After clearing the Arkansas Senate, a bill that would have repealed the state’s requirement for repairers to use OEM parts on warrantied vehicles has died in committee.
The Arkansas House Insurance and Commerce Committee voted down Arkansas Senate Bill 291 (SB 291) by a voice vote. Introduced by insurance agent and state Sen. Greg Standridge, the bill would have repealed the requirement for collision repairers to use OEM replacement parts on warrantied vehicles unless the customer provides written consent to use aftermarket parts.
The Automotive Service Association, which opposed the bill, said the committee’s voice vote essentially “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, asserting that the bill would “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,” wrote Robert Redding Jr., the ASA’s Washington, D.C., representative. “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.”
The Arkansas Senate passed SB 291 with a 21-9 vote. After the House Insurance and Commerce Committee voted it down, Redding thanked the committee for responding to ASA’s concerns “so quickly and decisively.”
“SB 291 dismissed the consumer’s right to choose how their vehicle is repaired,” Redding said. “The current law will continue to ensure that the vehicle owner is enabled to make an informed decision with the repair shop.”