Volkswagen of America, Inc. will pay $1.1 million to resolve its failure to promptly notify the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and to correct a defective oxygen sensor affecting at least 329,000 of their 1999, 2000 and 2001 Golfs, Jettas, and New Beetles, according to federal officials. This is the largest civil penalty to date for this type of violation.
In an overwhelming 22 to 5 vote, members of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Property and Casualty committee agreed to continue their effort to protect consumers from both the "car company parts monopoly" and "poor quality aftermarket parts." After hearing testimony from both sides, the group created a special committee to address the issues necessary to develop a model bill on certified aftermarket crash parts that could be introduced in state legislatures around the country.
The California Department of Con-sumer Affairs' Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) has revoked the automotive repair dealer registration of California Collision Center, 3029 Enterprise Street, after an investigation found multiple violations of California law governing the auto repair industry.
Mentors@Work is once again searching for the best of the best mentors in the collision repair business. The national mentoring organization seeks nominations from the industry for its annual "Mentor Of The Year" award. This award will be presented to the individual who has shown exceptional skill teaching and training new technician talent for the collision repair industry.
The California Senate Banking, Finance, and Insurance committee heard testimony in July in Sacramento concerning Assembly Bill 303 (AB 303) - a bill that would allow insurance companies to take over as the customer in the collision repair process.
Workers' compensation insurers in the state filed rate reductions averaging -14.6 percent for policies incepting on or after July 1, 2005 bringing the cumulative rate reduction to -26.78 percent since reforms were enacted, stated Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi. In addition, the Commissioner called on insurers to pass on savings more quickly, noting that in 2005 the industry only paid 41 cents in claims for each dollar of premium collected.
Attend any national trade show, conference or association event in the collision industry, and one thing is likely to become apparent: While men may still far outnumber the women, both the number and success level of women involved in the industry is growing rapidly.
In an anticlimax second only to the Y2K debacle (remember - the hysteria over the new century), the Illinois Supreme Court overturned on a technicality the lower court decision in Avery vs. State Farm, the class-action lawsuit in which jurors found that aftermarket crash parts were not of like kind and quality to OEM parts and awarded over $1 billion against State Farm in October 1999.
After last year's I-CAR 25th annual meeting, which very much focused on the training organization's successful history, this year's event focused more on the future than on the past 12 months, which one board member termed "its most challenging year ever."