The Top Collision News of 2011 - BodyShop Business

The Top Collision News of 2011

State Farm's shop locator list, lawsuits involving State Farm, and NACE's departure from Las Vegas rank among BodyShop Business readers' top interests this year. The top five stories are featured in today's newsletter in order of rank and are also explained in this story.

With 2011 drawing to a close, we decided to crunch some numbers and find out what news stories really got our online readers clicking this year. Not surprisingly, three of the top five stories involve the nation’s largest insurer, State Farm. A ticked-off shop owner allegedly assaulting a post-repair inspector and NACE’s move to Orlando also piqued your interest.

Here’s how the top five news stories of 2011 rank:

1.  State Farm Changes Shop Locator to List Top Performers First
In October, State Farm changed its consumer website’s repair facility locator to rank Select Service shops based on performance scores as determined by State Farm. Commenters couldn’t agree whether the move was helpful to consumers or "one more insurance company letting the power go to their heads," as reader Rich Masters put it.

2.  Post-Repair Inspector Files Assault Charges Against North Carolina Body Shop Owner
Just last week, we reported on the alleged scuffle heard ’round the country. Billy Walkowiak, owner of Collision Safety Consultants in Belmont, N.C., claimed that Rick Russell of Rick’s Body Shop in Gastonia physically assaulted him for exposing bad repairs that the shop allegedly performed. Readers seemed to be divided on whether Russell was right to be angry or if he simply gave a "black eye" to the industry.

3. NACE Moving to Orlando for 2011
In early January, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) announced that it would relocate Automotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW), which includes NACE and CARS, to Orlando for its 2011 show after polling exhibitors and attendees. In 2010, ASRW was held in Las Vegas two weeks before the SEMA and AAPEX shows, and attendance was noticeably down.

4. Avery vs. State Farm Case Back in Spotlight After Petition Filed to Restore $1 Billion Verdict
A petition was filed Sept. 8 by the attorneys for the plaintiffs in the 1997 Michael Avery, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company case, asking the Illinois Supreme Court to reconsider their case because the defendants allegedly committed an "intrinsic fraud" against the court. A judge’s ties to the insurer have been questioned by the plaintiffs.

5. State Farm Settles Three Lawsuits with Gunder’s
This is yet another chapter in Florida shop owner Ray Gunder’s ongoing battle with the insurer, and he has vowed to continue to "pound the rock" in the hopes that his success will encourage other shop owners to take on insurers.

You May Also Like

AASP/NJ to Host Auto Body Laws and Regulations Seminar

One of New Jersey’s top automotive attorneys will provide an overview on how to develop a strong contract to protect your shop and customers.

The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) announced it will be hosting an educational session titled “Understanding the Laws and Regulations Governing Auto Repair and Auto Body Shops” on Thursday, June 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Clark, N.J. 

One of New Jersey’s top automotive attorneys will provide an overview on how to develop a strong contract to protect your shop and customers. Shop owners will learn how to satisfy legal requirements to ensure their businesses are compliant with state law and will gain knowledge on how to avoid penalties and potentially costly lawsuits. 

Classic Collision Adds New Location in Home State of Georgia

Classic Collision has announced the acquisition of Wright One Paint & Body in Augusta, Ga.

Consolidator Report

Consolidation news from the week of May 29.

VIVE Collision Acquires Vinart Collision Center

VIVE Collision announced it has successfully completed the acquisition of Vinart Collision Center from the Vinart family of automobile dealerships. 

Association News

Association news from the week of May 29.

Other Posts

Top 5 Stories of the Week

A recap of the top five stories on during the week of May 29.

Driven Brands Collision Holds Multi-Brand EDGE Meeting

More than 100 locations from the CARSTAR and Abra networks were represented at the event, including franchise owners, managers, repair professionals, vendors and corporate team members.

Hunter Engineering Participates in West Africa Automotive Show

Hunter was among the more than 150 exhibitors taking part in the show at Landmark Centre in Lagos, Nigeria, May 16-18.

BendPak Completes East Coast Expansion

New building nearly doubles size of Alabama logistics and distribution center.