Southern Automotive Journal October 2011

Page 1

Cadillac Escalade


October 2011

I-CAR New Online Training Program – Basic Electronics Damage Analysis U.S. House Committee Holds Hearing on Insurance Oversight Mazda First to Recycle End-ofLife Vehicle Bumpers U.S. House Committee Holds Hearing on Insurance Oversight

MECHANICAL NEWS Ford, Toyota to Collaborate on Developing New Hybrid System

DEALER NEWS OEConnection Available for Honda and Acura NADA Used Car Guide Adds VIN Scanner App to its Mobile Products

"Captured Energy" Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class In 1993 Mercedes-Benz ventured into a completely new vehicle class with the revolutionary Vision A93 concept. The Concept A-Class signals the beginning of a new generation of smaller vehicles with expressive design. The Concept A-Class celebrated its premiere at the New York and Shanghai Auto Shows this year with technical highlights including front-wheel drive, a new turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine

developing 210 hp, a dual clutch transmission and a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist. The Concept A-Class features a long hood, low silhouette, slim side windows and a sophisticated interplay between lines and surfaces. “The Concept A-Class introduces the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Please Turn to Page 4

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A-Class From Front Cover

therefore is more economical, sporty and comfortable. One major c h a r a c te r i s tic of the new design idiom at MercedesBenz is the expressive interplay between lines and surfaces - which the designers refer to as a “clean” concept. Thanks to concave and

Reminiscent of a turbine rotor, the large 20-inch wheels reinforce the impression that the Concept A-Class has been shaped by the wind. The front end of the Concept AClass catches the eye with the MercedesBenz emblem surrounded by a star-filled sky. Where there are usually openings or louvers, the radiator grille consists of numerous metallic silver “dots” on black stems. This theme is reflected in the design of the wheels. A very special lighting effect is created by the headlamps of the Concept A-Class, as the innovative full-LED highperformance lights incorporate the starry sky motif of the radiator grille with numerous light points. The daytime run-

The Concept A-Class links the 125-year tradition of the Mercedes-Benz brand and its future innovation. design idiom into the premium small car segment in a sculptured, light and expressive interpretation,” says Professor Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz. “We use the term ‘captured energy’ to express the sheer dynamism exuded by the Concept A-Class. Our formal sources of inspiration were the wind and waves, as well as aviation engineering, resulting in this “cool” look.” The front-wheel drive Concept AClass ushers in a new premium small car era at Mercedes-Benz and includes a fourcylinder gasoline engine from the new M270 series. The engine was designed for transverse installation and thanks to direct injection and turbocharging offers high performance together with minimal emissions and fuel consumption. Other highlights of the all-aluminum engine include injection pressures of up to 2,900 psi and fast-acting piezo injectors. The Concept A-Class is equipped with the two-liter variant of the new engine, developing 210 hp. This BlueEFFICIENCY engine is combined with the new Mercedes-Benz dual clutch transmission which has a three-shaft setup with seven forward gears. The transmission shifts automatically with no interruption in tractive power and

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convex surfaces with the resulting light modulation, this creates a unique sculpture-like presence. The Concept AClass reinforces this theme of defined edges and interacting surfaces, which Mercedes- Benz first showed in the F800 Style. The side view is highlighted by three prominent lines: the front structural edge forms a dropping line towards the rear, while the pronounced shoulder muscle over the rear axle emphasizes the car’s coupelike character. A further line extends upwards in front of the rear wheel arch in a sweeping curve. These lines lend more depth and character to the side profile. The door handles are recessed into the doors and emerge electrically at the touch of a button. The unusual wing-like structure of the exterior mirrors is suggestive of flow and lightness. Another prominent feature is the open side skirt, which creates an unique light-and-shadow effect. October 2011

ning lamps are made of 90 optical fibers with aluminum sleeves and are arranged in a wingshape within the headlamp. The tentacle-like fibers form individual, diffused light sources to create a dramatic contrast between soft and bright. The wide rear end exudes power and athleticism, and is enlivened by an interplay between convex/concave surfaces and pronounced edges. The tail lights continue the lines of the muscular shoulders towards the rear, emphasizing the car’s width with their horizontal orientation. The aerodynamic spoiler lip in the tail lights improves efficiency while the diffuser creates a downforce to aid handling. A-Class Continued on Next Page

visible - its design is reminiscent of a canvascovered aircraft wing with underlying struts. Dramatic backlighting highlights the futuristic instrument cluster which appears to float in space thanks to the translucent dashboard and lack of a conventional support structure. Its lines continue into the door paneling like vapor trails from the wings of a jet. The air vents in the dashboard are inspired by the engines of a jet

A-Class From Previous Page

The interior of the Concept A-Class, which is flooded with light from the large panorama roof, appears to be from another planet. Many of the unusual features were inspired by aircraft engineering and reflect ideas from the “MercedesBenz Aesthetics No. 2” interior sculpture. Various component groups have been

head restraints and pronounced lateral support the seats are reminiscent of a pilot seat in a jet fighter. Safety pioneer Mercedes-Benz is showing yet another milestone in automotive safety technology in the Concept A-Class - a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist - a world first in the premium small car segment. This system gives a visual and acoustic warning to an inattentive driver and primes Brake Assist for a precise braking response as soon as the driver presses the brake pedal. In contrast to other systems available in this class, the new Brake Assist Collision Prevention Assist is not merely an urban driving system designed to minimize the effects of minor collisions. Instead this innovative solution provides protection against typical rearend collisions in all driving situations and Mercedes- Benz expects the new

The Concept A-Class makes use of modern materials such as the high-tech covering on the dashboard, high-grade nubuk leather and metallic-finished leather. reduced to a minimum, for example the dashboard and center console are merely brushed aluminum structures. The result is a transparent, open, bionic design. The eye-catching dashboard of the Concept A-Class takes the form of an aircraft wing and has a translucent, stretchable cloth covering. Thanks to this sophisticated fabric, which is vapor-coated with chrome particles, the bionic cellular structure of the dashboard remains

aircraft and the translucent backlit vents change color depending on the temperature the passengers have selected for the climate control system - they are blue if cool and red when the heat is on. The prominent gauges in the instrument cluster were inspired by the afterburner of a jet engine and are lit in red. The center console is designed as a high-tech flight control panel with a gear selector in the shape of a “thrust control” lever. With their molded-over

safety system to greatly improve accident statistics.n

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OEConnection Parts e-Commerce Platform Now Available to Honda and Acura Dealerships OEConnection LLC announced today that OEC 2.0, a comprehensive parts e-commerce platform, is now available to Honda and Acura dealerships throughout the U.S. Released earlier this year to U.S. General Motors and Ford dealerships, OEC 2.0 is designed to provide automotive dealer franchises with the most productive, efficient and cost-effective solution for managing their wholesale parts businesses. With OEC 2.0, dealers can manage replacement parts inventory and trade with other dealerships, body shops, independent repair facilities, and fleets using just one solution. OEC 2.0 encompasses the most widely-used parts sourcing and marketing tool in the industry as well as online parts ordering and fulfillment solutions for collision and mechanical replacement parts. In addition, OEC 2.0 features data mining and reporting

