November 2013

This is the full-text, online version of the NASTF Newsletter.




The NASTF Fall 2013 General Meeting will be Wednesday, November 6, beginning at 1pm Pacific time (4pm Eastern). Twice-a-year, independent technicians, OEM service representatives and other industry executives come together to learn from each other and begin building solutions to gaps in access to OEM service information, tools, education and other service resources. The meeting agenda (available HERE) is packed with important industry topics.

While the meeting room (Sands Expo Center/Venetian Hotel Casanova 605) seats only 128, NASTF expects hundreds of additional attendees to participate in the meeting via a live webcast which can be launched from the NASTF website at

Presentations will be recorded for release in mid-November on the NASTF YouTube Channel.

"Our discussions never end," explains Skip Potter, NASTF Executive Director. "Our General Meetings are intended to spur conversation and cooperation. Presentations will be thought-provoking and NASTF needs to hear from technicians throughout the United States... even if they can't be there in person for the Fall meeting during the AAPEX/SEMA week in Las Vegas."





HONDA just released new collision tech information relating to their 2011 Odyssey and 2014 Accord Plug-in & Hybrid. Find each of these information sheets under the Body Repair News section (left tab: USA Resources) at

CAN NASTF HELP? NASTF received this response last month from a tech working on a Nissan.

"I want to start by saying how I am very satisfied by the way Nissan has helped me with my Consult 3 Plus scan tool. After contacting NASTF I was immediately contacted by Nissan Customer Service who fixed a communication gap between Bosch/Tech-Mate & Nissan Corp so that future customer purchase orders would be updated much sooner into the Nissan database and a user could enter their invoice  info on the Nissan website when purchasing a Consult 3 Plus yearly software subscription . I was also contacted by Nissan Corporate, who immediately made changes to the website to direct a user to enter their Consult Laptop purchase invoice info and now their Consult 3 Plus Upgrade invoice info....Nissan Corporate is also looking at adding a 2nd option to allow a user to purchase a Software Licensing fee if a user does not have an invoice and purchased a valid used Consult 3 Plus unit. 

After finally purchasing the Consult 3 Plus software, I was unable to have it extract and install on my Nissan laptop. I contacted Nissan Corporate again and had a software technician contact me immediately . After spending 2 hours logged into my PC, he found a bug in the extractor program and also found that I was in need of a .Net Framework file which had to be downloaded into my Nissan laptop to perform the Consult 3 Plus installation task. He documented everything and told me that these issues would be immediately addressed for the next aftermarket user.

Everything is working great now, and I am up to date with the latest version of the Consult 3 Plus. I had to be descriptive of my experience because I want NASTF and others out there to know that because of NASTF the automotive aftermarket now has a quick way to resolve right to repair issues and are treated with high regard from automotive manufactures."

Thank You NASTF & Nissan

John Anello, President, Auto Tech On Wheels

John - Thank you for the testimonial. This is what NASTF is all about. Thank you for using the NASTF SIR feedback system. We believe this is the best way to improve access to OEM resources by independent technicians. Thank you for being a long-time supporter of NASTF. - NASTF



  By David Lowell, Director VSP Operations

The NASTF VSP Registry, as of October 23rd, had registered nearly 425,000 secure transactions already in calendar year 2013. Currently, professional locksmiths make up 55% of the LSIDs issued by NASTF. Automotive service technicians represent 45% of the active VSP Registry's active accounts.

By registering with the NASTF Vehicle Security Professional Registry, you are allowed access to security related information from the participating automaker service information websites. If you have any questions regarding the VSP Registry and/or how to enroll please contact the NASTF VSP Registry Director of Operations at 817-514-2911 or




Education Committee - The Education Committee held a web meeting October 30, 2013, and examined the issues related to availability of OEM education resources for both independent technicians and aftermarket trainers. Find the minutes of that meeting linked from the NASTF Education Committee page at Anyone wanting to join the Education Committee should send their request to

Vehicle Security Committee - The VSC held a web meeting on Wednesday, October 23 with attendees learning that the NASTF Vechicle Security Professional (VSP) Registry has grown to 1,665 active LSID subscriptions and there have been 424,175 VSP Registry transactions already in calendar-year 2013. Other discussion items included a report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and audits of D-1 forms to ensure against unauthorized transactions. Read the minutes of the meeting (when posted in early November) which will be linked from the committee webpage at  If you would like to join the VSC, email your request to

