IAAF hails lobbying success with battery exclusion from Offensive Weapons Bill

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) is delighted to announce that following intense lobbying over the last year in conjunction with several of its members and the British Battery Industry Federation (BBIF), the Government has now confirmed that batteries will be excluded from the Offensive Weapons Act, avoiding significant implications for the UK aftermarket.

The Offensive Weapons Act is primarily aimed at guns and knife crime but also covers acid attacks, following the spate of incidents experienced in London and elsewhere last year. Prior to IAAF’s intervention, all automotive batteries were within scope of the legislation. This meant it would have been illegal to sell batteries to under 18 year-olds and would have effectively banned deliveries to private addresses, with ramifications for the industrial, leisure and mobility sectors.

Back in January, IAAF chief executive Wendy Williamson met with the Home Office’s Serious Violent and Weapons Unit, in conjunction with the BBIF and IAAF representatives, where they explained the ‘unintended consequences’ of this legislation on the automotive battery sector.

Their main argument was the difficulty in extracting battery acid and there being insufficient concentration to cause permanent harm.

They were able to help convince the Government to change the proposed legislation to exclude all batteries, after the Act was enacted and became law on the 16th May which confirmed the exclusion.

Williamson said: “We are absolutely delighted with the outcome, it is a real success for the continuous lobbying efforts of IAAF and the BBIF. The Government were sympathetic to our views thanks to us underlining the major challenges for the aftermarket sector if battery inclusion became part of the legislation.

“While we are not of course protesting against the main purpose of this Bill, we have helped manage to protect our members’ businesses and the entire UK aftermarket at large.”

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Managing ADAS in Repair

The ADAS systems on a vehicle provide critical safety functions. Repairers, therefore, must ensure that any repairs that directly involve, or impact ADAS sensors, are carried out so that the safety and functionality of the vehicle is not compromised.

With the rapid expansion of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in the automotive market it has become imperative that the repair industry increases technical capability and capacity to manage these systems in all forms of vehicle repair.

It is widely recognised within the industry that without any form of standardisation the automotive industries capability to manage ADAS in repair, of any kind, is being severely compromised. This is a situation that Thatcham believes all sectors of the industry, including repairers, insurers, equipment suppliers and vehicle manufacturers are experiencing and all will be essential parties in forming the solutions required to protect the consumers safety.

With this recognition in mind in May 2019 Thatcham Research produced a position paper entitled “Managing vehicle repairs involving Advanced Driver Assistance Systems”. At the same time Thatcham Research commenced work on developing a Code of Practice that will support and inform the industry to meet this challenge. However, to ensure the outcome provides an implementable solution industry wide consultation is being sought.

By working with industry membership organisations – Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), National Body Repairers Association (NBRA), Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), Independent Garage Association (IGA), Garage Equipment Association (GAE) British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and representations from the Motor Insurance Engineers Technical Committee (ETC) Thatcham is seeking to gain industry input. They have invited representatives from these groups to form a committee to support a review of industry feedback to help make a robust and fit for future Code of Practice.

The committee’s aspiration is to publish a code of practice in December 2019. To achieve this, your support as a member of this industry is being sought to provide timely input with actionable comments on the drafts as they are circulated.

The expected timeframes for the consultation are as follows:

  • Committee formed, and principals of consultation agreed: 20th June 2019
  • 1st Industry feedback window: 1st July 2019 to 26th July 2019
  • Feedback to be collated and reviewed by: 27th August 2019
  • ADAS Committee convening: 28th August 2019
  • Refine code to reflect committee agreements: 2nd September 2019
  • 2nd Industry feedback window: 9th September 2019 to 27th September
  • ADAS Committee Convening: 29th October 2019
  • Refine code to reflect committee agreements: 15th November 2019.

A draft copy of the proposed code of practice, which has been indexed to allow for easy reference, is attached as is a supporting spreadsheet designed to structure feedback into a common format. When providing feedback, Individuals are encouraged to think more in relation to how they feel the market should work to ensure all vehicles are repaired safely ensuring all functions and features are reinstated to their expected performance.

