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

Mike Rose's Auto Body, a group of shops in the San Francisco Bay Area, announced the addition of their eighth location on January 17.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to open a shop in the City of Lafayette. We will be able to make it more convenient for our customers in the Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga and Rossmoor areas,” said Mike Rose, founder and owner of Mike Rose’s Auto Body.

This year marks the 40th year in business for the family-owned business operating in the East Bay.

The new facility is located in the heart of Lafayette at 3430 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette CA. The shop's hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; the shop's Manager is Jason Laus.

The other seven facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area are located in, Walnut Creek (2), Concord (2), Pittsburg, Antioch, and Brentwood. The addition of the eighth facility will enhance the presence of Mike's Auto Body in the East Bay and enable Mike’s to bring complete convenience and flexibility to their customers and insurance partners.

Thursday, 12 January 2012 08:47

Nevada Texting While Driving Ban Takes Effect

Back in June, Nevada became the 34st state to ban texting while driving. Nevada also passed a law banning handheld cell-phone use while behind the wheel, although hands-free cell phone use (such as through Bluetooth) remained legal.

Officers began issuing warnings in October, although the law officially hit the books January 1, 2012.

Las Vegas police wasted no time in enforcing the state’s new ban on driving while texting or talking on a handheld device, according to Insurance Journal. Police Sgt. Peter Kisfalvi told the Las Vegas Sun that officers wrote more than 230 citations in the first week of the year.

Fines are $50 (first offense), then $100 (second) and then $250 (subsequent violations) now that the warning period is over.

Enforcement of the Nevada bans is primary, meaning drivers can be stopped and cited for that reason alone.

The bill behind the law, SB 140, was approved by Gov. Brian Sandoval, who had made it clear that he would support a statewide ban on text messaging while driving. The Assembly’s final vote came May 30, 2011, and the Senate signed off June 4.

Sen. Shirley Breeden, who authored the bill, added handheld cell phones to the 2011 version of the bill; her 2010 version failed to pass.

The Senate lowered fines to match the Assembly’s version in order to get the distracted driving bill through.

Ford Motor Company announced on January 6 plans to create and open its first dedicated research lab in Silicon Valley early this year, further growing the company's commitment to make technology affordable for millions.

"Ford has an incredible heritage of driving innovation in the transportation and manufacturing sectors during the past 107 years," said Paul Mascarenas, Ford chief technical officer and vice president of Research and Innovation. "Now it's time to prepare for the next 100 years, ushering in a new era of collaboration and finding new partners to help us transform what it means to be an automaker."

Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally will elaborate on the new areas of focus for the forthcoming Silicon Valley lab, plus Ford's latest industry-leading technologies including SYNC®, EcoBoost™, MyKey® and inflatable rear safety belts, when he returns to the International CES on Jan. 11 for the Innovation Power Panel keynote. This will be Ford's fourth consecutive keynote presentation at CES.

Ford Research and Innovation, the company's advanced engineering arm, will open the new Silicon Valley lab in the first quarter, helping ensure Ford keeps pace with consumer trends and aggressively prepares for the future by developing mobility solutions to harness the power of seamless connectivity, cloud computing and clean technology.

Amended regulation enhances Consumer Safeguards

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced the final approval of amended regulations that simplify the requirements for determining whether a driver is principally at-fault (PAF) for an accident, which impacts consumers’ ability to obtain “Good Driver Discounts” under Proposition 103. The amended regulations prepared by the Commissioner today cleared the final administrative hurdle, having obtained approval from the Office of Administrative Law.

The amended regulation also allows an insurer to rebut presumptions concerning circumstances where a driver should be considered at-fault because the insurer may have evidence that the driver's acts or omissions caused the accident. The amended regulation also corrects problems with the PAF definition by including accidents involving bodily injury or death, restoring "total loss or damage" language, and raising the threshold for property damage, which has not been adjusted in nine years.

Valley Motor Center has proudly held another successful charity event. As part of giving something back to the communities the business serves, Valley Motor Center completely refurbished a 2006 Toyota Sienna minivan, and on November 21, 2011, donated it to New Horizons, a local organization dedicated to helping adults with developmental disabilities reach their potential and fulfill their dreams. Attending this year’s event were representatives of insurance companies, vendors, parts and paint suppliers, car rental companies and community leaders.

The California Autobody Association’s East Bay chapter hosted its 14th annual Toys for Tots Model Truck Customizing Competition on Nov. 15 at the beautiful Blackhawk Museum in Danville, Calif. Amongst some of the most coveted cars in the world, 250 people enjoyed the evening in the same room with a 1909 Winton Touring Model 17, a 1911 Mercedes Labourdette Skiff, a 1968 Bizzarrini 5300 S.I. Spyder, and a 1937 Figoni et Falaschi Delahaye, part of the museum’s 90-car collection.