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John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit

He can be contacted at 

20 years ago in the collision repair industry (April 1995)

Tucked into a referendum on the ballot in Michigan last November was a provision that would have allowed an insurer to establish a direct repair program only if all repair facilities meeting the insurer’s criteria are allowed to participate in the program.

But the provision was part of a larger referendum on renewal of the state’s no-fault insurance regulations, and opponents of no-fault insurance successfully defeated the measure.

Back in 1999, a court decision in a class action lawsuit resulted in a $1.2 billion judgment against State Farm – at the time one of the largest judgments ever levied against an insurer. The ruling changed the way many insurance companies dealt with non-OEM parts for years, and despite the fact that the judgment was later nullified, the “Avery vs State Farm” lawsuit even today is seen as the basis for State Farm’s limited use of such parts.

But now, 18 years after that lawsuit began, the lawyers who represented the vehicle-owners in the Avery lawsuit are still fighting against the overturning of that judgment by the Illinois Supreme Court. The amount they are seeking from State Farm this time is considerably larger: triple the damages of the Avery case plus more than a decade of interest, all adding up to more than $8 billion.

Geico has received the “2015 Excellence in Safety and Pollution Prevention Award” from S/P2, an organization created to help the automotive service and repair industry meet OSHA and EPA guidelines.

New testing announced at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) earlier this year indicates that not all spraysuits are created equal in terms of preventing penetration of isocyanates.

20 years ago in the collision repair industry (February 1995)

In the videotaped interview with an official of the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), BAR’s Allen Wood explained his agency’s concern with the fraud and lack of training it has found in the collision repair industry in California.

20 years ago in the collision repair industry (January 1995)

Participants at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in San Diego in January voted to reject the Automotive Service Association’s offer to fund and administer future CIC meetings. While shop owners, suppliers and insurers at the meeting praised ASA’s offer, many also said they felt ASA’s resources could be put to better use.

As in most years, 2014 ended with some unfinished business for the collision repair industry. Here’s a look at four of the news stories from this part year that will likely continue to make headlines in the year ahead.

1. “We are requiring that you have the separation of the work area, but that can be (achieved) using curtains and proper filtration; it’s not going to require brick and mortar.”

Aluminum was front and center throughout much of the collision repair portion of the 2014 SEMA tradeshow, including at one of the new features of this year’s event: the “OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit,” hosted by the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS).

20 years ago in the collision repair industry (December 1994)

The cause and effect of “prevailing practices” was just one issue addressed by an inter-industry panel at the National Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE) Forum in Las Vegas in December.

The biggest collision industry news during SEMA week in Las Vegas last month got all of five minutes at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC).

Kris Mayer of General Motors announces that the company will be discontinuing the publication of list prices for crash parts.

John Yoswick

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