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Friday, 30 November 2007 17:00

Allstate Adopts Open Platform

Allstate is moving forward with an “open platform” concept for repair facilities in its Priority Repair Option (PRO) program. A pilot of the application is slated to launch in early 2008.


The I-CAR Education Foundation, in conjunction with Akzo Nobel Coatings, Inc. and The Most Influential Women of the Collision Repair Industry, awarded scholarships to assist in the education and advancement in the collision industry to eight young women.


Fifty years ago today, when tailfins defined the cutting edge of automotive styling and a handful of import auto companies struggled to sell 83,000 units, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. began marketing quality cars and trucks in the United States.

Monday, 03 December 2007 11:59

Employers Must Pay for Protective Equipment

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ruled that employers must pay the cost of providing personal protective equipment needed to protect workers from job-related injuries, reports the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA).
Friday, 30 November 2007 17:00

FOX Collision Center Letter to the Industry

My name is Todd Fox. I am 43 years old and the president of FOX Collision Centers, Inc. I operate 18 auto collision repair facilities and satellites that serve a four state area. Our annual sales top $28 million. I have been in the collision repair business since I was barely eleven years old, when I swept floors in my parents’ body shop. I witnessed the “Cowboy and Indian Days” when body shop owners and insurance personnel were adversarial, rude, and, at times, eager to cheat each other out of anything and everything.
Wednesday, 31 October 2007 17:00

National Insurance Office on Horizon

The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government-Sponsored Enterprises held the first in a series of hearings October 3. The hearing explored proposals to overhaul insurance industry regulation, including the controversial issue of whether carriers should continue to be regulated by the states or opt for supervision by a new federal agency. The proposed bill would establish an optional federal charter to be used by insurers operating under the jurisdiction of multiple states.
Stunted wage rates for the last two decades have auto repair shop owners across the state crying foul – and looking to Beacon Hill [MA State Legislature] for help.
Wednesday, 31 October 2007 17:00

Car smashed? Insurers say, Go here

Scandals with directed repair programs may shake up auto body industry practices

The Automobile Club of Southern California fired a manager in its collision repair section and began an internal investigation into the matter three weeks ago, another sign of the controversy that has enveloped the insurance industry's directed repair programs.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007 17:00

Schwarzenegger vetoes AB1483

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger returned Assembly Bill 1483 to the legislature without his signature. In vetoing the bill, the governor stated:  “While I am generally supportive of consumer protection laws, the provisions of this bill are duplicative of existing law and therefore unnecessary.  In fact, these provisions may lead to increased expenses and decreased efficiency at automotive repair dealers, which could result in reduced customer service and higher costs passed onto the consumer.”
Sunday, 30 September 2007 17:00

Fugitive Arrested In $500,000 Scam

Moshe “Sanny” Assoulin, 35, an Israeli who grew up in the San Fernando Valley, was arrested in Israel in August by Israeli National Police for insurance fraud, grand theft, identity theft and federal charges.

Total collision repair industry sales grew 5.8 percent to $40.4 billion in 2006, according to the 2007 Collision Repair Trends: Industry Statistics & Analysis, recently published by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA). Independent paint and body repair shops accounted for more than half of the collision repair market at $22.2 billion.

Sunday, 30 September 2007 17:00

CRA Celebrates Its First Anniversary

The Collision Repair Association of California (CRA) celebrated its first anniversary by challenging members of the collision repair industry to take a “reality check exam.” The ten-question test is aimed at warning owners of California collision repair businesses about the bleak future that awaits them if they refuse to understand why they are losing control of their operations.

Sunday, 30 September 2007 17:00

Federal Judge Affirms State Emissions

A Vermont federal judge ruled against car companies in a suit versus the state of Vermont regarding state-mandated auto emissions standards. Car manufacturers filed the suit after Vermont issued regulations requiring reductions in vehicle greenhouse gas emission.

Sunday, 30 September 2007 17:00

Nevada Legislative Update

This has been quite the Legislative Session for the Nevada Collision Industry Association (NCIA) with both success stories and defeats. This is our second Legislative Session as an Association and we have learned that we have a lot more to learn.