Only feedback received in the format given and sent to the [email protected], can be accepted.

ADAS Consultation Letter Final
ADAS in repair COP draft V3.1 – review1
ADAS CoP Feedback June 19

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End of Life Vehicles Regulations 2003

These Regulations were introduced to protect the environment by restricting the use of hazardous materials and introducing measures to promote recycling.

The Office of Product Safety and Standards is responsible for enforcing parts 3 and 4 of the End of Life Vehicles Regulations 2003 and is currently trying to raise awareness about their office and the parts of the regulations they are responsible for.

The responsibility for the requirements of parts III and IV of these regulations lies with car and component producers, some of whom will be members of the IAAF.

The Office of Product Safety and Standards has created a leaflet underlining the main responsibilities required by the ELV Regulations and a copy can be downloaded here.

ELV Leaflet

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The Alliance Automotive Group host the Golf Event of the Year

The second annual Alliance Automotive Group Golf Event took place at The Belfry on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th June 2019. Despite the days of heavy rain fall leading up to the event, the incredible grounds staff ensured the event went ahead.

The event saw over 100 GROUPAUTO & UAN motor factor members and sponsoring supplier delegates arrive on the Thursday to check-in to their hotel rooms before sitting down to dinner in the beautiful Warwick Suite of the Belfry for an American style buffet and drinks. The evening was kindly sponsored by Ring Automotive and included a live showing of the US Open at Pebble Beach. The evening was a relaxed atmosphere in preparation for the golf day on the Friday.

The days leading up to the event were nail biting as The Belfry worked tirelessly to ensure the course was playable. Once again, the Alliance Automotive Group Golf Event stood out from the usual corporate golf days with several food and drink stations positioned around the course, from the Horse & Crown trailer pub and VW Cocktail Campervan, to a wood-fired pizza pod and crepes van, all sponsored by approved suppliers to the group.

As delegates enjoyed their breakfast and spent time on the driving range the clouds ascended, and the rain persisted, but incredibly at 9.30am as the golfers were led out on the course for the shotgun start, the rain subsided. The sun broke through and the players teed off on the sound of the Claxon for the start of the 4-Ball competition.

The 4-Ball competition saw 18 teams of 72 golfers play their way around the famous and challenging Brabazon course, known for holding the 2002 Ryder Cup. The tees and greens were in great condition and although the bunkers were out of play the free drops were welcomed by the players. The players seemed in great spirit as they made their way around the picturesque course, in sections of the course it was difficult to tell whether the water-hazards were part of the various holes or simply large puddles occupied by ducks and their young ducklings.

After the golf competition on the Friday evening, everyone gathered for dinner and drinks sponsored by Remy, followed by the presentation of the golf awards.

The winners of the golf competition were:
• The Longest Drive winner of a Sonos One speaker sponsored by KYB was John Drinkall of UAN member HIT2014 in Hayes
• The Nearest the Pin winner of a Google Home Hub sponsored by Platinum International was Steve Everitt of Exol Lubricants
• The Winning player picking up the prize of a Garmin S20 Golf Watch sponsored by NGK was Tom Curtis of Shaftec, with a score of 38
• The winning 4-ball team sponsored by Apec Braking was Aaron Leadbetter and Josh Walsh from GROUPAUTO member A & L Components in Liverpool, Aktar Yousef of GROUPAUTO member Direct Motor Spares in Dewsbury and Adam Betteridge from Corteco, each collecting £150 worth of American Golf vouchers

After the awards an indoor chip-in challenge sponsored by Mahle finished off the night and a very successful event. Each player stepped up to take three shots at the prize wall with 15 players picking up a prize, ranging from a Starbucks voucher and a golf glove to a Nike golf bag.

