ASA Official PositionsASA provides national and international leadership in automotive service and repair by identifying the qualities and standards for good business practices and quality education; these are set forth in the form of position statements, which are used to support the improvement of automotive service and repair at all levels.
The following ASA position statements represent the organization’s official stand on issues, as well as the membership’s response to these issues, and address a host of key issues important to the independent automotive service and repair industry.
If you have questions or comments about any of the following ASA position statements, please contact Leona Dalavai Scott, ASA Director of Marketing and Communications, (817) 514-2900 or via email.
ASA Official Positions
1.1 The Automotive Service Association supports vehicle emission I/M as a means of improving air quality and promoting vehicle maintenance.
1.2 The Automotive Service Association supports a national training effort whereby technicians employed by Association members will receive a minimum of 36 hours of approved technical education each year.
1.3 The Automotive Service Association endorses and supports the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and urges the active participation of its members in ASE’s nationwide testing programs.
1.4 The Automotive Service Association will recognize and promote April as National Car Care Month.
1.5 The Automotive Service Association endorses and supports the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) and urges the active participation of its Collision Division members in I-CAR’s nationwide educational/training programs.
1.6 Legislation having the potential or actual setting of establishing a monopoly for any manufacturer or distributor of any automotive parts will be opposed.
1.7 Required refrigerant Certification of Technicians is recommended by ASA to be done under quality control testing. ASA national will continue to meet with EPA as that agency develops certification requirements for emission repair technicians.
1.8 The Automotive Service Association supports shop licensing and technical certification regulations that include but is not limited to proper training; compliance with Federal, state, and local regulations; certifications of technicians; minimum level of insurance; and minimum level of equipment standards for automotive shops.
1.9 The Automotive Service Association endorses and supports the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation and urges voluntary participation by automotive training facilities to become NATEF certified.
1.10 The Automotive Service Association encourages initiation and participation in local and state school-to-work programs.
1.11 The Automotive Service Association endorses the Collision Division’s Position on “Parts, Materials and Vendor Selection”, based on repair facility choice.
1.12 The Automotive Service Association does not endorse or guarantee vendor products and/or services.
1.13 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 where 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.
1.14 The Automotive Service Association (ASA) supports the consumer’s right to choose their repair facility. ASA believes it is each member’s inherent right to determine whether or not they wish to participate in Direct Repair Programs (DRP). Direct Repair Programs are an integral part of the collision repair industry. These programs should be open to all shops that adhere to proven professional standards in quality of work, equipment, and training of personnel.
1.15 ASA discourages the use of salvage air bags. Safety cannot be compromised in this important safety system. While the use of salvage air bags can reduce cost, ASA believes that safety could be severely compromised and that shop owners could be placed at risk for installing salvage air bags. ASA recommends that all shops inquire with their insurance carriers before installing salvage air bags regarding coverage and increases in rates and get this information in writing.
1.16 The Automotive Service Association advises its members and member shops not to install switches or disconnect airbags. ASA is concerned that shops that install switches or deactivate air bags may be subject to higher insurance premiums and may be held liable in the future for injuries that could have been prevented if the air bag was in operation.
1.17 ASA supports the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) Gold Seal program.
1.18 ASA opposes insurance companies having an ownership interest in automotive repair facilities and views such ownership as being in direct conflict with the consumers’ right to choose. ASA has historically supported the consumers’ absolute, unequivocal right to choose a repair facility for a collision or mechanical repair.
1.19 The Automotive Service Association supports the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF). The goals of NASTF are to insure independent automotive service professionals have access to service information, technician training and diagnostic scan tool and equipment capabilities.
1.20 The Automotive Service Association® supports state/regional programs that promote the voluntary reduction of mercury in automobiles. These programs call for the removal of components containing mercury and provide for the installation of alternative components in their place. The program will insure the proper handling and disposal of components containing mercury, reducing the possibility of mercury contaminating the environment. ASA encourages members to participate in mercury reduction programs where available. ASA encourages members to work with state/regional environmental agencies to establish voluntary mercury reduction programs.
1.21 ASA supports the industry practice and definition of using adjacent panels as a “blend” panel to facilitate color matching of repaired or replaced panels.
