In response to more than 50,000 letters from consumers who support the Right to Repair legislation, the Right to Repair coalition announced August 3 it has submitted language to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office for approval as a 2012 ballot question. The coalition is still aggressively pursuing passage of its original legislation but the deadline this week for ballot submissions comes at the same time as the continued legislative push.
“As the original sponsor of the Right to Repair legislation, I intend to push as hard as I can to show my fellow elected officials that the current legislation is the best way during these challenging economic times to provide cost savings and convenience for financially-strapped car repair consumers,” said State Rep. Garrett Bradley (D-Hingham). “But, with the deadline coming this week to submit ballot questions for 2012, the coalition is doing the right thing for motoring consumers by keeping that option open,” Bradley said.
Consumers across the state visiting local mechanics or neighborhood parts stores have been filling out support letters and sending them in to their state legislators. While the possible 2012 ballot question would achieve the same goal of allowing consumers to have their cars completely serviced wherever they choose without being forced to go to one of the carmaker dealerships, one option filed with the Attorney General includes language different from the current legislation. The ballot language would require new car dealerships to provide all the necessary non-proprietary repair information directly to consumers at the time of purchase of a new vehicle. This would put choice and convenience directly into consumers’ hands.
The Collision Repair Education Foundation will be presenting Lake Technical Center of Eustis, FL with a “Mini-Makeover” during the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) Thursday, October 6th in Orlando, FL. Lake Technical Center was the only school in Florida that applied for the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s 2010 $50,000 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant. Due to the school’s proximity to NACE in Orlando, the Education Foundation has been gathering industry supporters/donors to fulfill portions of the school’s $50,000 wish list that they provided as part of the grant application. School instructors, administration and their collision students will be on hand during a presentation at NACE to showcase how the Mini-Makeover donors have benefited the school’s collision program.
The presentation will take place from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. in the ASRW Media Center located inside the Orange County Convention Center’s West Building.
Scott Kruger, Executive Director of the Collision Repair Education Foundation, said, “Lake Technical Center was one of 52 schools nationwide that applied for the Foundation’s 2010 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant and the only school in the state of Florida to apply. As industry professionals from across the country will be gathering in Orlando for NACE this fall, we thought it would be a great opportunity to not only highlight the Makeover grant program, but also help this local school through the support of our donors and supporters. We invite industry professionals attending NACE and ASRW to attend the presentation to hear how Lake Technical Center’s collision program has benefited through the support of industry donations and to learn how to get involved with helping schools in your local area.”
One in four American drivers could not pay for a car repair of $2,000 if faced with one today, according to the results of a survey released by AAA on August 3. The survey also found one in eight would be unable to pay for a repair bill of $1,000.
More than half of American drivers also said they are holding onto their older vehicle because they do not want the financial burden of a new one. And, one quarter of drivers admitted to neglecting repairs and maintenance on their vehicles in the past 12 months due to the economic climate, which AAA Automotive experts say can greatly increase the likelihood of their car needing a costly, major repair.
“Economic conditions have taken their toll on many Americans resulting in them neglecting their cars and leaving them at increased risk for very expensive repair bills,” said Marshall L. Doney, AAA Vice President, Automotive and Financial Services. “Many Americans rely on their cars for their livelihood and losing access to them could be financially devastating during an already troubling economic time.
“It’s important for drivers to not only continue to maintain their vehicles, but also have a financial emergency plan in place should they be faced with a sudden unexpected auto repair bill,” continued Doney.
Chrysler is recalling nearly 300,000 minivans for a possible heating and air conditioning problem that could inadvertently trigger the air bag, the second related recall in nine months. Chrysler, run by Italy's Fiat SpA, said in a letter to regulators on Aug 2 that certain 2008 Grand Voyager, Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan vehicles were affected by the recall.
The automaker and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said condensation from the heating and air conditioner could leak onto a sensor module. This could lead to activation of a warning light and inadvertent deployment of the air bag. Dealers in North America will replace the component free of charge.
There was a recall last November to replace a heating and cooling drain tube in those model vehicles to eliminate potential condensation.
Nominations for the 2011 Pride Awards are open. Six nominees for the prestigious NABC award have already been identified, with more spaces available.
The Pride Awards, sponsored by the National Autobody Council (NABC) and now in their 16th year, provide a rare opportunity to openly openly celebrate everything that is positive about the collision repair industry, and the men and women that work in it. Truly a part of NABC’s DNA, and an integral part of its history, the awards spotlight the many collision industry professionals that selflessly donate their time, energy and financial resources to worthy causes outside the industry.
Because it has been around almost as long as the NABC, Pride boasts a rich legacy of past winners, each selflessly contributing to the world around them in their own unique way. From the Pena family adopting an orphanage in Mexico to Sam Metz helping the Reno police find a murderer, the industry time and again demonstrates its bravery, philanthropy, charity, and selfless acts of kindness.
