SB 291 would have repealed Arkansas’ requirement for the use of original equipment crash parts in the repair of a vehicle that is still under the manufacturer’s warranty, unless the vehicle owner has given written consent otherwise. In essence, the Committee upheld written consent as an important tool for consumers.
The bill faced considerable opposition from Arkansas collision repair shops. On behalf of its Arkansas members, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) sent a letter to the chairman of the Arkansas House Committee on Insurance and Commerce in opposition to SB 291. In the letter, Robert L. Redding Jr.--ASA Washington, D.C., representative--explained, “SB 291 will reverse consumer protections for vehicle owners in the state of Arkansas. Arkansas is one of a few states that assures vehicle owners have notice as to what types of replacement crash parts are used in the repair of their vehicle and consent to the use of these parts. Vehicle owners deserve notice as to the types of parts used in the repair of their vehicle after an accident. The use of any replacement crash parts should follow only after written consent by the vehicle owner.”
SB 291 had passed the state Senate with a 21-9 vote. Redding commented after the bill was defeated, “We were grateful that the Committee responded to our concerns so quickly and decisively. SB 291 dismissed the consumer’s right to choose how their vehicle is repaired. The current law will continue to ensure that the vehicle owner is enabled to make an informed decision with the repair shop.”
ASA would like to thank its Arkansas members who contacted their representatives in opposition of SB 291.