Automotive Service Councils of California


January 31, 2014

More Details on the Right to Repair MOU   

from the AAIA Capital Report
Automakers and Aftermarket Finalize National Agreement to Preserve Consumer Choice in Auto Repair:  The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance), the Association of Global Automakers (Global), the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and the Coalition for Automotive Repair Equality (CARE) announced on Jan. 22 their collective acceptance of a national agreement to ensure consumer choice in post-warranty auto repair, decisively ending the longstanding Right to Repair debate within the industry. 

The national agreement is based on a recent law finalized in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Chapter 165 of the Acts of 2013). The signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) extends the essential provisions for all light vehicles negotiated in the Massachusetts law nationwide; it impacts all companies and organizations that are currently members of the signatory associations.

This national agreement means that the Alliance, Global, AAIA and CARE will stand down in their fight on Right to Repair and work collectively to actively oppose individual state legislation, while our respective groups work to implement this MOU. In the meantime, the parties agree that further state legislation is not needed and could serve to weaken the effectiveness and clarity of the MOU.

"Automakers manufacture high quality, innovative vehicles that provide strong value, safety and convenience to our customers," said Mitch Bainwol, president and CEO, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. "Accessible, efficient, accurate and competitively-priced repair and service are paramount, and franchised dealers and the aftermarket play unique and important roles in the repair process."

"We are excited that consumers and independent repair facilities around the nation will have the same access to the information, tools and software needed to service late model computer controlled vehicles as is required under the Massachusetts Right to Repair statute," said Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO, AAIA. "We believe that the resulting competitive repair market is a win-win for car companies, the independent repair industry and most importantly consumers."

"Much like with fuel efficiency and greenhouse gases, a single national standard regarding vehicle repair protocols is imperative," said Mike Stanton, president and CEO, Association of Global Automakers. "A patchwork of 50 differing state bills, each with its own interpretations and compliance parameters, doesn't make sense. This agreement provides the uniform clarity our industry needs and a nationwide platform to move on."

"Since the first Right to Repair Act was introduced in Congress in 2001, CARE and the automotive aftermarket has worked to ensure our customers continue to have the right to choose where they buy their parts and have their vehicles serviced," said Ray Pohlman, president, CARE. "This agreement will ensure vehicle owners will have competitive and quality choices in their repairs while strengthening the auto repair industry nationwide. This agreement illustrates what can happen when organizations focus on putting customers and consumers first."

Additional information on the agreement can be found at


The California Legislature in 2014 - CAWA Legislative Advocate's View 

from CAWA Annual Newsletter 
CAWA's Sacramento, California-based legislative advocate, Gary Conover sets the stage for the 2014 legislative session in this article.
In 2014, topics such as telematics, consumer auto repair disclosure, and aftermarket collision parts may again be part of California's legislative interests.
For questions or comments contact Gary at or 916.233.9655. 

AAIA Seeks Information on TCE Use in Auto Care Products
from the AAIA Capital Report 

The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) is asking its members to assist in obtaining information regarding the use of trichloroethylene (TCE) in auto care products and processes. The information is critical to addressing efforts now underway at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review its assessment process. In January 2013, EPA issued a notice that their previous assessment of TCE use would be reviewed due to inconsistencies in the scientific peer review responses received.

In order to better safeguard the auto care industry from potential regulatory decisions by the EPA, AAIA is delving into the current use or non-use of TCE. If your organization does any of the following, please contact Sheila Andrews, AAIA, at or call 301-654-6664.


  1. Manufacturers products containing TCE (e.g., degreasers, solvents, paints, paint sealants, etc.)
  2. Remanufactures or recycles hard parts
  3. Distributes products containing TCE
  4. Sells products containing TCE to consumers or auto care professionals


The 2014 Automotive Aftermarket Industry Summit

Sponsored by ASCCA, CAWA, AAIA, CAT, and CalABC  
Saturday, February 8
Team Weekend
February 8-9
Embassy Suites Sacramento Promenade 
100 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814 
P: 1-916-326-5000 * F: 1-916-236-5001
ROOM RESERVATIONS: All attendees must make their own room reservations. There are three ways to make your room reservations:
  1. Click here to make hotel reservations
  2. Go to and make a reservation using the group/convention code: ASC
  3. Call 1-800-498-5237 

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In This Issue
More Details on the Right to Repair MOU
California Legislature in 2014
AAIA Seeks Info on TCE Use
Register Now for the Industry Summit
January Member of the Month Robert Salerno


January Member of the Month:
t Salerno  

Honorary Lifetime member Robert Salerno of Salerno's Auto Service Center in Redlands, CA (ASCCA Chapter 14)

In his own words: I was inspired to get into automotive repair early on. If my mother was alive today, she would tell you that starting at the age of two I took everything apart just to see what made it work. My dad at times wanted to terminate my life because he found some of those things in pieces. At age 15, for $50 I purchased a 1930 Model A sedan with a damaged engine. With the help of Sears, Roebuck & Company, and reading some books, I was able to overhaul the engine. With financial support from my lawn business I got that fine vehicle running. I also worked for a body man and painter at a local Pontiac dealership, in exchange for their free labor to paint my car. Then there was an opening for a new car-get ready helper. So my love of automobiles and of taking things apart became my road to a lifelong career.


I became an automotive shop owner because my parents didn't like the idea of my being an automotive mechanic. The long hours I spent redesigning four-cylinder engines into V8s, lowering vehicles, along with the loud exhaust became total frustration for my parents. Then there was marriage and children. I still had a desire to do something I liked. My first love was working on vehicles, and with the approval of my first wife we borrowed money to open a service station. That was 37 years ago and since then I have owned several service stations, until eventually I felt the need for a larger shop. March 10, 2014 will mark 48 years in business.


Here's how I got involved with ASCCA. Never be in a meeting and have to go to the bathroom! What happened on April 15, 1980 was the beginning of 34 years of involvement with ASCCA. I was at an ASCCA meeting and at the end our executive director John Goodman said to me and the membership that I would be a leader of the association. Like a lot of shop owners, I said, "No way, I do not have the time." "Yes, you will make the time and effort," said the person next to me (now longtime friend and adviser Dale Bright). Three shop owners were installed that evening and I was the last one chosen. What happened was I came out of the bathroom to find a group of people standing up and applauding my return to the room. I asked what had happened. Dale replied, "You have been voted in as a chapter board member." At another meeting later on this happened again -- I took a bathroom break only to come back and hear President Pete Peterson state that I had been voted in as mechanical governor (chapter representative today).


Nine years later I was elected to the State Board. In 1991 was voted to serve on the executive committee. After 14 years I retired to become a chapter representative and serve on my chapter board. I gained friendships throughout the United States, knowledge of how the government operates, and had the benefit of belonging to an organization of people with the same professional concerns as me. With this backing I walked into representatives' offices and had them shake my hand and listen to our presentations. Senators and assemblymen were calling me asking for my input on items of concern to small business owners. Also, I have profited and gained so much knowledge from many shop owners over the years just by the discussions we have had in our meetings. The best business decision I ever made was joining ASCCA because it has made me a better business owner and a better person.


The group of shop owners that we have now are more knowledgeable than us old timers. My love for our association is still strong and I am proud to be part of ASCCA. Without the work of volunteers we wouldn't be as strong as we are. Without membership we are just alone in our shops. When you look around the table at meetings and conferences you can see we are all individuals working together. I stated one time at a meeting that we are not competitors -- we are comrades in the same industry. We must all work together to make a better image for the automotive industry. Amen! 


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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.