June 2013

This is the online edition of the NASTF Newsletter.



JUNE 2013

Counterfeit Service Tools & More

The agenda for the NASTF 2013 Fall General Meeting, November 6, in Las Vegas during AAPEX/SEMA is taking shape with automaker representatives joining independent technicians to address several important current industry issues. Among the major session topics planned are:

  • Counterfeit service tools
  • Collision industry gaps in service info, tools and education
  • Equipping the aftermarket with OEM diagnostic solutions requires careful product planning
  • Ask the Committee Co-Chairs

NASTF supporters with specific knowledge, questions, experience or insight into these or other current industry concerns are encouraged to email admin@nastf.org. Your insight will help shape the content of the General Meeting.

NASTF General Meetings are free to attend and no pre-registration with NASTF is necessary. However, registration for the AAPEX/SEMA trade shows is highly recommended. AAPEX/SEMA registration is open with a discounted rate as low as $25 effective through October 14. To register for a show badge, visit www.aapexshow.com.

NASTF in the Massachusetts right-to-repair law

There are two versions of the recently passed Massachusetts right-to-repair law but both give NASTF a role to play in resolving service support issues with automakers. The language of the law reads:

"An independent repair facility or owner who believes that a manufacturer has failed to provide information or a tool required by this chapter must notify the manufacturer in writing through the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) Service Information Request process ... and give the manufacturer thirty (30) days from the time the manufacturer receives the complaint to cure the failure."

There are many significant differences between the two versions of this new law in Mass and it is not the intent of this article to try to list or explain those differences. We do expect, however, that whatever language is finally adopted in Mass. is likely to include the same instructions relating to NASTF.

Did you notice the word "owner" in the language of the law? Yes, under this law, NASTF will need to accept SIRs from the vehicle owner in addition to the professional technician currently served by this NASTF feedback service. However, since the owner and the tech both need to meet the challenging requirements prescribed in the Automotive Service Information Standards before filing a SIR, NASTF does not expect many "owner" SIRs to be filed. Already NASTF receives the occasional SIR from a DIYer and none, so far, have completed the prerequisites that include: Reference of available aftermarket information services, use of the appropriate tools, subscription to the specific OEM's technical website and submission of the SIR question first using the OEM's email or online support form. Occasionally, NASTF must remind even technicians that it is not a help-line.

You may have noticed, too, that the law gives the manufacturer 30 days to cure the "failure". The NASTF Service Information Standards prescribe a two-business-day turnaround on most service information elements of a SIR. In many cases manufacturers respond to SIRs in hours, not days. While 30-days may be OK for a legal document, real customer service in auto repair must happen in a much shorter time. NASTF expects their accelerated response to continue.

The use of the words "complaint" and "failure" in the law do not accurately describe the purpose of the NASTF SIR. The system was developed by NASTF volunteers in our Service Information Committee for the voluntary participation of OEMs and has served as a vehicle for constructive dialogue between the independent technician and the OEMs for many years. At the very least, NASTF would replace the word "complaint" with "request" and the word "failure" with "problem."

With or without legislation, NASTF is a partnership of automakers, technicians and tool makers that continue to share a common goal of improving the capabilities and productivity of auto repair professionals, both dealers and aftermarket.


Collision Repair Committee - Tim Morgan (pictured), Managing Director for Spanesi has accepted an appointment to serve with Bob Chabot (ManicMedia) as a co-chair of the Collision Repair Committee. To see the full committee roster, visit the NASTF Collision Repair Committee page at www.nastf.org/Committees/Collision. [Tim Morgan bio: With over 37 years experience in the Collision Repair Industry, Timothy has held positions from collision repair technician, body shop manager for a dealership, collision repair facility owner, educator and director of collision repair at a Nationally Accredited Technical College. Equipment distribution of structural repair equipment for the past 17 years, holding positions of Technical, Training, Sales Director, General Manager, and Managing Director of North American Operations and Globally. Tim is currently the Managing Director of Spanesi Americas, Inc.]

Equipment & Tool Committee - ETC Co-chairs, Donny Seyfer and Greg Potter, convened a scheduled committee conference call on May 22 and discussed several ETC issues, including work on the proposed "OEM Scan Tool Guide" and their support of a session in the Fall 2013 NASTF General Meeting, November 6, covering counterfeit tools. Read the meeting summary and other ETC information with a visit to the NASTF ETC page at www.nastf.org/Committees/ETC.

Service Information Committee - Visit the NASTF SIC page at www.nastf.org/Committees/SIC. Techs having trouble completing jobs because of access to OEM service information and tools continue to post their questions on NASTF's Service Information Request (SIR) on-line response system. To log or file a NASTF SIR, visit www.nastf.org/FileSIR. Review recent SIRs by visiting www.nastf.org/SIRarchive.

