Items filtered by date: February 2012

The affiliate associations of the National Automotive Trades Association of Canada (NATA) have joined with other major OEM associations in the United States and Australia in releasing the following position statement:

“As the largest association of grassroots collision repairs in Canada, we hereby recognize published repair procedures, as provided by automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM) as the official industry recognized “Repair Standards” for collision repair. These standards, where they exist, shall be the basis for the establishment of training, testing, repair practices and documentations.

Whereas we acknowledge the OEM repair procedures are incomplete in comparison to the full scope of vehicles and repair operations which exist in the marketplace, the OEM published repair procedures shall serve as the baseline for industry repair standards, with the recognition that further development of procedures will be necessary in areas not covered by published procedures.”

As well as Canada’s National Automotive Trades Association, and the Collision Repair Specialists of Australia, other associations signing on to this statement are 22 U.S. state associations, as well as the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers , the Automotive Service Association, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists and the Assured Performance Network.

While most collision repairers assume Original Equipment Manufacturers’ (OEM) procedures are standards by default, it has never been officially established.

For further information, please contact Rob Lang, President, NATA at 604-273-1111 or
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or through the NATA web site at www.natacanada.ca

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

PARTS Act Would Limit Patent Protections for Vehicle Parts

U.S. Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., recently introduced H.R. 3889, the Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales (PARTS) Act in the House of Representatives. The bill would amend the U.S. design patent law to change the period of design patent protection for automakers from 14 years to 30 months.

Both members serve on the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet. Lofgren introduced auto parts patent legislation in the last Congress.

The new subsection reads as follows:
“It shall not be an act of infringement of such design patent to make or offer to sell within the United States, or import into the United States, any article of manufacture that is similar or the same in appearance to the component part that is claimed in such design patent if the purpose of such article of manufacture is for the repair of a motor vehicle so as to restore such vehicle to its appearance as originally manufactured; and after the expiration of a period of 30 months beginning on the first day on which any such component part is first offered to the public for sale as part of a motor vehicle in any country, it shall not be an act of infringement of such design patent to use or sell within the United States any article of manufacture that is similar or the same in appearance to the component part that is claimed in such design patent if the purpose of such article of manufacture is for the repair of a motor vehicle so as to restore such vehicle to its appearance as originally manufactured.”

“Competition is the hallmark of our free market system,” Issa said. “Consumers have dozens of choices in electronics, food, service, clothing and other products – this same array of choices, across all price points, should also extend to automotive repair parts.”

Not surprisingly, OEMs oppose this limitation on their design patents. In the past, groups opposing similar legislation have said that "copycat" parts are harmful to OEMs and consumers alike.

At a 2010 hearing, Damian Porcari, director, Enforcement and Licensing, Ford Global Technologies, said, "The copyists want to eliminate design patent protection because that's what they make. As soon as their business model includes engines, brakes and air bags, we will likely hear the call for the elimination of patent protection on all types of replacement parts. And it won't stop with cars. The denial of intellectual property rights will always reduce copiers' costs."

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 22:08

Guardian Auto Glass Expands in Colorado

Guardian Auto Glass, LLC announced February 2 that it is expanding its operations into Colorado Springs, Colorado and has named Mark Campos to oversee that growth. The group’s newest facility will be located on Central Park Drive in Colorado Springs.

Guardian Auto Glass provides glass repair and replacement services for automobiles, buses, trucks and recreational vehicles and now has more than 50 locations throughout the United States.

Campos has more than 10 years of auto glass retail experience and will be an equity owner and manager in the new Guardian Auto Glass location.

“We are excited to begin operations in Colorado Springs with a great team headed by Mark Campos,” said Jerry Ray, vice president and managing partner of Guardian Auto Glass. “Mark will lead our sales effort and Rodney Schroth will provide operations management,” said Ray. Schroth is currently an equity partner and manager in the company’s Denver operations.

Guardian Auto Glass LLC was formed in 2010 between Guardian Glass Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian Industries Corp., and LRST LLC to manage and grow the retail auto glass business of Guardian.

Guardian Auto Glass LLC is also seeking owners, qualified sales professionals and operations managers who seek ownership and/or employment opportunities in their markets, throughout the US. All inquiries will be treated confidentially and should be directed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

Manheim Auto Auctions announced the winner of its eighth annual Barbara Cox Anthony Automotive Woman of the Year Award on February 5 at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention. This year’s award went to Rachel Richards, Sonic Automotive’s vice president of retail strategy and chief marketing officer.

