagement with our primary customer groups that we can ensure our product truly meets the needs of those using it.” The PartsTrader Advisory Council will consist of representatives from each user community. The initial group will include four to five repair facility advocates, with both multi-shop operators and single location operators being represented. Likewise, the group will include five to six supplier advocates, with OEM, aftermarket and recycled each being
represented. The inaugural group will include Michael Quinn, Collision Industry Conference (CIC) Chairman (Tucson, AZ); Steve Tomaszewski of Alpine Collision Centre (Grand Rapids, MI); Michael LeVasseur of Keenan Autobody (Clifton Heights, PA); Lou DiLisio of Automotive Industry Consulting (Mt. Kisco, NY); Amber Elenbaas of Pete’s Auto Parts (Jenison, MI), and Christopher Northup of General Distribution Consultants (Glendora, CA). All of these individuals are active in various industry associations and advocacy groups. “We were very careful in choosing who to invite to participate in this initial group,” said Dale Sailer, PartsTrader Vice President of Business Development. “It was critical that we assemble a group of individuals who will not be shy about expressing their opinions and are willing to hold us accountable for our stated commitments to the industry, while also being forward thinking and business savvy. We think we’ve put together a group that will be very demanding of PartsTrader on behalf of their peers, to the ultimate benefit of both user groups.”
PartsTrader Announces 5-Year Deal with “One of the Largest U.S. Auto Insurers”; Adds 3 New Managers
34 AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
PartsTrader Forms Industry Advisory Council
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Uptown Body & Fender
shop’s production manager, overseeing the repair of approximately 200 cars monthly. “Lisandro and I met while working at Downtown Auto Body and that’s where I learned the business,” Tanzillo explained. “I started out writing estimates and pretty soon the customers thought I was one of the owners. When we left to start our own shop, people asked us, ‘Where are you going?’ I told them there’s only one place to go from Downtown and that’s Uptown!” The shop has received a ton of business by donating their beautiful facility to non-profit organizations, but that’s not why they do it, Tanzillo said. “By allowing non-profits, other community groups and the local art community access to our facility, it definitely creates goodwill and a lot of people who would never know about our shop come here for art shows and fundraisers. We don’t even need to advertise anymore, because people find out about us through these events and through our ongoing involvement
in everything around us.” Karen Sternstein with the Oakland School for the Arts holds an annual fundraiser at Uptown Body & Fender. Without the shop’s facility, her organization’s event might not take place every year, she said. “Giovanna dropped out from heaven to help us. They saved us at least $1,500, which is huge for a non-profit operating on a small budget. I’ve also been to other events held at Uptown Body & Fender, and each time it’s a professionally run operation. These people are special, because they’re not just all about the money. It’s refreshing to know that folks like Giovanna and Lisandro are here in Oakland to give, instead of just taking—like so many companies do.”
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ASA-Michigan Members and Vendors Discuss State Farm’s PartsTrader Pilot Program Automotive Service Association (ASA) members and related collision industry vendors in the Michigan area were recently invited recently by ASA-Michigan, an ASAaffiliated association, to attend a “facts to date” presentation and member discussion centering around the State Farm electronic parts ordering application. The pilot is currently taking place in Grand Rapids, MI.; Charlotte, N.C.; Birmingham, AL.; and Tucson, AZ. Organized by Ray Fisher, AAM, president of ASA-Michigan, the June 28 meeting was held in Lansing, MI., at the Lansing Community College. ASA-Michigan provided the forum to present the facts to date about the pilot, along with clear statements of concern from both repairers and suppliers in the Michigan area and around the United States. “Anytime there is a ‘gamechanging’ situation – as this pilot is for the industry – it is imperative that we inform the industry with factual information, allow time to digest that information and work together to provide solutions, on behalf of the membership and potential members. During these challenging economic
times we must focus on helping repair facilities generate revenue,” said Fisher. During the four-hour meeting, Denise Caspersen, ASA collision division manager, spoke about the pilot with an audience of nearly 100 preregistered ASA members, vehicle manufacturers, staff representatives of the Michigan Auto Dealers Association and vendors. Audience members were encouraged to express their concerns, ask for clarifications to specific questions and provide additional questions to be supplied to State Farm and PartsTrader, the company providing the electronic parts ordering application. Main concerns continue to be how this application, as introduced by State Farm, will affect profitability, the unknown impacts on the relationships between shops and suppliers, and the overall current “climate” between repairers and insurers. “The opportunity for ASA to participate in a discussion with ASA members and vendors in the pilot area of Grand Rapids, MI. is invaluable in understanding the overall climate impression around the State Farm pilot,” said Caspersen.
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Avery attempted some comic relief by joking that he had a button made up saying, “I Love My Job, I Love My Job, I Love My Job,” but questions and comments from approximately 20 members of the audience made it clear that while electronic parts ordering was understood and largely positive, there was significant apprehension about insurance companies intervening and/or controlling the process. Avery said misinformation about the program is widespread, and much of the concern is based on speculation and rumors from individuals who have not tried the product. “We only have 158 stores on the pilot that are actually using the program,” Avery said. “So there’s a lot of people out there that are starving for information. That information comes from a variety of sources. It comes from your friends, it comes from associations, it comes from me, perhaps in the press, and of course press releases and blogs.” “We give [repair centers] $3 billion to purchase parts annually,” Avery said. “We handle 35,000 claims per day. We are a mutual company, which is owned by the policyholders. We have a moral and legal obligation to make sure that money is spent in a prudent manner. We are not interested in short-term gain for our customers. We are interested long term for our customers.” Avery said that State Farm did not expect a dramatic decrease in cost of repair or dramatic changes in cycle time, “but it probably will happen.” He said that State Farm is not a company that routinely asks repairers for discounts on repairs. “We did not expect open arms,” Avery said. “We know change causes ripples. We know we are getting into your business. However, in a previous test with OEConnection, we maintained the repair facilities’ parts margin. We know how important that is.” He added that “there is no standard platform for parts, and we think it will benefit the insured.” Avery said that after putting out a request for proposal and selecting PartsTrader, they spent over a year developing the format. “We asked repairers, dealers and suppliers to help us build this tool, and they did. We just concluded our feedback phase last week with repairers and are evaluating that now.” He also stressed what the insurer
did not expect: • “We didn’t expect e-mails, calls and faxes with misleading information.” • “We didn’t expect press releases mentioning non-Select Service repairers who we didn’t have contact with.” • “We didn’t expect to lose 17 facilities in one pilot area who never tried [PartsTrader].” • “We didn’t expect statements from Select Service shops that never used [PartsTrader].” Avery emphasized that State Farm is still in pilot mode, concluded the feedback phase from all the pilot shops during the week of July 9–13 and are now in an evaluation phase. Avery concluded his presentation by saying, “It boils down to trust. Those who repair cars make a decision about who they want to partner with. State Farm is driven by the customer. Those who fight to maintain the status quo will become irrelevant fast. I don’t think we were number one for 90 years by beating up our business partners.” “Good businessmen and women need to speculate,” Avery said at one point. “They need to look forward to determine what the next step is. What’s dangerous is to speculate on faulty information, or misinformation.” PartsTrader CEO Cooper followed Avery with a brief presentation showing how the program works. He said he understood the skepticism of the industry, but wanted to assure repairers that PartsTrader’s interests were in the right place. “We’re 100 percent committed to making this product the best for parts procurement, and making it a win for repairers,” said Cooper. Cooper then ran through a demonstration of the product and commented specifically that: • The suppliers in the system are in there because the repairer invited them to join. • They have integrated with the three information providers (CCC, Mitchell, Audatex). The files they get from them are EMS, but they convert them to BMS. Therefore, they’re not seeing any information that is not directly applicable to parts. “The two functions of PartsTrader are parts sourcing and ordering,” said Cooper. “You can do direct order now if you want, but if you do have time, the expectation is that you’ll get quotes. But it’s completely under the repairer’s control.” About 20 repairers, association leaders and consultants spent the next 90 minutes questioning and criticizing
36 AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
State Farm’s pilot program. None of them spoke in favor of the program. Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists, was the first person to address Avery and Cooper. He said other parts vendor companies chose to compete by providing a value proposition, and let the customers choose to use their service based on merits and value. He emphasized that the backlash against PartsTrader isn’t about the product so much as it is how it entered the market. “SCRS and our members aren’t opposed to [PartsTrader] for the sake of opposition. We don’t have an issue with electronic parts ordering, [our members] already do that. We believe there are a large number of solutions out there that already incorporate electronic parts ordering. We don’t oppose efficiency and process improvement… we don’t oppose innovation.” “What we do stand in opposition [to is] when insurers mandate solutions that don’t bring solutions to anyone other than themselves and the benefit isn’t derived or understandable by anyone other than the person mandating it,” he said. “For a company who has promoted open platforms in other areas,
