Western News

1HomePageMap small w 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in California, NevadaOregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Alaska and Wyoming

Nicolosi Distributing Inc. (NDI), a paint jobber in the San Francisco bay area, filed a lawsuit against BMW of North America earlier this year alleging intentional interference with a contract with a BMW-certified shop.

The Arizona Department of Insurance has adjusted the threshold amount of property damages insurers may use to non-renew private passenger auto policies to $2,400.

According to the DOI, A.R.S. 20-1631(E) governs the limits on an insurer’s ability to cancel or non-renew a personal automobile policy after it has been in effect for 60 days, and A.R.S. 20-1631(E) lists additional conditions and limitations for cancellations and non-renewals, including a provision that: “An insurer shall not fail to renew more than one-half of 1 percent of its policies annually.”

For accidents occurring after Jan. 2, 2000, the ADOI must annually adjust and publish the threshold amount. Because the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for urban consumers is 1.6 percent, ADOI has increased the threshold.

For more information, e-mail jsneathen@azinsurance.gov.

The theme was education and information, offered by GM and BECCA, a company that markets paint spray gun cleaning systems designed for automotive and industrial applications. Reps from both companies were the co-keynote speakers at a meeting held by the CAA East Bay Chapter in January, held at Scott’s Seafood restaurant in Walnut Creek, Calif.

First, GM Collision/Powertrain Wholesale Specialist Jeffrey James outlined the carmaker’s parts buying incentive programs for the body shops in attendance and stressed the corporation’s desire to get more of its OE parts into their repairs.

The Valley Ventura chapter of the California Autobody Association (CAA) held their monthly meeting on January 19 at Giovanni’s Steak & Seafood  in Simi Valley. 52 guests were in attendance.

Wayne Barcikowski and Van Phan started off the speakers by outlining the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (SCAQMD) rule 1147 and how it affects local shop owners.

Air Quality Management District Rule 1147, regarding low NOx burners, was recently postponed—making all shops required to be compliant by the end of 2011. According to Linda Holcomb with the Pasadena/Foothills Chapter, the postponement was a result of Barcikowski  hearing a lot of shops speak out about their inability to afford to conform to Rule 1147 by 2011 at three CAA meetings he spoke at last year.

BMW of Vista, a full-service BMW dealership, is slated to open in Vista, CA on January 24. The dealership itself will be open to the public on that day, as well as the parts center.

Neighboring Oceanside, CA, housed a small BMW dealership a few years ago, but eventually shut its doors.

“There will be no delays, everything is being inspected now,” said Parts Manager Bill Cox.

Allstate Insurance has agreed to stop selling "Your Choice Auto" (YCA) insurance program in California, in response to a challenge brought by the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog. The company has stopped issuing new YCA policies, and will completely phase out the approximately 150,000 existing YCA policies in California by November 2011.

Consumer Watchdog said the program is "deceptive and overpriced," asserting that under the YCA program, Allstate charged drivers up to 15 percent higher-than-normal premiums with the promise that future tickets or accidents would not be used to increase premiums. The consumer action group said an investigation it conducted found that the purported benefits were not worth the premium being charged. According to the consumer group, Allstate was:

1. Violating California's good driver discount law;
2. Unfairly discriminating against drivers despite their good driving record;
3. Selling a deceptive product; and
4. Encouraging irresponsible driving.