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 www.CrashNetwork.com).

He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Wednesday, 11 May 2022 14:48

CIC Committee Looking at How Estimates End Up on Vehicle History Reports

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Pete Tagliapietra of DataTouch said many shops may be unaware of data pumps running on their shop’s computer system, extracting data for a third party. Pete Tagliapietra of DataTouch said many shops may be unaware of data pumps running on their shop’s computer system, extracting data for a third party.


...multiple data pumps, that are sucking the repair line information and personally identifiable information off of every estimate they write.”


At past CIC meetings, CCC Intelligent Solutions has said it does not share data with CARFAX. During April’s meeting in Oklahoma City, Jack Rozint of Mitchell International delivered a similar message.


Rozint shared the relatively short list of companies that receive access to a VIN through his company’s system during the estimating process. He said no VIN data is shared outside of Mitchell Cloud Estimating unless the user enables third-party integrations or EMS/BMS outputs, which a user can shut off at any time.


“If you use our estimating system in a standard configuration, as most of our users use it, without enabling any of those third-party integrations, we don’t send the data anywhere,” Rozint said. “It’s been brought to my attention there may be other information providers that, in the course of writing an estimate, bounce the VIN off a number of dealerships to get pricing information, and that just writing an estimate in another system may actually share the VIN with multiple parties that you may not even be aware of.


"But that does not happen with Mitchell Cloud Estimating," Rozint said. "If just the act of writing an estimate is causing CARFAX to get the data, I’m guessing the estimate wasn’t done in Mitchell. Now we do allow our customers to export BMS and EMS [data files] to whomever they choose. They can do that without Mitchell’s involvement. We allow our customers control of our data as they see fit for their business. So there’s things that can happen outside of Mitchell’s control, but that’s in the control of the user.”


Trent Tinsley, who co-chairs the CIC committee, said the committee has been having ongoing discussions with several vehicle history reporting companies for months, inviting them to speak, and hopes to have that happen at CIC in July.


“What we want to aim for is: can a shop explain to a customer, if they were asked, where their data goes,” Tinsley said. “That is what as a committee we are trying to work toward.”


“It’s a huge issue for consumers, and we don’t know how to explain to them how [a vehicle history company] got that information,” New Mexico shop owner Scott Benavidez told the committee.


Benavidez owns a collision repair shop and a vehicle inspection company, two separate businesses, using the same estimating system in both.


For the inspection business, his company writes a “reconstructive estimate,” showing what work had previously been done on a used vehicle based on...