who’s taken estimates from all three carriers, who’s worked hard to make sure the repairer had the opportunity to use whatever systems and processes and solutions they wanted, this is a step backwards for [State Farm]. “Companies here choose to compete: here’s our product and here’s what it does,” said Schulenburg. “The real issue here isn’t that PartsTrader has a solution; it’s about how it came to the market. The largest insurer hired [PartsTrader] to come up with a solution for them – that’s the problem. “We won’t refuse [the product] for the sake of refusing. We don’t oppose innovation. We have yet to see the benefit for repairers being forced to use it. When insurers mandate solutions where there is no tangible benefit for anyone but themselves, I think it’s a step back for State Farm. It appears you entered into the market knowing what you wanted to do regardless of repairer feedback. The need doesn’t seem to be there on the repairer side, but it does seem to be there for insurers.” Dave McBroom, president of the Florida Auto Body Collision Alliance and also representing the Florida Automobile Dealer Association, said See PartsTrader Pushback, Page 39
www.autobodynews.com | AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 37
Texas’ Collision Repair Schools—No Lone Reason for Success by David Brown
The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) is a Leesburg, Va.-based regulatory body whose sole purpose is to ensure quality auto body training and education. NATEF continuously evaluates courses and subjects being taught in collision repair schools. In Texas, there are 11 NATEF-accredited programs, comprising seven high school and four post-secondary programs that serve students and industry in the Lone Star State, reports Trish Serratore, president of NATEF, Three of the secondary programs are at Trimble Tech, Pasadena and San Benito high schools. All use the I-CAR curriculum. The Fort Worth Independent School District has its only Collision Repair Program at Trimble Tech High School, says its instructor, Roger Alfaro, ASE Master Certified in Collision Repair/Refinishing Technology and Estimating. Dr. Alma Charles directs all CTE programs at FWISD. Accredited by NATEF in NonStructural Analysis and Damage Repair (Body Components) Structural
Analysis and Damage Repair, Trimble Tech has had a body-repair program since 1956 and participates annually in SkillsUSA, Alfaro says. Students begin in their freshman year, so a program graduate completes 721 hours of instruction including those first two components, 300 and 260 hours respectively, and 161 hours for Refinishing Technology, guest speakers, field trips and potential-job visits.
Credit: Texas State Technical College
“I actually took the Auto Body class and graduated from Trimble Tech in 1983,” he says. He then attended Tarrant County College, earning an associate degree in Applied Science in Auto Body. After working in a shop for about 6.5 years, he was hired as the Collision
Repair instructor in January 1991. A 2011 graduate, Martin Urbina, was an intern at Frank Kent Cadillac in Fort Worth. “I graduated from high school and work to support my family,” he says. “I’m still going strong by also going to college to further my education. I believe those ethics were instilled in me by having majored in Body Shop.” Outside of Houston, Pasadena High School uses the I-CAR training curriculum for a twoyear course, articulated with nearby San Jacinto College South for five courses. In place since the 1960s, the program accepts about 20 juniors annually following intensive vetting, explains Chad Phillips, the program instructor, an ASE Master Collision/Refinishing technician. “A six-week-long safety program is followed by education in automobile construction and instruction on correctly disassembling and reassembling a variety of cars. Next, students learn to weld using ICAR standards and train on vehicles provided through
donations from AYES, auto manufactures and San Jacinto College. This is followed by dent-repair practice on vehicles and donated panels from Toyota; then students prime and refinish their panels. “It’s a lot to complete in the first year along with the six ICAR modules, but we have to get them ready for potential internships,” Phillips says. Pasadena High School hosts three meetings a year for administrators, instructors and local auto dealerships to get together and evaluate the program and its current needs. Throughout the year, students work on portfolios preparing to interview in April as well as complete 24 hours of job shadowing. At this time, too, dealer/collision shop managers visit the school to interview qualified students for possible internship placement. Once placed, students will typically work a 40-hour week with a mentor during the summer between their junior and senior years. “When we return back to school, the intern, now a senior, goes to school a half of a day and then to work,” he says, noting that Pasadena places 5-7 students
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(11th); Advanced Collision Repair and Refinishing (12th); and, for qualified students, a practicum in Transportation, Distribution and Logistics class (12th). On completion of coursework, students can then test in two NA3SA/ASE areas for certification after completing the two-and-a-half year program: Painting and Refinishing and Nonstructural Analysis and Damage Repair. The San Benito program has been NATEF/AYES certified since 2005. “By participating in NATEF, we were able to restructure to define the necessary tasks needed by our local businesses to assist in providing Leslie Eaton grinding. Photo credit: Andrea Vasquez, qualified entry-level employSan Jacinto College marketing department ees,” Rendon explains. Simipares students as if they were already larly, through the AYES program, at a body shop or at the community students can participate in a 400-hour college, says Hector M. Rendon, di- paid internship during the summer of rector of Career and Technical Educa- their junior years. tion Programs. When students complete their inOne teacher provides the instructernships, they may work full-time or tion through three different classes for continue their education at the respecgrades 10 through 12. Courses include tive dealer manufacturer training cenPrinciples of Manufacturing (9th); Enters or college. A tool scholarship ergy, Power & Transportation Systems valued at $3,200 is made available at (10th); Collision Repair and Refinishing minimal cost. in collision internships annually. San Benito High School serves the San Benito community, adjacent to Mexico and separated by the Rio Grande River. In existence since 1978 at San Benito High, the school’s Collision Repair and Refinishing program pre-
Continued from Page 36
bluntly that the program is a failure. “I’ve spent extensive time with shops and vendors, some involved with the pilot program and some not, that are trying to make a decision on what to do,” he said. “I’ve spoken to many who have said it is inefficient, cumbersome, creates additional work, and requires additional personnel at shops and at vendors. Most are losing gross profit dollars. Some refuse to participate in the bidding process. Used parts bidding is a total disaster. This is not good for this industry.” Dan Hunsaker, owner of Dan’s Paint and Body in Tucson, AZ, introduced himself as a “Select Serviceaholic.” He said his shop was one of the first to pilot the program four months ago, and since then he has realized it doesn’t work. “I feel like the donkey that got dumped into the Kentucky Derby,” said Hunsaker. “It’s not efficient. How can I improve on a one-click efficiency? I currently electronically upload my parts order. I have my vendors. Everything is done instantaneously. Now I have to
wait for an hour and monitor the program. My big problem is that my parts guy is on that [PartsTrader] screen six hours a day off and on. That represents $50,000 a year out of my pocket to administer that program.” Hunsaker concluded by saying, “It’s sad that this has happened. In our industry, [State Farm] was the one insurer we could count on. Now, we don’t trust State Farm like we did.” Ron Reichen, a Select Service shop in Beaverton, OR, drew applause when he told Avery, “ I don’t go down to State Farm and say I need to evaluate your underwriting department because I see a lot inefficiencies. The reality is: Leave us alone. You guys sell insurance. Let us repair cars.” Rick Starbard, president of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts (AASP/ MA), as well as president of AASP National and owner of a Boston area body shop, said “When insurers meddle in relationships between us and our customers, they cause irreparable harm to our industry. This product is redundant. We can do everything shown today through our own management systems. We survive on parts profits. What we See PartsTrader Pushback, Page 51
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While Avery skillfully addressed most of the questions and comments about PartsTrader during the CIC meeting in San Antonio, Texas, he acknowledged State Farm did not yet have an answer for Caspersen as the insurer is still evaluating feedback recently obtained from the 158 shops in the pilot program. “I don’t know the best way to answer that yet because I don’t believe we have all (the shop feedback),” Avery said. “And we are implementing changes in the pilot that now puts me in a position of needing to go back and ask, ‘Now after that change, what are your results?’ So it’s sort of a fluid process. I’m not sure how to answer your question yet, although we will respond when I have an answer. But at this point I don’t have much.” Avery and PartsTrader CEO Rob Cooper each spent about 15 minutes at CIC explaining the reasoning behind the program and offering a demonstration of how it works. Avery said his company was surprised that 17 Select Service shops in the Birmingham, AL.,
market dropped the program without trying PartsTrader, a decision he felt could be have been based on some of the inaccurate or misleading information he’s seen in press releases and blogs. Cooper reiterated that shops control which vendors have an opportunity to offer price quotes, and that shops can even use the system to order parts directly, bypassing the quote process. He said now that vendors in some of the test markets are becoming familiar with the system, the minimum bid time will be reduced from one hour to 30 minutes. He said that—along with improvements in integration with the estimating and management systems—will improve the efficiency of using the PartsTrader system.
