Autobody News - Items filtered by date: February 2012

The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) is encouraging all Georgia shops to participate in the 6th Annual Georgia Collision Industry Labor Rate Survey. The purpose of this survey is to provide Georgia collision shop owners with prevailing rates for labor and material so all shops can be paid fairly for the work they perform. Make sure all Georgia collision businesses are represented by participating. THIS YEAR'S LABOR RATES SURVEY ENDS FRIDAY, MARCH 30.

The survey reminder cards have been mailed, look for it in your mail soon. The survey is also available online. It only takes a few minutes to complete, click the link below to take the survey for your business:

The survey is being conducted by neutral third-party, CSi Complete, a provider of customer satisfaction indexing to the collision repair industry. They will follow up with phone calls to those who do not submit their survey online.

Please enter your Posted Door Rate for survey purposes. Do not include any rates that may exist between your repair facility and any contracted customer such as a Fleet Account or Insurance DRP Program.

If your Company is represented by more than one location, please complete a survey for each location. Shop identities will not be published with the results of this survey and will remain confidential. Names are only needed to track demographics and ensure that only one survey is cast per Repair Facility location.

Any questions, contact Howard Batchelor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call at (770) 367-9816.


Mitchell has announced the immediate availability of Claims Triage, a technology solution created specifically to streamline resource allocation decision-making for physical damage claims. Claims Triage allows insurance carriers to determine the most efficient resource for an assignment at First Notice of Loss (FNOL), thereby improving customer satisfaction by accelerating claims settlement.

"Mitchell is continuously striving to improve the insurance claims experience with the most innovative solutions, driven by our data-centric approach to high performance claims management," said Paul Rosenstein, Vice President for Mitchell. "Claims Triage is another compelling example of our commitment to serving the unique property claims needs of our insurance clients."

Claims Triage eliminates assignment guesswork by defining questions and criteria around the status of the vehicle. This permits claims representatives to consistently route the assignment to the best resource for timely and accurate completion. WorkCenter simplifies the process of configuring the questions by providing a user interface that permits any authorized insurance user to update or change the questionnaire within minutes-eliminating the manual changes that are typically required when handling FNOL within a claims management system.

Claims Triage is fully integrated within Mitchell WorkCenter™, an open, modular, and end-to-end physical damage claims settlement solution that powers all of an insurer's physical damage claims processing needs including dispatch, appraisal, total loss, repair management, review and customer satisfaction reporting. To learn more, please go to

Published in Insurance News

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed guidelines on Feb 27 for vehicle manufacturers to help reduce the distraction of in-vehicle electronic devices. The proposed guidelines are designed for electronic devices that do not take part in safely operating the vehicle. For example, devices used for communications, entertainment, information gathering and navigation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) guidelines are recommendations for electronic devices installed in vehicles that require visual or manual operation.  

According to DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, “Distracted driving is a dangerous and deadly habit on America’s roadways – that’s why I’ve made it a priority to encourage people to stay focused behind the wheel … These guidelines are a major step forward in identifying real solutions to tackle the issue of distracted driving for drivers of all ages.”

The guidelines are geared toward vehicles not weighing more than 10,000 lbs, and are a first in a series of guidance documents NHTSA plans to release regarding distracted driving.

The proposed Phase I distraction guidelines include recommendations to:
· Reduce complexity and task length required by the device;
· Limit device operation to one hand only (leaving the other hand to remain on the steering wheel to control the vehicle);
· Limit individual off-road glances required for device operation to no more than two seconds in duration;
· Limit unnecessary visual information in the driver’s field of view;
· Limit the amount of manual inputs required for device operation.

NHTSA is currently considering Phase II guidelines for the future that would include devices or systems not built into the vehicle. This would include aftermarket and portable personal electronic devices such as navigation systems, smart phones, electronic tablets and pads, among other mobile communications devices. More proposed guidelines (Phase III) could address voice-activated controls to further minimize distraction in factory-installed, aftermarket and portable devices.

To view the Federal Register’s publication of the NHTSA Driver Distraction for In-Vehicles Electronic Devices Guidelines, visit ASA’s legislative website at

Published in NATIONAL NEWS

An amendment may be offered to Florida House Bill 1101 that would eliminate the current 80 percent threshold for a total-loss vehicle to receive a certificate of destruction, thus allowing potentially unsafe vehicles to be branded as “repairable” and put back on the roads. The amendment would allow insurers to determine whether the vehicle receives a certificate of destruction.

The Automotive Service Association is opposed to this amendment because it could:

  • Allow unsafe vehicles to operate on Florida’s highways. The amendment would require dangerous vehicles to be branded “repairable” when such vehicles should not be put back on the roads as they cannot be adequately repaired to operate safely.
  • Allow insurance companies to determine whether or not a vehicle should obtain a certificate of destruction. Without the current 80 percent threshold that requires a total-loss vehicle to obtain a certificate of destruction, vehicles that should not be repaired can be returned to the roads.
  • Create dangers for consumers who would be unable to identify the level of damage that a vehicle has sustained since the vehicle branding will not reflect the actual designation of the vehicle as “unrebuildable.” This language would put drivers at risk by removing the only guarantee for consumers to ensure that their vehicles are safe to operate on Florida’s roads.
  • Permit unsafe vehicles that are supposed to be dismantled and crushed by automotive recyclers to be sold as “repairable,” creating a situation where the source of undamaged recycled parts will be seriously diminished and local jobs most definitely compromised.
  • Increase the risk for criminal activity as vehicles that are badly damaged would be allowed to obtain a clean title and sold to unsuspecting purchasers.

To view the full text of the bill, as well as ASA’s letter to the legislature opposing the amendment, visit ASA’s legislative website at


The first of two bills introduced in the California Legislature (SB 1460, Lee, not yet assigned to committee)  would remove the requirement for insurers to disclose aftermarket parts installation and make certified parts adequate for compliance with the Business and Professions Code (Section 9875.1). Currently consumers must be advised in writing that aftermarket parts are being installed.

Lee's bill would require only that such disclosure be made in the consumer's policy statement. The bill also requires certified aftermarket parts vendors or distributors to warrant parts equivalently to OEM, an electronic tracking system to monitor recalls, and a new requirement for reporting defective parts to both the certifying agency and the California's BAR. The bill would also require vendors to provide the body shop with a service guarantee on defective parts which includes a full refund within 60 days.

Galgiani's bill (AB 2065) would amend the  Business and Professions Code to remove tire repair and changing from the list of exclusions to repairing vehicles. Existing law defines the repair of motor vehicles to mean all maintenance of and repairs to motor vehicles, as specified, and excludes from the definition, among other things, repairing tires, changing tires, lubricating vehicles, installing light bulbs, batteries, windshield wiper blades, and other minor services. This bill would delete repairing and changing tires from that exclusion list.

Reasons cited for the removal are administrative:  Because the failure of a person repairing and changing tires to register as an automotive repair dealer with the bureau would constitute a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state.
Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Published in WESTERN NEWS
Page 1 of 12