INDUSTRY NEWS (1245)
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Reintroduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 22 is designed to amend patent law regarding automotive parts. House Judiciary Committee members Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Senate Judiciary Committee members Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced H.R. 1663, Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales Act of 2013 (PARTS).
Search “PARTS Act” at autobodynews.com for previous analysis of this legislation.
The PPG MVP Business Solutions Conference held at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, AZ, April 7-9 saw record attendance. This MVP Conference featured dynamic and well-known keynote speakers.
PPG stays committed to providing leading edge refinish products along with fresh and advanced business curriculum for its customers. The MVP Conference is one example of delivering innovative and relevant programming to assist its customers and their collision center performance.
The Collision Repair Education Foundation will offer free one-year I-CAR® curriculum grants to 100 public post-secondary schools in 2013. This will assist post-secondary schools with budget constraints, allowing these schools to offer their students the new I-CAR® Professional Development Program™—Education Edition. The application for the curriculum grant will be part of the Education Foundation’s 2013 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant.
The National Auto Body Council (NABC) has received nearly $250,000 in pledges and donations towards its $1.5 million Capital Campaign for Operation Comfort’s AutoMotivation program.
The Capital Campaign goal is to purchase, renovate and equip a 30,000 sq. ft. training facility in San Antonio, TX, that will serve as a permanent home for Operation Comfort’s AutoMotivation program. Wounded service members in the AutoMotivation program benefit from occupational and rehabilitative therapies as they work on automotive projects.
NABC-led efforts take the program to the next level by providing opportunities for participants to simultaneously recover and heal while acquiring certified I-CAR curriculum-based training for new career paths in the collision industry.
CCC Information Services recently donated $25,000 to the Collision Repair Education Foundation to help support collision school programs and collision students. The funding will allow for four collision student scholarships, which will be given away in May 2013 as part of the $300,000 in awards the Collision Repair Education Foundation is offering.
CCC information Services will also award a collision program with a $10,000 “Classroom Makeover Grant” in order for the school to be able to purchase needed classroom material such as curriculum, computers, audio-visual equipment, or other related items needed for a school’s collision classroom area.
The winning school will be selected from the schools that apply for the 2013 Collision Repair Education Foundation Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant. The application for the Makeover grant is available at www.CollisionEducationFoundation.org and is due on May 31. Schools who apply will be eligible for one of two $50,000 Makeover grants, and an additional six $10,000 awards.
ALLDATA LLC, a provider of manufacturers’ automotive repair information and solutions for the professional automotive service and collision repair industries, recently announced the successful arrest and prosecution of a software counterfeiting operation. The company has a long-standing program dedicated to tracking down illegal sales of ALLDATA products, an effort which routinely results in prosecution.
Repairer-Only Meeting Focuses on Shops’ Response to Key Industry Issues at April CIC Phoenix MeetingWritten by John Yoswick
Insurer-mandated parts procurement systems, and I-CAR’s decision not to follow through with its plans to work with automakers to identify and close the gaps in existing collision repair procedures, dominated discussion at a repairer-only meeting held in Phoenix in April.
Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists, led the “Repairer Roundtable” meeting, but said it was less tied to any one organization than to an over-arching goal of providing repairers a place to discuss and establish objectives without the influence of other industry segments.
“I think our industry has become well-informed,” Schulenburg said. “There is a great network of information going in and out of the associations, and from the trade press. But just being informed isn’t enough. We need to be able to strategize as an industry and have a plan. Being informed without having a plan won’t get us there. That’s part of what this meeting is, to formulate our voice.”
General Motors is revamping its service parts program and giving incentives to dealerships to increase their inventory for more same-day repairs and to buy more of those parts directly from the factory, Automotive News recently reported.
However dealers and their parts managers have expressed serious concerns about the inventory cost and impact of the Service Lane Parts program. GM estimates that the majority of dealerships will spend $6,000 to $10,000 to buy the additional inventory, but worried dealers also believe it may result in buying parts that won’t move as quickly as GM believes, wasting valuable shelf space as well as money.
A Houston, Texas-based personal injury attorney has filed suit against Safelite and Toyota on behalf a Montana woman who he says lost both her husband and young daughter in a rollover crash, in which the windshield allegedly separated from the vehicle.
The attorney, Rob Ammons, contends Safelite had replaced the windshield on the vehicle involved, while Safelite argues its claims division processed the claim on behalf of another glass shop.
"While traveling on a North Dakota highway one December afternoon, the family's 2005 Toyota Tundra contacted an icy patch and went out of control. The pickup crossed the highway's median and rolled over," Rob Ammons said in a news release.
"Safelite, who had installed a windshield on the Tundra, was also named as a defendant," the document continues. "According to the lawsuit, the windshield separated from the pickup in this crash and exacerbated the movement of the roof's pillars. As a result, the driver and rear seat passenger were partially ejected from the pickup, despite the fact that they were wearing their seatbelts."
Ammons lists Safelite as a defendant because he contends the company installed the windshield on the pickup, according to the release.
Safelite's senior corporate counsel has another take: "Safelite typically does not comment on pending litigation. However, in this tragic case, after a preliminary investigation we determined that Safelite AutoGlass did not perform the windshield replacement," says Brian DiMasi, Safelite's senior corporate counsel.
"Rather, Safelite Solutions, the claims management business, processed the plaintiff's vehicle glass claim on behalf of another glass shop who performed the replacement," he adds. "We are hopeful that we will be voluntarily dismissed from the case."
When asked about how "The Safelite Advantage" warranty comes into play, Melina Metzger, the company's public relations manager says, "Safelite's warranty is for Safelite AutoGlass. Safelite Solutions doesn't warranty other shops' work."
Ammons and his law firm have successfully sued Ford, GM, Continental Tire and Cooper Tire in rollover cases in the past year.
AudaExplore (formerly the U.S. operations of Audatex North America, Inc. and Explore Information Services), a provider of automotive claims, underwriting and information solutions, has exceeded $3 million in software donations to the Collision Repair Education Foundation since the launch of its Audatex Educational Institutions Program in 2010.
To date, more than 137 collision repair school programs in 35 states across the U.S. have benefited from in-kind donations of the company’s estimating software through the program’s partnership with the Foundation.
Matrix System recently promoted David Brunori to division president of Quest Automotive Products (QAP).
Brunori has 30 years of experience in the collision repair and restoration market and has been with Matrix System Automotive Finishes for 20 years.
Brunori currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Collision Repair Education Foundation, the Oakland Schools Education Foundation, and as an adviser for the Oakland Schools' Technical Campus–Southwest. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a graduate degree in business management.
“Being named division president is an honor and a major accomplishment in my professional career,” said Brunori. “I have always tried to follow very simple guidelines: have a vision, lead people and stay focused. I am looking forward to see what the future has in store.”