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1HomePageMap small mw 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

A senior citizen who lives in State Representative Harvey Santana’s district contacted a local media Consumer Investigator Unit called “Ruth to the Rescue” to complain that he had taken his car to a shop in West Detroit, MI, and has since “been stranded for five months.” 82-year-old James Fails said he used the repair shop known as Domestic and Import Auto at 9900 Greenfield in Detroit, MI. Fails said his car was never the same afterward, and he’s suing the facility to get his engine replaced. The Detroit grandfather’s family was shocked to learn the shop’s license had expired.

U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos, Democrat, clocked in for her shift at Dave’s Autobody in Galesburg, IL, at 2:59 pm, on April 23, 2014—one minute early, according to reporter Dani Kinnison, writing for the Galesburg Register-Mail.

As part of her “Cheri on Shift” outreach, Bustos made a stop in Galesburg to shadow the shop’s auto workers, do some welding, and discuss the issue of livable wages—an issue that’s been a source of discussion locally and nationally.

Collision repairers from six states are pursuing legal action against insurers for alleged antitrust violations and collusion by making deals with preferred body shops to reduce labor costs, and interfering with body shops’ business by dictating how they do repairs. There are also allegations that shops are being forced to use substandard repair parts. The body shops are seeking damages from the suits that could amount to damages in the billions. See Indiana Autobody Association and Indiana Shop Owners File Suit to Block Tortious Interference for more details.

David Michael Kepner, owner of Smash Auto Body in Jordan, MN, has been charged in Scott County District Court with first-degree drug possession and sales, a felony.

According to court documents:

 

Southwest Metro Drug Task Force commander Phil Nawrocki executed a search warrant at the business, which also includes Absolute Towing, on May 13. A pipe, loaded syringe and large wad of money was found and the pipe field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

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Grassy Auto Parts in West Liberty, KY, is the newest automotive recycler to join with the Team PRP nationwide network of quality-minded recyclers, which brings Team PRP membership to an impressive 139 locations across the country.

In addition to their primary location in West Liberty, Grassy owns two additional locations: Bluegrass Auto Parts in Lexington, KY, and Auto Parts Outlet in South Charleston, WV. Between 3,000 and 5,000 vehicles are kept at these locations, and close to 50 employees work with the company.

“Grassy Auto Parts has an excellent reputation in the Kentucky and West Virginia area as a high-quality, customer service-oriented auto parts recycler,” commented Charlie Martin, Team PRP North American regional director. “Their business model aligns well with the vision and high standards of the Team PRP organization as we continue to expand geographically. The addition of their three stores extends coverage for the Kentucky and West Virginia repair community."

“We feel that joining with Team PRP is an excellent opportunity to expand our business in a way that is more unified with other quality recyclers,” explained co-owner Kristin Allen. “Being part of Team PRP holds all of us to a higher standard, and we are proud to be recognized with a distinguished group in our industry.”

Pat Johnson, a cigarette-puffing Martinsville body shop owner, cut ties with insurer State Farm last November, fed up with its requirement that he buy vehicle parts through its online PartsTrader site instead of using his own longtime suppliers.

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