According to Auto Remarketing News, Richards was awarded at Northwood University’s annual breakfast during the NADA convention in Las Vegas which was held February 3 through 6, 2012.

The award recognizes Richards for the contributions she has made to both the automotive industry and her Charlotte, N.C. community.

Richards has been with Sonic, a Charlotte-based automotive retailer since 2006. Before her time with the dealer group, Richards served in field, regional management and corporate positions at Ford and Ford Credit.

Richards also reaches out to her community through a number of avenues. Among other volunteering efforts, NADA officials noted that she is a Girl Scout leader and supports Habitat for Humanity.

“I am truly honored to receive this very prestigious award and be recognized for my accomplishments in our field. Upon entering the automotive industry, after my graduation from college, I would never have dreamed that my contributions and body of work would be recognized and honored in this way,” Richards noted, according to Auto Remarketing News.

Published in SOUTHEAST NEWS

Georgia Northwestern Technical College, a two-year technical college located in Rome, GA, is considering building another campus in Ringgold. Ringgold, near the Georgia-Tennessee border, is a small town of about 2,500 people.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, college and county officials are considering building the campus on 50 acres owned by Catoosa County across from Rollins Industrial Park in the southwest area of town.

According to the Associated Press, College President Craig McDaniel estimated it would take only a year to 14 months to complete construction once land is available. The technical college's focus is on careers in the automotive, aviation and other commercial industries. City officials speculated that the Ringgold campus would be centered around its automated manufacturing lab, which would train students to work with robotics used in automotive factories.

This campus would be the eighth location for the technical college, with seven locations already in Rome, Calhoun, Rockmart, Rock Spring and Dalton.

For more information please visit www.gntc.edu.

Published in SOUTHEAST NEWS

A scientific report issued by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration predicts that the Louisiana coast could see about 3 feet of sea level rise along the already low and vulnerable Louisiana coast by 2100 — a prediction that leaves this Cajun coast drowning and under siege from storm surge for decades to come.

To read article go HERE

 

Published in Insurance Actions
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 17:07

Chief University Releases 2012 Training Schedule

Chief University, the trusted training arm of Chief Automotive Technologies, announces its 2012 schedule of hands-on training courses for collision repair technicians, estimators and appraisers.
The schedule includes many opportunities to take Chief’s newest course on Design Based Repair. This comprehensive class features 16 hours of instruction on the efficient, economical and proper repair of a vehicle to return it to original design specifications. The course concentrates on the use of new materials including high-strength steels, boron, aluminum and carbon fiber in modern vehicle design, as well as the proper use of OEM information and repair procedures to effect thorough, correct and safe repairs to the vehicle and its advanced safety systems.
Other Chief University classes scheduled this year cover computerized measuring, structural analysis and repair, steering and suspension, and collision theory.
Chief University classes are held in training centers throughout the United States and Canada. They combine classroom training with hands-on demonstrations and practice. All courses are led by professional Chief certified instructors, and most are approved for I-CAR points through the I-CAR Industry Training Alliance program. Chief training also has been certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) for compliance with the Continuing Automotive Service Education (CASE) Standards. Most Chief University classes cost $655 and include comprehensive training materials and certificates of completion. Structural Damage Analysis is a three-day course that costs $985.

Class offerings are updated frequently. A partial schedule of available classes is below. For the most up-to-date schedule, course descriptions and to register, visit www.chiefautomotive.com/training/chiefuniversity.asp.