Dan Williamson from UAN member Commercial Components Ltd, commented; “What a well organised and a really great event at The Belfry. It was a shame the weather wasn’t as kind as it could have been but playing the iconic Brabazon course was a tick on my ‘Bucket List’. Coupled with great service from all the staff in the hotel, bar and restaurants, it was the perfect event and I want to thank everyone involved.”

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Exol installs defibrillator machines

Exol has installed defibrillators across each of its sites, after becoming certified to connect up the life-saving devices.

The HeartSine Samaritan 360p AED defib machines, which are fully automatic and designed specifically to be used by anyone responding to a victim of cardiac arrest, are installed at Exol sites in Rotherham and Wednesbury.

It means that members of staff or customers that suffer cardiac arrest now have a greater chance of survival with the vital equipment, which works by emitting an electric shock through the chest wall to the heart when a person suffers a cardiac arrest.

Steve Dunn, Exol sales and marketing director, said: “Our staff and customers are our priority, and should anyone ever suffer from cardiac arrest on the premises, it means that a person’s chance of survival improves, simply due to the defibrillator being onsite. It’s essential for every business, regardless of size, and it’s a simple and affordable solution for something that potentially means the difference between life and death.”

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is one of the biggest killers in the world and it can affect people of any age at any time, even if they have no history of heart problems. For every minute that a victim of SCA is left unattended, the chance of survival drops by ten percent, with brain and major organ functionality affected after just five minutes.

A guide on how to use the HeartSine Samaritan 360p AED defib machine can be viewed on YouTube.

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Eminox adds Stoke distribution and service site

Emissions reduction specialists Eminox has expanded its footprint with a new site in Stoke.

It has opened a new retrofit service and support centre, with dedicated aftermarket distribution hub, in Stoke-on-Trent to support the rapid growth of the company.

The new aftermarket distribution facility will service a growing number of distributors, providing a next day service and helping to keep vehicles on the road, while the service and support centre will include three fitting bays and three weld bays, allowing more vehicles to be upgraded.

This investment will ensure Eminox is able to continue its rapid growth over the coming years and help businesses prepare for CAZ and low emissions areas around the country as well as the expansion of the London ULEZ.

Carlos Vicente, retrofit sales director for Eminox said, ‘This expansion of our service capabilities puts us in a fantastic position to meet the growing demand for our SCRT technology. ‘

‘SCRT systems are very complex so we identified a need for more speciality fitting capacity. This dedicated support centre is focused on providing the best possible service and working in partnership with our customers to keep vehicles reducing emissions long into the future.”

Neil Koston, aftermarket manager for Eminox, added, ‘Our customers already benefit from having a high quality, replacement product that is guaranteed to fit and function the same as the OEM DPF, but at a lower price. This new distribution hub allows us to provide rapid response to our distributors and make our DPFs available for next-day delivery to keep vehicles on the move. The DPFs are a direct-fit aftermarket replacement and have passed strict European type approval testing.’

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VARTA® Silver Dynamic Auxiliary battery range is now available

VARTA have introduced the new Silver Dynamic Auxiliary battery range in the UK market to address the increasing electrical loads to support comfort features, safety devices, and fuel-saving functions in modern vehicles.
The VARTA Silver Dynamic Auxiliary range provides two different technology solutions — AGM and conventional flooded – to support this increasing electrification especially in dual-battery systems.

Many vehicles with an internal-combustion engine have two batteries; a regular 12 volt starter battery and an auxiliary battery – known as a “dual-battery system.” More than 10% of the car parc with start-stop technology are already equipped with dual-battery systems in order to meet the increased power demands. This percentage is expected to grow even further with the ever-growing number of electrical consumers in start-stop cars. The VARTA Silver Dynamic Auxiliary is designed to support back up applications. Popular vehicle models, such as the BMW 5 series, Volvo V40 / V60, and many Mercedes models are all equipped with an auxiliary battery.

