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Aftermarket Crash Parts vs. OE

Some people view the aftermarket crash parts vs. OE parts debate as a war, with the sides being the collision repair industry (wearing the armor of the OEMs) battling the insurance
industry (sporting aftermarket armor).

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Other people see the struggle as something
much more basic: good vs. evil.

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Although that comparison may be a bit dramatic,
it’s not dramatic to say that the replacement-crash-parts issue
has raged – and caused tempers to flare – for several years now.
If you’re at an industry event and the room is just too quiet,
here’s a sure-fire way to end the silence: Bring up how an insurance
company wouldn’t pay for OE parts. Suddenly, everyone will be
talking!

While many shop owners are educating consumers
about their rights and taking on insurance companies that won’t
pay for OE parts, more needs to be done to educate consumers.

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Enter the state legislatures. Although the
replacement-crash-parts legislation being considered by the states
has varied quite a bit in the last few years, the goal – no matter
which state – has been to involve vehicle owners in the repair
process.

At a recent meeting held by the Automotive
Service Association (ASA), insurers, OEMs, dealers, aftermarket
manufacturers, consumer groups and service-industry representatives
discussed developing a national uniform policy for collision repair
replacement parts.

The attendees agreed that:

  • Consumers have a right to know what types of parts are being
    put on their vehicles; and

  • Consumers should have the right to consent – in writing –
    to the use of these parts for the life of their vehicles.

The group asked for a draft consent form to be developed that
would give notice to the consumers of the types of parts that
might be used on their vehicles. In the body of the form, the
consumers would see what type of parts have been selected for
the repairs. The consumers would then decide whether or not to
allow these types of parts to be used. Once the consumers have
agreed, they would sign the form.

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The main outstanding issue is what parts should or shouldn’t be
used during the warranty period of the vehicle. After much discussion,
the group agreed to come up with proposals for the next meeting.

While some issues still remain undecided, everyone did agree on
the importance of the consumer’s right to know what kind of parts
are being used on their vehicles.

As a shop owner, you, too, have a right to know – a right to know
what the crash parts legislation mandates in your state. To help
keep you informed, what follows is a break down of each state
and its particular legislation (according to ASA, this information
was current as of press time).

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Note: Aftermarket crash parts are typically defined as "parts
not manufactured by the original equipment manufacturer that replace
nonmechanical sheet-metal parts or plastic parts that constitute
part of the exterior of a motor vehicle, including, but not limited
to, an inner or outer panel."

Alabama

Where non-OEM aftermarket crash parts are used in preparing an
estimate for repairs, the written estimate prepared by the insurer
and repair facility must clearly identify each such part. A disclosure
document attached to the estimate must contain the following information
in no smaller than 10-point type:

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"This estimate has been prepared based on the use of aftermarket
crash parts supplied by a source other than the manufacturer of
your motor vehicle. The aftermarket crash parts used in the preparation
of this estimate are warranted by the manufacturer or distributor
of such parts rather than the manufacturer of your vehicle."

Alaska

Repair shops must provide every customer, at the time the customer
retakes possession of the motor vehicle, with a copy of a dated
invoice detailing the costs of all parts and labor involved in
the repair, and identifying all parts replacements as being either
new, used, rebuilt or

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reconditioned.

Arizona

Repair facilities must not use a non-OEM aftermarket crash part
to repair a vehicle unless the part meets prescribed specifications
and the consumer is advised in a written notice attached to or
printed on a repair estimate that clearly identifies each part.
The written notice must contain the following information and
be in at least 10-point type:

"This estimate has been prepared based on the use of replacement
parts supplied by a source other than the manufacturer of your
motor vehicle. Warranties applicable to these replacement parts
are provided by the manufacturer or distributor of these parts
rather than the manufacturer of your vehicle."

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Arkansas

Only OEM replacement crash parts are to be used for repairs made
on vehicles still under the manufacturer’s warranty, unless the
owner consents in writing to the use of non-OEM parts. An insurer
must specify in writing to the policyholder the use of non-OEM
parts and that these parts are required to be at least equal in
terms of fit, quality, performance and warranty to the OEM parts
replaced.

