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Thursday, 23 February 2012 17:00

Several Crash Parts Bills Introduced to State Legislatures Countrywide

Several crash parts bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the U.S. Amended crash parts bills have been introduced in Oklahoma, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina and Washington.

The ASA says two state bills are of particular importance for independent repairers. Oklahoma Senate Bill 1458 calls for consumer notice and consent language, and adds new policy provisions including “emissions part” and “safety part.”

“Emissions part,” the ASA notes, requires the replacement of parts or systems related to the control, monitoring and release of waste gases and particles created as a byproduct of combustion. Those parts include oxygen sensors, catalytic converters, exhaust pipes, exhaust manifold, fuel distributor, electronic emissions control unit, onboard emissions diagnostic device (OBD), and related parts and components.

“Safety part” requires the replacement of parts or systems essential to vehicle operation. Those parts include suspension, electronic control units (ECU), brake parts, safety systems and supplemental restraint system (SRS) components, according to the ASA.

In addition, Hawaii Senate Bill 2326 amends the state’s current law by removing provisions requiring claimants to pay additional costs for the use of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. It also requires insurers to make available the use of certain used or aftermarket parts instead of “like kind and quality” parts in motor vehicle body repairs. The 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.”

(b)  A [like kind and quality] used or aftermarket part under subsection (a), of an equal or better quality than the original equipment manufacturer part, shall carry a guarantee in writing for the quality of the [like kind and quality] used or aftermarket part for not less than [ninety days or for] the same guarantee period as the original equipment manufacturer part, [whichever is longer].  The guarantee shall be provided by the insurer.

(c)  [Like kind and quality] Used or aftermarket parts, certified or approved by governmental or industry organizations, shall be utilized if available.

At its fall board meeting, ASA approved a new crash parts policy to reflect the collision marketplace changes occurring in the past few years. ASA’s new crash parts policy states:

“ASA supports requiring insurers and auto collision facilities to provide disclosure of part type, description and warranty information to the consumer for all part types including, but not limited to, original equipment manufacturer, aftermarket, recycled, remanufactured, reconditioned and rebuilt crash parts.

ASA supports quality parts, certified and verified in which the quality is determined based on empirical and measurable evidence equal to the standards of OEM parts. ASA recommends quality verification and testing related to metallurgy, fit, functionality and responsiveness.

ASA believes a competitive parts marketplace, of tested and verified quality parts, is in the best interest of the motoring public. ASA continues to oppose parts policies that focus solely on efficiency without regard to certification, verifiable quality and safety.”

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