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Industry, automakers unite to oppose NCOIL crash parts and repair model act

Thursday, March 3, 2011 - 01:00
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists joined a coalition of automotive associations to oppose the National Conference of Insurance Legislators’ (NCOIL) Model Act for Motor Vehicle Crash Parts and Repair.

NCOIL’s Property and Casualty Committee will vote on whether to approve the Model Act at its spring meeting March 4-6 in Washington, D.C. A letter sent by the coalition to NCOIL clarifies that although the Model Act has been brought before the committee before, it has more opposition than ever, far beyond the letter’s signatories alone.

The letter said that the signatories oppose the amendment introduced by Rep. Brian Kennedy, D-R.I., because of its similarity to the amendment offered by Rep. George Keiser, R- N.D., that had been voted on and defeated in the NCOIL annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last fall: “This amendment falsely presumes that a certified part will restore a vehicle to its pre-loss condition and falsely equates that part to an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) part, since the pre-loss vehicle in almost all instances would have OEM parts.”

The reason for this combined opposition is the same today as it was when discussion began on this model at the July 2009 NCOIL meeting. This model is a solution in search of a problem, the letter said. More than 40 states already have addressed the use of aftermarket parts by passing notice and disclosure legislation. Many of these states have statutes with language similar to the proposed model act or that actually go further in protecting the rights of consumers, some of which include consent clauses that give consumers the right to choose which parts are used by repairers to fix vehicles after a crash.

The proposed model act rehashes old issues that have already been resolved and passed into law in the vast majority of states, the letter said. The signatories have consistently opposed this model, and want the committee to reject the model in its entirety. However, if NCOIL does not oppose the act, the letter urges it to support the amendments offered by Representative Barb Byrum, which would more appropriately hold each party liable for their roles in the separate claims settlement and repair processes.

To read the entire letter, including all the organizations that signed it, click here.

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