California

California prohibits an insurer from requiring the use of non-OEM
aftermarket crash parts, unless the consumer is advised in a written
estimate of the use of these parts before repairs are made. Where
non-OEM aftermarket crash parts are intended for use by an insurer,
the written estimate must clearly identify each such part with
the name of its manufacturer or distributor and a disclosure document
(with wording similar to Arizona’s) in 10-point type or larger
attached to the insured’s copy of the estimate.

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Colorado

In Colorado, an insurer may not specify the use of non-OEM replacement
crash parts in the repair of an insured’s motor vehicle without
disclosing the intended use of such parts to the insured. The
written estimate must clearly identify each such part as being
a non-OE replacement crash part, and a disclosure statement (with
wording similar to Arizona’s) must appear on or be attached to
the insured’s copy of the estimate and be in at least 10-point
type.

Connecticut

Whenever repairs are necessary to the visible exterior sheet-metal
or plastic parts of a damaged private passenger motor vehicle,
any insurer or repairer preparing a written estimate must clearly
identify each major non-OEM part to be used. A disclosure notice
must be attached to the estimate and contain the following information
in no less than 10-point type:

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"This repair estimate is based in part on the use of replacement
parts which are not made by the original manufacturer of the damaged
parts in your motor vehicle." The insurer or repairer must
give a copy of the estimate to the person requesting it.

Delaware

No current law.

Florida

In all instances where non-OEM aftermarket crash parts are used
in preparing an estimate for repairs, the written estimate prepared
by the insurer or the repair facility, or both, must clearly identify
each such part. A disclosure must be attached to, or included
in, the estimate (with wording similar to Alabama’s) and appear
in no smaller than 10-point type.

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Georgia

In all instances where non-OEM aftermarket crash parts are used
in preparing an estimate for repairs, the written estimate prepared
by the insurance adjuster and repair facility must clearly identify
each such part. A disclosure document (with wording similar to
Alabama’s) must be attached to the estimate and appear in no smaller
than 10-point type.

Under the Georgia law, all aftermarket crash parts must carry
sufficient permanent identification. The price of non-OEM aftermarket
parts may be used by insurers to determine repair costs, provided
the use of such parts would restore the damaged vehicle to its
preaccident condition relative to quality, safety, function and
appearance. No insurer, as part of a claims settlement, may require
an insured to authorize the use of non-OEM aftermarket crash parts
in the repair of a damaged vehicle.

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Hawaii

If non-OEM crash parts are to be supplied or installed, the estimate
must clearly state that fact and identify each of those crash
parts. In identifying the non-OEM crash parts, the repairer may
include information on any applicable manufacturer’s warranty
and information about the part’s compliance with any certified
testing program. Non-OEM crash parts may not be used unless the
vehicle owner accepts their use and signs the estimate acknowledging
the use and source of the crash parts.

Idaho

It’s an unfair claim-settlement practice for an insurer to specify
the use of non-OEM aftermarket crash parts in the repair of an
insured’s motor vehicle or for a repair facility to use non-OEM
crash parts to repair a vehicle if the consumer hasn’t been advised
in writing. In all instances where non-OEM crash parts are intended
for use by an insurer, the written estimate must clearly identify
each such part, and a disclosure document (with wording similar
to Arizona’s) in 10-point or larger type must appear on or be
attached to the insured’s copy of the estimate.

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Illinois

No insurer can specify the use of non-OEM aftermarket crash parts
in the repair of an insured’s motor vehicle, nor may any repair
facility use non-OEM aftermarket crash parts to repair a vehicle
unless the customer is advised in writing. In all instances where
an insurer intends to use non-OEM aftermarket crash parts in the
repair of a motor vehicle, the insurer must provide the customer
with a written estimate that clearly identifies each non-OEM aftermarket
crash part and a disclosure statement (with wording similar to
Arizona’s) incorporated into or attached to the estimate.

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Indiana

Insurers must present the insured with written notice that informs
the insured of his right to approve the type of body parts to
be used in the repair of a motor vehicle. An insurer must give
the insured the opportunity to indicate in writing the type of
body part that the insured approves for use in the repair. This
law applies only in the five years after the model year of the
motor vehicle.

Iowa

A repair facility must not use aftermarket crash parts without
disclosing the proposed use of such parts in the estimate of repairs
given to the customer prior to the repair of the motor vehicle.
The estimate must be in writing and must clearly identify each
aftermarket crash part proposed to be used. Information (with
wording similar to Arizona’s) must appear in at least 10-point
type on or attached to the estimate.