tools that allow dealerships to analyze their wholesale parts business information and capitalize on opportunities to drive parts revenue and profit. “We are pleased to offer Honda and Acura wholesale parts businesses a value-added solution for improving efficiency, parts sales and customer service,” said Charles Rotuno, President & CEO of OEConnection. “Dealerships using OEC 2.0 are finding that it gives them a distinct competitive advantage in today’s aggressive replacement parts marketplace.” Specifically, OEC 2.0 gives over 1,300 Honda and Acura dealers numerous opportunities to enhance their customers’ experiences thanks to seamless integration between OEConnection’s core applications. A dealer that receives an order via OEC 2.0 for collision parts not in stock, for example, simply clicks

the D2DLink parts locator tool to find and order missing parts from the closest available dealer. Within minutes the dealer can respond to the customer with pricing and availability. In another scenario, a dealer receives an online order for hard-to-find mechanical parts on an older model vehicle. Without leaving the application, the dealer is able to access the idle inventory reduction tool to locate the exact parts – at discounted prices – and pass the savings on to its independent repair shop customer. OEC 2.0 also widens the pool of available replacement parts by allowing Honda and Acura dealers to locate parts from either OEM franchise. With more than 42,000 parts shared by the two automakers, Honda and Acura dealers will have greater opportunities to locate, purchase and sell OE parts, and do it all from one online solution. n

I-CAR Recognizes Award Recipients At 2011 I-CAR Industry Event I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, recognized several members of the collision inter-industry for their outstanding commitment and dedication at the 2011 I-CAR Industry Event held in Salt Lake City, July 19-21. During the Event, individuals were recognized with the Russ Verona Award, the Jeff Silver Award, the Tech Centre Award, and the I-CAR Service Award. The Russ Verona Memorial Award was created in honor of Russ Verona, one of I-CAR’s Founding Fathers and the first business to earn the I-CAR Gold Class Professionals® designation. This year’s recipient, Eric Grossman, Owner of Eric’s CARSTAR in Tucson, Arizona, was the third shop in the nation to earn the I-CAR Gold Class Professionals business designation and has maintained his designation for over 21 years. Jeff Peevy, I-CAR Director of Field Operations said, “Grossman’s involvement with I-CAR and the I-CAR Gold Class Professionals program truly embodies the spirit and professionalism of the Gold Class Program and what it represents. I believe that anyone who is a recipient of the Russ Verona Award

Southern Automotive Journal

trains because they care about the families riding in the vehicles that are being repaired, and they want to ensure that the repairs performed at their facility are complete and safe. That caring attitude is evident in Eric Grossman’s involvement with the community and industry over the last 21 years. Given that 69 percent of collision repair shops claim not to train, an even greater appreciation for professionals like Eric Grossman that go above and beyond to serve our industry should be noted. “ The Jeff Silver Award recognizes individuals who hold the I-CAR Platinum Individual® designation and contribute to their local communities and the industry at large. The Jeff Silver Award was presented to Joe Lacy. Joe sits on the CIC Insurance Relations Committee and Definitions Committee, is a member of NABC, and is a Chief Master Structural Damage Analysis Professional. He has traveled to vocational schools and helps students better understand the opportunities available to them in collision repair, estimating, and careers in the auto body and insurance fields. Joe has worked for GEICO for 39 years. “It was a true honor presenting October 2011

Joe Lacy with the Jeff Silver Award. Joe’s commitment to the industry is very strong and is clearly demonstrated though his involvement in several organizations in the industry,” said Joyce Kasmer, I-CAR Director of Business Development. The Tech Centre Award is presented to an individual or business that has collaborated with I-CAR, lending their knowledge and expertise, bringing relevant I-CAR training to the industry. Jason Bartanen, I-CAR Technical Director, presented the Tech Centre Award to American Honda Motor Company and Shawn Collins, I-CAR Instructor. Additionally, I-CAR recognized Kirk Cook for his 20+ years of service with I-CAR. Cook has been an instrumental part of I-CAR training in his local area, dedicating his time and knowledge to I-CAR students. Jason Bartanen closed by saying, “The award recipients are the ‘true ICAR’, they are a testament to the I-CAR Vision, and they demonstrate their passion for the industry nearly everyday. Thank you and congratulations to each of the award recipients honored at the 2011 I-CAR Industry Event.”n

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Ford, Toyota to Collaborate on Developing New Hybrid System for Light Trucks, SUVs; Future Telematics Standards Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and Toyota Motor Corporation -- the world’s two leading manufacturers of hybrid vehicles -- recently announced they will equally collaborate on the development of an advanced new hybrid system for light truck and SUV customers. Ford and Toyota have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the product development collaboration, with the formal agreement expected by next year. Both companies have been working independently on their own futuregeneration rear-wheel drive hybrid systems. The two now have committed to collaborate as equal partners on a new hybrid system for light trucks and SUVs. This new hybrid powertrain will bring the full hybrid experience of greater fuel efficiency to a new group of truck and SUV customers without compromising the capability they require in their vehicles. Ford and Toyota believe that their collaboration will allow them to bring these hybrid technologies to

customers sooner and more affordably than either company could have accomplished alone. “This agreement brings together the capability of two global leaders in hybrid vehicles and hybrid technology to develop a better solution more quickly and affordably for our customers,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “Ford achieved a breakthrough with the Ford Fusion Hybrid, and we intend to do this again for a new group of truck and SUV buyers -- customers we know very well.” Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota executive vice president, Research & Development, said: “In 1997, we launched the first-generation Prius, the world’s first mass-produced gasolineelectric hybrid. Since then, we have sold about 3.3 million hybrid vehicles. We expect to create exciting technologies that benefit society with Ford -- and we can do so through the experience the two companies have in hybrid technol-

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October 2011

ogy.” The two companies also agreed to work together on enablers to complement each company’s existing telematics platform standards, helping bring more Internet-based services and useful information to consumers globally. Under the MOU agreement, the two companies will bring the best of their independently developed hybrid powertrain technology and knowledge to a new co-developed hybrid system, which will be used in rear-wheel-drive light trucks arriving later this decade. Specifically, Ford and Toyota will: -- Jointly develop as equal partners a new rear-wheel drive hybrid system and component technology for light trucks and SUVs -- Independently integrate the new hybrid system in their future vehicles separately For years, both Ford and Toyota have been working independently on similar new rear-wheel-drive hybrid systems aimed at delivering higher fuel economy in light trucks and SUVs. When the two companies began discussing this potential collaboration, they discovered how quickly they were able to find common ground. “By working together, we will be able to serve our customers with the very best affordable, advanced powertrains, delivering even better fuel economy,” said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. “This is the kind of collaborative effort that is required to address the big global challenges of energy independence and environmental sustainability.” Toyota President Akio Toyoda added: “Toyota is extremely proud to join Ford in developing a hybrid system for pickup trucks and SUVs. Not only is this tie-up clearly one aimed at making automobiles ever better, it should also become an important building block for future mobility in the U.S. By building a global, long-term relationship with Ford, our desire is to be able to continue to provide people in America automobiles New Hybrid System Turn to Page 30

