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VOL. 28 ISSUE 9 SEPTEMBER 2010
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talks with Autobody News about her long-time consumer interests, including finance reform, insurance and automotive repair issues, replacement parts and steering. She knows far more than most politicians about these issues because she’s carried much related legislation in California. Collision repairers nationwide need to pay attention.
INTERVIEW by Ed Attanasio
“You first came to national prominence as a shooting victim —the prelude to the grisly nine hundred murder-suicides in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978. At that time you were a 28-year old lawyer and legislative aide accompanying Congressman Leo Ryan to inquire about Jim Jones’ Peoples’ Temple cult. Many of our readers know that five of your party, including Congressman Ryan, were killed, and that you were left for dead for nearly 24 hours before help arrived. What readers likely don’t know is that after your rescue you endured a dozen surgeries to recover from five gunshot wounds, and that you still had bullet fragments in you when you first ran for Congress. Tragedy struck again in 1994 when your first husband was killed when his car was hit by an unlicensed driver with faulty brakes. What no one but you knows is how these horrific experiences shaped your political views and perceptions. Tell us how they did ”
see page 42 for interview
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2 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Franklin - ‘Bird Dogging’—Guerilla Tactics for Small Body Shops. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 GM Awaits Fuel Ratings on Volt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Honda Parts Position Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Hyundai Shoots for 50 mpg Fleet by 2025. . . . . . 43 I-Car 1st Annual Ultimate Collision Education Makeover 53 I-CAR Overview Courses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Jaguar Recalls 2010 XK and XF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Motor Guard Introduces BIG BLOCK® Sanding Blocks 14 NACE Town Hall on Aftermarket Parts . . . . . . . . . 19 New Laws on Louisiana’s Books Include Tougher Penalties for Texting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 NHTSA Ponders Requiring Stability Control . . . . . 53 Nissan Recalls Cube for Fuel Leak . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 NV Shop Acquired by Gerber Collision . . . . . . . . . 4 Obama to Set $250 Million Loan for Ford Exports . 27 Record Attendance Forecasted for 2010 SCRS . . 38 San Diego CAA Talks on BAR and Insurance Race. 19 Schroeder, Pro Spot - Len’s Auto Body Endorses Oceanside’s Pro Spot Quality Welding Systems . 36 Senate Committee Passes High-Tech Legislation . 47 Sherwin-Williams Expands Online Training. . . . . . 33 State Farm Introduces Distracted Driving Tool . . . 43 Tim Morgan Appointed GM at Celette-Elektron . . . 19 Tire Inflation Regulation Submitted to CA OAL . . . . 4 Toyota Announces Recall For Avalons . . . . . . . . . 40 Toyota Pushes Back U.S. Prius Production by Years 33 VW Passat Probed for Fire Risk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Weaver - Three Gallons of Trouble . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Williams - Parts for Profit 5—Pricing. . . . . . . . . . 24 Yoswick - Shop Data Raise Privacy Concerns . . . 50 Yoswick - I-CAR Announces New Training . . . . . . 18 Yoswick - Recyclers and Shops Meet on Used Parts Usage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
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‘Open Letter’ Leads to Lawsuit Involving Aftermarket Certifiers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Pebble’s Concours d’Elegance ‘Best of Show’ . . . 46 2009 Dealer Wholesale Parts Down More than 19% from ‘08 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 5 Series and Lancer Make Top Safety Pick Awards . 59 ACIC Seeks to Axe Sacramento Crash Tax Scheme. 6 Allstate Operating Income Rises in Q2 . . . . . . . . . . 3 Allstate Spends $1.33M Lobbying . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Amaradio - The Lack of Industry Leadership . . . . 49 Attanasio - California Congresswoman Jackie Speier. 1 LKQ is Fueling Smarter to “State of Greenness” . 23 AZ Unsure if Speed Cameras Affect Street Safety. . 4 BMW Gran Turismo Recall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Brown - NCIA Says Totaling at 65% of Cash Value is Too Low a Threshold in Nevada . . . . . . . . . . 14 CA BAR Proposes Smog Check Changes . . . . . . . 4 CA Mandates Pressure Checks on Tires . . . . . . . . 4 Chess - Why is Camry “B” Pillar Reinforcement Repair Done at the Roof Line? . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 CIC Discussions: Repair Standards and Ford Compares OEM to Non-OEM Parts . . . . . . . . . . 8 Copper in Brake Pads Restricted in Washington State, California Next?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Court Dismisses Suit Challenging CA Commissioner’s Actions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 CRA Writes in Opposition to SB427 Unless Amended 39 Drew Ford in La Mesa, CA, Hosts Free Extrication Demo17 Espersen - OE Repair Information Sets the Standard 57 Evans - Building a Numbered Car Exactly like the Red Mist, Part Two . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Ex-GM Worker Accused of Stealing Secrets . . . . 40 Farmers Reduces CA Auto Rates 14.5 Percent. . . . 6 Ford Crash Avoidance Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
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AAPEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . .37
Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . .57
Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . .56
AEGIS Tools Intl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Auto Body Guru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60
Autoland Scientech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Automotive Equipment Solutions . . . . . .6
LKQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . .54
MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .34
Motor Guard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Automotive ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .48
BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . .21
Performance Radiator . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
BMW of Riverside . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44
British Motor Car Distributors . . . . . . . . .42
Buerge Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge . . . . . . . . .7 Chassis Liner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59
Completes Plus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
Crevier BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Downtown Motors of LA
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DuPont . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Pacific BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Perry Mazda-Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
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Pre Fab Ads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
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Replica Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51
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Nissan-Mazda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Enterprise Rent-A-Car . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49
Robotic Glass Removal . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers
Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-Mazda-Subaru 40
Folsom Lake Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep . . . .15 AZ, CA, & NV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
Galpin Motors . . . . . . . . . . . .25, 30-31, 35
Garmat USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
SCA Appraisal Company . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Spray Net Spray Booths . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . .45 Timmons VW-Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
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Volvo Crash Wholesale Dealers . . . . . . .50
GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . . .47
Honda/Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers .58
Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .52
Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . .53
Walcom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Weatherford BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Allstate Income Rises in Q2
The Allstate Co. reported that second quarter 2010 operating income rose to $441 million compared to $297 million in the same period of 2009, reflecting improved results in both property/liability and Allstate Financial. Net income was $145 million in the second quarter of 2010 compared to $389 million in the second quarter of 2009, primarily due to realized capital losses in the 2010 quarter versus realized capital gains in the prior year period. Allstate brand growth of 1.6 percent contributed to the premium increase, partially offset by a 20.4 percent Encompass brand decline when compared to the second quarter a year ago. Actions to improve Encompass profitability negatively impacted results. Although lower than the record second quarter impact in 2009 of 12.5 points, it was 3.2 points higher than Allstate’s 19-year average for a second quarter of 6.6 points. Allstate brand standard auto premiums written increased 1.9 percent for the second quarter of 2010 compared to the prior year second quarter, due to a 3.3 percent increase in average premium.
Allstate Spends $1.33M Lobbying
Allstate Corp. spent $1.33 million in the second quarter to lobby the federal government on legislation involving flood insurance regulations, safe-driving laws and financial reforms, according to a recent disclosure report and reports madeby Bloomberg’s Business Week. The total is down from $1.54 million that Allstate spent in the same quarter a year ago, but up from the $1.08 million that the property and casualty insurer spent in this year's first quarter. According to a July 20 filing with the House clerk's office, Allstate lobbied the government on issues including flood insurance rate-setting and financial regulatory reforms. Those reforms included a proposal to tighten regulation of derivatives, private bets between two parties on how the value of assets like crops or measures like interest rates will change in the future. Allstate, based in Northbrook, Ill., also lobbied the House and Senate on legislation aimed at reducing accidents caused by inattentive drivers who send text messages while at the wheel.
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 3
AZ Unsure if Speed Cameras Affect Street Safety Arizona transportation officials say a lack of needed data forced cancellation of planned research on whether speed enforcement cameras deployed along Phoenix-area freeway cameras improved traffic safety. The state concluded its groundbreaking and controversial two-year program on July 16 that put fixed and mobile cameras along highways statewide. The state Department of Transportation’s research center awarded a federally funded contract to a national engineering firm, Omaha-based HDR Inc., to study the effectiveness of speed cameras in the Phoenix area. Work under the $100,000 contract was still in its early stages when it was canceled May 27 after officials concluded that they didn’t have the traffic-count data required to conduct the research, ADOT officials said in response to inquiries from The Associated Press. It turned out that the required data isn’t collected often enough, something that could have been addressed when the speed camera program was launched but not after the fact, spokesman Tim Tait said. “We only do the counts every three years (but) there was a mistaken assumption that we did
data every year.” HDR was paid $17,300 for the preliminary work it did under the contract, ADOT spokeswoman Laura Douglas said. According to a planning document obtained by the AP, the canceled study was intended to document any effects of speed cameras on traffic crashes, including impacts on vehicle speeds and accident rates and whether any safety gains decrease over time. “It was a worthwhile project. I wish we could have studied more on the effects of photo enforcement,” said Jason Harris, an ADOT research manager. An earlier study conducted by an Arizona State University research on traffic cameras operated on behalf of the city of Scottsdale on a stretch of freeway in that Phoenix suburb in parts of 2006 and 2007 concluded that the cameras’ presence reduced vehicle speeds and the number and severity of accidents. Former Gov. Janet Napolitano had cited those findings in launching the statewide program, which critics said was actually motivated by a desire to generate revenue for the state. Current Gov. Jan Brewer said she considered the cameras intrusive.
The California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), within the state’s department of Consumer Affairs, has proposed changes to its Smog Check Program. The BAR wants to update the regulations involved in the Smog Check Program to speed up the retirement of older, high-polluting vehicles. The program was designed to reduce emissions by requiring vehicles to meet certain standards. Owners of vehicles not meeting these standards can retire their vehicles for monetary compensation. BAR’s CAP program provides financial assistance to qualified vehicle owners that wish to retire their vehicle. The Health and Safety Code establishes the Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program, limited to available funds. EFMP is available to eligible vehicle owners who receive compensation to retire their high-polluting vehicles. Approved applicants must take their vehicle to an authorized dismantler where the vehicle must pass an inspection before it is retired. Currently, the regulations involve retiring vehicles for failing biennial smog checks. Among the new regulations is a plan to incorporate off-cycle vehicles into the program, which could retire an additional 11,500 vehicles annually.
The Boyd Group announced the opening of a new repair center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 30. The repair center, previously known as Northwest Autobody & Paint, was recently acquired by the Boyd Group and now operates under the Gerber Collision & Glass trade name. The new location is approximately 18,500 square feet in size, with nearly 17,000 square feet of production space. It is well located to help serve consumers and insurance clients in the northwestern Las Vegas area. Gerber Collision & Glass now operates three centers in Nevada and 56 overall in the United States. Together with its 37 centers in Canada, the Boyd Group owns and operates 93 centers in North America. “Our latest acquisition is consistent with our strategy of expanding into select markets and growing our network of repair centers across North America,” said Tim O’Day, President and COO of the Boyd Group’s U.S. Operations. “Our newest location in Las Vegas enhances our ability to serve our customers in the northwestern part of that city.” Collision shop owners interested in acquisition should contact Kim Allen, Business Development Manager: (847) 4106003, KAllen@gerbercollision.com
CA BAR Proposes Smog Check Changes
NV Shop Acquired by Gerber Collision
4 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
CA Mandates Pressure Checks on Tires
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has mandated that all service centers are required to check and inflate customer’s tires to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure— regardless of whether or not the car’s service has anything to do with tires. California’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars driving around with under-inflated tires, which have higher rolling resistance. These circumstances result in cars using more fuel and thereby emitting more greenhouse gasses. Initiated in 2009, the law’s intent is to help car owners to have their vehicle’s tire pressure checked every time the car comes in for service. In latest revision, the regulation applies to all automotive service providers who do maintenance or repair service, but excludes certain automotive repair shops including auto body, auto glass installer, auto dismantlers, and auto parts retailers. There could be gray areas if a service provider offers a mix of services, such as repair and body shop work. Consumers who have nitrogen filled tires can decline inflation service if the shop does not have nitrogen filling capacity.
Tire Inflation Regulation Submitted to CA OAL
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has filed with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) the resubmittal final rulemaking package for the “Regulation to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Vehicles Operating with Under Inflated Tires.” The regulation details a list of requirements and deadlines automotive service providers must adhere to. By Sept. 1, 2010, all automotive service providers are required to: ● Check and inflate each vehicle’s tires to the recommended tire pressure rating, with air or nitrogen, as appropriate, at the time of performing any automotive maintenance or repair service; and ● Indicate on the vehicle service invoice that a tire inflation service was completed and the tire pressure measurements after the services were performed; and ● Perform the tire pressure service using a tire pressure gauge with a total permissible error no greater than ± 2 pounds per square inch (psi); and ● Have access to a tire inflation reference that is current within three years. ● Keep a copy of the vehicle service invoice for a minimum of three years.
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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 5
ACIC Seeks to Axe Sacramento Crash Tax Scheme
A proposed crash tax ordinance before the Sacramento City Council sends a message that Sacramento operates like a small-town speed trap, gouging unwary non-resident drivers, according to Sam Sorich, president of the Association of California Insurance Companies. Sorich intends to testify against the proposed ordinance, which was scheduled to receive a final City Council vote August 17 at Sacramento City Hall but was postponed until September 14, according to the Sacramento Bee. The ordinance would impose a tax—or what the city calls a fee—on non-Sacramento residents who are involved in traffic accidents within the city limits. The fee would be imposed on at-fault, non-resident drivers. “Sacramento is rightly proud to be the capital of America’s largest state. It should be welcoming with open arms those from outside Sacramento who work in the city and visitors from around the world. “Instead, the city plans literally to add insult to injury,” said Sorich.
He noted that Sacramento, like most local governments, faces some tough economic challenges. But taxing out-of-town motorists—including the thousands of workers who commute into the city every day—is dreadfully wrong and unfair. The ordinance anticipates contracting with a third-party billing company that will bill insurance companies. The ordinance’s scheme is based on the notion that insurance companies will pay the bill. “But the fact is that auto insurance policies were never designed to cover these fees. Therefore, many accident victims will be forced to pay the tax out of their own pockets. The fees could be $2,000 or more. For insurers who pay the tax, it represents an increase in costs—which in turn could affect rates for all drivers. “One sure thing in all of this is that the billing company that gets the city contract will always get paid first. The billing company takes its cut. Then it sends the rest of the payment to the city,” Sorich said. ACIC’s president pointed out that
6 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
the city envisions that the billing company will determine fault. The decision of fault will be made by the same company that profits from the tax. “Drivers won’t get a fair shake,” said Sorich. He added that the proposed ordinance is in effect double taxation. The emergency services are paid for with property taxes. Sacramento, as a result, will be double-dipping at the expense of motorists. For non-resident drivers who have accidents, its taxation without representation. “The ordinance also could end up hurting and not helping the city. It anticipates additional revenue but fails to consider the amount of lost sales revenue when residents from surrounding areas and potential visitors decide to stay away to avoid being taxed for just being in an accident. “The ordinance tells Californians —who come to work in Sacramento, who come to the city for recreation, shopping and entertainment and who come to Sacramento to visit their state capital—that they are second-class citizens,” said Sorich.
Farmers Reduces CA Auto Rates 14.5 Percent
California Insurance Commissioner Poizner announced that Farmers Insurance customers are eligible to receive an average rate reduction of 14.5% and a one time 10% insurance premium rebate, worth a combined total of up to $100 million. The rate reduction applies to customers of Farmers Insurance are insured through one of their two major auto insurance subsidiaries, Farmers Insurance Exchange and Mid-Century Insurance Co. Farmers Insurance customers insured by the subsidiary MidCentury Insurance Co. are already receiving the new lower rate. Those currently insured by Farmers Insurance Exchange and renew their policies between July 15, 2010 and Jan. 15, 2011 will receive a one-time 10 percent rebate on their premiums. That rebate is estimated to be worth approximately $50 per insured car or $32 million. In addition, those same customers will also receive an ongoing rate cut of approximately 15 percent worth an estimated $72 million.
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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 7
CIC Discussions: Repair Standards and Ford Compares OEM to Non-OEM Parts by John Yoswick Special to Autobody News
Let’s say the industry developed a formal set of “repair standards” for collision repair. What then? This was the question a Collision Industry Conference (CIC) committee introduced at CIC’s meeting in Chicago in July. Jeff Patti, chairman of the Industry Standards Committee, said his committee felt that, in addition to working on the proposed set of standards, it should also begin the process of considering what might be the next step. He outlined the proposed creation of a non-profit organization that would oversee the final development and implementation of the standards. Although designed primarily to prompt discussion of the topic, Patti’s proposal included details down to the level of potential costs for launching such an organization and possible fees for those wishing to participate. Such an organization, Patti said, would be limited to one focus: the de-
velopment and implementation of the standards. It would work to gain consensus from “all stakeholders in the industry” for the standards, he said, thus following the guidelines established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the body that essentially sets standards for ‘standards development.’ “Its mission would be to establish and manage collision repair standards developed by collision industry stakeholders,” Patti said. “That’s everybody in this room. Everyone will have a say in what goes on. This won’t be limited to any one particular segment.” As hoped, the proposal did prompt discussion at CIC. Scott Biggs, of Assured Performance Network, said he felt that rather than create another industry organization that would need to build awareness, creditability and funding, the standards could instead be overseen by an existing industry organization such as ICAR.
Others questioned the need for involvement of anyone other than collision repairers in creating repair standards. “It’s ultimately the repairer who would abide by the standards,” Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), said. “When you have ‘stakeholders,’ there are special interests involved. There are lots of organizations out there that are directed for consumer protection that are easily swayed and don’t necessarily protect the consumer. There’s a lot of skepticism out there about abiding by repair standards that are developed by other entities with vested interest in how they want us to act.” CIC administrator Jeff Hendler agreed. “Developing standards for the collision repair industry does not need to involve insurers, database providers or anybody else but those people touching that car,” Hendler said. “The body shop person already is standing side by side with an insurer who is saying, ‘Yeah, I know that’s the right
way to repair the car, but we won’t pay for it.’ That’s BS.” Patti and others said that part of what ANSI requires in the development of standards is consensus of all affected stakeholders. Part of why the standards should be overseen by an independent sole-focus organization, he said, is to avoid influence by special interests. “This has to be a consumer driven organization,” he said. “We have to look out for our mutual customer.” Schulenburg also questioned how effective the industry would be at trying to implement “voluntary” standards. “Things that are voluntary tend not to be followed, and those that do follow them in our industry often see no benefit for doing so,” he said. “We’re often held to the lowest common denominator.” The discussion of the issue will continue at a meeting scheduled for Las Vegas on November 4, the day following the next regular CIC meeting. See CIC Discussions, Page 12
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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 9
Recyclers and Shops Meet To Discuss Used Parts Usage by John Yoswick
The two gatherings of auto recyclers and collision repairers took place only one year apart, but they could not have been much further apart, at least initially, in tone and tenor. “A year ago, a shop owner stood up at the start and all but accused the auto recycling industry of conspiring against shops,” said Mel Hunke of the Quality Replacement Parts (QRP), a coalition of auto recyclers in nine states. “By the end of that meeting, and from the start of the second one, the repairers saw that recyclers were not the enemy, and the recyclers saw that, as an industry, they have some genuine quality and customer service issues they need to address. Everyone came into that second meeting with more of an interest in, ‘Okay, how do we improve the situation?’” The next of these “Recycled Parts Roundtable” meetings, which are being organized by QRP as part of its effort to discuss and work toward resolution of issues related to the use of recycled parts in collision repair, will be held November 4 in Las Vegas. The meetings have been facilitated by industry consultant Lou DiLisio, and have brought together about two dozen representatives from auto recycling and collision repair companies from around the country. One of the key topics of discussion at the a recent meeting was the need for more complete and accurate descriptions of recycled parts and their condition. The group agreed that not enough recyclers use—and far too few repairers are aware of and understand —the standards and grading codes developed by the Automotive Recyclers Association to help both recyclers and shops understand the condition of used parts. The attendees at the meeting agreed that recyclers need to improve the accurate use of these systems within their industry, and should review this information with their repair shop customers, perhaps providing shop estimators and parts managers with laminated copies of the grading and damage codes. “It has come through pretty clearly at these meetings that many of the issues boil down to communication,” Hunke said. “Repairers simply need to communicate what they need, and the recyclers need to honestly reply whether they can meet those needs or not.”
