Tuesday, 15 November 2011 23:44

ASA Approves New Crash Parts Policy

ASA Recognizes Value of Certification and Verification for Parts Quality

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) Board of Directors met this past weekend and discussed changes to the ASA policy on replacement crash parts. The board voted unanimously to approve a new policy for crash parts.
With reference to the new policy, Dan Stander, AAM, ASA Collision Division director and co-owner of Jerry Stander’s Collision Works, Littleton, Colo., said:

“ASA’s replacement crash parts position statement is in response to today’s parts usage and market conditions. With an increasing number of part types with various levels of quality, and an increase in the number of processes used to validate – or not validate – these various lines of quality, it is confusing at best to most repairers.

Boyd Group Income Fund, operator of 166 auto body shops, reported its financial results for the three-month and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2011

Chicago-based startup grows rapidly, fielding over 1,300 auto body damage reports and claming to save consumers an average of $750 per car repair.

BodyShopBids, an online and mobile platform that enables consumers to solicit custom car repair estimates by uploading a photo, announced on Nov. 10 that it has written $1.5 million in body repair estimates within its first five months of service.

The Lightbank-funded company launched in June 2011. Since then, BodyShopBids has partnered with more than 160 body shops in Chicago and saved its customers an average of 60 percent on each car repaired, the company claims.

Accessible for free via iPhone, Android and the Web, BodyShopBids is the first of its kind to connect consumers who need auto body repairs with body shops through a unique bidding system. Consumers upload a photo of their damaged vehicles and receive custom quotes from nearby body shops within 24 hours. A personal concierge also educates consumers on the repair process. From there, the consumer chooses an estimate and books an appointment with the body shop.

The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) is again calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take action against a carmaker—this time Mazda—for its policy statements relating to the use of aftermarket parts for vehicle repairs. Similar complaints were made by AAIA against Honda in 2010 when the FTC sided with the carmaker.

In a letter to the FTC’s Associate Director for Marketing Practices, Lois Greisman, the AAIA—along with the Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA), the Service Station Dealers of America, and the Tire Industry Association—argue that Mazda’s claim in a recent brochure that “aftermarket parts are generally made to a lower standard” is unsubstantiated. The groups say this is misleading consumers and are calling on the FTC to require Mazda to either to provide substantiation of their claim or issue a retraction.

The letter states that “The wording in the Mazda release totally contradicts FTC’s alert by making the assumption that the aftermarket part would cause the warranty not to be honored rather than the fact that the use of the aftermarket part is permissible unless proven otherwise. Therefore, AAIA and AOCA further request that the Commission take immediate action to require Mazda to withdraw the release and issue a correction: that use of non-Mazda parts are permissible, and that it would be Mazda’s burden of proof to prove a non-Mazda part caused any alleged damage before denying warranty coverage.

The AAIA claims that statements made by Mazda are misleading consumers about the use of aftermarket parts and those statements are a violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a law that says companies may not condition warranty coverage on the use of only original equipment parts.

The letter also takes issue with a statement by Mazda that “Only Genuine Mazda Parts purchased from an authorized Mazda dealer are specifically covered by the Mazda warranty. The original warranty could become invalid if aftermarket parts contribute to the damage of original parts.” The aftermarket groups contend that the wording of this paragraph, combined with the statements regarding the quality of aftermarket parts, is intended to misinform consumers about their vehicle warranties and are in violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Caliber Collision Centers has joined the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s Industry Leadership Circle donor recognition group through a $10,000 donation. This donation will help provide educational support to post-secondary collision students at Universal Technical Institute in Houston and Sacramento this spring.

“We are proud to support collision repair students at Universal Technical Institute in Houston and Sacramento who will become the future leaders of the collision repair industry,” stated Mark Sanders, Caliber Collision Centers Chief Operating Officer. “Through the Collision Repair Education Foundation, we are committed to becoming a leader in supporting collision repair students throughout California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas as we continue to grow into the collision repair provider of choice in every community we serve.”

Collision Repair Education Foundation Executive Director Scott Kruger said, “Thanks to Caliber Collision Centers for supporting the Collision Repair Education Foundation and joining our efforts in supporting collision repair school programs and their students. Through Caliber’s donation, educational opportunities for local collision students will be enhanced. The Industry Leadership Circle donor recognition designation highlights the extraordinary commitment of industry organizations and individuals to investing in the future of the industry. We welcome Caliber Collision Centers to this group of industry leaders.”

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has joined with the most prominent collision repair organizations representing the voice of the collision repairer nationally, to issue and sign a joint statement officially recognizing OEM vehicle manufacturer published repair procedures as the industry’s repair standards.

The organizations making the declaration with SCRS include the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP), Automotive Service Association (ASA), and Assured Performance Network. The statement was presented on Wednesday, November 3, 2011 to those attending the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their statement reads as follows: