Items filtered by date: July 2011

The ongoing Greg Coccaro v. Progressive case (formally North State Autobahn, Inc. v Progressive Ins. Group) has taken a wide turn in a NY Supreme Court decision very similar to a recent California Supreme Court ruling (see coverage in Autobody News HERE.) Essentially both the NY (North State) and CA (Hughes) [See Autobody News' coverage of Hughes HERE.] decisions allow the respective State insurance codes, which prevent private parties from suing insurers for steering related damages, to be trumped by overlapping general business law, under which an insurer can, theoretically at present, be sued for steering-related damages.

North State's original case against Progressive had included several causes of action against the insurer, including steering, tortious interference, and injurious falsehood. The first claim, a violation of the state's anti-steering law, had been previously dismissed because New York (and also California) does not provide for a private right of action for such violations. Those violations are actionable only by a state or government agency such as the Attorney General or Department of Insurance.

The June 24, 2011 decision by NY Supreme Court Justice Gerald E. Loehr, in Westchester County, found that North State's claim against Progressive, which is predicated on derogatory statements about North State to its customers in order to steer them toward Progressive's DRP facilities, are not merely "disguised" claims of steering as Progressive argued. Progressive had filed a motion to dismiss the remaining claims against it including alleged violations of the General Business law. They argued that North State's argument was merely a disguised steering claim.

Basically the judge found that, although misrepresentations uttered in connection with a private, business-to-business dispute does not turn the matter into a general business law violation, practices by insurance companies involving routine, widespread marketing and communication with insureds, impacting the public at large, may support a cause of action under NY's general business law, section 349.

Published in Insurance Actions
Thursday, 28 July 2011 17:09

ABPA Responds to Volvo Service Bulletin

The Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) responded on July 27 to the Volvo Service Bulletin recommending against aftermarket parts (see Volvo story HERE).

The Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) continues to advocate for the use of quality, safe alternative parts for consumer vehicle repairs, despite attempts by Volvo and other car companies to limit competition and promote their branded components as the best and only option. Crash testing by the ABPA at low and high speeds has conclusively demonstrated that aftermarket parts provide occupant protection well within the federal motor vehicle safety standards, that energy absorption in a crash is equivalent for aftermarket and car company parts and that aftermarket part performance is comparable and does not impact the timing or deployment of airbags.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

LKQ Corporation reported a 23 percent increase in second quarter income to $46.7 million on record revenue of $759.7 million, a 29 percent increase over the second quarter 2010.

"All of the operating groups performed well during the quarter," stated Robert Wagman, President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of LKQ Corporation. "We believe higher fuel prices and lower miles driven created some challenges for certain segments of our business. Despite those challenges, the company delivered total organic growth of 12.2 percent in the quarter, including 8.4 percent for parts and services," Wagman said.

The company reported a 6.4 percent increase in organic revenue for the quarter in its aftermarket, other new and refurbished products business. For the six month period, organic revenue in the category was up 11 percent compared to the same time last year.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

The Broward County (Florida) Board of County Commissioners presented the Emerald Award to Uniweld Products Inc., designating the company as Broward County's Environmental Business of the Year for 2010.

Uniweld Products, a U.S. manufacturing company, is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Established in 1949 on farmland in the Dania Beach area, the company has grown and expanded into one of the major manufacturers in the welding, HVAC/R (Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration), plumbing, and alloys markets.

The Award commends Uniweld for its continuing adherence to strict environmental friendly business practices and green initiatives. David Pearl II, Uniweld's president, accepted the award on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011.

Published in SOUTHEAST NEWS

The re-energized Lehigh Valley Collision Repair Association is serving eastern Pennsylvania, including cities such as Allentown, Easton and Bethlehem. The one-year-old group comprises 18 auto body repair facilities, jobbers, parts suppliers, information providers and rental car companies, says its president, Matt Dewalt, AAM.

“Our mission is to promote the professional image of our industry through safe, quality and ethical repairs,” explains Dewalt, vice president of Scott’s Collision Centers, which is celebrating its 40th year serving the Lehigh Valley.

“We want to educate and lead our members to better themselves by allowing the free exchange of ideas and assist with ongoing training,” he adds. “It is truly an organization made up of members who want to better our industry.”

His father, Scott, a past and current member of LVCRA, started their business in 1971, and today the two locations, in Easton and Stroudsburg, comprise 34,000 square feet and generate about $5 million in annual sales.

The original LVCRA has roots at least 50 years deep and was very active in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, sponsoring golf tournaments, hosting monthly meetings and holding I-CAR and other classes, Dewalt says. At the time, Scott participated with his early shop, but membership dwindled and meetings stopped about 10 years ago.

Published in David M. Brown

AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings Americas (A & AC) hosted industry leaders on July 19th at the elegant Grand America Hotel (the only 5 star hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah) for the presentation of awards to the 2011 Most Influential Women in the Collision Repair Industry (MIW).  Five distinguished honourees were recognized.  The five comprise a cross section of service areas within the collision repair, from both the United States and Canada, including publishing, industry association, independent shops and multi-shop operations. 

The MIW program was established in 1999 by AkzoNobel as an industry honorarium. The goal of the program is to promote the contributions of key leaders as well as grow the future involvement of females within collision repair and raise awareness of their contributions as a valuable resource pool.

(l to r) Barbara Davies, General Manager & Co-Owner, Autobody News - Carlsbad, California; Sharon Mazanec, Collision Industry Business Consultant – Junction, Texas; Jennifer Justice-Hayley, Operations Mgr., Valley Paint & Body Inc. - Amelia, Ohio; Susanna Gotsch, Director, Industry Analyst, CCC Information Services Inc, - Chicago, Illinois; Michelle Rolls, Owner, Queensway Fix Auto Collision - Prince George, BC


AkzoNobel, through the MIW program, collaborates with the I-CAR Education Foundation to provide scholarships to deserving women seeking to advance their education and pursue career opportunities within the collision repair industry.  The annual $25,000 MIW scholarship has to date provided scores of students the ability to advance their careers.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

Chrysler has approved new 1100755 Elegance™ clearcoat from Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes (SWAF) on a global basis. Having undergone extensive certification, the clearcoat meets the Chrysler PF-10537 standard that the company sets to assure that vehicles repaired at its dealerships use the highest quality automotive refinish products.

Designed for force-dry/booth applications, Elegance clearcoat offers the ultimate in gloss for high-end refinishing.  It provides excellent application properties and buffability, all while delivering a superior appearance. It is recommended for use on multi-panel repairs or overall finishing.

“Elegance clearcoat is a premium clearcoat solution and we’re pleased that Chrysler has recognized the product on a global basis,” said Jason Crager, SWAF OEM Business Development Manager. “We believe Sherwin-Williams offers some of the fastest and highest quality clearcoats, including our HPC15 and HPC21 products, which help collision centers to increase productivity and profitability while saving energy costs.

For more information on the premium Elegance clearcoat, visit www.sherwin-automotive.com or call 1-800-SWULTRA (1-800-798-5872).

Published in Product News
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