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The United States House of Representatives is taking a crucial step to make America' s roadways safer by ensuring valuable information is easily accessible to consumers. Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL) along with Representative Charles Bass (R-NH), introduced the Damaged Vehicle Information Act (H.R.6093) in September. 

Saturday, 30 September 2006 17:00

CIC and I-CAR: Summer industry meetings

If you didn't attend the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and I-CAR annual meeting, both held in San Jose, California, in August, you may have missed out on some useful news and information shared at the meetings. 

Alleging their vehicles' emissions have contributed significantly to global warming, harmed the resources, infrastructure and environmental health of California, and cost the state millions of dollars to address current and future effects, attorney general Bill Lockyer filed a lawsuit against leading U.S. and Japanese auto manufacturers. 

Tuesday, 31 October 2006 17:00

CRA challenges BAR over Progressive license

It has been several months since Progressive Insurance opened its first Concierge location in the San Diego area without registering with the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). On May 11, the BAR determined - based upon an on-site visit - that the Progressive Service Center, in fact, met the requirements of an Auto Repair Dealer (ARD) and must register with the BAR. (Autobody News, July 2006)

Tuesday, 31 October 2006 17:00

OSHA renews alliance with CCAR

OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke signed a two-year Alliance renewal between the agency and the Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair (CCAR). 

Tuesday, 31 October 2006 17:00

Open letter to industry from NASTF

 

Charlie Gorman, chairman of the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) has issued an open letter to colleagues in the collision repair industry to tout NASTF's recent accomplishments and goals for the future.
 

Tuesday, 31 October 2006 17:00

Nevada group spearheads CC tech center

The Nevada Collision Industry Association (NCIA) received kudos for its leadership role in making the Automotive Technology Center at the Community College of Southern Nevada a reality.

Tuesday, 31 October 2006 17:00

Proposed regs require standard ESC

A new proposal to require auto manufacturers to install electronic stability control (ESC) as a standard feature on all new passenger vehicles has the potential to save more than 10,000 lives every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

Tuesday, 31 October 2006 17:00

BAR regs define scope of labor rate surveys

New BAR regulations have reduced the importance of labor rate surveys, relegating them to little more than resource documents and preventing insurers from using them to artificially set the rate they will pay. The new regulations were hammered out after the California Department of Insurance held two days of hearings in an effort to define the parameters of auto body repair labor rate surveys conducted by the insurance companies. 

OEConnection LLC, a leader in ecommerce parts exchange and analysis solutions for the automotive original equipment replacement parts business, recently inked a marketing partnership with Ford Motor Company and General Motors for the national deployment of CollisionLink, OEConnection's technology for the fast, accurate online fulfillment of original equipment replacement parts to collision shops. 

U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif) has introduced The National Insurance Act of 2006. If passed, H.R. 6225 will provide an "optional federal charter" to insurers of life, property and casualty insurance, allowing insurers to choose between federal and state charters. 

Tuesday, 31 October 2006 17:00

Class-action suit against Farmers winding up

A class-action lawsuit against Farmers Group for the use of non-OEM parts in nine states, including California, Arizona and Texas, has been playing out quietly in Orange County (California) Superior Court over the past several months. The case, Lebrilla v. Farmers Group, is five years old and the "class" or group of affected people may include 700,000 Farmer's customers in nine states who have had their cars repaired since 1996. 

Tuesday, 31 October 2006 17:00

EZ Lube shops under investigation by BAR

Disciplinary action that may result in the suspension or revocation of the Automotive Repair Dealer (ARD) registrations of 76 Southern California EZ Lube auto repair shops, by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). This marks the largest BAR investigation in recent history against an independently-owned automotive repair corporation. 

Tuesday, 31 October 2006 17:00

New manifest form required

As of September, 2006, all hazardous waste generators and treatment, storage, and disposal facilities must use EPA's standardized hazardous waste manifest form. 

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has named Jeff Rose as Deputy First As-sistant Attorney General. Rose has served as Chief of the Civil General Litigation Division at the Office of the Attorney General since 2003, handling some of the state's highest profile civil litigation matters, ranging from school finance to health care administration. 

In March 2006, the U.S. District Court, Northed repair shop law, HB 1131, constitutional. Allstate filed a notice of appeal with theern District of Texas, found the Texas law prohibiting insurer-own U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, in April 2006.
Hank Tarter jokes that if you're going to have a heart attack, the place to be is Keizer, Oregon, a community of 35,000 residents just north of Oregon's capitol city of Salem.
Tuesday, 31 October 2006 17:00

Sherry Mehl named new BAR chief

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has finally filled the position of chief at the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). Sherry Mehl, 57, of Sacramento, has been appointed chief of the BAR. 

Collision shop owners are being urged to contact their U.S. representatives asking that they co-sponsor H.R. 6093, the Damaged Vehicle Information Act.  

