by Bob Beranek

We just returned from Auto Glass Week in San Antonio, and as always, it was an eventful week.

I am a member of the Education Committee, a Board member of the Auto Glass Safety Council, and the chairperson of the Standard Committee. Each had their meetings with an agenda filled with important work to be done and issues to be discussed and solved. In the next few posts I plan to keep those who were unable to make the trip to Texas updated on what occurred in the areas I was involved.

The Education committee, headed up by chairperson Jeff Olive and populated by the best technicians, trainers and experts in the industry, worked on cleaning up past submitted questions for the Certification Exam and writing new ones. The Education Committee keeps the question database current and makes sure questions are psychometrically correct. We are also charged with oversight of the continuing education programs and the certification program in general. Our goal is to have 1,000 questions in the database that can be interchanged easily to make our exam unique every time it is taken. Much was accomplished and we still managed to have some fun.

The AGSC Board meeting is a crucial meeting where decisions are made. Last week, we discussed the progress of all the committees. We reviewed and critiqued videos, promotional brochures and committee work submitted for approval. We discussed fundraising ideas and received financial reports for consideration and adjustment. I always enjoy the planning of our next meetings and trade show, in this case Auto Glass Week 2017. The dates are almost set, but the location is not yet secured. Look to Glassbytes and AGRR magazine for the announcements and details.

The Standards Committee had a goal to compose and finalize the language addressing the Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) prevalent in our industry. At last count, we have 41 members in our committee, not including alternates and visitors. Everyone shared the valuable information they collected since our last meeting and came with ideas for moving the industry forward. Like the professionals they are, after some heated debate, the committee agreed to language we could accept.  The proposed language is as follows:

We proposed 4.2 to the Vehicle Assessment section:

4.2 The vehicle has an ADAS system or related device which could require recalibration after any automotive glass replacement, and the technician chooses not to follow the guidelines in 8.9. The owner/operator then shall be so notified.

Under Additional Requirements, we proposed the following:

8.9 The vehicle has an ADAS system or related device which may require recalibration after any automotive glass replacement. Those engaged in automotive glass replacement shall have documented procedures to either recalibrate, sublet recalibration, or shall advise the owner/operator verbally and in a clearly understandable document, countersigned by the owner/operator, that:

(1) The vehicle has an ADAS system or related device;

(2) After automotive glass replacement, vehicle manufacturers may require the recalibration of the ADAS system or related device;

(3) The replacement glass technician will not recalibrate that ADAS system or related device;

(4) There are locations where recalibration may be obtained; and that the replacement glass installer is not responsible for the selection of any recalibration location.

Documentation of customer notifications shall be kept as records.

Please understand that these changes are proposals and not part of the official standard at this point.  Once the changes are approved by the AGSC and sent to ANSI for inclusion, they will be published and made official.

The language above was designed to give our industry a choice in how we run our business and some industry support to back us up. Once this language is given to our attorney for legal acceptance, it is sent to ANSI for their procedural steps of acceptance. After that, the language becomes part of the standard.  Obviously, we do not know how ADAS will evolve. It could become more complex and intricate, or could go the way of Cadillac and GM to become self-calibrating. However, our industry must be proactive and not reactive when it comes to this technology because it is only going to grow.

Next week I will give you the high points of the events and the new products introduced.

sa2Auto Glass Week™ is October 5-7, and your visit to the international trade show and festivities is the best way to get involved with your industry and take a few days off. San Antonio, Texas, the location of this year’s show, has a lot to offer. Walk along Riverwalk, sip a margarita and enjoy the music seeping out of the many restaurants and bars along the way. Go to historic San Antonio and visit the Alamo. Walk your industry’s trade show floor and learn what is new and upcoming.

I believe that being a good industry citizen is an important part of your commitment to your career.  Getting involved with the AGRR industry means that you make the difference regarding the direction we follow in the future. How can your presence at an international trade show help your own business and further the automotive glass industry? The show is more than a big convention center with lots of booths:

  • It is seminars, demonstrations and building lasting relationships that can help you in your daily work. Earn Continuing Education (CE) credits towards your Auto Glass Safety Council™ Certification by attending many of the seminars.
  • It is watching the glass replacement, tinting and windshield repair competitions. See how the best compete under scrutiny and side-by-side challenges. Learn some techniques that will make your job easier and increase the quality of your work.
  • It is getting involved with or just sitting in on the industry committee meetings that are going on before, during and after the show. Learn and share your thoughts on how the industry works. You never know, you might bring up an idea that has never been tried or thought of before.
  • It is networking with clients, suppliers and fellow automotive glass professionals. Share a beer or cocktail with your peers. They have tried different things and succeeded or have failed and can share the reasons why.
  • It is also a lot of fun through a golf tourney, pub crawl and silent auction.

sa1Yes, a trade show does cost you a little money and time but it gives back much more. Deduct the cost as a business expense. You can’t do that with vacation costs.

Maybe an annual visit to Auto Glass Week is not in the cards or the budget, but a bi-annual visit to the international show and a bi-annual visit to regional shows would work great. Look at the international trade show as one of your annual vacations that can be fun and informational at the same time. Get involved and enjoy yourself.  See you in San Antonio.

Since I returned from the Auto Glass Week™, I keep thinking about the seminars given on Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS). Although I have addressed this subject in the past, it is becoming obvious that the questions are not going away. ADAS will continue to be a problem until we know what to do for ourselves and our customers. This technology is so new that many dealerships don’t know what to do.

Question 1:

Is it necessary for the glass repair company to take control of the vehicle until the recalibration is completed?

That would be great if we all had the car dealer we needed across the street. But, how about all of the others that are miles from the nearest dealer? Do we rent a car for the customer? Who pays for that? If we do take it to the local dealer, does he have the equipment and know how to get the recalibration done?

Question 2:

Do we have the customer sign-off on the replacement and send them to their dealer for recalibration?

That is great if we can be assured they will do it and we are free from liability. This is a question for your attorney to answer. What if the customer does not follow your directive? What if they drive the car and it seems okay so they don’t take it in? What if they get into a head-on collision because they crossed the centerline and were not warned. Who is at fault then?

Question 3:

What about independent calibrators?

There is a company that does independent calibrations in Minneapolis, but I don’t know if there are others. The cost of a separate business for recalibrations can cost tens of thousands of dollars to start and tens of thousands of dollars to keep current with the copyright licenses and software. It is a business not many entrepreneurs are jumping at.

Question 4:

So, what do we do?

This is a question that each shop owner needs to answer for himself. I still think that this issue will right itself with time. Technology will either become self-calibrating or directives will become friendlier to businesses and the consumers. One bright note that came up at the show was that Mercedes just introduced one of their models with a self-calibrating system. This, I hope, signifies hope for the future of self-calibrating vehicles.

However, in the meantime, I think it would be wise for all of us to re-introduce ourselves to our local car dealers. Build relationships that are equally educational to both of you. Sit down and discuss this issue. How can we help each other? What needs to be done to please our mutual customer? What are the costs of recalibration in both time and procedure? Is OEM glass required or does the calibration account for slight changes in the glass? Who pays for this and how?

I know that this whole blog is nothing but questions, but that is all we have right now. It is up to us to be proactive instead of reactive and go out and find the answers. It will take sitting down with your attorney and discussing the liabilities you are willing to accept or reject. It will take local effort and shoe-leather to get answers that will work for you and your customers.

Stay tuned. I will keep you updated and pass on discoveries as I go. However, the first thing you will have to do is to make close friends of your local and regional dealers. Dealership relationships are the key to your success.

Oh, by the way, let me know what you find out so I can pass the word. Good Luck!