California is playing by new rules. The state’s new VOC regulations are requiring the changeover from solvent based to waterborne paints in more and more counties. Prior to Trade Faire, BASF hosted a free seminar to explain to attendees the new VOC regulations and their impact on auto body businesses that will be converting in the near future. 

Thursday, 27 September 2007 10:57

Labor Rate Survey Rules Dropped by CA DOI

After being presented with in-depth analysis by both the California Collision Repair Association (CRA) and the California Autobody Association (CAA) regarding the negative consequences of proposed labor rate survey rules, DOI Commissioner Steve Poizner dropped the regulations for  insurer-conducted labor rate surveys, at least for the time being. California Autobody Association (CAA) expressed disappointment...

In early August, the California Department of Insurance (DOI) convened a meeting in which nearly 100 members of the collision repair industry met with three members of the DOI to address the issue of paint and materials price capping.

The Department of Insurance (DOI) has released its most recent notice concerning the conducting of an auto body repair labor rate survey. Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has proposed text changes to Sections 2698.91 and 2698.92.

Friday, 31 August 2007 17:00

Suit Against Ferrantes Thrown Out

In August, Dick Strom told the story of Chris and Carol Ferrante – “You don’t have to be guilty to be hanged.” Although they were no longer owners of Gilbert Collision Center, the Ferrantes  were named in a suit brought against the business by Infinity Insurance, turning their world upside down – sullying their reputations and costly them financially.

Recently confirmed Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) Chief Sherry Mehl was the guest speaker at the California Autobody Association (CAA) third quarter board meeting in Santa Clara in August.

As many repairers already know, California is playing by new rules. The state’s new VOC regulations are requiring the changeover from solvent based to waterborne paints in more and more counties. BASF wants shops to get a head start on the transition. Prior to the September 20th Santa Clara CAATrade Faire, BASF is hosting a free seminar to explain the new VOC regs and their impact on autobody businesses that will be converting in the near future..
    Do not miss this clinic taking place one hour before the September 20 Trade Faire from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Willow Room at the San Jose Holiday Inn, 1740 N. First Street @ Highway 101, San Jose. For more information, call Janet Chaney, 480-720-2565.
    Victor A. Douglas from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District will provide a brief summary of the status of Regulation 8 Rule 45 and developing amendments.
    BASF Environment Health and Safety Product Steward Tom Laginess will address government regulations, customer readiness and waterborne technology.

Not lying idle during the dog days of summer, the Collision Repair Association of California (CRA) has added three board members with over 100 combined years of collision repair experience in Central and Southern California.

Friday, 31 August 2007 17:00

New Ed Sessions Spotlight NACE

The first-ever Women’s Professional Development (WPD) Track will debut at the 25th annual International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE). This specialized track will feature four brand-new sessions to further develop the skills and careers of women who are directly or indirectly involved in the collision repair and automotive service industries. 

Chicago Pneumatic, a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of innovative aftermarket tools, accessories and compressors, has signed a three-year partnership agreement with hot rod designer and TV personality Rich Evans. 

Friday, 31 August 2007 17:00

TX AG, Allstate Claim Victory on HB 1131

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Allstate Insurance Company are each claiming partial victory as the U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, New Orleans, has affirmed the District Court ruling in the case of Allstate Insurance Co., et al., Appellants-Appellees vs. Greg Abbott, Etc., et al., vs. Automotive Service Association, et al. 

Collision repair shops regularly decry the practice by some insurers of denigrating one shop in order to influence a consumer to select a shop in that insurer’s direct repair program (DRP). But could that DRP shop be found to be engaged in an unfair trade practice based on that insurer’s behavior? 

