Monday, 13 July 2009 15:40

ASA Opposes Airbag and Crash Parts Model Bills

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) testified July 13 before the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Property-Casualty Insurance Committee on NCOIL’s Model Laws on Auto Airbag Fraud, and Motor Vehicle Crash Parts and Repair proposals.

ASA is very concerned about the use of salvage airbags and discourages their usage. NCOIL’s airbag fraud proposal left open the option of using salvage airbags. While the use of salvage airbags can reduce cost, ASA believes that safety could be severely compromised and that shop owners could be placed at risk for installing salvage airbags. ASA recommends that all shops inquire with their insurance carriers before installing salvage airbags regarding coverage and increases in rates and get this information in writing.

 

In comments relative to the NCOIL Motor Vehicle Crash Parts and Repair bill, ASA supports state disclosure laws that require insurers and auto collision facilities to obtain the express written consent of vehicle owners before installing replacement crash parts.

ASA member Harry Moppert, owner of Moppert Brothers Collision Services Group in Morton, Pa., testified on behalf of ASA. In comments regarding the airbag fraud draft, he stated: “Although the proposed model legislation before your committee includes elements that make some significant improvements to the current law, it fails to address a critical issue; salvage airbags should not be used in vehicle repair … Repairers want to use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) airbags where reliability and performance are tested, warranted and proven.”

With regard to the crash parts bill, Moppert went on to suggest: “Aftermarket crash parts, certified or not, do not assure consumers or repairers that they are equal to OEM. The quality and safety requirements, particularly for offshore parts, may or may not be evident for certified aftermarket parts. Parts certification in the United States has been very limited in scope. With 3 percent or less of the aftermarket parts being certified, there is little assurance from any data on quality and safety that can be gleaned for policy discussions. If the Committee opts to pursue the Model Crash Parts and Repair Act, ASA suggests that you limit the scope of this proposal to a formal consumer notice and written consent process applicable to any parts used in the repair, whether they are OEM, aftermarket, certified aftermarket or salvage.”

Moppert’s complete statement can be found on ASA’s legislative Web site, www.TakingTheHill.com.

The Automotive Service Association is the largest not-for-profit trade association of its kind dedicated to and governed by independent automotive service and repair professionals. ASA serves an international membership base that includes numerous affiliate, state and chapter groups from both the mechanical and collision repair segments of the automotive service industry. ASA’s headquarters is in Bedford, Texas.

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