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Vol. 36 / Issue 8 / August 2018

AK / CA / HI / ID / MT / NV / OR / WA / WY

CA Auto Insurance Appraiser Gets 10 Years for Involvement in Staged Collision Ring

AB 2825 ‘Will Force Body Shops to Become Debt Collectors’

by Steven A. Meyerowitz, FC&S Legal

by Ed Attanasio

This story is reprinted with permission from FC&S Legal, the industry’s only comprehensive digital resource designed for insurance coverage law professionals. Visit the website to subscribe. An auto insurance appraiser in California has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his involvement in a staged collision ring. Erwin Raul Mejia, of Van Nuys, CA, previously was convicted on 10 felony counts of insurance fraud for his role in the fraud, which bilked in-

surers out of more than $700,000. Mejia also was ordered to pay $699,784 in restitution to six auto insurers, including over $420,000 to Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ‘We Will Find You’ “This is a significant conviction and sentence on an insurance fraud case and it sends an important message to those who commit fraud—we will find you and you will be prosecuted,” said Dave Jones, the state’s insurance commissioner. According to prosecutors, Mejia See Staged Collision Ring, Page 10

VW Exploding Sunroof Class-Action Lawsuit Is Partially Dismissed by David A. Wood,

A Volkswagen exploding sunroof class-action lawsuit is hanging on after the automaker filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. Plaintiff Rosaura Deras filed the lawsuit on behalf of consumers who purchased or leased in California any of the following vehicles equipped with factory-installed sunroofs: • 2005-2017 Volkswagen Jetta • 2015-2017 Volkswagen Golf

If Assembly Bill 2825 (authored by Assembly member Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr., Los Angeles) passes, auto repair shops, including collision repairers, will turn into debt collectors—a job that they’re not suited for, according to Jack Molodanof, head lobbyist for the California Autobody Association. Originally written to deal with towing companies, AB 2825 was amended on June 18 to include any company that repairs vehicles.

• 2007-2016 Volkswagen Eos

• 2006-2009 Volkswagen Rabbit • 2012-2017 Volkswagen Passat

• 2004-2006 Volkswagen Touareg • 2011-2017 Volkswagen Touareg • 2008 Volkswagen R32

See AB 2825, Page 28


Auto Body Attorney

• 2006-2015 Volkswagen GTI • 2009-2010 Volkswagen CC

The Automotive Service Councils of California and the California Automotive Business Coalition also oppose the bill. Supporters include Consumers Union, the California Low-Income Consumer Coalition, the California Immigrant Policy Center, the East Bay Community Law Center, the Los Angeles chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and Legal Services for Prisoners with Children. According to a legislative analysis of AB 2825, debt tied to ve-

with Bruce Roistacher

See page 46 in this issue.

Subaru Customers Now Get Virtual Visibility While Car Is in for Collision Repairs by Denis Flierl, Torque News

Subaru customers now have access to virtual visibility when they get their car repaired in a body shop. Here’s how Subaru’s new program benefits consumers.

See VW Exploding Sunroof, Page 24

2019 Subaru Forester

Subaru of America is the latest automaker to launch a certified collision repair program, working with its dealerships as well as select independent body shops, that will make

getting your car repaired after a collision easier. While Subaru vehicles like the 2019 Subaru Forester get new safety technology, customers will still be involved in accidents. According to a report by Automotive News, Subaru unveiled its new plan developed with Wadsworth International, a consultancy in suburban Philadelphia that will administer the program. Subaru isn’t the first automaker to do this, as Wadsworth also provides administrative support to Jaguar Land Rover’s collision certification program. Subaru plans to expand its pilot collision repair program into a national network this year, certifying 400 body shops by 2019. Subaru of America has 630 dealerships in the US. What are the benefits for SubSee Virtual Visibility, Page 29



Change Service Requested

P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018




Take Part in This Year’s MSO Symposium in Atlanta

CONTENTS AB 2825 ‘Will Force Body Shops to Become Debt Collectors’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 BAR Program Representative Speaks at East Bay CAA Chapter Meetings . . . . . . . . . 10 CA Auto Insurance Appraiser Gets 10 Years for Involvement in Staged Collision Ring. . . . . 1 CAWA Elects Michael Rukov of RepWorks Marketing as 2019 Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Extortion Scam Targets Elderly in Silverdale, WA, Parking Lots . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Mike Tolman Single-Handedly Runs Premier Collision Center in ID . . . . . . . . . . . 16 North Idaho Collision Repair Center Opens in Bonners Ferry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 OR Automotive Shops Need To Prepare for New Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Service King Restores Donated Vehicles for Seattle Families in Need . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 The San Pablo, CA, Collision Repair Student Returns as the Teacher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 TX Student Wins National Acclaim in Collision Repair Category at SkillsUSA. . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Vehicle Damage in Pleasant Valley, NV, Blamed on Road Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Conference & Trade Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 AAPEX 2018 Forum To Spotlight Retrofitting ADAS on Existing Cars to Save Lives . . . . . . 22 ABRA Auto Body Repair Expands With 8 Centers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Apple Car Project Evolves With Larger Test Fleet, New Hire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 ASA Northwest Enjoys Educational Summer Retreat, Management Conference . . . . . . . . . 8 ASA President Dan Risley Resigns to Pursue Opportunity in Home State . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Attanasio - After the Donation: CA Veteran’s Benevolence Car Helps Her in Time of Need . 26 Auto Care Association Establishes Al Gaspar

Serving Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Autobody News is a monthly publication for the collision industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2018 Adamantine Media LLC.

Anchorage Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram . . . . 6

Hyundai of Kirkland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 59

Hyundai of Seattle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 62

AutoNation Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram-Fiat. 14

Kearny Mesa Subaru-Hyundai. . . . . . . . . . 44

Axalta Coating Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . 48-49

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 65

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

Bob Smith BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 69

Bob Smith MINI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

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

Capitol Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

Mercedes-Benz Wholesale Parts Dealers . . 66 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

MINI Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 64

Certified Automotive Parts Association . . . . 9

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers. . . . . . 69

Chevrolet of Anchorage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 41

Patents on Parts Reaches Federal

Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram of Seattle . . . . 45

Moss Bros. Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . . . . 19

Appeals Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

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

Nicolosi Distributing, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

PPG Posts Q3 Collision Refinish Training . . . . . 14

Colortone Automotive Paints . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . 55

SCRS Debuts the IDEAS Collide Showcase

Courtesy Chevrolet San Diego. . . . . . . . . . 23

Penske Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Cutter Auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Porsche Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . 60

Dave Smith Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

PPG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

DCH Auto Group Temecula . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Puente Hills Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Del Grande Dealer Group. . . . . . . . . . . 20-21

Riverside Kia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Dent Magic Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Robaina Industries, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Dominion Sure Seal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

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

Downtown Motors of LA (Audi, VW) . . . . . . 57

SEMA Trade Show. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

ECS Automotive Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes . . . 13

EMS Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Shingle Springs Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Enterprise Rent-A-Car. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-Subaru . . . . . . . . 61

Equalizer Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Spanesi Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

First Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . 67

Ford of Kirkland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Symach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . 53

Tacoma Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram . . . . . 25

Galpin Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

The Bay Area Automotive Group . . . . . . . . 47

Glenn E. Thomas Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep . . . 11

Vintage Flatz/Cumberland Products . . . . . 29

at June Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . 58

WD-40 Announces Partnership With Techforce . . 9

Haddad Dodge-Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Volvo Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . . 68

Honda-Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers . 32-33

Western Water Products Co. . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Auto Care Association Named Red Hot Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 AutoInc. Seeks Submissions for Top 10 Websites Contest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Axalta Releases Spies Hecker Permacron Line . 61 Car Prices Would Soar Under Trump’s Latest Tariff Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 CARSTAR EDGE Continues To Drive Network Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 CARSTAR SL, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Fight Cause. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

COLUMNISTS Attanasio - Career Estimator Works for SF Giants in Security. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Attanasio - Reward, Motivate Your Employees Without Breaking the Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Ledoux - Oldest Body Shops In America: Bistagne Bros Body Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Ledoux - The 1940s – Part 2 – New Products, Higher Speeds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Phillips - How To Increase CSI, Encourage Repeat Business and Differentiate Your Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Roistacher - Ask the Auto Body Attorney: August 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Sisk - ASA Hosts Road to Great Technicians Webinar With CARQUEST’s Chris Chesney . . 38 Yoswick - A Decade Ago, a Different National Association Sought to Replace its Executive Director. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Center for Auto Safety Renews Call for Ford Recall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Deadline for CREF, 3M Hire Our Heroes . . . . . . 61 Gerber Collision & Glass Opens Location in IN . 62 Mazda Recalls 270,000 Vehicles for Airbag Risk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Non-OEM Parts Industry’s Fight Over Ford

on Friday of SEMA Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 SEMA Seeks Up-and-Coming Vehicle Builders . . 14 Spanesi Americas Expands Training Team . . . . 22 Stacey Phillips Joins CIECA as Communications Specialist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Subaru Customers Now Get Virtual Visibility While Car Is in for Collision Repairs . . . . . . . . 1 Take Part in This Year’s MSO Symposium in Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

NATIONAL ‘Who Pays for What?’ Finds Half of Shops Have Not Billed for Seat Belt Inspections. . . 69 100,000+ Industry Jobs at Risk With Tariffs on Imported Auto Parts, Study Finds . . . . . . 65 2018 Texas Auto Body Trade Show Sept. 14–16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 AAAS Hosts YANG Meet-Up With Annual

pacts; and more. This year, MSO executives will be sharing guidance on what owners with prospective growth paths can do to prepare for expansion and will point out some things to avoid. The MSO Symposium kicks off at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 9. AkzoNobel will be providing attendees with a generous lunch, and PPG will bring attendees the opportunity to continue to discuss questions and answers during an evening reception, beginning at 6 p.m. The MSO Symposium’s program is directly relevant for owners of large yet independent collision repair facilities, OEM program managers, insurance professionals and members of multi-shop operators (MSOs).

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

Memorial Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

U.S. Aftermarket To Grow at Annual Rate (CAGR) of 3.4% Through 2021 . . . . . . . . . . 69 VW Exploding Sunroof Class-Action Lawsuit Is Partially Dismissed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 WAC’s Social Media Initiatives Progress



The MSO Symposium is led by highgrowth executives from the leading multi-shop operations within North America, including ABRA, Caliber, CARSTAR, Certified Collision Group, Fix Auto, Service King and several others. These highly experienced individuals gather annually at the MSO Symposium to deliver a program that speaks directly to their circumstances and provides relevant content to collision repair facilities in similar situations. With an expanded program for 2018, attendees will gain useful information on topics like: OEM Certification Programs—the Reasons “Why”; Pre-, Post- and In-Process Scanning; Talent Development; ADAS & its Im-

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


Non-OEM Parts Industry’s Fight Over Ford Patents on Parts Reaches Federal Appeals Court by John Yoswick

Both sides of the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) lawsuit challenging Ford Motor Company’s design patents on replacement crash parts laid out their arguments this summer to a federal appeals court. The outcome of the case could have a big impact on how many automaker crash parts will have competition from non-OEM versions of the parts. U.S. District Court Judge Laurie Michelson earlier this year first rejected Ford’s argument that the case was moot because the automaker had agreed not to sue several ABPA member distributors of non-parts for infringement of the two patents (for Ford F-150 replacement parts), on which the suit was based. Judge Michelson noted the lawsuit was between Ford and the ABPA, not those distributors, and Ford had not extended an agreement not to sue to all ABPA members. Therefore, she said, the lawsuit sought to resolve an actual controversy and was thus not moot. But Judge Michelson also rejected the ABPA’s plea for summary judgment in its favor before trial. To win summary judgment, Judge Michelson wrote, ABPA had the “considerable … burden of showing that every reasonable jury would find in its favor.” But, she said, “the ABPA has not persuaded this Court to find in its favor, and so it would follow that it has not persuaded the Court that every reasonable jury would find in its favor.” She also gave Ford the upper hand in the legal dispute, which began in 2013, by instead granting summary judgment to the automaker, seeing no reason, based on her assessments of the ABPA’s arguments, for the suit to continue. It’s that ruling that the ABPA is now appealing. The Underlying Issues Like other automakers, Ford has successfully blocked the production and sale of some non-OEM crash parts by claiming that those parts infringe on the automakers’ design patents. In its lawsuit, the ABPA alleged that Ford “uses design patents on automotive body repair parts to limit their distribution and increase cost of 4

the repair parts.” It argued that the design patents are invalid or unenforceable “under the doctrines of patent exhaustion or functionality” and are therefore not infringed upon by ABPA members selling non-OEM versions of the parts. The theory of “patent exhaustion” holds that once patent-holders sell a patented item, they have reaped their reward, and so all patent rights to that item are “exhausted.” Judge Michelson rejected that argument. She pointed to a more than 150-year-old precedent (most recently cited successfully in 2015) in which a company held a patent for unique needles for a knitting machine. A purchaser of the patented needles bundled with the knitting machine was found to have the right to use and even repair the needles, but not to make replacement needles. “The problem with the ABPA’s argument is that the F-150 is just like the knitting machine…and its hood (or headlamp) is just like the needles,” Judge Michelson wrote. “The patents at issue cover the design for those two parts—not the design of the truck as a whole—so while the authorized sale of an F-150 permits the owner to use and repair her hood and headlamp, it does not permit her to make unauthorized replacements or have replacements made.” She also rejected the ABPA’s argument that design patents are inappropriate for crash parts because customers don’t shop around for various hood designs when replacing one that is damaged; they (or the body shop) simply order the hood by part number, without even considering the part’s “design.” The ABPA has also argued that the design of the hood and headlamp for the Ford F-150 is functional rather than ornamental; the parts are sold to “mate and match” with the other parts of the truck, and therefore design patents are invalid. Judge Michelson said that argument fails to consider that the customer may have taken the design into account at the time the vehicle was purchased. Earlier court rulings, Judge Michelson wrote, found that the design of an artificial femur or a casket, “while of no concern in their ultimate use, are of concern when


marketed.” It is “beyond reasonable debate that the design of an autobody part is important to consumers at least when they are deciding which car to buy,” Judge Michelson wrote. She also rejected the ABPA’s argument that the design patents are inappropriate because the designs are “dictated by function,” the need to physically fit the vehicle and mate with surrounding parts, match the vehicle’s overall aesthetic and meet government regulations. “ABPA has no evidence that insurance provisions or government regulations are so restrictive that auto manufacturers cannot choose how to design their trucks’ hoods or headlamps,” Judge Michelson wrote. “Indeed, a stroll through a used-car lot reveals just the opposite.” The fact that alternative “performance parts” exist and perform their intended function also “strongly suggests that the designs [of OEM parts] are not dictated by function.” Lastly, Judge Michelson rejected ABPA’s argument that Ford’s design patents should be invalid because they give the automaker the ability to refuse to sell replacement parts or allow others to do so, effectively forcing someone with a damaged vehicle to buy a new one. Judege Michelson said the ABPA offers no evidence to suggest that Ford has any such plans. “And there are good reasons to think Ford has no such plans: General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen, Nissan, Fiat-Chrysler, Honda, etc.,” Judge Michelson wrote. In asking the appeal court to uphold the lower court’s ruling in its favor, Ford argues that “extensive artistic work goes into designing automobiles and their component parts” and that the Supreme Court has held for more than a century that component parts are patentable. Courts, Ford argues, have ruled that a design cannot be patented only when it is the only design that will work, and when the appearance of the item is never a matter of concern. “Neither [of those] is true here,” Ford argues. ABPA’s ability to move the case forward hangs largely on the appeals court being swayed by the association’s arguments in a way the lower court was not.

Outcomes in the Past Automakers have previously taken other courses in legal fights over design patents. In 2009, Ford settled two of the legal battles it waged to protect its design patents through a licensing agreement making LKQ Corporation the only distributor allowed to sell certain non-OEM parts for Ford vehicles. In exchange, LKQ pays a royalty fee for each of the parts it sells and has agreed not to challenge the validity of Ford’s design patents. In a similar agreement in 2014, Chrysler dropped its patent violation lawsuit against LKQ over LKQ’s sale of some non-OEM parts for Dodge Ram pick-ups; Chrysler instead entered into a patent license agreement with LKQ thought to be similar to LKQ’s agreement with Ford. John Yoswick, a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988, is also the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (www He can be contacted by email at john@Crash

Mazda Recalls 270,000 Vehicles for Airbag Risk by Bailey Gallion, Springfield News-Sun

Mazda is recalling airbags in several models that have the potential to explode, causing serious injury to drivers and passengers. Materials in the airbags degrade with exposure to humidity and heat and can explode with metal shrapnel in the event of a crash. The recall affects nearly 270,000 vehicles, including certain 2003–2008 Mazda6, 2006–2007 Mazdaspeed6 and 2004 MPV vehicles nationwide and 2005–2006 MPV models in certain states, according to the Associated Press. Affected customers will be notified by mail. Customers can also check for recalls on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website using their vehicle identification number. Twenty-three deaths and more than 300 injuries worldwide are linked to Takata airbags, according to the National Highway Safety Administration. About 37 million vehicles are equipped with the defective airbags. We thank Springfield NewsSun for reprint permission. / AUGUST 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Service King Restores Donated Vehicles for Seattle Families in Need

Two Seattle families in need are now on the road to brighter futures thanks to the gift of two newly refurbished vehicles. The donations came thanks to the volunteer efforts of Service King Collision Repair Centers, GEICO and Enterprise-Rent-a-Car. Local employees from the three companies worked together as part of the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program after hearing the stories of U.S. Army veteran Leon Swain and the family of Micah and Cameron Cortez. Both families have experienced trials of homelessness and expressed a great need for more reliable transportation. On June 14, the Swain and Cortez families were officially presented keys to a 2016 Toyota Corolla and a 2015 Honda Accord as part of a ceremonial presentation at GEICO’s Renton office. “When we heard the stories of these two families, our teammates immediately looked for ways to help,” said Brian Cronk, Service King Market Vice President. “The passion of our teammates to reach out a helping hand and volunteer their time and expertise to get both vehicles ready in

time for the presentation represents the true mission of our company: to give back. It’s our hope that both vehicles make a lasting positive impact for both the Swain and Cortez families.”

The two vehicles were donated by GEICO and fully restored to likenew condition by the teammates and technicians at Service King Collision Repair Centers. Swain is a 29-year Army veteran with a family of four. Prior to the donation, Swain was in dire need of a reliable vehicle to transport his children to school and himself to work. His family recently spent four months living out of their previous

North Idaho Collision Repair Center Opens in Bonners Ferry by Melinda Brinkman, Kootenai Valley Times

North Idaho Collision Repair Center celebrated its grand opening with the community on Friday, June 22. At the celebration, which included a ribbon cutting by the Bonners Ferry Chamber of Commerce and a catered meal by Two Tones Cafe, shop owner Shane Florea was able to showcase his recently remodeled shop and his state-ofthe art equipment, including the most modern and environmentally friendly paint booth in the area. With a combined experience of more than six decades of auto body work, Florea and his shop manager, Kenny Baker, explained that they want to bring a complete auto collision shop into Boundary County. “Right now,” Florea explained, “a lot of business is going down to Sandpoint, and we want to let people know that they don’t have to do that. The customer decides who fixes their car or truck, not their insurance company.” Customer service will also be a key factor at the North Idaho Col6

lision Repair Center. Florea and Baker promise their customers the best service in town. “We are a collision shop. Our job is to put your car back together,” Baker said, explaining the process that involves first washing and then scanning the auto to determine the exact damage. “Once the damage has been mapped out and fixed, the auto is scanned a second time to ensure your auto was properly restored to its original condition.” Additionally, in its promise for the best customer service in town, NICRC will send out daily text messages or emails detailing its progress on the customer’s automobile. North Idaho Collision Repair Center is housed at the top of the North Hill in the old Bear Auto Shop, 148 David Thompson Dr., just south of Three Mile. Visitors are more than welcome! North Idaho Collision Repair Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To learn more, give them a call at (208) 2679995. We thank Kootenai Valley Times for reprint permission.


unreliable vehicle before receiving housing assistance from a local organization. The Cortez family also faced periods of homelessness, but recently moved into a rental home in Spokane.

