Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Alaska and Wyoming
One of our reporters, Ed Attanasio, recently entered his Chihuahua mix named Ratdog in the 23rd annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest, held June 24th at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California.
To view the full text of this article with photos please click HERE.
The first prize was $1,000, which comes with the coveted Ugly Trophy and a year-round modeling contract from House of Dog (which also comes with another $1,000!).
Unfortunately for Ratdog, there was one canine deemed even uglier than Ratdog. A real dog from Sacramento, California named Yoda. Ratdog finished 2nd in the Mutt Division, which was a nice performance by this 14-year-old deaf and toothless rescue mutt.
Pictures of Ed and his dog appeared in newspapers worldwide and were interviewed for television news organizations from the U.S., Germany, Israel, Japan and the UK, among others.
In an amended class action complaint filed in July in federal court in California (Perez et al v State Farm et al) against State Farm, Allstate, GEICO and others, the plaintiffs describe the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) as an insurer-controlled tool designed to help the defendants compete unfairly against insurers using genuinely high-quality parts in repairs.
It alleges the "consumer group" represented on CAPA's board (Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety) is also insurer-funded. It quotes a State Farm executive as having said at a CAPA meeting that if "the parts were high quality, a public relations campaign would not be necessary."
Without saying when this occurred, the lawsuit (originally filed in 2006) says that "CAPA itself decided to lower its standards," and quotes an internal CAPA memo by Karen Fierst (who left CAPA in 1998) saying the change was done in such a way "to avoid calling attention to this detail."
The suit seeks damages for "at least several hundred thousand" members of the class that it says have been harmed by the defendants' unfair competition and restraint of trade.
Carrillo & Sons Collision Center is proud to announce the addition of Tony Jr., David and Daniel Carrillo to the day-to-day business operations combined with the public announcement that the company will assume the new business name of Carrillo & Sons Collision Center (formerly known as Carrillo’s Auto Body) located at 4680 Old Cliffs Road, San Diego, CA.
Carrillo & Sons has been family owned and operated in San Diego since 1981. Tony Jr., David and Daniel Carrillo have been a part of the shop since infancy, and are now fully involved in the day-to-day operations of Carrillo & Sons.
All three brothers have been trained to the highest industry standards and are truly dedicated to provide the utmost in customer service. The staff at Carrillo and Sons Collision Center has over 80 years in the auto repair industry collectively.
“I am so proud to have my 3 sons included in our business,” says Maria Carrillo, President of Carrillo & Sons Collision Center. “My sons have grown up in this garage and have learned that our name is our reputation. My sons and I take great pride in the service and quality that we provide to our customers.”
Carrillo & Sons Collision Center is a state certified green facility that has over 15,000 square feet of covered space inside their garage.
After recently celebrating its 30th anniversary, the family owned and operated automotive repair business, Furgerson’s Garage is proud to be named a certified “Green Station.”
The Bureau of Automotive Repair and the state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control officially recognized the shop after its continued effort to prevent chemical waste and pollution.
Designed by the Bureau, the Green Station Recognition Program recognizes businesses that uphold the highest environmental standards. The program advocates for the reduction of our carbon footprint on the world and believes businesses like Furgerson’s Garage should be praised for their environmentally friendly practices.
Furgerson’s Garage owner, Brad Dow, agrees with this advocacy. “As an automotive repair professional in California, I feel it’s my responsibility to do all that I can to protect our environment, not only by properly performing Smog Check inspection and repairs that aid in keeping our air clean, but also handling and disposing of the toxic substances we generate in an environmentally friendly way.”
Furgerson’s Garage is one of two auto shops in the city that has been certified as a “Green Station.” Only 36 auto shops have received certification in California.
Senator Barbara Boxer sent a letter to BMW North America CEO Jim O’Donnell on June 24, asking him to reconsider a poorly thought-out plan to fire BMW’s nearly 100 Ontario, CA employees later this summer and immediately re-open the facility the very next day with a cheaper, inexperienced work force. U.S. Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA 43) sent a similar letter to BMW as well.
The German automobile giant, Bavarian Motor Works AG, America’s most popular automaker for luxury-class autos, booked its richest earnings in its 95-year history this quarter.
BMW had global sales of almost $81 billion in 2010, or about $848,000 per employee, ranking it number 82 on Fortune’s Global 500 Companies. BMW also received over $3.6 billion in secret low-interest loans during the 2008-2009 taxpayer bailout.