The group discussed that educational and reference materials on these parts and damage description systems are available at “Standards & Codes” on the ARA website (www.a-r-a.org). Another potential win-win for recyclers, insurers and repairers could result if recyclers helped make shops
Similarly, DiLisio said, recyclers can add value to their shop customers by having and sharing information that can help the shop ensure it will have the parts it needs to prevent delays to a job. “If you sell something that includes one-time fasteners, my view is you should be letting the shop know that,” DiLisio told recyclers at the meeting. “I think you’ll sell more parts because the repairers will gain that confidence and trust and utilize you more.” There was also disThe “Recycled Parts Roundtable” brings together collision repairers and cussion at the meetauto recyclers to discuss the use of recycled parts. The next such meeting about where the ing will be held in Las Vegas on November 4. industry stands in aware of parts they are likely to need terms of electronic systems for orderin a repair but that are not typically ing of recycled parts. The group dispurchased from a recycler—in part cussed that the lack of VIN decoders because they often are not on an ini- within the inventory management systial parts order and will likely be ortems used by recyclers limits a move to dered from the OE during the all-electronic parts ordering in the supplement process. “If you buy a fender, hood and bumper from me, but you also need the windshield washer jug and battery tray and all the other stuff recyclers are currently crushing, we can amortize our overhead and dismantling costs over more parts, and you can increase your alternative part usage and save totals,” Hunke said. “I think recyclers should help educate repairers by showing them that in a typical accident, these 10 key things get damaged and you typically order these five things, and there’s five things you don’t typically order,” DiLisio suggested. “I think everybody has some responsibility here.” DiLisio said there is also an opportunity for recyclers to educate themselves and their shop customers about OEM recommendations, perhaps through subscriptions to the automaker repair information websites or third-party information providers. “I was just in a shop with a Kia that had the airbag blown,” DiLisio said. “Kia requires in that situation that the wiring harness be replaced. It’s $1,100. If the recyclers understood this, there’s absolutely an opportunity to sell the shop a wiring harness if you let the shop know that—and I bet most shops don’t have that information.”
10 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
short-term. But QRP representatives at the meeting said they have a process called “Auto Sender” that strips the administrative information from an estimate—to protect shop and customer data privacy—and sends the body of the estimate to the recycler in order to check for parts prices and availability. A committee was establish within the group to explore more fully-electronic parts ordering options. Hunke said QRP plans to continue holding such roundtable meetings to help move some of these issues forward. “We don’t have any illusions that there aren’t still some people out there, and maybe even at these meetings, who say, ‘If I had my druthers, I’d never use a used part,’” Hunke said. “But there are others who are realistic about it and say if we don’t find ways to use more recycled parts more profitably, we’re going to lose some insurer repair programs and the repair is just going to go some place else. So the only sensible thing for all of us is to address how are we going to process used parts so that everybody can come out with some kind of a win.”
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 11
Continued from Page 8
Ford Compares non-OEM parts Also at CIC in Chicago, Ford Motor Company announced the findings of its comparison of some Ford service parts to corresponding non-OEM replacement bumper beams, bumper brackets, and radiator core supports, Ford cited some critical differences. Spot welds on some of the non-OEM parts did not meet Ford specifications, for example, and the type of material (as well as its thickness and weight) often differed from the OEM part. The non-OEM radiator core support for the 2004-07 F-150, for example, was made out of plastic rather than magnesium and steel like the OEM service part. A non-OEM replacement for the 2005-09 Ford Mustang’s single-piece ultra-highstrength steel bumper beams was found to be made of two mild-steel pieces welded together. A non-OEM bumper bracket for the 2006–08 Ford F-150 were half as thick and weighed less than half what the OEM parts weigh.
Paul Massie, powertrain and collision product marketing manager for Ford, said he believes that Ford’s analysis of the parts shows they are not of equivalent “like kind and quality,” a requirement for replacement parts in 20 states. But Massie said that perhaps more important than comparison and testing of individual parts is to determine how they impact the overall response of the vehicle in a collision. Non-OEM bumper parts that are thicker or heavier than Ford parts, for example, Massie said, could affect that response just as much as those that are lighter and thinner. That’s why Ford engineers also conducted simulated computer modeling of the non-OEM parts’ response in a crash, again finding significant differences to the Ford parts. “The use of these tested aftermarket copy parts will change the dynamics of the crash process resulting in a differing response from the vehicle safety systems than those calibrated by Ford Motor Company,” the company concluded based on its research.
12 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Massie said he hopes Ford will do some actual crash testing of the parts, but recognizes there is ample competition within the company for the research time and funds that would require.
Other news at CIC In other news and discussion at CIC in Chicago: ● A CIC subcommittee shared a document outlining proposed standards for the digital images of damaged vehicles that insurers require. The goal of the standards is to help reduce some of the variation in insurer requirements, subcommittee chairman Randy Hanson said, although as with all standards, it won’t eliminate some individual circumstances under which an insurer may require additional digital images. “But for the everyday claim, 80 percent of them that you deal with every day, we think there’s a great case for standards,” Hanson said. An outline of the proposed standard is available under the “Repairer-Insurer Relations Task Force” section of the CIC website (www.ciclink.com). ● State Farm explained that “Select Service” shops will now receive a
3-digit number—similar to a credit score—from the insurer based on its measurement of the shop’s performance. The number, on a scale of 1 to 1,000, will be updated monthly and is established using a proprietary formula that takes into account the key performance indicators (KPIs) State Farm uses to track each shop’s performance. The report also indicates how the shop’s number compares with other shops in the program (even taking into account, State Farm’s George Avery said, such things as differences in the types of vehicles repaired), and lists three areas that the shop could focus on to improve its score. ● Mike Quinn, co-owner of Arizona-based 911 Collision Centers, was named as the next chairman of the conference. Quinn has been a long-time participant at CIC as well as in the National Auto Body Council (NABC). His company operates seven shops in Arizona and Nevada. He will succeed Russell Thrall who completes his second year as chairman at the last CIC meeting of the year on November 3 in Las Vegas.
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NCIA Says Totaling at 65% of Cash Value is Too Low a Threshold in Nevada by David M. Brown Special to Autobody News
The Nevada Collision Industry Association (NCIA) was founded in 2004 to promote the interests of those involved in the business of repairing both mechanical and collision-related damage. Autobody News talked with several of the members and officers to get a better idea of the issues facing repairers in Nevada. “Although we don’t have separate collision and mechanical repair divisions, we try to represent the entirety of the industry, including paint companies, wreckers, glass companies and even those businesses that sell support services such as estimating software,” says Kurtis Rosborough, chairman of the NCIA and owner of Certified Autobody Center in southwest Las Vegas. The NCIA holds quarterly meetings to discuss and take action regarding the direction of the association as well as schedules fund-raising events to supplement dues. In addition, the group regularly informs members of any new requirements by federal, state or local governments such as by the EPA and OSHA. Regular I-CAR training sessions are held, and guest speakers also appear at times. Formerly known as the Nevada Auto Body Association, the 120-member
NCIA comprises Northern and Southern chapters, with 40 and 80 members, respectively. Joining Rosborough as state officers this year are Tim Waldren, vice chairman; Vic Stratton, treasurer; Robby Fulgram, secretary; and Mike Harris, director at large. An association lobbyist works for both chapters. NABA was dormant for about seven to eight years, notes Waldren, owner of Paramount Auto Body in Reno. He is also president of the Northern Chapter, whose other officers are Jim Jackson, immediate past president; Robby Fulgram, vice president; Linda Barrett, secretary/treasurer; and Rick Anderson, director at large. “I believe the association allows a place for pertinent information to be disseminated to the membership that assists in the running of our businesses,” Waldren says. “The association asks the membership to share what are the largest issues facing their businesses, and then it moves forward to meet those objectives.” These services are in place not only for legislative aims but to further everyday business as well. “The association has helped the industry with information, classes as well as with laws and has kept us strong. We now know each other, and this binds us together and makes us strive to make the industry a better place to work,” said Colleen Redd, treasurer for the South-
Motor Guard Introduces BIG BLOCK® Sanding Blocks
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14 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
ern Chapter and an assistant manager at Chapman Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep in Las Vegas. Her fellow Southern Chapter board members are Rosborough, chairman; Vic Stratton, vice chairman; Larry Darrow, secretary; and Mike Harris, director at large. A member of NCIA for six years, Harris, in his director-at-large responsibilities, primarily functions as chairman of the association’s Legislative Committee. He believes that a major challenge for the NCIA is to amend the state’s “Total Loss Law,” NRS 487, enacted in 2003. That law provides for totaling a vehicle at 65% of its Actual Cash Value. In part, it defines a “Total Loss Vehicle” as one “which has been wrecked, destroyed or otherwise damaged to such an extent that the cost of repair, not including any cost associated with painting any portion of the vehicle, is 65% or more of the fair market value of the vehicle immediately before it was wrecked, destroyed or otherwise damaged.” The NCIA says that this is too low a threshold and harms all parties,
including the consumer, shops and insurers. “We were able to make some changes in 2005 by creating new definitions and the exclusion of paint and materials,” Harris notes, “but we are still ‘totaling’ far too many vehicles.” An original NCIA member and formerly a member of the governor’s appointed staff, Harris is the only vendor board member ever to serve on the NCIA board. A veteran of 40 years serving the industry in southern Nevada, he works for “Nevada Pic a Part,” which also includes locations in Arizona and Utah. As a result, the NCIA will be lobbying for more changes to the law in 2011, says Harris, noting, “The total loss law is the first priority of our association in state legislative issues.” “The idea behind the original legislation was to keep unsafe vehicles off the road,” adds Rosborough, “but the NCIA believes that the law, originally intended as a consumer advocate bill, isn’t serving that end. We’re hoping to get the law back to to do what it was intended to do.”
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 15
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Drew Ford in La Mesa, CA, Hosts Free Extrication Demo for Late Model Cars thanks to seminar sponsors; State Farm Insurance, DuPont, Auto Club of Southern California, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, West Autowrecking, Ken Industries and the California Autobody Association. “It’s self-serving; I know this training is necessary,” said Ted Stein, Ford Service Manager at Drew Ford, “These guys need to know how to cut apart new cars.” Firefighters made up most of the crowd; the event had about 50 confirmed guests who had made reservation prior to the meeting but late comers without reservations were welcomed. San Diego area Fire Departments in atCars were set up in mock crash scenarios in the collision repair tendance ranged from center parking lot Campo to Elfin Forest. Drew Ford put on the seminar for “It’s hard to get vehicles in this free in their collision center for any condition to work with,” said Jack firefighters, EMTs, police and first reGlassford, an Elfin Forest Fire Desponders that wanted to attend. The partment Volunteer. Glassford also seminar was given free of charge said the types of vehicles advertised to
Drew Ford in La Mesa, CA, held a free extrication demonstration and seminar on late model cars on August 5. I-CAR Instructor and Welding Specialist Toby Chess led the demonstration after giving a one-hour seminar on how to efficiently and safely cut through damaged and mangled late model and hybrid vehicles.
be at the seminar were a real selling point for him to attend.
never had the opportunity to work on late model cars,” said Chess, who said he has taught more than 2,000 firefighters the techniques to quickly and safely work with new technologies found in late model cars in the last year and a half. CDs of Chess’ PowerPoint were provided to attendees after the seminar. Chess’ presentation went over into how to Toby Chess sets off airbags before extrications begin completely cut power “My captain told me I should in newer vehicles, how to avoid the head down,” said Matt Faddis, a Vieelectrical components around a hyjas Firefighter. brid car’s battery and how to find The wrecked vehicles were dothe weakest spots on the frames of nated from State Farm Insurance, Auto Club of Southern California and West Autowrecking. Several late model vehicles as well as two hybrids were available for attendees to practice cutting on. “The structure of todays cars are radically different than anything you’ve probably dealt with,” said Ted Stein. Stein introduced Chess’ presentation and A firefighter from Alpine FD cuts at the weakest part of the B thanked firefighters pillar who turned out to learn about new techniques in the industry. vehicles made with high strength Toby Chess’ presentation focused steel. on how to work with high strength “We put a lot of effort into this steel and some new electrical compoand we’re happy with the turnout,” nents found in late model cars, espesaid Larry Houk, Drew Ford Collision Center Manager and local CAA chapter president. While all attendees seemed to understand the seriousness of the material Drew Ford also wanted to make it a fun night by providing a buffet-style dinner and raffle at the end of the night. All extrication equipment was provided by Holmatro ResAlpine firefighters cut into late model vehicles cue Equipment. More cially hybrid vehicles. information can be found at www.hol“Most of these guys have matro-usa.com.
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 17
Industry Insight with John Yoswick
John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). He can be contacted by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
I-CAR Announces New Structure to its Training, Recognition Programs John Edelen said that three years ago when he stepped out of retirement to take on the role as CEO of I-CAR, someone well-known and respected in the industry asked him why he would “waste his time” with an organization like I-CAR that was “no longer relevant.” “At first I was stunned, and then I was really … angry,” Edelen said, obviously choosing the adjective carefully, generating laughs among the 200 people gathered in Chicago for an I-CAR event this summer. “I-CAR irrelevant? An organization that was established by the inter-industry 30 years ago to meet the training needs of the inter-industry … irrelevant? After 30 years of efforts by volunteers to provide that training … irBill Stage relevant? After the industry had spent $170 million over that period of 30 years … irrelevant? Not if I could help it.” Over the last three years, Edelen has overseen I-CAR’s efforts to reach out to the industry to find out what the training organization was doing right and what needed to change to ensure that its training and recognition programs were focused, valuable – and relevant – to shops, insurers and educators. Edelen said the results of that effort, which were rolled out at the Chicago meeting, is I-CAR’s new “Professional Development Program.” Under the program, I-CAR has identified the knowledge required for three levels of development (“ProLevel 1, 2 and 3”) within each of seven job classifications, such as “estimator” and “non-structural technician.” Other job classifications will be developed over time. The I-CAR or other training and testing recommended to reach each of the three levels is also identified, providing job-specific training paths. The “Platinum Individual” and “Gold Class” recognition program requirements will also transition over a 3-year period. By 2014, the “Platinum” designation will require having completed the training to obtain “ProLevel
3” in the appropriate job classification, as well as completion of six hours of training per year. A “Gold Class” shop will be required to have at least one “Platinum Individual” in each of four types of jobs (estimator, steel strucJeff Peevy tural technician, non-structural technician and refinish technician). One key change to the Platinum and Gold Class programs, I-CAR’s Jeff Peevy pointed out, is that as the transition moves forward, I-CAR’s hands-on welding and sectioning qualification testing becomes part of the requirement to reach various “ProLevels” for some job classifications. The steel welding qualification test, for example, is required in order for a steel structural technician to achieve ProLevel 1. Similarly, paint company certification is required for a refinish technician to achieve ProLevel 3. Peevy acknowledges the system is almost a return to one that I-CAR used in the past, before abandoning it in a effort to make it easier for technicians and shops to know what was needed to earn or maintain Platinum or Gold Class status. But that simplified system, Peevy said, sometimes led to students earning needed points by taking any class that was available rather than one relevant to their work. And in recent years, he said, I-CAR has developed tools like its online “Training Manager” that helps a business track what training its employees have or need, making a return to more jobJohn Edelen specific Platinum and Gold Class requirements easier for the business to manage, Peevy said. Edelen acknowledged that he doesn’t believe that all of these changes are apt to cause “people who don’t invest in training today to suddenly start.” “But I believe the people in our industry who are interested in improving their individual personal per-
18 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
formance or the performance of their business now have access to a well-organized, well-structured program of professional development, one that will be better support their personal and business goals,” he said. “And I believe that creates a competitive advantage for them.” So, too, he said, the changes will help make the Platinum and Gold Class designations more meaningful. “We as an industry are reaching the point where NOT being a Platinum Training individual or Gold Class facility also will mean something,” Edelen said. “With these changes, it will become quickly and increasingly more apparent which business are prepared through training to address the increasing complexity of repair…and (which) businesses have failed and continue to fail to prepare themselves for the future. By not selecting a Gold Class business, the
consumer is unknowingly accepting the risk of having repairs completed by undertrained workers.” Details on the new training and recognition programs are available at the I-CAR website (www.i-car.com). In other changes, I-CAR executives at the Chicago meeting said in the coming years there likely will be more variance in the length of classes (currently most are four hours) based on necessary content. Pricing is also likely to change, although they did not provide details; one option may be the ability to purchase all “ProLevel 1” training needed for a certain job classification at a package price. More online training options are also planned by early 2011. I-CAR is also working on a system, also expected in early 2011, that would allow veteran technicians to “test out” of at least the ProLevel 1 requirements for their job classification.
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NACE Town Hall on Aftermarket Parts
Created especially for collision repair professionals, an official NACE Town Hall meeting will be held during Automotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW) on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010 from 11:30–1:00p.m. Sponsored by ASA, this event will be a platform to discuss the use of aftermarket parts. ASRW is scheduled for Oct. 10–13 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas and includes NACE and CARS. The panel discussion, titled “Is Certification the Best Aftermarket Parts Policy for Consumers and Repairers?” will include various industry segments and entities that have (or plan to) establish parts certification programs. The program will focus on these key questions: ● What does parts certification mean to consumers and repairers? ● Has parts certification been effective to date? ● What should determine whether a parts certification program works or not? ● With multiple parts certification programs in place and more in the developmental stage, does this hurt or enhance the effectiveness of certification? Where does the proliferation of these programs stop? ● Would consumers and repairers ben-
efit from a single parts certification program versus multiple programs? ● Should state governments and/or the federal government be involved in parts certification? Why or why not? Tickets are $40, include a box lunch and are available in the online attendee registration systems for NACE and CARS. “There’s no bigger debate in collision repair right now, than aftermarket parts,” says ASA president and chief staff executive Ron Pyle. “As the pulse of the industry, we realized we needed to allot extra time for this important discussion at NACE.” Many new show features and industry forums are currently in development for ASRW 2010. Online registration is now open and offers various package options starting at $210 and Expo registration available for just $15 until the August 31 early cut-off. Online housing is also open, and provides the lowest hotel rates in recent years.