Michah Cortez works 12-hour shifts four days a week to provide for his family and their youngest son, who has been diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer. The family previously had just one vehicle that they used for both trips to treatment and Micah’s job. Service King, GEICO and Enterprise Rent-a-Car are all longtime partners of the NABC Recycled Rides Program.

2018 Texas Auto Body Trade Show Sept. 14–16

Registration is OPEN for the highly anticipated 2018 Texas Auto Body Trade Show! The show has reached new heights this year, boasting 47,000 square feet of exhibit space with concrete floors to showcase the latest tools and equipment. There will be celebrity appearances, cash and raffle prizes, the BIG 3M semi truck, nationally recognized speakers and so much more! When Friday, Sept.14, 2018 at 8 a.m. CDT -toSunday, Sept. 16, 2018 at 2 p.m. CDT Where Will Rogers Memorial Center 3401 W. Lancaster Ave Fort Worth, TX 76107

This year ABAT is expecting more than 600 in attendance, so register TODAY to secure your spot and hotel. Visit for more information. / AUGUST 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


ASA Northwest Enjoys Educational Summer Retreat, Management Conference by Chasidy Rae Sisk

ASA Northwest members gathered from June 21–24 at the Red Lion Hanford House in Richland, WA, for the association’s 2018 Semi-Annual Summer Retreat and Management Conference.

utive director of ASA Northwest, stated, “We are very fortunate to have a great group of members who are willing to take time away from their businesses to join us at our retreats.” The event began on Thursday with attendees choosing between enjoying a free day or golfing with peers. The afternoon featured a Board of Directors meeting followed

noon. The same morning, the Ascettes, a group of women who support the association by raising funds for ASA Northwest activities and scholarship initiatives, held their business meeting and enjoyed an afternoon patio party. Friday evening featured the Cool Desert Nights event where class cars cruised in front of the hotel for two hours and concluded with another Hospitality Suite.

update on the group’s news, and the evening concluded with a BBQ event in the hotel courtyard where the Ascettes held a live auction for their scholarship fund. According to Lovell, “Our auctioneer, Todd Ainsworth with Swedish Automotive, did a great job!”

Gilley’s AMI seminar focused on the detriments of poor planning

Butch Jobst, ASA Northwest’s chairman of the board, addresses attendees

Saturday evening concluded with a fun BBQ event in the hotel courtyard

As usual, the event attracted many enthusiastic attendees, including 14 first-time participants. Jeff Lovell, president and exec-


by a Hospitality Suite in the evening. An additional fun opportunity included a “Hogs & Dogs” event with more than 2,000 motorcycles on display at the Bombing Range Sports Complex in nearby West Richland. On Friday morning, ASA Northwest held its General Business Session, followed by the Mechanical/ Collision Roundtable in the after-


Todd Black, ASA Northwest member and ASA National general director, provides an update on ASA National news

Dan Gilley of RLO Training presented “Life Planning” on Saturday morning. This AMI seminar focused on the concept that there is no such thing as an emergency—only poor planning. During Saturday’s luncheon, Todd Black, ASA National general director, provided an

During Saturday night’s Hospitality Suite, the Ascettes finished their raffle prize drawings. They are grateful to all of the ASA Northwest members who donated items. The 2018 Semi-Annual Summer Retreat and Management Conference concluded on Sunday morning with a business roundtable. For more information on ASA Northwest, visit

WD-40 Announces Partnership With Techforce

WD-40 Company and TechForce Foundation have teamed up to support TechForce Foundation’s FutureTech Success™ initiative, an industry-wide effort to help solve the technician shortage in America, champion the vehicle technician profession, and help young people with natural tactile intelligence become aware of, exposed to, and trained for a successful career path. The FutureTech Success campaign is a three-pronged approach to closing the skills gap and connecting young people to a technical career in the transportation industry, and includes awareness building, hands-on youth programs and directs the industry’s collective resources to enhance future techs’ workforce readiness. The initiative will provide hands-on opportunities for young men and women to experience the rewards of working and creating with their hands.

CAWA Elects Michael Rukov of RepWorks Marketing as 2019 Secretary

At its June leadership meeting, the CAWA Board of Directors elected Michael Rukov of RepWorks Marketing as its 2019 Secretary to the Board of Directors. After graduating from Claremont Pitzer College with dual bachelor’s degrees in economics and organizational studies, Rukov started

his professional career in marketing. He worked in a variety of industries, including wholesale distribution and information technology. In 2011, he became the marketing coordinator at One Stop Parts Source. He was later promoted to products and marketing coordinator and then became the products and marketing manager. In

2015, Rukov became the western regional sales manager for the Continental Corporation, where he was responsible for 26 western states. He recently accepted a new position with RepWorks Marketing as a senior executive account manager. In his new role, he will be responsible for the traditional warehouse distributing business in Southern California as well as being a part of the company’s executive team. Rukov co-founded YANG and is the current chairman emeritus of the YANG Advisory Council and Chair of the Auto Care Association’s Education Committee. He also had been selected as one of the four Impact Award winners: “Four for the Future.” He is a recent graduate with an Executive MBA degree from Northwood University DeVos School of Business. Rukov graduated from Leadership 2.0 in 2014 and Leadership 3.0 in 2017. He was a recipient of a 2015 CAWA scholarship award to continue his education. He is married and has two children ages 8 and 5. He also enjoys watching NASCAR and loves traveling the world with his family and friends.

“We are pleased to have someone who at a relative early stage in his auto care career stepped up to an officers’ position within the association, and we look forward to his many years of service and contributions to CAWA,” commented Jack Gosnell, chair of the Board of Directors upon Rukov’s election. “I am humbled and extremely excited to be elected to this important role within the CAWA. I look forward to increasing my involvement in the association and hope to help bring more young members to our meetings and events. Furthermore, I am thrilled that CAWA stands behind the future generation of the automotive Industry,” commented Rukov upon his election. The CAWA is a non-profit trade association representing automotive aftermarket parts manufacturers, jobbers, warehouse distributors and retailers in California, Nevada, and Arizona.


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BAR Program Representative Speaks at East Bay CAA Chapter Meetings by Ed Attanasio

Program Representative II Mark Guess, who works for the Field Operations and Enforcement Division at the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), made a two-part presentation to the members of the East Bay

BAR Program Representative II Mark Guess (left) and CAA East Bay Chapter President Tiffany Silva at last month’s chapter meeting, where Guess made the second part of his two-part presentation

chapter of the California Autobody Association (EB-CAA) on June 16 at Back 40 Texas BBQ in Pleasant Hill, CA. During part two of his presentation, he covered the following topics and fielded questions from the 80 Continued from Cover

Staged Collision Ring

worked as a material damage appraiser for Nationwide, where he inspected damaged vehicles, prepared repair estimates and issued checks to claimants for their damaged cars. Collisions Never Occurred or Vehicles Intentionally Damaged An investigation by the California Department of Insurance, which led to Mejia’s arrest in October 2017, revealed that Mejia and additional suspects orchestrated an elaborate scheme to defraud insurers with paper collisions that never occurred or by intentionally damaging vehicles to submit fraudulent claims. Prosecutors asserted that Mejia often inflated the damage to the cars in his estimates and even wrote estimates for cars that were not actually damaged. The government contended that Mejia and a “capper” recruited people to insure vehicles and make fraudulent claims, resulting in 70 fraudulent claims. After leaving Nationwide, Mejia 10

members in attendance:

costing you) • Unfair business practices, such as fraud and false or misleading statements, and how to avoid these practices • Ways to stay compliant with the Automotive Repair Act that governs their business

Tony March (left) and his daughter Gigi Walker, owner of Walker’s Auto Body & Fleet Repair, in Concord, CA

(l to r) Brenden Hu, Brianna Habu and David Habu, the owners of Panel Craft Auto Body and Collision Repair in Berkeley, CA, run this second-generation shop

• Program estimating, invoicing and authorization requirements • Identifications of parts on estimates and invoices (new, used, reconditioned, or rebuilt and for crash parts including the windshield, new

OEM or non-OEM aftermarket) • Auto body trade standards for windshield replacement, A/C requirements, corrosion protection and sectioning of structural components • Advanced Driver Assistance Systems requirements (pre-scan, postscan, and recalibration) • Quality control (what it’s really

worked as a claims adjuster at MetLife Insurance in Nevada where, the government said, he continued his scheme adjusting known fraudulent claims. Mejia issued settlement checks to claimants that were redirected to a friend in Los Angeles who was cashing the checks, the government said. According to the government, additional victim insurers included State Farm, Wawanesa and Mercury.

Steven A. Meyerowitz, Esq., (smeyerowitz@meyerowitzcommuni is director of FC&S Legal, editor-in-chief of Insurance Coverage Law Report, and founder and president of Meye-rowitz Communications Inc.

This article was originally published on Copyright (c) ALM Media Properties. All Rights Reserved. Republished here with permission.


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• Reviewed specific insurance penal codes that can cause a repair facility to find themselves on the wrong side of a transaction • The Auto Body Inspection Program and how it works CAA Board Member Kathy Mello

saw great value in the comprehensive speech made by Guess. “The presentation by Mark Guess of the BAR was very informative and delivered in practical terms to assist estimators, owners and techs about how to remain compliant,” Mello said. “This department is eager to continue to educate this industry and offers training sessions. You can contact the BAR to schedule an individualized proactive assessment and training for your facility.” Jim Boyle, the owner of Regal Collision in Vallejo, CA, also enjoyed the presentation for several reasons. “We need to know all of this information so that we can be aware of what we need to know to stay compliant,” he said. “With so many things going on all the time in my shop, we need to work hard to make certain that every repair we do is in line with OE standards and the BAR. Mark showed us some great videos, and the handouts he gave us are excellent. Cars are changing every year and the technology is over the top, so guest speakers like Mark Guess are essential. That’s why we are members of the CAA.”

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SCRS Debuts the IDEAS Collide Showcase on Friday of SEMA Show

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) announced the introduction of a new event on Friday, Nov. 2 during the 2018 SEMA Show. The IDEAS Collide Showcase (IDEAS Collide), Visionary Disruption and Solution in the Collision Repair Industry will be an extension of the association’s ever-evolving Repairer Driven Education series. The two-hour long session will run from 10 a.m.–noon and feature 10 fast-paced presentations designed to stimulate thought, innovation and resolution of business challenges with brash, outspoken and thoughtprovoking concepts from thought leaders both in and out of the industry. IDEAS Collide is the perfect place for captivating individuals, concept-driven startups or tenured companies with an eye on the future to take center stage and present innovative ideas, business models and concepts that have the potential to revolutionize the future of the collision repair industry. SCRS wants to explore concepts and business solutions that have the potential to create para-

digm shifts in the businesses we serve. Proposed concepts should focus on either Industry Disruption or Industry Solution: Industry Disruption will rattle the status quo with ambitious ideas that have a transformative effect on the industry. From conceptual alternatives to existing business models, technological advancements that will shake up the automotive aftermarket landscape to changing the consumer expectation of what is possible—this segment is certain to leave heads spinning with possibility. Industry Solutions will offer conceptual keys to resolving existing market challenges, business considerations, resources and solutions that stem from, or can be implemented by, great minds within the industry. SCRS is accepting applications from thought leaders through July 31. Presentations for the IDEAS Collide Showcase will be based on the submission of the completed entry information and a five-minute (or less) video pitch of your idea. To submit your application, send an

TX Student Wins National Acclaim in Collision Repair Category at SkillsUSA by Christy Soto, KWTX 10

A Texas State Technical College Waco student turned a lifelong passion into skills that helped him bring home a medal at a national competition.

Juan Alcala grew up working alongside his father at their car shop. He was 6 years old when he developed his passion for cars. “It’s in my blood line—there is something about cars I can’t look away from,” Alcala said. Recently, he traveled to Kentucky with his classmates and competed in the SkillsUSA 54th Annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in the collision repair technology category. He won the bronze, beating student mechanics from across the nation. Alcala returned to TSTC Waco as the first person since the 1990s to place in his category. 12

“It was astonishing. [It] caught me off guard [that] I placed and made history; it’s kind of cool,” Alcala said. For Alcala, his biggest reward was not bringing home a medal, but making his mentors and his father proud. “To me, it was a very proud moment for myself. I had finally met his expectations,” Alcala said. “He was very proud of me. It was the first time we’d ever done something like this.” His instructor, Philip McKee, was not surprised Alcala placed at nationals. “Craftsmanship of Juan’s work is probably the top here at the school, obviously—the best in the state of Texas—and I wasn’t really surprised at all that he placed at nationals,” McKee said. Alcala said this is only the beginning of his journey. “Only one thing we can do, and it is to better ourselves as we go along,” Alcala said. We thank KWTX 10 for reprint permission.


email to with the following information in the body of the message, or in an editable document containing: • Session title • Session description (This will be used to promote the presentation if selected.) • Presenter name, title, company, email address and phone number The video submission should highlight your comfort in conveying your message. Consider your content and delivery, thinking outside the box as you put together the proposal. The proposal should "sell" the selection committee on your concept and ultimately on the unique experience audience members will receive during your session. Submissions chosen will receive a maximum of 10 minutes on stage during the 2018 SEMA Show to present their great ideas. Audience members will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite presentation, and crowd favorites will receive in-depth interviews in Repairer Driven News. For more information, contact SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg at

OR Automotive Shops Need To Prepare for New Law

Repair shops in Oregon need to be aware of a new law regarding liens that goes into effect Jan. 1. Currently, repair shops in Oregon have a right to file a lien on vehicles in their possession if the owner of the vehicle does not pay the authorized bill. A new Oregon law is intended to address the issue of a few unscrupulous shops that abuse these liens by overbilling for work done so they can take ownership of the customer’s vehicle. Effective Jan. 1, all automotive repair shops in Oregon must purchase a $20,000 bond in order to exercise their right to place a lien on a customer’s vehicle. The bond costs will vary and are determined by the automotive repair shop’s credit rating. If you need help with the bond, please contact Northwest Automotive Trades Association’s insurance partner, Derek Aldrich with EPB&B at (503)445-8403 or daldrich@epbb .com. He can help you through this process. / AUGUST 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


SEMA Seeks Up-and-Coming Vehicle Builders

In an effort to recognize young talent and foster the future growth of the automotive aftermarket industry, the 2018 SEMA Young Guns Regional Program will provide car builders age 27 or younger throughout the country an opportunity to showcase their vehicle at the premier automotive trade show in the world—the SEMA Show, held Oct. 30–Nov. 2, 2018, in Las Vegas. Since its inception in 2016, more than 130 Young Guns builders have taken part in the vehicle build competition. Many of these young builders have gotten a boost toward becoming professional car builders by participating in the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition. “Young Guns is a strategic initiative to build excitement and involvement among younger builders in our industry,” said SEMA Chairman of the Board Wade Kawasaki. “We’ve been very pleased with the reception to the program so far, and we’re thrilled to build upon its success.” In 2017, SEMA partnered with regional car shows to seek hidden talent and emerging stars. This year, the association will help 14 up-and-com-


ing builders (up from six builders in 2017) jump-start their careers with a trip to the 2018 SEMA Show to compete in SEMA Battle of the Builders. “We have partnered with AutoCon, Bonnier and Goodguys to help us discover and foster even more up-and-coming builders this year,” said SEMA Vice PresidentMarketing, PR & Communications Ira Gabriel. “We are excited to expand the SEMA Young Guns program and give younger enthusiasts who may not already have a vehicle at the 2018 SEMA Show an opportunity to network with industry leaders at the trade-only event.” Thirteen winners will be recognized from select regional events and will receive a Young Guns prize package that includes an all-expense paid trip for two to the 2018 SEMA Show, transportation of the winner’s vehicle, entry into the Battle of the Builders competition and a designated feature spot at the show, a unique benefit reserved exclusively for exhibitors. Additionally, a 14th winner will be selected via an online fan vote from many of the participating venues. “Goodguys is always looking to


bring the youth into our industry, and joining with SEMA has helped push our current Young Guys program to a new level,” said Goodguys Vice President-Sales & Sponsorship Ed Capen. “We look forward to this continued relationship to help bring more awareness though the next generation of enthusiasts.” Regional Young Guns winners will compete alongside industry icons during the 2018 SEMA Battle of the Builders contest, which is the basis for a nationwide television special that will premiere on the Velocity Channel. New for 2018 is the recognition of an overall Young Guns winner from the Top 10 finalists chosen by industry judges. To qualify for the Young Guns designation at each of the regional shows, a builder must be 27 or younger by the final night of the SEMA Show, Nov. 2, 2018, and must be registered at the participating regional show.

For more information, including a list of participating regional events, visit

PPG Posts Q3 Collision Refinish Training

PPG has released its schedule of collision refinish training classes for July, August and September. Classes cover key collision refinish subjects and are designed to ensure that paint technicians are up to date with PPG products, processes and technological advances. All classes are led by expert instructors, take one to two days and are held at PPG Business Development Centers and various field locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. PPG training is the most extensive in the refinish industry, offering a broad range of topics from product selection, equipment and color tools to surface preparation and paint application best practices. All PPG classes allow opportunities for informal discussions and Q&A sessions with the trainers. Participants receive classroom instruction and, when appropriate, hands-on experience in the spray booth.

