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Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:27

California DOI Proposes Amendments to Standards for Repair and Use of Aftermarket Parts Regulation

The Automotive Service Association issued the following news release:

The California Department of Insurance (DOI) has published proposed amendments to its Standards for Repair and Use of Aftermarket Parts Regulation.

The proposed amendments include the following additional text:

* If partial losses are settled on the basis of a written estimate prepared by or for the insurer, the insurer shall supply the claimant with a copy of the estimate upon which the settlement is based. The estimate prepared by or for the insurer shall be of an amount which will allow for repairs to be made in accordance with accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike automotive repairs by an "auto body repair shop" as defined in section 9889.51 of the Business and Professions Code, and in accordance with the standards of automotive repair required of auto body repair shops, as described in the Business and Professions Code, and associated regulations, including but not limited to Section 3365 of the California Code of Regulations, Title 16, Division 33, Chapter 1, Article 8. No insurer shall willfully depart from or disregard accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike repair in the preparation of claim settlement offers or estimates prepared by or for the insurer. An insurer shall not prepare an estimate that is less favorable to the claimant than the standards, costs and guidelines provided by the third-party automobile collision repair estimating software used by the insurer to prepare the estimate.

* Reasonably adjust any written estimates prepared by the repair shop of the claimant's choice and provide a copy of the adjusted estimate to the claimant and the claimant's repair shop. The adjusted estimate provided to the claimant and repair shop shall be either an edited copy of the claimant's repair shop estimate or a supplemental estimate based on the itemized copy of the claimant's repair shop estimate. The adjusted estimate shall identify the specific adjustment made to each item and the cost associated with each adjustment made to the claimant's shop's estimate.

* Insurers specifying the use of non-original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts warrant that such parts are of like kind, quality, safety, fit and performance as original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts. The insurer must disclose in writing, in any estimate prepared by or for the insurer, the fact that it warrants that such parts are of like kind, quality, safety, fit and performance as original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts.

* Insurers specifying the use of non-original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts that the insurer has implied, actual, or constructive knowledge are not equal to the original equipment manufacturer parts in terms of kind, quality, safety, fit and performance, or do not otherwise comply with this section, shall immediately cease specifying the use of these parts and shall, within thirty (30) calendar days, notify the collision repair estimating software provider, or other estimating entity it contracts with, of the part and request this part be removed from the collision repair estimating software.

* Insurers specifying the use of non-original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts that the insurer has implied, actual, or constructive knowledge are not equal to the original equipment manufacturer parts in terms of kind, quality, safety, fit and performance, or do not otherwise comply with this section, shall immediately cease specifying the use of these parts and shall, within thirty (30) calendar days, notify the distributor of the part of the defect, safety issue or non-compliant aspect of the part.

* Insurers specifying the use of non-original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts, which are certified by a non-original equipment manufacturer replacement crash part certifying entity and the insurer has implied, actual, or constructive knowledge are not equal to the original equipment manufacturer parts in terms of kind, quality, safety, fit and performance shall, within thirty (30) calendar days, file a report with the non-original equipment manufacturer replacement crash part certifying entity.

* Insurers specifying the use of non-original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts that the insurer has implied, actual, or constructive knowledge are not equal to the original equipment manufacturer parts in terms of kind, quality, safety, fit and performance, or do not otherwise comply with this section, shall pay for the costs associated with returning the part and the cost to remove and replace the non-original equipment manufacturer part with a compliant non-original equipment manufacturer part or an original equipment manufacturer part.

Comments can be submitted for this regulation until Aug. 9, 2012.

To view the full text of the proposed amendments, please visit ASA's legislative website at 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 advances professionalism and excellence in the automotive repair industry through education, representation and member services. For additional information about ASA, including past news releases, go to www.ASAshop.org, or visit ASA's legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.

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