I-CAR Announces New Online Training Program – Basic Electronics Damage Analysis As part of its commitment to delivering timely and relevant training, I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, has premiered several online training programs in 2011, including its newest course which premieres today, Basic Electronics Damage Analysis (DAM13e). Through taking this course, individuals will learn how to effectively communicate at every level of the damage analysis process, identify the basic requirements for a circuit and how circuit values are measured, as well as what other parts of a circuit are designed to do. This course provides an understanding of how electrical systems are designed to work and what can be done when these systems are damaged. Information on how to recognize collision damage to wiring, the possibilities for repair, and the tools and steps required when troubleshooting an electrical circuit problem are also covered in this course. Joyce Kasmer, ICAR Director of Business Development said, “Understanding how to effectively communicate throughout the entire repair process lends to more accurate damage assessments, which can result in reduced cycle times and higher customer satisfaction. This online course will be beneficial to collision repair professionals who are interested in learning about specific procedures related to electronics damage analysis and how to effectively interact with vehicle owners, repair facilities, and insurance companies.” This course meets ICAR ProLevel or annual training requirements for the Estimator and Auto Physical Damage Appraiser roles

and satisfies the Basic Electrical knowledge area within the I-CAR Professional Development Program. Once an online training course has begun, an individual has thirty days to complete the course and can re-access it an unlimited number of times until it has been completed. After completion of the course, the indi-

vidual will have access to course materials for reference by logging in to their account. Information and registration for this course can be found on the I-CAR website ( or by contacting I-CAR Customer Care at 800-4227872.n

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Team PRP Expands into Florida with Addition of GO Auto Recycling in Jacksonville Team PRP (Premium Recycled Parts), the nation’s largest group of leading independent auto recyclers, has expanded into Florida with the addition of Jacksonville-based GO Auto Recycling. Just two years old, GO Auto Recycling is one of the nation’s fastest growing auto recycling businesses and makes a great case study on how to grow a small business in an uncertain economy. This addition brings Team PRP national membership to 108 members, an all-time record. “The Team PRP National Board of Directors is delighted to welcome GO Auto Recycling into our progressive alliance,” says Dave Barzoff, General Manager of B Auto Parts (East St. Louis, IL), Team PRP national board member

and chair of the Team PRP Membership Committee. “Co-owners Jason Finley and Brian Shell represent a new generation of leadership in our industry. They are young, educated, hard-working, and ready to embrace new technology and new business practices. Their success speaks for itself, and we are pleased to have them aboard.” GO Auto Recycling is Jacksonville’s premier auto recycling yard serving North Florida and Southeast Georgia. They are a full service auto recycler offering a full line of products including: used auto parts, engines and transmissions for cars and light duty trucks. As a part of Team PRP, they will ship parts nationwide, running a parts truck every night to the alliance’s Charlotte hub. GO Auto

Southern Automotive Journal,Inc. P.O. Box 675097 Marietta, Ga 30006-0009 (770) 321-9920 E-Mail Volume 15 Issue No. 10


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Jim Tucker Publisher Michele Tucker Editor Contributors Dennis Martin Ami Vonesh Joyce Ethridge Russ Heaps

October 2011

Recycling operates on 11 acres with a rolling inventory of 800 -1000 of the best late model vehicles, both domestic and import. Joining Team PRP is no easy task. Charlie Martin, a Team PRP administrator says that “they first expressed interest in joining Team PRP at this year’s URG Conference, where a PRP Owners meeting was held. They met a number of Team PRP members there, and got many of their questions answered. They made a good impression, and in the following months more contacts were made. A visit to the semi annual Mid-Atlantic owners meeting in June gave them a Team PRP Please Turn to Page 30

Southern Automotive Journal (ISSN: 1092-6321) is published monthly by Southern Automotive Journal Inc. P.O. Box 675097, Marietta, Ga 30006-0009.SAJ accepts no responsibility for the opinions, views statements of the authors or for claims made by advertisers. Views expressed by writers are not necessarily those of the publication. Subscription: $12.00 per year. No representation is made as to the accuracy or the completeness of the information provided by this publication. Entire contents copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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October 20112011 October Southern Automotive Journal 11

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U.S. House Committee Holds Hearing on Insurance Oversight The House Committee on Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity recently held a hearing on Insurance Oversight: Policy Implications for U.S. Consumers, Businesses and Jobs. The first panel of the hearing included John Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration; Susan Voss, commissioner of the Iowa Insurance Division and president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC); and Greg Wren, a Republican member of the Alabama House of Representatives and treasurer of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators. Other witnesses included Birny Birnbaum, executive director of the Center for Economic Justice; and Andrew Furgatch, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Magna Carta Companies Inc. All of the witnesses touched on the new Federal Insurance Office (FIO) created under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Voss made the following remarks regarding the FIO: “The Dodd-Frank Act requires FIO to issue a report on insurance regulation ... The report will include legislative recommendations and look at the potential for federal regulation of insurance. We hope the

report will be honest and factual, but we continue to believe there is an inherent conflict in an office of the Treasury Department studying ways to further empower itself. While the national statebased system of insurance regulation has successfully protected the interest of consumers for decades, state regulators recognize that, like any regulatory system, it is not perfect and we are open to hearing any suggestions FIO may have for improvements. To date, the NAIC has had a good relationship with FIO, and we look forward to continuing that relationship going forward and working with our friend and former colleague, Mike McRaith.” (McRaith is director of the FIO.) Birnbaum spoke on behalf of consumers, stating that consumers weren’t receiving enough protection and consideration: “In the vast majority of states, there are no consumer organizations focusing on insurance issues other than health insurance. So, for the vast majority of regulatory issues, there are no consumer perspectives to balance out the many industry voices pushing for the industry policies. Even when there is a consumer voice, it is typically outnumbered and outspent by massive amounts.” Birnbaum also went on to list auto insurance redlining as a market problem not identified by state insurance regu-

lators. To improve market regulation, Birnbaum suggested state insurance regulators “collect and publish detailed market performance data about individual insurers in the same way that Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data are collected and published for lenders’ market performance.” Furgatch, on behalf of Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, made comments regarding the McCarran-Ferguson Act: “Since the mid-1800s, U.S. property casualty insurers have been regulated by each of the states in which they conduct business. By adopting the McCarran-Ferguson Act in 1945, Congress endorsed state oversight of insurance. State regulation seeks to ensure that insurers will be solvent to pay their policyholders’ claims and protects consumer rights with respect to privacy and insurance coverage. During the recent financial crisis involving troubled banks and securities firms, fiscally prudent regulatory oversight by states was found to be effective in safeguarding insurance purchasers and ensuring the financial strength of U.S. insurance markets and businesses.” Furgatch also made comments regarding the FIO: “The creation of the Insurance Oversight Turn to Page 15