Vehicle Damage in Pleasant Valley, NV, Blamed on Road Project by Ed Pearce, KOLO 8 News Now

A group of area residents gathered around their cars in a Washoe Valley, NV, church parking lot. The conversation was animated and the subject was road debris, specifically mediumsized gravel chips. They’re angry and ready to show you why. Everyone here lives in Pleasant Valley or Washoe Valley. That means they drive Old 395 every day, and that daily trip is taking a toll on their vehicles. There are chipped windshields— some already leading to cracks—and chips taken out of paint and headlights. The damage adds up. “There’s $10,000 to $12,000 of damage in that car right there,” said Gil Grieve. “The headlights alone are two grand.” Grieve knows what he’s talking about. He owns a Reno auto body shop. Those figures are just the beginning. Grieve said he knows personally of 40 vehicles damaged. Some estimates place the true figure at maybe double that or more. The cause of all this damage is a state transportation department

project on Old US 395, which is now 395 Alternate. The process is called chip seal— gravel and asphalt laid over the road’s surface, then sealed by what’s called a fog seal. Before that happens, however, there’s a lot of loose gravel on the roadway. Passing vehicles kick it up; windshields, headlights and paint jobs get damaged. The Nevada Department of Transportation has received complaints. “A lot of the feedback we’ve received has been concerns about other vehicles speeding,” said NDOT spokesperson Meg Ragonese. “That’s why we want to remind drivers to follow that speed limit that we’ve posted of 35 miles an hour.” But here’s a surprise. The sign says 35 miles an hour, but that’s not enforceable. Nevada Highway Patrol confirmed it. As currently signed, you can’t be cited for exceeding the advisory speed limit in this case, as long as you’re below the regular posted limit. So, some unthinking or uncaring motorists do just that. The standard advice is to keep

to 35 miles per hour and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. That wouldn’t have prevented the damage to Breanna Cuesta’s new sport utility vehicle, the one Grieve said has thousands in damages. “A GMC Cadillac came by me doing about 35–40 miles per hour, the suggested speed limit out there. And all of a sudden I heard this popping on my windshield,” she said. And that was from a vehicle passing her. Her windshield shows the damage. Her car is just 4 months old. These people can submit a claim for the damage to the state and the paving company. But what are their chances? Grieve figures windshield damage, very visible, will be easiest. Paint chips and headlights might be harder. “If you have a late model vehicle, it will be fairly easy to prove,” Grieve said. “If you have a later model, over 5 years old, it will be challenging to prove what is prior and what is new.” One question all of them ask is why the work was necessary; there’s

a suspicion it was all about burning up allocated dollars as the fiscal year closed. The road, they say, was in good condition. “Why would they choose of all the roads in the county to do that road repair to this road?” asked Grieve. Ragonese agreed the road was in fair shape, but said that was the point. “What chip seal does is it preserves a road in fair condition in that condition before it ages and deteriorates to the point where we have to do a greater type of restorative preservation,” Ragonese said. Construction crews are now working on the west side of Washoe Valley. Speed is held in check on the two-lane road here by a pilot vehicle escorting traffic. And over in Pleasant Valley, the gravel remains. The damage continues. We thank KOLO 8 News Now for reprint permission.


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Mike Tolman Single-Handedly Runs Premier Collision Center in ID by Jenni Whiteley, Idaho State Journal

Though most of the profits for Premier Collision Center in Pocatello, ID, come from insurance claim repairs, owner Mike Tolman’s real passion is obvious—renovating award-winning, souped-up, glammed-up, “violent” hot rod cars. Tolman said he has won just about every award there is for his cars, from “Best Paint” to “1st in Class.” A few years ago at Reno’s Hot August Nights, one of the largest nostalgic car shows in the world, Tolman’s red 1955 Protouring red Chevrolet 210 won the “People’s Choice” award at the Grand Sierra Hotel. What is more amazing, though, is that the Pocatello resident renovates these beautiful cars with only one hand. Born without his right hand, Tolman said, “I was lucky enough that my parents didn’t cut me any slack. That’s hard to do as a parent. I remember my dad making me learn to tie my shoes. I didn’t move until I figured it out. That’s how it’s been. They just didn’t do it for me. Nobody’s ever done it for me. I figured it out. “In working with cars, there have been things that I’ve struggled to do for a second until I figure out another way to do it, but not many. I can do anything anyone in the shop can do and I can do it as fast or faster now—but I’m 53 and I’ve been doing it a long time. My favorite saying when I see these guys (his employees) struggling with stuff is to ask them if they want a guy with one hand to do it for them ... Having only one hand has been challenging a bit, but I don’t know what it’s like to be on the other side so I just do what I do. I wouldn’t change it, though. It’s made me more determined to make my work stand out.” And stand out it does. Tolman said that at this past Chrome in the Dome car show in Holt Arena, he was asked to bring in his red ‘55 Chevy as a showcase piece to attract patrons. At the event, patrons are each given a ticket to cast their vote for their favorite car by placing it in a jar next to the car. Tolman didn’t even have a jar next to his car, yet he found the interior full of tickets when he went to take it home. 16

Tolman’s parents bought him a 1970 Firebird when he was 16 years old, and after that Tolman said all he wanted to do was work on that car. “Attending school was boring to me,” Tolman recalled about high school. “I kept getting into trouble

Tolman also realized that he had little time for his family as well. He said it took nearly losing the use of his good hand to make him realize what was really important and convince him to find his passion again. “One day, I was about to go to work and looked out the garage window to find my wife poking a stick at a spider,” he said. “I’m a joker, so I slapped the window to scare her and my hand accidentally went through the window—and I’m a onehanded guy to start with. “It messed me up pretty Mike Tolman, owner of Premier Collision Center in Pocatello, ID, poses in his body shop with some of the vehicles that he’s good, so I was off work for renovated over the years. Credit: Jenni Whiteley, For the a while and decided to never Idaho State Journal go back.” … One time, I got my car out on a Tolman started doing insurance golf course and was peeling out on claim repairs at home and then in the grass. They didn’t appreciate 2001, he and a partner bought out that, so I got in trouble for that and a Bridger Auto Body, which they relot of other things. So I decided I was named Premier Collision Center. In done with school.” 2008, Tolman became the sole owner. When Tolman informed his No matter what regular job he mother about his decision to drop was doing, Tolman never stopped out, she told him that if he got his renovating cars as well. GED, she was fine with it—fully expecting he would fail. Much to his mother’s dismay, he passed and Tolman’s career with cars began. After a short period of working different odd jobs, Tolman was hired on at Jack’s Auto Body in Chubbuck. “My bosses, Jim Harper and Jack Lewis, were great mentors and taught me a lot,” Tolman said. “They knew I was into cars and needed a job. They gave me a job basically sweeping floors and emptying garbage. I did that for about a month and then I was working on cars … They saw my passion for it and that I was kind of a natural at it, and pretty soon I was a full-time body repairman in their shop.” During his career, Tolman also worked for C. Ed Flandro’s Ford body shop until it closed. He ended up at the Pocatello Heinz as a team supervisor for more than five years. He ran several of the lines there and instead of calling maintenance when the lines broke down, he would fix them himself. “They soon moved me wherever there was a problem and I would sort it out,” Tolman said. “I was making great money, but I had no time to work on cars anymore.”


“You can make money renovating cars,” Tolman stated. “It’s really difficult, but you can do it. Most people don’t understand the financial and time commitment involved. People watch these car shows where they rebuild a car in a week. It actually takes months and months. Our average turn-around time on a Camaro is 10 to 14 months—pretty much two full-time guys working on it about 40 hour weeks.” Tolman estimated the cost of bringing an old car into the condition of one like his to be at least $50,000. The average cost of the paint job alone is $12,000 to $15,000. But anyone interested in hiring Tolman to renovate their car better decide soon. Tolman is planning to retire in about three to four years and will then only work on cars purely for his own enjoyment. Premier Collision Center is at 2167 Garrett Way in Pocatello and can be reached at 208-233-3310. We thank Idaho State Journal for reprint permission. / AUGUST 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


The San Pablo, CA, Collision Repair Student Returns as the Teacher by Ed Attanasio

Laura Salas, 28, graduated from Contra Costa College’s automotive collision repair technology department, located in San Pablo, CA, in 2010. Six years later, she was named the Co-Chair of the Automotive Services department, a position her predecessor, Peter Lock, held for 36 years. What do you think about the job after two full years at the

time instructors and a pool of four part-time teachers. We are never all in the same building at any time, so communicating amongst the faculty is something that has to be carefully coordinated. I am also responsible for budgeting the department, which is a big part of being the chair and a new experience for me.

What are some of the major changes you’ve been working on since taking on the position?


On the collision side, we offer eight classes currently, and we are in the process of revising our I’ve been lucky because Peter curriculum. We have been receiving Lock has helped me every a lot of valuable feedback from our step of the way. He retired, but then Advisory Committee, [which] conhe came back and he has been amaz- sists of people from the industry, and ing. He teaches three days a week we’re using that as we proceed. We covering all of the advanced courses. want our classes to be more relevant to what is happening in the collision industry today. As you know, this industry has changed dramatically within the last five years. With all of the new applications with new types of metals, the fact that many body shops are being absorbed by the big MSOs and the structure within the body shop is changing, all of the new electronics with Laura Salas (left) was one of Peter Lock’s top students at Contra Costa College’s automotive collision repair technology sensors and cameras all program before she replaced him as co-chair of the over these new cars and auautomotive services department in 2016 tonomous transportation— I think I will eventually kick him out all of these things come into play at some point (laughs). Mr. Lock when a tech or an estimator writes a taught me a lot about life and helped repair plan. me become a better person, and he Our main question for the Advialso gave me the knowledge I sory Board is: What are the main needed to do this job. The biggest skills that our students will need challenge for me has been learning today? When I was a student here, the academic end of things. I’ve had the program focused more on metal to learn a lot about the administrative finishing, but do they want us to aspect of this job and how to work teach more about the electronics end effectively within the system. The of things now because it has become collision side of things and commu- such a significant part of the indusnicating the curriculum comes to me try? We want to teach our students easily because I’ve loved it for so the basics, of course, but we also long, and I’m confident doing that. want to cover all of our bases to offer But there are a lot of other things that a well-rounded curriculum. go along with teaching at a junior Shops all over the country are college involving prioritizing duties complaining that they can’t and running the entire department. I’m in charge of overseeing the find enough qualified people to do entire faculty in the automotive de- the job. How would you respond to partment, which consists of two full- that?








We work hard to create professionals who can hit the ground running once they graduate. We concentrate to a great degree on helping our students develop what we call their “soft skills.” That’s why we operate our classes in a professional manner that is very similar to what they will encounter in the body shop world. They clock in and out and have to wear uniforms, and we’re constantly reminding them to wear their PPE (Personal Protection Equipment). We stress punctuality, accountability [and] being clean and organized—the really simple stuff the students aren’t familiar with because they’ve eliminated all of the auto tech programs at the high school level. It’s a challenge for many of them because they didn’t grow up with these skills, and now they have to develop them while learning a skill. It’s hard to teach someone a work ethic, so if you can find an answer to that one, please let me know. We also teach our students how to foster open communication with


their instructors and assistants so that they will practice it once they’re hired by a shop. In some cases, communication is more important than grinding a panel or sanding or applying body filler. That relationship of trust and communication with your journeyman is valuable, so we really try to get our students to understand that part of it. We believe that either the technical end of things will come to them as they go through our classes naturally or [it won’t]. But their work ethic and the practice of doing repairs properly and responsibly—it’s a big deal here and we make it a priority. You can have all of the skills in the world, but if you can’t do the basics, you won’t be able to succeed.

Your program has always been well-known for its strong connections and partnerships to shops all over the Bay Area. The goal is to get your students internships that hopefully lead to eventual employment, correct?


See Student Returns, Page 24 / AUGUST 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


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Spanesi Americas Expands Training Team

Spanesi Americas is proud to announce the addition of Dan Dziuban in the role of technical trainer. Dziuban joins the Spanesi training team, which is tasked with creating curriculum and delivering all educational activities for Spanesi Americas’ customers, distributors and internal staff members across the United States and Canada. “I’m excited to join the team of Spanesi Americas,” Dziuban stated. “I’ve Dan Dziuban been looking forward to joining the team since I first used the Spanesi motorcycle lift in my repair facility. Spanesi builds excellent products and I’m looking forward to providing training for Spanesi’s customers and distributors.” Mr. Dziuban has over 20 years of experience in the automotive and industrial coatings industry. Recently, he owned and operated his own automotive repair facility.


AAPEX 2018 Forum To Spotlight Retrofitting ADAS on Existing Cars to Save Lives

AAPEX 2018 has lined up leading experts of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) to discuss the growing number of technologies and products that can be installed in millions of vehicles in the car parc and will significantly increase safety functionality. Experts will dive deep into what these products are, how many vehicles can be retrofitted, the potential for reducing fatalities, the potential for new business opportu-

nities and how these products can be properly installed in today’s vehicles. The new ADAS Forum – Saving Lives Through Retrofitting ADAS on Existing Cars will be held Thursday, Nov. 1, from 10 a.m.– 11:30 a.m. (PDT) at The Venetian in Las Vegas. AAPEX, which represents the $740 billion global automotive af-


derstanding of the direction, relevance and importance of ADAS technology to the future of the aftermarket industry. The ADAS Forum is part of the comprehensive AAPEXedu program at this year’s event. The Forum and all AAPEXedu sessions are included in the AAPEX online registration fee, which is $40 A new expert-led forum at AAPEX 2018 in Las Vegas will (U.S.) through Friday, show the potential for saving lives by retrotting ADAS on Oct. 12. To register, visit: existing vehicles The panel of experts includes /attendee. AAPEX 2018 will feature more Chris Cook, president, Mobile Electronics Association; Jim Warren, than 2,500 exhibiting companies disexecutive director, Vision Zero Auto- playing the latest products, services motive Network; John Waraniak, and technologies. More than 47,000 vice president of vehicle technology, targeted buyers are expected to attend Specialty Equipment Market Associ- and approximately 162,000 automoation (SEMA); and Chris Gardner, tive aftermarket professionals from MAAP, vice president, Automotive 135 countries are projected to be in Aftermarket Suppliers Association Las Vegas during AAPEX 2018. AAPEX is a trade-only event (AASA) and moderator of the forum. In addition to learning about and is not open to the general public. new products and opportunities for saving lives with currently available aftermarket safety technology, attendees also will gain a better termarket industry, will take place Tuesday, Oct. 30 through Nov. 1 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.

Extortion Scam Targets Elderly in Silverdale, WA, Parking Lots by Andrew Binion, Kitsap Sun

The Rite Aid clerk sensed something was amiss and called 911. The elderly woman, wearing only one shoe, wanted to buy about $1,000 in gift cards while a younger man loomed over her, calling her “mom” like he was trying to make it appear they knew each other. Authorities allege it was a scheme by men posing as auto body repair workers targeting elderly people. The men would offer them a discount for work on their cars— performed on the spot—but then afterward demanded far more than the work was actually worth. Three men—Allen Troy Ephrem, 25, of Pocatello, ID; Kevin Jonathan Stevens, 23, of Port Orchard; and Brandon Andres Stone, 24, of Tacoma—pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated second-degree extortion and were sentenced in June in Kitsap County Superior Court to eight months in jail. At least one month of the sentence would have to be served in the jail, but if eligible, the men could serve the remainder of their sentences on house arrest.

When sheriff’s deputies tracked down the woman, who was said to be about 80 years old, after the Jan. 8, 2017 incident, she said she had been approached in the parking lot of the Silverdale Jo-Ann Fabrics by three men claiming they could repair a dent on her car at a nearby park and cut her a deal for $500. She could tell right away that they did a subpar job—the paint didn’t match and the surface was still rough—but the men said they had to do more work than expected and now she owed them $1,200, which they said was a bargain because they should really charge $1,500. The men went with her to an ATM where they took $500, but after that went to the Rite Aid and demanded she purchase the gift cards for a total of $1,500. While there, the woman said the man who accompanied her had her arm in his, leaned into her and told her not to say anything, according to court documents. The woman told investigators “she was nervous and scared and wanted to take off, but feared what they might to do to her” if she

didn’t cooperate, according to the court documents. “How could they do that to a great-grandmother?” the woman wrote to the judge in the case, saying now she feared leaving the house. The three men were arrested Feb. 4, 2017 at the same Rite Aid when employees called 911, suspecting they were running the same scam on an elderly man. The man told investigators he had been approached last year in the Silverdale Burger King parking lot by the men, who said they could repair damage to his truck for $600. The man said he didn’t have the money, but the men “banged out a dent some,” an investigator wrote in court documents, and gave the man their phone number. In February, the men spotted him in the Home Depot parking lot and asked if he was ready to have the work done, and the man said OK. They drove to the Kitsap Mall parking lot, pulled out the front bumper and applied some putty, then told the man he owed them $4,300. However, they gave him a “final offer” of $1,800. The men fol-

lowed him to an ATM, where he withdrew $1,000, and then instructed him to drive to the Rite Aid and buy $800 in gift cards. “He feared what they might do to him if he didn’t pay,” an investigator wrote, “noting he was small, elderly and frail with a colostomy bag and would not be able to defend himself.” Once back at the Rite Aid, a clerk recognized the scam and called 911, stalling the men until deputies could arrive. Stone, who admitted to being with the woman when buying the gift cards in January, said he called everybody “mom” and “pops” and had put his hands on the woman to help her walk. Stone said he couldn’t read or do math but acknowledged the woman was overcharged, according to court documents. “After speaking with the three suspects, it was clear they were not being honest about their actions and that they were trolling local parking lots looking for elderly victims to scam,” an investigator wrote. We thank Kitsap Sun for reprint permission.

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Continued from Cover

VW Exploding Sunroof

• 2009-2017 Volkswagen Tiguan

According to Deras, she leased a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta in June 2013 and purchased the vehicle on June 3, 2016, at the end of her lease term. She claims that in 2017 while driving on the freeway, a loud “BOOM” like a gunshot went off in the car, followed by a hail of glass falling on her head and the interior of the Volkswagen. She said she saw a large hole in the center of her sunroof with the edges of the glass pointing upward, indicating the glass wasn’t broken from outside the vehicle. The plaintiff said VW has concealed defects in the sunroofs because since Dec. 14, 2009, 57 “owners and lessees of Class Vehicles have reported an incident of their sunroof shattering” to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to the plaintiff, VW further knew of the defect through its internal tracking systems and because the automaker issued a recall for its 2013—2015 Beetle. The recall was issued “relating to the shattering of sunroofs,” but “it has done nothing regarding the far more predominant problem relating to all regular and panoramic sunroof shattering that affects potentially hundreds of thousands or more VW vehicles.” Volkswagen moved to dismiss the exploding sunroof class-action lawsuit, starting with implied warranty claims on the grounds they are barred by the four-year statute of limitations. Continued from Page 18

Student Returns

Yes, it’s an integral part of what we do, and that’s why we’re constantly fostering new relationships with shops. We’re members of the California Autobody Association (CAA) and they have always been big supporters of our program. We reach out to shop owners, vendors and others in the industry that are interested in our students and



The plaintiff does not dispute that she did not file the lawsuit within four years of the date on which she leased the vehicle. However, she argues that her claim was timely because her June 2016 purchase re-started the statute of limitations clock. The judge agreed. Deras also claims she can bring an implied warranty claim because Volkswagen sold her the vehicle, but VW argues the lawsuit never mentions where she actually purchased the vehicle. However, the judge ruled the assumption is the vehicle was purchased from the same dealership that leased it. However, according to the judge, VW won the argument about a claim of unjust enrichment by arguing the new vehicle warranty precludes the claim. Concerning the claim that Volkswagen knew about the sunroof problems because of internal monitoring and complaints made to NHTSA, VW says the allegations are not enough to state a claim in court, and the judge agreed. Deras alleges NHTSA received 57 complaints of shattering sunroofs between Dec. 14, 2009, and April 11, 2017, and that safety regulators monitored the complaints. Of those complaints, 45 were made before Deras purchased her vehicle on June 3, 2016. But according to the judge, “the Ninth Circuit has held that consumer complaints suffice to establish knowledge only where there were an unusual number of complaints, such that the manufacturer would be on notice of a specific problem.” The judge also found the plaintiff contends there are “potentially hundreds of thousands or more of want to hire them after graduation. We have placed a lot of our graduates in shops all over the Bay Area, and that is one of the big reasons why we are what we are today. We often reach out to them and vice versa, and it’s been a great relationship for many years here at Contra Costa College.



