In January 2018, Indiana Sen. Mark Messmer, R-48, introduced Senate Bill (SB) 164. The bill unanimously passed the Senate Jan. 30 and moved quickly through the House Committee on Insurance. Then, it returned to the Senate with amendments by a vote of 83-13 Feb. 28. The Senate balked at the House amendments and filed a motion to dissent in early March.
One amendment, adopted by the House Insurance Committee, would allow a work-around for insurers by recommending adherence to “industry standards” as an alternative to the vehicle manufacturer’s repair procedures.
The Collision Division Operations Committee of the Automotive Service Association has reaffirmed ASA’s position endorsing the use of required OEM service procedures when such procedures are available. During their regular monthly meeting, COC members discussed several legislative initiatives being monitored across the nation. Language in one such initiative in Indiana would have endorsed the use of vaguely defined “industry standards” over the recommended OEM service procedures in the course of collision repair.
ASA’s Collision Division Director Scott Benavidez, AAM, said, “Our industry has evolved from one of generic repairs that could be applied to virtually any vehicle to one of OEM-specific procedures that are make and model specific. We believe that strictly adhering to OEM repair procedures is critical, not only for the safety of our customers, but also to protect ourselves from potential litigation. By attempting to equate undefined ‘industry standards’ to OEM procedures, we jeopardize the shop and the consumer if the repair doesn’t perform as intended. Collision repairers and consumers should not be put in such a position where legislators are defining a safe and proper repair. This fight is far from over, but it’s our understanding this bill is dead for now. It’s a possibility that the amendment language will resurface in the future, and ASA’s COC will continue to monitor all legislation to ensure the interests of ASA, our members and the collision repair industry are represented.”
ASA’s positions on this issue and others are clearly listed and available for reference on the ASA website at ASAshop.org. ASA has a long held a position on OEM standards, locking in a Board-approved policy that states:
“ASA supports the required use of OEM service procedures for all structural repairs when such procedures are available.” – ASA Official Position Statement 1.27
The Automotive Service Association is the largest not-for-profit trade association of its kind dedicated to and governed by independent automotive service and collision repair professionals. ASA serves an international membership base that includes numerous state affiliate and chapter groups.
ASA advances professionalism and excellence in the automotive repair industry through education, representation and member services. To take advantage of the many benefits of membership in ASA, please visit ASAshop.org or call (817) 514-2900.
For additional information about ASA, including past news releases, go to www.ASAshop.org, or visit ASA’s legislative website at TakingTheHill.com.