On March 19, the Long Island Auto Body Repairmen’s Association (LIABRA) and the Auto Body Craftsmen’s Guild (ABCG) held their March General Meeting at Huntington Volvo in Huntington, NY.
The event was hosted by the VIP Auto Group, Huntington Volvo and Ed Vardain, parts manager at Huntington Volvo. The evening began with a buffet dinner provided by Huntington Volvo.
At 7:30 p.m., LIABRA Executive Director Ed Kizenberger called the meeting to order by introducing the VIP Group’s parts directors. He then provided a review of industry news and current events.
He shared, “At the Northeast Leaders meeting on March 15, it was reported that numerous bills throughout the country that would require insurers to follow OEM repair procedures were shot down. One major insurance company lobbyist said there is no problem with the way cars are currently being repaired and OEM repair legislation is not necessary. The bills were defeated because insurers argued, as usual, that such legislation would raise insurance premiums! A recent study revealed that requiring OEM parts for collision repairs would only raise premiums about $35 a year. The Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers is willing to work with us on this legislation and is supporting OEM1Stop.”
When Kizenberger reported that teams of lawyers looking to capitalize on the Todd Tracy lawsuit of 2017 will sue any shop that they find performed an unsafe, non-OEM repair, attendees questioned whether their liability insurance would cover them.
Kizenberger encouraged them to contact their carriers, stressing, “Follow the OEM procedures when making repairs and check OEM1Stop for repair information. LIABRA will be introducing OEM part requirements legislation in Albany shortly.”
The first guest speaker of the evening was Peter M. Fryzel, I-CAR instructor and welding administrator, who provided an hour-and-a-half presentation of Ford’s Collision Repair Awareness Workshop.
Fryzel began with a review of Ford’s current product line and how Ford is building repairability into its products.
He noted, “Ford has introduced new assembly procedures and parts that make repairs easier and faster. The whole purpose of the repair is to rebuild the car and make it safe again!”
Fryzel also showed an interesting video of the factory assembly of a F150 pickup completed with robots. He said that 1,200 F150 trucks are made each day at the Rough Plant in Detroit. In addition to discussing the various types of steel Ford uses, he emphasized the proper repair for those materials and distributed a brochure on Ford’s recommended steel repairability matrix. Fryzel also covered Ford’s use of aluminum and proper aluminum repairs, pointing repairers to motorcraftservice.com with questions. He concluded the presentation by passing out a copy of Ford’s scanning position statement, which indicates all Ford vehicles of model year 2010 and up require a pre-repair scan to identify all required repairs after a collision.
Todd Zucker, Ford’s northeast sales and marketing manager, then distributed a list of requirements for participation in Ford’s certification program. He discussed the requirements and answered attendees’ questions. Additional information is available at Collision.Ford.com/FordCertifiedCollisionNetwork.
The meeting concluded with the 50/50 club drawing. V & J Autobody won $150, which they generously donated back to LIABRA.
Kizenberger noted, “LIABRA and ABCG would like to thank the VIP automotive group, Huntington Volvo and Huntington Volvo parts manager Ed Vardain for their gracious hospitality and providing the venue, dinner and refreshments for the meeting.”
LIABRA will not host an April meeting but will participate in the Annual Lobby Day. For more information on LIABRA, visit liabra.org.