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San Diego CAA Talks on BAR and Insurance Race
The San Diego chapter of the California Autobody Association met July 27 at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse in San Diego. The chapter was able to discuss the BAR code of regulations with guest speaker Peter Vann as well as David Jones’ campaign for CA Insurance Commissioner. Peter Vann gave a presentation about codes and regulations pertaining to the use of aftermarket parts versus OEM parts and how to properly fill out estimation forms to coincide with insurance company standards. Vann Dave Jones also discussed the BAR equipment requirements for auto body shops, specifically equipment used for structural repair purposes. The San Diego CAA held a fundraiser to benefit Jones at Parkway Bowl in El Cajon on August 13. PAW PAC is supporting Dave Jones’ campaign for CA Insurance Commissioner. Dave Jones will be interviewed in the October issue of Autobody News.
Tim Morgan Appointed GM at Celette-Elektron
Celette Inc. and Elektron Inc. have announced the appointment of Timothy Morgan as General Manager for both companies. He replaces Matthias Larisch, who left the organization. Morgan most recently served as the Celette-Elektron Director of Sales and Technical Operations. He has more than 30 years of experience in the automotive industry, including more than 15 in collision equipment distribution, marketing and education. “We will continue the improvements we’ve made over the last eighteen months in cusTim Morgan tomer service, distribution and training. We’re very excited about the opportunities in the U.S. and Canada for both our flagship brands,” said Morgan. Celette is a leading producer of automobile frame repair benches and measuring devices. Elektron is a respected manufacturer of spot welders and other equipment for the auto body repair industry. Their equipment is specified by most European car manufacturers.
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 19
‘Open Letter’ Leads to Lawsuit Involving Aftermarket Certifiers
NSF Files Suit Against CAPA NSF International has filed suit against the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) and CAPA Executive Director Jack Gillis. NSF says its suit is in response to an “Open Letter” that Gillis, in his capacity as CAPA’s Executive Director, circulated to members of the Automotive Body Parts Association on July 28, 2010. Attorneys for NSF demanding a public retraction from what they claimed were misstatements of fact and out and out distortions of NSF’s position in relationship to the automotive aftermarket and its certification programs. In February this year NSF International announced the launch of its new Automotive Parts Certification Program to address concerns regarding consumer safety and compromised automobile crashworthiness from the use of untested aftermarket structural parts. The NSF Automotive Parts Certification Program said it offers independent, third-party certification of steel bumpers, step bumpers, absorbers, reinforcement bars and brackets, and that certification has never
previously been available for these aftermarket bumper system components. NSF said at the time that the program offered by the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) currently certified plastic bumper covers and facias but not reinforcement beams, brackets, or energy absorbers, and that CAPA currently certified just one of the five categories of parts identified by the Auto Body Parts Association (ABPA) as a structural part: radiator core supports. Not long afterward, CAPA announced that its own structural parts certification program was also in development, and that the organization had been testing bumpers since last year. ABPA let it be known in April of this year that it was reviewing the NSF program with a view to other OE equivalent certification options because of shortcomings in the CAPA program. Gillis’ letter was addressed to Charlie Hogarty, Chairman of the Auto Body Parts Association and his Canadian counterpart, Delores Richardson. It essentially took ABPA to task for participating in NSF’s new
20 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
certification program that has “unknown standards.” Hogarty responded to Gillis in his own open letter on August 2. The full text of both letters can be read at www.autobodynews.com. The NSF suit seeks an injunction and damages for false and misleading statements about NSF’s Automotive Aftermarket Parts Certification Program and other NSF programs, qualifications and abilities. NSF says Gillis’ statements were made in an apparent attempt to harm NSF and NSF’s 65-year stellar reputation for protecting the public health and welfare, and to improperly imply that CAPA is superior to NSF in connection to automobile part verification/certification. NSF says Gillis declined an opportunity to retract his letter and correct the record. NSF International says it has filed this suit to protect its name, 65-year reputation for protecting and improving public health and safety worldwide, and the integrity of the NSF Mark. The NSF suit alleges unfair competition under 11 USC 1125 (a), common law unfair competition,
violations of Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act, business defamation and injurious falsehood. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division case no. 10-13309. NSF launched an industry first, parts certification program for front bumpers, step bumpers, absorbers, rebars and brackets in early 2010, to counter the growing concerns that lower quality parts were being used in the automotive repair industry. NSF’s Automotive Aftermarket Parts Certification Program verifies that aftermarket auto parts meet rigid safety, quality and performance standards through testing and inspections. CAPA is a direct competitor of NSF in the area of automotive parts certification, and while NSF says it welcomes the competition, the company says it competition must be in compliance with applicable law. NSF believes that Gillis’comments regarding NSF’s qualifications and the NSF Automotive Aftermarket Parts Certification program constitute Unfair Competition Under 11 USC 1125 (a).
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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 21
22 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Company with Ed Attanasio Connections LKQ is Fueling Smarter to Expand its “State of Greenness”
LKQ operates from nearly 300 facilities nationwide and surpassed $2 billion revenue in 2009. It’s an enormous company that could potentially burn many unneccesary thousands of dollars on fuel and electricity every month. But, by staying ahead of the game in its pursuit of ultimate greenness and sustainability in parts recycling, LKQ has quickly become a leader in re-using, remanufacturing and recycling everything it can while using fewer of the world’s natural resources in the process. LKQ is a recognized leader in recycled auto parts and uses environmentally friendly business practices
Keystone become greener, as part of an ongoing, proactive journey for the world’s number one auto parts recycler. Shaw’s job is a huge undertaking as he oversees 34 LKQ and Keystone recycling salvage yard locations, two wheel plants and six bumper recycling facilities. More than $300 million in annual sales comes out of his region, making it a significant part of the overall LKQ picture, which consists of nearly 300 facilities nationwide. In the newest facility in Houston, Shaw oversees a mega-warehouse that acts as an LKQ aftermarket facility, a bumper manufacturing facility and a full recycling facility all under one roof.
in perspective. We also mandate our paths. We started doing this several employees, even in areas where we do years back when fuel prices were sky not have those laws, that they shut up high. It made us stop and take a long their vehicles. We started implementlook at our truck routes. We put a GPS ing that several years ago when fuel system on each truck for a week at a went up to $3–4 per gallon. That can really start to sting when you consider how much fuel we use as a company. One way we are trying to be more fuel-efficient is by re-using fuel on the Keystone side. We re-use all of the fuel that we pull from recycled vehicles and use it at LKQ makes being green a priority, by leading the way in re-using, many of our locations. remanufacturing and recycling 492,000 vehicles annually This has been very cost effective for us and in some cases time to map out each route. We then has provided enough recycled fuel to compiled the data to show the most supply the entire fleet in certain marcost effective routes and to ensure that A B N : kets. We feel that if we can run on free our trucks were not crossing paths Fuel conser(recycled fuel), we will obviously go when they did not need to. The next vation is an that route because it not only benefits step we took was to combine LKQ LKQ’s enormous warehouse in Houston, Texas has received multiple accolades obvious step our company, but also the environment. and Keystone routes where it made for being a mega-green facility to improve sense. With the information from the and while recycling 492,000 vehicles greenness. What are you doing to ABN: What other methods are GPS and the combination of LKQ and last year. That is equivalent to recy- make your trucks more fuel-efficient you using with your vehicles to save Keystone routes, we were able to cling about 540,000 tons of steel, overall? fuel? change 60% of our routes to be more 47,000 tons of aluminum, and 13,000 Shaw: The first thing we do is Shaw: We changed all of our cost effective and fuel efficient in Daltons of copper, according to the com- update our fleet regularly. A majority forklifts to electric, and all of the new las alone. Our ultimate goal is to not pany’s web site. Through its operaof our newer trucks are equipped with forklifts we put into our newest facil- have more than one truck going to the tions, LKQ helped to reduce idle shutdowns, depending on each ities are all-electric. We also buy gassame location. greenhouse gas emissions by over state’s requirements. powered forklifts where we can, so 890,000 tons, which is about the same For example, in Texas we have that we can re-use our recycled gas in ABN: Adaptability and constant as the annual emissions of a city of laws that only allow 10–15 minutes of those forklifts while saving propane. change seems to be the norm in purabout 82,200 people. idle time. Cutting down on idle time We’re also always updating our older suing the newest technologies to “In addition, LKQ recently part- can save a good deal of fuel while vehicles to get better mileage. A lot of achieve complete greenness. nered with the Arbor Day Foundation our old box trucks didn’t have Shaw: Absolutely. Technology is to give its customers and anyone else the proper wind deflectors on a rapidly evolving industry. What we interested in helping the environment the front, so we added those to did last year is already outdated today. an additional way to be green in the many of the old trucks. Then, My regional managers meet often to company’s LKQ Get Green promowe started analyzing gear ra- discuss the changes in technology and tion, which ran from April 22 to June tios on many of our semis and ways to make our region more green. 30 of this year. Together with its custhe drive trains they use. You By staying on top of the newest techtomers, LKQ was able to plant a forest can change out the ratio of a nology advances, we can use that to at the conclusion of the program.” semi and save our advantage to benefit our company Paul Shaw is LKQ’s Central Re$20,000–30,000 annually in and the environment as a hole. One of gion Vice-President, overseeing Colfuel just by altering the ratio of our most recent advances is the openStoring recycled fuels extracted from salvaged vehicles orado, South Dakota, Nebraska, a tractor trailer. ing of our first green warehouse in for re-use is an integral part of the whole green plan at Western Iowa, Western and Southern Wichita, Kansas. Some of our cost efLKQ Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, ABN: Have you altered your fective areas of that warehouse inNorthern and Western Louisiana. benefiting the environment. Texas is distribution strategies over the years clude the heating system, skylights, Autobody News recently talked starting to implement many of the to save more fuel that way? motion sensor T5 lights, and the venat length with him about the latest de- laws that have been in effect in CaliShaw: We are constantly looking tilation system. The energy costs asvelopments in his region. One of his fornia for years, so that helps us to at our truck routes to save on fuel and sociated with this warehouse are responsibilities is to see LKQ and stay on top of things and keep things to cut back on our trucks crossing exceptional.
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 23
Parts for Profit 5—Pricing: Sensitive and Often Misunderstood
PRICING is a sensitive and sometimes misunderstood issue. In this month’s article I’ll attempt to cover some basic facts, clear up misconceptions, and—attempt to increase your opportunities for communication with customers and management. Pricing is Larry Williams an issue with no absolute answers, only guidelines; since a tremendous number of variables make up the final cost. The retail price of parts is fixed and published. Profit is the difference—but how much profit is there, and who gets it? Let’s look at some of the variables: 1) Actual cost of item from different suppliers 2) Published cost of item from manufacturer 3) Monthly changes between actual and published costs 4) Shipping costs
5) Invoice discount 6) Stock order discount 7) Emergency order charges 8) Wholesale incentives All of these variables, and more, need to be considered by the dealership when deciding what their pricing structure will be.
are seldom larger than 5%, while order and freight charges are usually 10%, or more. To make things easier, keep all of your parts on the shelf at a true published cost figure. Almost all body shop sales are restricted to only one price, the published retail price. All current
The parts manager’s job is to find the lowest possible cost for all of his parts. I try to use every ordering trick there is, and plan every purchase. Any funds saved in this way usually will go into a separate account, contribute to the parts department net profit, and are not to be used to determine the pricing of any parts. Any funds used to procure parts, freight, order charges, etc., also go into separate accounts for expense analysis. Discounts
estimating systems use this price, and so do all insurance companies. This means the discount given by the dealership is the only profit the shop will get. This will set up a conflict of interest—both the dealership and the body shop survive on the same small profit margin, and both need as much profit as possible in order to stay in business. There is no need for conflict, however, if there is open communica-
Both the dealership and the body shop survive on the same small profit margin... there is no need for conflict if there is open communication. Everyone stays happy if there is understanding.
tion between you. Everyone stays happy as long as both sides of the equation understand one another. Popular opinion would have us believe there is a wide profit margin at the dealership level, and although this may have once been the case, it is not so now. The pricing structure used to include wholesale incentives that in many cases allowed dealers to discount deeply and still make good profits. This is not true today. With the current pricing trends, there is usually only a 40% difference between the dealer cost and the published list price. A fair deal is to split the profit, resulting in a 20% discount to the body shop. This leaves the parts department a 10% profit for expenses, a 5% profit for commissions, and a 5% net profit for the dealer. Discounts which are greater than 20% are rare, and depend entirely upon the manufacturer’s wholesale incentive programs. These figures are based on parts ordered on a stocking basis, not spe-
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cial orders. Freight and special order charges always reduce your profits. A body shop should always make every effort to order parts well in advance, because if a part must be ordered on an emergency basis the freight alone can wipe out any profit which you stand to gain. Talk to your partners; familiarize yourself with their policies, and negotiate a pricing structure that benefits everyone concerned. Pricing for the retail market is a different issue. The following information is primarily for parts managers. You cannot exist on wholesale business alone. A 20% profit margin is not enough to cover your overhead. A business must make a minimum of 30% gross profit in order to survive. You need to adjust your pricing to accomplish this goal. You begin with the 40% profit margin that the manufacturer allows, and then calculate your invoice costs. I allow $2.00 per invoice—this covers the paper, printer, and handling for each sale. The problem is obvious. A $5.00 sale results in zero profit, and any sale less than that is a department loss!
The solution is called matrix pricing. You create a pricing structure based on your parts cost that covers your expenses. I have found that most customers are not likely to question items that cost less than $50.00. Therefore, you keep the manufacturer’s retail price in place for your higher priced items, and adjust all of the prices in the less than fifty dollar
margins. Don’t be greedy! Financial success is based upon repeat business; not one-time sales. Analyze your sales and target the 30% goal. Your monthly statement will give you all the information you need. The last and best check on your pricing program is the feedback from your counter personnel. They will tell you whether or not your cus-
range. Use a sliding scale based on your cost to ensure enough departmental profit on lower priced items in order to make it profitable for you to continue to sell them. I usually post a sign stating that $2.00 is the minimum sale amount. That starts the matrix. Starting from that minimum, I use an inverse profit-percent/sale-ratio that ends at the $50.00 level. You will need to use your own judgment when setting up your profit
tomers are accepting your matrix. I have heard this called the “flinch” method.
Parts managers cannot exist on wholesale business alone. 20% is not enough to cover your overhead. 30% gross profit is a mininum and your pricing needs to accomplish this goal.
Example: Let’s imagine that a potential customer asks about brake pads, and you tell him that the price is $20.00. The customer has no reaction. You then tell him that the price is per side ($40.00). The customer still has no reaction. You then tell him that price is
per pad ($80.00). The customer now has a questioning expression on his face. You have just reached the “flinch” point (and probably just lost your customer).
This is not a technique I recommend for a real transaction, but will serve in principle to check your pricing matrix. Again, I strongly emphasize that every dealer is different, and that there is no standard pricing formula for everyone. You are the only one who can find the proper balance-point between profit and loss, based on all the metrics we’ve discussed in this series of articles. See Larry’s previous Parts for Profit articles at www.autobodynews.com. Go to www.autobodynews.com/content/distinctive-dealer ships.html Larry Williams is an innovative parts manager with national awards and over 30 years of experience in creating and managing profitable departments. He can be reached for consultation at email@example.com.
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On Creative Marketing
Tom Franklin has been a sales and marketing consultant for forty years. He has written numerous books and provides marketing solutions and services for many businesses. He can be reached at (323) 871-6862 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. See Tom’s columns at www.autobodynews.com under Columnists > Franklin
‘Bird Dogging’—Guerilla Tactics for Small Body Shops with Thomas Franklin
Some say the recession is over, but from my observations, that recovery hasn’t trickled down to most body shops yet. I see the large shops going after the incidental jobs that used to sustain smaller shops. When some of their DRP work slows down or dries up, they begin to look for ways to pick up jobs that normally went to their smaller competitors. I’ve written before about the owner of a small shop in my area who had a direct guerilla strategy for times when business was slow. He drove over to the local college and walked around the parking lot looking for damage on the Lexuses, BMWs and Mercedes affluent parents had purchased for their college-age kids. He would write a rough estimate on the back of one of his business cards and stick in by the driver-side door handle and lock. He told me he always picked up a few jobs to get through a slow
time. I’ve suggested a similar tactic to one of my clients who has come under attack by large competitors who are trying to capture the authorized collision repair status he has enjoyed for many years. At this point he needs a guerilla strategy to counter the big shop warfare advantage he faces from competitors who employ top professional marketing attack dogs. The approach I’ve suggested is an expanded version of the college parking lot solicitations. I described this briefly in an article in 2008, but the economic climate today calls for a more powerful version of this guerilla tactic. The key to the success of the strategy is numbers. Sales organizations like Amway would call it “feet on the street.” Multi-level marketing programs depend on large numbers of sales people making thousands of small sales. Ironically the tough econ-
omy makes it possible for a small body shop to recruit one or two dozen fairly good “bird dog” sales people to be out hustling jobs. Dealerships and competing body shops have gone out of business in many areas, leaving numerous collision-repair trained people out of work. It’s not likely these people would work for straight commission under normal circumstances but in this economy any additional income would be welcome. I’ve found the main objection to implementing a program like this is the fear of being represented by individuals whose appearance or demeanor would reflect badly on the image of the shop. During affluent times applicants for this kind of nonsalary work might be social dropouts or even homeless types, but the ranks of the unemployed today encompass the full spectrum of skills and abilities. The shop owner can be in a posi-
tion to pick and choose from higher quality prospects. Another concern is liability. A well-designed independent contractor agreement is essential to stipulate that the “bird dog” is merely soliciting prospects to come in to the shop for an actual estimate and not empowered to make any firm offer or contract for the shop. With the shop thus protected from liability, it’s now necessary to protect your “bird dog” from exploitation or unfair conflicts. The best protection is a carefully constructed estimate/business card that specifies the fact that the estimate is not a firm offer. The card must also contain a unique code number for the “bird dog” so he or she will get proper credit for the job if it comes through. It’s also essential to create another level of commission protection. Not every prospective customer will bring
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in the estimate card with the code. To be certain the right person gets credit, it’s best to create specific territories. Since the best areas to canvas for damaged vehicles are large parking lots, specific malls, college lots, department store and grocery store lots, these should each be assigned to a definite individual. It then becomes the responsibility of the shop front-desk person or estimator to ask where the customer learned of the shop and to carefully note the answer to prompt proper credit for the referral source. Once a crew of reliable “bird dogs” has been assembled, it’s necessary to train them on writing the rough estimates they will be placing on damaged vehicles. A cheat sheet with three levels of fender damage, bumper
damage, hood and other outer panel damage pricing should provide the “bird dog” with the ability to quickly decide if a damaged fender calls for a low-ball economy model price, a midrange price, or a high-end vehicle price. Keeping in mind that the card clearly states this is an approximation and not a firm quotation, the real goal is to get the prospective customer to come in for a real estimate. In addition to the obvious benefit of bringing in jobs, there is the longterm possibility that each new customer will become a customer for life. And there is the added possibility that a “bird dog” will find sufficient satisfaction in the job to continue working for the shop full-time, or just continue working in the industry.