George Avery to chair CIC George Avery was named as the next chairman of the conference. He becomes the 16th person to chair the quarterly gatherings of shops, insurers, automakers and vendors, since its inception in 1984. His first meeting as chairman will be next January 23–25 in Palm Springs, Calif. In explaining the choice of Avery, which is made by those who have pre-
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viously chaired CIC, Jeff Hendler said he and the other past chairs look for someone who has the skills, experience and CIC involvement to “direct CIC in the fashion it needs to be directed.” He said such qualifications are more critical than the candidate’s employer as that can (and has, at times) changed during a chairman’s 2-year term. “We’re not choosing companies. We’re choosing people. And I think we’ve chosen a great one,” Hendler, who serves as the CIC administrator but was also its chairman in the late 1980s. Avery acknowledged the timing of the announcement at the same meeting at which he faced strong criticism for his company’s pilot test of PartsTrader made it somewhat of “an awkward day.” But he asked CIC attendees to keep in mind his reputation of being approachable and an active CIC participants. “I know we don’t all agree, but I’ll leave you with this: You can’t shake hands over the phone. And CIC is an opportunity where those with whom we disagree have a chance to shake hands. We have some spirited discourse, of course, which I think is healthy, but it’s something we work through together, and I hope you see
and will support my desire to move CIC forward as a place that everyone can come together and express their opinion and make the industry better.” Avery is not the first insurance company representative to chair CIC. Joe Landolfi holds that distinction, chairing the conference in 1995 and 1996 at which time he was an executive with Kemper Insurance. Roger Wright was working for CARSTAR when he began his term as CIC chairman in 2003, but joined AIG Insurance several months into his term. Avery will succeed Mike Quinn, who also had an employment change during his term, joining Caliber Collision Centers this year after selling the consolidator his chain of Arizonabased shops. Quinn will reside over his final CIC meeting as chairman on October 31 and November 1 in Las Vegas.
John Yoswick, is based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988, is also the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). He can be contacted by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
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Rhode Island Gov. Chafee Vetoes Auto Body Bill for Insurers Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee vetoed a bill that would have allowed auto body shops to sue insurers, citing the bill would have sent car insurance rates soaring in Rhode Island. The legislation called for setting standards for declaring a vehicle a total loss if the cost to repair the vehicle is less than 75 percent of the value of the vehicle; require an insurer to negotiate payment for auto body repairs in good faith; and allow private rights of action by auto body shops against insurance companies. Gov. Lincoln Chafee said in a news release, “No other state in the nation allows auto body shops to set repair prices outside of the marketplace, determine whether a vehicle should be totaled without the input of the consumer and the insurance company, or to be an outside third party now authorized to effect an existing insurance policy between a consumer and an insurance company.” He continued, “I believe this bill would hurt Rhode Island consumers by raising their auto insurance rates and impairing their existing contract agreements with their insurance companies.”
Earlier in June, the proposal to allow auto body shops to sue insurance companies that do not pay them what they believe they should be compensated for repairs generated a fiery, hour-long debate on the floor of the state House of Representatives. The bill ultimately passed the 75-member chamber on a vote of 38 in favor and 20 against. However, Governor Chafee vetoed the controversial bill approved by lawmakers that would have given auto body shops the right to sue auto insurance companies if negotiations do not lead to an “agreed price.” Supporters, including Rep. Stephen Ucci, a Johnston Democrat and the bill’s sponsor, repeated the mantra that the bill would “level the playing field” between local auto body shops and auto insurance companies and ultimately be good for Rhode Island drivers. But other lawmakers voiced concern that the proposal would only lead to higher auto insurance rates in Rhode Island, which already has among the highest rates in the nation. Rep. Robert Watson, R-East Greenwich, called the proposal “spe-
cial interest legislation” put together “on the fly.” “This is why we deserve criticism,” he said. “Nonsense like this plays out in the final days of the session. This is wrong.” A statement released by the Auto Body Association of Rhode Island (ABARI) said, “Though [Chafee’s] veto message states that he is concerned about the consumer, he clearly put the consumer and small business’s interests aside and bowed to the pressure of the real ‘special interest group’ —the billion-dollar insurance companies. Over 200 auto body repair shops have gone out of business in the State of Rhode Island in just the last decade. We’re in a crisis that hurts the consumer. This veto is just another example of why Rhode Island is considered one of the least friendly to small businesses in the nation. “ABARI has fought to pass laws that protect consumers and small business from insurers who care only about their bottom line. H-7782A was no different. Insurers always claim that rates will go up, regardless of the legislation’s substance, because it’s
the last scare tactic they have left. The truth is collision premiums have been declining in Rhode Island, the opposite of their certain predictions. “As we have for almost two decades, ABARI will be back next year to continue to expose the lies, reveal the truth, and fight to ensure that consumers receive a safe and quality repair, and that small businesses can thrive in the State of Rhode Island. We will continue to educate the consumer, the legislature and the Governor’s office on the unfair and deceptive practices used by insurers on a daily basis —practices that benefit only the insurers.” The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCIAA) applauded the Governor’s decision, calling it a victory for consumers. “Governor Chafee’s veto of H7782A represents the triumph of everyday Rhode Island consumers over well-connected political insiders,” the PCIAA stated. “The governor carefully considered the legislation and rejected this latest attempt by a group of body shops to further increase their revenues at the See Rhode Island Gov., Page 44
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SCRS Says PartsTrader Has Sparked Four New Industry Associations: UT, ID, AL, and TX According to Aaron Schulenburg, president of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists, concern over State Farm’s parts bidding program has caused a spike in their membership and prompted the formation of at least four new auto body associations. New associations have popped up in Utah, Idaho, Alabama and Texas. Though the banding together of shops is primarily a defensive action against
State Farm’s online parts bidding and ordering program through PartsTrader, Schulenburg said it was good to see more unification in the industry. “For that, I thank both State Farm and PartsTrader,” Schulenburg quipped. “I can tell you that I’ve had the pleasure of talking to a lot more repair shops that I haven’t had the opportunity to speak with before.”
