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  News Briefs

Posted 6/10/2010

By Levy Joffrion

Consumers Prefer Independent Shops

Consumer ReportsA study cited in the June 2010 Consumer Reports magazine found that owners preferred having their vehicles repaired by independent shops.

In fact, based on an analysis of 373,000 repair experiences, Consumer Reports found that 84 percent of owners said they were "very satisfied" with their repair experiences at independent repair shops. This number even exceeded consumer satisfaction with franchised dealers.

AMI Announces Board

The Automotive Management Institute (AMI) has announced members of its 2010-2011 board of trustees, with Tony Passwater of AEII in Indianapolis elected as chairman.

Other board members are Sheri Hamilton, AAM, ASA-Missouri/ Kansas, Overland Park, Kan.; Bob Keith, AAM, CARSTAR, Overland Park, Kan.; Tim McDonnell, Mitchell1, Poway, Calif.; Ron Pyle, Automotive Service Association, Bedford, Texas; and Freda Thompson, AAM, Ace Auto Body Inc., Hartselle, Ala.

Bosch Introduces Diagnostic Tool

Bosch has introduced a new diagnostic tool - the KTS 340 - designed to provide the technician with greater productivity, efficiency and accuracy, emphasizing time saved with fast and reliable diagnosis of domestic, Asian and European vehicles.

The KTS 340 automatically zeros in only on service data for vehicles operating in North America, and utilizes Bosch's globally sourced ESI(tronic) database to quickly acquire the most current relevant automotive data.

For more information, visit

2010 Most Influential Women

Six industry leaders were honored at the AkzoNobel's 11th annual Most Influential Women in the Collision Repair Industry awards program April 14 in Atlanta. Cited were (from left) Marcy Tieger, Kimberly Hicks, Janet Chaney, Linda Sommerhauser, Erica Eversman and Beth Meckel. Click here to read this month's Guest Editorial by Tieger on her receipt of the award.

I-CAR Seeks Curriculum Input

I-CARI-CAR continues to seek collision repair industry input about what's needed in the way of training. It recently hosted a second round-table discussion as a follow-up to its December meeting.

More than 90 industry professionals offered their insights into the planned redesign of the collision repair training organization's curriculum.

I-CAR plans to introduce its new curriculum model at the 2010 I-CAR Industry Conference July 21 at the InterContinental Chicago O'Hare Hotel in Rosemont, For more information, visit

Trouble Light Is Troubling

AutoInc.'s troubled. What's troubling us is that trouble light on the cover of the May issue.

Frankly, the magazine's editors didn't notice any problem with the cover picture. But an alert ASA member - Roy Gage, owner/technician for Roy's Auto Inc. in Estherville, Iowa - picked up on it immediately and wrote on iATN's website: "Got my May issue of AutoInc. today. Cover shot shows a young tech holding an old-fashioned incandescent trouble light. Seems a little odd. Would have preferred they used a fluorescent light. Almost surprised they could find one of those old relics to take the shot with."

Gage's comments came to AutoInc.'s attention. So it quickly checked the people who write its "Tech to Tech" features for their thoughts.

Craig Van Batenburg, AAM, said: "I still see a lot of them in use. I suggest that shops update to LED or fluorescent for safety reasons. If a gas tank is leaking, the fumes will be on the floor. If you drop the lamp with an incandescent bulb, it can cause an explosion."

Jeff Bach and his homemade LED headlight.

Brian Manley said, "Incandescent trouble lamps are dangerous. We know of fires started by dropped bulbs during fuel tank service. Fluorescent lamps are far less likely to cause fires. We got rid of our 'bulbs' 10 years ago."

Jeff Bach said: "I set a Nissan pickup on fire with an incandescent bulb in the '70s and haven't liked them since. Those bulbs pop as soon as gas hits them, creating an instant fire. LED headlights are a hands-free operation - the only way to go, especially under dashes. I made my own, as shown in the picture."

Like Van Batenburg says, you may still see some incandescent lights like the one on the cover being used in shops. But AutoInc. believes safety should be a priority for shops - and it strives for that, both in the written word or in illustrations such as the May cover. We regret using that picture. It suggests incandescent lamps are still OK. We think shops would be better off using LED or fluorescent lamps.

We appreciate Roy Gage's post on the iATN website that brought it to our attention.

– Leona Dalavai Scott, editor


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