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Obama to Set $250 Million Loan for Ford Exports President Barack Obama will announce a $250 million loan guarantee August 5 to finance Ford Motor Co. exports, as he defends his administration’s bailout of the U.S. auto industry, according to a White House statement and reports made by Bloomberg. Obama will tour an automobile factory in Chicago, where Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford, the only Big 3 U.S. automaker that didn’t take bailout money, will begin assembling the new 2011 Explorer later this year. Ford is spending about $400 million to add 1,200 jobs to build the Explorer sport-utility vehicle. The factory Obama will tour is already hiring new workers at an entry-level wage of about $14 an hour, under a
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two-tier wage system that starts at about half the amount paid to hourly production workers hired previously. Obama will highlight potential foreign sales of the Explorer as helping the U.S. meet his goal of doubling exports over the next five years, the statement said. The president will also announce the Export-Import Bank’s $250 million loan guarantee, which will finance $3.1 billion of exports to Canada and Mexico of more than 200,000 U.S.-made vehicles, including Explorers, the statement said. Ford is redesigning the Explorer, once the best-selling SUV in the U.S., on a chassis used for the Taurus sedan. Explorer sales in the U.S. slid 33 percent to 52,190 last year.
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Ford Motor Company’s researchers are developing advanced crash avoidance systems that use wireless and GPS technologies to help vehicles communicate with each other in traffic and help drivers avoid or mitigate accidents. Ford’s Automatic Braking Intersection Collision Avoidance System (ABICAS) uses radio-based wireless sensors, GPS and navigation information to detect the relative location of other radio-equipped test vehicles. The system is being designed to warn drivers of imminent side-impact collisions and automatically activate the brakes if necessary to avoid or minimize the damage caused by collisions. ABICAS is enabled by wireless vehicle-to-vehicle communications, and works in conjunction with radarand camera-based driver assist features, such as adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support, which are available on many Ford vehicles. While radar and camera sensors can detect other vehicles ahead and behind a vehicle, radio-based wireless sensors give vehicles a 360-degree “view.” Information from these various sensors is combined with engineering algorithms to ensure the validity of an imminent collision before automatically activating the vehicle’s brakes. When a vehicle is equipped with a dedicated short-range wireless radio, it can communicate with similarly equipped vehicles, and use the shared information in concert with its safety systems. According to the NHTSA, 40 percent of all traffic accidents occur in intersections where side-impact collisions are most common. For more information please visit www.ford.com.
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 27
Service, Service, Diagnostic Di Diagnostic gnostic and an nd d Mechanical M e chanical ch aniccal al NEWS Mec echanical Mech ech ec hanical ca
Copper in Brake Pads Restricted in Washington State, California Next? Western Edition
In March of this year, Washington State became the first state to legislatively phase out the use of copper in car and truck brake pads. Washington legislation bans brake pads containing more than trace amounts of cadmium, chromium, asbestos, lead and mercury, starting in 2014. Initially, it will limit the use of copper in brakes to a maximum of five percent by model year 2021. Studies show that braking friction releases minute copper particles that fall onto the road and are eventually washed into rivers, where environmentalists say the metal poses a hazard to marine life, especially Coho salmon because it intereferes with their sense of smell. Vehicle brake pads manufacturers use a variety of ingredients, including copper, in formulating brake pads and each vehicle stop wears off a tiny amount of brake pad material. Studies conducted in South San Francisco Bay identified vehicle brake pad wear debris as a significant source of copper in urban runoff. In 1998, the Brake Pad Partnership, a collaborative group of brake manufacturers, environmentalists, storm water management entities and regulators, came together to study brake pad wear debris. The Brake Manufacturers Council (BMC) and its members agreed to introduce reformulated products within five years if the technical studies indicated that copper in brake pads was contributing significantly to water quality impairment. In late 2007, the partnership
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completed a series of interlinked laboratory, environmental monitoring and environmental modeling studies that indicated that brake pads are a substantial contributor to copper in runoff to the San Francisco Bay. “It was a balanced approach, balancing the needs of our consumers and environmental concerns,” said Curt Augustine, policy director for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group of 11 manufacturers, including Ford, Chrysler and Toyota. Many brake pads are made of steel, brass and copper fibers—materials designed to create friction and draw off heat. Some also contain ceramics, Kevlar and other nonmetallic compounds. Brake pads contain as much as 25% copper, a metal used because it is good at dissipating heat, Augustine said. Heavier and high-performance vehicles tend to have more copper, but many cars already contain less than 5 percent, he said. Copper adds structural integrity to the friction material and creates friction. The metal also has properties that help prevent brakes from squeaking and shuddering, over a wide range of temperatures and driving conditions. The industry believes it can produce a safe and reasonably priced brake pad without copper, said Terry Heffelfinger, director of product engineering for Affinia Global Brake & Chassis, a major brake maker. One alternative may be ceramic brake pads, which have grown in popularity in recent years. However, some brake pad mak-
ers say there is no other material that can easily substitute for copper and a replacement would likely require a combination of components. “We are worried that we won’t be able to provide reduced copper pads by the proposed deadline,” said Bob Peters, chief engineer at Akebono Brake Corp., which supplies brake pads to Ford, Chevrolet and GM. Akebono has been studying other materials that could be used in their pads. There are two major types of brake pads. “Organic” ones include copper; the expensive semi-metallic pads do not contain copper and are usually only used in high-performance cars such as Porsches. About 85% of cars have brake pads made with copper, to prevent brakes from overheating and reduces squeaking. Copper is a major source of water pollution because it is present in so many products, including plumbing, paint and building materials. A study by the nonprofit Sustainable Conservation found that one-third of 530,000 pounds of copper released from human activity in the San Francisco Bay watershed in 2003 came from automobile brake pads. Similarly, state ecology officials in Washington estimate 70,000 to 318,000 pounds of copper are released into Puget Sound each year, with about one-third coming from vehicles. Copper replaced asbestos as a key ingredient in brake pads in the early 1990s after asbestos was banned as a health danger. Though a federal appeals
The ban is becoming a primary offense, meaning police officers can stop a driver for this traffic violation without needing another reason. Sgt. Markus Smith, with Louisiana State Police, said troopers are first going to focus their efforts on making sure people understand they can be ticketed for texting behind the
wheel — rather than immediately writing a ream of citations. “We’re going to make sure the public is fully aware about the problems of distracted driving and know that it’s a primary offense,” Smith said. “We’re not going to go out there to write a bunch of tickets. But if it’s a blatant offense that’s a danger to the public, we’re going to write a ticket.”
court overturned part of that ban in 1991, manufacturers continued to use copper.
California SB 346 California is likely to be next due to SB 346, introduced in 2009 by Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego). Kehoe’s bill would eliminate copper in a vehicle brake pads and place limits, beginning in 2014, on the use of lead, mercury and asbestos in vehicle brake pads. “By banning the use of copper in vehicle brake pads, California has the opportunity to again lead the nation in protecting our environment,” Kehoe said in 2009. “This bill would be a major achievement toward removing a significant amount of toxic chemicals found in brake pads that otherwise find their way into the ocean and our watersheds.” Proponents of the bill claim the legislation can serve as a template for other states to follow to reduce the levels of copper in streams, lakes and creeks. Unlike the failed attempt by the Federal government to remove asbestos from brake pads, this initiative is being carried out at the state level. ● Brake pads can contain as much as twenty-five percent copper; ● Brake pad wear debris may contribute up to forty percent of the copper that enters the Bay through storm drains; ● Copper content can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and among pads made by the same manufacturer; and ● Low-copper and no-copper brake pads are available for at least some models of cars.
New Laws on Louisiana’s Books Include Tougher Penalties for Texting
More than 650 new laws took effect in Louisiana August 16, including revisions to existing statutes and arcane adjustments of insurance and health care regulations, According to reports made by Insurance Journal. Perhaps the most attention-grabbing changes is the strengthening of Louisiana’s ban on text messaging while driving.
28 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
Penalties for sending text messages while behind the wheel — with an exception for emergencies — can reach up to $200 for the first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses. Minors 17 and under also can be stopped and cited simply for using a cell phone, as that state ban also was elevated to a primary offense this week.
2009 Dealer Wholesale Parts Down More than 19% from ‘08
“Dealer wholesale parts sales (mechanical and body parts redistribution) plunged nearly one-fifth during 2009 compared to the previous year. As a result, Dealer 2009 wholesale parts volume was over $2.5 billion lower than five years earlier.” “Combining lower wholesale Dealer business with sinking bay parts sales and reduced Dealer counter parts volume, total 2009 Dealer parts sales fell more than $6 billion at retail level. This dramatic sales reduction in Dealer parts is creating unprecedented opportunities for manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and installers of aftermarket products.” Get a Competitive Edge For complete analysis of Dealer service bay parts volume, see the just released 2010 AAIA Factbook & Lang Annual.
Dealer Wholesale Parts Decline The unprecedented plunge in Dealer wholesale parts (mechanical and
body) sales reflects an array of market conditions. In addition to Dealer closings and leaner Dealer parts inventories, which have reduced availability of OE parts in many markets, OE-Supplier brands are being aggressively marketed and the perceptions of installers regarding OE-Supplier brands vis-à-vis OE-Dealer brands are changing, particularly in the foreign vehicle aftermarket. Big Wholesale Drop After Dealers expanded their 2007 and 2008 wholesale parts volume at an average 3.7% annual pace, Dealer 2009 wholesale parts sales suddenly plunged over $2.6 billion, an unprecedented 19% reduction. As a result, Dealer 2009 wholesale sales fell more than 22% below 2004 levels.
Three Reasons for Wholesale Fall-Off There are three primary reasons for the sudden drop in 2009 Dealer wholesale parts volume.
First, approximately 1,500 Dealers closed or converted to used-car outlets with bays during 2009. As a result, there was a sharp cut-back in Dealer locations wholesaling parts to independent installers. Second, many Dealers reduced parts inventories in order to control expenses, thereby limiting their ability to fill parts requests by independent installers. Third, there is the growing success of foreign parts distributors (Worldpac, IMC, and others) in converting installers, particularly Foreign Specialists, to purchase OE-supplier and other foreign brands in place of Dealer OE-brands. OE-Supplier Parts The growing availability of foreign OE-supplier brands and the superior delivery and electronic ordering capabilities of Worldpac and others to provide these brands to installers (who often must wait much longer for Dealer delivery of OE parts) has changed the buying habits of many
independent installers in the foreign vehicle sector.
Reduction of Dealer parts Dealer 2009 parts volume also fell significantly in terms of Dealer bay replacement and counter sales.
$6 Billion Dealer Parts Reduction Across all segments of Dealer parts sales and installation, there was more than a $6 billion drop in 2009 parts volume at user-price.
Unprecedented Opportunities The historic drop in Dealer parts sales across a wide array of segments— wholesale redistribution, bay installation, counter sales, etc.—provides unprecedented opportunities for manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and installers of aftermarket products to fill the market gap resulting from the faltering performance of Dealers. ‘From Aftermarket Insight™ by Jim Lang, President of Lang Marketing Resources, Inc., www.langmarketing.com.’
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Three Gallons of Trouble with Gonzo Weaver
One of my regular customers brought his adult son into the shop the other day. It was right at opening time and the good old dad made it a point to tell his son, “Gonzo, probably hasn’t had his coffee yet so go easy on the old guy.” He was right about the coffee, but that still didn’t prepare me for the story I was about to hear. The story started sometime earlier, about two years ago… apparently I changed the fuel pump on the son’s car back then. The owner decided his gas mileage had dropped considerably. To the point that he was concerned and very upset that there was obviously something that I had done wrong to cause it. I guess it had been grating on him for two years. He insisted that the new fuel pump was to blame because he always tracked his mileage by way of his trip odometer. Before the new fuel pump he would get close to 400 miles per tank. His accuracy was noted on his little log book and showed how much gas he would refill his tank with. It was always around 23 gallons and never a drop more than 23 gallons. But now his tank was holding 26 gallons. His question to me was, “So, where is the other three gallons going?” I had to laugh. I’ve changed a lot of fuel pumps but I never have had anyone come in and tell me that the tank suddenly holds more fuel than before. My guess was that his original gas tank sending unit was probably inaccurate and that was the discrepancy.
“I’m pretty sure your gas tank hasn’t increased in volume since the fuel pump has been changed. I would imagine you’re probably mistaken as to how much your tank actually holds,” I told him as I reached for my coffee. Nope, he wasn’t buying that answer. He knew how much his gas tank held and he knew I was the cause of his three missing gallons. What he wanted was for me to find out why his gas mileage has decreased so much. I tried to explain it to him, but he was very, very sure he was correct and I wasn’t listening to what he was saying. He was getting quite loud and belligerent over the whole matter. Poor old dad just sat there with a smirk on his face. I kinda figured dad had already had enough of his boy’s attitude and figured old Gonzo was going to straighten him out. (This is going to take a lot more coffee…) The aggravated son then began to tell me how good a mechanic he was, because he had rebuilt a few motors in the past so he knew what he was doing under a hood. (Note: putting parts together does not a mechanic make. That’s solving puzzles and it doesn’t need a mechanic.) Then he added to his story with the usual… “I went to one of those parts stores that will read codes for you. They said the reason for the check engine light was because of a bad gas cap.” He was grasping at possible reasons why his gas mileage had dropped so much.
What gets me is how something as important as the service light isn’t brought up into the conversation until after you have told me how good a tech you are and that you have already made the decision that I was to blame. (I’m going to need more coffee.) So at this point, we have a service light on, we have a supposed loss of fuel economy, and I’m sure there is more… there is always more… I had to ask, “Anything else?” On occasions the ABS light comes on. He had that checked too. This time he consulted the ever faithful Internet. He tells me in a loud forceful voice, as if I couldn’t hear anything he was saying, “That always means it’s time to rebuild the ABS controller.” Oh yeah, I do that every day. I take the controllers apart and remove the epoxy sealer over the circuit boards and remove the affected components on the board and then reseal the whole thing back together. All this before a full cup of coffee? It’s really too early to absorb this kind of dazzling technical information. After dad and son dropped the truck off, I went straight to the glove box. I checked the owner’s manual as to how much capacity the fuel tank held. It had it in big bold letters: 26 gallon capacity, not the 23 that he had logged so meticulously. While I had the truck in the shop I checked the tune-up parts and the filters. All looked great. The next thing was to tackle the check engine light. Yes, there was a code. A code
GM said last summer that it expected to label the Volt with a 230 mpg city rating and even launched a website touting that number. But Larry Nitz, GM’s executive director for hybrid and electric powertrain engineering, said that the company no longer is planning on that figure. "It will never show up on the label," Nitz told reporters on the sidelines of the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars annual meeting.
GM has submitted a confidential rating proposal to the EPA, but Nitz declined to disclose it. "The (EPA) is not close to finalizing the label. They say the end of the year, but that’s the general label. What they’ve agreed to is to work with us on a specific label" for the Volt, Nitz said. The EPA said it may release a draft proposal this month on calculating plug-in electric vehicle fuel economy ratings, but might not finalize it until year’s end. GM wants to make sure drivers
GM Awaits Fuel Ratings on Volt GM is anxiously awaiting how the government will rate the fuel economy on its extended-range Chevrolet Volt, which goes on sale late this year, According to reports made by the Detroit News. GM said it is still in talks with the EPA about the final fuel economy ratings for the vehicle that will run on both battery power and a gasoline engine. The automaker expects a final rating later this year, before the Volt goes on sale.
This is a new story by Scott “Gonzo” Weaver as posted on his website, www.gonzostoolbox.com. See his book “Hey Look! I Found The Loose Nut”, which provides a Good Laugh for Mechanics of Any Age. The book is available at amazon.com. Contact Gonzo at Gonzosae@aol.com
32 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
that might lower gas mileage? Sort of, but not by three gallons, that’s more than 11%, right? It was the evap solenoid valve code, p0449. After doing the test on the valve it turned out the valve wasn’t responding to the PCM commands. A new evap solenoid valve solved the problem. As far as the ABS? Nothing; not a thing; no codes; no history codes, and the system was working normally. A drive test showed no problems and I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he may have an intermittent ABS controller problem… however when I gave him the option of leaving it alone or changing it… he left it alone. After all the phone calls were made and arrived to pick up his truck there was never any mention of the alleged missing three gallons or the fact that it was merely the original fuel sender that was reading improperly all this time. Or the fact that the loose gas cap had nothing to do with the service light this time around. I guess when you’re wrong you don’t have to admit it. That is, when you’re the customer. But you can be darn sure if the mechanic is wrong, everyone will know about it, and somebody is going to have to apologize. I apologize for being the mechanic in this story and I guess I should apologize for one more thing… Writing in BIG letters on his invoice… YOUR TANK HOLDS 26 GALLONS! !
get the most out of the vehicle, taking full advantage of its electric power. The Volt will get up to 40 miles on a single battery charge, and a gasoline engine that generates electricity adds another 300 miles of range to the vehicle. The vehicle’s $41,000 price tag raised some eyebrows at a panel discussion July 27. Nitz noted that GM will expand production volume in 2012 from 30,000 to 45,000 Volt vehicles. For more information please visit gm-volt.com.
Sherwin-Williams Expands Online Training Opportunities
Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes added a number of new modules to its eLearning site of online interactive training suites starting August 3. Designed for collision facility owners, managers and painting professionals, its new Standard Operating Procedures online courses provide a flexible, convenient learning venue. The courses also better prepare collision repair professionals for future, hands- on training at one of SWAF’s regional training centers. “Our new eLearning Standard Operating Procedures training is designed to enhance the product, applications and process training held in all of our training facilities in North America,” said Rod Habel, SherwinWilliams Automotive Finishes manager of training operations. “These eLearning courses complement our present online curriculum and come complete with testing and a printable certificate upon completing all provided modules.” In particular, the latest eLearning modules include a focus on streamlining the shop process, improving quality and beginning the lean journey. These classes can then be followed up by any number of other training programs Sherwin-Williams
offers, including painter certification, AWX waterborne systems, color adjustment and blending, fleet refinishing, OEM certification training, accurate estimating and workshop efficiency. Habel noted that many of the new classes directly relate to SherwinWilliams’ philosophy of helping customers through ‘lean thinking’ by providing training that introduces concepts supporting sustainable practices. This, in turn, increases productivity while minimizing or often eliminating waste. He added that the new eLearning modules also set the stage for more intense, hands- on training on the company’s breakthrough AWX waterborne coatings technology and its new Express Scratch Repair system. The latter is designed to help shops increase profits through add-on work and minor repairs easily accomplished with its HP Process Refinish System and revolutionary air-dry, HPC 15 Clearcoat Technology. For more information visit the training section at: www.sherwin-automotive.com or call 1-800-SWULTRA (1-800-798-5872).