Continued from Page 14
the aftermarket industry has developed a system for key coding and vehicle programming that the majority of vehicle manufacturers follow to ensure both the security of the vehicle as well as access to the independent repair industry. SB 750 would have interfered with the ability to have a vehicle serviced outside of the manufacturers’ network, and this, in turn, would create a potential hardship for
the consumer as well as create anticompetitive forces for the independent automotive repair industry. “SB 750 is eligible and may be brought up again by the Assembly, so CAWA will continue to remain vigilant in our lobbying and grassroots efforts to defeat this anti-consumer, anti-competitive measure,” stated Rodney K. Pierini, CAWA President & CEO. To view the full text of the California bill (Senate Bill 750), visit ASA’s legislative website at: www.TakingTheHill.com.
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Barrett-Jackson Wraps Up OC Auction with 400 Cars Sold The third annual Barrett-Jackson Orange County Auction concluded its June 22-24 run at the OC Fair & Event
1958 Chevy Corvette. Photo by Mark Robinson
seller of the event. Bidding on the SRT Viper surpassed $250,000, then a trip to the SRT Track Experience and tickets to Petit Le Mans were added, powering the car to the $300,000 mark. Proceeds from the sale will go to the Austin Hatcher Foundation, which helps families and children affected by pediatric cancer. The Viper, which debuted at the New York auto show in April, carries an 8.4-liter, 640-hp V10 combined with a sixspeed manual transmission. The newgeneration car made news with its traction and launch control, two firsts for the nameplate. It will arrive in
Center with $1 million increase in sales and more than 400 cars sold. Barrett-Jackson Auction Company, The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions, wrapped up its southern California automotive and lifestyle event by generating more than $14 million in sales of classics, muscle cars, hot rods, resto-mods, exotics and contemporary collectibles in front of a crowd of over 54,000. The first 2013 SRT Viper sold for $300,000. The final price made the Viper the top 1954 Ford F100. Photo by Mark Robinson
1956 Chevrolet Nomad. Photo by Mark Robinson
Linda University Children’s Hospital) 2012 Lotus Evora S Two Door Coupe - $200,000 (Sale benefitted the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund) 1970 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible - $154,000 “Southern California is without a doubt the car culture capital of the U.S.,” said Craig Jackson, Chairman and CEO, Barrett-Jackson. “The quality and variety of the vehicles we see here is astounding and the success we had here this year and every year is a testament to the large number of peo-
dealerships near the end of this year. In January, a 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 durability prototype sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, AZ for the same price of $300,000. This no doubt will add fuel to the Hatfield and McCoy-level battle between Ford and Chrysler customers. The three-day Barrett-Jackson event in Orange County featured more than 400 vehicles and was also enjoyed by millions across the country on the SPEED Channel, with 16 hours of live coverage. Sales figures exceeded last year’s numbers, fur- 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air. Photo by Mark Robinson ther bolstering this year’s trend of eco- ple who live and breathe the collector nomic improvement and growing car lifestyle in this region. We’re popularity for the Southern California proud to be a part of it.” lifestyle event. Barrett-Jackson continued to spotThe third Annual Orange County light and support a wide cross-section of Auction also brought in a large numlocal and national charities at the Orange County event. Over $1.1 million was raised for eight charity vehicles that crossed the auction block. Barrett-Jackson not only waives all fees and commissions on these charity offerings, but also promotes the charitable vehicles leading up to the auction to help create interest and awareness for 1968 American Motors AMX. Photo by Mark Robinson the respective charities. ber of new bidders with 66 percent Barrett-Jackson is currently achaving registered to bid at the event cepting consignment requests for the for the first time. Additionally, Barfifth annual Las Vegas Auction schedrett-Jackson saw some fantastic indi- uled Sept. 20-22, 2012. For more inforvidual sales, including the following mation, visit www.barrett-jackson.com. vehicles: 2013 SRT Viper Two Door Coupe - $300,000 (Sale benefitted the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer) 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 - $253,000 1965 Ford Ranchero Custom Pickup - $200,000 (Sale benefitted the Loma 1962 Austin-Healey. Photo by Mark Robinson
www.autobodynews.com | AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 43
Continued from Page 41
Rhode Island Gov.
expense of Rhode Island drivers. We applaud the governor for taking this important stand against special interest legislation and the politics-as-usual approach which fails to protect the people’s interests. “Residents in Rhode Island already pay among the highest auto repair bills in the nation, and H-7782A could have driven costs even higher
and possibly jeopardized driver safety by forcing vehicles that should have been totaled to be repaired. The bill would have ultimately provided a body shop a blank check to charge whatever it wanted and deprived insurers of the ability to negotiate a fair price by threat of litigation. No other state in America requires such a one-sided arrangement, and in the end, the consumers would be the ones to lose out. “This legislation was a dramatic overreach by the body shops. We hope this veto sends a strong message that
enough is enough. It is time to put an end to the body shops’ legislative agenda which has caused the average repair cost to accelerate at a rate more than twice the national average.” The American Insurance Association praised Gov. Chafee for vetoing “reckless auto body legislation.” Gary Henning, Northeast region vice president for the American Insurance Association (AIA), said: “AIA commends Gov. Chafee for vetoing H. 7782A, legislation which represented poor public policy that would have led to an
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explosion of litigation. No other state in the nation allows auto body shops to set non-negotiable rates and attempt to force them on third party payers under threat of litigation. Rhode Island is already one of the most expensive states in the nation for auto body repair and this bill would have made the problem even worse. “Governor Chafee stood with consumers by taking a stand against this bill. The governor’s veto protects policyholders from increased repair costs and increased litigation.”
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NHTSA Publishes Changes to Safety Guidelines
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently published amendments to the Highway Safety Program Guidelines for states. The proposed NHTSA Highway Safety Program Guidelines Amendments include recommendations for periodic motor vehicle inspection (PMVI). NHTSA’s proposal calls for every state to have a periodic vehicle inspection program and require vehicle owners to correct these conditions in order to reduce the number of accidents. According to the proposed guidelines, an inspection program would provide, at a minimum, that: Every vehicle registered in the state is inspected at the time of initial registration and on a periodic basis thereafter as determined by the state. The inspection is performed by competent personnel specifically trained to perform their duties and certified by the state. The inspection covers systems, subsystems and components having substantial relation to safe vehicle performance. Each inspection station maintains records in a form specified by the state.
America’s Top Auto Students Crowned at SkillsUSA Competition Held in Kansas City Hundreds of automotive students gathered in Kansas City, MO for a showdown for gold. Armed with their tool boxes and spray guns, they represented the top collision repair and automotive refinishing students from around the country. SkillsUSA returned to Kansas City on June 23-27, 2012 for its 48th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, a showcase of career and technical education students. Quality career and technical education was the centerpiece of the conference. More than 15,000 students, teachers, education leaders, and representatives from more than 1,100 national corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions participated in the event with 94 hands-on skill and leadership competitions. SkillsUSA organizes this event, and it is considered the single greatest day of industry volunteerism in America every year at an estimated cost of more than $35 million. Each SkillsUSA Championships contestant is a state-level gold medalist. When the dust cleared, four students claimed the gold medals, taking home the country’s top honors in their competitions, along with scholarships, prize money and new tools.