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October 2011

Southern Automotive Journal


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Southern Automotive Journal

October 2011

I-CAR Returns to NACE – Featuring Vast Line Up of Training and All-new Technology Showcase I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair will return to the NACE Expo this year at its new location, Orlando, Florida. In support of its long standing partnership with Automotive Service & Repair Week, I-CAR will offer twelve training opportunities, including several I-CAR ProLevel 1 training options, and an allnew Technology Showcase. John Van Alstyne, I-CAR CEO and President said, “Returning to NACE in

2011 is an excellent opportunity for ICAR to reach its valuable audience and offer several platforms for attendees to gain information on collision industry trends. Through its course offerings and Technology Showcase, I-CAR will present NACE attendees with the latest collision repair training, details on new and upcoming vehicle technology, and a chance to fulfill training requirements toward the I-CAR Platinum Individual designation.”

To register for I-CAR training, visit For details on courses and Technology Showcase sessions, visit the I-CAR website, events and meetings page. For questions, contact Jolinda Ottum, Marketing Specialist,, 847-463-5247. For a full list of I-CAR training and Technology Showcase sessions offered at NACE in 2011 please visit or the I-CAR website.n

Insurance Oversight From Page 13

Congress was careful to state that the FIO will have no regulatory authority, it does have substantial powers to study, collect information and issue reports on various aspects of the insurance industry as well as to pre-empt state laws in

limited circumstances where they conflict with Treasury-negotiated international agreements. One of the most significant potential areas for abuse is FIO’s authority to collect information on the insurance industry.”n

new Federal Insurance Office marks the first time that the federal government has had any general oversight authority over the insurance industry. While

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October 2011

Southern Automotive Journal


Vehicle Safety Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate U.S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller, DW.V., chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., recently introduced a bill in the Senate titled the Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2011. The bill touches on several issues relevant to the collision industry, including broadening the authority of the secretary of transportation to: • Conduct motor vehicle safety research, development, and testing programs and activities, including new and emerging technologies that impact or may impact motor vehicle safety, • Collect and analyze all types of motor vehicle and highway safety data and related information to determine the relationship between motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment performance characteristics. The legislation requires that the


Southern Automotive Journal

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) conduct a Study of Crash Data Collection and report, after one year, to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, on the quality of data collected through the National Automotive Sampling System, including the Special Crash Investigations Program. The administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will then conduct a comprehensive review of the data elements collected from each crash to determine if additional data should be collected. This review will include input from interested parties, including suppliers, automakers, safety advocates, the medical community and research organizations. Another section, titled “NHTSA Electronics, Software and Engineering

October 2011

Expertise,” discusses efforts to further explore green methods. This will include a council to research the inclusion of emerging lightweight plastic and composite technologies in motor vehicles to increase fuel efficiency, lower emissions, meet fuel economy standards, and enhance passenger motor vehicle safety through continued use of the administration’s Plastic and Composite Intensive Vehicle Safety Roadmap. Finally, the bill requires that “Vehicle Event Data Recorders” include information regarding vehicle data recorders and privacy provisions specifications. Beginning with model year 2015, new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States are to be equipped with a vehicle event data recorder. The language includes that any data in an event data recorder, regardless of when the passenger motor vehicle in which it is installed was manufactured, is the property of the owner or lessee of the passenger motor vehicle in which the data recorder is installed. It also states that data recorded or transmitted by such a data recorder may not be retrieved by a person other than the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle unless: • a court authorizes retrieval of the information in furtherance of a legal proceeding, • the owner or lessee consents to the retrieval of the information for any purpose, including the purpose of diagnosing, servicing or repairing the motor vehicle, • the information is retrieved pursuant to an investigation or inspection authorized under section 30166 of title 49, United States Code, and the personally identifiable information of the owner, lessee or driver of the vehicle and the vehicle identification number is not disclosed in connection with the retrieved information, • or the information is retrieved for the purpose of determining the need for, or facilitating, emergency medical response in response to a motor vehicle crash. n

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2011 GCIA Annual Golf Tournament Scheduled for October 12th Mark your calendar for the 15th Annual GCIA Invitational Golf Tournament Make plans now to attend. The GCIA Annual Golf Tournament is a lot of fun and we always have a great turnout. So go ahead and register early! For More Information and Registration Information visit

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The Trophy Club of Atlanta Golf Course is located in the beautiful, unspoiled farm countryside just north of Alpharetta. The Trophy Club of Atlanta Golf Course is carved out of heavily wooded terrain in 18

Southern Automotive Journal

October 2011

order to create a challenging yet playable course. Now featuring Champion Bermuda greens, Trophy Club of Atlanta is one of best conditioned courses in metro Atlanta. Nominated as Golf Digest's "Best New Public Course" when opened in 1992, it was designed by DJ DeVictor and ABCTV Golf Analyst Steve Melnyk. Measuring 6,774 yards from the championship tees, it offers multiple tee locations for every skill level.

Nissan 370Z Roadster Offers Open-Air Excitement When it comes to understanding ing only). The automatic latch system the success of the popular Nissan secures the top to – or releases 370Z Roadster, the story is it from – the windshield simple: seductive stylheader without driver ing, legendary Z perintervention. The formance, the most shape and position refinement of any of the glass wind Z convertible deflector, locatever offered and ed between one other thing the fixed – an exhilarating headrest bars, connection to has been optithe air, wind and mized to reduce environment. turbulence into Its list of cutthe cabin. ting edge technology Like the 370Z includes the standard Coupe, the Z Roadster’s 332-horsepower 3.7-liter exterior is more aggresDOHC V6 engine with Variable sive in appearance and lighter Valve Event and Lift and tighter in structure Control (VVEL), choice of than the previous gen370Z Roadster offers seductive styling, legendary Z performance, 7-speed automatic transeration. The Z Roadster the most refinement of any Z convertible ever offered and one other mission or close-ratio features an aluminum thing – an exhilarating connection to the air, wind and environment. 6-speed manual with hood, door panels and available SynchroRev trunk for reduced weight. Match™ (the world’s first synchroIt includes additional structural reinnized downshift rev matching forcement (over the 370Z Coupe), manual transmission), refined including in the A-pillars and 4-wheel independent susside sills. pension, 4-wheel vented The Z Roadster’s disc brakes (with available exterior design incorpoNissan Sport Brakes) and rates the look and feel of lightweight yet rigid body the Z Coupe, including its structure. signature long nose/short The 370Z Roadster’s cockpit proportions, vertical most obvious departure from door handles and distinctive the 370Z Coupe, which serves headlight/taillight treatment, as the foundation platform, is its which features a fierce “boomerconvertible top. The soft-top roof was ang” shape. High Intensity Discharge character designed with an emphasis on three (HID) bi-functional xenon headlights lines. When in the down position, the key areas: to provide a sleek silhouette with auto on/off feature are standard. convertible top is concealed beneath matching the new Z’s stunning styling Inside the stunning exterior, true a full body-color hard tonneau cover, with the top up or down, to offer easy to its sports car heritage, the Z Roadster’s which extends forward to help create single-action open-close operation, and interior is completely driver-centric, with the Z Roadster’s classic “double cockpit” to provide an enjoyable top-down expeits three-layer design grouping items by style interior. rience with reduced wind turbulence how a driver sees information, operates The cloth convertible top features and all-climate driver/passenger comthe controls and is held in place – so a fabric inner liner, which provides a fort. drivers feel completely connected and quality appearance and helps reduce With convertible top in the closed engaged whenever and wherever they noise intrusion into the cabin, along with position, the design provides a sophistidrive, top up or down. a large glass rear window with an intecated sloped-back appearance, the perThe Z Roadster features high back grated electric rear window defroster. fect balance between the soft top and black woven “Carbon” cloth seats with The top operation takes approximately the Z body design. 8-way manual driver’s/4-way manual 20 seconds and is controlled by either a The shortened windshield and center console-mounted switch or by a aerodynamically rounded rear deck 370Z Roadster Please Turn to Page 24 button located on the doors (top lowerenhance the Z’s kinetic and dynamic

