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 

John Yoswick

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 00:00

Retro News: May 1995, 2000, 2005

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

Members of the Automotive Service Association (ASA) Collision Operations Committee are optimistic about “Service First,” an enhanced claims handling program introduced by State Farm. According to a State Farm news release, the pilot program was scheduled to be introduced in several states by mid-May. It would streamline auto damage claim handling and repair processes, allowing customers to go directly to qualified facilities for inspections and estimates without visiting State Farm drive-in claim service centers.

Collision repair association leaders from around the country met in Secaucus, N.J., in mid-March to share ideas and discuss state legislative or regulatory successes and efforts. The “2015 East Coast Resolution Forum,” an event sponsored by the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) of New Jersey, was held in conjunction with AASP-New Jersey’s NORTHEAST 2015 trade show.

How does your shop’s billing practices differ from other shops? Are other shops being paid for procedures you’re doing but for which you’re not being compensated?

Those questions form the basis of a new series of industry surveys being conducted as a joint project by CollisionAdvice and CRASH Network.

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.”