VW vehicles with defective sunroofs, so 57 complaints out of hundreds of thousands of vehicles aren’t an unusual number of complaints.” “These complaints therefore do not show VW’s knowledge of the alleged defect,” said Judge Jon S. Tigar. As for the allegation that Volkswagen knew about the alleged shattering sunroofs because of a previous recall related to sunroofs, the judge ruled Deras has cited no authority, and the judge is aware of none, holding that prior recalls of similar products is enough to establish knowledge of a defect. Therefore, the judge dismissed claims of violations of California’s unfair competition law, California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and fraud by omission, but with leave to amend the claims. Overall, the judge dismissed all the claims against Volkswagen except claims related to implied warranties. The Volkswagen exploding sunroof class-action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California - Rosaura

Deras, et. al., v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. The plaintiff is represented by the Law Office of Robert L. Starr, APC, and the Law Office of Stephen M. Harris, APC. has complaints about the models named in the lawsuit: • Volkswagen Jetta

• Volkswagen Golf • Volkswagen GTI • Volkswagen CC

• Volkswagen Eos

• Volkswagen Rabbit • Volkswagen Passat

• Volkswagen Touareg • Volkswagen Tiguan

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After the Donation: CA Veteran’s Benevolence Car Helps Her in Time of Need by Ed Attanasio

When deserving people get cars from body shops, either MSOs or independents, it is always a win-win for the industry and the community. In this series, we will follow up to find out how these vehicles have helped these deserving people pursue their dreams and achieve their goals after they received their cars. In 2016, Army Reserve Veteran TeJae Dunnivant and her son, Asad. received a 2014 VW Jetta from Mike’s Auto Body in northern California’s East Bay. The vehicle was donated by CSAA Insurance and the giveaway was sponsored by the Blue Star Moms while Dunnivant was working as a Cal Vet Advisor at the University of California, Berkeley and pursuing her degree. At the time, she needed the car to get to and from school and other chores. But when life threw TeJae a curveball, the Benevolence Program vehicle from Mike’s Auto Body became even more instrumental to the survival of her and her family. Three months after receiving the vehicle, TeJae found out that Asad (now 12) had leukemia. “In February of 2017 we got the news, and of course that was a major shock,” she said. “When I originally wrote my letter for the car, I stated that I needed it to go to the grocery store and go to the food banks, which is hard to do on foot. But now we were using it to go back and forth from Albany, where we live, to Oakland Children’s Hospital, so the car became [a much] more important lifeline for us and a more major part of our lives.” With Asad’s diagnosis, public transportation wasn’t even an option, so the car made it even more important, TeJae explained. “Once your child has AML leukemia like Asad has, they undergo a bone marrow transplant, which means it kills his immune system and can’t be on public transportation. For a full year, he was not allowed to go on the bus, so the car was a true blessing. All I kept thinking was, ‘Thank God I got this car from Mike’s Auto Body.’” It was a stressful time, and the vehicle helped TeJae get through this anxious and uncertain time, she said. “The car was key for many rea26

sons, and it made our lives a little easier,” she said. “We were going through a very tough period, but at least I didn’t have to worry about transportation. When things get like that, stuff can really pile up, but at least we didn’t have any anxiety about not having transportation.”

the way to the prototype stage, and we’re now applying for full certification,” she said.”It may lead to becoming a startup now. We’re pretty excited about it because it will help children alleviate their anxiety when they are going through cancer treatment. I am now working with some of the best oncologists at Oakland Children’s Hospital to work with the children with our prototype.” Asad’s treatment is now done, and he is definitely almost completely recovered at this point, TeJae said. “He got his second round of immunizations, his hair has grown back and he is (l to r) Veteran TeJae Dunnivant and her son received a 2014 VW Jetta from CSAA Insurance. CSAA Insurance gaining weight, which is Group’s Community Affairs Coordinator Victor Cordon wonderful,” she said. “He is stands with the Dunnivants at Mike’s Auto Body still not in school because he After Asad’s treatments, get- isn’t completely immunized yet, but ting food for him to eat was essen- he is scheduled to go back to school tial. That’s where the vehicle was in the fall.” even more vital. CFO Ragen Rose at Mike’s Auto “Asad lost his hair and the treat- Body discussed the value of her comment killed his taste buds, so I had to pany’s Benevolence Program, which go to the grocery store to get food is now in its 18th year. that he could eat,” TeJae said. “He had to eat only processed food, because fresh fruit and vegetables can contain bacteria. So I was constantly going to Trader Joe’s to buy things such as Indian frozen food that he would like and that he could eat. His diet was very limited, but by getting the right food, he was able to eat and keep his strength up.” Amazingly, during this very stressful time, TeJae was able to stay in school at UC Berkeley and pursue her degree in media studies. “A lot of people were telling me that it’s crazy for me to stay in school while my child was undergoing cancer treatment,” she said. “But with the Jetta, I could go from the hospital to school and not drop out, which was a big deal for me. This summer, I will be completing my last two classes and earn my degree. In the spring, I walked through my graduation, so I am so excited about the next chapter in my life.” Coincidentally, TeJae worked on a fellowship team at UC Berkeley developing an augmented reality product that is designed to mitigate anxiety in children undergoing cancer treatment. “We took it all from ideation all


“It is an amazing experience every time we see the recipients get their cars,” she said. “Everyone has to be able to get around and get to work—taking the kids to school, sports, doctor’s appointments, etc. We know that having a reliable car makes a huge difference, and sometimes we take it for granted. The goal of this program is to make that difference in peoples’ lives, and that’s why I am very proud to say that we really care about the people and the communities we work and live in.” Mike’s Auto Body CEO Brennan Rose never gets tired of helping people by giving them the gift of transportation. “The day of our Benevolence Program is one of the best days of the year for us,” he said. “It brings our dealership partners, our insurance partners and our technician teams together to make this happen with a charity we partner with. They all come together to find the right vehicle, get the right parts, repair it the right way and find the right recipient to make See After the Donation, Page 29 / AUGUST 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


Continued from Cover

AB 2825

hicle towing, repairs or storage had been exempt from the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The bill applies similar restrictions to other creditors on how repairers and tow companies can pursue reimbursement. Molodanof described the 40page bill as extremely complicated and far-reaching, with serious problems. “In simple terms, auto repair businesses are not ‘debt collectors’; they are small businesses that service and repair vehicles for their customers,” he said. “We’re still trying to get our heads around this bill and can’t fathom why we were ever included in it at all.” One of CAA’s main concerns about AB 2825 is the fact that when a body shop becomes a debt collector, communication with customers will be highly restricted. “Generally, vehicle liens are created once the vehicle is repaired and ready for pickup,” Molodanof

said. “If this bill passes, communications will be regulated and subject to the laws that govern debt collectors. So, if you want to send the customer a friendly reminder for when the car is ready to be picked up, it’s now a whole different situation. If the customer does not respond and you send another email, text or phone call, for example, those could potentially be considered repetitive communications that might be construed as being unreasonable and a form of harassment. Before, collision repair shops were out of the loop when it came to these types of collection practices, but now they could easily be subject to strict liability, unnecessary fines, penalties and frivolous lawsuits.” Frequent communications and reminders (calling, texting, emailing, etc.) with the customer to pick up a vehicle when it’s ready may be considered “debt collection” and is prohibited under the bill. “Communications with the customer’s employer or family members to have the vehicle picked up is also prohibited, which will constrain and make the process even harder,”

Molodanof said. “Auto shops need to be able to communicate with their customers, and this bill will make all of that much more problematic.” Basic mechanics’ lien rights will also be jeopardized if AB 2825 passes, Molodanof said. “Auto repair shops may only be able to recover 50 percent of the amount owed for services and repair after a lien sale based on guidelines of what the car may be worth as opposed to its actual value. The bill fundamentally changes mechanics’ lien laws and we believe that it’s unconstitutional,” he said. The proposed bill can also lead to what Molodanof calls “unintended consequences.” “Since a repair business will not be able to recover all of the money owed for services and repairs, shops will have no choice but to start requiring customers to pay the entire amount upfront in order to begin repairs,” he said. “This will significantly impact consumers, especially low-income individuals and working families who depend on older vehicles.”

Another provision in the bill that will lead to further complications deals with what is known as “language access.” “There are five different languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese, that will trigger this section of the bill,” he said. “So, you’ll now have to provide documentation in different languages for certain customers, including estimates and final invoices. The bill is complicating the process on so many levels because all of the laws that apply to debt collectors in the traditional sense will now apply for mechanical and collision repair shops. It’s bad policy to treat auto repair businesses as traditional debt collectors because they are not debt collectors; they are small businesses that repair and service vehicles. The bill also exempts new car manufacturer dealerships that own and operate repair facilities, but fails to exempt independent auto repair businesses that perform the same services, which is patently unfair.” To fight this bill, Molodanof is instructing shops to call or contact


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their Senator and request that this bill also exempt independent automotive service and repair facilities—not just new car manufacturer dealerships. You can find your representative at and write a simple letter or email. “Wondering what to say when you call or contact your representative?” he said. “Here is a script: ‘Hi, my name is_________. I am the owner of___________. I am calling to ask that Senator ___________vote “no” unless the bill is amended to exempt independent repair shops. Auto repair shops service and repair cars for their customers. We are not debt collectors. Please vote ‘no.’ Thank you.’”




Continued from Page 26

Continued from Cover

this happen. On top of this, we have many local insurance agents donating presents to put in the car and be a part of our event. This program gives all of us at Mike’s Auto Body a sense of great pride, and that’s why we are so grateful for the partnerships we have.” Looking back on the Benevolence car and what followed, TeJae is moving forward and looking toward better days. “Yes, it has been a tough journey, but we are proud of ourselves and so thankful for the car,” she said. “Not everyone gets a vehicle from Mike’s Auto Body, and this experience has been incredible. Asad came through the treatment and I am graduating from Cal, and none of this would have happened without the Benevolence program at Mike’s Auto Body. I would like to thank former recipient and Cal student Tito Ramos for recommending me for the car, and of course I would also like to thank everyone at Mike’s for helping us in so many ways!”

aru customers? According to the reports, the intake process at the shop mirrors that of a dealership’s service drive. Estimators meet customers in the body shop’s service area to review collision damage. A key feature of Subaru’s new certified collision repair program enables customers to use their mobile devices to get daily photos of their vehicle as it goes through the repair process. The software for the program is produced by Audatex, which developed a web portal for Subaru called AutoWatch, allowing customers to get updates by email or text message and to direct questions and feedback to the body shop.

After the Donation

Virtual Visibility

Roy Duplantier, vice president of business development at Audatex, said, “You can get visibility into the shop virtually, as opposed to having to physically visit every shop.” Collision repair centers that use AutoWatch operate more transparently and tend to repair damaged vehicles faster, Duplantier said. At the same time, the collision repair program allows Subaru to monitor a shop’s repair practices and ensure it is complying with the certified network’s standards. “We get collision center statistics with cycle time and everything else that they’re doing,” said John Lancaster, Subaru of America’s national wholesale parts manager. “We also get customer satisfaction information, and the customer gets great communication out of it.” We thank Torque News for reprint permission.

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Car Prices Would Soar Under Trump’s Latest Tariff Plan by Rick Newman, Yahoo! Finance

President Trump thinks a new tax on imported cars will boost American auto production and bring back thousands of jobs. He’s about the only one. As the Trump administration readies a report on imported cars that could be the pretext for new tariffs, economists and industry officials warn of soaring costs for car buyers, a drop in overall sales and a net loss of jobs. Trump said recently that if trading partners don’t agree to his demands, “I’m going to tax their cars coming into America, and that’s the big one.” Big blunder might be more likely. Trump’s idea is to impose a 20 percent tariff on imported cars to encourage more domestic auto production. Imports would become more expensive, so consumers, in theory, would buy more domestic models, and more automakers would build cars in America to escape the tariffs. In reality, the most certain outcome is that prices would shoot up as soon as the tariffs went into effect. Americans buy about 8 million imported cars each year, and a 20 percent tariff would add $5,000 to the cost of a $25,000 car. Manufacturers might not pass all of that onto consumers, but the cost of an import would still rise by more than $4,000, on average, according to the National Taxpayers Union. Many popular models would suddenly be more expensive. Here are a few examples, with the current starting price followed by the higher price including the entire 20 percent tariff: Cars made in America would suddenly have a big price advantage. But those prices would probably rise as well because the competition would now be more expensive. The National Taxpayers Union estimates

the price of an American-made car would swell by $1,262. With prices higher across the board, Americans would buy fewer cars. Taxing Car Parts This is a very simple analysis based solely on where a car is assembled. But Trump could go further and tax cars based on the amount of Ameri-

can-made content in the vehicle. This more complicated formula would impose some degree of tariff on virtually every vehicle sold in America, because just about every car includes some foreign components. The Ford (F) F-150 pickup, for instance, is one of the most “American” cars on the market—but its U.S./Canadian parts content is just 65 percent. (Manufacturers are required to disclose U.S. and Canadian content combined, but not to break out each country.) So Trump could put a 20 percent import tariff on 35 percent of the value of an F150. On an entry-level F-150 costing $27,705, that would be an added tax of $1,939. In the country-of-origin disclosures automakers are required to file with the government, a few models consist of more than 70 percent U.S./Canadian content. None is above 80 percent. Trump’s whole plan, of course, is to boost U.S. manufacturing employment. But a variety of studies show tariffs on auto imports would do the opposite. Why? Because higher

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prices would reduce overall car sales and automakers would have to downsize. The Peterson Institute for International Economics estimates that auto tariffs would kill 195,000 auto industry jobs. That would rise to 624,000 lost jobs if other countries retaliate with similar tariffs, which is likely. (The PIIE analysis is based on a 25 percent tariff on imported autos and parts, whereas Trump has said he’s considering a slightly lower 20 percent tariff.) General Motors (GM), the biggest domestic automaker, said in a recent regulatory filing that tariffs on imports would hurt, not help, the company and the broader industry. “The penalties we could incur from tariffs and increased costs could lead to negative consequences for our company and U.S. economic security,” the automaker said. GM added that “some of the vehicles that will be hardest hit by tariff-driven

price increases—in the thousands of dollars—are often purchased by customers who can least afford to absorb a higher vehicle price point.” Used vehicle prices would rise as well, since the overall supply of cars in the used market would decline, pushing prices up. On their own, tariffs on auto imports probably wouldn’t cause a recession. But they’d weaken a key industry and sap disposable income, leaving the economy more vulnerable to a downturn. Is Trump serious? Would he really damage the auto industry in order to save it? Nobody knows, but Trump wasn’t bluffing about the tariffs he imposed on steel and aluminum imports earlier this year or those going into effect now on $50 billion worth of imports from China. A saggy stock market, depressed by investors worried about trade wars, hasn’t changed his mind either. If you’re thinking of buying a new car, now may be the moment. We thank Yahoo! Finance for reprint permission.

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Historical Snapshot with John Yoswick

—John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit Contact him by email at

A Decade Ago, a Different National Association Sought to Replace its Executive Director 20 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (August 1998) GEICO Direct, one of the country’s fastest-growing auto insurers, reached a milestone when it recently added its 3 millionth policyholder. “Our national advertising campaign is helping drivers realize the savings from dealing directly with the company and the convenience of 24-hour service, seven days a week,” said Bob Miller, a GEICO regional vice president. “The company adds more than 10,000 new drivers each week.” GEICO grew by 10 percent in 1996 and 16 percent in 1997. Its growth reached 18.9 percent during the first quarter of 1998. It ensures more than 4.5 million automobiles. – As reported in The Golden Eagle. GEICO has continued to grow faster than most other auto insurers; by last year it insured more than 24


million vehicles owned by its more than 15 million policyholders. It passed Allstate in 2013 to become the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S. It still trails State Farm by 5.3 percentage points of market share, but if its current pace of growth continues, GEICO could surpass State Farm in less than a decade.

15 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (August 2003) Aftermarket parts manufacturers and CAPA are likely vexed by the newly released “Crash Parts Certification Study” published by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). The report blasts the parts certification process, concluding that “certification has no value to the customer … If there are problems with the certified product, the certifying entity does not stand behind their own certification process.”


Legislation enacted in 2001 authorized $125,000 to be spent by the BAR, a sub-agency of the California Department of Consumer Affairs, to study the best process for certifying crash parts and to designate the agency to bear responsibility for overseeing crash parts certification. For two and a half years, the BAR held meetings with repairers, insurers, OEMs and aftermarket parts certifiers. It sent out surveys to auto body repair shops and conducted field tests on crash parts. In the end, the BAR reached several conclusions, most notably: • Elimination of non-certified aftermarket crash parts is not a viable option. Outlawing non-certified aftermarket parts (as suggested by CAPA) would make the market less competitive and leave a shortage of such parts.

• Certification does not protect consumers from poor quality parts … If the certifying entity warranted their certified parts, it would provide “added value” to the certified part and protect consumers against poor quality parts.

The study compared the CAPA Quality Seal with the well-known Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. The Good Housekeeping seal carried a limited warranty stating that if any product bearing the seal proves to be defective within two years of the date of purchase, the product will be replaced or the purchase price refunded. “If CAPA or Global Validators feel their certification parts fit the criteria of their certification program, why don’t they stand behind their certified parts?” the BAR report asks. – As reported in Autobody News.

shop owner Patty McConnell. “So sad to see one of our best advocates going over to the ‘other side,’” McConnell said. “Our industry cannot compete with insurers in terms of pay plans, retirement plans and other benefits. Another sad day for this industry.” SCRS Chairman Gary Wano said Risley told the SCRS board his decision to accept the job was not an easy one but “would be best for him and his family.” Risley, who lives in the Chicago area not far from Allstate’s headquarters, is the second high-profile member of the industry to join Allstate this year, following Chad Sulkala, an SCRS and In 2008, Oklahoma shop owner Gary Wano served on the I-CAR board member who board of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) as left his family’s collision reit sought a new executive director following the resignation pair business in Boston for a of Dan Risley position at Allstate’s home Some critics of the association office. – As reported in CRASH Netsay they were not surprised to learn that Risley accepted a position with work (, Allstate Insurance. But most inter- August 19, 2008. SCRS later in 2008 viewed about the announcement hired Aaron Schulenburg as its new echoed the comments of Oregon executive director, a position he still 10 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (August 2008) The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has issued a call for applicants following the resignation last week of its executive director, Dan Risley, after almost eight years with SCRS.

holds. Risley spent five years as a project manager with Allstate, then in 2013 joined the Automotive Service Association as executive director. He left ASA this summer to take a position with CCC Information Services. Sulkala continues to work for Allstate. 5 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (August 2013) In a 20-page report released last week, the Center for American Progress (CAP) says the alleged conflict of interest by an Illinois Supreme Court justice who voted in 2005 to overturn the $1.18 billion non-OEM parts verdict against State Farm raises troubling issues about the legitimacy of the judicial process. State Farm is accused in a lawsuit filed in 2011 of giving millions of dollars to third parties who then gave that money to the election campaign of Justice Lloyd Karmeier. Following his election to the Supreme Court, Karmeier was among the justices who voted to overturn the verdict against State Farm in a class action lawsuit (Avery v. State Farm) over the insurers’ use of non-OEM parts.

“The facts surrounding the Avery v. State Farm case prove that unlimited direct contributions to candidates have the potential to create conflicts of interest that cause the public to doubt the integrity of judges,” the CAP report concludes. “The current Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) lawsuit can unearth the truth about State Farm’s actions.” Karmeier stands for re-election next year, and the plaintiffs in the current RICO lawsuit have told the judge in the case that it is their “stated intention” to question Karmeier under oath about the allegations in a deposition. – As reported in CRASH Network (, August 19, 2013. The trial in the RICO case involving State Farm’s alleged role in Karmeier’s election is slated to begin in early September.