October 2011

Southern Automotive Journal


Collisionlink Parts Marketing Administration (PMA) Chosen To Drive OEM OEConnection LLC, the leading online parts and service exchange in the automotive industry, announced today that Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET), the world’ s largest independent distributor of Toyota and Scion vehicles, has selected OEConnection’s CollisionLink, an internet-based parts ordering and fulfillment solution, for its dealerships and collision repair facility customers throughout a five-state region. As part of the agreement, Southeast Toyota and its network of 174 independent dealerships will have the opportunity to utilize CollisionLink’s Parts Marketing Administration (PMA), a technology that automates and manages OEM parts programs designed to help dealerships better compete with aftermarket collision parts. Introduced in 2001, CollisionLink is an all-makes, all-models, online part ordering and fulfillment solution used by more than 75% of large wholesale dealerships and thousands of collision body shops nationwide. Dealers using CollisionLink see complete repair estimates from collision shop customers, allowing them to provide quotes for originallyspecified non-OE parts. In addition, CollisionLink’s automated communication features and VIN-scrubbing technol-

ogy help to improve parts ordering accuracy, resulting in less returned parts. Southeast Toyota joins six automotive companies already using OEConnection’s PMA technology to manage their parts marketing programs through CollisionLink: American Honda, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Chrysler, Nissan North America, and Volkswagen of America. SET’s dealerships and their collision shop customers will have access to Southeast Toyota’s discount parts program through CollisionLink. “We are excited and pleased to be working with Southeast Toyota to provide solutions that support their wholesale parts marketing goals,” said Mark Tomasetti, OEConnection Senior Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer. “With CollisionLink and our PMA technology, Southeast Toyota has chosen a parts sourcing and fulfillment solution that gives dealerships greater opportunities to improve efficiency, increase customer service, and sell more OE parts.” Tomasetti added, “Industry-wide, automakers and their dealers are capturing up to 70% of OE parts sales that once went to aftermarket or salvage suppliers with the help of automaker parts pro-

grams available through CollisionLink.” Wayne Crater, Assistant Vice President, Parts Supply & Distribution at Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC, said OEConnection’s web-based solutions complement SET’s initiatives aimed at protecting and extending replacement parts profitability throughout their dealer network. “As the leading distributor of Toyota parts in the United States, we are committed to giving our dealer partners the tools they need to satisfy their customers and compete head-to-head with the aftermarket,” Crater said. “We know that vehicle owners want Genuine Toyota Parts, and body shops prefer to use them; OEConnection has a proven track record for helping to facilitate the transaction between dealer and shop with a streamlined, efficient workflow,” he added. CollisionLink will be implemented later this month to SET dealers, and the company’s parts program, PartsEdge, will launch in October. At that time, enrolled dealers in the Southeast Toyota network will have an opportunity to earn reimbursements when selling select Genuine Toyota Parts to body shops as an alternative to originally-specified aftermarket and salvage collision parts.n


Southern Automotive Journal

October 2011


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The 2011 Cadillac Escalade The Cadillac brand is now ranked among the top 10 in the industry for initial quality (ranking 9th overall), with the Escalade topping the large premium crossover/SUV segment, according to the 2011 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study. Escalade is the highest-performing vehicle in its segment for the second consecutive year. “ E s c a l a d e ’s highest-in-segment leadership showcases Cadillac’s commitment to our customers,” said Don Butler, vice president of Cadillac Marketing. “We’re now focused on continuing and expanding our brand’s quality improvement in every segment in which we compete.” Cadillac continues to gain momentum in the market, registering 16 consecutive months of A power-assisted rear liftgate that opens and year-to-year retail sales increases closes with the touch of a button is standard. in the U.S. Cadillac’s marketplace gains have been driven by consisness. tently strong demand for the Escalade A roster of advanced features reinline of luxury SUVs. forces Escalade’s position as technology The Escalade lineup features inteleader, designed to bolster comfort, congrated powertrain, chassis, safety and venience and safety. They include: interior systems that deliver some of the Side blind zone alert most powerful, efficient luxury SUVs in Power retractable assist steps the segment, led by a 6.2L all-aluminum Automatic headlamps with V-8 engine with variable valve timing IntelliBeam automatic high/low beams technology delivering 403 horsepower Ultrasonic rear parking assist (301 kW)* and 417 lb.-ft. of torque (565 Rear vision camera system Nm).* The 6.2L engine is also a flexfuel Bose AudioPilot active noise canengine and can run on renewable E85 cellation technology, which continuously ethanol. adjusts the music in response to backThe Escalade and Escalade ESV ground noise are available in AWD and RWD configuMagnetic Ride Control rations. The Escalade EXT sport-utility Power-titling and heated steering truck features standard, full-time AWD. wheel A strong frame and chassis support the Eight-inch navigation radio with Escalade’s robust powertrain and enable new CompactFlash memory and auxilexceptional responsiveness and smooth22

