Wednesday, 12 August 2009 11:56

CAA Legislative Bill Update

The California Autobody Association wants to update collision repairers of the legislative work CAA is active in on behalf of all repairers. Join the organization and contact your representatives!


1) AB 1200 (Hayashi)- Oppose/Concerns - This bill would authorize an insurer to provide a claimant with specific truthful and non-deceptive information regarding services and benefits available to claimant during the claims process pursuant to the policy. The CAA is concerned that the bill would allow insurers to legally steer the claimant to an insurer-preferred shop even after an informed customer has made a choice. The CAA representatives testified in opposition to the bill in the Senate Insurance Committee. CAA has attempted to craft amendments that address steering concerns, including consumers should have meaningful choice; that insurers should not disparage the consumers choice of repair shop and that consumers be fully informed of all benefits provided by their auto body shop. The bill is on the Senate Floor awaiting action.

2) AB 1179 (Jones)-Support This bill would add to the Auto body Bill of Rights a disclosure that the consumer has the right to seek and obtain an independent repair estimate from a repair shop, even when pursuing an insurance claim for repair of the vehicle. The bill was signed by the Governor and will take effect January 1, 2010.

3) SB 350 (Yee)-Watch - This bill codifies existing insurance regulations, which includes insurers to warrant that aftermarket crash parts are equal to OE in terms of like kind, quality, safety and fit. The bill is on the Senate Floor. CAA members who work and live in the Senator’s district have met with the Senator and have been educating him on concerns relative to aftermarket crash parts. SB 350 is a two-year bill.

4) SB 427 (Negrete McLeod)- Oppose- This bill would require a repair shop disclaimer language regarding fraudulent parts switching on the shops estimate and invoices. CAA believes this bill is unnecessary and redundant of exiting law. The bill is similar to AB 1483 (Carter) and AB 2825 (Carter) both vetoed by the Governor. The bill is on the Senate Floor. CAA members have met with the Senator in her district and expressed concerns with this measure. SB 427 is a two-year bill.

5) SB 696 (Wright)- Support- This bill would allow essential projects that are stalled or because they can no longer obtain a permit from the South Coast Air Quality Management District due to a recent lawsuit which has placed a moratorium on permits. These stalled projects will result in thousand of job losses. The bill is in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee awaiting action.

6) AB 323 (Yamada) and AB 496 (Davis)- Concerns - AB 323 requires shops to display a sign regarding tire degradation and provide consumers with notice of disclosure of the tire manufacturer date. AB 323 failed passage in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. AB 496 requires tire dealers to disclose the manufacture date of each tire, require the customer to initial next to the date, provide disclosures to consumers regarding risks associated with tire age and provides for a civil penalty of $250.00 per violation. AB 496 is in the Senate Business and Professions Committee and is a two-year bill.

7) AB 519 (Duvall)-Concerns. Vehicles and Towing Fees. The bill would require towing companies to provide consumers with a “Towing Fee and Access Notice” codify the contents of that notice and require towers to provide itemized invoices of all towing and storage fees. As written the bill requires auto repair shops that pay for towing (and get reimbursed) to comply with all the notice requirements. CAA has been working with the author to amend the bill and exempt auto repair shops from the Towing notice requirements. The bill is in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Department of Insurance (DOI)

As reported earlier this year, the Department of Insurance published a draft of proposed anti-steering regulations and the CAA testified at the Department of insurance hearing on the proposal. The DOI still has not indicated whether they will move forward with implementing this regulation.

Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR)

CAA continues to actively participate in the BAR advisory meetings. BAR is also focusing enforcement efforts on unlicensed activity. The CAA is assisting BAR with respect to unlicensed repair shops and will work with local district attorneys to be much more aggressive with these efforts.

Discussion

The State Budget was recently passed (approximately $25 Billion deficit) and the Governor’s proposal to create a new sales tax on automotive repair was not part of the budget package. The CAA will continue to oppose efforts that unfairly target a small group of business including, the automotive repair industry, for such tax. Also discussed was the idea of pursuing additional disclosure requirements for insurers with regard to aftermarket parts, either through new legislation or existing legislation, administrative regulations or possibly through a consumer education program. Finally, there was discussion regarding concerns over a high percentage of vehicles being total losses.


CAA Legislative Committee Report Board of Directors
PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO REGISTER FOR OUR 4th QUARTER BOARD OF
DIRECTORS MEETING IN RIVERSIDE, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5TH
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT: www.calautobody.com

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