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An aftermarket crash part must have affixed or inscribed the logo
or name of its manufacturer. A repair facility installing an aftermarket
crash part must install the part so the manufacturer’s logo or
name is visible upon inspection.

Kansas

No person who prepares an estimate of repair shall specify the
use of aftermarket parts without disclosing the intended use of
such parts to the owner. Where aftermarket parts are intended
for use, the written estimate must clearly identify each such
part, and a disclosure document (with wording similar to Arizona’s)
in 10-point or larger type must appear on or be attached to the
owner’s copy of the estimate.

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The installer of the aftermarket parts is responsible for the
negligent installation of such parts.

Kentucky

No current law.

Louisiana

No insurer may specify the use of non-OEM aftermarket crash parts
in the repair of an insured’s motor vehicle, nor shall a repair
facility use non-OEM aftermarket parts to repair a vehicle, unless
the insured is advised in writing. In all instances where non-OEM
aftermarket crash parts are intended for use by an insurer, the
written estimate must clearly identify each such part, and a disclosure
document (with wording similar to Arizona’s) in 10-point type
or larger must appear on or be attached to the insured’s copy
of the estimate.

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Aftermarket crash parts must have affixed or inscribed the logo
or name of its manufacturer and be visible after installation.

Maine

Unless the customer specifically agrees before installation of
the parts, a repair facility may not install used, reconditioned
or rebuilt parts.

Maryland

If the replacement crash parts to be used by the body shop in
the repair are aftermarket crash parts, the body shop shall include
with its estimate the following written statement in a clear and
conspicuous manner in 10-point capital type:

"This estimate has been prepared based on the use of aftermarket
crash parts that are not manufactured by the original manufacturer
of the vehicle or by a manufacturer authorized by the original
manufacturer to use its name or trademark. The use of certain
aftermarket crash parts may modify the original manufacturer’s
warranty on the crash parts being replaced. Upon request of the
customer, the body shop shall provide, if available, a copy of
any warranty for an aftermarket crash part used."

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Massachusetts

Whenever repairs are necessary to the visible exterior sheet-metal
or plastic parts of a damaged motor vehicle, any insurer or repairer
preparing a written estimate must clearly identify each major
non-OEM crash parts to be used. A disclosure notice (with wording
similar to Arizona’s) must be attached to the estimate and being
no less than 10-point type.

The insurer or repairer must give a copy of the estimate and notice
to the person for whom the estimate is prepared. The repairer
must, on the customer’s repair order or repair certification form,
identify by name the manufacturer or supplier of any non-OEM crash
parts used.

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Michigan

If an insurer requests the use of non-OEM aftermarket crash parts
in the repair of an insured’s motor vehicle, a repair facility
may use non-OEM aftermarket crash parts only if the insured receives
a written estimate of repairs that clearly identifies each non-OEM
aftermarket crash part and contains or has attached to it, in
not less than 10-point bold type, the following information:

"This estimate has been prepared based on the use of aftermarket
crash parts supplied by a source other than the manufacturer of
your motor vehicle. Warranties that apply to these replacement
parts are provided by the manufacturer, distributor or insurer
of these parts."

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Minnesota

It is an unfair settlement practice for an insurer, adjuster or
a self-insured or self-insurance administrator to require as a
condition of payment of a claim that parts, other than window
glass, be replaced with parts other than OEM parts. An appraisal
must include an itemized listing of those parts to be repaired
and those parts to be replaced by new, used, rebuilt, reconditioned
or replated parts.

Mississippi

In all instances where non-OEM aftermarket crash parts are used
in preparing an estimate for repairs, the written estimate prepared
by the insurer and repair facility must clearly identify each
such part. A disclosure document (with wording similar to Alabama’s)
must be attached to the estimate and appear in no smaller than
10-point type.

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Any non-OEM crash part must have affixed or inscribed the logo,
identification number or name of its manufacturer and be visible
after installation.

Missouri

No insurer may specify, directly or indirectly, the use of non-OEM
aftermarket crash parts in the repair of an insured’s motor vehicle
without disclosing the intended use of such parts. Where non-OEM
aftermarket crash parts are intended for use by an insurer, the
written estimate must clearly identify each such part, and a disclosure
document (with wording similar to Arizona’s) in 10-point or larger
type shall appear on or be attached to the insured’s copy of the
estimate.