Automotive Refinishing Technology The automotive refinishing technology competition included surface preparation, spray gun operation, paint mixing, matching and applying, solving paint applications problems, determining finish defects, causes and cures, and utilizing safety precautions. The winners were: Spencer Cook (Gold) - High School, Mid-Coast School of Technology, Rockland, ME Derek Meehl (Gold) - Postsecondary, Saint Cloud Technical College, Saint Cloud, MN James Chesser (Silver) - High School, Lewis & Clark Career Center, Saint Charles, MO Aaron Dressler (Silver) - Postsecondary, Penn College of TechWilliamsport, PA Nathan Aguiar (Bronze) - High School, Diman RVTHS, Fall River, MA Jessica Crowley (Bronze) - Postsecondary, College of Western Idaho, Nampa, ID “I plan to initially work on street cars, but would really like to get into custom refinishing,” said Meehl. “I’d like to be like Chip Foose.” Collision Repair Technology In the collision repair competition, stu-
dents were tasked with straightening, welding, repairing a plastic bumper and conducting a structural analysis. There also was a written test on estimating and structural analysis, plus an ASE exam. The winners were: Jason Lucius (Gold) - High School, Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Tech Ctr - Sentinel, Tiffin, OH John Stanton (Gold) – Postsecondary, Kaskaskia College, Centralia, IL Jackson T Winslett (Silver) - High School, Alvin High School, Alvin, TX Michael Annis (Silver) – Postsecondary, Washburn Tech, Topeka, KS James Johnson (Bronze) - High School, Center of Applied Tech North, Severn, MD Owen Boyle (Bronze) - Postsecondary Penn College of Tech, Williamsport, PA Begun in 1967, the SkillsUSA Championships has grown from 54 competitors in three contests to more than 5,600 competitors in 94 handson skill and leadership contests this year. SkillsUSA adds contests to the SkillsUSA Championships to meet the demands of new and expanding occupations. SkillsUSA affiliated instructional programs represent 130 different occupational areas.
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Labor Enforcement Task Force Visits San Diego CAA Meeting by Melanie Anderson
The California Autobody Association, San Diego Chapter hosted the new Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) at its June 12 special meeting held at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse on Harbor Island in San Diego. The LETF is a coalition of state and federal agencies working together to fight the underground economy through vigorous education and enforcement. Agencies involved include: Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) for wage and hour issues; Employment Development Department (EDD) for payroll issues; Cal/OSHA for health and safety concerns; Board of Equalization (BOE) for sales tax issues; and the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) for licensing requirements. The goals of LETF include ensuring workers receive proper payment of wages and are provided a safe work environment, eliminating unfair business competition by leveling the playing field, and ensuring that the state of California receives all employment taxes, fees and penalties due from employers.
That’s a lot to cover in a two-hour meeting, and five speakers had to speak quickly to impart important information that all auto body and repair shops need to know. The five guest speakers were: Aston Ling, Cal/OSHA Senior Safety Engineer, Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety & Health; Mark Janatpour, Senior Deputy Labor C o m m i s s i o n e r, Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards EnAston Ling forcement; Gene Kendall, program representative with Bureau of Automotive Repair; Claudine DeBoer, tax compliance specialist, Board of Equalization; and Justin Gill, a tax auditor with the Employment Development Department. Formerly known as the Economic Employment Enforcement Coalition, which was founded in 2005, the LETF got a new name under the Brown Administration. The LETF focuses on “the lower paid workers, the lower
socio-economic employees who tend to be more frequently abused,” said Ling. The six industries that the task force targets are: construction, agriculture, garment shops, automotive, restaurants and car washes. Auto body shops beware: this task force could show up unannounced and issue citations for violations of any agency requirements. “When we go out to do a compliance check, we aren’t there just because,” said Janatpour. “Deputies will also ask where everything is posted. They don’t randomly choose a shop, they have done their research first.” The Department of Industrial Relations includes the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and the Bureau of Field Enforcement. Topics Janatpour covered included new legislation, minimum wage, overtime, meal periods, reporting time pay, record keeping, worker’s compensation insurance, labor codes and more. Effective January 1, 2012, new legislation makes it illegal for willful misclassification of an individual as an independent contractor to avoid employee status. This could result in stiff
penalties. Also effective January 1, employers must provide notice to employees hired after January 1, 2012 regarding rate of pay and basis of pay, including overtime. If the deduction statement does not include all required information, such as gross wages earned, total hours worked or piece rate units, the employer risks a $250 violation fine, or $1,000 fine for a Mark Janatpour second violation. In regards to record keeping, employers must also keep track of an estimator’s time, including commission or piece rate. The pay stub must also include the name of the business or entity doing business as a partnership. Every employer must secure workers’ compensation insurance. Whether it’s your full-time employee or a family member who only fills in for a minute to answer the phone, once a person performs any task, they are considered employees under workers’ compensation laws. Family members are excluded only if they are part own-
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ers in the business. Civil penalties range from $1,500 to $10,000 per employee or twice the premium the employer would have paid for in workers’ compensation premiums during the period the employer was uninsured (whichever is higher) may be assessed for failure to secure a valid workers’ compensation insurance policy. If your business does not have workers’ compensation insurance, all employees must stop working immediately. The state will issue a stop order on any businesses that fails to provide workers’ compensation insurance and any employee affected by work stoppage shall be Claudine DeBoer paid by the employer for time lost up to 10 days. Gene Kendall with the Bureau of Automotive Repair kept his presentation short, stating that his organization is looking for a valid license posting on the wall. Fines range from $500$5,000 for unlicensed facilities, plus the possibility of closure until the shop is licensed. The cost to renew a license is $200.