Southern Automotive Journal

October 2011

iary jack Rear-seat, DVD entertainment system Heated and cooled front seats Adaptive remote start Power liftgate Also available is an advanced navigation system with real-time traffic, expanded voice prompts and 3D imaging of major landmarks. A unique instrument panel is a defining attribute of the Escalade’s interior, and includes gauges with white needles and blue light inlays with continuously lit, white-LED backlighting. The well-appointed cabin also includes heated and cooled 14-way powered Nuance leather seats; leather door upper trim and center console; fabric-covered interior pillars; olive ash and walnut burl wood inlays; aluminum trim; and an available heated steering wheel. Escalade delivers convenience with an industry-exclusive power fold-and-tumble second-row seat feature that eases access to the third-row seat, and a power-assisted rear liftgate that opens and closes with the touch of a button. A power-assisted rear liftgate that opens and closes with the touch of a button also is standard. Escalade also includes an eightinch touch-screen navigation system (standard), as well as an optional DVD system with a large, eight-inch flip-down screen. A segment-first Bose 5.1 digital surround sound system is integrated into a family of radios that play DVD audio/ video, CD audio/video, MP3s and XM Satellite Radio. All 2011 Cadillac Escalade models are now equipped with ninth-generation OnStar technology. The flexible speech recognition system is now smart enough Escalade Please Turn to Page 29







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October 2011 Southern Automotive Journal

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370Z Roadster From Page 19 passenger’s seat adjustments. Touring models include unique leather-appointed seats with 4-way power/4-way manual operation on the driver’s seat (4-way power on the passenger’s seat). These seats are exclusive to the Z Roadster and have integrated heating and cooling functions – ideal for open air driving no matter what the outside temperature. Adjustable front seat Active Head Restraints are also standard. The Z Roadster’s 2-seat layout includes a deeply scooped instrument panel with a full-length center console separating the driver and passenger’s seat. The instrument panel retains the traditional Z 3-pod cluster with oil temperature, voltmeter and clock, while the speedometer and tachometer now include an “initial sweep” function, coming alive when the car is first started. The sporty steering wheel is a new “oval” 3-spoke design, which offers baseball-style stitching, improved thumb grips and palm rest areas for improved feel on long drives. The surface of the leather-wrapped wheel is “shaved” to provide a more kidney-like shape to better fit in the hand. The manual trans-

mission shifter is specially padded to improve the accuracy of diagonal shifts and to feel softer in the hand for forward and backward motions.

The 370Z Roadster features one of the most advanced drivetrains available for affordable sports cars today. The long list of cutting edge performance-focused technologies includes a standard 332-horsepower 3.7liter DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL), choice of 7speed automatic transmission or close-ratio 6speed manual 678.802.5000 with available Toll Free “SynchroRev 800.522.2345 Match” (the Fax world’s first 678.802.5018 synchronized downshift rev matching manual transmission), refined 4-wheel independent 11875 Alpharetta Highway • Roswell, GA 30076 suspension and 4-wheel vented

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Southern Automotive Journal

October 2011

disc brakes (with available Nissan Sport Brakes). The VVEL system is able to optimize intake valve open/close movements, allowing the needed air to be sent promptly to the combustion chamber at the precisely optimized time. Since the VVEL system can adjust to open the valves slightly, it improves fuel efficiency by reducing camshaft friction and fuel waste. The Z Roadster is offered with a choice of two advanced transmissions – a close-ratio 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic. The 6-speed manual is available with SynchroRev Match™ (included in the optional Sport Package), which allows drivers of any skill level to experience professional-like gear shift performance. The SynchroRev Match™ function automatically controls and adjusts engine speed when shifting to the speed of the next gear position, essentially “blipping” the throttle to smooth out up/down shifts. This not only allows the driver to focus more on braking and steering, it improves the smoothness of gear shifts by reducing the typical “shock” when the clutch is engaged. The system can be deactivated with a button next to the shifter for drivers who prefer to shift on their own. The available 7-speed automatic includes Downshift Rev Matching (DRM) and Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) and is designed to offer quick, manual-like shifting when operated in manual mode. Drivers can use the standard paddle shifters or the shift lever. The Z Roadster also utilizes the Z Coupe’s advanced 4-wheel independent suspension. The double-wishbone front suspension uses lightweight forged aluminum arms and a lightweight rigid aluminum-alloy cradle, along with a hollow construction stabilizer bar. The 4link rear suspension integrates the rear cradle into a single part. “High response” shock absorbers are utilized on each corner for enhanced ride comfort.n

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Southern Automotive Journal

October 2011

Mazda First to Recycle End-of-Life Vehicle Bumpers into New Vehicle Bumpers Mazda Motor Corporation has become the world’s first* automaker to successfully recycle scrapped bumpers from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) into raw material for new vehicle bumpers. The new technology was inaugurated on August 21, 2011 and is initially being used to make rear bumpers for the Mazda Biante minivan. Conventionally, bumpers from ELVs are processed into automobile shredder residue (ASR) and incinerated to recover heat energy (thermal recycling). By enabling the ELV bumpers to be recycled into material for new vehicle bumpers, the new technology improves the material recycling ratio (MRR) of Mazda vehicles and contributes to more effective use of resources. Bumpers comprise a large proportion of the plastic used in vehicles and Mazda is proactively developing bumper recycling technologies as an effective way to increase vehicle MRR. Mazda became an industry leader in

bumper recycling when it began processing damaged bumpers collected from in-use vehicles through its dealer network in Japan. Mazda then aimed to further develop this damaged bumper recycling technology and adapt it for recycling ELV bumpers. Many ELVs are over 10 years old, so the composition of the bumpers’ polypropylene plastic and the adhesive properties of the paint vary considerably. Before recycling, unwanted materials such as metal attachments must also be removed. As a result, processing ELV bumpers into new material has previously been technically and economically difficult. To overcome this, in the 1990s Mazda began designing bumpers to be easily recyclable, and now the number of ELV bumpers that can be efficiently dismantled is increasing. Mazda has also developed and implemented efficient ELV bumper collection and processing methods in collaboration with

Yamako Corporation and Takase Gosei Kagaku Corporation, companies based in Hiroshima prefecture, western Japan. As a result of these initiatives, the cost of recycling is less than the cost of purchasing new plastic. Initially, Mazda is collecting bumpers from end-of-life Mazda vehicles in the Hiroshima area, and the recycled plastic will comprise approximately 10 percent of each new bumper produced. Currently, approximately 20 percent by weight of ELVs (parts made of plastics, rubber and other materials) is incinerated as ASR. Bumpers comprise a large proportion of the plastic so collecting and recycling ELV bumpers is expected to make a significant contribution to reducing ASR and optimizing efficient use of resources. Going forward, Mazda will continue to develop advanced recycling technologies, including bumper-to-bumper recycling, as it strives toward a sustainable future.n

