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Anderson Cooper, CNN to Air Episode on Collision Industry Issues

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Feb. 9, 2015—The Feb. 11 episode of Anderson Cooper’s AC360 program on CNN will focus on several key issues facing the collision repair industry, including insurer steering, improper repairs performed by shops, and the myriad of insurance-related litigation prevalent in today’s industry.

As of this writing, the episode is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. EST. 

FenderBender reported on the issues being highlighted in a January feature story.

Billy Walkowiak of Collision Safety Consultants in Belmont, N.C., along with other members of the auto and collision repair industry will appear in the episode, outlining and inspecting some of the improper repairs that are becoming more common.

Walkowiak has confirmed with FenderBender that the episode has been postponed from airing for the second time in as many days. The episode was originally scheduled to air on Monday, Feb. 9.

“They wanted to assign a fatality that was the result of using second hand, reconditioned, or recycled parts from non-branded companies,” Walkowiak told FenderBender of the original goal for the program. “I said that they were missing the point, and that part of the problem is how shops utilize improper repair procedures. These shops don’t follow OEM guidelines and just don’t have the knowledge to make repairs according to the SOPs outlined by the OEM manufacturers.”

Coverage in the episode will also highlight litigation currently going on in federal court in Orlando, Fla., where collision repair facilities from multiple states are suing insurers for antitrust violations, steering, and price fixing.

The office of the Attorney General in Louisiana is also set to appear in the episode to outline the problems the state is having with claims that have been filed accusing insurance companies of steering.

More than anything, though, Walkowiak said he wants people to walk away from the episode with a better understanding of how many shops are not educated to proper repair practices, and should be of greater concern to consumers and members of the repair industry.

“I’m in business to provide safe and proper repairs,” Walkowiak said. “These improper repairs, they’re not even due to greed. You’ll see improperly installed airbags, and poor attempts to repair convoluted areas. You can’t fix a car today the way you did 20 years ago. It’s a lack of knowledge and training. You can’t re-engineer a vehicle.”

This post has been edited from an earlier version that originally ran on Feb. 9. 

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