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Crash parts bills considered in several state legislatures

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 01:00
Recently, a number of crash parts bills have been introduced in legislatures across the United States. Bills have been introduced or continue to be considered in Oklahoma, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina and Washington.

Although there are policy patterns in some of these bills, two should be of particular note for independent repairers. Oklahoma Senate Bill 1458 calls for consumer notice and consent language, but adds new policy provisions by including “emissions part” in the bill as well as “safety part.”

“Emissions part” means a replacement of parts or systems related to the control, monitoring and release of waste gases and particles created as a byproduct of combustion including, but not limited to, oxygen sensors, catalytic converters, exhaust pipes, exhaust manifold, fuel distributor, electronic emissions control unit or computer (ECU), onboard emissions diagnostic device or computer (OBD) and related parts and components.

“Safety part” means a replacement of parts or systems essential to vehicle operation, suspension, electronic control units (ECU), brake parts, safety systems and supplemental restraint system (SRS) components.

To improve provisions for consumers and repairers in Hawaii, Senate Bill 2326 amends current law, removing provisions requiring the claimant to pay additional costs for the use of original equipment manufacturer parts.

The new legislation reads as follows:

Original equipment manufacturers and like kind and quality parts; used or aftermarket parts: (a) An insurer shall make available a choice to the insured of authorizing a repair provider to utilize a like kind and quality used or aftermarket part of an equal or better quality than the original equipment manufacturer part if such part is available or an original equipment manufacturer part for motor vehicle body repair work.

If the insured or claimant chooses the use of an original equipment manufacturer part, the insured or claimant shall pay the additional cost of the original equipment manufacturer part that is in excess of the equivalent like kind and quality used or aftermarket part, unless the vehicle is currently under the manufacturer’s warranty or original equipment parts are required by the vehicle manufacturer’s warranty.

 

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