Automotive Service Councils of California


November 27, 2013


The staff at ASCCA would like to wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving!



Calendar - Register Today!

Team Weekend

December 7-8, 2013
Embassy Suites Sacramento Promenade
100 Capitol Mall * Sacramento, CA * 95814
P: 1-916-326-5000 * F: 1-916-236-5001





Team Weekend 

February 8-9, 2014
Embassy Suites, Sacramento 

2014 Automotive Aftermarket Industry Summit
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Embassy Suites, Sacramento, CA
Sponsored by ASCCA, CAWA, AAIA, CAT, and CalABC 


HFO1234yf Sales to Public

As a result of a lawsuit brought by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and the Automotive Refrigeration Products Institute (ARPI), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a final rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that will permit R-1234yf to be sold to consumers so that they can recharge their vehicle air conditioning systems.


Developed by Honeywell and DuPont, HFO 1234yf will likely be used by many vehicle manufacturers to replace R-134a due to its lower global warming potential (GWP). HFO 1234yf has a GWP of 4, while 134a has a GWP of 1430. General Motors has already begun using the new refrigerant on some of its vehicle lines and others are expected to follow suit soon.  

2013 Ford Escape Recalled Again for Engine Fires

Ford is recalling 139,917 Escape SUVs in the U.S. to fix engine problems that could result in fires under the hood, according to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is the seventh recall for the 2013 Escape since it debuted in spring 2012, and the fifth recall involving serious problems with its 1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine.

This time, part of the engine cylinder head can overheat and crack due to stress, which can cause oil to leak onto exposed, hot engine parts and cause fires. At least 13 engine fires have been reported to Ford -- 12 in the U.S. and one in Canada -- due to cracked cylinder heads.

Of these recalled models, 9,469 need to be rechecked for repairs made during a previous recall in July 2012 in which fuel lines were splitting and leaking gasoline on up to 11,500 cars. Ford dealers may not have installed the new fuel lines correctly, as the company was getting reports of fuel odors and leaks (technically, this recall fix is now a new, separate recall). There were no reported fires for these cars.

Also in July, Ford recalled nearly all 2013 Escape models for carpet padding that could interfere with the driver's use of the brake pedal. In September 2012, Ford recalled 7,600 Escape models to fix engine plugs that could leak coolant and contact hot engine parts, resulting in engine fires. Then in December, Ford recalled the car again for engines that were overheating and catching fire. In March, the 2013 Escape was part of a larger recall to fix child locks.

In total, at least 27 engine fires have been reported by owners of 2013 Escape models, including one on a 2013 Fusion sedan that also shares the same 1.6-liter engine.

Dealers will make "enhancements to the engine shielding, cooling and control systems" and also inspect and replace fuel lines as needed. The repairs will not begin until Jan. 23. Owners can call Ford at 1-866-436-7332.

In August of this year, Ford paid a $17.35 million fine to the U.S. government for delaying a recall on older Escape models. The civil penalty said that Ford was "not timely" in telling the agency and vehicle owners of throttle problems on 485,000 Escape models from the 2001-2004 model years. In July 2012, Ford announced the Escape recall after the NHTSA received 99 owner complaints -- including the report of a fatal crash in January -- of throttles not returning to idle when the gas pedal was released.

Jones Recommends 6.7% Increase in Workers' Comp Premiums

On Nov. 24, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D) recommended increasing workers' compensation premiums by 6.7%. The higher rate would cover predicted increases in physician fees under a new state law (SB 863) that adjusts how doctors are paid through the workers' compensation system.


In October, a California Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau actuarial committee made a recommendation to increase rates by 9.5%. The full bureau later recommended increasing premiums by 8.7%


Jones' "advisory rate" would be applied to the "pure premium" rate. Under the recommendation, such premiums would increase by $2.70 per $100 of payroll. Insurers are not required to follow the recommendation, but they often use it as a benchmark.


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In This Issue
Save the Date: Team Weekend
HFO1234yf Sales to Public
2013 Ford Escape Recalled Again
Jones Recommends 6.7% Increase in Workers' Comp Premiums
November Member of the Month: Phil Fournier
Mass. Right to Repair Bill Approved



Member of the Month

Phil Fournier, Phil's Auto Clinic, Hemet, CA
In his own words:
I was working on my dad's lawnmower before I was a teenager. I built my own go-cart when I was 11 years old. I barely considered any other career even though my dad was a geophysicist with a degree from the Colorado School of Mines and my brother was studying mechanical engineering. I got my first job in a salvage yard at age 13, busting tires.


My brother, the mechanical engineer, lost his job when nuclear power went south after Three Mile Island. My dad decided that purchasing the auto repair business where I worked would be a good idea and give my brother a job. That was 1984 and as they say, the rest is history. 


We learned of ASCCA early on, even before we took ownership of the shop, through the Tim Runner/ASCCA trade shows that were held in Anaheim near the Disneyland park. I went to that trade show starting in 1983 and began to get to know some of the ASCCA members. In 1987, ASCCA honored me (at the time not even a member) for earning the top score in the state of California on the ASE tests. I still display that plaque on my wall, one of my proudest achievements. We joined ASCCA in 1989 to take advantage of the workers comp program, which at that time had a great rebate program through State Fund. But I soon came to see the value was in the interaction and the information sharing. Training opportunities, plusses and minuses of this and that, pending laws, all of this is still a very valuable part of the membership that non-member shops mostly miss out on.


New ASCCA members should get on TeamTalk. Get to the Team Weekends if you can and get to know other ASCCA members. I lament that we can no longer afford to run those trade shows like we once did (I understand the changes that have taken place that prevent it) but I advise new members to get to know the old-timers and learn from them.


ASCCA members like Phil are shining examples of how One Member CAN Make a Difference!

Massachusetts Legislature Approves Right to Repair Reconciliation Bill
AAIA-supported Right to Repair legislation was approved on Nov. 20 by the Massachusetts legislature. The bill seeks to reconcile two laws in Massachusetts that mandate that car companies provide affordable access to all tools, software and information used to repair late model computer-controlled vehicles. The first law was an agreement between the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition and the vehicle manufacturers that was passed by the state legislature in July. The bill was approved too late to remove a ballot measure that had been sponsored by the coalition. That ballot measure was approved by voters in November 2012, thus ensuring that there were two Right to Repair laws on the books in Massachusetts.
There are some differences in the laws, including the fact that motorcycles and heavy duty vehicles were eliminated by the legislature in the bill, while they were included in the ballot measure. Although the reconciliation bill tracks closely with the law that passed the legislature, the Senate during consideration of the bill added heavy trucks back into the reconciliation bill that was sent to the governor, who has 10 days to sign it.

The AAIA government affairs team publishes a weekly blog to provide thoughts on what is happening in Washington, D.C. and in the states that could impact the aftermarket:

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About Us
Founded in 1940, the Automotive Service Councils of California is the largest independent automotive repair organization in California. Its members represent all areas of the automotive repair industry, including mechanical, auto body, suppliers and educators.