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National Associations with Chasidy Rae Sisk

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

ASA Hosts Road to Great Technicians Webinar With CARQUEST’s Chris Chesney On June 20, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) hosted a webinar called “The Road to Great Technicians” with Chris Chesney, senior director of customer training for the CARQUEST Technical Institute. Attendees qualified for one credit from the Automotive Management Institute. After ASA Vice President Tony Molla introduced the webinar’s presenter, Chesney recounted his collaboration with the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) to identify the Road to Great Technicians. They began in March 2016 when NASTF’s Spring General Meeting focused on the topic of building a road to great technicians. Chesney was asked to explain the current state of the aftermarket training industry. He defined the current state of aftermarket training as a lack of industry standards and a structured career path,

unorganized training offerings, and disjointed efforts by industry organizations. However, he also identified many good building elements.

do not build bench strength. Chesney stressed, “You have to invest in those new technicians, but many shops cannot find someone who can perform out of the gate, so we need to focus on growing our own and building our bench strength to overcome this problem. We have a need now for the next several years. Reports indicate that we need 80,000 technicians each year, but only 25,000 are being proThe Road to Great Technicians team’s vision for the future duced.” of automotive education culminates in the idea of the Chesney identified the Automotive Institute of Science and Technology aging workforce, oncoming Current problems in the industry tidal wave of technology and lack of include the inability to find new tal- a structured career path as reasons for ent, graduates not performing to in- the significant needs for technicians. dustry standards, an inability to afford Focusing on the influx of technology, techs and the amount of time is takes he explored the unseemly amount of to replace a technician or advisor who data that is transferred within modern leaves a company because companies vehicles.

“It’s not the problem of education,” he said. “It’s our problem, and we’re going to look into that.” Chesney presented a picture of the Technician Life Cycle, which included the following seven steps: secondary shadowing, post-secondary intern, entry-level apprentice, technician, senior technician, master technician and specialist; however, he noted that this does not include possible “off ramps” on the Road to Great Technicians. Occurring after an industry professional becomes an entry-level technician, these “off ramps” include in-service continuing education and higher education, which can offer technicians a variety of paths to pursue in their careers, ranging from master technician to shop foreman to shop owner or even becoming an engineer for an OEM. In a January 2018 meeting, the education team at NASTF identified

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a subcommittee of industry experts tasked with creating a framework of education around the life cycle of a technician and other job roles within the industry. This framework is intended for curriculum providers to use in order to offer a career pathway that means something to the industry and is transferrable throughout the

industry. The group began with the vision that they would prescribe degrees of competencies at every skill level, focused on the safety and reliability of the ground vehicle fleet. This Road to Great Technicians team consists of NASTF Chair Mark Saxonberg, Toyota’s Jill Saunders, WTI’s Rob Morrell, CTI’s Chris Chesney, NACAT’s Bill Haas, of’s Scott Brown, WTI’s Mark Warren, NASTF’s Donny Seyfer, ASE’s Trish Serratore, S/P2’s Kyle Holt, DrewTech’s Bob Augustine and Cengage’s Erin Brennan. Exploring possible solutions to

the industry’s problem, this group defined 13 solution elements, starting with new and enhanced communication with parents and influencers of peripheral students, early engagement with tactile students in middle and high school, support of STEM and development of a well-articulated career path with clear opportunities for advancement and growth that students and parents can see. The industry also needs to get involved with vocational education content to ensure these programs provide the right skills to students. Chesney explained, “They’re producing the wrong technicians because we aren’t involved. We have to be involved. We need to design a curriculum for schools and employers to ensure that, regardless of where technicians work, they are uniformly trained for the skill level. We have to provide people with the opportunity to grow throughout their careers.” The team also believes that the industry needs to provide internship experience, develop programs to help in-service technicians become mentors, and ensure that testing and certification programs are uniform

and tiered to provide milestones for achievement. Employers also must find ways to provide wages and benefits that are competitive with other industries attracting the same individuals.

tical examinations similar to other safety-related skills as a means to verify requisite skill level attainment. Currently, this is not regulated and we cannot keep up with the advancing rates of technology, but we need a way to prove our skills and be prepared for what’s coming, not merely what is on the road right now.” The current state of industry education is outcomebased and not sufficient to serve today’s technology. The future of education must be competency-based with a The Road to Great Technicians team identified a roadmap focus on mastery of skill and that includes off ramps instead of a straight path in hopes validation of a technician’s of identifying a tangible career path for those entering the mastery and development of automotive industry skills that are recognized and “As technicians progress through transferable. A competency-based edtheir career, it is imperative to com- ucation offers a variable class strucmunicate career options to ensure ture and the ability to test out of the they don’t leave the industry,” Ches- subject matter at different levels, enney elaborated. “Vehicle technology abling students to finish as they are has accelerated to unprecedented lev- able. els, necessitating faster and more The Road to Great Technicians thorough technician skill develop- team defined a new NASTF Techniment to ensure public safety. To add cian Life Cycle that includes seven further credibility and value to the steps: apprentice technician, mainteprocess, NASTF is encouraging pracSee Great Technicians Webinar, Page 60


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Tips for Busy Body Shops with Stacey Phillips

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

How To Increase CSI, Encourage Repeat Business and Differentiate Your Shop During a recent webinar, Nick Schoolcraft explored the three most common causes behind unfavorable customer interactions at collision repair facilities. He also shared tactics and tools to help attendees overcome these obstacles to enhance their businesses. With more than 15 years of customer experience and marketing consulting, Schoolcraft, president of Phoenix Solutions Group, said that by having a deeper understanding of your shops customer’s needs, above what is constituted as standard industry CSI, a shop can begin to develop a better overall experience for its customer. He said detailed research and a customer-first mindset should be the first thing a shop does when looking to improve satisfaction, increase sales and differentiate itself from the competition. “Shops that focus on the customer and exhibit empathy see an increase in repeat rates up to 30 percent,” said Schoolcraft during Dave Luehr’s Elite Body Shop Solutions webinar held in May, titled “What is Driving Poor Collision Experiences.” “Seventy percent of repeat customers choose a shop based on how they feel they were treated in the past; however, what’s more interesting is that nearly 65 percent of collision customers are lost because of indifference from the repair facility.” Eight years ago, Schoolcraft was hired by Accenture, a global consulting company, where he worked with major automotive brands, insurance companies and multinational brands to help them develop better customer and employee experiences. In 2017, he joined his father’s company, Phoenix Solutions Group, a marketing firm dedicated exclusively to the collision repair industry. Founded in 1988 by Steve Schoolcraft, the company focuses on developing data-driven marketing and customer experience strategies that help auto body shops grow collision sales while increasing their customer and employee satisfaction. The insights he shared during the webinar were based on research


gathered from 30 years of PSG research as well as his work at Accenture. “Most in the industry would agree that customer expectations are changing at a rapid pace,” he said. “Customer expectations have become less ‘siloed’ in that they no longer differentiate between you and the retail store down the street.” He said this is why it’s imperative that collision facilities focus on enhancing their overall experience, from accident to post-repair.

Q: A:

Why do body shops have these issues?

It’s important to understand that customers are stressed out when they are involved in an accident. When people are in stressful situations, they tend to glom on to experiences that are very comfortable and familiar to them while seeking out people they trust for advice. This is incredibly important because we’re facing an era where you aren’t just measured against your competition anymore; instead, you’re stacked up against brands that might not even be seen as a competitor. It has been shown that 87 percent of consumers measure all brands based on the interactions they have with companies like Amazon, Netflix and Starbucks. Therefore, it’s important to pay close attention to how these brands interact with their customers and make sure that every interaction you have mirrors those of these customer experience leaders, which are typically simple, effective and satisfying. A great example of how this is starting to impact our industry is with manufacturers looking to take control of the entire vehicle experience by introducing things like subscription leasing. Cadillac, Porsche, Mercedes and even Lincoln are using this subscription model to provide customers with flexibility in the type of vehicles they drive, simplified interactions by providing complete insurance coverage and other benefits


like concierge services. Most importantly, they provide a personalized experience through a deep understanding of their customers’ needs. That is why it’s more critical today than ever before to truly understand your customers’ needs. The concern for a lot of people is how the collision industry measures customer interactions and satisfaction, which today is incomplete. Standard industry benchmarks don’t reveal how well you deliver on the customer’s expectations of the entire repair experience, which are more driven by emotion than simply your shop’s ability to meet the delivery date. Most shops are missing out on vital insights like how well the shop sets expectations, what would have improved the experience or why the customer chose them in the first place. Not having these details limits your shop’s ability to differentiate itself, resulting in stagnant sales

growth. In a survey conducted by Phoenix Solutions Group, it showed that 67 percent of customers mention average experiences as a reason for not returning to a shop; however, only one out of 26 customers complain about the experience, which inflates everyone’s CSI. This is why our research methods take a much more direct approach at answering the question: What does exceptional look like, and how do certain elements throughout the repair impact the overall perception? Having a really strong understanding of how everyone in your organization is interacting with customers, as well as where the experience falls short, will deliver better overall value for your shop—all of which are left out of today’s standard industry CSI. Our voice of customer research provides shops with a 360-degree / AUGUST 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


view of how their customer feels about the overall experience and why they chose the shop, ultimately enabling us to align sales strategies that fit the customer needs better— resulting in greater customer retention and increased sales.

Q: A:

How can a collision repair business really grow?

It starts with understanding if your shop is exceptional or average. Do you know what is needed over and above the general expectations of the repair experience? It should start with understanding why people choose your shop, then developing your sales tactics and marketing to match that need. Align your shop’s value proposition with what the customer wants and accept that it isn’t just quality or a DRP that sells. Shops should recognize that marketing your shop should begin the moment a customer picks up their repaired vehicle. Sadly, the industry’s answer to this is to elicit online reviews followed by generic emails two or three months after the repair. It needs to be much more than that, and it should be centered around delivering a personalized message that is unique. Consumers live in an incredibly loud and fragmented world full of advertising messages. They receive thousands of messages every day from advertisers, mostly through digital platforms. Only about 2 percent of consumers view or take action on those. Think about how much smaller that percentage is for a niche product like collision repair. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. The messages that tend to rise to the top are the ones that are personalized, unique and relevant to the customer. The reason for this is because consumers are seeking out companies that connect with them on a deeper level than just trying to get them to buy something. The returns and benefits of personalized marketing tactics (letters, relevant social media posts, community events, etc.) typically outweigh the benefits of standard marketing (email, SEO, text messages, etc.) 10 to 1. This is because personalized marketing allows you to address what is often called the “emotional motivators” of the purchase decision. These motivators 42

are typically questions like: How simple will this shop make it for me? Will I be satisfied working with this shop versus the shop next door? Do they seem to care? Your customer wants to find somebody they can trust and who they believe has their best interests at heart. Again, this is an emotional event and not something they do often. Finding comfort is a critical part of their purchase decision. This is further validated by our research, which shows that when you align with your customers’ emotional motivators, you can remove the weight the customer puts on questions like ‘What happens if you are not on my insurance’s preferred list?’ or ‘Why is your estimate higher than the estimate from the other shop?’ The reason why connecting the emotional motivators is so critical is because everybody wants to buy from people they like. Understanding these motivators requires a shop to take a different approach than relying on standard industry CSI. Unfortunately, shops focus solely on things like online reviews to help solve this problem. What should be considered with this strategy is that online reviews become obsolete when everyone in the market has four stars or higher. While online reviews do play a part in the collision purchase journey, our research shows that less than 1 percent of collision customers use online reviews solely as the reason to choose a shop. Generally, we have found that people will consult a trusted resource first, then do research online and use Facebook or online reviews as a validating factor for their decision. This purchase behavior is why understanding what customers desire from the experience is so critical. These insights allow you to apply logic across your initiatives to make sure you are differentiating your shop and not wasting precious marketing dollars on perceived silver bullets.

What are the top customer issues in regard to the repair experience?


From our research, there are three: customers feel their interactions are transactional, the delivery experience is rushed or transaction-focused and overall poor customer service driven by poorly



engaged employees.

How to break the “transactional” mindset:

Customers feel processed. Think about what a customer goes through after an accident; they talk to a police officer, then the insurance company and finally end up at a shop to get an estimate—all of which have their own processes. Body shops can be the biggest offenders of the process mindset, mostly because shop processes are typically defined by an insurance partner, not by the shop itself. These requirements become increasingly apparent with the lack of continuity shops exhibit with customers, followed by their overall poor communication scores. This alone puts shops in a tough situation of developing a deeper bond with the customer. The goal should always be to find a way to develop a seamless interaction throughout all four parts of the collision experience: collision, estimate, repair, and post-repair. When you do so, you can drive incremental gains for your business and be seen

more as a trusted partner rather than a service vendor. Some tactics that we offer our customers to overcome process are:

1) Make it easy for customers: Connect as frequently as possible to keep customers updated; help them understand the expectations up front and provide service options, such as better hours. Consider implementing technology to help triage their situation before they arrive at your shop. 2) Give customers control: Educate customers about what is about to occur throughout the process and validate their preferred method of communication. We often suggest incorporating visuals to help customers fully digest the repair experience. 3) Personalize the experience whenever possible: Ensure team members know what is going on with the repair; simulate other personal experiences the customer might have such as the checkin/check-out process at a hotel and / AUGUST 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS


understand their needs and incorporate them into every conversation you have with them. 4) Never automate support: Technology should complement human interaction, NOT replace it. It has been shown that 83 percent of consumers in the U.S. prefer dealing with a human when going through an emotional event. Automated support requires a deeper understanding of the customer to be effective. 5) Communicate with care: Be customer-first and communicate issues quickly; focus on the outcome, not the problem; be consistent and show compassion. Customers will be more emphatic toward the approach than the resolution if you communicate throughout the entire experience. How to improve the delivery experience The second issue we often see is a poor delivery experience, which in PSG’s philosophy is the most critical part after the sale of the job because it is the last chance you have to make

an impression on the customer. The delivery of the repaired vehicle is the shop’s last chance to solidify a relationship with them and/or to redeem yourself for any issues that happened during the experience. Unfortunately, most shops believe they have this locked down. What we have found is that the opposite is true. In a recent study of customers who had a repair six months prior, only 20 percent could remember the shop’s name. While that stat is scary, it further validates that most shops fall into the ‘average’ category and haven’t done anything to really differentiate themselves. This research is why we believe the delivery process is one of the most critical parts of the repair experience. Typically, a customer is greeted, the shop reviews the paperwork, asks for the deductible and after all of that they ask the customer if they want to see the repaired vehicle. The missing piece is shops don’t put the customer into a familiar experience that allows them to feel more at ease. Think about how you purchase most items; do you typically pay before you see the goods? Would you pay for a meal




MON-FRI 7-6 / SAT 8-5

e. It ju st ma ke s se ns

before it was served? Your customer mindset is no different. Ignoring this is what can lead to low engagement and poor repeat and referral business. What PSG suggests is to resell the vehicle first and then finalize the transaction. Phoenix Solutions Groups’ tips for a better delivery experience:

1) Prepare: Be ready for the customer. Always quality-check the car to ensure it is clean, ensure staff is available and familiarize yourself with the customer file. 2) Greet and review job: Don’t make customers wait for more than five minutes. The first thing should always be to walk them out to their vehicle and resell the job with enthusiasm while pointing out your craftsmanship!

3) Review paperwork and transact: Go over the warranty coverage and any additional paperwork before collecting the funds; ask if they have questions; thank them for their business and explain how the survey in-

formation will help your shop become better.

4) Stay in touch: Rather than relying on online reviews and digital communication, the more personalized the interaction is, the more connected the customers feel.

With 42 percent of customers returning to a shop based on the impact left on them, a better delivery process will not only help a customer remember your shop—it will also help with repeat and referral business. This should always be the focus of any shop because it is incredibly expensive to acquire new customers— five to 12 times more than it does to retain existing customers.

How to enhance your customer service through better employee engagement: Money is a critical component to employment. Everyone works to get paid, but it’s not what drives great employee engagement. A recent study showed that appreciation for the work people do and good rela-



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tionships with their colleagues are critical elements to delivering great employee engagement. What this means is that it comes down to the shops’ culture. Culture is a defining factor of great organizations that deliver great customer experiences. According to John Hopkins University in 2015, 95 percent of employees value culture over salary. What’s important to note is there’s not just one thing that creates culture—it’s many things working together. You want to have people working with you who understand the industry, but also have a clear view of how their job affects the business as a whole. We’ve found that shops that centralize the employee with the customer will see higher productivity, higher profitability, an increase in collision sales and higher referral rates. We’ve also seen better employee engagement leading to better business metrics— like 17 percent higher productivity. Phoenix Solutions Groups’ tips to enhance your employee experience: 1) Empower your people: Ensure employees feel essential to what they

are doing every day and inspire them; employees need to feel trusted so they can come to you with questions and feedback. We work with shops to redefine their mission statements to incorporate the employee’s voice, as well as utilize customer comments and research to help empower the employee base. 2) Teach the “why,” not the how: Provide your team tools and solutions to help solve the issues they face by understanding what is occurring in your shop; invest in consistent coaching and training and lead rather than mandating actions to achieve a better outcome. Using an employee engagement survey like the one we use with our customers helps determine the needs of your employees, which is critical in developing a better strategy and training curriculum. 3) Reward and recognize regularity: Acknowledge employee contributions and utilize customer feedback to appreciate good work; ensure your team is unified to help them thrive; provide opportunities

for fun during and after work; and support staff with tools and resources. Remember, recognition and rewards do not always have to be money—people like to be treated fairly and recognized by their peers.

4) Create a transparent world where you foster growth, collaboration and trust: Keep staff informed about the business and inspire collaboration; ensure they are aware of how their role aligns with goals of a body shop; and encourage them to be transparent to customers during the repair process. The more the customers are informed and the employees are aware of what’s happening, the more encouraged they are going to feel in their interactions with customers. This strategy can be easily implemented through the development of a more robust surveying and research solution. How shops can make this repeatable and part of their organizations

Q: A:

It starts with understanding your customers and how your

different segments are looking at your business. Once that is done, you can then better address training challenges that are critically important to your shop, which will help you drive a seamless experience. Once you find a way to incorporate that into your daily operations, there is tremendous business value to be unlocked. You’ll drive greater retention, increase advocacy and most importantly you’ll enrich the lives of your employees because they are indeed the foundation of any successful business. The more you can improve their lives, the better your overall metrics will be— top line and bottom line. To watch a replay of this webinar, visit register/7978064457470349825.

For more information about Elite Body Shop Solutions and to sign up for the next monthly webinar, email For more information about Phoenix Solutions Group, contact Schoolcraft at 847-764-8079 or visit www.phoenix









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Auto Body Attorney with Bruce Roistacher

Ask the Auto Body Attorney: August 2018 I am excited to initiate this monthly column that will keep shop owners up-to-date regarding important legal cases, rules and regulations, and new operating procedures that affect our industry. I seek to do this in plain English and answer any questions that shop owners around the country may have regarding the above. Obviously, I cannot give any legal advice and this column will consist of my own opinions regarding legal issues.