Depending on the make and model of the car, auxiliary batteries service different functions. These include: The increase of the start-stop function’s duration, support of comfort functions during engine start, support and protection of electrical systems (i.e. brake-by-wire) and emergency support. By providing both AGM and conventional types, VARTA offers a “like-for-like” replacement option. When it comes to replacing a weak or defective auxiliary battery, it is vital to rely on a high performing substitute.

Designed to support back up applications
All VARTA Silver Dynamic Auxiliary batteries are specifically designed for backup applications. Both the AGM and conventional flooded are maintenance free and equipped with a flame arrestor. An EN compliant degassing hole is also built-in to enable the installation in the passenger cabin and luggage compartment. The Silver Dynamic Auxiliary AGM is spill and leak proof, and comes with three times the cycle life of a conventional flooded battery. To avoid the risk of malfunctions and car breakdowns it is important to always replace an AGM auxiliary battery with another AGM auxiliary battery.

The Silver Dynamic Auxiliary batteries come in two technologies and three case sizes.

Not sure where the battery is located or which technology to choose?
When it comes to the replacement of auxiliary batteries it is essential to know the different installation positions depending on car make and model.

VARTA provides workshops with the VARTA Partner Portal. Many workshops rely on the portal’s battery position guide, battery selection section, fitting instructions and battery knowledge page. All the information can be found on any internet-enabled device. This ensures that the VARTA Partner Portal is available anywhere and at any time.

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DuoCall announce changes to delivery of customer support

Since 2007 (when DuoCall’s journey began) they been working to put a stop to the bad reputation that the telecommunications industry is known for and to provide customers with the best possible service that they deserve. Their goal is to make customers’ business communications stress-free and easier to manage. It is also the driving force behind the latest changes they are making to take DuoCall’s customer service to an even higher level.

Introducing DuoCall’s MyTeams
Previously, when a company became a DuoCall customer, an account manager was assigned as the sole point of contact for all account queries, and the customer support team would take care of any faults that occurred. Now DuoCall is excited to announce that they are changing how their industry-leading support is delivered.

From 1st July 2019, instead of directing account queries to an Account Manager and faults to the Customer Support team, customers will now have a single point of contact for all queries – MyTeam.

As the changes to the way DuoCall operates may take some getting used to, the old Customer Support mailbox will stay active for the time-being, although it will be phased out over time.

MyTeams – The Advantages

Even More Focus
All your calls will be directed to your MyTeam. You needn’t worry about being passed from pillar to post or being told to await a callback. Talk to the relevant person first time, every time.

Even More Support
6 eyes are better than 2! Your account will be managed by 3 of DuoCall’s team members – all of whom are trained to deal with any query (including logging faults and arranging new orders).

Faster Than Ever Before
DuoCall strives to answer all of your calls in just 10 seconds. With DuoCall’s MyTeams, they promise to not only achieve this goal but to exceed it with flying colours.

Simplified Comms
DuoCall understands that communications can be a frustrating subject. Their MyTeams are on hand to make discussing your communications stress-free and as easy as possible.

Always Available
No more “Can I get them to call you back?”. Your account will be managed by not 1, not 2, but 3 team members, meaning someone will be available to talk to you every time you call.

1 Call Resolution
Each MyTeam has a variety of expertise from customer support to business development. You can rest knowing that most queries will be resolved in just 1 call when you contact the DuoCall team.

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Customer amazed to win Porsche 911 Carrera in The Parts Alliance’s latest promotion

The Parts Alliance concluded their latest hugely successful promotion by revealing the winner of an incredible prize on Tuesday 25th June.

Sefket Ibrahim of Rose Motors won a brand new Porsche 911 Carrera. The car is new for 2019 as the eighth-generation 922 version of the iconic classic and retails for nearly £100,000.

The invitation-only promotion enabled customers to earn extra points on The Parts Alliance’s loyalty programme. In addition, prize draws were made regularly throughout, culminating in this final jaw-dropping prize.

