NASTF TACKLES OEM-AFTERMARKET TOPICS OF TODAY, TOMORROW
Allen Pennebaker (pictured, left), NASTF 2014 Chair and owner of Orinda Motors (Orinda, CA) welcomed attendees to the March 20 NASTF Spring 2014 General Meeting, both those in-person in Seattle and those viewing the meeting in a webcast over the NASTF YouTube Channel. The meeting included two featured panel discussions and a wrap-up of important NASTF Committee activities.
J-2534 DISCUSSION - One NASTF session dug into the complex topic of J-2534 pass-through devices being used to link technician’s computers to their customers’ vehicles. Mark Saxonberg, Manager of Alternative Fuel Vehicles & Environment for Toyota Motor Sales USA, Bob Augustine, Technical Training Manager for Christian Brothers Automotive and Brian Herron, Vice President of tool-maker Drew Technologies, conferred for 60 minutes with panel moderator, Skip Potter, NASTF Executive Director, on the technical issues surrounding the past, present and future of those devices. The one-hour discussion revealed a 10-year struggle in implementing the J-2534 SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) standard, which has led to current difficulties with this vehicle interface solution. Augustine asked the industry to set priorities to resolve current trepidation in use of the “J-tool.” “First,” he said “let’s all agree on whether this should be a local, computer–based or a web-based system.” For more convenient viewing, NASTF has posted the “J-2534 Discussion” separate from the full event video on their YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/NASTFdotOrg). “Every technician and OEM should watch this discussion,” said Potter. “There is just so much to learn from this session.”
An OEM, a technician and a tool-maker discuss the J-device pass-through vehicle interface: the original intent, current problems and the future.
The J-2534 pass-through vehicle interface was intended to allow reprogramming software from any vehicle manufacturer to work easily with any J-2534 tool manufacturer. In 2014, we're not there yet.
R2R, THE MOU & NASTF - With the announcement in January of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between parties representing the automakers and those representing aftermarket service, a special panel moderated by John Lypen, Director of Industry Relations for Motor Information Services, included discussions with Steve Douglas, Senior Director of Environmental Affairs for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Aaron Lowe, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Car Care Association (formerly AAIA). “NASTF is not mentioned in the MOU like it is in the Massachusetts legislation, but we hope NASTF will be the first line of defense [on issues between technicians and OEMs],” said Lowe in his opening presentation. “What we established in Massachusetts is a good solution [to right-to-repair],” added Douglas. “The big things are [year] 2018 and J-2534 [requirements].”
An OEM association and aftermarket association take the stage at NASTF's Spring 2014 General Meeting, March 20 in Seattle to discuss NASTF and the Memorandum of Understanding, which many hope will end the long and expensive right-to-repair fight.
Donny Seyfer, co-owner of Seyfer Automotive (Wheat Ridge, CO) demonstrated the OEM Scan Tool Resource Center which is now accessible from the NASTF website (www.nastf.org). Seyfer explained that many more OEM tools will be introduced soon to the Center and that others will be rolled out as the research is completed.
Claude Hensley, Owner of Lockman Locksmiths (Tampa, FL) and Independent Co-Chair of the Vehicle Security Committee, presented final statistics of the 2013 NASTF Vehicle Security Professional (VSP) Registry noting a total of 1,728 registered VSPs; where 935 were locksmiths and 762 were service technicians; and that there were 578,704 security product transactions in the registry for the year 2013, totaling over 1.5 million transactions since the beginning of the program in 2008.
Charlie Gorman, Executive Manager of the Equipment & Tool Institute (ETI) presented for the NASTF Equipment & Tool Committee, reporting on a co-operative project with NASTF involving ETI’s Scan Tool Information Request (STIR) system, which will work with the NASTF Service Information Request (SIR) for tool-makers resolving OEM data stream availability issues.
Rob Morrell, Training Manager for WORLDPAC and Aftermarket Co-Chair of the NASTF Education Committee announced the Committee’s initiative to simplify aftermarket access to OEM education resources. In its initial stages, the project intends to offer OEMs a revenue stream while satisfying the needs of both technicians and independent technical trainers.
John Cabaniss, Director of Environment & Energy for the association of Global Automakers announced a Board commitment to expand the marketing effort for NASTF as it attempts to recruit greater support of professional technicians throughout the USA.