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Toyota Pushes Back U.S. Prius Production by Years
Toyota Motor Corp announed July 27 plans to pushed back building its Prius in the United States by as much as six years, with a top executive saying U.S. production is likely to start only when the best-selling hybrid is remodeled, according to reports made by Reuters. Toyota had previously planned to produce the Prius at its new Mississippi plant but had put those plans on hold indefinitely as the financial crisis hit demand. In June, Toyota said it to would drop the Prius all together and instead build the Corolla sedan in Mississippi after local production of that model ended with the closure of a California factory formerly co-owned with General Motors Co . "The main components for the Prius such as the motor and battery are not mature enough for local production," Executive Vice President Atsushi Niimi told reporters in Tokyo. Niimi, who oversees production as well as regional operations in North America and China for Toyota, said the company would decide in due course where in the United States it would make the fourth-generation Prius, which is expected around 2016.
A more near-term concern was the pace of recovery in the U.S. market, which he said would likely be slow. "If you look at unemployment, housing, and other economic indicators there's not much good news. I think it will take time for the market to recover," he said, adding he did not share views that the U.S. market could recover to above 12 million units next year or to 14-15 million in 2012. A slower-than-expected pickup in U.S. car sales has become a major worry for Japan's top automakers, which traditionally make the lion's share of their profits in North America. Toyota also faces the urgent task of cutting costs and boosting manufacturing efficiencies in Japan, where it has enough facilities to build 3.9 million vehicles annually, compared with actual output of 3.2 million last year. Toyota, the world's biggest automaker, has said it is aiming to make its domestic factory lines more flexible and introduce other changes to be able to break even at a dollar rate of 90 yen and capacity utilization of 70 percent, equivalent to daily production of 12,000 units.
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Court Dismisses Suit Challenging CA Commissioner’s Actions California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is considering a recent court decision a victory for consumers, as a lawsuit that attempted to stop the Commissioner from protecting Californians in connection with the Executive Life Insurance Co. was dismissed by the Court, according to reports made by Insurance Journal. Last year, the Commissioner denied a request for permission to buy a California insurance company from a foreign company whose owner is the defendant in a multi-billion dollar lawsuit brought by Commissioner Poizner. The sale would have siphoned money out of the United States while a federal court is in the process of determining how much that owner, French company Artemis S.A., ought to pay in compensation for previous fraud, according to the Commissioner. The proposed seller in the transaction, Artemis subsidiary Aurora S.A., subsequently sued the Commissioner for denying the transaction. A court rejected that lawsuit. “It’s my job to protect policy-
holders, and when I saw the harm this transaction could cause to former Executive Life Insurance Co. policyholders, I refused to allow it,” said Commissioner Poizner. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Charlotte Woolard rejected the lawsuit against Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, ruling that Commissioner Poizner acted properly when he denied approval of a sale transaction that had the potential to cause harm to former policyholders of Executive Life Insurance Co. The suit is part of the on-going fallout resulting from the failure of Executive Life in 1991 and the massive fraud that was committed by French companies and companies owned by the French government in the subsequent insolvency proceeding. The lawsuit concerned an attempt by Reassure America Life Insurance Co., a subsidiary of insurance giant Swiss Re, to purchase Aurora National Life Assurance Co. Aurora National is the life insurance company that was set up in 1992 to take over in-
surance policies from the insolvent Executive Life. When it was established in 1992, Aurora National was purportedly owned by a consortium of French and Swiss companies. In 1999, the Commissioner learned that the ownership of Aurora National was a fraud and the true owner was a French government-owned bank, in violation of California and federal law. The Commissioner sued in federal court in Los Angeles and recovered more than $700 million to date for former Executive Life policyholders. The lawsuit is still pending against one of the defendants, French company Artemis S.A. While the Commissioner’s fraud lawsuit is pending against Artemis, Reassure America filed for permission to buy Aurora National from Aurora S.A. The timing of the sale would get Artemis’s share of the sale money to France, out of the reach of the Commissioner before he could obtain a judgment against Artemis in federal court. Artemis’ share of the sale will be paid to former Executive Life pol-
icyholders if the Commissioner wins his suit against Artemis. The Commissioner denied the application on the grounds that the sale would harm former Executive Life policyholders and Reassure America demonstrated a lack of integrity in attempting to conclude the sale now, when it knew that harm would occur to its own policyholders. Judge Woolard agreed, ruling that it was not an abuse of discretion for the Commissioner to consider the interests of Executive Life policyholders in his decision.
VW Passat Probed for Fire Risk
According to Bloomberg, Volkswagen AG Passat cars are being investigated by the NHTSA for fires in the engine compartment that may be related to ignition-coil failures. Passat cars for model years 2002 and 2003 have been the subject of 10 reports of fires and six complaints of coil failures that didn’t cause a fire, the NHTSA said on its website. Drivers reported that the checkengine or other dashboard lights were illuminated before fires. The investigation covers almost 200,000 cars.
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Erica Schroeder is a writer and editorial assistant for Autobody News in Oceanside, CA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Len’s Auto Body Endorses Oceanside’s Pro Spot Quality Welding Systems with Erica Schroeder
Len’s Auto Body Inc. is in Oceanside, CA—the hometown of Autobody News. It was founded in 1985 and has grown to become one of the largest and most prominent body shops in San Diego’s North County region.
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The shop facility is 38,000 square feet and the property is around 86,000 square feet. Len’s employs about 30 employees including 4 Estimators, 8
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a new building about 2 blocks away that Verheyen had designed himself. The shop area is split with an area separate from the repair bays for painting equipped with two downdraft spray booths and one BlowTherm Infrared paint baking system. Len’s is spraying Spies-Hecker waterborne paint and clearcoat in order to be VOC-compliant in California. The facility also has an upstairs area complete with company board room and a separate meeting area where training classes can be held. When the new shop was built, Verheyen looked to Pro Spot Quality Welding Systems to hook up the shops electrical welding needs. “We chose Pro Spot mainly because See Len’s Auto Body, Page 41
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Record Attendance Forecasted for 2010 SCRS Affiliate Leadership Conference
The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) announced August 16 the approach of its fifth annual Affiliate Leadership Conference on Wednesday and Thursday, September 22 and 23 at the Gulf States Toyota (GST) Training Center in Lewisville, Texas. The modern, state-of-the-art facility will provide a stimulating backdrop for the open discussion of activities, successes and challenges that is the conference’s hallmark. “Our affiliate ranks recently have grown at an accelerated rate and we expect event participation to increase significantly as a result,” says SCRS Chairman Barry Dorn. “It’s exciting, because for the first time many collision repair professionals will get to witness the effective strategies that are forged when SCRS’ national perspective intermingles with the local, grass roots focus of the affiliates.” The “ground level” industry view of the affiliates forms the bedrock upon which SCRS is formed and keeps the organization attuned to membership needs. The Affiliate Leadership Conference is perhaps the ultimate reflection of this aspect of SCRS. Attendees gain exposure to, and learn from the experience of, their affiliate peers in other states as does SCRS. Local initiatives often contribute to the formation of solutions that can be applied elsewhere, including on the national level. “The conference features collective insight to address issues you won’t find anywhere else, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to foster it,” says SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg. “Our affiliates and the thousands of businesses that
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support them want workable solutions to trying issues. The Affiliate Leadership Conference provides the content, context and analysis to provide those answers through candid discussion bred from a forum structured specifically for our affiliate associations.” The conference will maintain a similar proven format to previous years, with the first day featuring a focused review from each association in attendance. Local market issues and successful approaches to resolving those issues will be reviewed and analyzed through candid peer discussion.
Day two will feature updates from SCRS on its most recent national level activity, targeted discussions on prevailing industry issues, and a conversation on how SCRS can better help assist the collision repair industry. Toyota will make a presentation on Auto PartsBridge™, an electronic parts ordering system that allows body shops to send parts orders to Toyota dealers through a Web-based application. In addition, CEICA Executive Director Fred Iantourno will join the group to share content from the CEICA Implementation Conference being held the two days preceding the SCRS conference.
“This dynamic forum for experienced affiliate leadership generates an incredible amount of useful content over the course of two days,” adds Schulenburg. “I advise anyone that hasn’t previously attended to bring a pen and the biggest notepad you can find-you will be taking a lot of notes!” For information about the upcoming Affiliate Leadership Conference, please contact Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg at (302) 423-3537 or via e-mail at email@example.com. You may also contact the SCRS administration office at (877) 841-0660 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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CRA Writes in Opposition to SB427 Unless Amended Collision Repair Association of California July 28, 2010 The Honorable Gloria McLeod , Senator Room 2059 , State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: Oppose Unless Amend to SB 427
Dear Senator Negrete McLeod:
The Collision Repair Association of California wants to reaffirm its opposition to SB427 as currently written. As stated in our testimony at hearing we could and would support the portion of the bill that relates to the restoration of deployed air bags in fact we feel that this provision should apply to all elements of the supplemental restraint system not just air bags. We would also recommend that the bill be modified to include persons engaged in the reconstruction of salvaged vehicles as this is where these types of negligent repairs commonly occur. The changes proposed to current statutes within SB427 we find to be troubling. The Bill Analysis states that the purpose of the bill is to is to limit part switching. We would submit that the incidence of part switching in California by repair facilities is far from a common occurrence ,as presented in the Analysis and at hearing. This activity was addressed by an aggressive enforcement program initiated by the Bureau of Automotive Repair. The Chief of the Bureau of Automotive Repair testified at a recent hearing that the repair fraud rate was less than 2%. A number not reflective of an industry out of control. SB 427 as proposed provides for a redefinition of aftermarket part within Section 9875 of the Business and Professions Code, to mean a replacement for any crash part. This change only serves to confuse the consumer by defining high quality original equipment manufacturer parts as aftermarket. This definition will actually facilitate the very conduct that the proposal is proposing to stop. The deception will be on the part of the insurers not the repairers. Insurers will be able to reference all crash parts as aftermarket and base settlement offers on the cost of these substandard imitation parts.
This change will allow the insurer to part switch, to short pay claims at the consumers expense. To repair the vehicle for the settlement amount the repair facility will be forced to utilize the lesser quality parts during the repair process. The only benefactors of this change are the insurers and manufacturers of the substandard offshore parts, not the consumer and not the repair facility. There appears to be a drafting error in the proposed text as there is two versions of 9884.8 both identified as amendments however only one has the proposed amended language. The changes proposed to B&P Section 9884.8 (a) adding the term final repair invoice will cause a great deal of confusion and provide an opportunity for unscrupulous repair dealers to facilitate conduct which currently is unlawful. Currently repairs are authorized via an estimate and upon completion the shop presents the customer with an invoice for the agreed upon cost. Very simple and straight forward. The proposed language would allow shops to claim that documents provided were not the final invoice but a preliminary document. Confusion is added by proposals within 9884.9(a) (1) which references notations being made on the repair invoice, this by definition is as a different document than the proposed final invoice. Within B&P Section 9884.8(a) , the change to the language from parts supplied to parts installed presumes that all parts supplied during the repair process are installed during the repair process. This is not a valid assumption many products that support the repair process are not installed on the vehicle. Current laws and regulations require all items charged for to be itemized on the invoice. In fact if the items are not itemized they are not considered parts and cannot be charged for. Items that are commonly supplied but not installed, would include but not be limited to, cleaners, abrasives surface protection items and even Brake, Lamp and Smog Certificates. The disclaimer proposed in Section 9884.8(b) B&P, is of concern in that it serves no purpose other than to paint the repair facility in a negative light a condition that isnâ€™t commensurate with the state of the industry in California . Every Auto Repair Dealer in California is reSee CRA Opposition to SB427, Page 41
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 39
Toyota Announces Recall For Avalons Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., July 29 announced that it intends to conduct a voluntary safety recall involving approximately 373,000 2000-2004 Model Year Toyota Avalons sold in the United States to address the possibility that the vehicle’s steering lock bar could break under certain conditions. No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved in this recall. Because of improper casting of the steering lock bar, which is a component of the steering interlock system, there is a possibility that a minute crack may develop on the surface. Such a crack may expand over a long period of repeated lock and unlock operations, and eventually the lock bar could break. If this occurs, the interlock system may become difficult to unlock when stationary. If the vehicle while being driven is steered to the right with sufficient lateral acceleration, a broken and loose lock bar may move toward the steering shaft. If the engagement hole in the shaft happens to line up at the specific time the broken lock bar has moved, this could cause the steering wheel lock bar to engage, locking the steering wheel, and increasing the risk of
a crash. Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America, said, “Toyota is continuing to work diligently to address safety issues wherever they arise and to strengthen our global quality assurance operations so that Toyota owners can be confident in the safety of their vehicles.” As part of the recall, Toyota will replace the steering column bracket on involved vehicles, a procedure that takes about two hours to complete depending on the dealer’s schedule. Toyota will notify owners by first class mail beginning in late August 2010 to bring their vehicles to their local Toyota dealer for replacement of the steering column bracket at no charge to the customer. Detailed information and answers to questions are available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall and at the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.
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Ex-GM Worker Accused of Stealing Secrets According to reports by the Detroit News and the Associated Press, a former General Motors engineer and her husband were charged July 22 in federal court with conspiring to sell stolen trade secrets about hybrid vehicles to Chinese automaker Chery Automobile. Shanshan “Shannon” Du, 49, and her husband, Yu Qin, 51, both of Troy, stood mute before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Randon on conspiracy and other charges. They had been under investigation for years and were charged in 2006 with destroying documents, but the case was dropped while a broader probe continued. The indictment says Du, who was hired at GM in 2000 and worked in the company’s Advance Technology Vehicle Group, copied thousands of pages of GM trade secrets onto a portable computer hard drive five days after accepting a buyout offer in 2005. The indictment alleges the theft of secrets dates back to 2003. GM estimates the value of the stolen documents at $40 million, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. By the summer of 2003, Qin, who had been an engineer with Troy-
based electrical systems and equipment maker Controlled Power Company, was telling people he had a deal to provide hybrid technology to Chery Automobile, the indictment says. The couple had established their own company, Millennium Technology International, in 2000. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen Corkren said GM was notified of the alleged theft by Controlled Power, which had discovered the portable hard drive containing GM documents. GM called the FBI. The indictment contains details of e-mail exchanges offering GM data and plans. Corkren said the indictment indicates none of the trade secrets actually reached Chery. The indictment also tells about how the couple tried to discard shredded documents that had been requested by a federal grand jury investigating the matter. “Theft of trade secrets is a threat to national security,” Andrew Arena, head of the FBI in Detroit, said in a statement. The couple was arrested the morning of July 22. Randon set unsecured bond for each at $10,000 and ordered them to not leave the three-county area.
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cal welder at each bay. Torres also mentioned that Pro Spot is the only welding company to make overhead systems for auto body repair facilities. of their reputation,” said Body Shop “Pro Spot has been good to us; Manager Alex Torres. they have great service,” said Torres, Pro Spot Quality Welding Sys- adding that Pro Spot technicians come tems is also headquartered in Ocean- in about every 3 months to perform side, so the locality of their facilities routine maintenance on all of their was also a factor in Verheyen’s deci- welding equipment. Pro Spot also ofsion to use their products. fers 24/7 online technical support Len’s has a complete Pro Spot through their website. overhead welding system. The shop has Pro Spot welders make it easy to two electrical lines running overhead set up the correct temperature specs for any spot welding job; the weld current control is all computerized. Pro Spot welders are able to monitor and adjust weld currents automatically during a job. This allows technicians to duplicate factory welds when repairing a vehicle. Len’s also uses the Pro Spot I4 Inverter Spot Welding System, which Technician Salvador De La Cruz uses a Pro Spot electric welder is a liquid cooled welder with drop-down cables so that technithat can weld boron steel and high cians don’t have to run extension cords strength alloys used in new model veon the ground to get a Pro Spot electrihicles. Higher strength materials are Continued from Page 36
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“The new liquid cooled i4 welder keeps everything cool enough, the welds don’t get brittle and it spot welds quicker,” said Verheyen. The I4 Inverter is relatively new to the shop; they have only been working with it for about 3 months and have already found it a valuable tool for their shop. “Pro Spot is the leader for Inverter spot welders,” said Torres. Len’s has also installed the new Pro Spot Aluminum Weld Station for repairing Aluminum. Continued from Page 39
CRA Opposition to SB427
quired to post a sign visible to the public apprising the consumer of the Bureau of Automotive Repair and invoice and estimate requirements. In section 9884.9(a) B&P the proposed language also changes the section to reference parts installed this change has the same consequence as previously stated in reference to Section 9884.8 B&P. The fiscal costs associated with the proposed changes appear to be overlooked. As previously mentioned, all Automotive Repair Dealers in California are required to post a sign as specified in 3351.4 of the California Code of Regulations. All these signs will require replacement or modification to comply to the requirement to reference parts installed rather than supplied. It is our observation that this proposal to change language from supplied to installed serves no benefit to the consumer and enforcement of current statutory language has not suffered from referencing parts supplied verses installed. Consumer would benefit from further regulation of the repair of supplemental restraint systems
In addition to body work and mechanical repair work, Len’s also offers tire services for customers having other work done after a collision. Len’s also offers an Enterprise rental office on site, drive through estimations as well as a lifetime labor warranty on all work they do. They offer towing and pick up service as well. Len’s is a DRP shop for most insurance companies including Auto Club of Southern California, USAA, Allstate, Progressive, Mercury and many more. For more information please visit lensautobody.com. Len’s Auto Body Incorporated 510 Jones Rd Oceanside, CA 92058 (760) 757-7547
Pro Spot Quality Welding Systems 2625A Temple Heights Dr Oceanside, CA 92056 (760) 407-1414 www.prospot.com
especially if salvage reconstruction is addressed, however the only entities to benefit from the other proposals to change the Business and Professions Code are those persons that are trying to confuse consumers into thinking that all crash parts are aftermarket parts. Insurers when preparing settlement offers for consumers will be able to base those offers on part costs of imitation aftermarket parts and justify the short payment by advising the consumer that may challenge their position that the Legislature has determined that all crash parts are aftermarket. We support regulation and consumer protection . We however are unable to see any benefit to the consumer from any of the proposed changes other than those relating to supplemental restraint systems. We would welcome an opportunity to discuss these issue further with you .Thank you for your attention to our comments. Respectfully,
Allen Wood Executive Director CRA
Po Box 2891 Rancho Cordova, CA 95471-2891 916-837-2362-Fax 53020 7332 www.cra-ca.com
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 41
Jackie Speier INTERVIEW by Ed Attanasio
Can you tell us how your views on political or consumer issues may have been shaped by those horrific experiences?
Personal tragedy has strengthened my resolve not to waste a day of my life. I’ve chosen public service as a way to give back. Simply put, I am drawn to finding out the facts when the voice of special interests attempt to drown out the truth—this mindset has frequently put me in the position of protecting consumers.
In 1986 you won a seat in the California State Assembly. You were reelected five more times, the last as the nominee of both the Democratic and Republican parties. In the Assembly you authored more than 300 bills that were signed into law by both Democratic and Republican Governors. One of your key achievements was passing the California Financial Privacy Act, which took effect in 2004 and was called by Consumers Union “the strongest financial privacy legislation in the nation.”—Why were the foundations of this act of such importance to you?