“We are asking the industry to look for those humanitarians in our profession that should be brought to the attention of the general public,” says NABC Pride Chair Janet Chaney. “Chances are, they won’t have to look too far as that kind of character is all around us. To be able to assist in finding these brave, compassionate individuals who all too often fly under the radar is a humbling experience for me. I encourage everyone to nominate a worthy individual, and help us celebrate their good deeds.”
Gary Wayne Lawson passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by family, in Purcellville, Virginia on July 27, 2011.
Gary owned Circle Auto Body in Washington DC since the late 1970’s and was highly respected throughout the collision repair industry. He was also a distinguished member of the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association.
Gary was a devoted family man and is survived by a large family.
In addition to his wife of 45 years, Linda Linhoss Lawson, he is survived by his mother “Dot”; a daughter, Gina Lawson Burns and her husband, Terry; a sister, Judy Lawson and her husband, George Dellyssee; two brother-in-laws, Kenneth Linhoss and his wife, Judy and Charles Linhoss; and three grandchildren, Trevor Wayne Burns, Kylie Renee Jenkins and Tanner Michael Burns. A daughter, Stacey Michelle Lawson preceded him in death.
Family gathered for visitation from 6pm to 8pm Monday, August 1, 2011 at the Enders & Shirley Funeral Home in Berryville, VA. Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675-8516.
To send condolences online, please visit www.endersandshirley.com.
At its annual meeting to kick off this year’s Industry Week in Las Vegas on October 30, 2011, the California/Nevada/Arizona Automotive Wholesalers Association (CAWA) will install the following individuals to serve as officers for the 2012 year:
· Chair of the Board – Steve Sharp, WORLDPAC
· Vice Chair of the Board, – Ed Jimenez, Riebe’s Auto Parts
· Treasurer – Ron Cannon, Charleston Auto Parts
· Secretary – Ron Aparicio – Walker Products
· Immediate Past Chair of the Board – Mary Davis, NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.) , Inc.
For more information please visit www.cawa.org.
The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) is conducting a survey of 13 major insurance companies to determine their use of aftermarket replacement parts.
The survey was sent last week to Allstate, American Family, Farmers, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Mercury Insurance, Met Life Auto and Home, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, The Hartford, Travelers and USAA, according to Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of SCRS. He said the survey was “an effort to bring further transparency to our understanding of carrier’s approaches to use of aftermarket replacement parts.”
The survey was motivated by input from SCRS members and ongoing discussions stemming from aftermarket replacement parts, Schulenburg said.
“We are finding that members in different parts of the country are submitting conflicting reports about the policies of some major national insurance companies. In other words, we are hearing that in some cases field level practices may vary from official corporate policy on parts use. In some cases, an insurer may have a policy for use of only certified parts, but when a certified part is unavailable, the shop is instructed to simply select a non-certified part by the field adjuster,” Schulenburg said.
“It is also possible that, in those cases, some shops may assume that a non-certified part is what the carrier wants them to do, and may not realize that the insurer would prefer an OEM replacement part if the only available alternative is a non-certified part,” he continued. “Knowing what specific corporate policies exist, provides for a better, more transparent, understanding of the approach taken in settling a vehicle owners claim. “In the interest of transparency, and with an issue as important as aftermarket parts in structural repair, the SCRS board of directors felt that it would be worth our efforts to conduct this study, and share the results with the industry.”
3M has come to the aid of 500 secondary and post-secondary collision programs across the country by donating Perfect-It Denibbing System Kits through the Collision Repair Education Foundation. This product donation, valued at $280,000, will ease collision department budgets by providing students with the opportunity to work with up-to-date supplies.
3M Automotive Aftermarket Division Business Development Manager Mark Algie said, “3M continues to be committed to all segments of the collision repair industry and through the help of the Collision Repair Education Foundation we are able to help a lot of great schools, instructors and students. We value what these schools are all about and what they do to prepare the next generation of techs, estimators and I’m sure some owners for our industry. We will continue to provide resources that will give these schools the ability to enhance their individual programs and prepare their students for a career in our industry.”
Collision Repair Education Foundation Executive Director Scott Kruger commented, “Since 2009, 3M has donated over $1.8 million in products to collision school programs through the Collision Repair Education Foundation. These products, whether they are new and exciting technologies or basic everyday materials, make a significant difference to schools and students as instructors can make the most of their annual budgets. We invite other industry organizations to join 3M and our other donors in helping supply and equip our collision repair schools and show our students that their education is highly valued by the industry.”
Weber State University Collision Repair Instructor Justin Tate noted, “On behalf of students, faculty, staff, and administration I would like to thank 3M and the Collision Repair Education Foundation for the donated kits. Your continued support is a huge factor in the continuation of our programs and we would like to express our thanks! You help to keep us on the leading edge and provide the best of the best!”
For additional information about 3M visit http://3mcollision.com/. Inter-industry organizations and individuals who are interested in supporting the Education Foundation and increasing the amount of assistance provided to collision schools and students should contact Education Foundation Associate Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at Brandon.Eckenrode@ed foundation.org.