Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Arizona, Utah, Arkansas, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana
Heartland Automotive Services, Inc., America's largest Jiffy Lube Franchisee, announced the acquisition of Kerr Enterprises, Inc, dba Texaco Xpress Lube, the operator of Texaco Xpress retail service centers throughout Louisiana in late October. The integration of the Texaco Xpress stores will broaden the footprint Heartland Automotive established earlier this year with the acquisition of Cajun Lube and CCR Lube stores. Heartland Automotive now operates 16 stores throughout the Louisiana market. The addition of these stores bolsters their presence in LA and continues to strengthen the company's base in the Southern United States in preparation for future expansion.
Jiffy Lube Heartland is trusted by consumers and recognized by the industry as the best place for quick professional vehicle care. The company accomplishes this by exceeding guests' expectations everyday with consistent "Jiffy Lube Signature Service® Oil Change" delivered through a dedicated organization of friendly, knowledgeable, and professional teammates. The company is committed to leading the quick lube industry with clean, safe, and attractive facilities; well trained and courteous teammates; respect for the environment and recycling; and by providing the highest quality Pennzoil® products and important vehicle maintenance services to ensure they are the first choice of every consumer.
November's nationwide Midterm Elections had a lot of states changing their Insurance Commissioner and Attorney General posts, possibly affecting legislation pertaining to insurers and the collision repair industry. Here are the results by state:
New Mexico Attorney General:
Gary King (D-Incumbent)
Matthew Chandler (R)
Texas Attorney General:
Greg Abbott (R_Incumbent)
Barbara Ann Radnofsky (D)
Jon Roland (Libertarian)
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner:
John Doak (R)
Kim Holland (D-Incumbent)
The Automotive Management Institute (AMI) honored its 17th class of Accredited Automotive Managers (AAMs) on Oct. 11, 2010. The graduating class of 2010 had 95 automotive service professionals who earned the Institute’s prestigious AAM designation by successfully completing AMI courses and accumulating a minimum of 120 credits.
The continuing education offered by the Institute helps automotive service professionals improve their business management skills. In addition to providing business management classes, the Institute offers the AAM designation, the industry’s first business education accreditation.
The Houston Police Department has been drafting a new city ordinance with the help of the Houston Auto Body Association (HABA) aiming to protect consumers from body shops overcharging or charging for work that hasn’t been done to vehicles.
According to Sergeant Michael Provost, of Houston Police Department Vehicular Crimes Division, Houston has no regulations when it comes to automotive repair facilities and this has caused problems for consumers—especially those whose vehicles are coming directly from the accident scene while an owner is taken to the hospital.
A door-to-door insurance salesman in Garfield County, Okla., is believed to be casing out homes while trying to sell insurance policies.
Sheriff’s deputies told KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City that the salesman is employing high-pressure sales tactics, asking when a spouse might be home as a means to determining when the home might be unoccupied.
Catalytic converter theft is on the rise in Killeen, TX. Tracey Williams, owner of Affordable Towing & Recovery in Killeen, told the Killeen Daily Herald that one of her impound yards was hit multiple times.
“They’re just jumping fences and cutting catalytic converters off cars,” she said. “They are getting rid of them and selling copper.”
Craig’s Collision Center announces the Grand Opening of their newest ‘state-of-the-art’ auto collision center at 10836 South Freeway, Fort Worth, Texas 76140.
The location opened for business mid September. It is staffed by experienced senior Customer Service Managers and the facility is managed by John Faulkner who has more than 23 years experience in auto collision repair. For more information visit www.CraigsCollision.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Safelite Glass Corp. has been fined $52,000 by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) for allegedly providing continuing education (CE) courses in the state after its provider registration and course certifications had expired, according to information from the TDI.
According to the final consent order, Safelite initially registered as a continuing education provider (for insurance courses) in May 1993, and, as the state of Texas began using Sircon for administration of the CE program, Safelite registered as a Sircon provider from September 2007 through September 2009, with its registration expiring on September 3, 2009. It re-registered as a provider on December 16, 2009.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) is concerned about inequities in the Texas Tax Code. Currently, in the Texas Franchise Tax Code, automotive repair and collision shops owned and operated by new or used car dealerships are taxed at half the rate used to tax independently owned automotive repair businesses doing identical work. The tax code classifies dealership sales as "retail" and allows their service and repair business to be included under that banner. Texas independent repairers are seeking similar treatment.
ASA is asking Texas repairers to contact their state legislators and urge them to help stop further audits of the automotive service industry until this issue is resolved.
The Texas Attorney General has overruled the Texas Department of Insurance (DOI) in that information contained in a survey of insurers conducted by the DOI be made public. The ruling was in response to a petition by Larry Cernosek of the Houston Auto Body Association, and other members, which was filed under the Texas Freedom of Information Act and the Texas Consumer Bill of Rights.
The Texas DOI and the five major insurers surveyed argued that the documents should be exempt from disclosure requirements because they include insurer's proprietary information, but the Attorney General’s office disagreed, exempting only some items that the insurers deemed trade secrets.
The Attorney General reasoned that even if the DOI told the insurers that their responses would remain confidential, that agreement could not circumvent the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act, saying "We note that information is not confidential under the Act simply because the party that submitted the information anticipated or requested that it be kept confidential."