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Aftermarket Update: Visteon Grows Portfolio of OE-Quality Replacement Parts

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Conoco, is owned by Paul Rush, a finalist for the 2004 CARQUEST Excellence Award and a TECH-NET Professional Auto Service member.

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Rowledge will receive an all-expense paid trip for two to the ASE board meeting where he will be presented with a trophy and a gold ring. He also will be honored as the co-Grand Marshal, along with the CARQUEST Excellence Award Winner, at the 2006 CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Busch Series event in Charlotte, NC. He will receive in total more than $20,000 worth of prizes.

Website Created to Help Industry Victims of Hurricane Katrina
Bedford, TX – The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has launched a website designed specifically to help mechanical and collision shops that have been affected by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The site is accessible at http://asashop.blogspot.com, or through ASA’s home page at www.asashop.org.

“Our neighbors, friends and members in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and elsewhere are truly suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,” said Ron Pyle, ASA’s president and chief staff executive. “I highly encourage our industry to contribute resources to the hurricane relief effort.”

The website offers ASA members and other industry professionals the ability to post ways they can help those businesses affected by the disaster. ASA is asking for those who are willing to offer business assistance, or donate shop equipment or other necessities, to visit the website and post those offerings. Those who have been affected by the hurricane can post their needs on the website as well. Links to sites where monetary contributions to the overall relief effort are also available on the website. The site was launched Sept. 1.

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Vetronix and CARQUEST Announce New Distribution Partnership
Santa Barbara, CA, and Raleigh, NC – Vetronix and CARQUEST have announced the formation of a new partnership where CARQUEST Auto Parts stores will directly sell Vetronix diagnostic equipment.

This new partnership is backed up by the integrity of both companies. In addition to the distribution of CARQUEST through their chain of quality stores, customers buying through CARQUEST will have the training and product support of Vetronix nationwide factory representatives. In addition, all customers will have further support from Vetronix customer service, technical support and service centers.

Sandra Utterback Receives 2005 Tom B. Babcox Memorial Scholarship
Bedford, TX ‹ The Automotive Management Institute (AMI), in conjunction with Babcox Publications, recently announced Sandra Utterback, manager and service advisor of Grammer’s Auto Repair and Welding, Inc. in Tullahoma, TN, as the recipient of the Tom B. Babcox Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes a management-oriented member of the Automotive Service Association (ASA) Mechanical Division. The recipient receives $1,000 to be applied toward expenses to attend AMI seminars offered during the Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) in Las Vegas, Nov. 3-5.

Utterback has worked in the automotive service industry for the past six years. She recently completed the necessary requirements to earn the Institute’s Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) designation. “I am honored to be selected as the Tom B. Babcox Scholarship recipient and to be given this opportunity to improve my professional skills,” said Utterback. “AMI education has provided me with the skills necessary to improve my job performance as I constantly strive to improve our shop’s level of excellence.”

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Siemens VDO Awarded ISO 9001:2000 Certification
Allentown, PA ‹ Siemens VDO Automotive, Service & Special Solutions has just been awarded certification for the ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management System Standard. This certification is the result of an extensive and stringent audit of the systems and procedures in place at Siemens VDO Automotive Service & Special Solutions facilities in Allentown, PA, especially in the areas of Management Responsibility, Resource Management, Product and/or Service Realization, and Measurement, Analysis and Improvement activities. The announcement was made by Liam Dent, manager of engineering services at Siemens VDO Automotive Service & Special Solutions, who noted, “The ISO 9001:2000 certification gives our customers an independent measure of the reliability of our quality systems and procedures and lets them know that we are committed to consistent process improvement and continued excellence.”

Ford Cruise Control Recall Grows, Toyota Steering Flaw Initiates Recall
Ford Motor Co. will recall 3.8 million SUVs and pickups to fix a cruise-control problem that can cause the vehicles to catch fire while parked, a company spokesperson said in early September.

According to the USA TODAY, Ford recalled 750,000 model-year 2000 Ford F-150 pickups and Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs back in January. The new recall, the fifth largest in auto recall history, now includes the 1994-2002 F-150, 1994-1999 F-250, 1997-2002 Ford Expedition, 1998-2002 Lincoln Navigator and 1994-1996 Ford Bronco equipped with factory-installed speed control.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which was investigating most of the vehicles Ford recalled, said it has received 1,170 complaints of fires.

Ford had refused to expand the earlier recall because it said it couldn’t explain why some vehicles were more prone to catch fire than others. Ford now says brake fluid can leak through the cruise-control deactivation switch, causing corrosion in the cruise-control system and leading to a fire. The recalled vehicles have cruise-control components that are particularly close together, increasing the risk of fire.

Although switches in recent model years haven’t had the leaking problem, Ford said it doesn’t appear to be only the switch. The proximity of the components in some vehicles can cause leaking brake fluid to work its way into the cruise-control system over time. A fused wiring harness, which will be installed by dealers, will act as a circuit breaker, allowing a smooth flow of electricity and eliminate future problems.

Ford said it will notify owners of the recall immediately but is unsure when it will have enough replacement parts. It is asking customers to take vehicles to Ford or Lincoln Mercury dealers to have the cruise-control deactivated until parts are available.

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In the same week as Ford’s announcement, Toyota Motor Corp., said it will be recalling 978,000 SUVs and pickup trucks amid concerns over the power steering system. The affected vehicles include the 1990-1995 4Runner SUV, 1989-1995 truck 4WD and 1993-1998 T-100 pickup.

Toyota said a rod linking the steering wheel and the wheels may fracture under conditions where the steering wheel is turned while the vehicle is stopped. Owners were to be notified beginning in mid-September, the company said.

Did You Know…
…A blind inventor developed the Speedostat, which now known universally as cruise control? Ralph Teetor, who was blinded in a shop accident at the age of five, was able to accomplish many things. For example, in 1902, a 12-year-old Teetor, with the help of a cousin, built their own automobile. The pair rebuilt a discarded engine and machined each part by hand. The story of this remarkable man is told by his daughter, Marjorie Teetor Meyer, in her book, One Man’s Vision: The Life of Automotive Pioneer Ralph R. Teetor.

Teetor, who went on to become a long-time president of Perfect Circle Corp., in Hagerstown, IN, was inspired to invent cruise control one day while riding with his patent attorney Harry Lindsey who Teetor said was the jerkiest driver he ever rode with. Lindsey would slow down while talking and speed up while listening, creating a rocking motion so annoying that Teetor became determined to invent a “speed control device.”

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It took 10 years of tinkering in his basement before he applied in 1945 for a patent on the device, a safety mechanism (as he considered it) that would allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road and conserve gas consumption. But it was not until 1958 that Chrysler became the first auto manufacturer to offer it on its Imperial, New Yorker and Windsor models.

In 1988, Teetor was posthumously inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, MI, for his numerous contributions to the industry.

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