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AutoInc. recently asked Redding what he considered some of ASA's greatest achievements for collision repairers and for those who service and repair vehicles on the mechanical side of the business. Following is what he said:
"Legislative and regulatory issues for the Automotive Service Association are diverse and include small business, environmental, vehicle safety, insurance, consumer, and other issues. In addition, ASA has issues at the federal, state and local levels.
"Many of these issues rise to the top when one looks back at both the collision and mechanical repair sectors.
"Two of the more visible collision issues exemplify the importance of both the state and federal governments to the collision repairer. First, ASA was successful in moving insurer-owned shop legislation in the state of Texas. After the governor signed the bill, Allstate Insurance Co./Sterling challenged the law in court. The case went to the federal district court, then to the Court of Appeals and later, to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to take up the case. The courts ruled in favor of the Texas statute each step of the way.
"Another important collision effort has been the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency automotive refinishing regulation. ASA has been a longtime supporter of refinishing products only being used by professionals. After several years of meetings, shop demonstrations and a host of collision shop owner comments to the agency, the EPA published the final automotive refinishing regulations. Shop owners submitted a large number of supporting comments to the EPA and the EPA acknowledged ASA's efforts. ASA is still working with the EPA on the compliance part of the regulation.
"On the mechanical side, there have been a multitude of issues at the state and federal levels. At the state level, the struggle to protect and advance periodic motor vehicle safety inspection has been at the top of ASA's list of legislative and regulatory concerns. Less than half of the states have vehicle safety inspection programs. The programs in existence are regularly under fire, and ASA has made it a priority to protect these programs. In addition, ASA has encouraged federal policymakers to support these state programs.
"One of the highest profile issues for ASA has been the Motor Vehicle Owners Right to Repair Act. ASA and our coalition partners have succeeded in defeating this bill at the state and federal levels for a decade. This is important, but even more notable is that ASA worked to achieve an ASA-automaker voluntary agreement with the automakers in the fall of 2002. This assured independent repairers the same service and tool information and training as provided franchised new car dealers. This agreement and the work of the National Automotive Service Task Force have been an asset for the industry and provided a course for the future."