Boxer wrote, “As the economic recovery continues, it is deeply disappointing that these loyal employees would be penalized at a time when your company recently reported 2011 first quarter earnings of $1.78 billion —triple that of first quarter earnings in 2010—and first quarter sales 21 percent greater than last year.”
Nevada has become the latest state to adopt a ban on texting behind the wheel as well as outlawing motorists from being able to use their cell phones while driving.
Ray LaHood, Secretary of the Department of Transportation, praised Nevada’s governor for supporting driver safety.
“I commend Governor Brian Sandoval for signing legislation that will help save lives and put a stop to dangerous distracted driving behavior on Nevada roads,” said LaHood. “In a split second, the consequences of texting behind the wheel can be devastating. There’s no call or text so important that it can’t wait.”
This move makes Nevada the 34th state to ban texting while driving and the ninth to forbid drivers from using a hand-held cellphone behind the wheel.
Violators will be penalized $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and $250 if they’re ticketed a third time for cellphone use.
Auto insurance premiums may also increase as a result of the infractions.
The Santa Clara Chapter of the California Autobody Association (CAA) has postponed their 18th annual golf tournament from July 13 to August 25 at the Cinnabar Hills Golf Club in San Jose.
Registration will start at 11am followed by Best Ball Scramble and Shotgun Start at 1pm.
Event Fees are $145.00 per player and include Green Fees, GPS Cart, Range Balls, Box lunch, and Banquet Dinner.
Tournament Hole Events will include Hole in one for a car, Longest Drive, and Closest to the Pin.
The event is also looking for sponsors, contact Tabias Padilla (408) 406-7903 or Don Dutra (408) 406-3780 for more information.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released its annual list of cities with the most car thefts, and Fresno, CA, tops the list. In fact, eight cities in the top 10 are in California, with the remaining two in Washington state.
Right behind Fresno are two other Central Valley cities, Modesto and Bakersfield. Sacramento, Stockton, and an area including San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont also make the list. Spokane, WA, comes in at No. 4. Surprisingly, Los Angeles is all the way down at 23.
Here are the top 10 cities for car theft in 2010:
1. Fresno, Calif.
2. Modesto, Calif.
3. Bakersfield-Delano, Calif.
4. Spokane, Wash.
5. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.
6. Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, Calif.
7. Stockton, Calif.
8. Visalia-Porterville, Calif.
9. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif.
10. Yakima, Wash.
The city with the least car thefts was State College, PA.
The NICB's list does not indicate how long the cars stay stolen, as GPS is enabling a number of stolen vehicle recovery systems.
For more information please visit www.nicb.org.
Police in Fort Lauderdale, FL, are investigating how a former San Diego County car dealer died in his million-dollar mansion on June 30.
70-year old Ronald Vinci, the former owner of Pacific Honda in Kearny Mesa, owned several dealerships in the San Diego area starting in the 1960s. He also owned several Honda dealerships in the 1960s, rose to millionaire status and then later sold his franchises.
Fort Lauderdale police now believe they found out who killed the former San Diegan.
Police arrested Vinci's live-in girlfriend, Catherine Pileggi on July 5, according to NBC San Diego. Detectives said Vinci was trying to break off his relationship with Pileggi at the time of his death. They believe an argument between Pileggi and Vinci turned fatal.
Homicide detectives arrested Pileggi on July 5 after finding several items linking Pileggi to the scene. Pileggi is charged with first degree murder.
10News San Diego also reported that Vinci's body was wrapped in duct tape when it was found discovered inside the home, which is in an upscale neighborhood along Fort Lauderdale's New River.
Neighbors were stunned by the sudden, reportedly suspicious death.
"We moved here because it is real quiet and slow paced and everybody walks their dogs and says hi to each other. It is a real shock to hear something like this has happened," said neighbor, John Anderson to 10News.
Vinci formerly lived in Rancho Santa Fe, CA; reports showed he moved from San Diego to Florida in 2005.
Vinci leaves behind a son and grandson.
In a potentially far-reaching decision, the California Court of Appeals has decided that there is a Private Right of Action Against California Insurers who Violate California Insurance Code Section 758.5. This ruling appears to allow for insurance companies to be sued for violations of the state's anti-steering law, Insurance Code section 758.5. In this specific case, the insured was awarded at least his legal costs in bringing the case against Progressive.