Southwestern News

1HomePageMap small sw 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Arizona, Utah, Arkansas, ColoradoTexas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana

The collision industry has lost several key players over the years, but their contributions continue to live on through their work.

In February of 2011, the collision industry lost an exceptional colleague in Jim E. Adams.

“Though a Louisiana native, he was known nationwide as a teacher, problem solver, product manager and most importantly a friend to all of the collision repair industry,” said coworker Bill Burnside.

Jim’s collision career began in 1980 when he opened Pioneer Automotive Paint and Body with his father. Jim enjoyed painting most and soon became the lead painter at a dealership body shop while continuing to work at Pioneer. He also helped to teach his two younger brothers the autobody repair trade.

Jim joined United Bumper Exchange in 1983 as a paint store manager. He oversaw two paint lines and serviced numerous body shops within a 150 mile radius of Shreveport, LA.     James Hunter, owner of United Bumper said as a team builder, Jim helped assemble the ‘old’ and ‘new’ body shop managers to fulfill a need to repair cars differently.

Jim was instrumental in forming the Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association (NWLCRA) which is still active today. From this association the local I-CAR committee also formed and Jim served as an instructor.

The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association held their monthly meeting on March 1, 2011 at the Country Tavern Restaurant in Shreveport. NWLCRA President, Chris Fielder, and Secretary-Treasurer, Bill Burnside, hosted the meeting.  First the I-CAR class schedule (on the NWLCRA website Calendar page) for Shreveport was discussed.

Texas Representative Craig Eiland introduced House Bill 2276 to the Texas House of Representatives on March 10; the bill is aimed at restricting insurers from limiting the parts, labor charges and repair shop the insured may choose to use.

“An insurer may not directly or indirectly limit the insurer ‘s coverage under a policy covering damage to a motor vehicle by: (1) specifying the brand, type, kind, age, vendor, supplier, or condition of parts or products that may be used to repair the vehicle; [or] (2) specifying maximum labor charges for the repair of the vehicle; or (3) limiting the beneficiary of the policy to selecting a repair person or facility to repair damage to the vehicle from a list provided to the beneficiary by the insurer,” the bill states.

The bill also addresses full disclosure of an insurers repair policies and processes for claim payments through a direct repair facility and a non-direct repair facility to the insured. According to the bill insurers must also disclose to non-direct repair shops the processes and requirements to gain the DRP contract with that insurer.

Eiland, who is Vice Chair of the House Insurance Committee, introduced the bill to the House, while Senator Mike Jackson introduced a companion bill to the Senate.

Caliber Collision Centers, operator of high-quality collision repair facilities in California and Texas, announced today its continued expansion into the Houston area with the grand opening of its 44th center in Texas. This new center is an 18,986 square foot, state-of-the-art collision repair center located in Bryan, TX. Bryan is the sister city to College Station where Texas A&M University is located.

Steve Grimshaw, Caliber Collision Centers’ Chief Executive Officer announced, “We continue to expand our capacity in the Houston/Bryan/College Station area to meet the needs of our customers and insurance clients across this high growth area of the state. The opening of this newest location supports Caliber’s continued expansion plans and offers best-in-class operational consistency, customer focus, and cost management.”

“The addition of the Bryan-College Station location further extends Caliber’s position as the largest collision repair provider in Texas. The opening of our 44th center is a testament to our commitment to meeting the growing needs of our clients in the South Texas area,” added Mark Sanders, Chief Operating Officer for Caliber Collision.

About Caliber Collision Centers
Caliber Collision Centers operates 81 state-of-the-art collision repair service centers throughout California and Texas. Caliber plans to continue acquiring and integrating additional high-volume collision repair centers while providing innovative collision repair solutions and automobile damage claims support. For more information about Caliber Collision Centers, visit our website at www.calibercollision.com.

The Houston Auto Body Association's labor rates surveys for Houston and the surrounding areas has gone live online. The survey is being conducted by CSi Complete. Please go to: http://www.csicomplete.com/haba/ to take the survey.

To increase the incentive for all Oklahoma drivers to carry mandatory liability auto insurance, a House of Representatives committee voted to prohibit uninsured drivers from being able to sue for vague “pain and suffering” damages after an accident.

“There have to be greater consequences for uninsured drivers,” said state Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee. “If you or I are hit by an uninsured driver, there’s no insurance company to pay our actual losses, let alone ‘pain and suffering’ claims. Why should those same uninsured drivers be treated better than law-abiding citizens in a court of law?”