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October 2011

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Escalade From Page 22 to interpret different sentences/phrases without actually hearing the exact 23 word commands from the user. For example, if a subscriber wants to place a call using the Hands Free Calling System, if they simply say, “I would like to make a phone call” or “Need to make a phone call,” instead of saying the exact “dial” or “call” command, the system will understand that the user wants to place a call and process that command accordingly. The system is capable of recognizing thousands of sentences that users may say. Escalade Platinum is the highest expression of the brand’s dramatic design, luxury and technology. With features including segment-first LED headlamps and the world’s fastest-acting suspension, Magnetic Ride Control, it’s one of the most technically advanced vehicles in the segment. Magnetic Ride Control gives the Escalade Platinum more precise body motion control. It is a real-time damping system – “reading” the road in mil-

trim are leather wrapped. They feature decorative French seams that convey an elegantly tailored look and feel. Materials include rich leather on the instrument panel, with unique wood inlays and aluminum trim. Also, the DVD entertainment system adds screens integrated into each front-seat headrest, in addition Interior materials include rich leather on the instrument panel, with unique wood inlays and aluminum trim. lisecond intervals and changes damping in 5 milliseconds. It replaces conventional mechanical-valve shocks with electronically controlled shocks filled with a magneto-rheological fluid containing minute iron particles. Under the presence of magnetic charge, the iron particles align to provide damping resistance almost

instantly. The LED headlamps emulate the characteristics of natural daylight much more closely than traditional auto lighting. LEDs are environmentally friendly lasting 10 times longer than traditional halogen bulbs. Inside the Escalade Platinum is the latest example of Cadillac’s 21st century return to handcrafted luxury details. The instrument panel, center storage console and door

October 2011

to the existing roof-mounted screen. Each front-row headrest screen has its own driver and input controls. The headrest units can be operated independently or in tandem. This system enables passengers in different seats to watch or listen to different entertainment choices. Escalade Platinum models will include the acclaimed Bose 5.1 Digital Surround system, as well as the eight-inch touch screen for Navigation, DVD, CD, MP3 and XM Satellite Radio entertainment. The Cadillac Escalade continues to offer the most complete model lineup in its segment, with three distinct body styles and the Escalade Platinum models. The standard Escalade is complemented by the extended length ESV model and the innovative EXT model that features a reconfigurable cargo bed with a segment-exclusive midgate enabling the rear compartment to flex between passenger and cargo space. Also available is the Escalade Hybrid, which delivers up to a 33-percent city fuel economy improvement without sacrificing the luxury features that define all Escalade models.n Southern Automotive Journal


Team PRP From Page 10 chance to meet even more of their colleagues. They made a very good impression on everyone.” A site visit to GO Auto Recycling was made by Dave Barzoff and Charlie Martin in July, 2011. “I spoke to over half of their employees and did not get a single negative comment,” says Charlie Martin. “They run an impressive operation. When their membership paperwork was received, they were unanimously recommended for admission by Team PRP members in the mid-Atlantic region. This was forwarded to the national Team PRP board of directors, which voted to approve their membership in late July. It all went very smoothly.” Jason Finley, co-owner of GO Auto New Hybrid System From Page 8 that exceed their expectations.” This rear-wheel-drive hybrid system will be based on an all-new architecture to deliver the capability truck and SUV customers demand while providing greater fuel economy. While the rear-wheel-drive hybrid system will share significant common technology and components, Ford and Toyota will individually integrate the system into their own vehicles. Each company also will determine the calibration and performance dynamics

Recycling says, “Joining Team PRP helps us serve our customers better, because we can now give them access to many more parts, we are meeting higher standards, are more professional, and our employees are getting more training. All of this allows us to expand our footprint in this market as a competitive independent recycler. Two years ago we started with two employees and two trucks; now we have 23 employees, six delivery trucks, and have increased our sales tenfold.” “Joining Team PRP means we can now give our customers more of what they want when they want it,” says Brian Shell, co-owner of GO Auto Recycling. He adds, “We love being able to say yes! We want to go the ‘extra mile’ for our customers, and we call that the ‘GO Auto

Way.’ When we broke the news to our employees about joining Team PRP, the first question asked was ‘when do we get started?’ There is a lot of new pride and excitement here.” Team PRP is an alliance of 108 leading auto recyclers representing the highest quality, customer service and business practices found in the industry. With nearly four million parts in inventory, a Team PRP member can offer their customers the best warranties, quote guarantees, and delivery guarantees available. Each recycler remains independent, guaranteeing competitive pricing. For more information on Team PRP, please contact Charlie Martin by phone: 252-341-1946 or e-mail: charlie@ Visit the Team PRP website at

characteristics of their respective light pickups and SUVs. In addition, as telematics plays an increasingly more important role in the in-car experience, both companies have agreed to collaborate on standards and technologies needed to enable a safer, more secure and more convenient in-car experience for next-generation telematics systems. The telematics collaboration relates only to standards and technologies, and each company will continue to separately develop their own in-vehicle products and features. “Ford has made tremendous prog-

ress in the area of telematics,” Kuzak said. “We have unique and very good solutions today with SYNC and MyFordTouch. Working together on in-vehicle standards can only enhance our customers’ experience with their vehicles.” Uchiyamada added: “Toyota has also invested heavily in telematics in various countries around the world, with services like the G-BOOK and G-Link. In the U.S., we have just introduced the accessible, easy-to-use Entune. By sharing our know-how and experience, we would like to offer even better telematics services in the future.”n

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October 2011


Seeing is Believing: Talking Car Technology As of last year, more than 32,000 people died on U.S. roadways. Astounding? I’d say so. What if there was a way to drop that number to less than 10,000? Meaning more than 20-somethousand lives (that’s friends, family, loved ones) could be saved. Oh, and this is a technology that could help eliminate gridlock - saving you time and money - and reduce the amount of CO2 emissions your vehicle coughs out its tailpipe

- greening the environment. These are pretty enormous benefits, wouldn’t you say? I’m sure you have some questions. Like, what is this technology? Does this technology actually exist? And does it really work? This technology actually does exist. For the past decade, automakers, suppliers and the government have been working to develop vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I)

October 2011

technology, otherwise known as V2X, Connected Vehicle or Talking Car technology. V2X allows your vehicle to communicate with other vehicles and the infrastructure. For example, you’re at a stoplight and it just turned green. You’re about to punch the gas, but before you do, your car tells you the intersection is unsafe - stopping you from hitting the car that’s running the red light. That’s talking car technology. In August, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) is held its first Connected Vehicle Driver Acceptance clinic in a suburb of Detroit. About 100 local drivers tested technologies that will help the USDOT learn more about how drivers respond to vehicle-tovehicle (V2V) systems. This is a big step forward in moving to deploy connected vehicle technology. And here’s why. Testing this technology is key in gaining driver acceptance - seeing how people react to it, ensuring that it’s safe and not distractive. The USDOT’s pilot program also will test the effectiveness of the dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) devices. DSRC is the technology that will allow your car to “talk.” It’s a WiFi-like technology developed specifically for the automotive industry. DENSO’s been working on DSRC technology since 2003 and its devices are among the equipment being tested in the USDOT’s Connected Vehicle clinics. You probably haven’t heard so much about DENSO being part of this initiative - as an automotive supplier, we’re more of a behind the scenes player. But, you’ve probably heard some of the automakers talk about V2X and how it can be incorporated into their vehicles to increase safety and help reduce congestion. n Southern Automotive Journal


GAO Releases Study on Auto Safety Defect Recall Process The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently produced a report on the auto safety defect recall process, by reviewing laws, documents and conducting interviews, in response to questions raised by the U.S. Congress. In 2010, auto manufacturers recalled more vehicles than any other year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the federal oversight authority for vehicle recalls. However, many recalled vehicles are never repaired, posing a risk to vehicle operators, other drivers and pedestrians. After the recent recalls of some Toyota vehicles, Congress raised questions about the auto safety defect recall process, including the sufficiency of NHTSA’s oversight authorities and whether vehicle owners are motivated to comply with recalls.