Technician/Estimator/Appraiser

Technician Classes

Estimator/Appraiser Classes

Design Based Repair

Computerized Measuring Training

Structural Damage Analysis

Feb. 21-22

Mather Air Force Base, Rancho Cordova

CA

Feb. 14-15

Pompano Beach

FL

Feb. 21-23

Windsor Locks

CT

Feb. 21-22

Collegeville

PA

Feb. 15-16

Columbia

MD

March 6-9

Madison

WI

Feb. 23-24

Norman

OK

Feb. 21-22

Norman

OK

March 13-15

Mather Air Force Base, Sacramento

CA

March 8-9

Norwalk

CA

March 6-7

Wheeling

IL

March 20-22

Charlottesville

VA

March 13-14

Inkster

MI

March 20-21

Lakewood

CO

April 3-5

Portland

OR

March 22-23

Lakewood

CO

March 27-28

Eustis

FL

April 3-5

Arlington

TX

March 29-30

Calgary

AB

April 3-4

Williamsport

PA

April 10-12

Alpharetta

GA

April 17-18

Madison

WI

April 3-4

Pompano Beach

FL

April 10-12

Orem

UT

June 5-6

Charlottesville

VA

April 25-26

Mather Air Force Base, Rancho Cordova

CA

April 17-19

Collegeville

PA

Aug. 7-8

Alpharetta

GA

May 1-2

Boise

ID

May 1-3

Windsor

CT

Oct. 9-10

Madison

WI

June 5-6

Troy

NY

May 8-10

Wheeling

IL

Nov. 13-14

Orem

UT

June 12-13

Pompano Beach

FL

May 15-17

Lakewood

CO

Dec. 11-12

Richardson

TX

Aug. 28-29

Pompano Beach

FL

June 12-14

Windsor

CT

Sept. 11-12

Charlottesville

VA

July 10-12

Charlottesville

VA

Nov. 6-7

Pompano Beach

FL

July 17-19

Hopkinton

MA

July 24-26

Inkster

MI

Full Frame Analysis & Repair Planning

Oct. 9-11

Windsor

CT

March 8-9

Wheeling

IL

Dec. 18-20

Windsor

CT

March 13-14

Altoona

PA

 

 

 

March 20-21

Collegeville

PA

Advanced Frame Analysis

March 29-30

Eustis

FL

Feb. 28-29

Windsor

CT

April 5-6

Pompano Beach

FL

March 27-28

Collegeville

PA

April 10-11

Verona

PA

May 8-9

Windsor

CT

Aug. 30-31

Pompano Beach

FL

May 15-16

Charlottesville

VA

Sept. 13-14

Charlottesville

VA

June 19-20

Windsor

CT

Nov. 8-9

Pompano Beach

FL

June 26-27

Madison

WI

Dec. 13-14

Richardson

TX

July 24-25

Madison

WI

 

 

 

Aug. 7-8

Orem

UT

Advanced Steering & Suspension

Oct. 2-3

Lakewood

CO

March 1-2

Windsor

CT

Oct. 2-3

Windsor

CT

March 29-30

Collegeville

PA

Oct. 16-17

Collegeville

PA

May 10-11

Windsor

CT

Oct. 16-17

Alpharetta

GA

May 17-18

Charlottesville

VA

Oct. 23-24

Charlottesville

VA

June 21-22

Windsor

CT

Oct. 23-24

Arlington

TX

June 28-29

Madison

WI

Oct. 30-31

Hopkinton

MA

July 26-27

Madison

WI

Nov. 6-7

Wheeling

IL

Aug. 9-10

Sandy

UT

Dec. 4-5

Windsor

CT

Oct. 4-5

Windsor

CT

 

 

Oct. 4-5

Lakewood

CO

Advanced Steering/Suspension Analysis

Oct. 18-19

Alpharetta

GA

Oct. 4-5

Lakewood

CO

Oct. 18-19

Collegeville

PA

Oct. 25-26

Arlington

TX

Oct. 25-26

Arlington

TX

Nov. 8-9

Wheeling

IL

Oct. 25-26

Charlottesville

VA

Nov. 1-2

Hopkinton

MA

Nov. 8-9

Wheeling

IL

Dec. 6-7

Windsor

CT

 

 

Unitized Body Analysis & Planning

Feb. 16-17

Pompano Beach

FL

Additional classes offered by Chief University include Advanced Unibody Repair and Advanced Frame Repair. Classes may be scheduled at a customer location as long as a Chief frame rack and at least 12 students are available. Customized training is also available.

For more information about Chief University training, visit www.chiefautomotive.com or call Customer Service at (800) 445-9262.

About Chief Automotive Technologies

Chief Automotive Technologies, a Vehicle Service Group (VSG) brand, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of high-quality collision repair products and services, including frame-pulling equipment, vehicle anchoring systems, computerized measuring systems, and vehicle frame specifications. Chief is also a leading provider of comprehensive training on structural analysis, computerized measuring, collision theory and design based repair. Additionally, Chief is the exclusive supplier of Elektron welders, battery chargers and plasma cutters in North, Central and South America.

