Northeastern Events (NY, NJ, PA, DE)
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On February 25, 2014, Mitchell announced the commercial release of Decision Point 8, a completely automated medical bill review and workflow solution for first- and third-party liability adjusters.

Decision Point 8 is an end-to-end medical bill review platform enabling adjusters in the auto casualty industry to make informed decisions around medical bills related to liability claims.

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 22:44

Mitchell Acquiring FAIRPAY

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Mitchell has agreed to acquire FAIRPAY Solutions, a workers’ compensation, liability, and auto cost containment and payment integrity services provider. Mitchell plans to offer FAIRPAY Solutions specialty bill review to auto and workers’ compensation markets and out-of-network negotiation services. Mitchell will maintain relationships with other bill review and negotiation service providers.

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 22:40

Latest Edition of CIECA-TV: E-Commerce Done Right

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The Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) announced the newest edition of CIECA-TV: “CIECA, E-Commerce Done Right.”

To meet the needs for safe and secure e-commerce, the industry needed standards that enable us to exchange the right data with the right player at the right time. To accomplish that, CIECA created the Business Message Specification (BMS). View a video about the CIECA BMS.

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 22:19

Is My Gas Can Safe?

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The maintenance and operation of gasoline tanks, both above-ground and underground, has become expensive, highly regulated, and burdensome. Automobile dealers have resorted to gas dolly equipment where a small amount of gasoline can be added to each new automobile delivered to the dealership. We note that automobiles delivered to dealerships from manufacturers have very small amounts of gasoline; this being a result of U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, which dictate that minimal amounts of gasoline be retained in gas tanks of vehicles in transport. We write this memo to discuss DOT, OSHA, and CARB regulations applicable to gasoline being transported from a public gasoline station to dealerships for a later fill in automobiles on the lot.

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OEM repair information today is good, but not perfect, says Jason Bartanen, director of industry technical relations for Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair ( I-CAR). It needs to be better and more readily accessible for shops.

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 21:32

IAA’s Bill Mayer Re-Elected To NABC Board Of Directors

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Insurance Auto Auctions Inc. (IAA) announced that Bill Mayer, IAA director of industry relations, was re-elected to the National Auto Body Council (NABC) board of directors. Mr. Mayer was re-elected for a second three-year term by NABC members during the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, NV.

Mr. Mayer will continue to lead the NABC efforts to promote the collision industry and businesses through key NABC initiatives and programs, and will serve as the director of procurement for the NABC Recycled Rides program, which collaborates with insurers, collision repairers, paint suppliers, parts vendors, and other collision industry professionals to repair and donate vehicles to deserving individuals and service organizations.

“Bill has done an exemplary job in representing IAA and the collision industry through his dedicated service to NABC over the past several years,” said John Kett, president of Insurance Auto Auctions. “We congratulate Bill on his re-appointment and look forward to his continued contributions to the organization’s mission.”

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 21:29

GM's Handling of Fatal Switch Recall Being Investigated

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The U.S. Justice Department has started a preliminary investigation into how General Motors (GM) handled the recall of 1.6 million vehicles with faulty ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths.

The inquiry is focusing on whether GM might have violated criminal or civil laws by failing to notify regulators in a timely fashion about the switch failures, said a person familiar with the probe who asked not to be named and isn’t authorized to discuss investigations.

Lawyers in the U.S. Attorney’s office in the southern district of New York are leading the investigation.

The inquiry comes as House and Senate committees and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are also investigating GM’s actions leading up to the recall.

The initial recall on February 13, 2014, covered 778,562 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s. It was widened less than two weeks later to more than 800,000 additional vehicles. Those include 2003–2007 Saturn Ions, 2006–2007 Chevrolet HHRs, 2006–2007 Pontiac Solstices, and 2006–2007 Saturn Skys. Other models affected are the 2005–2006 Pontiac Pursuit sold in Canada and the 2007 Opel GT sold in Europe.

NHTSA, whose decision not to investigate the switch failures years ago is also under scrutiny by Congress, is focusing on what steps the automaker took to investigate and rectify engineering concerns and consumer complaints dating back to at least 2004.

GM has until April 3, 2014, to answer questions posed by the regulator in a 27-page order issued in early March 2014.

GM has said that heavy key rings or jarring can cause the ignition switches to slip out of position, cutting off power and deactivating air bags. The automaker has linked the defect to at least 23 crashes, including 13 deaths.

NHTSA could fine GM as much as $35 million, which would be the most ever by the U.S. government, if it finds the automaker didn’t pursue a recall when it knew the cars were defective.

GM’s stock has slid 9.2 percent in 2014 through March 10, 2014, and the recall is emerging as the first major test for new CEO Mary Barra, who was promoted two weeks before the company decided to implement the recall on January 31, 2014.

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 21:24

GM Readying Aluminum Body Trucks for Late 2018

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General Motors Company is working towards a largely aluminum-bodied pickup truck by late 2018, under pressure from federal fuel efficiency standards, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

GM recently locked in supply contracts with Alcoa Inc. and Novelis Inc., and both suppliers are now working to increase their aluminum sheet production to supply the next-generation GM pickup, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Aluminum sheet for automotive bodies is in such high demand that companies need to order it years in advance, the newspaper said.

GM has been working to put its full-size pickup trucks on a severe diet to meet future U.S. fuel economy standards and stay competitive with rival, Ford Motor Company.

“We are going to continue to improve the fuel efficiency of all of our products,” a GM spokesman said in an email. “For competitive reasons, we are not talking about technical details of future products at this point.”

Mark Reuss, GM product chief, made no secret of his interest in aluminum when he saw Ford’s aluminum F-150 pickup at the Detroit, MI, auto show.

“I want to get my hands on it,” Reuss told reporters. “I’m going to be looking at how much aluminum is in it. ‘What are the panels? … How are they constructed?’ I’m going to look at what they advertise as the weight savings from it. Then I’m going to go back and do some math.”

Reuters reported in July 2013 that GM will start using more lightweight materials such as aluminum and composites in place of conventional steel.

Ford has already made the switch. The new F-150’s latest upgrade’s body is 95 percent military-grade aluminum alloy, used in Humvees, and will weigh up to 700 pounds less than the current model.

Alcoa and Novelis, a private company, could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters.

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 21:17

Get Ready for Earth Day with LKQ Get Green Promotion

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Leading up to Earth Day on April 17, 2014, the 2014 LKQ Get Green promotion encourages all LKQ customers to adopt environmentally-friendly practices, while offering a chance to win valuable prizes, including solar backpacks, LKQ gift cards, Raleigh ALYSA FT0 bicycles, and a 2014 Honda Accord.

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 21:14

Ford Sued Over Patented Turn Signal Technology

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Ford Motor Company is being sued over claims that it infringed a patent on technology for an automatic turn signal.

Ford’s three-blink lane change technology infringes a 2008 patent held by Richard Ponziani, a former automotive design engineer for companies including General Motors and Valeo SA, according to a complaint made public today in federal court in Wilmington, DE.

Ford pitched the turn signal as the solution to one of the top 10 driving pet peeves when it announced the technology in 2009.

The turn indicator is designed to blink three times and automatically shut off.

The technology is used in Ford’s F Series truck, Taurus, Edge, and Fusion models, according to the complaint, which seeks unspecified damages.

Ford spokeswoman Kristina Adamski declined to comment on the complaint.

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