FCA Releases Scan Tool Position Statement

June 9, 2016

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC has released a position statement related to the use of scan tools following collision.  In the position statement, FCA State:

"Safety and security related systems, such as antilock brakes, supplemental restraint systems (SRS—air bags), occupant restraint controller (ORC), seat belts, active head restraints, forward facing camera and radar, blind spot monitoring, and other automated electronic driver assistance systems, MUST be tested for fault codes (DTCs) that could be active (current) or stored following a collision.  Use of the Mopar wiTech vehicle diagnostic tester is necessary before and after collision repair.”

According to FACA there are a number of conditions that could trigger diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) prior to, or during, collision repairs.  This includes vehicles involved in minor collision and those without an airbag deployment.  There are also instances where vehicle disassembly, trim removal, and glass removal could also cause DTCs.

The position statement also provides guidance on ensuring that multistate airbags that have had all inflators deployed.

To view full position statement, click here.

NEW COLLISION REPAIR WEBSITE TARGETS CONSUMERS

Launch of CrashRepairInfo.com aimed at increasing general consumer awareness of all aspects of the collision repair process and improving their overall repair experience.  Posted: 3/2014

Executive Summary 2013 Survey - Snapshot of the Collision Repair Industry

published by the Collision Repair Education Foundation.

In six years since the last survey was completed, both the economy and the collision repair industry have been through significant changes. The industry has experienced a market size reduction of 3,047 shops (7.0%) to a current count of 40,488 shops, while the size of individual shops has increased.  Small shops (those with annual sales under $300,000) were almost half of all shops (44.3%) in 1995 and now represent about one of every twelve shops (8.7%). The share of super shops (those with annual sales over $1 million) has increased from about one in seven shops (15.3%) in 1995 to two-thirds (66.5%) of all shops in 2013. The overall average for square feet of production space has again grown, more than doubling since 1995. The average number of employees reported has also more than doubled in that same time period. In 1995, one in five shops reported more than six technicians. In 2013, it is now more than one out of every two shops. Those in business five years or less was one out of every seven (14.2%) in 1995 and one out of every sixteen (6.1%) in 2013, resulting in an increase of the overall average of number of years in business. Click here to review publised results.

Wed, 22 May 2013

PartsTrader Rolling Out Nationally

Insurer confirms testing is over, names first four states in national rollout.

State Farm has confirmed the end of the pilot phase and a national rollout of the PartsTrader electronic ordering system to its Select Service direct repair facilities.

George Avery, claims consultant for State Farm, explained to CollisionWeek that Select Service repair facilities in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas will be part of the first wave that will occur by August of this year.

"The roll-out will continue to additional areas through 2014 though no specific timelines have been established for markets beyond the first four states," explained Avery in a telephone conversation with CollisionWeek.

State Farm began a pilot of the PartsTrader system in Tucson, AZ, Birmingham, AL and Charlotte, NC, in the early 2012. In September 2012, State Farm announced the expansion of the pilot into the Chicago market.

The PartsTrader pilots have raised concerns and opposition from several collision repair associations. While many concerns involve functions of the PartsTrader system itself and possible impacts on repair facility productivity, the general issue of insurance-company mandated vendor requirements is also a concern expressed by associations.

"This is disturbing news. The industry has made it clear long before PartsTrader that insurance company mandates are not acceptable," said Dan Risley, executive director of the Automotive Service Association. "Even though shops have a choice whether or not they participate in Select Service, the fact is that they may have made a different decision about their relationship before building their business around State Farm's Select Service program given that the rules of the game have changed."

Risley continued, "The market should dictate which program is best for their business, not an outside entity. This is clearly a step backwards and reminiscent of the days of insurance companies mandating an estimating platform."

In a press release on insurer-mandated parts programs generally, but unrelated to today's announcement from State Farm, Ron Reichen, president of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists Board of Directors stated, "While PartsTrader has made various software updates to address the plentiful concerns expressed by their end-users, correcting and enhancing software issues is a necessary function of being in a technology business, and the industry still expects that technology companies should be able to provide a better value proposition for why we should be using their product than 'because we got the insurance company to tell you to.'"

