As part of LIABRA’s ongoing effort to provide association members with OEM repair training, the meeting included a General Motors structural repair training seminar in addition to association information and industry updates. Before the meeting began, attendees enjoyed a buffet dinner provided courtesy of Eagle Auto Mall. The event was hosted by Eagle Chevrolet Parts Manager Mike Migliore.
At 7:30 p.m., LIABRA Executive Director Ed Kizenberger started the meeting with an overview of current events and news in the collision repair industry.
Referencing the Texas lawsuit against John Eagle, during which Todd Tracy’s law firm relied upon experts’ testimony that proved the severe injuries suffered by the occupants of the vehicle were due to the improper installation of the roof, Kizenberger stressed, “By now, you are all aware of the $41 million lawsuit for a 2010 Honda Fit where the roof was improperly installed using adhesives and not [welded] on. Now, more than ever, you must repair the vehicle using the OEM-recommended repair procedures and not deviate from them, even if the insurer wants you to. You are the repair experts, not the insurance company, and you are liable for the repair. This is a wake-up call for the industry---DO NOT deviate from the OEM-recommended repair procedures!”
Kizenberger then discussed the recent ruling by the Second Circuit Court that reversed a lower court’s decisions against Nick Orso’s Garage as it pertained to labor rate and non-OEM parts. Finding that non-OEM parts are not always appropriate for the repair and that the supposed prevailing rate is not always accurately portrayed by insurance companies, the court has agreed that the case should go to trial.
When Kizenberger introduced Migliore, Migliore reminded attendees, “This is not the auto body industry of the 1980s and 1990s; the construction of today’s vehicles and the repair procedures are changing rapidly.”
Migliore recommended the use of genuineparts.com to research any GM-recommended repair procedures and also offered the assistance of his staff to help LIABRA members with any GM repair questions. Reminding attendees of GM’s Bump the Competition program, Migliore noted that Eagle Chevrolet will try to match prices for non-OEM GM parts on any insurance appraisal.
I-CAR Instructor Bill Vallely next discussed the launch of 13 new diagnostics courses, informing attendees that many I-CAR repair courses are now being created in collaboration with the OEMs. He also announced that a number of new I-CAR training facilities will be available in 2018 on Long Island.
The evening’s final speaker was Christopher Peace, Technical Training Instructor for General Motors, who presented a two-hour Structural Repair seminar.
According to Peace, “The reason that construction materials and repair procedures are changing so rapidly is the manufacturer’s drive to adhere to new CAFE gas mileage standards mandated by the government that increased to an average of 34.5 miles a gallon in 2016, and will reach 54.5 miles per gallon in 2025.”
Peace reviewed the correct installation of doors and door panels, including welding and bonding of door panels, and the correct anti-corrosion treatment to use on all replacement panels and the proper torque of fasteners. He explored the various types of steel used in GM vehicle construction and provided instruction on the correct methods of sectioning and welding structural repair panels, such as rocker panels and A and B pillars. After concluding with the proper installation and removal of GM quarter panels, Peace recommended that repairers visit genuineparts.com with any repair questions related to GM vehicles.
The evening concluded with coffee and dessert, provided by Eagle Auto Mall, and LIABRA’s 50/50 drawing prize was won by Cliff of Corwiths Autobody. John Calabro from Motor Coach Collision won the grand prize of a $200 Best Buy gift certificate. Kizenberger ended the meeting by offering holiday wishes to all members, advertisers, associates and friends.
LIABRA’s OEM training program will resume on Jan. 9, 2018 at Competition BMW with a BMW Technical Training Seminar. Additionally, the meeting will feature guest speaker Todd Tracy of John Eagle lawsuit fame as he discusses his landmark verdict, how shops can avoid being sued and how the collision repair industry can stand up to insurance companies.
For more information about LIABRA, visit www.liabra.org.