VSG comprises eight major collision repair and vehicle lifting brands: Chief Automotive, Rotary Lift®, Forward® Lift, Direct-Lift®, Hanmecson®, Revolution® Lift, Blitz® and nogra®. Based in Madison, Ind., VSG has operations worldwide, including ISO 9001-certified manufacturing facilities on three continents. VSG is part of the Engineered Systems segment of Dover Corporation (NYSE: DOV), a multi-billion dollar, global producer of innovative equipment, specialty systems and value-added services.

 

 

Published in Tech Notes

After agreeing to pay in full for procedures and materials previously denied, State Farm has now also agreed to pay for all attorney fees and costs on two claims brought by Ray Gunder on behalf of his customers.

Gunder has a slew of cases on behalf of his customers at Gunder's Auto Center in Lakeland, FL, against the insurance company. In these two cases State Farm agreed to pay a total of $1,493.00 and $2,757.50 for cases filed on behalf of Mickey Brewington and James Locascio, respectively. This brought the total paid for legal fees and court costs to $4,250.50. State Farm also paid in full the parts of the repair estimates in this case that were previously denied. Payment was remitted to Gunder's legal representation on February 2.

“It will be interesting to see how the other three active lawsuits we have filed against State Farm on behalf of our customers turn out,” continued Gunder. “There are an additional 25 more in line behind those which are ripe to be filed for similar issues. We’ll just keep pounding that rock!”

Published in SOUTHEAST NEWS

The Santa Clara chapter of the California Autobody Association (CAA) will hold their February meeting on Wednesday, February 15 at 6 pm at the Three Flames Restaurant in San Jose. The cost is $25 Members and $35 Non-Members.

The topic of the meeting will be Web Based Parts Ordering Systems and will presented by OEConnection and Auto PartsBridge. OEConnection is an award winning technology leader and innovator of original equipment (OE) replacement parts solutions. As the automotive industry’s largest OE parts marketplace. OEConnection connects more than 32,000 North American buyers and sellers to seamlessly market, manage, and move an average of 6 million OE parts transactions monthly. OEConnection is used by more than a dozen OEMs, including Honda, Ford, GM Nissan, VW, and Mazda.

Auto PartsBridge® is an electronic parts ordering system that gives you access to the same parts information that dealerships have. Ordering parts is now as fast as a fax and easier than a phone call. As a body shop user, Auto PartsBridge allows you to tailor your parts ordering process to be as easy as a click of a button or as thorough as checking every part against the parts catalog to verify part number and pricing accuracy. You can also reference select automaker catalogs to look for missing clips and fasteners. The best part is there is no cost to you. Toyota utilizes Auto PartsBridge.

Please contact 2012 Chapter President, Randy Greenblat, Auto Collision Center at 650-994-9900 to RSVP.

Published in WESTERN NEWS

The New York State Auto Collision Technicians Association, (NYSACTA) announced February 2 it is alerting its members and the general public to the potential safety risks with the use of aftermarket crash parts, and is calling on all insurers in NY who specify the use of un-tested, unqualified, NON-OEM compliant crash parts to take corrective action immediately.

NYSACTA President, Mike Orso said, “I would think safety would be the most important element of any collision repair. Some insurers by their actions are putting their claimant or insured’s family in a vehicle that the [insurer] specified a repair with untested, at risk parts to save money. No one should be re-engineering a car after a wreck as it puts the consumer in damage as well as all highway users at risk. It creates un-due legal liability on the repair shop.” Orso went on to say,  “the rules are: Repair or Replace the vehicle after a crash. Meaning; return the vehicle to pre-loss condition. One issue here is that; there is no recall system in place to warn consumers that their vehicle may be unsafe to drive or that their families safety is in unknown, unpredictable peril should a repaired car be involved in a another crash. Consumers should call their repair shop or check their collision invoice to identify what parts that may have been installed that are aftermarket. NY State Law requires shops to note the status of parts used in the repair, i.e. New, OEM, Used, Aftermarket, Reconditioned or Repaired.”

Published in NORTHEAST NEWS
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