Personal privacy is foundation of our freedom. Corporate greed has been responsible for the invasion of our privacy and the diminishment of our freedom to choose the path that is best for us. I don’t want to restrict our right to seek and obtain information, I simply oppose those entities that want to sell our personal financial information without our consent. SB 1 struck a blow for protection from special interest manipulation.
Another legislative victory was your authorship of California’s anti-steering law in 2003. How did you come to understand that steering was a threat to consumer and repairer’s interests?
I chaired the Senate Insurance Committee in 1999 which investigated auto insurance fraud. Committee staff interviewed hundreds of consumers, auto repair dealers and insurance adjusters. They documented that that insurers were pressuring shops to repair cars quickly and cheaply, sometimes at the risk of compromising proper repair procedures. This pressure was embodied in confidential agreements
between the insurer and shops. It was if insurers wanted to run the shops without accepting any liability. I authored SB 1648, approved by the State Senate, that would have prohibited insurers from owning repair facilities. The bill failed passage by the full Assembly despite stellar advocacy efforts by consumer groups and the collision repair industry. Since that effort fell short, I carried legislation to protect consumers from the harmful effects of direct repair agreements, the backbone of illegal steering practices. Now that I am in Congress, I am taking a broader approach by examining the use of aftermarket safety parts, such as reinforcement bars, that appear to violate laws requiring replacement repair parts to perform as well as the OEM. Specifically, the aftermarket industry has failed to provide proof that its replacement parts are crashed tested to insure that they will perform the same as OEM in collision situations. In 2005 you sponsored a bill to regulate sub-prime loans which, unfortunately, did not succeed. We all know how unregulated sub-prime financing has since cut the legs from the U.S. real-estate market and played a huge role in our near financial meltdown in the last years of the Bush administration. How did you come to be aware of how dangerous sub-prime financing was likely to be?
Consumers Union, Center for Responsible Lending and the California Reinvestment Coalition had documented the abuses that were happening to real families. The information was compelling, but the frenzy was too great and the banking and mortgage broker industries were too powerful. Let’s face it, they were making a truckload of money selling these products. California was more unprotected than many because of the high cost of homes and the lack of strong regulation in the mortgage industry at both the state and federal level and lack of consumer protections for home buyers and homeowners. In Congress on July 11, 2008, you introduced your first federal bill, The Gasoline Savings and Speed Limit Reduction Act, which would set a national speed limit of 60 mph in urban
42 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
areas and 65 mph on less-populated stretches of highway. Tell us your reasoning on those issues.
This is a clear example where safety, energy conservation and saving consumers money should all go hand in hand. I’ve been working on these issues for a long time, including introducing an earlier speed limit bill in Sacramento. Slowing down may not be a popular idea, but the benefits are real and that’s why I’m for it. I should also mention I introduced a bill to give consumers rebates for more fuel efficient cars, similar to Cash for Clunkers which went into effect later on. We need to keep pushing fuel economy, if for nothing else to tackle our addiction to oil, to clean up our air and to save lives—an estimated 4,000 annually if the nation’s highest speed limits were reduced. You have recently met with OEM technical staff and some California repairers to discuss what can be done about substandard aftermarket colli-
sion parts. This is another issue in which consumers and collision repairers interests align (at least in regard to the efficiency of installation of OEM parts). Can you tell us what the state of those discussions is? Do you think the OEMs should be more proactive in pushing back on insurers for OEM part usage?
As I noted before, I am examining the use of aftermarket safety parts, such as reinforcement bars, that appear to violate laws requiring replacement repair parts to perform as well as the OEM. Specifically, the aftermarket industry has failed to provide proof that its replacement parts are crashed tested to insure that they will perform the same as OEM in collision situations. Rather than rush in with a bill, I am waiting for vehicle manufacturers to provide engineering data to support the contention that aftermarket parts don’t perform as well as OEM. In some respects, it should be on the shoulders of aftermarket producers to See Jackie Speier Interview, Page 44
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Hyundai Shoots for 50 mpg Fleet by 2025
Hyundai Motor America announced plans to maintain its leadership and achieve a corporate average fuel economy rating of at least 50 miles per gallon by 2025 for its lineup of passenger cars and light duty trucks on August 4. Current National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations require automakers to achieve a CAFE rating of 35.5 mpg by 2016. Before those rules were enacted last year, Hyundai had already announced its own plan to reach 35 mpg by 2015. Hyundai’s announcement of this longer-term goal of delivering a minimum 50 mpg CAFE rating by 2025 is consistent with its philosophy of setting stretch objectives that align its resources, challenge its team members, and delight consumers and society. Hyundai has shown that customers will flock to high-quality, stylish products offering high fuel economy. The game-changing all-new 2011 Hyundai Sonata is the first midsize family sedan to offer only 4cylinder engines. Sonata achieves an EPA highway rating of 35 mpg, yet leads competitors in power output through the use of advanced gasoline direct injection (GDI).
Sonata’s sales were up 48 percent in the first half of 2010, while its transaction prices and residual values now exceed those of most mid-size competitors. The Sonata and its 2.4liter Theta II GDI engine are built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. Since becoming the fuel economy leader in the 2008 model year, Hyundai Motor America market share is up more than 50 percent. Hyundai is poised to maintain its fuel-economy leadership as projected data for the 2009 model year shows Hyundai retaining its edge over the industry. Forecasts show a 2009 modelyear fuel economy rating of 30.1 mpg for passenger cars and light duty trucks. Hyundai is also the only automaker to top 30 mpg in the 2009 projections. For more information please visit hyundai.com.
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Honda Parts Position Statement
The original parts used on a Honda vehicleare designed and built to work together within their respective systems to provide optimum performance, safety and system integrity. American Honda recommends that all maintenance and repairs are performed using Honda recommended procedures and Honda Genuine parts, which are designated for use in the specific Honda vehicle. Other parts—whether aftermarket, counterfeit or gray market—are not recommended. The quality, performance, and safety of these parts and whether their compatibility with a Honda vehicle are unknown. Only by purchasing Honda Genuine parts through an authorized dealer can you be assured of the replacement part’s reliability and compatibility. American Honda’s new vehicle warranty and replacement parts warranty do not apply to any part which is not purchased from an authorized US Honda dealer. American Honda will not be responsible for any subsequent repair costs associated with vehicle or part failures caused by the use of parts other than Honda Genuine parts purchased from an authorized US Honda dealer.
State Farm Introduces Distracted Driving Tool
State Farm Insurance Co. has introduced what it claims is the insurance industry’s first free mobile phone accessory to address growing concerns about distracted driving. State Farm’s “On the Move” widget enables Android smartphone users to let people texting them know that they’re busy or driving. Besides reducing the number of accidents, this tool could lower claims costs. Android smartphone users can compose or select preloaded customized messages that can be sent as automated responses to incoming text messages, or limited to senders listed in the user’s smartphone address book. Instead of reading and responding to text messages while driving or at a class, gym or movie, smartphone users can activate the service and let the widget respond for them. The service is free to anyone with an Android smartphone as part of State Farm’s updated Pocket Agent for Android application. Incoming text messages are still received and can be accessed in the user’s inbox. “On the Move” is compatible with Android OS 1.5 and higher. State Farm is evaluating options beyond the Android offering.
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Jackie Speier INTERVIEW continued
prove their products are equivalent. But I believe auto makers can make a significant statement by releasing crash data. Federal law may be needed to protect consumers from unsafe aftermarket parts. But ideally consumers should be educated to ask for and to demand that safety-related vehicle replacement parts be OEM and they should avoid insurers that refuse to put their safety first. Tell us how you originally got involved in the collision repair industry and related legislation?
I got involved part because I was chairing the Insurance & Financial Institution Committee, finding myself sparring with the insurance industry and they were often times looking at ways to shave their costs. I just think that when a consumer pays for an insurance product, they should get precisely what they pay for, so the whole idea of steering to particular a specific body shop because they’re in a DRP, or because they’re going to put inferior parts on the vehicles, it just doesn’t sit right with me. So, that’s how I first got involved back in the late ‘90’s. It just grew from there. More recently I’m on a committee in the House in which has oversight authority over the automotive industry, and we had a hearing with the CEO of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, recently. He was questioned and during the course of the questioning, it became apparent to me that we need to have some legislation on event data reporters and mandate them in all new vehicles, so that there isn’t this dispute based on whether there was driver error or faulty brakes, for instance. That type of information should be communicated to NHTSA in a timely fashion, so that we catch them before these problems become tragedies.
Will recent federal insurance reform have any impact on the collision repair industry in the near future?
I don’t believe so. I worked really hard to make sure that the consumer protections and state law was not trampled on in an effort to create some national insurance regulatory construct. For instance, in California the
Insurance Commissioner will still have the authority to take action on any number of consumer issues, based on California law. Recently, I started looking at the aftermarket collision parts issue, and there is really an alarmingly potential for important safety equipment on a vehicle to be compromised, because aftermarket parts are being used. In part, I was looking at the reinforcement bars in some vehicles and how they’re critical to activating the car’s airbags. If they’re not a proper fit, they can in fact compromise the airbags from being activated. Do you think the constant tug-of-war between the insurance companies and body shops has gotten better, or will it never stop?
Well, it got better. I carried legislation [in California] to prevent steering, and then two years later I left the Legislature and the insurance industry went to a member to start and undo that. I worry that the Legislature has become so beholden to the insurance industry; that the only way for consumers to be protected in this environment and for auto repair shops to be able to make professional decisions relative to the repair of a vehicle, will have to be done in the courts. I really object to insurance companies telling consumers one thing in their ads and then delivering something completely different when you really need them. We were successful in preventing Progressive Insurance from owning its own repair shops when I was in the Legislature, and I know that at one point Allstate was looking at it as well.
asked the question of General Motors, when they were coming to us with their hats in their hands for assistance from the federal government. And I made a case when I told them, ‘you want something from the people of this country, how about offering something back, such as meeting these guidelines for lower emissions or higher gas mileage at a faster rate?’ And they said ‘No, we couldn’t possibly do that.’ That was in the fall of 2008 and look at where we are now. Now [we are about to have] the Volt and 100,000-mile warranties—so I think it was important for the federal government to step in, because it saved a lot of jobs. It saved the economy in part and I think in time all the loans will be repaid. American car manufacturers got leaner and better at making products. We need to make a concerted effort to create manufacturing jobs in this country, so saving the carmakers is a critical part of that.
from p. 42
Where do you think the collision repair industry will be in 5–10 years?
The industry needs to align itself with the consumer more and find opportunities to work with consumer organizations to make the case that they’re looking out for the owner of the vehicle. The repair shops don’t want to be compromised in doing a good job for the car owner and they’re often times put into a conflict of interest by the insurers, and we really need to prevent that from happening. They need to work together to push the customer to the top of the list. Thank you very much. Last Question: Is it true that as a child you wanted to study ballet but your father insisted you learn Judo instead? True. But I earned a brown belt, so I can’t complain.
Comments on this interview and future ones can be posted at www.autobodynews.com.
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What is your position about Right to Repair?
It should be a requirement for the car manufacturers to cooperate with the repair shops. [Otherwise] that would be like a medical diagnostic company not sharing information about the equipment that they’re selling to the doctors to diagnose a health condition. Has the ‘bailout’for the American car manufacturers been a success in your opinion?
I’m smiling when you say that, because I was at the committee and
44 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
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Nissan Recalls Cube for Fuel Leak
Nissan North America announced July 21 that it is recalling all 2009-2010 Cubes manufactured from January 30, 2009 through July 30, 2010 for an issue with the fuel system. Around 46,000 units are said to be affected. When the vehicle was rotated following a rear moving crash test the amount of fuel leakage exceeded allowable limits. The safety recall is expected to begin August 30, 2010. Owners may contact Nissan at 1-800647-7261 or go to www.safecar.gov.
BMW Gran Turismo Recall
BMW is recalling 6,080 2010 and 2011 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismos for a potentially faulty fuel sensor. The sensor has a lever that can become wedged against the tank, resulting in inaccurate fuel readings in the instrument cluster. The affected vehicles were built between Jan. 12 and July 1. BMW hasn’t yet provided the NHTSA with a fix for the issue or a notification date. To find out more, call BMW’s hot line at 800-525-7417.
Jaguar Recalls 2010 XK and XF
Jaguar Land Rover North America announced July 21 that all 2010-2011 Jaguar XK’s and all 2010 Jaguar XF’s will be recalled starting August 30 for an issue with the vehicles’ engine cooling system. The NHTSA estimates that approximately 5,048 vehicles will be affected by this recall. Dealers will revise software free of charge. The recall is expected to begin August 30, 2010. Owners may contact Jaguar at 1-800-452-4827 or go to www.safecar.gov.
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I-CAR Overview Courses
I-CAR, The Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, will offer a newcourse called Collision Repair Process Overview (CRO01). It is the first in a series of courses that will be introduced over the next year by I-CAR as the “Basic Principles of Auto Collision Repair” series. TRegister online for Collision Repair Process Overview by visiting, the I-CAR Online Training page at www.i-caronlinetraining.com.
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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 45
1933 Delage D8S Roadster is Pebble’s Concours d’Elegance ‘Best of Show’ A 1933 Delage D8S De Villars Roadster owned by The Patterson Collection in Louisville, Kentucky, was named Best of Show at the 60th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance held Sunday, Aug. 15 on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links®.
A striking 1933 Delage D8S De Villars Roadster from The Patterson Collection in Louisville, Kentucky, was named Best of Show at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Copyright © 2010 by Kimball Studios/Courtesy of Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
“There are so many things about this car that are special,” said owner Jim Patterson, who founded Long John Silver’s restaurant and contributed to the founding of the Rally’s Hamburger chain. “We’ve won (with other cars) at a lot of concours, but never here. This win at Pebble is the ultimate. This is the one win that really matters.” The world’s most exclusive collector car show and competition was held, as usual, in one of the
world’s most beautiful and dramatic locations: the 18th fairway of the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links. Pebble Beach is open 364 days a year to golfers and closed only one day, for the Concours d’Elegance. This international event offers a highly unique visual: historic automobiles set against the backdrop of Carmel Bay. Some 255 cars and motorcycles from 33 states and 14 countries compete for “Best of Show.” Collectors bring their vintage vehicles to California’s picturesque Monterey coastline from as far away as Hong Kong, Germany, Monaco and Argentina. More than 20 concept and new cars were featured during the weekend, including vehicles from Aston Martin, Bentley, Bertone/Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Cadillac, W K Cherry, Ford, Jaguar, Lexus, Maserati, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Morgan, Porsche and Rolls-Royce. Celebrity participants include Tonight Show host Jay Leno and actor Edward Herrmann, who was the Concours’ Master of Ceremonies. Other celebrity attendees included Roger Corman, Jeremy Piven, Erik Estrada and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Concours displayed over 108 years of the automobile, from the oldest car on the field, a 1902 Mercedes Simplex—the oldest car still on the road today to bear the Mercedes name—to several new
concept and production vehicles. Competitors from 33 states and 14 countries brought their prized automotive possessions to the California’s Monterey Peninsula for judging in 29 classes. In the end, the white, streamlined 1933 De-
With a stunning backdrop of Carmel Bay, cars pass over the awards ramp of the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Copyright © 2010 by Kimball Studios/Courtesy of Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
lage with coachwork from De Villars was judged the best. “This Delage has a short wheelbase that makes it look more rakish, but it still has a long and elegant look,” said Concours Chairman San-
Original Thought #89:
See Pebble’s Best of Show, Page 48
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Senate Committee Passes High-Tech Legislation The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met July 21 for a markup of Senate Bill 3495, “The Promoting Electric Vehicles Act of 2010”; S.B. 2843, “The Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2009” and S.B. 679, “The Heavy Duty Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development and Demonstration Act of 2009.” The committee did not finalize its work on S.B. 679 and will address this bill at a later committee meeting. Both S.B. 3495 and 2843 were reported out of the committee.
“The Promoting Electric Vehicles Act of 2010,” sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., introduced in June, aims to reduce the United States’ dependency on foreign oil and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The main component of the bill is Title I which aims to: ● Reduce the use of petroleum by accelerating the deployment of plug-in electric-drive vehicles in the United States. ● Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by accelerating the deployment of plug-in electric-drive vehicles in the United States.
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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 47
dra Button. “It did 110 miles-per-hour in its day; it could race and was stunningly beautiful. This car could do it all; it embodied style, speed and comfort.”
portation for its more discerning guests. Now it’s one of 60 Pebble Beach Concours Best of Show winners. Alfa Romeo, a featured marque at the 2010 Concours, had the largest presence on the 2010 Pebble Beach show field, including seven vehicles shipped from the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, Italy. The 75th anniversary of Jaguar was also fea-
A 28-horsepower 1902 Mercedes Simplex—the oldest car still on the road today to bear the Mercedes name—arrives at The Lodge at Pebble Beach having just completed the 2010 Pebble Beach Motoring Classic.
Academy Award-winning director Roger Corman recounting his time making the classic road-racing film, “The Fast & Furious” (1954) at the Pebble Beach Road Races and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Delage added the sports version to the D8 range in 1930. To make the S more aerodynamic than its predecessors, a new radiator shell was used, which required a special hood and firewall that made the D8S even more visually distinctive. Patterson’s D8S graced the 1933 Salon de Paris at the Grand Palais. It was owned during the 1950s by the Grand Hotel Velasquez in Madrid, Spain and was used as trans-
tured, as was Pierce-Arrow. Special classes included a focus on the 50th anniversary of the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, the centennial of the Indianapolis 500, Hot Rod lakesters and Bonneville racers, American Prewar Road and Racing Motorcycles and Ghia-designed vehicles. More than 250 cars and motorcycles were present, encompassing more than 100 years of the auto-
Continued from Page 46
Pebble’s Best of Show
Copyright © 2010 by Riverview Media Photography, Tia Gemmell. Courtesy of Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Copyright © 2010 by Riverview Media Photography, Tia Gemmell. Courtesy of Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
mobile, with the oldest car on the field being a 1902 Mercedes Simplex. The Pebble Beach Concours occurs every year on the third Sunday in August. Featured marques for the 61st Pebble Beach Concours, slated for Sunday,
Jaguar XKSS owners who participated in a special Pebble Beach Rally paused for photos and refreshments at the historic Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo. The Jaguar XKSS class that appeared at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is believed to be the largest-ever gathering of XKSS cars. Copyright © 2010 by Kimball Studios/Courtesy of Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Aug. 21, 2011, will include Mercedes-Benz and 100 Years of the Automobile, Stutz Centennial, Ferrari 250 GTO and Italian Motorcycles. Additionally, proceeds from raffles, auctions, sponsorships and ticket sales helped contribute more than $1 million to charity for the fifth consecutive year.
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Lee Amaradio, Jr. is the president and owner of “Faith” Quality Auto Body Inc. in Murrieta, California. Lee is president of the CRA as well as an advocate for many other industry groups. He can be contacted at email@example.com
The Lack of Industry Leadership with Lee Amaradio Jr.