The State Farm Case That Never Seems To End The State Farm non-OEM crash parts lawsuit has taken many winding turns. A trial on an important issue is scheduled to begin on Sept. 4, 2018. During the last court appearance, the Illinois Supreme Court indicated that it will be notifying consumers who were insured by State Farm and had non-OEM crash parts installed in their vehicles between July 28, 1987 and Feb. 24, 1998 that a class- action lawsuit may affect their rights. You may recall that there was a $1.05 billion damage award in favor of approximately 4.7 million State Farm policyholders regarding those non-OEM crash parts. The class-action lawsuit involves everyone who prevailed in the Avery, et al v. State Farm $1.05 billion lawsuit, which was subsequently overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court following the election of Chief Judge Lloyd Karmeier. According to the plaintiffs, Karmeier should have recused himself because (and get this) State Farm contributed more than $4.8 million to Karmeier’s election. Of course, both State Farm and the good Judge deny any wrongdoing. However, the lawsuit is seeking new damages of $7.6 billion for the entire class. I will keep you informed as to the status of this case, which is sounding more like a television series on Netflix. Litigation Across The Country Is On 46

The Rise Suing Insurance Companies For: •

Short Payments


• • •

Capping Of Labor Rates Totaling

Unfair Negotiations

In New York, Nick Orso’s Body Shop of Syracuse is suing for nearly $3 million from State Farm, Allstate and Adirondack Insurance Companies. The suit alleges capping and short payments from the use of PaintEx and other labor itemization methods. The lawsuit is similar to Leifs Auto Collision Centers of Oregon wherein Leif Hansen alleges that insurance companies are practicing “triple D” tactics, i.e., deny, delay and defend. The issue is usually about labor rates and insurance companies attempting any tactics that they can get away with to save money. In many of these cases, the issue of assignment from the insured to the body shop becomes a legal issue. Therefore, it is good practice to make certain that your assignment will pass legal requirements. I will keep you abreast of the outcome of those cases and include a sample assignment that I would use in New York. (Please consult an attorney in your state.) In Missouri, a shop, i.e., collision company, filed a lawsuit under an assignment of proceeds for his customer seeking monies from an alleged short payment by GEICO. The case involved a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt rear-ending a 2016 Ford C-Max on Oct. 21, 2017. GEICO wrote an estimate for their policyholder of $3,850.22. Unfortunately for the shop, which disassembled the car and determined the damage was $13,409.66, the initial estimate was a “joke” according to the shop’s owner.


Bruce Roistacher has tried in excess of 100 jury trials in federal and state courts. He is a former NYC prosecutor and has previously represented insurance companies, which can be a great advantage to his automotive clients. Bruce can be reached at or by phone at 866-Law-MANN.

GEICO upped the estimate to $6,338.36, which still was short and led to the lawsuit that demanded $10,415.49, i.e., the difference from GEICO. This case reflects the issue of body shops doing total disassembly in order to accurately determine the amount of damage. Insurance companies are generally opposed to that process and apparently would rather “guess” the amount of damage. In addition, GEICO and other insurance companies routinely question the hourly labor rate charge of the body shop. I will keep you posted on that lawsuit and others that are noteworthy around the country. Big Brother May Be Knocking At Your Door OSHA recently beefed up its outreach and made a list of the fol-

lowing problem areas for shops to watch:

• Respiratory protection is the most common area of OSHA’s issuance of penalties and fines. By the way, the average fine for OSHA violations is more than $4,500 per shop. • Hazard communication was also an area of concern. Therefore, it is a good idea for your shop to have a written program advising employees on harmful substances with which they may come in contact and, of course, supplying adequate protection—for example, a sign requiring safety glasses where your employee might perform a potentially dangerous procedure that would affect his eyes. Also, be cognizant of chemicals that are used in See Auto Body Attorney, Page 61

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Day Job/Night Job

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

with Ed Attanasio

Career Estimator Works for SF Giants in Security When George Melendez isn’t writing estimates at Regal Collision in Vallejo, CA, he is working as a security specialist for the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. When he works at the shop, he is estimating the costs of repairing a damaged vehicle. When he performs his role for the Major League SF Giants, he is using similar skills, he said. “When I do an estimate, I’m thinking about potential issues with the car that may not be easy to find and make sure I look for everything,” Melendez said. “When I am working for the Giants, I am also looking for issues that might occur in different parts of the stadium. In both positions, I have to be thorough and detail-oriented, so my career in the collision repair industry has helped me be a better security specialist for the team.” A lifer in the collision repair in-

the Giants do,” Melendez said. “I get a lot of help from everyone here, and that’s why we succeed. Regal Collision is a top shop, and the Giants are a top team with three World Series titles within the last eight years, so I guess I surround myself with champions.” Melendez’s biggest champion is his father, who introduced him to the body shop business in 1983 even though his plans were not headed in that direction initially. “I was fresh out of the George Melendez is the head estimator at Regal Collision service and wanted to be a in Vallejo, CA, and also works for the San Francisco Giants San Francisco cop, but while as a security specialist I was waiting to enter the only estimator at this busy shop, but academy, my dad asked me to come works closely with Bill Hasma, the work with him at his body shop, G company’s blueprinter. and M Auto Restoration,” he said. “I “We work well as a team, like started liking it and decided that I dustry, Melendez has been the head estimator at Regal for the past five years, but has more than 35 years of experience in the industry. He is the

wanted to be an estimator, so I went to V-Tech, a school in Fresno, CA, to learn the trade. I noticed that most of the other students that were there were training to be insurance adjustors, so I learned about estimating and how their business worked as well. I learned how to estimate from the front bumper to the back bumper and everything in between, and the education I got there was invaluable.” After just one year on the job, Melendez was already running the shop, a position he held for the next 12 years. “I want to thank my father for giving me a career in this industry,” he said. “I have met so many great people over the years and I would not change it for the world.” A lifelong fan of the San Francisco Giants, Melendez started attending games at the team’s original









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stadium, Candlestick Park, as a youngster. “Foremost Milk used to give away tickets to the game on the sides of their milk cartons,” he said. “We

sign that said the team was hiring people for different positions. “It had always been a dream of mine to somehow work for the team, so I applied and after a few interviews, I got hired. For my first four years, I was assigned to doing security in the bleachers, dealing with the drunks and rowdy fans.” By keeping his cool and using logic while placating obnoxious and often drunk fans rooting for both teams, Melendez has been able to keep the peace in most cases, he said. Melendez poses with two of the three championship trophies “Let’s say a Dodgers fan that the Giants have won since he took the security job with is causing trouble,” he said. the team in 2005 “I will talk to him and say, would drink all of the milk fast so ‘Look, you spent a lot of money to that we could use the tickets. At that buy a ticket and come up here from time, I lived only 1.5 miles from Can- LA. Why don’t you just play nice so dlestick Park, so we attended a lot of that I don’t have to kick you out?’ games in the 1970s and saw Hall of Usually they will listen, but if they Fame players like Willie McCovey, continue, I’m not afraid to get SFPD Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry, to escort them out of the stadium. I for example.” also tell them that if they try to come In 2005, Melendez attended a back, they’ll be arrested.” Fanfest event at the Giants’ current For the past decade, Melendez stadium, AT&T Park, where he saw a has worked in the team’s camera

room, where he watches everything that goes on in the stadium and contacts security in the stands when needed. “We have 260 cameras, and we save all of our footage because at almost every game there will be at least one civil suit filed for some reason,” he said. “We can see every seat all the time and monitor each fan at the game, so it’s a valuable tool for anticipating what could possibly happen next.” The Giants and Dodgers fans are well-known for not liking each other, but one American League team has the most confrontational fans in the major leagues, Melendez said. “We don’t play the Red Sox every year, but when we do, we really have to be on our toes,” he said. “The Boston fans are loud and they show up in force and they think they own the stadium. So we sometimes have to remind them that this is our home and if you come here, you better act right.” Over the years, the team has had to step up its security, which is how AT&T Park provides a safe environment for its fans, he said.

“When I started, we had roughly 60 guards covering 40,000 fans, and now we have more than approximately 120 guards doing the job. I used to work probably 70 events every year, but now I watch the stadium when it’s empty and cover maybe 25 games annually. I watch the stadium when it’s empty, and you would be surprised by how many people try to sneak in there or climb the fences to just walk on the field or steal things.” With definite retirement plans ahead for Melendez, he wants to work at Regal Collision until he’s 67 and work for the Giants until he’s 75. “God willing, I want to do both of these jobs for a while and hopefully see a few more World Series games during that time,” he said.


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In Reverse with Gary Ledoux

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

The 1940s – Part 2 – New Products, Higher Speeds By 1943, WWII was in full swing. There were no new cars; tires and gasoline were rationed, and the American public wasn’t driving very far ... or bothering to renew their auto insurance. Many drivers felt there was no point if you couldn’t drive. Sales of auto insurance policies were down 11 percent compared to the prior year for all mutual insurance companies, except State Farm—which was up considerably. In early 1939, State Farm Founder and President George Mecherle launched a sales campaign called A Million or More In ’44, an all-out initiative to have a million or more auto insurance policies in force by the first quarter of 1944. At the outset of the program, State Farm had 476,638 policies in force; it had taken the company 16 years to get there. Now, only five years after the start of the program, and despite a raging world war, State Farm had added another 524,001 polices for a total of 1,000,639. State Farm was now the single largest insurer of automobiles in the U.S. George Mecherle noted that people had come to appreciate the value of auto insurance. Driven by Mecherle, State Farm agents were very aggressive. Some early collision industryrelated companies were born during this time. Mill Supply Company of Cleveland, OH, provider of replacement body panels, was founded in 1942, and the Schofield Manufacturing Company was founded in 1943. Both manufactured steel replacement panels for popular model cars. These were designed primarily as rust replacements, but no doubt were used in some collision work. The Marson Company, best known for body fillers, was founded in 1948. Steck Manufacturing, known for its specialty body repair tools, was founded in 1949. New products were introduced as well. In 1946, DuPont introduced Duco Metalli-Chrome paint, a luminescent lacquer that seemed to


change color depending how light reflected off of it. They were only available in darker colors, however, such as dark gunmetal gray or dark brown. In 1948, Reynolds Aluminum introduced a metallic flake for use in automotive finishes. By the early 1950s, Reynolds, Alcoa and others had developed improved metallic flakes for automotive paint. This, together with improved paint resins, started the industry on a road to a vast array of colors and color effect. True body shops began to emerge after the war. Some shops began specializing in low-priced to medium-priced paint jobs and started attracting a lot of business—so much so that in some shops, two painters worked on the same car at the same time to increase the shop’s volume. A mid-priced paint job in the mid1940s was $49.95. Materials cost $8, and two painters working together could prep, paint and finish eight cars per day, or one each working hour. In 1947, the Equipment and Tool Institute (ETI) was founded as a nonprofit automotive industry trade group to help promote the proper use and upgrade of tools used in the automotive repair trade. The first PBE-only jobbers began to appear to service the burgeoning collision repair business. Prior to this time, the collision repair trade had been served by jobbers who typically served the mechanical repair market as a primary customer. During the war, American citizens had to observe 35 MPH as the “Victory Speed” to save gasoline for the war effort. After the war, the “Victory Speed” was no longer in force, and people “drove with wild abandon” across America. It became a free-for-all on America’s highways, and nobody knew this better than Mecherle. In 1944, during the height of the war, State Farm processed 293,045 loss claims for auto insurance. In 1946, State Farm processed 648,609 claims! State Farm had to immediately hire more help and


ing. To educate consumers about the huge cost of claim losses, starting in 1946, State Farm’s message was to drive carefully, reduce speed and avoid accidents. They said that State Farm auto insurance was one of the best bargains available, but it would only stay that way if the accident rate stopped rising. The company began cooperating with the National Safety Council and International Association of Police Chiefs in running safety campaigns. Then in 1949, after 27 years in operation and becoming the largest insurer of automobiles in the nation, State Farm Insurance decided it was time to have its own network of fulltime agents at the local level that would handle policy sales as well as claims. Up to this point, everyone had been part-time or handled State Farm policies as a side job, not as a

more office space. But it wasn’t easy. The war effort had called 951 State Farm employees to service, many of them key managers and trainers. It took until the end of 1948 to “right the ship” and bring things back to normal—but it would be a new “normal.” In the prior two years, State Farm had seen some of the worst losses ever, draining 40 percent of the reserve funds used to pay claims. For a few months in 1946, State Farm was hemorrhaging money at the rate of $1 million per month! Moving forward, the cost of claims had to be mitigated—but how? Soon, a plan developed. State Farm would no longer insure a car more than 8 years old. They would no longer insure anyone under 21 (unless the family already had a SF policy), nor would they insure anyone over 70 years of age. State Farm also took a different tact in their advertis-

See The 1940s – Part 2, Page 62

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Shop Management

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

with Ed Attanasio

Reward, Motivate Your Employees Without Breaking the Bank I interviewed a body shop manager a few years ago who told me that he motivated his people through fear. Everyone who worked there was scared of the guy and as a result, productivity was high, but most of his crew eventually left after 1–2 years. I asked him why he managed his people this way, and he said that he tried be a mentor and a friend to his employees for a long time, but most of them took advantage of the situation and his business suffered. He realized that when people fear for their jobs, they will work harder with better results. He admitted it created a lousy environment, but at least he was getting his money’s worth out of everyone, he reasoned. Dr. Nancy Friedman works with huge automotive corporations to help them with their morale and often focuses on incentive programs that are designed to motivate and retain top employees. She has seen every form of employee management out there, so she knows what works and what does not. “Motivating through fear is normally from the old, old school and it seldom works,” she said. “It also creates a very unpleasant atmosphere and turnover. There are much better ways to get folks to do what you need done.” With a shortage of qualified people in this industry, managers can’t act like Attila the Hun anymore. A good tech or estimator is worth its weight in gold, so keeping your best people is more important than ever. Rewarding your employees for their outstanding performance is one way to keep your crew happy and engaged, but many managers think it will cost too much or require too much time. But in reality, you can reward your employees for their good work without it costing you an arm and a leg. So, here are some ways to motivate your employees that will cost you very little while creating a positive and productive working environment. Based on experience, happy employees don’t send out resumes and are less likely to get poached by


your competitors.

Make Work Fun Again! Why does everyone have to be so serious all the time? It’s easier to introduce some fun into your crew’s daily activities and lighten up the mood. Some shops encourage their employees to come into work early by offering them special treats and reward zero absenteeism, while others include games at lunch or during breaks to alleviate fatigue and encourage interaction within the crew. Dr. Friedman believes that this approach can work, but in moderation. “There’s an old saying: ‘Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life,’” Dr. Friedman said. “So no amount of games, activities, etc. can replace loving what you do, because if you do what you love, that’s the real fun. I have seen these incentives work at some shops, but in the end, the motivation needs to come from your employees themselves.” Keep Everything Positive Some shop managers call their employees out on the carpet whenever they do something wrong, but that won’t build morale. Everyone wants to do a good job, so when they fail, they don’t want to be embarrassed in front of their fellow employees. So always follow the classic management rule of ‘praise in public and criticize in private’. Conversely, if someone goes the extra mile to do an outstanding job, praise them in front of the crew and give them the kudos they deserve. “Even a good technician or estimator will make a mistake now and then, so don’t be too critical and overbearing when it happens,” Dr. Friedman said. “Stay positive, but don’t coddle them and communicate what you want to say behind closed doors if at all possible.” Talk to Your People Some bosses only communicate with their employees when they’re talking


shop or assigning tasks. Getting to know your people is a key way to connect with them and retain them for the long run. Casual conversation and learning about your employees will foster stronger bonds and enable them to feel like they are members of your team. If you keep it impersonal, even your top employees can start to feel isolated and eventually look elsewhere for work. “Some shop managers think they don’t have enough time to talk to their employees, but it’s an important part of creating a positive climate, so finding the time is essential,” Dr. Friedman said. “Being nice to your people isn’t difficult, but you also have to know when to be direct, and that way you’ll gain their respect and keep them onboard.” Create a Wall of Fame

I have been to a few shops where they have photos of their employees on the wall in the reception area honoring them for their best work and other achievements, such as passing a training program. People appreciate being appreciated, and it’s something easy to do. Your customers can also then see that you value their work, which creates a sense of security in the consumers’ eyes. “This is a great idea because everyone wants credit for doing a good job,” Dr. Friedman said. “It might also be nice to let employees put up notes, emails and other things they get from happy customers. They are the ‘real’ fans. It makes employees feel good as well, seeing the accolades they created.” Special Days Off It may not sound like much, but alSee Reward, Motivate, Page 57

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Oldest Body Shops In America: Bistagne Bros Body Shop looked promising. And then it all came to an abrupt end when Uncle From November 2017 to February Sam “requested” their services. Eventually WWII ended. Tom 2018, Autobody News ran an ad looking for the oldest, continuously oper- emerged a captain and George as a ated body shops in America. The first lieutenant. They tried to pick up oldest was George V. Arth and Son in where they had left off in the cusOakland, CA founded in 1877—and tomizing business. But after several still going strong. However, we re- years of war, rationing and just plain ceived information from a number of doing without a lot of things, the marother long-running businesses sev- ket just wasn’t there anymore. Busieral of which will be featured in this ness was “spotty” and not enough to column over the next few months. earn a living. So they decided to drop If any body shop in America can what was not profitable and “specialbe called the quintessential post-war ize.” Heavy engine work was dropped, body shop, it’s Bistagne Bros Body as was customizing. Maybe they were Shop in Glendale, CA. Just out of school, and before that visionaries and saw the future of indevastating December morning in creased post-war car sales and inHawaii, Tom and George Bistagne creased miles traveled now that were already getting their feet wet in gasoline was no longer rationed. Or, the automotive industry. In the back- maybe it was just instinctive to the yard of their Glendale home, the two brothers. But they decided to concenbrothers began customizing cars, trate on body repair and automotive painting. In 1946, the Bistagne Brothers Body Shop was founded in a rented, 400square-foot shop on the northeast corner of Chevy Chase and Verdugo in Glendale, CA. The two brothers and a single hired helper now had a clear vision of where they were going and how they were going to get Tom Bistagne (in truck) and George Bistagne circa 1950 there. working on the engines and chassis. In 1948, the business expanded They were what one might call a pair and a plot of their own real estate, on of “pioneers” in the California car the southeast corner of the same intercraze later made famous in movies and section, was purchased. A purposemusic by such artists as The Beach built garage building was erected on Boys and Jan and Dean. the site into which the brothers moved An article about the brothers in in 1949. As of January 2018, they the August 1955 edition of the West- were at the same site. ern Automotive Journal reported that A 1955 magazine article notes, the brothers, “…had a free hand in “All operations on the 5,000-squareoperations, but not too much finan- foot lot are under direct Bistagne cial resources. They turned out some control except two which are sublet. pretty smart rebuilt Fords of which Vic’s Top Shop is conducted by Victhey justly were proud.” tor Roehner, an old Pierce-Arrow Friends saw their work, liked it craftsman from Buffalo where qualand wanted the brothers to work their ity workmanship was a creed. The charm on their own cars. Before they other sub-tenant is Russell Thomas, knew it, they had a small business who runs a frame and alignment opgoing, customizing cars for friends, eration in a 40 X 30 foot shop. He has neighbors—anyone who saw or ap- a $5,000 investment in the latest Bear preciated their work. They worked equipment for frame and front end days … they worked nights … they work on which he specializes. worked on weekends just to keep up. “Mobile equipment of the A career in automotive customizing Bistagne plant consists of two pickby Gary Ledoux



up trucks and a tow car for bringing in wrecks. The firm maintains a fleet of 10 loan cars for the convenience of customers whose vehicles are tied up for service. There is no charge to

Mitchell and Audatex, they had no idea what to charge for a repair to ensure that their costs were covered and a fair profit was realized. But eventually they figured it out, and “diplomatically declined” those jobs that were not profitable. In June of 1955, the shop performed the following work: 148 customer-pay jobs for which they collected a cash payment, 114 insurance jobs and 48 miscellaneous jobs. During this period, the shop was part of one of the earliest forerunners of the DRP concept: The Bistagne Bros shop in 1949. It looks very similar today the Available Garage Plan, which gave them “preferred listings” customers for use of a loan car.” By 1955, Tom and George em- with insurance companies bringing ployed “eight metal men, four painters them “prestige and business from the for spot and complete jobs, one glaze carriers.” Only a few years after its foundand polish man, one frame specialist ing, Bistagne Bros. began to get recand one tow truck operator.” By their own admission, some ognized for its superior repair work of their early days in the collision and custom paint jobs. At that time, repair business were rough-going it used Acme refinish paint exclufinancially. In the days before CCC, sively. As was the tradition in the

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mid-1950s, paint companies put out their own “newsletters” to promote their products and highlight those shops that used their product. In the mid-‘50s, Acme paint dedicated an entire issue to the Bistagne brothers’ work and their use of Acme paint. The cover of the periodical featured the brothers and a freshly painted bright red Jaguar, with the lovely Miss Glendale at the wheel. The Bistagnes’ head painter at that time was Dean Avery, a man with 16 years’ experience who used the “Acme Color Eye,” resulting in “excellent color matches.” Avery liked the ability of the shop to create and tint its own paint instead of ordering the “factory-packaged paint” from the local jobbers. The 1970s saw the second generation of Bistagne brothers (Tom Bistagne’s sons) enter into the office and become part of the family business: Bob Bistagne in 1975 and Chuck Bistagne in 1977. Over the years, the automotive repair business flourished under the family ownership and management, and expansion was sought yet again. In 1999, an adjacent gas station was

purchased and construction was started on expanding the business to encompass the entire southeast corner of the intersection. The new office headquarters opened in 2000. Over the years, the Bistagne family has been involved in various industry initiatives, including the California Autobody Association, and local civic groups like Rotary. In 2003, Bistagne Brothers saw its third generation, Robert Bistagne (Bob’s son), enter into shop management. In 1946, one or both Bistagne brothers welcomed each and every customer that stepped on the lot. Today, almost 75 years and three generations later, a member of the Bistagne family continues that same tradition.



