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Friday, 14 December 2012 22:10

California Autobody Association Recaps Legislation in 2012

The California Autobody Association had another successful year in 2012, reports David McClune, CAA’s Executive Director.

CAA President Dave Picton implemented an aggressive marketing campaign for the association in 2012, which brought in over 75 new members. In addition, the president and the board made improvements in the CAA website to further educate the association members.

CAA state chapters continued to work with the Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) by scheduling meetings to educate members, explaining their inspection process and the areas that the task force focused on to fight the underground economy through education and enforcement.

CAA has continued in 2012 to improve on Rule 1147 that passed Sept. 9, 2011 in the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD ). There were many concessions approved, but a very important one was that almost no one would have to purchase a low NOx burner until 2017, which has saved shops thousands of dollars. The district is now required to do a technology assessment, a cost effectiveness study, and an affordability study. These studies may further exempt shops, which is an on-going project that CAA and other groups are working hard to accomplish.

CAA co-sponsored the California Retail & Trade Business Conference in Los Angeles on Nov. 1. This conference was hosted by the California State Board of Equalization and titled Minimize the Frustration of Taxation. This was one of many ways that CAA and its chapters provided on-going education to its members.

There were a number of legislative bills that were defeated in 2012 that would have been very detrimental to the collision repair industry that involved CAA and other groups who worked hard to defeat these bills.

SB 1460 (Yee) CAA was opposed. This bill would have eliminated current law, which requires insurers who compel consumers to accept non-OEM crash parts when vehicles are repaired to warrant the parts are “of like kind, quality, safety, fit and performance” as OEM crash parts. The bill would have shifted all insurer warranty responsibility of aftermarket crash parts to the repair shop, third party vendors and suppliers. The bill also would have created a new legal presumption that all certified crash parts are presumed sufficient to return the motor vehicle to its pre-loss condition, even though the part may not fit properly or is defective. This bill did not pass.

AB 1098 (Hagman) CAA was opposed. The amended version of the bill would have eliminated long-standing law that provided for fair and reasonable auto body practices. It was a last minute “gut and amend” and similar to SB 1460 (Yee). The automotive repair version was defeated.

AB 2505 (Ma) CAA was opposed. This bill would have required that non-original equipment manufacturer certified aftermarket crash parts, including the name of the certifying entity, be identified on the written estimate and invoice without providing definitions for “certified” and certifying entity. This bill died.

The CAA worked closely in 2012 with the Department of Insurance (DOI) on improving and clarifying some of the current regulations. The DOI released the final version of the proposed regulations dealing with standards for reasonable auto body repairs and procedures and use of aftermarket crash parts.

The CAA believes these regulations are fair and reasonable for consumers, repair shops and insurers. The CAA is supporting the passage of the regulations and feel these will be very important for auto body shops. These should be finalized in early 2013.

The DOI will also be releasing the latest draft of regulations pertaining to clarifying labor rate survey standards for conducting surveys and clarification of customer steering.

The CAA has been actively involved with these important issues as well and will continue working with the DOI in providing input and keeping members advised.

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