I-CAR leaders, during the training organization’s annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, in late July, openly explained that the past year had been a tough one financially, but also pointed to a number of accomplishments as well as plans for the future that they believe will turn things around for the non-profit.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007 18:05

Industry Mourns Loss of March Taylor

March Taylor DiesThe Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and its Board of Directors extend our prayers and thoughts to the family of March Taylor as we mourn his loss. March's effect on SCRS, the industry and each of us on a personal level can't be measured or quantified. An individual that touched the lives of many, he continuously poured his efforts into an industry that he believed in.
In the first auto body shop fraud case tried under a 1993 state law, a Los Angeles jury issued an injunction against Hollywood Auto Collision, prohibiting the shop from submitting further false claims to Farmers Insurance Exchange. After a weeklong trial, the jury deliberated for less than five hours July 9 before awarding Farmers Insurance $163,387. Plaintiff's lawyers successfully proved the auto body shop violated the Insurance Frauds Prevention Act and part of the California Business and Professions Code.
What the California Autobody Association (CAA) refers to as “an extremely valuable benefit tool that shops should read and utilize” – Collision Industry Guide – is now available to members of the association.
Tuesday, 31 July 2007 17:00

California customizer wins coveted award

“Undisputed” – painted by Alan Palmer of Palmer’s Custom Paint & Body, won the 2007 Outstanding Paint division of the Don Ridler Memorial Award at Detroit’s Autorama.

Two legislative bills that would change the way that vehicle total losses are disclosed to the public have earned the support of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). 

DRC Inc. and the state of Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have begun a significant remediation of approximately 10,000 automobiles and other vessels that were irreparably damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

The designs of seats and head restraints in 21 current SUV, pickup, and minivan models are rated good for protecting people in rear impacts, but those in 54 other models are rated marginal or poor. Another 12 are rated acceptable. The latest evaluations of occupant protection in rear-end collisions by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (the Institute) found that the seat/head restraints in more than half of light truck and minivan models fall short of state-of-the-art protection from neck injury or whiplash.

Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq:KEYS) has signed a definitive merger agreement with LKQ Corporation (Nasdaq:LKQX) in which LKQ will acquire Keystone for $48 per share in cash, representing an aggregate purchase price of approximately $811 million on a fully diluted basis. The merger is expected to close early in the fourth quarter of calendar 2007, subject to the approval of Keystone’s shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary conditions. The merger agreement does not contain a financing contingency.
Farmers Insurance Group, auto and home insurer, has just gotten bigger by announcing the completion of its acquisition of non-standard auto insurer, Bristol West Holdings, Inc.
Tuesday, 31 July 2007 17:00

DOI thwarts skewed labor rate surveys

In what the Collision Repair Association of California (CRA) calls “a major win for repairers, the Department of Insurance has put in writing conditions intended to prevent insurers from using skewed labor rates surveys to underpay the cost of collision repairs. Specifically, Gary Cohen, former DOI general counsel at the time, in a June 2007 letter to Gene Crozat, owner of G&C Autobody and president of CRA, held that an insurer survey, regardless of how it is conducted, “does not create the presumption that these surveys accurately reflect the prevailing rates charged by auto body repair shops in a specific geographic area.”

Arizona’s Gila Watershed Partnership has been awarded two separate grants to address the problem of abandoned vehicles in Graham County according to Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens.

A position statement on the “feather, fill and block” procedure presented by the Automotive Service Association (ASA) Refinish Subcommittee has been approved by the board of directors. The subcommittee drafted the text under the direction of chairman Dan Stander, Jerry Stander’s Collision Works, Littleton, Colorado.

Assured Performance Network, a non-profit consumer advocacy organization and body shop cooperative (co-op), has grown to approximately 3,000 Qualified Members, and over 1,200 Member shops participating in the co-op buying group. Collectively, this network of shops performs nearly $10 billion dollars in repairs with buying power of nearly $5 billion. There is  now at least one Qualified Collision Care location within 15 minutes of at least 95% of the entire U.S. population.
Former general manager of Akzo Nobel’s Functional Chemicals business, Dutch-born Jo Lennartz will become the company’s new Director of Technology, effective September 1.

