Crash Parts Legislation:
Hot Topic for States?
By Robert L. Redding, Jr.
NCOIL meetings spark discussion on replacement crash parts. Look for crash parts legislation to surface in state legislatures next year.
State legislators across the country are beginning to review their legislative agendas for the 2006 legislative season. Many states allow bills to be pre-filed this fall. Others may carry over legislation for 2006.
With the flurry of activity at the spring and summer National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) meetings on aftermarket crash parts, repairers should watch for various versions of replacement crash parts legislation to be introduced in state legislatures beginning as early as January 2006.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) wrote Craig Eiland, NCOIL president, prior to the NCOIL Spring Conference in opposition to a parts certification policy proposal being considered by the NCOIL Property-Casualty Insurance Committee. ASA pointed out in the letter:
"Aftermarket parts certification legislation, as proposed, will not provide the kinds of protection vehicle owners need. State-by-state parts certification programs will invoke all types of regulatory burdens. Enforcement, the lack of quality control and increased bureaucracies are all reasons to say 'no' to aftermarket crash parts certification legislation. Please oppose aftermarket crash parts certification legislation."
NCOIL postponed action until its summer meetings in Rhode Island. Darrell Amberson, AAM, ASA Collision Division director, testified before the NCOIL Property-Casualty Insurance Committee for ASA. Amberson encouraged the committee to consider ASA's consumer notice and written consent policy for replacement crash parts. He said:
"Collision repairers are on the front lines when consumer questions arise concerning parts. To assure adequate consumer notice and education, it is imperative that written consent by the vehicle owner be part of the collision repair process. ASA has supported replacement crash parts legislation, requiring notice and written consent, for a number of years in states around the country. Notice and written consent provide the type of consumer protection we believe vehicle owners, our customers, deserve."
After the summer NCOIL meetings, the committee asked for further comments on the proposed aftermarket certification bill being considered by the committee. ASA, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists and the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers joined together in comments to NCOIL.
These organizations representing the collision repair industry stated:
"We believe that vehicle owners deserve to know what types of replacement crash parts are used in the repair of their vehicles as well as consent to the use of those parts in writing.
"Parts certification has not been successful in any jurisdiction in the United States to date. Declaring through legislation that certified parts are of equal quality to OEM does not, by itself, improve the quality of these parts. An informed consumer will improve this marketplace. We recommend that NCOIL and the U.S. insurance industry oppose this legislative proposal and embrace fundamental changes
in the aftermarket parts industry."
The Property-Casualty Insurance Committee continues to make revisions in the legislation under consideration. The committee has held several conference calls already this fall. As of this writing, disclosure has taken a more important role in developing parts policy.
What is important for repairers to note is that NCOIL may recommend specific policies but these policies will still have to be introduced and considered by individual state legislatures in 2006. NCOIL staff members noted that there is no assurance that NCOIL will have a final policy recommendation prior to the 2006 legislative sessions.
ASA's interest in notice and written consent heightened after legislation in West Virginia called for original equipment manufactured replacement crash parts only during the warranty period of the vehicle. After meeting with automobile dealers and automobile manufacturers, ASA proposed notice and consent replacement crash parts legislation around the country. During several state legislative cycles, as many as 20 states considered replacement crash parts legislation.
ASA encourages repairers to follow closely legislation introduced in their state legislatures in 2006. This should also include attempts to develop parts policy through state regulatory processes. Repairers can track legislative and regulatory initiatives through ASA's legislative Web site, www.TakingTheHill.com.
At a crash parts summit in Dallas, ASA asked auto manufacturers and franchised new car dealers to consider national legislation to avoid the year-after-year, state-to-state crash parts confrontations. This issue has been around for some time and presents - as have titling and other collision issues - an opportunity to further confuse consumers and repairers, with state policies varying greatly.
ASA plans to push repairers to contact their policymakers, asking them to take a hard look at crash parts policy options as they review parts legislation in the coming year.
Bob Redding is the Automotive Service Association's Washington, D.C., representative. He is a member of several federal and state advisory committees involved in the automotive industry.
For more information about the legislative activities of ASA, visit www.TakingTheHill.com.
AutoInc. Web Site |
ASA Web Site |
Crash Parts Legislation: Hot Topic for State |
UV-A/EB Curing: Good or Bad? |
Repair Facility of the Future: How to Survive When Other Shops Are Not |
Express Lanes Benefit Shops of All Sizes |
Guest Editorial |
Tech to Tech |
Tech Tips |
Around ASA |
Shop Profile |
Net Worth |
Stat Corner |