In response to these Capitol Hill questions, the GAO interviewed NHTSA and stakeholders about the 1) extent of NHTSA’s role in the recall process and how its authorities compare to selected federal and foreign agencies that oversee recalls; 2) benefits and challenges of the recall process for NHTSA and manufacturers; and 3) options for improving the recall process. The GAO also conducted focus groups with vehicle owners to better understand their perspectives. The GAO found that NHTSA monitors manufacturers’ recall campaigns and completion rates (the number of defective vehicles that are repaired) and provides information and guidance to the public. NHTSA is responsible for reviewing the planning and implementation of recall campaigns to ensure compliance with federal legal require-

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October 2011

ments. The GAO found that auto industry stakeholders are generally satisfied with the recall process, but several challenges may affect recall completion rates, and thus, the number of defective vehicles that are removed from the road. Based on these challenges, the GAO provided four options that it felt NHTSA had for improving the recall process, and more importantly, recall completion rates. The GAO recommended that NHTSA 1) modify requirements for notification letters; 2) enhance and publicize its website; 3) better use manufacturers’ data; and 4) seek legislative authority to notify potential used car buyers of recalls. NHTSA agreed to consider the GAO’s recommendations. To view the full text of the GAO report, visit ASA’s legislative website at

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Allstate Survey Shows Americans Think They Are Great Drivers Habits Tell a Different Story The majority of Americans consider themselves to be good drivers but a new study reveals their candor tells a different - and dangerous - story. American drivers believe their own driving knowledge, ability and safe driving habits are well above other drivers on the road. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of American drivers rate themselves as “excellent” or “very good” drivers. American drivers’ positive selfrating is more than twice as high as the rating they give to their own close friends (29 percent “excellent” or “very good”) and also other people their age (22 percent). Drivers also don’t think much of the driving ability of people from surrounding states. Fifty-three percent rate them as “average” or “poor,” while just 8 percent rate those drivers as “excellent”

or “very good.” Others who American drivers rated lower than themselves include: • American drivers give teenage drivers the lowest rating of all groups. • Eighty-one percent rate teenagers as “average” or “poor” drivers. • Seven in 10 Americans give senior citizen drivers comparatively low scores. • Parents with very young children in the car also get mediocre scores from the American driving public. Just 26 percent of American drivers rate this group as “excellent” or “good,” while 33 percent rate them as “average” or “poor.” • Even those American drivers who have their own very young children are critical of their peers and rate themselves more than twice as high as “excellent” or “good” drivers (64 percent) than they rate their fellow parents (29 percent).

Among all drivers surveyed, men are more likely to rate themselves as “excellent” than women (36 percent versus 26 percent), as are college-educated drivers (35 percent) compared to those with no degree (28 percent). Republicans also rate themselves higher (70 percent) than Democrats (61 percent) or Independents (61 percent). “I know it’s wrong, but...” Despite American drivers’ confidence in their abilities, many admit to practicing dangerous behaviors on the road. • Eighty-nine percent say they’ve driven faster than the posted speed limit, and 40 percent say they’ve driven more than 20 miles per hour over the limit. Allstate Survey Please Turn to Page 34

NADA Used Car Guide Adds VIN Scanner App to its Mobile Products NADA Used Car Guide has added a vehicle identification number (VIN) barcode scanning app for mobile devices to help vehicle appraisers make fast and accurate decisions. The new VIN scanner app, which is available for the iPhone, iPad 2 and Android, is free to download for sub-

scribers of NADA Online and NADA AppraisalPRO. “The VIN barcode scanner simplifies the vehicle decoding process and allows users to look up NADA values for used cars, light trucks and commercial trucks quickly and accurately,” says Mike Stanton, NADA vice president and chief

operating officer of the NADA Used Car Guide. NADA’s mobile products also include features that make automatic value adjustments for mileage and accessories and can also integrate vehicle history reports.n

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Allstate Survey From Page 33 • Men are more likely to speed than women (48 percent versus 30 percent). Americans’ bad driving habits don’t stop at speeding. • Almost half (45 percent) say they have driven while excessively tired to the point of almost falling asleep. • Fifteen percent say they have driven while intoxicated, with men almost four times more likely than women to have done so (23 percent of men versus six percent of women). • More than one-third (34 percent) have sent a text-message or email while driving, but the prevalence of the practice changes by age group. Those 18-29 years of age are the most likely to text while driving (63 percent) with drivers ages 30-44 not far behind (58 percent). Texting while driving decreases with older age groups; only 25 percent of those 45-54, six percent of those 55-64, and two percent of those over 65 admit to the practice.

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“I’m a great driver, except for my record.” Most American drivers have caused some dangerous situations for others while driving. • Seven in 10 American drivers say that as a result of being distracted while driving, they have slammed their brakes or swerved to avoid an accident, missed a traffic signal, or actually caused an accident. • Fifty-three percent report having received a speeding ticket or other moving violation. Among these drivers, 44 percent say they have received three or more. More men say they have received a ticket than women (61 percent vs. 46 percent), and those who have received tickets get more of them (an average of 4.3 per man compared to 2.6 per woman). • Fifty-six percent of American drivers say they have been involved in an accident, but only 28 percent of them say the accident was their own fault. Mother Nature and rush hour cause

storm of nerves. Regardless of confidence or high self-ratings, a significant number of American drivers experience concern about certain driving situations. • Two-thirds (64 percent) of American drivers say that driving in the snow, heavy rain or other bad weather is stressful and uncomfortable. • Fifty-six percent report the same about driving in heavy traffic, and 41 percent say that driving behind or near large trucks is stressful and uncomfortable. • Driving at night (29 percent stressful and uncomfortable), driving over a long bridge (17 percent), driving through a tunnel (13 percent), and driving on the highway (16 percent) rate lower on the stress scale. The survey of 1,000 American adults was conducted July 13, 14, 16 and 17 via landline and cell phone and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%. Of the 1,000 adults, the survey identified 848 drivers who hold a license and drive at least occasionally. The survey was conducted by Financial Dynamics (FD) for Allstate. n

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ORIGINAL MINI PARTS: POWER HARNESSED FOR THE GOOD OF MOTORINGKIND. While much about the MINI’s boundless energy remains a mystery, some of its vigor can be traced to Original MINI Parts. Built to strict OE specifications for stellar fitment and performance, MINI Original Parts are the same parts used in MINI production. They’re backed by a potent, 24-month, gajillion-mile limited warranty. And they come with technical support available from your servicing MINI dealer. Now that’s a powerful combination, indeed.

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