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News from the Industry

June 05, 2012
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Bill requiring recycled wash water passes in CA

According to Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), it's going to benefit water supplies and Californians to use a carwash that recycles water.

Gatto was a key supporter of AB 2230, a water-conservation bill recently passed by the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee in an 11-1 vote. AB 2230 requires that all new carwashes use at least 60 percent recycled water, which could ultimately save water supplies in the state.

"Rather than spraying gallons of valuable drinking water on a mud-crusted jeep, it makes better sense to use water that has already cycled through a carwash but has been stripped of detergents and dirt," Gatto stated in a press release. "This is therefore a sensible and significant way to conserve water."

AB 2230 has now moved onto the Assembly floor where it will await a vote by the chamber.

Carwash could be star of reality TV show

A television production company is looking for talent to star in a new reality show based at the Monster Carwash in Edinburg, TX.

A camera crew and casting director were on hand at the carwash in early April to scout for the potential stars of the show.

The show will feature carwash workers. The production company, which is based out of New York City and Philadelphia, said it's looking for individuals who are outgoing, interesting, energetic, attractive and willing to have their lives taped before a camera.

The Monster Carwash is also a restaurant and bar which serves up wings and sushi.

British carwash rips off Mini Cooper's spoiler

Morrisons carwash in Gateshead, Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, is responsible for ripping off a spoiler from a customer's Mini Cooper and the owner of the car, which is referred to as her "pride and joy," is furious.

Beth Bowler said halfway through the wash she heard a strange sound and knew something was wrong.

The carwash staff told her that the machinery's sensor caused the wash to malfunction, causing the mishap.

However, Bowler failed to report the incident immediately, and the carwash is now not liable. The staff even pointed out a sign to her showing that the carwash is not responsible for damages to vehicles.

Bowler said her car was in perfect condition before taking it to Morrisons and said the carwash has not offered her anything — not even a refund of the price of the wash.

NY residents asked to not wash cars at home

The city of Newburgh, NY's, water superintendent, Jeffrey Wynans, has asked residents to conserve water voluntarily, due to a lack of snow over the winter.

A few of the ways residents have been asked to cut back include taking shorter showers and not washing their cars at home, but at commercial washes instead. If residents still want to wash their cars at home, that they should at least only use a hose for rinsing off the vehicle.

Wynans said their reservoir levels could drop to a critical point during the next couple of months, forcing the city to impose emergency water restrictions.

Carwash roof ripped off by destructive tornado

After an EF1 tornado touched down in Ely, IA, in early April, a carwash was left in shambles.

The storm knocked down State Street Car Wash's side wall, and it tore off the roof and carried it approximately 100 feet from the building.

Steve Pifer, a long-time family friend of the carwash's owner, helped clean up after the storm, and he said he's not sure if the owners are going to rebuild.

The carwash owners are just glad that no one was hurt during the storm. County dispatchers said that there were no reports of injuries throughout the county.

App-based mobile carwash finds more investors

The founder of the mobile carwash company Cherry, of San Francisco, walked out on an executive job and a possible seven-figure stock payout to enter the car care industry.

Founder Travis VanderZanden came up with the idea for the smart-phone based Cherry after returning home from a long trip and finding his car dirty.

VanderZanden searched for the two carwashes nearest to his home, only to find they were no longer in business. The idea struck him, why not bring the carwash to the drivers?

Cherry's free mobile app provides a two-click ordering process, and it will notify and dispatch a team of carwash professionals to a customer's parking spot. Cherry's washers all undergo background checks, training, testing and certifications.

Cherry currently serves 11 cities in and around San Francisco. Customers are ordering a wash every 45 days, and the number of carwashes sold is doubling each quarter.

In December 2011, the company closed a Series A investment of $4.5 million led by different groups. VanderZanden and his backers believe he can disrupt the industry by getting rid of the overhead, including expensive land and equipment.

New online game features a carwash

A new free game, available as an app from the Apple Store, asks players to spiff up a car before it arrives for the upcoming Automechanika show taking place in Frankfurt, Germany, from Sept. 11-16.

"Automechanika Racer" asks players to take a car that's not exactly in the best condition to various places, such as a repair shop and carwash, before it arrives at the big car care show.

The game was created to boost excitement for the Automechanika show, which is hoping to attract some younger attendees this year.

Available in German and English, the game can be found at

Water program restricts driveway washing

The Summer Water Management Program of Middleboro, MA, recently enacted water restrictions pertaining to washing vehicles at home. The program is effective immediately and it runs through Sept. 30.

The water use restrictions include the washing of vehicles, except for a in a commercial carwash. Any person that violates the water restrictions will be liable to a fine of $50 for the first offense and $100 for each subsequent offense.

Man crashes car into carwash

The driver of an SUV crashed into a carwash in San Antonio, and when police arrived on the scene, he was asleep at the wheel.

The accident occurred at around 2:30 a.m. Investigators believe the driver lost control of his vehicle and slid 300 feet and hit the carwash. The SUV was crushed into the center of the carwash.

Police did not say if alcohol was a factor and said the driver was taken to the hospital.

Is hot wash service to blame for peeled paint?

A carwash customer in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia, claims that a hot wash service stripped paint off of his vehicle.

Jarred Fahy took his car to Nemo's Car and Dog Wash in early April, and there an attendant encouraged him to try the hot wash to remove the bugs from his car.

Fahy said he stopped straight away when he noticed it was peeling the clear coat paint off.

The staff assured Fahy that the situation would be sorted out, but he was never contacted by the wash owner. A week later, he visited the carwash and spoke to the owner, but she said she wouldn't do anything about the paint.

When contacted by the newspaper, NewsMail, the carwash owner said she did not want to discuss the damaged car and did not want it reported that she had refused to comment.

A spokesman for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission told NewsMail that Fahy should make a complaint to the Office of Fair Trading, saying he would have rights under consumer guarantees.

U.S. representative sued for past due carwash loan

A bank that loaned U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri $1.3 million to buy a carwash is now demanding a payment of more than $1.5 million.

A suit filed in Jackson County Circuit Court demands repayment after three attempts to delay foreclosure. Bank of America also wants attorney's fees and a receiver to protect the collateral.

According to court documents, the principal totals $1.2 million with interest of over $240,000. There are also late fees of over $54,000.

The same carwash was a hot topic during Cleaver's run for the U.S. House in 2004. His opponent ran a commercial pointing out that $36,000 in property taxes were due on the carwash for the two years prior.

In 2005, Cleaver again fell behind on his carwash property taxes, failing to pay the $13,679 he owned by the end of 2004.

During his 2004 campaign, Cleaver said Grandview Auto Wash had been a losing proposition for him and his family, and he was looking for a new owner.

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