The third speaker of the evening, Aston Ling, who has been with Cal/OSHA for 18 years, stressed that shop owners should understand their rights, which include an informal conference, a pre-hearing conference and a formal appeal. He cautioned business owners not to ignore a letter from Cal/OSHA, “or someone will show up” and labor codes say they must show up unannounced. Mostly, Cal/OSHA makes visits due to a complaint, an accident, or a programmed inspection. He said that if a Cal/OSHA representative shows up, a shop owner should ask questions, take good notes, gather all necessary staff, cooperate and make corrections as soon as possible. Citation fees have gone up, Ling said, because “Some people thought it was cheaper to pay the fine than fix the equipment or whatever.” Citations for regulatory problems, such as permits, posting, reporting or record keeping requirements, go up to $7,000. Those citations that are general but not of a serious nature go up to $7,000, but those that are serious offenses, where there is a realistic possibility of death or serious physical
harm, go up to $25,000, or if willful, up to $70,000. In regards to safety programs, its seems you can’t have too many. There are injury and illness prevention programs, emergency action plan/fire prevention plans, hazard communication programs, respiratory protection, hearing conservation and many others. “The plan has to be effective, it must be written and has to be implemented. Keep it simple,” Ling said. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
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provided by each manufacturer must be accessible to employees as well. During a visit, Cal/OSHA will look for a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, electrical safety, machine guarding, exposure to chemicals, flammable liquid storage, personal protection such as safety goggles and respirators, permits to operate air tanks and maintenance of spray booths. Compressed gas cylinders must be secure. The explosion of gas cylinders can be very powerful. Ling said they once found one that was a quarter of a mile away and it had gone through walls. Cal/OSHA will also look in your bathrooms. Are they sanitary? Do men and women have separate restrooms? Ling said they get a lot of restroom violations. Cal/OSHA is not just here to bust you. They offer a free service, a nocost consultation, to review your safety programs, give you free sample programs, and walk around your shop and assist with any issues. Ling assured shop owners that Cal/OSHA does not use its free service to issue citations for penalties. “We are there to help identify issues,” he said. The free service is already paid for by tax dollars, it’s confidential, no penalties or citations will be made, and the information will not be shared with the enforcement side of the agency. To schedule a free consultation, call (800) 963-9424. The fourth speaker, Claudine DeBoer, is a tax compliance specialist with the Board of Equalization. She reviewed the mission of BOE,
which is to serve the public through fair, effective and efficient tax administration. The goals of BOE includes improving the taxpayers experience and maximizing voluntary compliance. In 2008, the BOE implemented a program called SCOP - Statewide Compliance and Outreach Program. The main purpose of SCOP (pronounced “Scoop”) is to educate business owners on their tax responsibilities, advise business owners when they need a seller’s permit, explain to business owners how to report and remit their taxes and fees due, and review business operations compared to sales and filed use tax returns. There are seven SCOP teams statewide that conduct door-to-door visits by zip code. The SCOP teams are located in Oakland, Sacramento, San Jose, Van Nuys, Norwalk, Irvine and Riverside. SCOP intends to visit every non-residential business location statewide over time. The teams do not visit home-based businesses, DeBoer said. During visits, SCOP staff will check for a seller’s permit and other required fee permits and licenses and determine if the business is reporting its sales and use taxes properly. In the San Diego area, DeBoer reported that SCOP-LETF statistics in the automotive industry (from January 1May, 31 2012) showed that out of 98 inspections, nine businesses were operating without a seller’s permit, 20 shops were operating without a city or county business license and 17 businesses needed a registration update, mostly due to a change in ownership. For more information about SCOP, see www.boe.ca.gov/sutax/SCOPOverview. The new BOE office in San Diego is located at 15015 Avenue of Science, Ste. #200, CA 92128 and the phone number is 858-385-4700. The last speaker of the night was Justin Gill, a tax auditor with EDD. This department collects and distributes unemployment and disability benefits and monitors payroll tax deductions. As part of the LETF, he explained worker classifications, employer responsibilities, and gave an overview on state payroll taxes and forms. He said you are an employer if total wages paid to one or more employees are in excess of $100 in a calendar quarter period. All casual labor is employment, whether workers are See Labor Enforcement, Page 54
www.autobodynews.com | AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 47
YouTube is a Valuable Sales Tool for Body Shops by Ed Attanasio
Many body shop owners who have already embraced social media are reluctant to use YouTube to promote their businesses. They feel likes it’s too expensive to produce videos and many claim they don’t have anything to say to their customers. But, once they try it, body shops are reporting positive results via YouTube, with increased traffic to their websites, blogs and other social media sites. They’re tracking new customers from their YouTube videos and discovering the value in these short, informational clips—ranging in subjects from “How to Spray Waterborne” to “Online Estimates” to humorous TV commercials and interviews with customers, painters, body men and front desk people. The simple fact is that most successful YouTube videos aren’t professionally produced and involve just one person talking to a camera. They’re shot with inexpensive equipment, without special effects, high-tech sound or any special lighting. Shop’s normally use employees and friends in their videos. Here are five main things to consider when producing YouTube videos to promote your business: 1) Know the Market Spend a few minutes going through YouTube to see what other collision repairers, vendors and jobbers are doing on the site. You will find the videos that do the best are generally funny, upbeat and/or offer useful information. Think either comical or instructional or both. Find out what videos in your market have attracted the highest number of views, favorable ratings, most subscribers and best comments. 2) Use Keywords Galore The easiest (and cheapest) way to direct potential customers to your videos on YouTube is by incorporating carefully selected keywords and inserting them in the title, description, and tags of your videos. To find new keywords, use the Google Keyword Tool to devise variations of your keywords for additional tags. 3) Create Your Own Channel and Make Playlists Prior to uploading your videos, setup your own YouTube Channel, including a profile and a graphic look you devise. Always include a link to
your web site, blog, Facebook page and Tweeter hash tag. Playlists are a great way to get your videos watched by a lot of people. To assemble one, add your videos to a new playlist and incorporate other peoples’ videos dealing with the same topic. Then, select a catchy name that will help people to find them through a search. By assembling a library of videos, you can attract more people and hopefully keep them engaged longer. 4) Use Multiple Calls to Action If you don’t ask, you won’t get it. Sure, they like your video, but how can you get them to respond? Here are some calls to action that are all available on YouTube and can be used to get your visitors more involved: •Please rate this video. •Follow me on Twitter. •Find me on Facebook. •Subscribe to my videos. •Visit my blog •Please post your comments. •Send this video to your friends. •Check out my channel. 5) Promote Your Videos Uploading videos to YouTube isn’t enough. You need to promote them. These are some ideas: •Ask people you know to share their lists and contacts. •Embed your videos in your blog. •Email your YouTube link to your friends and contacts. •Write an article about your video and post it to article directories and forums. •Post your video on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media forms. So, now you’ve done a few or all of these things and here is the million dollar question—will you get any results and most importantly, will you attract new customers? Well, rest assured, because the final answer is an emphatic yes. I recently sifted through a wide range of YouTube’s body shoprelated videos and was able to find several shops in different parts of the country that have garnered a ton of views and comments. But, have they led to new business and increased revenues? “No doubt,” Rich Villaneuva, the marketing manager at Michael J’s Body Shop in San Jose, CA said without hesitation. “Doing things like Facebook and YouTube have taken us to a whole new level. We know we’re one of the only body shops in this valley that’s doing things like YouTube
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as intently as we are, and that’s why our organic search results put us right at the top of all the search engines’ rankings. And by polling all of our customers, we know that YouTube is working for us.” “We’ve been working with a company called Reach Local and they’ve been excellent in teaching us and pushing us in the right direction. Lots of shops get a few DRPs and get complacent, but by doing things like YouTube and linking them to our Facebook page, blog, Twitter, etc.— we’re able to get a fair share of direct business. We never want to put all of our eggs in one basket, so we’re always looking for that ideal combination of walk-in customers and DRP repairs.” Michael J’s Body Shop has produced four videos and is currently producing more, showing their repair techniques through a series of do-ityourself online tutorials. Villaneuva is pleased to report that making the videos is virtually free, he said. “I do it all myself with a Sony camera and some very simple software to do the editing. I narrate them and don’t let
them go over three minutes in length.” Steve Kendrick Jr., 36, is the owner of Kendrick Paint and Body with three locations in the Atlanta, GA area. He has been doing social media since day one, he said, and doesn’t understand when he hears that most body shops see little or no value in it. “My grandfather started this business in 1952, and I think a lot of shops in this country are still operating with that ‘50s mentality. In the past, if you worked hard and did quality repairs, you’d succeed. But now, with all the competition and technology out there, it’s a different world. If you’re not into social media, computerized systems that help your business and things like YouTube, you’re already a step behind the competition.” By producing 16 videos, Hendrick Jr. is dominating YouTube, especially in Georgia. “When people search through YouTube for a body shop in Georgia or Atlanta, they’re going to find us first and that’s so important. We hired a person on a part-time basis to handle all of these things, from Facebook to Twitter and creating a YouTube Channel and it’s paid for itself many times over.”