Education Committee - Visit the NASTF Education Committee page at www.nastf.org/Committees/Education. Anyone wanting to join the EduC should send their request to skippotter@nastf.org.

Vehicle Security Committee - Note that the VSC will not have a meeting during ASRW or AAPEX/SEMA. Instead, as the VSC did for their Spring 2013 meeting, they will meet via conference call. However, the VSC will upgrade the interactivity of the meeting to give members the opportunity to participate via Go-To-Meeting in a web-enabled conference. Email invitations for a Wednesday, October 23 meeting of the VSC have already gone out to registered VSC members. If you would like to join the VSC or did not receive your email invitation, email skippotter@nastf.org. Be sure to visit the NASTF VSC page at www.nastf.org/Committees/VSC.

Communications Committee - The Communications Committee will meet Wednesday, June 11 via conference call. Invitations have been sent to all registered members of the Communications Committee so if you did not receive one or would like to join the Communications Committee, email skippotter@nastf.org. Visit the NASTF ComC page at www.nastf.org/Committees/Communications



Bill Long, President of the Automotive Aftermarket Supplier’s Association and Bill Moss, Owner of Euro Service Automotive (Warrenton, VA) were elected May 16, 2013 to the Board of Directors of the National Automotive Service Task Force. Additionally, Steve Douglas, Environmental Affairs Director for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers was elected to a Board officer position of Treasurer/Secretary. To read the full press release, click HERE.

Bill Long   Bill Moss   Steve Douglas

   Editorial by NASTF Executive Director, Skip Potter

The theme of the recent annual conference of the Automotive Training Managers Council was "Collective Wisdom." At April's "Tool Tech" by the Equipment and Tool Institute a panel addressed "Collaboration." In July I will address the ASA-Arizona Sunrise Training Expo about "The Rewards of Cooperation."

It is very interesting and curious to me how each of these similar themes were developed independently by people who are likely professionally separate from one another and from far corners of the automotive world. And they thought of their presentation topics all about the same time, last winter. Perhaps we are all tired of the lack of cooperation, collaboration and collective wisdom in our Federal Government. Perhaps, we recognize, as did Benjamin Franklin in 1748, "A spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar". If you want to bring people (or flies) together, you must leave the vinegar, divisive rhetoric, disrespect and blame outside the meeting room door.

For NASTF, collaboration is a necessary trait in our genetic fabric. Without it NASTF could not resolve the many Service Information Requests (SIRs) that challenge independent technicians and automaker service managers. Without it NASTF would not have our Vehicle Security Professional Registry that allows independent technicians to service customer vehicle security systems; and do it without involving the local dealership.

The vision of the NASTF Board of Directors has long been to attract competing and separate automotive industry stakeholders to the NASTF committee tables where their collective wisdom in collaboration will generate the rewards of cooperation. NASTF has made great strides toward this vision in 2013. Witness the recent rededication of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association to NASTF. Thanks to the return of Jason Bartanen, Technical Director for I-CAR, NASTF's Collision Repair Committee will enjoy a widened perspective on closing the service gaps suffered now by auto body technicians. Donny Seyfer has merged the interests of the Automotive Service Association's (ASA) Mechanical Ops Committee with NASTF's Equipment & Tools Committee so we can expect to see completion, soon, of the online OEM Scan Tool Guide.

To Mr. Franklin I would point out that at NASTF, it's not so much the taste of honey that brings us together but the absence of vinegar in our discussions has absolutely attracted more flies.


ASA-AZ Sunrise - The Sunrise Automotive Training Expo & Convention in Prescott, Arizona, will provide a much needed break from the desert heat July 19-21 for shop owners and technicians of the Southwest USA. During the event, Skip Potter, Executive Director of NASTF, will speak to attendees about NASTF's great progress since it took root in Arizona in 1999.

NASTF will be exhibiting at the ALOA Convention and Security Expo in the Baltimore Convention Center on July 18 – 20, 2013.  Stop by and visit with David Lowell, NASTF VSP Registry Director of Operations, who will be there to discuss any questions or comments you may have regarding NASTF or the VSP Registry.



The NASTF 2013 Spring General Meeting at VISION last March was obviously a newsworthy event. Industry newspaper Parts & People has featured several sessions from that NASTF meeting including Mark Saxonberg's aftermarket panel on service-readiness. 'Service-readiness' gap presents challenges, needs by editor Matthew Sevart in their Northern California edition was another front-page story in that paper for NASTF. Thanks for the coverage.

The National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF)
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