New Calibration Company Sees Success
The Calibration Station in Modesto and Merced, Calif., is open and has already gotten positive feedback, as its primary focus is on recalibrations. But this location is the first of many, according to Jacques Navant, Don’s Mobile Glass technical director.
“We’ve developed a specially created environment so we’re paying close attention to the guidelines of the static or stationary recalibration process,” said Navant, who serves as technical director for both companies though they are separate entities.
Auto glass companies aren’t the only shops able to collaborate and work with the Calibration Station, as Navant mentioned the business has also welcomed and will assist local body shops in order to keep up with the growing demand for the service.
“The demand for it in our specific area has been quite overwhelming and sometimes we’re scheduling several days out. So we can’t wait to open up more locations,” Navant said.
For now Navant says the plan is to start in the area that they’re familiar with before the business can expand to cover more areas. This shop has been up and running since May, and has been going through a test period since then to see how it would be received.
“The speed of service has been the main driver behind the calibration station’s success so far. I think a lot of the local shops and glass companies are new to the ADAS process after the repair and so they’ve been taking it to dealerships and there’s been a huge wait time. Sometimes they’ll lose the vehicle for three or four days which we try very hard to get them the vehicle back on the same day,” Navant mentioned.
He also noted that the company completes every recalibration quickly, accurately and safely while following OEM procedures and documenting every step.
“I think we’re kind of at a cross-roads with auto glass and body shops, because like it or not, they’re going to be merged or somewhat married together for the unforeseeable future. This is because you can’t just calibrate a windshield anymore, as you have to check the rest of the ADAS features to provide an accurate and safe recalibration,” Navant said.
Auto Glass Calibration Legislature Introduced Again in New Hampshire
Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) calibration bills, similar to legislation that passed the New Hampshire legislature last year but was vetoed by the Governor, were introduced in the 2020 Legislative Session in New Hampshire in early January. The bills require insurers to cover Original Equipment Manufacturer repair procedures except on parts. Additionally, under the proposed legislation repairers must meet or exceed specification and to inform the consumer if calibration is needed and whether it was performed successfully. Under the proposed bill, AGRR providers would not be limited to tooling or equipment dictated or recommended by the manufacturer’s procedures or specifications, according to Seth Maiman, the new AGSC Director of Government and Legislative Affairs.
When New Hampshire passed the ADAS calibration bill last year it was the only state to do so after a nationwide effort by a repairers group to enact OEM repair procedures legislation. It met opposition from the then state Insurance Commissioner over fear of rate hikes due to increased claim costs and vetoed by the Governor. The legislation is back this year introduced in a more bipartisan fashion and there is a new Insurance Commissioner.
“The Auto Glass Safety Council is pleased that the New Hampshire legislature is making another attempt to enact this important auto glass safety legislation,” said Maiman. “Consumers need to know that their auto glass has been correctly recalibrated or at least receive information as to where to obtain such a service.”
Answering the Calibration Call
Six expert panelists gathered in September at Auto Glass Week 2019 for a two-hour panel discussion covering everything and anything related to performing calibrations. There was so much to report on that we couldn’t fit it all into our article in the November-December issue of AGRR.
The session was moderated by AGRR editorial director Tara Taffera, and additional participants included: Jon Burra, owner of Wind-shield Calibration Center; Bill Purtell, operations manager of All Star Glass; Bob Scharaga, president of All Star Glass; Josh Bradley, owner of Clear Choice Auto Glass; and Jon Dicker-man, the diagnostic quality assurance coordinator for Sullivan Tire.
Taffera asked the panelists how they would respond to the company owners who believe they don’t need to offer calibration services fearing it will open them up to liability.
“Go back to the factory service info,” says Dickerman. “If it says to calibrate, then talk to them about the liability if they don’t do it and something goes wrong.”
“If they say they don’t want a calibration, we won’t do the replacement,” said Weller. “It’s a moral issue.”
Attendees wanted to know how these companies are dealing with vehicles that come in with accessories, many of these being Jeeps.
“We turn down cars with lift kits and huge tires,” said Scharaga. “We don’t even want to touch the car. I hate to turn the business down, but it’s not worth someone’s life.”
This is an area where the training of CSRs comes into play. “It’s part of our phone script,” said Scharaga.One questioner followed up, saying: “We can’t turn away 25% of our work. We want to find a way we can help and work with those customers.”
“The aftermarket tends to support that thinking,” added Burra. “But it’s up to you to stay up to date and educated about what developments are being made to deal with those types of cars.”
They also offered some general words of wisdom.
“First, keep your equipment maintained,” said Dickerman, and then added, “Keep employees trained, as we all know there is a lot of employee turnover. With calibration there is no learning curve.”
Ultimately, ADAS systems are changing on a daily basis, panelists suggested, and are providing auto glass shops with a moving target.
“It’s changing every day and you have to stay on top of it,” said Purtell. “But it’s exciting.”
CAPA Approves Aftermarket Auto Glass Standard
The Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) Technical Committee has approved the CAPA 801 Standard for the certification of automotive glass. The standard—which CAPA says is the first in the industry for independently produced aftermarket glass—applies to windshields but may be expanded to include side and rear windows. The standard contains requirements for materials, dimension and appearance. CAPA is an in-dependent non-profit standard-set-ting and certification organization for automotive crash parts.
“In the past, fit and clarity were the primary concerns when using aftermarket glass; however, with the growing trend of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) being incorporated with auto-motive glass, considerations surrounding the functionality of ADAS equipment must be also made,” the association said in a press release. “Following feedback from the collision repair industry regarding the quality of aftermarket automotive glass, CAPA created the 801 Standard, which requires demonstrated compliance to applicable sections of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 205, Glazing Materials, as well as ADAS-related hard-ware, appearance, materials and dimensional requirements not ad-dressed by the Federal standard.”
The standard does not include requirements for glass installation.
“Our Technical Committee’s experience and expertise in standard development provides the industry the assurance of safe and quality aftermarket auto glass,” said CAPA Board Chair Clark Plucinski.
CAPA’s Technical Committee, is comprised of collision repairers, insurers, part distributors, manufacturers, and other industry experts.
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