CHRYSLER - April 3, 2014 is the target date for the registration of all wiTECH diagnostic tools. Chrysler continues to see a wide variety of tool configurations presently in the field, some of which do not meet minimum wiTECH standards. While they work to find a solution on these unexpected configurations (like second-owner used tools) they will extend temporary licenses to aftermarket tool users allowing them to continue to use their particular tool configurations after April 3rd. To receive this temporary license, aftermarket facilities must register their facility and tool configuration with the wiTECH Premium Support Help Desk.
During this extension period, Chrysler will be finalizing development on a variety of licensing and support options to make all tool configurations brought to Chrysler and wiTECH standards. Aftermarket facilities may be required to purchase additional tools to meet the minimum requirements set forth by Chrysler and wiTECH.
We encourage aftermarket facilities to contact wiTECH Premium Support at 1-888-wiTECH-1 (888-948-3241) or email@example.com to discuss their support and licensing options.
By David Lowell, Director VSP Operations
For those who order Mercedes Benz parts through the StarTekinfo.com website there has been a recent change of which you should be aware.
Recently, the StarTekInfo.com website made minor programming changes causing confusion for those ordering theft related parts (TRP).
When you fill out the TRP order form you should input all the information they ask you for and instead of inputting your shop's zip code, you should input the zip code of the dealer from where you want to pick up the parts. Apparently the programmers have linked the zip code field to the dealer information instead of your company information.
Hopefully this will avoid the error message popping up stating they are "unable to complete your request at this time.” (Note: as with any website – if you get an error message it is best to clear your browser history before trying again, otherwise the error page will load even though you have corrected the field information. In some cases you may have to exit your browser completely to clear the history.)
A note regarding Ford Motorcraft subscription products: In addition to key code information, starting in model year 2013, certain vehicles such as the Fusion are equipped with Coded PATS vs. time delay feature. For these vehicles, if you are required to perform functions such as Keycode Erase/Reprogram and PCM Parameter Reset, this functionality is only available to automotive security professionals who are registered with the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) Vehicle Security Professionals Registry.
Education Committee - The Education Committee met by conference call on March 5 and the minutes of the meeting are posted on the committee's webpage. The Committee has begun designing a project to possibly write a "Best Practice" recommendation for OEMs to improve technician and trainer access to OEM technical education resources.
Visit the NASTF Education Committee page at www.nastf.org/Committees/Education. Anyone wanting to join the Education Committee should send their request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next conference call for the Education Committee is set for Wednesday, July 9, 2014. An email invitation with web and dial-in information will be sent to Committee members of record at least one week in advance.
Communications Committee - The Communications Committee was unable to hold its scheduled March 12 conference call and may call a special meeting in April or May to discuss the project to prepare an extensive digital marketing program for the association. At the March 20 meeting of the NASTF Board of Directors, the leadership indicated an urgency to this assignment.
If you would like to join the Communications Committee, email email@example.com. Be sure to visit the NASTF Communications Committee page at www.nastf.org/Committees/Communications.
The next conference call for the Communications Committee is set for Wednesday, June 11, 2014. An email invitation with web and dial-in information will be sent to Committee members of record at least one week in advance.
Service Information Committee - The SIC met by conference call on March 26 and have posted the minutes of the meeting on their webpage. Interesting among the items on their agenda was an assignment to examine the extent of temporary OEM server outages and slowdowns, how they may negatively affect technician productivity, what may be down and to inform techs of these rare problems in advance.
View SIC information from the NASTF SIC page at www.nastf.org/Committees/SIC. If you would like to join the Service Information Committee, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
The next conference call for the SIC is set for Wednesday, June 25, 2014. An email invitation with web and dial-in information will be sent to Committee members of record at least one week in advance.
Collision Repair Committee - View information about CRC on the NASTF Collision Repair Committee page at www.nastf.org/Committees/Collision. Anyone wanting to join the CRC should send their request to email@example.com.
The next conference call for the CRC is set for Wednesday, April 23, 2014. An email invitation with web and dial-in information will be sent to Committee members of record at least one week in advance.