Tuesday, 31 October 2006 17:00

CAA helps consumers learn their rights

The California Autobody Association (CAA) has formed a new committee called the Collision Rights For Consumers committee. This committee will work closely with consumer groups to address some of the common issues that are affecting both the collision shops and the rights of the consumer.

The recent change from Mitchell to Audatex estimating systems by the American Family Insurance Customer Repair Program (CRP) has caused a ground swell of questions, accusations and opposition. 

Tuesday, 31 October 2006 17:00

Allstates proposed open platform benefits

Allstate will explore a new, more flexible estimating, communication and reporting platform for its PRO program. When complete, Allstate believes this work and the "open platform" concept will be well received by consumers, repair facilities and the industry. Allstate expects the exploration phase to continue through mid-2007 at which time testing is expected to begin.

Akzo Nobel has been advised by I-CAR that fifteen of its technical and business development classes have been approved under the 2006 re-certification criteria to receive Gold Class points through the I-CAR Training Alliance program effective November 1, 2006. 

Tuesday, 31 October 2006 17:00

Akzo Nobel and CIAI present 2006 endowments

Fall 2006 endowment recipients have been chosen by Akzo Nobel, along with the Advisory Council of the Collision Industry Advancement Initiative (CIAI). This is the fifth set of endowments since the program was established in 2004. This year's recipients are Contra Costa Community College, Northern Virginia Community College, and Skills Canada Student Competition. 

Tuesday, 31 October 2006 17:00

ADESA acquires 3 Texas salvage auctions

ADESA Impact, a unit of ADESA's Auction Services Group, has acquired three independent salvage auctions in the state of Texas, according to ADESA, Inc. (NYSE: KAR), provider of wholesale vehicle auctions and used vehicle dealer floorplan financing.

Four suspects have been arrested in a staged auto collision ring that allegedly caused more than 100 collisions in the Bay Area resulting in more than $2 million in losses to insurers, according to Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi. 

Probably everyone in the industry has heard some variation of the joke about wheels on toolboxes being the cause - or a result of - the high rate of turn-over among the industry's technicians. {sidebar id=1}

Several paint companies have announced price increases across the board. 

Thursday, 30 November 2006 17:00

Industry issues, expos highlight NACE 2006

A "high energy affair with a lot of productive business being done," said one trade show exhibitor, summing up the general consensus among attendees at NACE 2006 in Las Vegas. 

Friday, 12 January 2007 17:42

NACE 2006 delivers strong results

The 24th annual International Auto-body Congress and Exposition (NACE 2006) recently held in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, November 1-4, was a solid event for the collision repair industry - providing "more" of what attendees were looking for.

Future automotive technicians at Columbia College in Sonora, California, are getting some hands-on experience using Smog Check inspection equipment seized by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Automotive Repair (DCA/BAR) pursuant to a court order.
Friday, 12 January 2007 17:11

Quotes of Note for 2006

State Farm's new 'Select Service' program; a Texas court's upholding of a state law banning insurer-owned shops; the increasing percentage of vehicles being declared total losses; and the ongoing battle over the "right to repair" were among the most talked-about topics in the industry this past year.
Encompassing a list of accomplishments that spans the decades, the California Autobody Association (CAA) celebrated its 40th anniversary last month.

Two class-action lawsuits with major implications for body shops have been filed in California against six major insurers, challenging the basis upon which insurers require policyholders to pay out-of-pocket for choosing body shops that charge more than what the insurer claims is the prevailing labor rate. 

If refinish labor times on repaired panels are going to be adjusted from those in the estimating systems - something 96 percent of shops say they have seen insurers do - the printed copy of the estimate should show what the original labor time is. 

Thursday, 30 November 2006 17:00

CAA becomes newest regional affiliate of SCRS

The California Autobody Association (CAA) has become the latest regional association to join the growing affiliate ranks of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS).

Scott Daffron, owner of Daffron's Body Shop and Used Cars Inc. in Cortland, Ohio, received the Automotive Service Association (ASA)/National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Top Score Award during NACE. The award recognizes the ASA Collision Division member who received the highest score on the ASE master collision repair/refinish certification test. 
Lucky thirteen vehicles - including four cars, seven SUVs, and two minivans have earned Top Safety Pick awards for 2007, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (Institute). This award recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side, and rear crashes based on ratings in Institute tests. Winners also have to be equipped with electronic stability control (ESC).
Two class-action lawsuits with major implications for body shops have been filed in California against six major insurers, challenging the basis upon which insurers require policyholders to pay out-of-pocket for choosing body shops that charge more than what the insurer claims is the prevailing labor rate.
At the end of the 30-day response period, the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) et al. presented its Answer to the petition for Writ of Mandate filed by the Collision Repair Association of California (CRA) in an attempt to force BAR to settle licensing issues regarding the Progressive Service Center of San Diego. BAR has already determined, as far back as May, that the center qualifies as an Auto Repair Dealer (ARD), and therefore must have a license to operate.
The Coordinating Committee For Automotive Repair (CCAR) has honored the “top ten” users of its S/P2 e-learning program among General Motors ASEP schools.
Wednesday, 27 December 2006 16:23

Latest Industry News - 11/20/06

Class-action suit against Farmers for use of non-OEM parts winding up...