ASA Focuses on State Farm Data Timeline, Seeks Benefit for Repairers

COLLEYVILLE, TEXAS, Aug. 22, 2012 – Since early May 2012, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) and its volunteer leaders have taken a transparent and methodical approach to State Farm’s electronic parts ordering application currently being piloted. Seeking context regarding the specifics of the pilot, ASA previously presented the industry with verified details of the State Farm pilot and the application developed by PartsTrader at State Farm’s request.

For ASA to continue in good faith to provide accurate information to its members – and act on their behalf as advocate and industry liaison – ASA has now entered into a phase in which data delivery will be associated with a timeline. If State Farm cannot provide data showing how this application benefits collision repairers (operationally/financially) within a feasible, specified time frame, ASA will respond appropriately. ASA acknowledges the pilot is still in process and State Farm is currently reviewing data.

This follows a public request by ASA June 12 to State Farm on behalf of ASA’s collision repair members for factual evidence of how the electronic parts ordering application would benefit collision repair facilities. Within this request ASA clearly stated that if this application does not provide benefits to the collision repairer, then ASA would not support the application moving forward. On July 17, ASA made another public request to State Farm for data demonstrating that the pilot application benefits repair facilities, receipt of which was confirmed by the insurer.

George Avery, State Farm industry liaison and claims representative, said during a recent phone interview with ASA that State Farm is still sifting through the feedback received from the 158 shops using the system in four U.S. markets, and is implementing changes in the pilot that, in turn, put them in a position of needing to go back to repairers to gather further data. Avery stressed it was a fluid process. Although lacking current data to provide specific answers, he assured ASA that State Farm would respond to the association when answers were available.

Previously published, ASA’s areas of concern regarding the pilot – as expressed by collision repairers – includes efficiency issues, additional administration costs, reductions in shop profits, potential compromises to local repairer-to-supplier relationships and increasing insurer involvement in the repair process.

More than 100 formal and informal interviews have been conducted by ASA, primarily with collision repair businesses and others industry groups such as RealParts.com, PartsCheck Live, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), Team PRP Recyclers, independent aftermarket parts distributors, wholesale original parts dealers and original equipment manufacturers. From the vast pool of conversations conducted thus far, overwhelmingly, the majority of all segments interviewed continue to express b concern about the current State Farm pilot, particularly its electronic parts ordering component.

“For ASA members, the factual results of the pilot are essential to the discussion. ASA will continue to engage with all parties necessary, as we seek the supporting data that this application benefits the collision repairer. ASA stands by its statement that if this application does not provide benefits to the collision repairer, ASA would not support the application moving forward,” said Denise Caspersen, manager of ASA’s Collision Division. “ASA has a responsibility to our membership to be the unyielding, professional voice speaking clearly about their concerns and advocating for favorable resolutions.”

Collision repairers may share their comments or concerns regarding the pilot by contacting Denise Caspersen at [email protected], or by phone at (800) ASA-SHOP, ext. 106, or (817) 514-2906 (direct). All ASA announcements and documents regarding the State Farm pilot are conveniently located at www.ASAshop.org. Click on “Tools & Resources” (in the blue menu bar), then “State Farm Pilot Program.”


Parts Bidding Statement from ASA Arizona
(July 27,2012)  Based on input from collision repair members and non-members, including repairers and vendors directly involved in the Parts Trader pilot program in Tucson, the Automotive Service Association of Arizona (ASA Az) is issuing the following position statement in regards to State Farm Insurance’ intent to implement this program on a nationwide basis;

ASA Az believes that the most efficient method of ordering parts is to utilize the local vendor network established by each repairer.  Vendors earn the business they get from collision repair shops by consistently exceeding expectations in the areas of quality, service and pricing.

ASA Az believes that the implementation of Parts Trader will have a negative effect on the local economy as repair shops are encouraged and/or required to purchase parts from other geographical regions.

ASA Az believes that insurance companies should stay in the business of insurance and leave all aspects of the repair process to collision repair professionals.

ASA Az believes that introduction of the Parts Trader bidding system will increase cycle time and, therefore, negatively affect consumers.

ASA Az believes that parts procurement should be solely the responsibility of collision repair shops and that the mandatory use of Parts Trader is contrary to the free market principle that this country was founded on.

The repair process cannot be based on “price” but rather the professional opinion of the collision expert that is repairing the vehicle.  Safety and Quality must always be the focus of the collision repairer.  Parts Trader, or any system that uses “price” as a driving force, needs to be eliminated from our industry. This system does not benefit the collision repair shops, but could encourage short cuts that would have a negative effect on the consumer.