Autobody News

Continued from Page 54

Reward, Motivate

lowing your employees to leave early on birthdays and anniversaries is a sure way to win hearts and thereby increase productivity. Also, many shop managers give their people “mental health” days off and will accommodate things such as doctor’s appointments, visits to the DMV and other tasks that require time off. Another solution that works at many shops is offering flexible hours, as long as it does not negatively impact their production. Some employees will take advantage of this system, so managers need to monitor this approach carefully. “Some shops have reported that closing an hour early is as important as a day off,” Dr. Friedman said. “That’s an easy one and your employees will appreciate it, especially if they have a long commute.” Keep Your Office Door Open Give your employees the confidence to walk up to you whenever they have a concern, and be as transparent

as you can in this regard. Encourage them to come up with new ideas and solutions, and let the younger employees pitch to the crew without getting negative feedback from your veteran employees. Some shops schedule semi-regular brainstorming sessions where your people can throw around ideas anonymously so that no one gets judged or marginalized for their enthusiasm. “This does not mean that you have to literally keep your office door open,” Dr. Friedman said. “But letting employees know that you will always have time for them is important. Not rushing them when they stop to talk is also key. In many cases, the best ideas will come from your employees during these open- door conversations.” You don’t always have to increase salaries or pass out hefty bonuses every time your crew is in the need for some motivation to work hard. Communicate with them, understand their cause for worry, add in some fun, make the work environment light and healthy, and you will retain your employees longer while improving their productivity.

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Center for Auto Safety Renews Call for Ford Recall According to a press release from The Center for Auto Safety, on July 2, the second anniversary of NHTSA’s opening an investigation into occupant exposure to exhaust and carbon monoxide in 1.3 million Ford Explorers, NHTSA failed to complete its investigation and Ford failed to fix the problem. Based on the extraordinary danger posed by prolonged exposure to exhaust fumes and the repeated complaints from consumers who, despite receiving the repair, are still being exposed, the Center for Auto Safety sent a letter to Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Hackett asking for a recall before tragedy strikes. In the nine months since Ford’s Customer Satisfaction Program (CSP17N03) was released stating that the vehicles were “safe,” Ford has continued to refuse to acknowledge that there is any danger relating to exhaust fumes being regularly inhaled in the interior of these vehicles, stating that carbon monoxide levels do not “exceed what people are exposed to every day.” Yet for “peace of mind,” Ford offered a no-cost service reducing the potential for exposure for MY 2011-2017 Explorers. However, it appears many Ford owners are far from “satisfied.” Ford owners continue to file complaints with NHTSA about exposure to exhaust and carbon monoxide in their Explorers. Scores of consumers, even after receiving their “peace of mind” fix, continue to report experiencing the same symptoms as before their visit to the Ford dealership. “With all due respect to the efforts undertaken by Ford, and NHTSA, over these last two years, the continued complaints and corresponding reports of incidents and injuries demonstrate that the problem of carbon monoxide exposure inside Ford Explorers has not been resolved,” said Jason Levine, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety. “Based on the number of new complaints NHTSA has received, the problem seems to continue in MY 2018 Explorers, suggesting that the issue apparently has not been designed out of the vehicle. We urge NHTSA and Ford, on behalf of Ford’s customers, and everyone with whom they share the road, to act before


tragedy strikes.” According to the Centers for Disease Control, excess exposure to CO is responsible for more than 400 deaths annually in the U.S. Carbon monoxide poisoning is often referred to as a “silent killer” because, unless mixed with other gases, it is odorless. What makes the exposure so dangerous is that the symptoms (loss of consciousness, nausea, headaches or light-headedness) mimic flu-like symptoms and therefore delay accurate diagnosis of the root cause of the injury—elevated levels of CO in the victim’s blood. Further, as the victim is often unaware of the immediate cause of their injury, CO exposure can be an unsuspected culprit when no expected source is recognizable, leading to underreporting of incidents. It is easy to imagine a roadside crash caused by CO exposure resulting in a serious injury or fatality being written off as “drowsy driving.” Appropriately, the Ford Explorer owner’s manual contains the following warning: “Do not drive your vehicle if you smell exhaust fumes. Carbon monoxide is present in exhaust fumes. Take precautions to avoid its dangerous effects.” Yet, in response to reports of exactly this circumstance since at least 2012, Ford refuses to properly protect its customers. In July 2017, NHTSA indicated that the most likely culprit for the exposure of Ford consumers to potentially lethal amounts of carbon monoxide was cracked exhaust manifolds. Nonetheless, Ford issued a customer service program (CSP17N03) focused on less expensive and potentially less effective repairs such as reapplying weather sealant and reprogramming the climate control in order to give customers “peace of mind,” but stated the “vehicles are safe.” The CSP did not vary dramatically from previous technical bulletins Ford has quietly been issuing since 2012 to address the same issue. (See: TSB 14-0130, and TSB 16-016.) In the intervening months, the Center for Auto Safety has continued to be contacted by Ford customers experiencing symptoms related to CO exposure in their Explorers. Some had brought their Explorers in to dealerships to receive repairs prior


to the issuance of CSP-17N03. Others brought their Explorers in afterwards. In some instances, consumers report they are being charged for repairs related to this hazard. Recall repairs must be free under federal law. Below are samples of five complaints from consumers after they received the Ford “fix” for this problem. In total, NHTSA has received more than 1,500 complaints regarding exhaust fumes leaking into 2011–2018 Explorers:

• Ford customer in Jenison, MI, owns a 2012 Explorer. After experiencing an odor and feeling nauseous and dizzy, the consumer brought the vehicle to the dealer “on three separate occasions to have the voluntary Ford exhaust campaign completed.” The consumer is still experiencing the exhaust odors and medical symptoms associated with elevated CO exposure. • Ford customer in Las Cruces, NM, owns a 2013 Explorer. The vehi-

cle has been serviced for CO entering the cabin under Ford’s CSP-17N03 on two separate occasions. Still, the consumer smells exhaust in the cabin and his/her personal CO monitor is picking up unsafe levels of CO in the vehicle. Additionally, the consumer will not place his/her 1-year-old child in the car for fear of CO exposure.

• Ford customer in Windsor, MD, owns a 2015 Explorer. Two months after having the vehicle serviced at a Ford dealership for CO, the customer again began experiencing strong CO odors in the cabin and suffering headaches. When the customer called the dealership to schedule another repair, the dealership informed the customer that they would charge $138 for a diagnostic evaluation. • Ford customer in Porter, TX, owns a 2014 Explorer. After receiving a letter from Ford concerning CO in the cabin, the consumer brought the vehicle to a Ford dealership to repair the issue. The consumer states See Ford Recall, Page 64



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Auto Care Association Establishes Al Gaspar Memorial Fund

tomotive Parts and Accessories Association (APAA) for five years prior to joining AAIA. He also held a variety of roles at aftermarket companies, including: executive vice president at McKay Chemical Company (a division of Blue Coral); vice president, consumer sales for Wynn Oil Company; and vice president, sales and marketing worldwide operations for Bardahl Manufacturing. Gaspar received numerous honors throughout his career and served on a number of boards and committees. “Al Gaspar was committed to industry education as evidenced by his time at AAIA, so it is fitting that donations made in his name will help ed-

ucate the next generation of aftermarket leaders,” said Bob Egan, MAAP, chairman, University of the Aftermarket Foundation. “We thank the Auto Care Association for launching this fund and encourage others to follow their lead by making a donation in memory of Al Gaspar.” To make a donation to the University of the Aftermarket Foundation in memory of Al Gaspar, visit to donate online or send a check made payable to the University of the Aftermarket Foundation to 7101 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1300, Bethesda, MD 20814 and indicate that the donation is in Gaspar’s memory.

ABRA Auto Body Repair Expands With 8 Centers

cer. “We’re excited to welcome these 20-plus employees to our ABRA family to continue that reputation.” ABRA has a long history in Utah, starting with the opening of the Murray, UT, location in 1998. These newly acquired centers expand ABRA’s operations into southern and northern Utah and complement nine

existing centers in the greater Salt Lake City area. In Indiana, ABRA completed the acquisition of all six Church Brothers Collision Repair locations on June 29. Details of the acquisition were previously announced. Altogether, ABRA has added 16 locations in 2018 and now has 354 repair centers in 27 states across the nation.

In recognition of its former president and CEO, Al Gaspar, the Auto Care Association has established a memorial fund in his honor. Donations made to the University of the Aftermarket Foundation in Gaspar’s memory will be used to fund scholarships and industry educational initiatives. “We couldn’t imagine a better way to honor the legacy of a leader who meant so much not only to the history of our association, but also our industry,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “Al’s vision has progressed our industry in countless ways and we have all benefited from his passion and fore-

ABRA, Auto Body Repair of America, is continuing its national growth with the addition of eight centers in June. In Utah, ABRA acquired Centric Collision, located at 1545 State St. in Provo, UT. The 16-employee, 32,000square-foot shop opened on June 4. In a separate transaction, ABRA Logan, Continued from Page 39

Great Technicians Webinar

nance technician, service technician, repair technician, diagnostic technician, master technician, and specialist technician. According to Chesney, “Each step would require a variety of requirements as far as training and experience. They would also require mastery of competencies using curriculum provided by the industry, to include mentoring, demonstrated skills and self-paced curriculum. Finally, technicians seeking to advance would prove their skills through oral and hands-on exams.” Continuing the work they have started, the team plans to provide the industry with a white paper by the end of the year, but they encourage the industry to comment and opine. While the team will be limited in size in order to maximize effective-



sight of what our association and industry can be.” Gaspar, who passed away in November at the age of 79, served as president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), the precursor to the Auto Care Association, from 2000 until 2004. Two of his biggest accomplishments during his tenure at AAIA included overseeing a fundraising effort to build the Aftermarket Education Center at Northwood University and directing the effort to raise funds for the research that led to the creation of the Car Care Council. Gaspar spent more than 40 years in the auto care industry, serving as president of the Au-

located at 1240 South Hwy 89 in Logan, UT, opened on June 25. The 21,000-square-foot shop has seven employees. Each shop is the first ABRA location in these communities. “We’ve already got a great team, and we’re proud of the reputation for quality we’ve built in Utah,” said Jim Kessler, ABRA chief operating offi-

ness, they encourage industry professionals to join NASTF and the NASTF Education Team. The group’s vision for the future of automotive education culminates in the idea of the Automotive Institute of Science and Technology, which would include a pathway education in a project-based environment. In ninth and 10th grades, students would sample each pathway through projects designed to highlight the different aspects and career fields before choosing a specific pathway in 11th grade to focus on in their final two years of high school. Their choices would be automotive technology as a trade, business, or engineering. While obtaining their associates degree, students would enter the discipline of their choice, working in shops to gain practical experience while simultaneously acting as mentors to younger students. Chesney concluded the webinar with a question and answer session.



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Continued from Page 46

Auto Body Attorney

various wheel cleaners and other cleaning agents.

• WHAT DID YOU SAY? Believe it or not, OSHA is concerned about noise levels, i.e., repeated uses of air hammers or grinders. Therefore, you might test the decibel level and offer annual audiograms to employees. • Don’t get excited, but paint strippers are another area where OSHA is looking. These chemicals may have substances that could put your employees’ health at risk.

• Watch out for unsafe stairs or storage areas that present a danger.

try becoming a victim of insurance company steering (their use of shops that may have cut “sweetheart deals”), the issue of totaling, capping (the insurance company’s policy of capping of labor rates), insurance companies’ unfair appraisal or refusal to negotiate an appraisal, and the issue of what the law calls tortious interference with your business. My goal is to alert shop owners of the issues presented in everyday business in dealing with the insurance companies, and if indeed you feel victimized, what recourse you may have. Feel free to send any questions, comments, or concerns to The Auto Body Attorney c/o Autobody News.

• Finally, lifts can be fatal if they are not inspected on a regular basis, so make absolutely sure that your lifts are safe for your employees.



In the coming months, I will discuss the issues of shops around the coun-


Autobody News

Deadline for CREF, 3M Hire Our Heroes

Axalta Releases Spies Hecker Permacron Line

Axalta is excited to launch Spies Hecker® Permacron 257 Single Stage line, a new refinish high gloss top coat that is formulated for excellent resistance to weathering and chemicals. Permacron eliminates steps in the painting process for ease of application and to increase bodyshop productivity with reduced energy and materials demands. It can be mixed with either Permacron MS hardeners or Permasolid HS hardeners. “At Axalta we’re continuously working to create innovative products that help our customers boost productivity and their bottom line. Our Permacron line is designed to deliver savings in time and materials, while also offering the functional benefits of the Spies Hecker premium refinish system,” said Luis Espericueta, Refinish Director for Axalta Mexico and Central America.

There is still time to support veterans and their families preparing for a career in the collision industry. The 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division, along with the Collision Repair Education Foundation, launched its 2018 fundraiser in May with two ways to participate: • 3M Hire our Heroes 500, extended through Sunday, August 12, and • Show Your Support Campaign, running through August 31.

Donations help support programs to attract and support military veterans seeking a career in the collision repair industry. Since 2013, the 3M Hire Our Heroes program has generated more than $1,065,500 that was used toward scholarships and tool grants for military veterans and their family members pursuing a career in the collision repair industry.



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Gerber Collision & Glass Opens Location in IN

The Boyd Group Inc. recently announced the July 10, 2018 opening of a collision repair center in Elkhart, IN. The center previously operated as Duncan RV Repair. This location is uniquely equipped to provide Recreational Vehicle (RV) repairs and upgrades. This repair center’s specialized features, services and technicians, many of which are certified by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), attract customers from across and outside of the state. “Adding specialized repair centers like this new Elkhart location have been an effective way for us to differentiate our offering in a region, attract a dedicated customer base and enhance our brand recognition,” said Tim O’Day, president and COO of the Boyd Group.


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Continued from Page 52

The 1940s – Part 2

full-time profession. It was decided, “The ideal agent was to be a man with at least a high school education, but preferably a college man. He was to be a man of integrity and standing in his community. Once he joined State Farm, he was to be educated in the techniques of insurance as well as trained in the skills of selling it, so he would be thoroughly aware of the nature of the product he was offering the public. He was to know the intricacies of life insurance, a field where policies are far more complex than auto insurance. And he was to know about fire insurance.” Finally, a story about the formation of the collision repair industry in the 1940s would not be complete without mention of Glenn Mitchell—a parts counterman at a



AutoInc. Seeks Submissions for Top 10 Websites Contest

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) and its official publication, AutoInc. magazine, are inviting all current ASA members to enter the

magazine’s annual Top 10 Websites Contest. Member shops can show off their hard-working sites to peers, letting them see how online marketing prowess can attract more consumers and boost profitability. The competition always has been tough, so winning will give ASA shops and employees the recognition they deserve. ASA will publish reviews of the Top 10 sites in the November/December issue of AutoInc., and we’ll send the winners extra copies of the magazine to place strategically around their waiting rooms so customers can see the outstanding sites. Now more than ever, a shop’s website is its best business tool to

San Diego Chrysler-Plymouth-DeSoto dealer who founded Mitchell Manuals in his garage in 1946 by creating an easily used parts catalog for collision repair estimating. Mitchell had the idea of arranging collision parts by the quadrant of the car rather than by component groups, as in manufacturer catalogs. Eventually, aided by Duke Norman in 1958, he added labor and paint times, which enabled a body shop or insurance company to do a repair estimate and generate a bill of materials and work orders. Prior to this time, a body man would “guesstimate” labor by dollar amounts—as in $25 to hang the fender and $20 to paint it. They would then call the vehicle dealer for the parts prices. It was a laborious process, and the shop never really knew if they were making any money on the repair or not. But Mitchell’s idea, born in his garage in 1946, changed an entire industry.



attract and retain customers—aside, of course, from the consistent quality of its service. “ASA member shops have always been ahead of the pack in ensuring that their websites help motorists make the most educated decision possible in choosing their shops over others. They understand the importance of a sophisticated website in a mobile age and want to be recognized for their efforts,” said Leona Dalavai Scott, marketing and communications director. To access the entry form and contest guidelines, ASA member shops can visit https://www.autoinc .org/top-10-websites/. Our carefully selected panel of judges has lengthy experience in showcasing and promoting content on the web. They’ll provide a uniform evaluation of each site’s specific features, including: • •

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Good first impression/visual design Clearly communicated objective/purpose Consumer friendliness

Members, along with the rest of the industry, have always looked to ASA’s winning websites as a benchmark for how to successfully promote automotive service and collision repair facilities to current and potential customers. They also help educate the motoring public about the importance of car care. The deadline for this year’s contest is August 1, 2018.