Akzo Nobel’s Automotive Plastic Coatings (APC) site at Garcia in Nuevo León, Mexico  received the coveted State Quality Award (Premio Nuevo León a la Calidad) after an exhaustive year-long audit and judging process which put the company’s management systems through a demanding series of tests and reviews. The highly prestigious award is in recognition of the facility’s continued commitment to operational excellence

Akzo Nobel dedicated its tenth state-of-the-art instruction center in North America to the memory of Mike Gunder, a technical manager for Akzo Nobel, who had faithfully represented the company for 18 years until his untimely passing in 2005

Nominations are now open for the 13th Annual Pride Awards given annually by the National Auto Body Council (NABC) to identify and celebrate those in the collision industry who selflessly perform exceptional deeds, contributing above and beyond to humanity , exemplifying the giving spirit of the industry and, thereby, improving the image of the collision industry.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007 17:00

NACE 2007 offers wide variety of events

Active ImageThe 25th annual International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) conference program plans to deliver a comprehensive compilation of sessions, speakers and topics – addressing the needs of today’s collision repair professional. Fifty-seven conference sessions present tracks in Auto Glass, Estimating, Jobber, Management, Vehicle Repair, Women’s Professional Development (new track for 2007)...
With many state legislatures winding down for the summer or year, collision repairers are wondering what some newly-passed laws will mean for them.
Tuesday, 31 July 2007 17:00

Law raises service and storage charges

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed into law bill AB 1575 (Richardson) which increases what a repair shop may charge a finance company for services and storage. Auto repair shops occasionally are faced with the situation where the customer does not pay the repair bill.

    Most collision repair shops wouldn’t think of letting customers leave with their vehicle without paying. At Keenan Auto Body, it’s starting to happen more often – which is just fine, according to Michael LeVasseur, vice president and chief operating officer of the 7-shop company in the Philadelphia area.
    After months of classroom study and hands-on practice on motor vehicles, 100 students from across the country faced off in the nation’s largest student automotive technician competition, the annual Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills.
    The National Collision Industry Alliance is a new trade association structured to maximize member resources and use emerging technologies to provide uncompromised advocacy for the collision repair industry.
    Hollywood has Oscars. Broadway has Tonys. TV has Emmys. Video productions are honored with the coveted Telly Award. And the winner for outstanding video production is … Toyota. Toyota walked away with top honors for their entries in the video/film program category. As a University of Toyota industry partner, BASF supported the accolade.
    Mentors at Work is once again initiating its annual quest for the best of the best occupational mentors in the country and is seeking nominations from the collision repair industry for consideration for the “Mentor Of The Year” award. This “Mentor Of The Year” award will be presented to the journeyman technician, currently working in a shop, who has shown exceptional skill and prowess in teaching and training new technician talent for his or her employer.
    What if your car had a sixth sense that could “see” the traffic you couldn’t or didn’t notice, and, if needed, stopped itself to prevent a collision?
Thursday, 12 February 2009 16:17

Senate Passes “Clunker-Free” Stimulus Bill

Most Collision Repairers supported Cash for Clunkers, but SEMA Members and SAN Enthusiasts Claim Credit for Helping Block  Program

SEMA-member companies and classic-car enthusiasts helped eliminate a "Cash for Clunkers" provision from both the Senate and House versions of the economic stimulus bill.

SEMA praised the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for passing "clunker-free" versions of the economic stimulus bill. The final bill to be signed into law by President Obama has no vehicle scrappage program.

Gas prices too high? Put on the brakes and settle in to Comedy Central’s new series, "American Body Shop," a half-hour narrative that explores the completely dented world of car maintenance, body work and the people who toil in it. "American Body Shop" premieres on Sunday, July 8 at 10:30 p.m.
    Automotive Service Association (ASA) members recently attended the BASF Refinish Technologies review following BASF’s meeting with General Motors Corp. BASF and GM annually review BASF refinish coating products being used by GM dealers and independent repairers. ASA attended in response to an invitation from Joseph Skurka, BASF manager of OEM and Industry Relations.
After extensive testing, Akzo Nobel has received confirmation from Toyota Motor Corporation Japan of the waterborne repair products meeting their specification.
Project Graduation, now in its fourth year, recently provided all-night fun for graduates of Ironwood Ridge High School in Tucson, Arizona. The program, which depends on a partnership between school administration, parents, law enforcement and the business community, began at 9 p.m. May 22 and concluded with the car raffle at 5 a.m. the following morning.