March 2013

This is the online edition of the NASTF Newsletter.



MARCH 2013

OEMs to Connect with Techs @VISION

Four OEM service executives are preparing their panel presentations for the 2013 Spring NASTF General Meeting Friday, March 8 in Overland Park, KS. And additional OEM representatives have indicated they, too, will be there with NASTF@VISION2013.

NASTF's unique value to the automotive industry is the connection it makes between the independent shop/technician and the automaker (OEM) and the NASTF@VISION2013 event will underscore that benefit.

Four of NASTF's OEM service information volunteers are participating in a roundtable discussion with NASTF Executive Director, Skip Potter on current issues including telematics and service-readiness of their franchise dealerships. The panel includes Kelly Geist of Subaru, Mark Saxonberg of Toyota, Bob Stewart of GM and Jim Von Ehr of Nissan.

In a followup session, Saxonberg will moderate a panel discussion with educators and shop owners on the aftermarket-side of the industry. Participating in the Service Readiness Panel are Bob Augustine of Christian Brothers Automotive, Bob Beckmann of Beckmann Technologies, Aaron Cherrington of Identifix, Jeff Minter of Madison Technical College and Rusty Savignac of Paxton Garage. Saxonberg plans to establish the state of service-readiness in aftermarket shops today and attempt to uncover the necessary initiatives to close the gap between franchise dealerships and the general aftermarket.

The 2013 Spring NASTF General Meeting opens at 1pm Central in the Cottonwood 1 room of the Overland Park Convention Center (Kansas) on Friday, March 8. Other important elements of the afternoon program include a presentation by the President of the Equipment & Tool Institute, Charlie Gorman, titled: Why Automakers Should Support Aftermarket Telematics. Another session with the NASTF Committee Co-chairs will discuss new initiatives in collision, heavy duty, education, vehicle security, service information, scan tools and NASTF communications.

View the complete meeting agenda on the NASTF website,



Liability Insurance Requirement for a NASTF VSP - NASTF requires applicants to the VSP Registry to provide a "Certificate of Insurance" naming NASTF as a certificate holder and indicating commercial liability coverage of at least $1,000,000 for the business of the applicant. For businesses where the LSID Holder is not the owner and where the business is applying for multiple LSID accounts under the business' primary account, an additional Employee Fidelity or Vicarious Liability insurance (or Surety Bond) of $100,000 (per business, not per employee) is required.

Most established businesses will already have liability insurance through their own local agent so application to the NASTF VSP Registry is a simple request to their agent asking to name NASTF as a certificate holder and provide NASTF that certificate. Local agents usually also sell the employee surety bonds, as well.

NASTF has no requirement that a VSP Registry applicant be a member of any locksmith or automotive aftermarket trade association. However, it is wise for businesses to regularly obtain competitive insurance rate quotes from the agencies that may be endorsed by local or national trade associations.

Code Brokers - OEM automakers have only two methods of dispensing security codes/information to locksmiths and technicians in the United States: (1) Through their franchise dealerships in accordance with their franchise agreement and (2) through the online sale from an OEM directly to valid NASTF LSID holders verified in the NASTF VSP Registry. In neither method does the OEM allow for security codes/information to be provided to persons not covered under the franchise agreement or not the named individual with the LSID in the NASTF VSP Registry.

What this means is that any independent locksmith or other tech who obtains (free or for purchase) any security code/information from a dealership or other independent source is not obtaining that code/information through an approved OEM method. Automobile dealers who are determined to be in violation of the OEM policy regarding dispensing security info to unauthorized individuals may lose their franchise agreement. NASTF VSP Registry LSID licensees  who allow other individuals (including other employees) to use their LSID number or who allow other individuals (including other employees) to service vehicles with codes they have obtained through the use of their LSID are subject to termination of their LSID account.  To avoid violation of this NASTF VSP Registry policy, primary LSID licensees should enroll their employees who need this access as subordinate LSID licensees.  Information regarding enrolling subordinate accounts can be obtained from the NASTF Registry Director of Operations (

Each OEM charges for the key codes, PINs, immobilizer resets, etc. that are obtained through the VSP Registry so it is not beneficial for the OEM if their franchise dealers are distributing this info to others. In addition, for the most part, dealers are only able to access key codes for vehicles that are 10 years old or less. Many OEMs have restrictions that regulate the allowed number of security transactions. GM dealers, for example, are restricted to 5 key codes per day. Through the NASTF VSP Registry, key codes can be obtained as far back as 1985 for GM and the early-to-mid-90’s for most other vehicles. Using the LSID there are no quantity restrictions provided each transaction is specific to the individual's own LSID. NASTF conducts random audits to ensure compliance and investigates abnormal transaction patterns. All LSID transactions are logged with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) who works closely with NASTF and the OEMs to investigate auto thefts.