I am a member of the CAA, the SCRS and a Gold Pin holder of CIC; I have some questions for all these organizations. My first question is to the board of the CAA. As a member of the CAA, I want to know where the board stands on aftermarket parts? Do you agree with the aftermarket parts companies when they say they have tested their parts and they are the same as OEM parts according to the law that reads that the parts must be of ‘like kind and quality’ to the OEM’s? Or, do you agree with the recent tests that have been conducted by Ford Motor Company that proves that they are not the same? I want to know where you stand on this issue because as this industry issue has come to the forefront at CIC (with Toby Chess and his now famous rebar test) you have been quiet as to where the CAA stands on this issue. It seems that you
should have some opinion and I would like to know what it is and why you have chosen to keep quiet on such a controversial industry issue. As a member of the CAA, I want to feel comfortable that the organization is looking after my best interest as a shop owner. My second question is to the SCRS. As a member, I would like to ask you the same question. As the Society of Collision Repair Specialists it seems to me that the SCRS would be very outspoken about this ongoing issue with aftermarket parts and vehicle safety. It seems to me that you have chosen to remain quiet also. I really don’t understand why as an organization that is so highly respected within the collision industry—with a board that consists of people I highly respect—so please answer: why are you not taking the lead on this issue? Correct me if I am
wrong, but I don’t believe that any of your members really need to be told of the difference between an aftermarket part compared to an OEM. Where do you stand on the use of aftermarket parts? We want to hear from you please. My question to the CIC board. As an associate member, I want to know why after all of these years do we keep re-hashing the same issues over and over and keep fooling ourselves into thinking things are getting better. As the recognized industry forum where everyone in the industry can come together for the good of all why do we keep pretending that we are all on the same page? Our industry leaders don’t lead and we never accomplish anything significant. Why didn’t some one step up and encourage Toby Chess when he was threatened and demand that he do his rebar test anyway and then threaten those that threatened him. Instead, all of the so-called collision industry leaders failed to lead at a time when leadership was crucial and necessary. We are so worried about anti-trust and being politically correct that we are failing to guide this industry through desperate times. True leadership always comes with a price and there are tremendous risks involved. Nothing will ever change by taking the safe road, but things will change by taking the high road. I would have never started my business if I hadn’t been willing to risk everything at some point. We are a fragramented industry because we lack the direction of a defined leader. We are compiled of a bunch of associations that either have their own agendas or are just using them for networking purposes. Right now, today, we know that over 50% (I think more like 80%) of the vehicles are repaired improperly after a collision. Today the majority of collision repair shops lack the equipment and training to repair collisions properly. Vehicle safety is put on the back burner because most shops are not informed or forced to repair the vehicles properly. Collision repair is evolving so rapidly that even the well financed well informed shops are hav-
ing trouble keeping up. So why do we keep fooling ourselves and act like things are going to get better. We can’t even speak out against Aftermarket bumper rebars at our own industry meeting without some one overpowering us and stopping Toby’s test. If things are to change it will only be when the CIC, CAA, or the SCRS stop trying to be so politically correct and really stand up for the repair process. Its time to take notice that there is a safety problem!! Now that Paul Masse from Ford Motor Company has completed testing that is pretty powerful and hard to ignore collision shops and insures are opening themselves up to huge liability problems. How can I be so bold as to say the things I am saying? Because they are true! After Toby was stopped the CRA contacted him and we were able to do the same test for Channel 7 and Fox News with Assemblyman David Jones. After this Allen Wood and I went to Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s office and saw her do the test with her own hands. After this meeting Jackie was so concerned that she ask me if we could get some national support for this or was it just a California issue. I told her I was sure I could get national support. I made a call to Aaron Schulenberg, the president of the SCRS, and left a detailed message asking him if he wanted to be involved. I didn’t get a return call for weeks (after the fact) with a message that he was sorry for not getting back to me. Wow. I thought this was a big issue. I mean how we repair vehicles: safety in collision repair is something that we, as the repair providers, are assuming the liability for. We met with the Deputy Attorney General Paul Stein from the State of California, along with the Chief Council to the Insurance Commissioner, and we did the test for them. The department of insurance thought tracking would solve the issue because the CAA had told them that this was the primary problem and the A/G wanted proof that the parts were not the same (he has his proof now thanks to Ford). But they both ask me the same quesSee Leadership, Page 58
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 49
John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). He can be contacted by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.
Access and Use of Shop Data Raise Privacy Concerns for the Industry with John Yoswick
Concerns about data privacy prompted the formation this spring at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) of a taskforce focused on the subject. At CIC in Chicago in July, Tony Passwater, an industry trainer and executive director of the Indiana Auto Body Association, said that the new taskforce that he chairs has in recent weeks Tony Passwater been discussing and finalizing its objectives. The primary issue, he said, is that as the industry’s information providers move toward “cloud computing” systems—in which a shop’s estimate and even management system information is stored on the system provider’s computers rather than the shop’s— concerns are being raised about access to and use of the data. “I don’t think the current data privacy policies and terms-of-use address
all the ramifications of that,” Passwater said. The topic was also highlighted by a panel during the CIC Insurer-Repairer Relations Committee, which discussed a “data rights” proposal crafted by another CIC committee. That statement says no third-party should capture or use in any way data produced by a shop—even if developed using or transmitted over a thirdparty’s software or network—without the specific authorization of the shop. The intended use of the data and who will have access to it must be clearly stated, the proposal reads. Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), said the problem isn’t that information providers don’t get shops’ permission to aggregate and sell their data. It’s more that shops aren’t given any choice but to sign away that right if they want to use any of the Big Three estimating systems, he said. Granting
permission for the shop data to be used should be an option for the shop, not a requirement, Schulenburg said. “We all need aggregated data,” Mike Lloyd of California Casualty said. “But as far as the individual repaier’s data, I believe that belongs to the shop. You should have that in the agreement with the vendor that Mike Lloyd you’re using. You should also have in the agreement that if you move to a different vendor, how do you get your data back so you can put it in your (new) system?” That’s an issue several people on the panel brought up. One panelist, for example, said he was aware of an multi-shop operator who closed one location and could not get the data created for that location back from the information provider because the sub-
scription for that location was no longer maintained. Passwater said information providers argue that they should have some rights to estimate data prepared by users that are based on the information provider’s labor times and other data. But he compared it to buying lumber, saying that doesn’t allow you to own the land the wood was grown on nor give the lumber yard any right to the house you build with it. It’s my house. At some point in time, I should have the right to say what I do with my house,” Passwater said. Scott Biggs, of Assured Performance Network, said some shops might not be overly concerned about this issue but likely will be if down the road the information providers charge a shop for access to the shop’s own aggregated data that the shop currently has access to as part of its management software system fee.
What shops want from parts vendors A new survey found that when it comes to
But perhaps discouraging to OE Con-
parts suppliers, collision shops prize order
nection and InfoMedia was the fact that the
electronic parts ordering, and are not very
an average importance rating of 7.32, indi-
accuracy most, aren’t overly interested in
satisfied with the quality of remanufactured
ability to order parts electronically received cating that 17 of the 21 other attributes
or non-OEM parts.
were more important to shops.
shops was commissioned by the Collision
ing say they use one or both of the elec-
earlier this year. It asked shops to rate nearly
they don’t use them because they prefer the
Your Source for Wholesale Volvo Parts
ing via phone or fax. Some non-users, how-
Trust your order to the collision parts specialists at these fine Dealers:
The survey by phone and fax of 300
Industry Conference (CIC) parts committee two dozen attributes of a parts vendor on a
scale of 1 to 10, with the higher number in-
dicating a higher level of desirability.
Perhaps not surprisingly, order accu-
racy, quality parts, competency and helpfulness of the parts personnel, timely
Still, nearly 3 out of 5 shops respond-
tronic parts ordering systems. The rest said personal contact with the vendor by order-
ever, also cited a lack of dealer participation
as the reason they don’t use the systems.
With regard to non-OEM parts, the sur-
vey found that over half of the shops said their
delivery and undamaged parts topped the
vendor does not supply them with return-rate
A large parts inventory – something
percent rated the quality of non-OEM parts as
list of shop’s desires.
information on a particular part. Eighty-two
many dealers tout in their advertising to
“7” or lower on a scale of 1 to 10.
better, with 37 percent rating their quality
shops – finished about in the middle of the Least important to shops among the
attributes were the proximity of the supplier to the shop, and promotions or trips and
merchandise awarded for purchase loyalty.
Remanufactured parts fared slightly
as an “8” or higher.
Complete findings of the study are
available on the CIC website at: www.CIClink.com.
50 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
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Hey Toby! with Toby Chess
Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Welding specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his charitable works, worthy causes, and magic tricks. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why is Camry “B” Pillar Reinforcement Repair Done at the Roof Line?
Aloha Toby, I just got done reading your article (Heat? On a Toyota Front Frame Rail? No Way !) in the July edition of Autobody News. I’ve always considered myself fairly smart and up to date with repair standards but after taking the “test” and feeling a bit foolish, answering only 7 correctly out of the 15 questions, I have to agree with you that we can no longer repair vehicles the way we used to. Acquiring the vehicle manufacturer’s repair procedures before you start the repairs and following their recommended repair procedures is the only way to go. Thanks for all that you do, for all of us in this industry. Keep up the great work that you do! Mahalo, Dale Matsumoto—Auto Body Hawaii Aloha Dale—Mahalo for the compliments and your honesty. One of the major problems that our industry is
facing today is lack of knowledge on “the why” we do certain procedures and not on “the how.” Case in point. Why is the “B” pillar reinforcement replacement on a 2009 Toyota Camry done at the roof line instead of sectioning? Let’s take a look at the why first and then the how. The government mandated that the car manufacturers design vehicles that will protect the vehicle’s occupants in
front collisions. Vehicle makers have responded by building cars that will absorb a great amounts of energy in
frontal impact and, along with frontal air bags, this contributes to much less injury and death. Look at the previous picture and you will notice that front structure collapsed nearly 50% of its original length, but the passenger compartment hardly had any deformation. This was all accomplished by using high strength steels, internal reinforcements, crush zones and laser welding (Example: The front rail on a Toyota Camry has 3 different thicknesses of metals attached using laser welds). The Federal Government started to look at side impacts and rollovers more seriously in the mid 90’s. Our first encounter in the body shop was the door intrusion beam. These parts were constructed of ultra high strength steels. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, as part of their crash ratings, began to test for rolls over and side impacts. IIHS devised a test by placing a weight on the “B” pillar and measured the amount of crush. The standard of 2009 was 3 times the weight of the vehicle and in 2012 it will be 4 times the weight. To achieve a 5-star rating, vehicle manufacturers began increasing the strength of the “B” pillar reinforcements. Toyota uses steel with a MPa rating of 590 and the Volvo XC 90 reinforcement rating is 1100 Mpa. Let’s look at welding and the affect of heat on Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS). Looking at the previous picture, you will notice the weld, silver metal and the black oval ring around the
weld. The black oval ring is called the “heat affected zone” (HAZ). In ICAR’s Damage Analysis 8, there is a demonstration on the effect of heat on ultra high strength steel. The UHSS was basicaly changed to mild steel by heating the metal to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature in the HAZ can reach up to 2000 degrees, which will weaken or destroy its ultra
high strength properties. Realizing this fact will help us understand why some manufacturers require that the entire reinforcement is replaced instead of sectioning the part. To better understand the drastic changes that started in 2009, I will demonstrate the start to finish process of a “B” pillar reinforcement in a 2009 Toyota Camry. I contacted Joe Di Donato, the lead instructor at the Toyota University
in Torrance, California about documenting the removal and replacement of a “B” pillar reinforcement. Joe, who I consider to be one of the best instructors in the country, accepted the challenge (of baby sitting me for 3 full days). I printed out the repairs from Toyota’s Technical Information System (TIS) along with all pertinent Collision Repair Information Bulletins (CRIB). 1. Vehicle is placed on a frame bench 2. Vehicle is measured to determine the extent of damage (2nd photo this page).
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 51
3. Upper body measurements are taken (third photo this page). 4. Replacement outer panel is placed into position and marked. 5. The outer Roof panel and post cover is cut and saved. The welds on the inner “B” pillar reinforcement are exposed 6. Clean and expose all spot welds as outlined in TIS removal document. I started to remove some spots welds that did not need to be removed. I also missed a couple of spot welds on the
bottom of rocker panel. Again, you
need to look at removal document prior to beginning the repairs. I would suggest that you mark all spot welds on the car as well as the data sheet. 7. Mark the outer rocker at the sectioning location and cut. 8. Remove the entire piece as a single unit. Again I did not follow the instructions and tried to remove all the damaged parts separately. This took a lot more time. 9. Clean all the mating surfaces. 10. Apply weld thru prime to all bare
we were plugged into. We move the machine to a different plug (85amp circuit) and we were able to get a good weld that passed a destructive test. 13. Test fit the inner “B” panel reinforcement, 14. Weld inner “B” panel reinforcement to the out rocker reinforcement (We reused the old one, but I would recommend that you use a new outer rocker panel.
mating surfaces. 11. Measure the thickness of the metal. 12. Weld some scrap metal from the removal process and perform a destructive test. We welded a number of scrap pieces at different thickness settings. The welds looked good, but all failed the destructive test. We discovered that there was not enough amperage on the circuit that
15. Weld upper portion of the “B” panel reinforcement to the roof panel. 16. Apply epoxy primer to all bare metal. We mixed up some epoxy primer in a cup and applied it with cotton applicator (outline in the TIS). 17. Weld the outer rocker panel reinforcement to the vehicle. Use only an See Hey Toby!, Page 54
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I-Car First Annual Ultimate Collision Education Makeover
Industry professionals are invited to join Steel Center Area Vocational Technical School in Jefferson Hills, PA and the I-CAR Education Foundation the afternoon of Thursday, September 9th for a ribbon cutting ceremony in celebration of the school winning the first annual Ultimate Collision Education Makeover $50,000 school grant. On display during the event will be the tools, equipment, supplies, and other items that the school obtained through the grant. The event will include presentations from school administration and I-CAR Education Foundation staff, meet and greet with students, tours of the facility, and an evening dinner reception. The goal of the Ultimate Collision Education Makeover program is to honor a school that has been doing an outstanding job in educating students in collision repair, but is in need of financial assistance to improve their programâ€™s teaching materials and equipment. As the winning school, Steel Center AVTS was able to select $50,000 in supplies, tools, and equipment needed specifically for their collision program, thereby
making a difference in the education of the students studying collision repair. The I-CAR Education Foundation would like to officially recognize the following industry companies who supported the 2009 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant program: 3M; Airgas, Inc.; ALLDATA; BASF Corporation; BECCA; Chicago Pneumatic; Chief Automotive Technologies; Col-Met; Crest Industries; DeVilbiss Automotive Refinishing; FinishMaster; Goffâ€™s Enterprises; Gorilla Glue; I-CAR; International Epoxies & Sealers; The Lincoln Electric Company; Mac Tools; Miller Electric; Mitchell International; Motor Guard; PPG Automotive Refinishes; Sherwin Williams Automotive Refinishes; Sperian Protection; Sterling Autobody Centers; TOONA Automotive Paint & Equipment; and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A, Inc. Those interested in attending the ribbon cutting ceremony are asked to RSVP by contacting I-CAR Education Foundation Assistant Director of Grant Programs Melissa Marscin at Melissa.Marscin@ed-foundation.org. For more information please visit i-car.com.
NHTSA Ponders Requiring Stability Control for Trailer Trucks
According to reports made by Bloomberg and the Associated Press, stability control systems already on the market for tractor trailer trucks could prevent nearly 3,500 rollover accidents and save an estimated 106 lives a year if they were required on trucks, a federal safety official said August 3. Nathaniel Beuse, director of crash avoidance standards at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said his estimate was based on tests of the stability systems the agency conducted with researchers from the University of Michigan. All new passenger vehicles are required to have stability control systems, but not commercial trucks even though trucks represent a disproportionate share of rollover accidents. NHTSA is considering whether to mandate the systems for tractor trailer trucks, Beuse told a hearing of the National Transportation Safety Board. The safety board is holding a two-day hearing examining whether enough is being done to prevent tank trucks from rolling over. Tank trucks, more than other trucks, are susceptible to rollovers because the weight distribution of the
liquid they carry can shift suddenly, causing an imbalance. Tank trucks represent 6 percent of large trucks, but they account for 31 percent of all fatal commercial truck rollover crashes. About half the accidents in which trucks hauling tank trailers rolled over because they went around a curve too fast could have been prevented with stability control systems, according to a Battelle Memorial Institute study. Tank trucks pose a special concern because they often haul hazardous cargo. Stability control systems employ sensors that tell the vehicle's onboard computer when weight is shifting or is about to shift. The computer automatically applies brakes to one or more wheels to compensate until balance is restored. There are several kinds of stability control systems. It would cost about $1,200 to retrofit an existing tank truck with the most effective of the systems, a panel of experts told the board. The technology adds less than $1,000 to the price of a new truck. The systems became available about five years ago. Some manufacturers are now including them as standard equipment on new tank trailers.
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www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 53
Continued from Page 52
25. Cut panels using cut and join open butt weld. Toyota does not recommend a butt weld with backer on any welded joints as per CRIB #176 (revised). 18. Set outer “B” panel reinforcement on vehicle and mark plug weld
locations. Perform practice welds and conduct a destructive test prior to welding on the vehicle. 19. Measure as per dimension sheet in repair manual,
20. Weld outer “B” panel reinforcement with squeeze type resistance spot welds and MIG welds as outlined in the Toyota Repair Manual. 21. Apply weld thru primer to all mating surfaces. 22. Apply semi rigid foam as outline in the Toyota Repair Manual. 23. Weld in outer access panel. 24. Set outer “B” panel and rocker cover on vehicle a mark the cut location.
technique. 26. Weld outer panel with stitch method and STRSW. 27. Dress all welds.
28. Apply epoxy primer to bare metal 29. Apply body filler 30. Refinish. I was visiting a local collision center and they had a 2010 Toyota Prius on a frame bench. The parts had arrived and the shop had both doors off. I asked the shop foreman what procedures he was going utilize in the process. He explained the tech was going to repair the inner “B” panel reinforcement (pulling with a frame tower). I went into TIS and pulled down all the repair information and CRIBs pertaining to this particular repair. CRIB #175 (revised) states “Because occupant safety is such a high priority, HSS & UHSS occupant cabin reinforcement repair is not recommended.” If goes on to say not
54 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
to use hot or cold straightening methods. The original estimate now needed to be changed and additional parts ordered. This delay could have been avoided by printing out the necessary documentation for this repair at the time of writing the estimate. The easiest way to get this info is directly from the Toyota web site. Go to oem1stop.com and click on Toyota. You can subscribe for 2 days, 30 days or 1 year. Here is another point from CRIB#175 revised. “Do not section 980 MPa and 590 MPa strength rated pillar reinforcements.” Another reason why Toyota states that the “B” pillar reinforcement on a 2009 Corolla, Prius and Camry are replaced in their entirety. The Venza on the other hand has a laser weld near the bottom of the reinforcement, which separates the upper portion of 590 MPa steel and lower portion 440 MPa steel. The “B” pillar reinforcement can be sectioned using an open butt joint on the lower portion of the panel. I-CAR has just introduced a new class called TOY 01 and it is a must for repairing today’s Toyotas correctly. Another
class that I would recommend for estimators, appraisers and body technicians is I-CAR’s POP 01. This class deals with the OEM’s recommended repairs for Toyotas, Hondas and the Pontiac G8. Lastly, I would like to discuss the training program from Toyota. Toyota University has a number of excellent classes. You can take a classes on refinishing (2-day hands-on class), Color matching, Hybrids, Nonstructural repairs (2-day class) and structural repairs (also 2-day class). I attended recently the Toyota structural class with Joe Di Donato. The first day we went over the theory of the Toyota Structural repairs and the second day we installed a rail section in a Camry. The class uses the latest equipment and Joe is an excellent instructor (not as good as me, but real close—just kidding). The class in open to anyone. All you need is a SPIN number (get it from your local Toyota dealer) and sign up on line and that is it. The best thing of all is its cost. It’s dirt cheap for what you get. Hope that I was able to give a better insight into the repairs of Toyotas.