Arizona State Legislature:  HB 2394 - Unlawful practices; motor vehicle repair

The above bill was introduced at the 2012 Legislature.  To read the bill and track its status, click here ASA of Arizona opposed this bill on behalf of the Collision Repair members of ASA as it would have a negative impact on small independent repair facilities. Posted 1/27/12

Leading Collision Repair Organizations Release Joint Position Statement on Collision Repair Standards

Helping define a foundation and a road forward, the most prom-inent collision repair organizations, representing the voice of the collision repairer nationally, issued and signed a joint statement officially recognizing OEM vehicle manufacturer published repair procedures as the industry's repair standards.

The organizations making the declaration include the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP), Automotive Service Association (ASA), Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), and Assured Performance Net-work. The statement was presented on Wednesday, November 3, 2011 to those attending the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their statement reads as follows:

"The undersigned organizations continue to be the leading voice of collision repair businesses and technicians across the United States, just as they have for decades. Representing their interests, we hereby recognize published repair procedures, as provided by automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM), as the official industry recognized "Repair Standards" for collision repair. These standards, where they ex-ist, shall be the basis for the establishment of training, testing, repair practices, and documentations.

Whereas, we acknowledge that OEM repair procedures are incomplete in comparison to the full scope of vehicles and repair operations which exist in the marketplace; the OEM published repair procedures shall serve as the baseline for industry repair standards, with the recognition that further development of procedures will be necessary in areas not covered by published procedures.

"Therefore, we officially ask the board of directors for the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR), to establish within their overall organizational structure, an industry council to identify gaps in exist-ing OEM procedures and develop processes to close gaps, vet industry proposed alternatives, modifica-tions, and additions to OEM procedures. The Council will include volunteer representatives serving at least ASA, SCRS, AASP, and I-CAR."

While most assume OEM repair procedures are standards by default, it has never been officially established until now. As these groups collectively represent collision repair businesses and technicians across the United States, their official adoption and declaration provides a much needed foundation and focus to the industry's effort to establish collision repair standards.


ASA Approves New Crash Parts Policy
ASA Recognizes Value of Certification and Verification for Parts Quality

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) Board of Directors met this past weekend and discussed changes to the ASA policy on replacement crash parts. The board voted unanimously to approve a new policy for crash parts.
       With reference to the new policy, Dan Stander, AAM, ASA Collision Division director and co-owner of Jerry Stander’s Collision Works, Littleton, Colo., said:
“ASA’s replacement crash parts position statement is in response to today’s parts usage and market conditions. With an increasing number of part types with various levels of quality, and an increase in the number of processes used to validate – or not validate – these various lines of quality, it is confusing at best to most repairers.
“ASA’s position better defines its goal to provide the highest level of repair by requiring full disclosure of all part types by all parties, and having the standard for replacement crash parts that are certified and verified to be the equivalent of the OEM part.”

The new crash parts policy reads:
ASA supports requiring insurers and auto collision facilities to provide disclosure of part type, description and warranty information to the consumer for all part types including, but not limited to, original equipment manufacturer, aftermarket, recycled, remanufactured, reconditioned and rebuilt crash parts.
ASA supports quality parts, certified and verified in which the quality is determined based on empirical and measurable evidence equal to the standard of OEM parts. ASA recommends quality verification and testing related to metallurgy, fit, functionality and responsiveness.
ASA believes a competitive parts marketplace, of tested and verified quality parts, is in the best interest of the motoring public. ASA continues to oppose parts policies that focus solely on cost efficiency without regard to certification, verifiable quality and safety.

Roy Schnepper, AAM, ASA Government Affairs Committee chairman and owner of Butler’s Collision Inc. in Roseville, Mich., said:
“We are seeing a changing market in the collision industry, especially in reference to the growing use of aftermarket crash parts, which we, as shop owners, are being asked to use in repairing vehicles.
       “ASA believes collision repairers should have confidence that replacement crash parts will respond equally as well in a secondary collision as the parts originally placed on the vehicle. Collision repairers, insurers, parts distributors and manufacturers must work together to ensure the testing and verification procedures are the best possible to protect consumers and repairers. When this happens, consumers can have confidence that the parts they are receiving meet OEM standards.”
To view additional information and legislative materials related to ASA, visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.