ASA advocates take their cases to Capitol Hill

Leaders of the Automotive Service Association’s (ASA) Mechanical and Collision Divisions spent busy days on Capitol Hill recently as both groups held meetings with members of Congress and staff to discuss issues of ongoing importance to ASA, its affiliates and automotive service and collision repair professionals nationwide. The Capitol Hill meetings with congressmen followed the association’s annual meeting, held the day before.

Representatives of the Mechanical Division discussed the importance of periodic motor vehicle safety inspections and proposed ideas for establishing federal incentives for states that are seeking to establish new safety-inspection programs or strengthen existing ones. Members also stressed their belief that such inspections would serve the public by creating needed methods to increased recall awareness among the public.

“Our team met with congressional members to discuss these issues and discovered that many members support these state programs,” says Bob Wills, ASA’s Mechanical Division director. “We’re looking forward to continuing our work with lawmakers to encourage vehicle safety inspection.”

Elsewhere, ASA’s collision leaders also met with our nation’s representatives and staff to discuss the impact of Most Favored Nation (MFN) clauses in direct repair agreements. ASA members offered real-life examples of the effects that the MFN clause has had on collision repair shops and consumers. Afterward, they asked lawmakers to consider options to stop the use of MFN clauses. During the discussion, ASA leaders emphasized the U.S. Department of Justice’s history with the MFN clause, citing, as an example, its lawsuit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in 2013.

President and Executive Director Dan Risley notes that the ASA delegation was pleased with the interest shown by the government leaders. “We continue to educate policymakers about the negative impact of MFN clauses on consumers and small businesses,” Risley says. “It’s important to keep the lines of communication open between repairers and congressional representatives. We made useful contacts and look forward to working with Congress in the future.”