by Bob Beranek
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I received the following recall notice and thought I would pass it on. Though this recall does not directly pertain to us or our industry it does mention Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 208 and 214, which are the foundation of our AGRSS™ Standard. It would be in our best interest to advise our customers on this recall in case they did not receive or overlooked the recall notice.

The recall mentions the Chrysler Town and Country Minivan and the Dodge Grand Caravan for the 2013 model-year. The software built into the airbag system is defective and must be re-programmed or replaced. I cannot not see how a technician would be responsible to check for this defect, but it should be brought to the attention of the vehicle owner before any work is done on the windshield or door glasses. Here is the link for the recall notice to print out for your shop.

Remember to tell the vehicle owner that you are not a representative of Chrysler and you are not qualified to fix this recall. It must be done at the dealership.

Here are the recall details from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

ChryslerTown and Country 2013

Dodge Grand Caravan 2013

Manufacturer: Chrysler Group LLC

Summary:

Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2013 Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan vehicles manufactured June 11, 2013, through June 12, 2013. The occupant restraint control module (ORC) has incorrect software installed which may adversely affect air bag deployments in collisions. Thus, these vehicles fail to conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208, “Occupant Crash Protection” and No. 214, “Side Impact Protection.”

The other week we talked about the pros and cons on licensing technicians from the technician’s point of view. This week I want to look at licensing from an owner’s perspective.

The following scenario is based on some assumptions that may be true depending on the specific law in your state. Obviously, every state is different and their legislators will determine their level of licensing regulations. Some may have a simple fee while others are detailed with requirements for training, experience, education and apprenticeship/mentoring.

If licensing is proposed in your state, it would be wise to carefully read the law and determine the impact on your particular business. Then voice your opinion on its contents and work to amend the law if needed. This could mean the difference between surviving and thriving in a new regulatory climate so pay attention to the details.

Proposed Scenario:

I am an owner of a two technician shop with business growing to the point of looking to hire another tech. Licensing was passed recently and I went through the proper steps of grandfathering my current installation staff to meet the regulations. It cost me a few bucks to pay for annual licensing fees and process the paperwork but it was relatively painless. My techs were already certified and had their retention system training so all I had to do was supply the proof of compliance. I actually pity my competitors that gave little or no training to their installers because they have a lot to do and a lot of expense to meet the criteria stipulated in the law. Some may not make it. Wait a minute, is that bad?

Now I need to follow the rules concerning the hiring of new licensed techs. The first thing I notice is the lack of licensed techs in the job market. Prior to the passage of the law, I had techs calling me every week looking for a job. Now I have one a month if I’m lucky and they may not have the credentials to meet the licensing requirements. What am I going to do? Train my own or hire already licensed? If I train my own, I might be able to get them at a lower wage because I am offering them a career and the training that goes with it. That’s worth something, isn’t it? But I need them now not a month from now. I need production. I think I’ll hire already licensed. How much do you want per hour? Are you kidding me? Well, considering that no one is beating down my door for a job even after two weeks of advertising, I guess I have little choice. Evidently, the techs know what they are worth.

I wonder why my business is growing so rapidly, all of a sudden. Could it be that with fewer licensed technicians doing the work, there are competitors that cannot stay in business because of problems finding quality licensed help? Could it be that poor training in the past has caught up to them and now they can’t afford to get their current techs licensed, even during the grandfathering period? That’s it, fewer competitors mean higher demand thus my services are worth more and I can get the prices I deserve. Could licensing be a blessing in disguise?

This scenario is fiction. The actual events after the passage of a licensing bill in your state would be different depending on the regulations of the bill. If and when that bill is introduced, it is your responsibility to craft it into a workable piece of legislation that will benefit you and your business and protect your clients and customers from unscrupulous companies that defraud the public. Isn’t that what a licensing bill should do?

In the interest of keeping the auto glass technicians informed about pertinent recalls, I will discuss two. Interestingly, the one from Honda is a recall of a recall on a Honda Fit master window switch. The other is the Mitsubishi panoramic roof part that is not properly bonded. In either case, you may be called upon to fix their problem or there may be a complaint from your customer that should be referred to a dealer.

On a similar note, I have heard from a few techs in the field that there is a manufacturer’s defect in the roof of the GM models, Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia. The roof glass is bonded in place and the urethane bead goes to the inside of a stamped hole placed by the manufacturer during the roof panel fabrication. Obviously, the fix is to fill the hole with urethane and check for leaks.

Here are the two recalls as written and reported by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Manufacturer: Honda (American Honda Motor Co.)

Summary:

Honda is re-recalling certain model year 2007-2008 Fit vehicles covered under previous recall 10V-033. The remedy applied in this earlier recall may have been insufficient. In the affected vehicles, over time, the plastic cover may separate from the master power window switch allowing water to enter the driver’s window and reach the master power window switch. If the master power window switch is damaged as a result of the water intrusion, overheating and failure of the switch may result.

Consequence:

An overheated switch can cause smoke, melting and fire.

Remedy:

Honda will notify owners in July 2013 and will instruct owners to take their vehicles to dealers to have a free inspection conducted. If the switch is damaged, it will be replaced free of charge. If the switch is not damaged, the owner will be instructed to await a second notification that will instruct them to return to the dealer to have a replacement switch installed free of charge. Honda anticipates it will have sufficient parts in inventory to notify owners of vehicles with undamaged switches to return to dealers for replacements in Fall 2013. Owners may contact Honda at 800/999-1009. Honda’s recall number is JA6.

Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.

Summary:

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) is recalling certain model-year 2011 Outlander Sport vehicles manufactured August 26, 2010 through March 29, 2011. The panoramic glass roof may have been installed without primer being applied before the adhesive.

Consequence:

Without primer being used, the panoramic glass roof may have reduced adhesion, possibly allowing the glass roof to detach from the vehicle, resulting in a road hazard to other vehicles.

Remedy:

MMNA will notify owners and dealers will inspect the panoramic glass to see if primer was installed. If primer is not present, the glass will be reinstalled. MMNA has not yet provided a notification schedule. MMNA’s recall number is SR-13-007. Customers may contact MMNA at 888/648-7820.

If you have any questions, contact the dealer and use the recall numbers above for reference.