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Part 2: Western Schools Prep the Future of Collision Repair by David M. Brown
Last month in Autobody News, we ran a story about two schools in Arizona and California that are prepping for the future in the industry. That article focused on two schools, The East Valley Institute of Technology in Mesa, AZ, and the Universal Technical Institute in Sacramento, CA. This month, we highlight other educational programs in the West — Arizona, Nevada and California — that are providing outstanding preparation for careers in the collision repair industry. In Arizona, a number of high school collision programs are working toward NATEF certification, explains Mike McAfee, director of Education for the Phoenix-based Arizona Auto Dealers Association (AADA). He is also state manager for Automotive Youth Education Systems (AYES). McAfee notes that AADA works with the Arizona Department of Education, specifically its Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department, providing job shadowing and
internship opportunities for collision as well as mechanical automotive students. “The organization also sits on many automotive advisory boards at the secondary and post-secondary levels, serving as a business and industry representative and partnering with our educational institutions,” he says. Those high schools are Paradise Valley High School, Paradise Valley; Phoenix Metro Tech, Phoenix; Tucson High School and Sunnyside High School, both Tucson. “Most of the high schools I’m familiar with use the I-CAR curriculum for collision, which is continuously updated to include the latest industry standards,” says McAfee, noting that Yavapai College in Prescott, north of Phoenix, is also pursuing NATEF certification. Another post-secondary program in Phoenix is Maricopa Skill Center, a division of GateWay Community College, one of the 10 Maricopa Community Colleges. Maricopa County includes Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale and other municipalities. Celebrating its 50th year, MSC offers Auto Body Basic Metal Repair
and/or Refinishing among 30 other vocational training certificates, explains, Kristina Scott, manager of marketing and recruitment services for the school. This year, two instructors teach 25 students in an open-entry/openexit program, so students can enroll anytime during the year. “Due to the flexibility and our competency-based programs, students can also graduate at any point during the year once they demonstrate that they have the skills necessary for today’s workforce,” Scott says. The Maricopa Skill Center is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Successful completion of the program also ensures that graduates will leave with I-CAR points in six areas, in addition to their certificate of completion from Maricopa Skill Center. “Our instructional team works with advisory councils to determine what industry wants from their employees and ensures that our programs offer exactly what an employer is looking for,” she says. “The goal is
to get students the training they need in a short period of time so that they can quickly get back into the workforce.” Students choose between Basic Metal Repair or Refinishing or do both. “Our students gain experience in welding, pushing out dents, repairing plastic bumpers, and removing and installing bolted-on parts,” she explains. All MSC programs are short-term certificate-training programs that take about a year or less to complete. On average, a full-time Auto Body Basic Metal Repair student will complete the program in 27 weeks. If a student is pursuing a certificate in Basic Metal Repair and Refinishing, the average time is 48 weeks, she says. Nevada, California Programs In Nevada, the Carson City campus of Western Nevada College has two classes scheduled for the fall 2012 semester: Automotive Collision I and Automotive Refinishing I, says Edward Martin, chairman of the WNC Technology Division. Current NATEF certifications are See Schools Prep, Page 53
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Matrix Wand is a Game Changer—Part 2 with Toby Chess
This month’s column is Part 2 of the Matrix Wand article that appeared in the July, 2012 issue. See summary of the Matrix Wand’s capabilities at the end of the article referencing photos. If you missed last month’s article see it at www.autobodynews.com.
A customer at Autobody Hawaii brought in his 2009 BMW convertible with the front bumper on the passenger seat. It seems that he caught the bumper on a concrete barrier in the parking lot as he was backing up and pulled it off. While he was waiting for an estimate, I photographed the car. What I found was amazing. I measured from the strut tower to the core
support and from the strut tower to 2 points on the bumper reinforcement. In the distance table of the photo, the left side of the bumper reinforcement was longer that the right side. Now, you could not see any damage to the reinforcement, but it was bent according to the measurements. I asked the customer which part of the bumper got caught on the barrier and he stated it was the driver’s side. The shop ordered both the cover and reinforcement at the same time instead of buying the cover and finding out when it was to be installed that the rebar was also bent. It should be noted that parts come from Honolulu once a week. Think of the cycle time savings plus the extra paper work and phone calls. Dale Matsumoto, owner of Autobody Hawaii, told me that when they compared the new reinforcement to the damaged one, it was very evident that the part had sustained damage to the left end. A 2009 Nissan Xterra had been estimated by an insurance adjuster. Damage was to the right fender, right suspension and front bumper cover.
Figure 3 50 AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
The adjuster wrote the estimate for an A/M fender and cover (Figure 1). The gap on the fender was 3mm larger with the AM fender than the
original on the left side. I measured both fenders, and in the distance table, the length at the back of the part showed that the A/M fender was in-
deed 3mm shorter. The adjustor wrote no frame time on the vehicle. The vehicle was put on a hoist and raised so that I could measure the bottom of the
frame. When the mechanic finished installing the right side suspension, he tried to align it, but the right side with See Matrix Wand Part 2, Page 52
The Insider is a corporate-level executive with a Top 10 auto insurer in the U.S.. Got a comment or question you’d like to see him address in a future column? Email him at Auto.Insurance.Insider@gmail.com
With Estimates, Insurers See the Emperor’s Underwear with The Insurance Insider
Emperors and underwear? Referencing Fruit of the Looms, or whatever your royalty’s skivvies in an article about brand of choice is. We see and know body shops? Everyone in the kingdom what you don’t want us to know. We thinks that the shops represent the peaswith Chasidy Rae know Sisk that the customer matters—and ants, while insurers are the heirs to the I’m not referring to customer service. I throne. Rumor has it that a CEO from am referring to the fact that the customer one of the top three insurance carriers in matters when you write an estimate. the U.S. is a second-cousin to the Queen of England. If that’s true,with as royalty, there are Chasidy Rae Sisk privileges that we insurers are entitled to that quite frankly shops aren’t. What is it exactly that us royals get that most of my readers don’t? I’m not talking about “money,” although I suppose there may be some merit in that response. What insurers get is tons and tons I know that the estimate is the one of data. If we don’t have it, we can get it. Just like that gentleman in the red suit thing that shops claim is more holy and who is recognized by his “Ho, ho ho,” pure than the Pope himself. Shops often we know if you’ve been naughty or say, “The damage is the damage,” “The nice. We also know who writes a good estimate is the estimate,” “The cost to repair is the cost to repair.” I say that the estimate and who doesn’t. royal underwear is in need of cleaning. We also see the Emperor’s UnderThe customer dictates the cost to rewear. That’s right, we see your BVDs,
Northeast News Shop Showcase
pair. It’s conceivable that we could have a dozen different estimates from the same shop with different bottom lines to repair the same car. Sadly, you know that I’m right. I also know that Santa Claus isn’t real and the Wizard of Oz is a phony. I looked behind the curtain. I’ve seen. We’ve seen. We all know. Here’s why you know I’m right. If the shop participates in a direct repair program, the labor rate is going to be $x in accordance with the contract. The shop writes x hours to repair a given panel, x to cover the car, and x to blend the adjacent panel. If the shop isn’t on a direct repair program, the labor rate, labor hours, cover car, blend time and P-pages will all be inserted into the estimate at a different amount, say, x + y. If the shop is working with an independent appraiser and it’s someone they know, it may be x + y + z. If the shop is doing work for a fleet account, such as rental car company, it will be x – y – y - y. If the customer is paying for the work out of their own pocket and the shop is slow, it’s going to be x – y. If the shop is busy and doesn’t need the work, it’s back to x. If the customer happens to be a neigh-
bor or friend, it’s going to be x – y – z. And if the customer is your motherin-law, it’s going to be x + y – z, plus a free detail. I could continue, but the point is made. The customer matters. But in case it’s still not clear, let me drive it home faster than a body man priming a 10hour repair on a quarter panel after the shop has been notified that an adjuster is coming out to see the vehicle. That “8-hour repair” on a quarter panel becomes five hours for the rental car company, two hours for you motherin-law, six hours to your friend, nine hours if an independent appraiser comes to your shop, 10 hours if the insurance company is reducing the refinish time on a repaired panel, 11 hours if you know the reinspector from the insurance company is going to hack the estimate, and seven hours if it’s a customer-pay job. How do we know this? Data, and lots of it. Almost every decision you make when writing an estimate is decided by who is paying the bill. This is the sad reality of the business. The damage is never just the damage. That’s the “Emperor’s Underwear” in this industry that nobody is supposed to see. And the actual cost to repair that vehicle? “Well, it all depends.”
