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  Legislative Feature

NCOIL Punts Crash Parts Decision ... Again

Posted 4/8/2010
By Robert L. Redding Jr.

ASA submits testimony opposing model crash parts act.

The National Conference of Insurance Legislators' Property-Casualty Insurance Committee opted to move any final decision on its Proposed Model Act Regarding Motor Vehicle Crash Parts and Repair to its summer meeting in Boston.

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) submitted testimony to the committee in opposition to the Model Act. The author represented ASA before the committee. ASA member Harry Moppert of Pennsylvania represented ASA last year in testimony before the NCOIL Committee, also opposing the Model Act.

ASA has a long history of supporting regulations and laws that ensure quality, safe parts. Generally, aftermarket crash parts have no regulator. Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been tasked by the U.S. Congress with the responsibility to regulate these parts, NHTSA has not seen fit to do so. ASA has met with NHTSA on multiple occasions over the years, encouraging it to ensure that these parts are safe and meet a quality standard consumers expect. ASA recently sent a letter to NHTSA's new administrator asking him to review NHTSA's current parts policy. To view the letter, please go to www.TakingThe Hill.com.

In ASA's testimony for the Property-Casualty Insurance Committee, ASA highlighted three areas that are problematic in the NCOIL parts proposal:

    • Aftermarket parts certification.

    • The lack of a formal, consumer-written consent process for the use of replacement crash parts.

    • Certified parts equivalency to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts.

NCOIL had proposed parts certification in its model act with providing assurances as to who would certify parts and what - as well as how - regulatory agencies would guarantee that the certification processes would protect consumers and repairers.

ASA supports a notice and written consent policy for consumers as to the use of crash parts in their vehicle repair. The NCOIL proposal lacks written consent by the consumer.

The Model Act equates certified aftermarket parts with OEM parts. ASA opposes this position. ASA conducted a survey of our collision members on several key questions relative to crash parts. Of the certified aftermarket parts purchased, one out of two was rejected because of fit, form or function. Of the non-certified parts purchased, one out of two was rejected because of fit, form or function.

In opinion questions, 58 percent of shop owners surveyed believed that aftermarket parts quality had a negative impact on their business. As for OEM parts, 83 percent of shop owners believed these parts impact their business positively.

Aftermarket crash parts, certified or not, do not ensure consumers or repairers that they are equal to OEM.

NCOIL also pulled Section 6, Choice of Repair Facility provision, from the Model Parts Act. The committee will review Section 6, shop steering provisions, as separate model language at the NCOIL meeting in Boston. ASA presented separate comments on Section 6 (included in the NCOIL letter). ASA asked members of the committee to re-draft Section 6 of the Model Act.

ASA members sent individual letters in opposition to the Model Act to members of NCOIL. NCOIL can propose policy initiatives such as the Model Parts Act but legislators must still choose to take these policies back to their states for bill introductions.

To review ASA's complete NCOIL testimony and other related items, please go to www.TakingTheHill.com.

Capitol Hill Fly-In and AMI Leadership Conference May 11-12


Bob Redding 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.

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