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Continued from Page 58

ASA President Resigns to Pursue Opportunity in Home State

The Automotive Service Association ural leadership talents, his financial (ASA) announced that ASA President prowess and inexhaustible energy led him to govern ASA with and Executive Director Dan success and achievement. I Risley will be resigning efknow the entire board joins fective July 13. me in thanking him for his Risley has accepted a service and commitment to position with CCC InforASA.” mation Services Inc. in his As president, Risley navhome state of Illinois. For igated ASA through an era the past five years, Risley of great change and transiwas working remotely beDan Risley tion. Among his accomplishtween his Chicago-area home and the North Texas area where ments include: ASA is based. Implementing sound financial To ensure a smooth transition • for the association, he will stay on in practices and processes after the asa consultant capacity until a new as- sociation endured employee fraud sociation leader is named. Adding three new affiliates to ASA Chairman of the Board • Roy Schnepper, AAM, recently an- the association nounced Risley’s resignation to the Expanding and growing the popboard. During the transition, Risley • has named Beth Risch, its current ular MSO Symposium CPA, as interim chief operating offiFounding the Advanced Technolcer. Risch will oversee day-to-day • operations and report directly to the ogy Diagnostic Repair Forum, now reASA Board of Directors beginning branded the Technology & Telematics Forum July 2. “I want to sincerely thank Dan Implementing a Corporate Sponfor his strong leadership during a • crucial time in the history of the as- sorship Program, which is a strong sociation,” Schnepper said. “His nat- revenue stream

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“ASA has served the industry for more than 60 years, and I’m proud to say I was part of its rich history and success,” Risley said. “I look forward to staying engaged in ASA and contributing to its mission of serving its members. My family has always been my top priority, so it will be nice to be back in my home base of Chicago for the long term.” Over the next few months, ASA will be conducting a search to find a new executive director, seeking an individual with association management experience. “During this period of transition, it is our priority to find the best individual to lead while still maintaining a stable and effective organization,” Schnepper said. “Associations are undergoing enormous challenges due to generational shifts, social changes and technology. It’s crucial that we find the right leader who can address some of those challenges and give us a clear vision for our future.” The association will be sharing a job announcement soon.

Ford Recall

that the issue is now worse, and that the two CO detectors in the vehicle indicate unsafe levels of CO within minutes of driving. Additionally, when the consumer and his/her family ride in the vehicle, they suffer headaches.

• Ford customer in Westminster, MD, owns a 2016 Explorer. Two months after having the vehicle serviced under the CSP-17N03, symptoms of CO exposure persisted. Upon bringing the vehicle back to the service center, two additional leaks were found. Ford initially refused to cover the cost of the repair, and only after five days of hassle did Ford agree to pay 80 percent.



Autobody News

CARSTAR EDGE Continues To Drive Network Performance

The CARSTAR proprietary EDGE Performance Group, now in its fifth year, continues to drive performance improvements across the CARSTAR network through national repair processes and performance standards, along with focused training on delivering those standards. To provide hands-on training, CARSTAR hosts EDGE Performance Group (EPG) meetings routinely at locations around the country. The spring EPG meeting was hosted by 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division at its headquarters in St. Paul, MN, on May 21 and 22, 2018. More than 75 CARSTAR stores and some 116 store owners, managers and CARSTAR team members attended. Participants toured the 3M Innovation Center and participated in CARSTAR EDGE training led by the CARSTAR Operations team. The program included updates on quality control processes, introduction of the new CARSTAR quality audit, a discussion of best practices on scheduling, and financial reviews with a focus on business improvements. “The program, now in its fifth year, continues to drive CARSTAR’s strong performance and helps deliver the collision repair industry’s highest-quality vehicle 64

repairs,” said Michael Macaluso, president of CARSTAR. “It has helped many of the CARSTAR stores achieve the industry’s highest levels of operational efficiency, as well as industry-leading customer satisfaction.” As part of the event, CARSTAR held a vendor reception with raffle prizes to raise funds benefitting the fight against cystic fibrosis. Vendor partners who supported the event included 3M, BASF, Axalta, Sherwin Williams, Evercoat, NCS, Matrix Wand, Team Safety and Garmat. “We’re proud to be able to partner with CARSTAR on their EDGE Performance Platform and host them at our 3M Innovation Center where they can see 3M technology and solutions at work across a variety of industries,” said Mark Algie, strategic account manager for 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division. “We have worked closely with CARSTAR to develop business improvements for repair facilities, provide training on repair processes and create solutions for the ever-changing collision repair industry.” CARSTAR will hold additional EDGE Performance Group meetings throughout the year in the U.S. and Canada.


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100,000+ Industry Jobs at Risk With Tariffs on Imported Auto Parts, Study Finds

On June 29, the Auto Care Association urged the Trump administration to consider the severity of unintended consequences that may ensue by imposing tariffs on imported autos and auto parts, including the negative impact it would have on not only both the U.S. automotive industry and the jobs created by these imports, but also the U.S. economy at large. In comments submitted to the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the Section 232 National Security Investigation of Imports of Automobiles, Including Cars, SUVs, Vans and Light Trucks, and Automotive Parts, the association explained that the auto care industry’s “ability to source parts and components globally supports U.S. auto exports, provides U.S. consumers with a wider selection of vehicles and parts, and keeps vehicle repair and maintenance costs affordable for working families.” The association’s comments further explained that “the availability of affordable high-quality parts from foreign sources creates thousands of jobs that might be threatened should the Trump administration move for-

ward with a tariff on vehicles and vehicle parts.” Included in the comments was a recent economic study completed for the Auto Care Association by John Dunham and Associates, which found that a 25 percent tariff on imported auto parts could cause a reduction of 17,800 jobs in the auto parts manufacturing sector, resulting in $1.4 billion in lost wages. The study further predicts that 6,800 jobs would be lost by vehicle repair shops and an additional 85,200 jobs in the auto care wholesale and retail segment due to lower demand. These are mostly small family-owned businesses that would suffer severe economic harm should a 25 percent tariff be levied on autos and auto parts. Because the auto industry operates on a global platform, the reality is that goods are rarely designed, manufactured and consumed in one country. Technological efficiencies, lower trade costs and improved logistics have allowed companies to tighten and optimize supply chains. Imports help companies lower costs and improve product quality, allowing them to remain competitive do-

mestically and export globally. The study also found that imposing additional tariffs on auto parts and components would increase their price substantially, making it more difficult for working Americans to afford a new car or the cost of repairing the vehicle they currently own. The study estimates that the cost of car ownership will increase by more than $700 per year per household should the tariffs be imposed. The Auto Care Association concluded its comments to the Department of Commerce by recommending that the Trump administration “refrain from trade restrictions that would undermine the auto industry, and instead seek solutions that protect U.S. investments, facilitate trade and create competitive value chains that benefit the global growth of our industry.” For more information about the Auto Care Association’s government affairs initiatives, please contact Aaron Lowe at aaron.lowe@

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CARSTAR SL, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Fight Cause

In support of its ongoing exclusive partnership with the CARSTAR St. Louis Business Group, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, through its Enterprise Holdings Foundation, donated

$2,500 to CARSTAR’s charitable efforts to fund research, treatment and advocacy for cystic fibrosis. Enterprise presented the donation to the CARSTAR St. Louis Business Group and the Driven Brands Charitable Foundation. Cystic fibrosis is a chronic, progressive and frequently fatal genetic disease primarily affecting the lungs and digestive systems in children and young adults. The average life expectancy of someone living with CF is 40 years. There is no cure. With the help from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, CARSTAR will continue its efforts to help support the mission to cure cystic fibrosis.

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Apple Car Project Evolves With Larger Test Fleet, New Hire by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati

Apple’s long-rumored “Project Titan,” also known as the Apple Car initiative, has gone through several changes over the years. While the Cupertino, CA-based tech giant initially appeared to be focused on manufacturing its own vehicle, the company has since opted

to focus on developing self-driving technologies instead. Apple CEO Tim Cook, for one, stated back in June 2017 that Apple was “very focused on autonomous systems.” Since then, the iPhone-maker has gone all-in on the self-driving race. Today, the company commands the largest fleet of autonomous vehicles on California’s roads, even surpass-

ing the number of veterans in the field, such as Waymo. The growth of Apple’s self-driving fleet in California has been nothing less than astounding. According to a MacRumors report, information obtained from the California Department of Motor Vehicles has revealed that Apple started with a fleet of 27 autonomous vehicles in January. By March, there were 45 self-driving vehicles operated by the tech giant. By mid-May, the company had 55 vehicles and 83 drivers in its fleet. Just two weeks after that, Apple’s fleet of self-driving cars grew to 62 vehicles and 87 drivers. In comparison, Waymo has 51 autonomous vehicles testing on CA roads. Apple’s self-driving cars are characterized by their rather hefty roofs, which include an array of cameras and advanced LiDAR equipment. The vehicles are running Apple’s in-development autonomous driving software. Just like some of Google’s fleet, Apple has selected Lexus to be its car manufacturer of choice, with the company using Lexus RX450h SUVs as its test vehicles. Each of Apple’s self-driving cars is deployed with a safety driver,

WAC’s Social Media Initiatives Progress at June Meeting by Chasidy Rae Sisk

Women in Automotive and Collision (WAC), a group that continues to grow and gain focus, held a meeting at The Post on June 19. WAC Vice President Jess Crump noted, “We had a good turnout at The Post this month with only a few last-minute cancellations and one guest. WAC is a membership organization of passionate women in the automotive industry collaborating and leading members to create industry career awareness. Membership is $100 to help us attend events and further the mission, but membership is open to anyone in the automotive industry and all students are free! We are still looking for dinner sponsors, corporate sponsors and locations for future meetings. Thank you to Enterprise [Rent-ACar] for being June’s dinner sponsor!” Enterprise’s Tricia Belz, who serves as WAC’s social media coordinator, delivered a spotlight on current news with the rental com66

pany before providing an update on the association’s social media initiatives. The group’s Instagram page has gone live at WACSTLGROUP. Crump advised members that the association’s website will be completed in a few weeks at www “Sheena Wagner and Jess Crump surprised the members with WAC t-shirts to wear to events. The group brainstormed events for WAC to participate in, how to draw people to our booth and about holding a fundraiser in the fall,” WAC President Shelly Jones shared. “After the meeting, Jess created and shared an email template to send to people that are interested in what we do. We have formed a committee to get the ball rolling on a car show this fall and other potential events. Stay tuned for more information!” WAC’s next meeting will be held on July 17, with the location yet to be determined. For more information about the association, visit /groups/wacstl.


as the company’s permit currently does not allow fully driverless operations yet.

Apart from growing its fleet, Apple is also growing its talent pool for its self-driving initiatives. Just recently, the company hired senior selfdriving car engineer Jaime Waydo, who has previous experience as an engineer from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. What is particularly notable from Waydo’s work experience, however, is that she worked for Waymo before joining Apple’s selfdriving car project. The former NASA engineer oversaw systems engineering at Waymo while also aiding the self-driving car Google subsidiary in making pivotal decisions about the driverless operations of its test fleet in Arizona. Apple’s self-driving car project

is among the company’s largest, most ambitious initiatives to date, with Cook dubbing it as the “mother of all AI projects.” In a way, Cook’s statement rings true, considering that Apple has made its name and established its reputation in consumer technology, not in automotive engineering. While the company does have experience with artificial intelligence and machine learning thanks to products like the iPhone and voice-activated assistants like Siri, a self-driving car system is an entirely different challenge. It is, after all, one that Google is still trying to master despite being in the industry since 2009, and one that Tesla is still seeking to learn despite having more than 150,000 vehicles on its fleet gathering data every day. We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.


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Auto Care Association Named Red Hot Association

AAAS Hosts YANG Meet-Up With Annual Conference & Trade Show by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On June 6, the Automotive Aftermarket Association of the Southeast (AAAS) hosted a Regional Meet-Up for the Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG) in conjunction with the 2018 AAAS Conference and Trade Show held at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, FL. YANG members who attended the Meet-Up received an invitation to attend the rest of the conference at no charge. Matt Ward, director of government relations, shared, “By combining the YANG Meet-Up with the annual conference, YANG members were able to connect with other YANG members as well as industry leaders that were in attendance. Just like every other YANG Meet-Up, attendees enjoyed their time spent connecting with peers in the industry and meeting new people. The relationships built and maintained at these events are extremely beneficial both for the individual and the in-

The Auto Care Association was recognized as a “Red Hot Association” by DCA Live at the first an-

dustry as a whole.” Ward is also a member of YANG, which includes young industry professionals under the age of 40. He noted, “The aftermarket is a people-driven industry, and YANG has given me a great avenue to network with and meet other industry peers, many of which I consider to already be leaders in the aftermarket. It is fun to be in a room full of YANG members that are excited about what they do and the industry they work for. You cannot attend a YANG event and not be optimistic about the future of the automotive aftermarket. “All Meet-Ups are different and can range from networking receptions to educational seminars, with previous events being held at many different types of venues. The focus always remains the same, which is good old-fashioned networking. Make sure to be on the lookout for a YANG event in your area. You do not want to miss it!”



● ● ●

nual DCA Live 2018 Red Hot Not Profits and Associations event in Arlington, VA. The event honored Washington, D.C.-based organizations that demonstrated performance as a high-growth or innovative nonprofit or association. The list of 2018 Red Hot Associations included: ● ● ● ● ● ●

Stacey Phillips Joins CIECA as Communications Specialist

The Collision Industry Electronic “It is used for the exchange of colliCommerce Association (CIECA) sion industry messages and data across multiple organizarecently announced that tions and networks and alStacey Phillips will be lows organizations to joining the national organtransmit only the data reization as the marketing quired for the application and communications cowithout transmitting ‘unordinator, effective immeneeded data.’ On behalf of diately. CIECA’s Board, we wel“In her new role, come Stacey and look forStacey will be instrumental Stacey Phillips ward to having her help as CIECA continues to promote the adoption of BMS (Busi- engage the industry with information ness Message Suite) standards,” said and educational opportunities.” Phillips has more than 20 years Fred Iantorno, executive director of CIECA. “Her expertise in market- of experience helping companies ing and communication strategies will help CIECA communicate its mission to develop and promote electronic communication standards that allow the collision industry to be more efficient.” The BMS (Business Message Suite) is CIECA’s comprehensive set of electronic communication standards for the collision industry. “BMS provides the industry with a greater ability to protect the customers’ personally identifiable communicate their vision. She has information,” said Clint Marlow, worked for a wide range of busiCIECA’s chairman of the board and nesses and fields, including techniclaim innovation director at Allstate. cal industries such as automotive,

Auto Care Association Conference of State Bank Supervisors Infectious Diseases Society of America Association of Corporate Counsel Association for Career and Technical Education American Society for Engineering Education

engineering and oil and gas, as well as consumer-focused magazines, newspapers and websites. She is the prior assistant editor at Autobody News magazine and continues to write articles for the collision repair industry. The award-winning writer is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a double major in journalism and political science and earned an honors thesis in environmental politics. She has co-authored two books, including “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops,” which was released in 2017. “As e-commerce has become a bigger part of our daily lives, the flow of data among trading partners has expanded as part of the repair process,” said Phillips. “The next few years will present an amazing opportunity to help unite the industry in a common cause—the adoption of standards. I’m excited to be part of this challenge and help build a solid foundation to achieve great results for this industry.

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

American Psychiatric Association National Federation of Independent Business International Sign Association Military Officers Association of America American Association of Airport Executives American Medical Writers Association National Association of School Nurses Architectural Woodwork Institute Association of Governing Boards National Grocers Association National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Future Business Leaders of America

“We’re honored to be recognized alongside these outstanding associations making a positive impact on our community here in our nation’s capital and throughout the United States,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association.

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‘Who Pays for What?’ Finds Half of Shops Have Not Billed for Seat Belt Inspections

“Some even go so far as to state The quarterly “Who Pays for What?” survey conducted this past spring seat belts must be replaced if they found that just over 30 percent of were in use during a collision,” he shops that seek to be paid for inspec- said. “Some OEMs also state that the tion of seat belts when it is necessary inspection process includes using a scan tool.” as part of the repair process Anderson said the resaid they are paid “always” sponse to the survey quesor “most of the time” for it. tion “is very concerning in Fifty percent of shops have that it indicates to me that not asked for payment for too few shops are researchthis important process. ing OEM repair procedures “Of the nearly 100 and are thus not aware” of procedures and items we ask about over the course Mike Anderson of what the automakers call for. of four surveys each year, Collision Advice “As an industry, we this is the one that most keeps me awake at night,” said must accept responsibility for reMike Anderson of Collision Ad- searching and following the requirevice, who conducts the surveys with ments for this on every vehicle,” Anderson said. CRASH Network. The survey, to which more than He said the latest of the four 2018 “Who Pays for What?” sur- 1,000 shops responded, did offer veys, which focuses on not-included some indication that the industry is frame and mechanical labor opera- becoming more aware of the need for tions, is open now through the end of inspection of seat belts during colliJuly at https://www.surveymonkey sion repair. The same survey two years earlier found that fewer than .com/r/TN8RY72. The findings related to seat belt one in four shops (24 percent) said inspection are troubling, Anderson they were paid regularly for the prosaid, because every automaker has cedure. That had climbed to 31 pera very specific procedure for the cent this year. The percentage of shops that said they’d never sought to process.

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be paid for the procedure had fallen somewhat from about 62 percent in 2016 to about 59 percent this year. In addition to asking shops about their billing practices—and insurers’ payment practices—regard-

ing about two dozen not-included body labor operations, the April survey asked about shops’ scanning practices, estimating and electronic parts systems usage, and body labor and storage rates. The current survey focuses on frame and mechanical labor procedures and includes some all-new questions to offer the industry even more helpful information; shops can

take the survey before the end of July by visiting: https://www.survey Survey participants receive a report with complete survey findings at no charge, broken down by region, insurer and DRP vs. non-DRP. The report also includes analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented. Anderson said the survey, which will take about 15–30 minutes, should be completed by the shop owner, manager or estimator who is most familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of the largest national insurers. Each shop’s individual responses are held in the strictest confidence; only aggregated data is released. The results of previous surveys are also available online (https://www

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U.S. Aftermarket To Grow at Annual Rate (CAGR) of 3.4% Through 2021

The U.S. automotive aftermarket is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.4 percent through 2021, according to the “2018 Joint Channel Forecast Model” produced jointly by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) and the Auto Care Association. The 2018 Joint Channel Forecast Model also predicts that the total aftermarket sales will grow from $286 billion in 2017 to $327 billion in 2021, an increase of nearly $41 billion over the four-year period. “The Joint Channel Forecast shows the continued strength of key aftermarket drivers and the impact of the confident consumers, buoyed by a strong job market and lower personal tax rates and shows influences driving evolution in the aftermarket: new and emerging technologies, changes in the distribution model and changes in consumers’ expectations for mobility. We are an industry facing a lot of change, but we believe we have the people in the independent aftermarket with the leadership, vision and entrepreneurial spirit to enable us to

grow and thrive in our pending era of change and opportunity,” said Bill Long, president and chief operating officer, AASA. “The sustained growth projected in the forecast is not only a result of key economic upswings, but also technology that is creating opportunities for new products, services and solutions across our market,” said Bill Hanvey, president and chief executive officer, Auto Care Association. “These new technologies continue to widen the reach and scope of our industry as well as enable opportunities to add to the 4.6 million job powerhouse that we are.” The market sizing and forecast is conducted on behalf of AASA and the Auto Care Association by IHS Markit, the world-renowned economic and market information firm. The forecast is based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s Economic Census, IMR and Polk data, and proprietary IHS Markit’s economic analysis and forecasting models. Visit and / AUGUST 2018 AUTOBODY NEWS



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August 2018 West Edition  
August 2018 West Edition