Continued from Page 39
and thank him for unifying collision repairers over their opposition to it, was at the CIC meeting representing Alabama repairers. He said he had continued confusion over the program details even after Avery and Cooper’s talk. “I’m still as uninformed and confused as when I got here,” said Mosley. “Is this something that we’re going to have in all states? Have you already signed a contract?” Avery responded, “To me, there’s a difference between a test and a pilot. You test something to see if it will work; you drill a pilot hole before you’re going to drill. So a pilot does suggest that your intent is to continue to move, but you have to make sure that pilot hole is in the right place and is right. We’re going to continue to work the pilot in the four pilot areas and fix these things that are clearly deficiencies, and then we will evaluate whether that will be something company-wide for Select Service repairers.”
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get for labor is peanuts.” Stating that the new parts program would negatively impact repairers’ parts profit, Starbard continued, “In a state like mine, we survive on parts mark-up. I suggest repairers run this agreement up the flagpole with their accountants.” Tony Passwater, president and owner of AEII Consulting, said the program is not needed because the parts procurement model in the United States is efficient and repairers have trusted relationships with existing suppliers. He also said that although it is only a pilot now, it could evolve into a big problem for repairers, likening it to the evolution of the direct repair program model. John Mosley, who wrote a personal letter to Avery in May to express his concerns over the parts program
www.autobodynews.com | AUGUST 2012 AUTOBODY NEWS 51
Continued from Page 50
Matrix Wand Part 2
all of the new parts still had a negative caster. I found that the right side was back at the lower control arm mount-
ized the supplement. The car was pulled and realigned that Friday and was delivered the following week. The insurance company had to pay for an additional eight days of car rental and all of this could have been
hooked up to the office thru the Internet. Rob began looking at my picture and noticed that I used the fender
the vehicle and determined that the right rail was down by 10mm. The problem was there was no damage to the rail. I proceeded to call Rob Bailey (the matrix guru) about this inaccuracy. The Matrix computer can be
holes on the passenger side (fender was already removed), but the top of the bolts on the driverâ€™s side. He said that computer was picking up the difference between the depth of the hole and the top of the bolt. He told me to either remove the bolts or install the bolts and take another photo and remeasure. I installed the fender bolts on the passengerâ€™s side and rechecked the measurement and this time there was no sag in the right rail. By the way, I measured the bolt head and sure enough it was 10mm high.
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ing brackets by 10mm. I proceeded to measure the under hood and bumper reinforcement. The photo showed that the vehicle was 10 mm short on the right rail. The adjustor was called on a Wednesday, and we sent him the data for additional frame labor and another alignment. He called back and author-
avoided with a Matrix photo. I left the Big Island on a Thursday morning. The next day I went to Island Fender and met with Van Takamoto, the owner of the shop. We photographed a 2008 Toyota Prius, which was in the shop for a fender replacement only. I measured
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Here are some of the types of measurements that can be performed with the Matrix Wand: • Measure width, length and heigth. (Figure 2) • Point-to-point measurements and compare with Mitchell Data Inc. (Figure 3) • Measure under hood, bottom of vehicle to determine damage. (Figure 4) • Measure under hood damage and compare to factory specs. (Figure 5) • Measure door openings and “B” pillar positions. (Figure 6) • Measure engine cradle for damage. (Figure 7) • Measure strut, knuckle, spindle and lower control arm for damage and also determine what parts are bad without guessing. (Figure 8). • Measure if a sub frame has shifted, and this procedure could be added to the estimate at the time of tear down and not when it goes to the alignment shop. (Figure 9 and 10) The only way that you can appreciate this revolutionary piece of equipment is to see it in operation at your shop. Either call me at 310-995-7909 or email me at email@example.com and I will set up a demo for you.
Continued from Page 49
in brakes, steering and suspension, electrical and engine performance. Also at the secondary and postsecondary level, the California Central County Occupational Center in San Jose is NATEF-and ASE-certified in Collision Repair and Refinishing. As a Career Technical Education Center, CCOC attracts both high school and adult students with approximately 30-40 annual graduates of the two-year program. Students are not placed from the school but are often referred to job opportunities when available, explains Nathan Chukes, auto body refinishing instructor and the advisor for the AYES Program for collision repair. “We educate students with the intent that they will be prepared for entry-level work in collision repair,” says Chukes. “Our curriculum covers auto body industry standards that will give students the skills needed to keep up with the demand of a high-energy shop.”
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CCOC is the only school that offers collision repair in six school districts in the South Bay area, Chukes says, noting that the program has been offered for more than 35 years. In the last five years, CCOC students have won three gold medals and one silver for refinishing and two gold and one silver medal for repair at the SkillsUSA state championship competition. One of California’s recently started programs, Collision/Refinishing Technology, is offered at the Sacramento campus of WyoTech, which debuted the progra in October 2006. Two other WyoTech campuses, Laramie, WY and Blairsville, PA, have the Collision/Refinishing Technology program, following the same structure. The program includes Collision I and II and Refinishing I and II. Students learn MIG welding, external sheet metal straightening, body filler usage and abrasives, bolt-on panel replacement and alignment as well as disassembly and reassembly processes. In the mechanical repair section, students learn about basic electrical
and vehicle electrical systems, supplemental restraint systems, engine cooling and HVAC systems and steering and suspension. Also covered are frame and unibody structural repair, including vehicle dimensioning utilizing both mechanical and computer measuring systems, vehicle straightening processes and procedures, welded panel replacement and resistant spot welding. The refinishing courses offer students the opportunity to learn about personal and environmental protection, how to work safely with paints and chemicals, spray booth operation, types of paint and paint chemistry, paint mixing and mixing room management, spray gun operation and paint application, surface preparation, masking techniques, paint surface detailing and care of finished surfaces, plastic parts repair, spot repairs, color match and blending, damage analysis and estimating. All WyoTech programs are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, and WyoTech is a member of the ICAR Training Alliance, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair.
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hired for an hour, a day, a week or on a part-time basis. Correctly classifying workers is very important, as incorrectly identifying independent contractors could result in fines up to $50,000, he said. An information sheet for the automotive repair industry, called form DE 231B, is available on the EDD website. Federal and state laws require that
employers post complete, up-to-date versions of labor notices. Current posting requirements are available at www.taxes.ca.gov/payroll_tax/postingreqbus.shtml. Gill stressed that really clean payroll recordkeeping makes things so much easier, and although it’s a good idea to retain records and returns for at least four years, with digital scanning, he says there’s no reason not to keep records indefinitely. For payroll tax seminars and workshops, see www.edd.c.gov/taxsem.
Continued from Page 31
when I said there was coolant in the spark plug area. (I should have said “On top of the engine”). Katie knew what I meant, but as the phone conversations went on, the word “IN” just kept pushing the coolant deeper and deeper inside this little Ford. Katie is a wonderful gal, I got to hand it to her; she did a great job of explaining things. I’m a lucky guy to be able to
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Auto body information for industry in western United States.