Code brokers, whether inside a franchise dealership or acting independently should be reported to NASTF for investigation. Notify David Lowell the NASTF VSP Registry Director of Operations via email to .

OEM Participation - Most automakers voluntarily participate in the NASTF Service Information Request (SIR) reporting program but participation in the VSP Registry for the transfer of key codes, security PINs, etc is a more complex decision. Consequently automakers including Jaguar, Maserati, Mini, Porsche, Rover, Isuzu and Smart do not "participate” in the VSP Registry. BMW is expected to announce the launch of their vehicle security partnership with NASTF very soon.



Volvo has completely redesigned their website and VSPs can now purchase key codes through the Store for $5.00 per code. You can find an index of all OEM technical websites at



Service Information Committee - The NASTF SIC held a conference call on February 13 with Co-chairs Steve Douglas and Dave Zwalina presiding. To read the notes from that meeting find them from the SI Committee page at

Vehicle Security Committee - The NASTF VSC held a conference call on February 26 with Co-chairs Mark Saxonburg and Claude Hensley presiding. To read the notes from that meeting find them from the VS Committee page at

Equipment & Tool Committee - The NASTF ETC held a conference call on February 27 with Co-chairs Donny Seyfer and Greg Potter presiding. To read the notes from that meeting find them from the Equip/Tool Committee page at

  Editorial by NASTF Executive Director, Skip Potter

The Proof is in the Numbers - If NASTF had more than 25,000 independent technicians and shop owners who were signed-up to receive the free monthly NASTF newsletter, I would expect you to be very impressed. But twenty-five thousand techs out of an estimated 775,000 automotive technicians employed in the USA may not sound impressive. For me, however, that would be a phenomenal number.

So who am I trying to impress? I want to impress the OEM service execs, many of who have volunteered their time over the past 12 years to create one of the most valuable auto service resources available today. I am frequently asked by an OEM service information representative how many techs and independent shop owners are supporting NASTF. One problem I am working to fix is how to identify the techs from other supporters. Another problem is that many long-time supporters of NASTF are not signed up for the newsletter and therefore not enjoying the full value of the resources we provide in that newsletter.

Many interested, familiar and self-proclaimed NASTF supporters are not registered with NASTF. I can't brag about our numbers to the OEMs and that is the big problem for NASTF.

This month's NASTF Newsletter is emailed to 2,017 people but about 1 out of 10 who appear to be supporters are not signed up to receive it. If they were, I might be more than half the way to my goal of 25,000 techs.

But why only 25,000 when there are 30 times that many techs out there. I would like to think that 10% or 77,500 of those are professional career techs. If 2/3rds (51,700) of those were A techs (or at least aspiring to be A techs) and were employed by independent shops then a membership in NASTF of half that group would be a phenomenal accomplishment for any trade association.

So I need your help. Please spread the word that support of NASTF is FREE but we can't demonstrate that support to the OEMs until supporters sign up for our newsletter. Sign up on the NASTF website at:

Soon I expect we will have proof of NASTF support. It will be in the numbers.




ASCCA and CAWA invited NASTF to speak to their leadership and attend their 2013 Industry Summit in early February. ASCCA is the Automotive Service Councils of California and CAWA is the California/Nevada/Arizona Automotive Wholesaler's Association. During the weekend event in Newport Beach members from both organizations (shop owners from ASCCA and product suppliers from CAWA) held an interesting and productive discussion on many issues of common concern to our industry.

In one discussion where shops were obviously concerned about the quality of some parts from some independent distributors, they wondered who made the product line decisions and what considerations were included. "We sell what you buy," was one reasonable answer. Both supplier and customer acknowledged that it was difficult to balance between the price shopper and the value-conscious customer and when the warranties were similar on price lines vs quality lines it was difficult to sell the price difference to the repair customer.

NASTF Executive Director, Skip Potter, spoke to each group when they split into their individual meetings. Potter's message was the same: (1) NASTF is not a political organization; but a technical non-profit where independent auto service connects with automakers to improve access to OEM service resources; (2) The work of NASTF is valuable to all segments of the automotive industry, regardless of which side one takes in the right-to-repair debates. NASTF needs everyone's support and participation; And (3) NASTF needs all supporters registered to revieve the monthly NASTF newsletter which serves as both the primary vein of OEM-Technician communication updates and a scorecard to demonstrate the level of interest by the independent industry in building a valuable information infrastructure.

NASTF extends a sincere thankyou to ASCCA Executive Director Jackie Miller, ASCCA Chairman, Jack Crawley of Fisk Automotive and CAWA President Rodney Pierini.


The National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF)

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