Service Information Committee - View SIC information from the NASTF SIC page at 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 Review recent SIRs by visiting

Communications Committee - The Communications Committee met August 14 via conference call. Visit the NASTF Communications Committee page at for access to the committee roster, the charter and meeting summaries. Anyone wanting to join the Communications Committee should send their request to

Collision Repair Committee - View information about VRC on the NASTF Collision Repair Committee page at Anyone wanting to join the CRC should send their request to

Equipment & Tool Committee - The ETC has scheduled a web/conference call for 11:30am - 12:30pm (ET) Wednesday, November 27. Committee Members will be notified by email to confirm the meeting and provide participation links and numbers. Visit the NASTF ETC page at Anyone wanting to join the ETC should send their request to



  An Editorial by Skip Potter, NASTF Executive Director


There is a difference between "information" and "education" and both are necessary to repair the vehicles of today and yesterday. To be clear (paraphrasing Wikipedia and Webster), information is something that can be known while education is the process of learning what can be known. For NASTF, this distinction is important because we host a partnership between independent technicians and OEMs, which was founded on the voluntary access to OEM service information by technicians presumed to be already educated in the use of it. Too many technicians, however, still attempt to self-teach (educate) themselves while billing their education directly into an unfamiliar repair. To these technicians, the information is education. To the OEM, it is not the same.

This troubling issue is "on my mind" this month because a technician (needing education to use the information he found) recently hounded an OEM using customer influence and unauthorized access to the OEM's technical service group gained though the OEM's customer service. This was not a NASTF SIR (Service Information Request) and, in fact, the technician was not a registered NASTF supporter. But the relationship between the OEM and the independent service community, which NASTF is constantly trying to build, can be injured by the on-the-job trained tech who believes the OEM owes them their education. 

While the EPA Service Information laws in the 1990 Clean Air Act, key code laws in California and right-to-repair laws in Massachusetts may serve as a motive for some OEMs to participate with NASTF, much of what we do is based on a voluntary effort where OEMs understand the value of independent service to their vehicle owners who are many miles from a franchised dealer in a vehicle as old as 6, 10 or 15 years. Nowhere in any Federal or State regulations are OEMs required to "educate" the aftermarket and OEMs are not likely ever to go into that business.

An OEM recently explained to me that "it is expensive enough for [OEMs] to provide new-car system education to ensure good warranty service. To expand [OEM] education programs to serve the repair-situation needs of the aftermarket is not conceivable. The aftermarket must educate itself." 

Still, the independent service community is made up of technicians with varying approaches to education, including those who seek it in advance of the need; and those who risk productivity by learning on-the-job. The costs of time and error may eventually weed out much of the ill-preparedness and incompetence from the service industry because the need for advanced education, in advance, is ever increasing.

Coincidently, with last month’s unfortunate encounter between a technician and an OEM, NASTF energized its Education Committee to begin a discussion between willing OEMs, enterprising technicians and aftermarket service educators with the objective to mine OEM resources for the purpose of education. NASTF does not seek to open dealer education classes or dealer help-lines. The NASTF education effort does hope to improve access to current OEM education materials, though not necessarily to OEM educators or their systems. 

As NASTF succeeds, independent technicians will find even easier access to even more OEM service information. Beyond some CDs, videos and manuals already being made available from several OEMs, technicians must look at their own aftermarket options for education.

What do you think about OEM education resources for the aftermarket? Read the answer to the question, What education resources are OEMs required by law or agreement to provide for independent training? and send me your thoughts to



NASTF will meet on November 5 in Las Vegas with the OEM Roundtable, a collision industry group of OEM representatives.

NASTF@AAPEX/SEMA, Las Vegas, NV - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 (Fall 2013 General Meeting)

NASTF@ASA-Midwest VISION 2014, Overland Park, KS - March 7-8, 2014 (Exhibit only)

NASTF@ASA-NW ATE, Seattle, WA - Thursday, March 20, 2014 (Spring 2014 General Meeting & Exhibit)

The National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF)
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