“Rewarding customers is a great way to thank them for the support that helps us keep on developing our business and the service we can offer,” said Steve Gray, Divisional Director of The Parts Alliance. “We always produce great prizes but in truth, nothing has ever matched the Porsche 911 for sheer excitement.”

Rose Motors is a longstanding customer of the group’s Allparts Enfield branch. The garage has been on its current site since the 1970s and under current ownership for 7 years, specialising in BMW and Mini.

“We got a call about a visit on Tuesday from the branch,” said Sefket Ibrahim, owner of Rose Motors. “Then there were a couple of other calls checking I was in.

“They said I’d won a prize and asked me to go outside a take a look. It was just total shock when I saw a transporter box with a brand new Porsche in it.

“I couldn’t believe it and it was my birthday the next day so it was an amazing present!”

The actual car is now being ordered to bespoke customer specification, for factory production.

“This was a truly exceptional prize,” said Neil Croxson, President and COO of The Parts Alliance. “Behind eye-catching initiatives like these come tremendous amounts of investment and hard work.

“Within the last 6 months we’ve increased stock holding, opened new branches and launched our National Distribution Centre.”

The group is showing no signs of slowing down its ambitious plans. Behind a complex operation is a simple philosophy; making sure UK garages can get the right products at the right prices when they need them.

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Drivers warned against new fraud tactic

Motor fraudsters have adopted a dangerous new tactic to trap unsuspecting drivers in ‘crash-for-cash’ scams according to anti-fraud experts at AXX, the provider of intelligent vehicle protection and management technologies for the automotive and insurance industries.

Dubbed ‘hide and crash’, the latest method used is an evolution of previous tactics and involves a fraudster hiding in a driver’s blind-spot before quickly moving in front to ‘slam on’ the brakes.

The warning from AX, which exposed the ‘flash for crash’ scams – where a fraudster will flash their headlights to invite an innocent driver to pull out of a junction before accelerating to cause a collision – comes as it names the top-5 most common tactics currently used by fraudsters to induce accidents and make bogus insurance claims.

‘Crash for cash’ is a problem that costs the industry £340 million annually, leading to inflated premiums for motorists and businesses.

The latest ‘hide and crash’ trend was noticed when AX detected several suspicious claims displaying near identical characteristics.

‘This new tactic is a dangerous progression of the existing ‘slam on’ approach,’ explained Neil Thomas, director of Investigative Services at AX. ‘Criminals can take cover in a driver’s blind spot, wait for the ideal moment, then accelerate and move into their pathway before slamming on the brakes.’

Other tactics include: traditional ‘slam on’ accidents – a vehicle in front intentionally slams on the brakes to catch out the driver behind; flash for crash – when a driver flashes their lights to beckon another vehicle forward but then drives into them; crash for ready cash – a third-party requests cash to fix their vehicle after they have induced a collision; hide and crash – a vehicle ‘hides’ in the blind spot of another car before moving in front and braking hard; and hire and crash – where a criminal hires a car and stages an accident with another vehicle, usually someone they know.

Neil added, ‘Detecting new methods deployed by gangs is notoriously difficult and without video evidence, it is often difficult to prove who was really at fault. Intelligence-sharing amongst insurers and the authorities can help, nevertheless drivers should always be vigilant. Collectively, we can minimise the impact of these increasingly sophisticated criminals.’

Roundabouts were the most common locations seen for suspected crash-for-cash scams, while busy motorways and urban areas with frequent sets of traffic lights are also considered danger spots. Ultimately, fraudsters look for places where it is unlikely and often unsafe for potential witnesses to stop.

Neil said, ‘It is hard to avoid being a victim of a staged accident but watch for passengers looking back, and do not interpret flashing headlights as an automatic invitation to pull out of a side road.

‘In the event of an accident, drivers should take a few simple steps to guard against fraud. Count the number of occupants and ask for names. Then be sure to note the registration plates of the other vehicles. This is critical information which is easy to miss in heat of the moment but can help insurers and fraud experts build up a true picture of events.’

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