Vehicle Security Committee - If you would like to join the VSC, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to visit the NASTF VSC page at www.nastf.org/Committees/VSC.
The next conference call for the VSC is set for Wednesday, May 14, 2014. An email invitation with web and dial-in information will be sent to Committee members of record at least one week in advance.
Equipment & Tool Committee - Visit the NASTF ETC page at www.nastf.org/Committees/ETC. Anyone wanting to join the ETC should send their request to email@example.com.
The next conference call for the ETC is set for Wednesday, May 28, 2014. An email invitation with web and dial-in information will be sent to Committee members of record at least one week in advance.
FROM THE NASTF BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Charlie Gorman, Executive Manager of the Equipment & Tool Institute (ETI), volunteered his effort and support of the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) shortly after its formation in 2000. During the NASTF Spring 2014 General Meeting, March 20, at the Double Tree Hotel in SeaTac, Washington, Gorman was recognized for his extraordinary service to the organization, currently serving as Immediate Past Chair of NASTF.
“No one else deserves this [recognition] more than Charlie” said John Cabaniss, Environment & Energy Director for the Association of Global Automakers in making the presentation. Cabaniss himself had been recognized by NASTF in 2008 for his own extraordinary contribution as the one responsible for organizing the founding meeting.
In accepting the award Gorman said, “This is great but I just want to say that NASTF has a heck of a future. The new Board is great and we have the right leadership in place. It will just get better.”
ON MY MIND
An Editorial by Skip Potter, NASTF Executive Director
I have attended hundreds of state and national trade shows in my long automotive industry career but - for events targeted at technicians - none have impressed me more than did last month's VISION and ATE. The NASTF Board of Directors instructed me to represent them at "events where technicians gather" and I am certainly lucky to have had the experience, particularly of these two events.
The 22nd annual VISION 2014 (Overland Park, KS) was presented by the Automotive Service Association (ASA) Midwest chapter, bringing more than 3,500 technicians and shop owners from 37 states & 5 Canadian provinces to attend 76 advanced technical and shop management sessions presented over four days.
The 6th annual Automotive Training Expo (ATE, Seattle) was presented by ASA Northwest, bringing more than 600 technicians and shop owners to attend 62 advanced technical and shop management sessions presented over three days.
These events make two different and significant impressions on me: First, as an experienced state trade association CEO I know how difficult it is to build a world-class event at the state level and, two, what pride I feel for our industry when I see such a huge concentration of professional technicians committed to the educational requirements of their trade.
Automotive engineers have their impressive SAE World Congress. Car dealers gather annually for their giant NADA Conference, and the international aftermarket week in Las Vegas for AAPEX/SEMA is simply incredible. But at the state and regional level, large events are rare and small successful events are few. I consider myself an expert on these events because I have failed for so long at trying to build one.
VISION and ATE highlight the three key elements, I feel, are required to make these events successful in the independent service sector: (1) real, over-the-head education that challenges the technician, (2) association volunteers who seed attendance with themselves and their employees, and (3) patience for the many years it takes to evolve from an expensive association event to a profitable industry event.
For me, with almost 50 years into our industry, the thrill at VISION and ATE was talking with the young talent who use their computer rather than an old test light like mine to do today's work. Most impressive are the technicians who paid their own way to attend VISION or ATE on their own time.
I am humbled. Humbled by the technician attendees. Humbled by Sheri Hamilton (ASA Midwest) and Jeff Lowell (ASA Northwest), their staff and their volunteers.
NASTF IS ON THE ROAD
NASTF@ATMC, Atlanta, GA - April 7-9, 2014
NASTF@AAIA-CCPN, Huntington Beach, CA - April 24, 2014
NASTF@ETI Tool Tech, Sonoma, CA - April 29 - May 1, 2014
NASTF@Just Cars (for locksmiths), Orlando, FL - May 3-4, 2014 (Exhibiting)
NASTF@WORLDPAC, Orlando, FL - May 16-17, 2014 (Exhibiting)
NASTF@AAAS, Destin, FL - June 6-8, 2014
NASTF@NACE/CARS, Detroit, MI - July 31-Aug 1, 2014 (Exhibiting)
NASTF@AAPEX/SEMA, Las Vegas, NV - Wednesday, Nov 5, 2014 (Fall General Meeting)