John 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 www.CrashNetwork.com).
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
20 years ago in the collision repair industry (November 1994)
Recently I read an article that was critical of industry leaders who had not taken a stand against DRPs. It brought to mind a discussion I once had with (a member) who said there are things associations can do that make some members happy, but that don’t mean anything. He called it “feel good stuff.”
For association leaders to denounce all DRPs when half or more of their membership participate in direct repair programs would be nothing more than “feel good stuff.” It feels good to those who are not DRP shops, but what about those member shops who chose to go DRP?
20 Years Ago In The Collision Repair Industry (October 1994)
Responding to complaints from the collision repair industry, ADP will be pulling the plug on a program that allowed dealers to promote discount retail parts prices using ADP’s “Parts Exchange New” system.
“As a result of the issues that responsible parties of the industry brought to our attention, we will be taking discounted OEs off the ‘Parts Exchange New’,” ADP’s Rick Tuuri announced at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) held in Nashville, TN. “They will be off the system by January 1, 1995. I want to emphasize that this is no reflection on the way the discounted OEs themselves are doing business.”
Recent government data (see paragraph below) show that for a 5-year period ending early this year, the overall cost of autobody repair barely exceeded inflation over that same period (with the price of auto insurance rising even more during that period).
If the collision repair industry does not get clearly focused on what the mission is, it will be doomed to dance to whatever tune the insurance industry wants. Probably something like that old AC/DC hit, “Highway to Hell.”