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Friday, 08 March 2013 23:09

Nevada to Revise Storage Fee Procedures for Body Shops

The Nevada Legislature proposes to revise the charges for storage of motor vehicles that are imposed by body shops. It referred SB170 to its Committee on Transportation on Feb. 19 and the law is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2013.

Existing law provides that a body shop may charge for storage of a motor vehicle if the owner or insurer of the motor vehicle elects to take possession of the motor vehicle instead of authorizing certain repairs and fails to take possession within 24 hours after that election.

Section 2 of this bill authorizes a body shop, under certain circumstances, to impose a charge for storage of a motor vehicle that is in the possession of the body shop: (1) before the body shop receives authorization to repair the vehicle; and (2) not less than 24 hours after the person authorizing the repairs has been notified that the repairs are complete.

Section 2 also provides that any such charge for storage of a motor vehicle must not exceed an amount that is one and one-half times the average prevailing rate for storage charged by body shops in the same geographic area, as determined by the Department of Motor Vehicles, except that a body shop may request a hearing by the Department to show good cause as to why the body shop should be allowed to impose a charge which exceeds that limit.

Under existing law, a body shop must complete an on-line survey to report certain information, including the labor rate charged by the body shop, to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 60 days immediately preceding the date of submission of the application for renewal of the license of the body shop. (NRS 487.685) Section 5 of this bill requires that a body shop also report to the Department in the on-line survey the daily rate charged by the body shop for storage of vehicles, if any, including both an indoor vehicle storage rate and an outdoor vehicle storage rate, if those rates differ. Section 6 of this bill requires the Department to calculate and post the prevailing storage rates for each specific geographic area in a report that must be made available to the public on-line.

Existing law requires a body shop to provide to a person requesting or authorizing the repair of a motor vehicle a written estimate or statement indicating the total charge for the repair, including the charge for labor and all parts and accessories necessary to perform the work. (NRS 487.6875) Existing law also requires a body shop to display in its place of business a sign setting forth various rights of the customer, including the right to receive a written estimate of charges for repairs made to the vehicle which exceed $50.

Section 9 of this bill requires that the person requesting or authorizing the repair is also entitled to receive from the body shop a written statement of charges for storage of the vehicle, if any, which could exceed $50. Section 7 of this bill provides that the sign in a body shop which is required to set forth the various rights of the customer must also include language stating that the customer is entitled to receive a written statement of charges for storage of the vehicle, if any, which could exceed $50.

Section 3 of this bill provides that if a motor vehicle is towed to a body shop at the request of someone other than the registered owner or an authorized agent of the owner, the body shop which receives the motor vehicle must provide notice, return receipt requested, to the registered owner of the motor vehicle, which notice must include the location of the body shop and certain other information, including the storage fee, if any, charged by the body shop.

Section 3 further provides that the body shop may not impose a charge for storage of such a motor vehicle until it receives the return receipt from the registered owner of the vehicle. Sections 12-14 of this bill provide for injunctive relief, civil penalties and a criminal misdemeanor penalty for violations of the provisions of this bill.

The full text of the bill can be read at http://openstates.org/nv/bills/77/SB170/documents/NVD00010385/

 

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