Friday, 12 January 2007 16:31

CCRE Reno Day Two

Eversman says: Get a signed repair contact

Farmers Insurance Group has agreed to pay over $17 million to settle a California class-action suit that claimed the insurer had breached its insurance contracts by requiring the use of certain non-OEM crash parts.  The insurer has also agreed that, for a period of one year, it will adjust claims "as appropriate using only OEM Crash Parts, salvage Crash Parts or CAPA Crash Parts that have not been decertified."

Growing concern over the ability of aftermarket bumper reinforcements to protect vehicle occupants has prompted the Collision Repair Association of California (CRA) to seek the intervention of Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. In a letter of February 2, 2010, the CRA asked Commissioner Poizner to require insurers to review claims where aftermarket bumper supports were used in collision repairs and to disclose such use to affected policyholders. In the past week major aftermarket associations agreed to suspend distribution of aftermarket bumper reinforcements while one major insurer, GEICO, stated it would no longer use them. These announcements follow on the heels of research by Toby Chess, a nationally recognized expert on vehicle repair, that reveals that aftermarket bumper reinforcements lack the structural integrity to withstand collisions sustained by high-strength steel reinforcements used by vehicle manufacturers.

 

Below is a draft of the speech given by Kerry Soat to the Arizona House of Representatives Banking and Insurance Committee regarding House Bill 2463. Cindy Ketcherside and Rex Alltree also spoke on House Bill 2464, with regards to eliminating the $0 deductible from the Arizona Law. 

Whittier attorney John David Munoz, 42, was arrested this morning at this residence on felony auto insurance fraud charges for allegedly fabricating facts surrounding the destruction of his vehicle.

In California Second Appellate District, a shop owner’s claims of unfair business practices on the part of two major insurance companies in their labor rate surveys, have been denied on appeal, upholding an earlier court decision.

The Automotive Service Association of Arizona (ASAAZ) was founded in 1963 to help automotive shop owners statewide through resources, training, legislation and representation, networking, communication efforts and more. The ASA of Arizona is affiliated with the Bedford-Texas-based national ASA, which is the largest not-for-profit trade association of its kind serving automotive service professionals.

With the help of a Phoenix TV station’s consumer crew, a Phoenix photographer, Mark Lane, has obtained a reduction on a $1,300 shop storage bill  accrued while the at-fault driver’s insurer, Infinity, waited to resolve the claim with the insured. The crash occured when the insured driver ran a red light. “Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a car in the number three lane blow right through the light,” Lane said.

California Attorney General “Jerry” Brown Jr. announced on Jan. 25 a $1.8 million settlement preventing Maurice Irving Glad, owner of 22 Midas auto shops throughout California, from owning or operating an auto repair shop in the state, after the franchisee “deceptively lured” customers with cheap brake specials and then charged hundreds of dollars for unnecessary repairs.

An L.A. City Council decision to ban new auto-related business from opening in the area and force existing shops to come up to code has stoked debate about what exactly belongs in Cypress Park and adjacent Glassell Park.

CLICK HERE for LA Times Story

CAA asks members to file complaints with CDI

The California Autobody Association (CAA) is considering petitioning the California Department of Insurance (CDI) regarding at least two insurer’s labor rate surveys that CAA believes do not comply with current regulations.

Wednesday, 09 December 2009 09:38

State Farm Denies Steering Allegations

Bob Devereux, public affairs assistant manager for State Farm California Media Relations, specifically addressed G&C Autobody owner Gene Crozat, who has alleged in a public meeting (see Autobody News, Dec. 09) that a class action lawsuit is necessary to stop State Farm from steering customers in California.

AQMD to begin issuing permits after Jan. 1

Hundreds of Southland businesses and public utilities forced to delay plans to expand, modernize or relocate can move forward after Jan. 1, 2010 now that Gov. Schwarzenegger has signed a bill lifting an air quality permit moratorium.

AB 1200 was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor at the last possible minute on Oct. 11. We were hoping for a different outcome, however, it is not the end of the world. The insurers presented this bill as consumer protection necessary to allow consumers to make an informed choice regarding collision repairs covered under insurance policies and it would be done in a specific truthful non-deceptive manner. This is their language and we as an association are prepared to hold them to that standard.

After luke-warm opposition from California body shops, and disappointment from the two auto body associations, AB1200 was signed into law by the governor on the last possible day, Oct. 11.