ASA does not support the practice of reducing published refinish times on a repaired panel. A refinish labor reduction would not account for the necessary materials nor the additional skilled preparatory labor required to properly restore a panel to its pre-loss condition.
1.22 To provide the motoring public with the highest level of collision repair, ensuring safety, quality and craftsmanship, the Automotive Service Association recommends an estimate with integrity and utmost accuracy. The process should include a complete teardown/disassembly/blue printing of the damage and access to OEM repair information.
Estimate negotiations should occur only between parties who have physically inspected the damaged vehicle to ensure accuracy and the highest level of quality and customer care.
ASA deems the practice of third-party auditing, in which an estimate is reviewed without physically inspecting the damaged vehicle, as less than fact based and detrimental to the integrity of collision repair.
1.23 ASA supports an individual collision business owner’s selection of an estimating system that meets the individual’s business needs and commends those insurers that allow for the use of an “open platform.”
ASA believes the same logic should apply – but is not limited – to management systems, paint systems, parts suppliers, electronic parts procurement systems (OE, aftermarket and recycled), equipment and customer satisfaction indexing/customer service information programs.
In situations where collision repair estimates are transposed by insurers, all efforts should be made by the insurer to duplicate the collision repair facility’s original document, adhering to included or not included operations that vary by information provider system.
1.24 As an industry standard, the process of “feather, fill and block” occurs during the refinish process of a repair. ASA recognizes the necessity of this process to provide the consumer with the standard of repair and craftsmanship in regard to the refinish process of a repaired panel.
ASA also acknowledges the “gap” (as defined by CIC and addressed by the major information providers within their estimating guides) between preparation steps needed to raise the condition of a repaired panel to that of a new and undamaged panel.
ASA strongly encourages insurers, information providers and repairers to acknowledge this action and compensate repairers accordingly for the labor and materials associated with this operation.
1.25 ASA does not support the use of the term “blending” to describe adjacent panel color matching or to represent labor and material reductions.
ASA supports the industry practice of using adjacent panels for a highly technical refinish process to facilitate color matching. ASA does not recognize the outdated term “blending” for labor and material reductions as listed in the current databases for information providers. Using current paint materials, this process – often referred to as “blending” – requires as many procedures as refinishing a new undamaged panel.
ASA believes the additional labor and materials used by collision repairers to facilitate adjacent panel color matching should be acknowledged and approved of by information providers and insurers.
1.26 ASA does not support deductions for repaired panel blend refinish, blend within panel, zone refinish, spot base, spot within panel, or spot paint with full clear.
ASA does not support the practice by any insurer to arbitrarily reduce refinish times for repaired panels, as published by information providers. This practice does not take into consideration the additional “not included” operations. A base coat deduction or refinish labor deduction will not account for the necessary materials or the additional skilled preparatory and spray labor required to properly restore a repair panel to pre-loss condition.
Additional labor and materials beyond those specifically published by an information provider are necessary to obtain a proper repair. The practice of refinish-related deductions falsely assumes fewer procedures, less material, less time and overall fewer steps to refinish a repaired panel compared to a new panel. ASA believes the additional labor and materials used by collision repairers to refinish repaired panels should be acknowledged and approved by information providers and insurers.
1.27 ASA supports the required use of OEM service procedures for all structural repairs when such procedures are available.
1.28 The Automotive Service Association supports the electronic scanning of all vehicles prior to and after collision repairs are completed in order to ensure that all potential damage has been identified to achieve a safe and complete repair. ASA will maintain this position until such time as the vehicle manufacturers identify the specific years, makes, models and scenarios where such scanning is not necessary.
ASA’s position on pre- and post-repair vehicle scanning is consistent with similar positions issued by General Motors, Audi, Honda, FCA (Chrysler), Toyota, Nissan and the Equipment and Tool institute and other industry associations. You can view the existing OEM position statements on vehicle scanning here.
ASA also supports full disclosure and a customers’ written acknowledgement of the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) identified by the scans, along with documenting and informing the customer of other issues with the vehicle that are not related to the accident but where a DTC is present. To read ASA’s position statement on vehicle scanning in its entirety, click here.
Official positions last updated April 2017.