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Monday, 09 February 2015 00:00

Undercover CNN Documentary on Repair Industry Postponed to Wednesday, Feb. 11

After being postponed several times, an undercover documentary about the collision repair industry is tentatively scheduled to air on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Wednesday, February 11. Additional updates will be announced as soon as they come in.

There has been widespread talk in the industry about whether the documentary will reveal the challenges body shop owners face when making repairs under the eye of major insurance companies.

It is also rumored to include details about the anti-trust Multi-District Litigation taking place in Florida.

Autobody News talked to Matt Parker, owner of Parker Auto Body in Louisiana. Parker was interviewed several months ago for the documentary. “I’m hoping that it is going to open the eyes of the people and hope that it’s going to start putting some pressure on these companies to do what’s right. That’s the goal… to just play fair,” he said. “You know we’re not against the insurance companies. We need insurance companies,” said Parker. “But they have a legal responsibility to make you whole again and and they aren't doing it.”

Parker said that during the filming he demonstrated the differences between aftermarket and OEM parts as well as reconditioned parts. He said CNN interviewed the Louisiana and Mississippi attorney general and visited a body shop in Jackson, Mississippi.

Tony Passwater, director of the Indiana Auto Body Association, said the documentary will discuss what shops have been dealing with for years.

“As collision repair professionals, we know today’s vehicles have very advanced technologies built into their structural design, and many of the replacement parts should only be replaced with new OEM parts that have been tested,” said Passwater. “Plus, many of the repairs today require using special equipment, and may require special training and certifications, yet the insurance company typically does everything they can to convince consumers that ‘repairs are repairs’ and ‘parts are parts’ regardless of what the manufacturers state in their repair guidelines, or what testing they have done.”

Passwater said CNN will look very closely at the number of hits and comments on their website after the story airs.

“This one is going to be looked at very closely with all of the pressure the insurance industry has tried just to squelch it from airing,” he said.

Passwater encourages auto body shops across the country to watch the documentary and then go on the CNN website to ask the station to continue the series.

Autobody News contacted Dick Luedke, spokesperson for State Farm Insurance, and was told that the company provided a statement for the CNN documentary a few months ago.

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