Parts Parts you you Need. Need. People People you you Trust. Trust. Genuine Genu Ge nuin nu inee Mitsubishi in Mits Mi tsub ts ubis ub ishi is hi replacement rrep epla ep lace la ceme ce ment me nt Crash CCra rash ra sh Parts PPar arts ar ts are are close cclo lose lo se at at hand hand through tthr hrou hr ough ou gh the the following ffol ollo ol lowi lo wing wi ng quality qual qu alit al ityy dealerships. it deal de aler al ersh er ship sh ips. ip s. They TThe heyy offer he offer exceptional eexc xcep xc epti ep tion ti onal on al customer ccus usto us tome to merr service, me serv se rvic rv ice, ic e, wide wid w idee selection id sele se lect le ctio ct ionn of in-stock io iinn-st nstoc st ockk oc parts part pa rtss and rt and the the experience expe ex peri pe rien ri ence en ce necessary nnec eces ec essa es sary sa ry to to ensure ensu en sure su re your yyou ourr repairs ou repa re pair pa irss proceed ir proc pr ocee oc eedd smoothly. ee smoo sm ooth oo thly th ly.. ly
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Rich Evans is the owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks and an award winning painter and fabricator. He offers workshops in repair and customization at his facility to share his unique talents. For contacts and design samples visit www.huntingtonbeachbodyworks.com
Building a Numbered Car Exactly like the Red Mist, Part Two with Rich Evans
the mar-glass fine hair (from MarCustom Corner son ) to bond the body kit to the
This column is part two of Rich Evans’ column from our July 2010 witha Rich Evans issue titled Building numbered car exactly like the Red Mist in Kick Ass. To read that column go to www.autobodynews.com > columns > Rich Evans.
On Creative Marketing with Thomas Franklin
Back to the Red Mist project. The car is identical to the one in the movie Kick Ass and is on its way back to Woody Frees and his sons. Paying attention to detail and quality is what it’s Using the Soft-Sander™ blocks on the rear flares with all about. Never be inThomas too muchFranklin a hurry to do a project. Just make sure 2008 GT Mustang. Now to shape the you get it done right. rear flares so it’s part of the body Let’s review the steps and pro- and also mold in the rockers to the cedures that it took to get Woody’s fender and the rocker panel. I’m car done and on the road back to going to use the mar-glass to blend it Fort Lauderdale, Florida. When we because it’s stronger material than with Dick Strom we left off in July I had just widened the Bondo™. I use the 3M® tape and the rear end 3 inches, installed my I’ll align myself about 2 inches body kit, mocked it up, and we used away from where I want to mold the
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two panels together. That way when I’m spreading the mar-glass I’ll be able to pull the tape and not have so much extra sanding work. You’re not really having a heavy build but you have enough build to seam that metal to the fiberglass and not have the seam break loose after primering and painting it. That’s why I chose the marglass. It’s a short-strand fiberglass reinforced auto body filler. I’ll apply Bondo™ on top of that. After 2 or 3 days getting these panels shaped up with 36 grit. I’m going to use the SoftSanders™ with this body kit. The
are able to get me there quicker. If you go to www.softsanders.com you can get a whole list of their product. I’ve always said time is money and this product is a time and money saver. I wish I had run across it 15 years ago. Let’s move on to the paint. Obviously we’re going to have to prime it first. So I gave SherwinWilliams a call and they were cool enough to sponsor me for this build which gives me a chance to try some other products. I used the Speed P30 Spectra Prime. The mixing ratio is 2 part Spectra Prime, 2 part SR15 and one part UH900. I applied probably about 8 mills and used a 1.9 tip on my HVLP SATA primer gun. You want to shoot it at about 25 to 45 psi and that will give you a good atomization and break down that thick primer. I really loaded up because I only want to primer it once. After sanding it ended up with about 320. With my sand scratches I usually leave about 80 or 150. I don’t get too detailed be™ Using the Soft-Sander blocks to true the guide coat cause I’m going to follow up Soft-Sander™ blocks are an every- with 80. So with this project I left day use of mine anyways, but these my sand scratches at 80 and I blocks really truly save me up to feather-edged everything with 150 75% of the time because of all the and then the additional paint that’s shapes that they come in. So I’m left over you want to hit with the able to get in the grooves. I’m able 320. to sand a continuous stroke and also Applying the three coats of shape better with the Soft-Sander™ primer gives you probably close to 9 blocks just because you’re able to mills. I guide coat it with some black form them to the radius of what guide coat. This will give me a refyou’re sanding. They come in dif- erence for my highs and lows to ferent sizes: 4-inch, 8-inch and 12blend this into the quarter panels or inch. With my body kit it’s really got down in the rockers all the way to a lot of shape to it so these blocks the fenders. It’s going to give me a good reference where my highs and lows are and if I have any additional pinholes I’ll use the 417 putty to get in there. It’s pretty much like a poly primer. After priming I use the SoftSander™ blocks and hit it with the 80 grit. After that I’m going to re-guide coat it and come back with the 150 grit. Basically I chase out the 80 grit scratches with the 150. I reGetting the primer right guide coat it and then wet sand
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 55
it with a 400 wet. This sand paper from Soft-Sanders goes from 320 all the way up to 2500. It’s amazing paper, it’s called Superflex Sandpaper. After the 400 wet, I 800 the rest of the car. Now we’re masked up and ready to get in to the booth. After getting into the booth I’ve got to take the wheels off. Obviously we’re chang-
Spraying the Colorado Red
and move your thumb. If it’s locked down you’re ready for base. On the base I had them mix me up some Colorado Red and I only apply one coat of the sealer, so one coat you’re good. Hats off to Sherwin-Williams. So on my base coat we’ve got the Colorado red and I applied 3 coats. I’ve got a system and anytime I apply a base coat, I apply 3 coats. That way if the car ever gets in an accident or I’m redoing it I have a system. Always create a system for yourself. The reducer I use is a 0025, so on our base coats I’m going with 3 coats. It’s 1 to 30 percent, so pretty easy mixing ratio with this water. It covered really well. I was really surprised. The first coat covered, second coat was even better, and—with my system—3 coats because I’m painting everything in pieces. You want to use the right psi. I use 27 psi on my base coat and a 1.4 tip with my SATA gun. Go to sata.com and figure out what you need. I’ve got about 20 different guns so I’ve got a gun for every application. So after my 3 coats I’m giving it about 15 to 20 minutes wait. I’m spraying it in a cross draft. Now I’m ready for my top coat. The top coat that I chose from Sherwin-Williams is the 1100755 Elegance clearcoat. It’s a 2.1 VOC. Mixing ratio of the clear is 2 to 1 as reducer with BUS4 to the UH 80 hardener. So it’s 2 to 1 to 1. This clear just lays down flat. I haven’t used reducer and clear in over 10 years and I was pretty impressed with the way the clear shot. I tend to want to put more mills on. We’ve got
ing the color so I’ve got to remove a lot of the parts in the engine compartment, which makes it easier. You try to remove everything from the left and right inner aprons and then I use aluminum foil for things that I’m not going to remove. I’m not going to remove the motor but I still want to get as much detail as possible which you’ll be able to see in some of these photos. I’m leaving the radiator and the A/C condenser in. Tape really tight tape and you can get a really good job of changing the color. I’m first going to start with a sealer that Sherwin Williams provided me with—Spectra Seal. It’s a 2.1 VOC color primer. I’m just going to use a grey primer on this which is a P27 and then they have P27 black and also P27 white which you can intermix to get the different color tones. Basically the mixing ratio on this is take the P27: 4 to 2 which would be the S42 to 2 which would be the H45 hardener and then the solvent will be an ES15 and that’s the 4. So 4 to 2 to 2 to 4. I’ve shot a lot The finished Red Mist ready for delivery to Woody in Florida of sealers. This one goes on flat, no orange peel whatso- no graphics so I’d usually do 3 coats ever. It just flows out and then it’s on this job. However, I applied 5 coats shiny, so they say 15 to 30 minutes. just because I knew we’d be cutting You just have to be able to put your some off and when you add reducer thumb in it, check it on a test panel, that thins it out a little bit so it’s not as because I always shoot a test panel, thick. That works out to 4 coats on this 56 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
project. I don’t think you want to go with too much more. I’m waiting 10–15 minutes between each coat. That way you don’t get too much build on the edge. You don’t want it to bubble up on you or get air pockets on your edges. So, four coats worked for me. Three coats would probably be okay but the extra is an insurance policy with myself, just because I like the
on this project, Sherwin-Williams, 3M, Grit Guard (which we’ll talk about next month), and SoftSanders. Thanks to Woody and his family for giving me the opportunity to do this great project for them. I’m always looking for great projects so if you want quality, and you want it done my way, which I hope is the right way. Try to better yourself at what you do every day and try to learn something new. I’m definitely practicing every day to be better. I’ve got six cars going to SEMA.Visit my site to see what’s going on: huntingtonbeachbodyworks.com or richevansdesigns.com and don’t forget to visit mopar.com and follow me on my Challenger build. This thing is cool. You’ll be able to get the product to trick out your own car in two hours. We’re supposed to be done with that October 1. Until next month.
This front end gets noticed
flattened panels. So we’ve gotten through the paint stage, now we’re ready for color, sanding and buffing. Next month we’ll finish up the project. This car has got stamp #7. I’d like to thank my sponsors
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ALL OEM Information
Dan Espersen is ALLDATA® CollisionSM Program Manager. Dan is a Gold Pin Member of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and holds an AA Degree in Automotive Technology. He has 17 years of experience in the collision industry and 17 years of experience in the automotive industry.
OE Repair Information Sets the Standard with Dan Espersen
From quick fixes to major structural mation, such as that found in ALLrepairs, OE information is the gold DATA Collision, can positively imstandard for collision repair.Espersen When pact your entire operation. Guesswork with Dan you can demonstrate that a vehicle has is eliminated, meaning you never have been repaired to OE standards, you asto worry about the vehicle coming sure the vehicle owner and the insurer back because it may have been repaired improperly. Having OE information on hand for with Mike Causey every specific vehicle allows for greater efficiencies and accuracy throughout all shop operations, from estimating and parts ordering to with Mike Causey production, scheduling and repairing the vehicle. Important benefits may include a reduction in supplements and enhanced negotiations with Janet Chaney with insurers. that quality and passenger safety are OE repair information also makes it your first concerns. possible to perform mechanical proAccess to affordable OE infor-
ALL OEM Information
cedures that you may routinely outsource, which may include drivetrain, suspension or steering system repairs. What’s the result? Less money flowing out the door.
The Right Cause The Right Cause
Automaker Actions and Announcements
ALL OEM Information with TomAudi McGee
ALL OEM Information with Tom McGee
An all too common situation Have you ever had a vehicle come back with a problem that was not there when you delivered it to the owner? If not, you are one of the lucky ones. Here’s a typical scenario where access to OE information could save time, money and a customer relationship: A customer brings in her 2010 Honda Accord and complains that the door sounds hollow or tinny when she closes it. Just a few days ago, you had
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Door Sounds Hollow or Tinny When Closing APPLIES TO 2008-09 Accord - ALL PROBABLE CAUSE The sealant between the door skin and the door beam has separated at one or more of the glue points. CORRECTIVE ACTION Remove the old adhesive, and reattach the door beam to the door skin at the original glue points.
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sues and the correct repair procedure. TSBs are updated daily in the New TSBs section of ALLDATA Collision. In the case of the Honda, the noise is a known condition, covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. So, in hindsight, this situation may have been avoided. Ask yourself, “When is the best time to discover a pre-existing condition?” How about a process that prompts your team to ask the customer (when dropping off the vehicle) if any noises or other unusual conditions existed before the collision? Some of you may already do this. For those of you who do not, a little investigation could lead to new up-sell opportunities for your shop. Sourcing OE Technical Service Bulletins right at the start could prevent situations, such as the irritated Honda owner with the noisy door. Here is the TSB:
completed repairs on this vehicle after it had been involved in a minor collision. It was a quick job, and the vehicle checked out perfectly. Suspecting that this condition was not connected to the repair, you check the ALLDATA Collision information system to see if there is a technical service bulletin (TSB) covering this issue. TSBs are issued by manufacturers to alert their dealers to known is-
REQUIRED MATERIALS Sealer or sealant (one cartridge repairs two 2-door vehicles or one 4-door vehicle) • 3M® Ultrapro® Urethane Seam Sealer (requires 3M applicator gun 08398): P/N 3M08361 • 3M Ultrapro Autobody Sealant (fits a standard caulking gun): P/N 3M08300 • 3M Scotch-Brite® General Purpose Hand Pad: P/N 3M7447 See Next Page
www.autobodynews.com | SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 57
stallation procedures. Always refer to the vehicle manufacturer for questions relating to applicable or non-applicable warranty repair information. NOTE: This procedure is in an outline form that you can also use as a checklist for the repair. 1. Remove the door panel and the clear plastic shield.
In Warranty The normal warranty applies.
Repair Procedure Always refer to ALLDATA® CollisionSM for safety procedures, identification of material types, recommended refinish materials, and removal and inContinued from Page 49
tions, if this is such a big industry problem where is every one else. We told them the truth, they are either receiving funding from A/M parts companies or they are afraid. So at the end the A/G wanted proof and the DOI didn’t believe we have a problem other than tracking the parts. These are facts and while I am purposely not trying to sound politically correct, you can see we lack defined leadership because we all have a different agenda. I have my agenda and I dislike being treated like a fool and having substandard aftermarket parts shoved down my throat. It’s not the fact that I am being forced to use them but that people continue to insult my intelligence by telling me they are the same. Someone expects me to deceive my customers for their monetary gain. This is such a stupid issue that we should be embarrassed as an industry for even wasting our time and energy
NOTE: Be especially careful of the glue that holds the shield in place; once it gets on your arms and your clothing, it can easily stain the interior. Cover it with masking tape so it doesn’t rub off. 2. Inspect the glue locations along the door beam (the front doors have five glue points to check) (Figure 1). 3. Use a plastic scraper to scrape off the old sealant from the door skin and door support at the affected location(s) (Figure 2).
NOTE: The door skins are very delicate. Using metal scrapers or wedges can ding or stretch the metal, damaging the door skin and possibly ruining the paint finish on the outside. 4. Scuff the area with Scotch-Brite to discussing it. Call a spade a spade and move on but please quit trying to prove that aftermarket parts are the same as OEM because no matter how many foo foo certification companies you start and no matter how many stickers you stick on them, they are “NOT” the same. We have asked many insurance adjusters to bring their family cars by and let us install an A/M core support and bumper assembly for no charge. Even though they swear they are ‘like kind and quality’ we still have no takers. I really doubt that I could get any A/M vendors to take me up on my offer. So we need a defined collision repair process defined by the OEM’s, not the insurer. The use of programs such as ALLDATA® and Verifacts™ should be mandatory. We need leadership that is willing to call a spade a spade (the CRA). We need laws that protect the consumer from substandard repairs (Jackie Speier). We need an Insurance Commissioner (David Jones) that enforces the law and an industry that make his deSee Leadership, Page 59
58 SEPTEMBER 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | www.autobodynews.com
clean up any remaining sealant and to promote a good bond (Figure 3). 5. Apply the new sealant to the original area(s) only. Be careful not to apply too much (Figure 4). 6. Install the door panel in the reverse order of removal, and note these items: • If any clips are damaged, replace them. • Replace any damaged cable fasteners. • The latch cable should be fixed to the cable fastener with the latch in the unlocked position. • Make sure that the connectors are plugged in properly and the cables are connected securely. • Make sure the window and the power door lock operate properly. • When reinstalling the door panel, make sure the plastic shield is installed properly and sealed around its outside perimeter to seal out water. 7. Avoid opening and slamming the door until the adhesive sets (4-6 hours). If you must close the doors, keep at least one window down. If the outside temperature is below 70 degrees, leave the vehicle inside the shop while the adhesive cures. 8. Repeat steps 1 thru 7 on any other
affected doors. For more information on OE repair information, please visit: www.alldata.com/promo/abn5tt/
NOTE: This Repair/Service Procedure is excerpted from a Technical Service Bulletin published by the vehicle manufacturer, and is intended for use by trained, professional technicians with the knowledge, tools and equipment to do the job properly and safely. It is recommended that this procedure not be performed by “do-it-yourselfers.”
©2010 ALLDATA LLC. All rights reserved. All technical information, images and specifications are from ALLDATA Collision. ALLDATA is a registered trademark and ALLDATA Collision is a mark of ALLDATA LLC. All other marks are the property of their respective holders. Honda and Accord are registered trademark names and model designations of Honda Motor Co. Ltd. 3M, Ultrapro and Scotch-Brite are trademarks of 3M. All trademark names and model designations are being used solely for reference and application purposes.
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Continued from Page 58
partment accountable. We need to stand up against the politically correct associations (tell the truth) and demand leadership that is directed at our best interest as collision repairers. We will never be able to please everyone (too bad) but doing what is right is always the safe road to follow and I still believe that, when people have choice, most will do the right thing.
We need a real shop certification program (the kitemark program run by Thatcham® in the UK comes to mind) that is going to upset the majority of shops. You have no business repairing collisions if you are not qualified to do so (Sorry for sugarcoating it). Our leadership should not come from anywhere but inside the collision industry. Presently we are being led in five different directions by associations that will not even speak to one another. This is the real problem and the reason nothing ever changes. The truth hurts, doesn’t it?
5 Series and Lancer Make Top Safety Pick Awards
After earning good ratings in all 4 safety evaluations, the redesigned BMW 5 series achieves Top Safety Pick status among large cars. The Lancer earned a good rating for rollover protection. The BMW was the first 5 series ever to earn the Top Safety Pick award, and the first BMW to achieve this since the Institute implemented a new rollover test requirement. The Lancer, a small car, is the first Mitsubishi to qualify for the top safety designation since the Institute implemented the new rollover test.
Top Safety Pick recognizes the vehicles that earn the highest ratings for front, side, rollover, and rear crash protection, and that have electronic stability control, which is standard on the 5 series and Lancer. The good rating for side impact protection is a significant improvement over the previous generation 5, which was rated only marginal in the same test. The Institute's side impact test represents a strike from an SUV or pickup.
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Published on Aug 26, 2010