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Aftermarket crash parts shall have affixed or inscribed the logo
or name of the manufacturer, which must be visible after installation.

Montana

No current law.

Nebraska

No current law.

Nevada

If an insurer bases an estimate of the cost of repairing a motor
vehicle upon the use of a non-OEM crash part, the insurer must
disclose that fact on or attached to the estimate for repairs
in not less than 10-point type containing the following information:

"This estimate is based on the use of body parts for your
motor vehicle which were not manufactured for or by the original
manufacturer of the motor vehicle. Any warranties provided for
these body parts are provided by the manufacturer or distributor
of these parts, not by the manufacturer of your motor vehicle.
Please contact your insurer to determine your rights regarding
the use of such body parts."

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New Hampshire

No insurer can require the use of aftermarket parts in the repair
of an automobile unless the aftermarket part is at least equal
in like kind and quality to the original part in terms of fit,
quality and performance. Insurers specifying the use of aftermarket
parts must consider the cost of any modifications that may become
necessary when making the repair. The insurer must disclose to
the claimant in writing, either on the estimate or on a separate
document attached to the estimate, the following information in
no smaller than 10-point type:

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"This estimate has been prepared based on the use of automobile
parts not made by the original manufacturer. Parts used in the
repair of your vehicle by other than the original manufacturer
are required to be at least equal in like kind and quality in
terms of fit, quality and performance to the original manufacturer
parts they are replacing."

Aftermarket parts must carry sufficient permanent identification
so as to identify the manufacturer and must be accessible after
installation.

New Jersey

Where the insurer specifies the use of aftermarket parts, the
insurer must disclose this information (with wording similar to
New Hampshire’s) to the claimant, either on the estimate or on
a separate document attached to the estimate, in writing and in
no smaller than 10-point type.

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The insurer must clearly identify on the estimate all aftermarket
parts installed on the vehicle.

New Mexico

No current law.

New York

If any body parts are supplied to a vehicle with a gross weight
not in excess of 18,000 pounds, the repair shop estimate and invoice
must clearly state whether the parts were manufactured as original
equipment parts or were manufactured as nonoriginal replacement
parts or used parts. One copy of the invoice must be given to
the customer and one must be retained by the repair shop.

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North Carolina

No insurer may require the use of an aftermarket part in the repair
of a motor vehicle unless the aftermarket part is at least equal
to the original part in terms of fit, quality, performance and
warranty. Insurers specifying the use of aftermarket parts must
include in the estimate the costs of any modifications made necessary
by the use of aftermarket parts. Every insurer that writes motor-vehicle
insurance and intends to require or specify the use of aftermarket
parts must disclose to its policyholders in writing, either in
the policy or on an attached sticker, the following information
in no smaller than 10-point type:

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"In the repair of your covered auto under the physical-damage
coverage provisions of this policy, we may require or specify
the use of automobile parts not made by the original manufacturer.
These parts are required to be at least equal in terms of fit,
quality, performance and warranty to the original manufacturer
parts they replace."

Also, an insurer must disclose to a claimant in writing, either
on the estimate or on a separate document attached to the estimate,
the following information in no smaller than 10-point type:

"This estimate has been prepared based on the use of automobile
parts not made by the original manufacturer. Parts used in the
repair of your vehicle by other than the original manufacturer
are required to be at least equal in terms of fit, quality, performance
and warranty to the original manufacturer parts they are replacing."

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North Dakota

No current law.

Ohio

A person requesting a repair can choose to receive a written estimate
for the repair of a motor vehicle that identifies each non-OEM
aftermarket crash part and contains a written notice (with wording
similar to Arizona’s) in 10-point or larger type.

Receipt and approval of the written estimate is acknowledged
by the signature of the person requesting the repair. A person
requesting an oral estimate must have been read the disclosure
statement. If the person has chosen to receive an oral estimate
or no estimate, the written notice must be provided with the final
invoice.

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Non-OEM aftermarket crash parts must have permanently affixed
or inscribed the business name or logo of the manufacturer and
must be accessible after installation.

Oklahoma

No insurer may specify the use of non-OEM aftermarket crash parts
in the repair of an insured’s motor vehicle, nor may a repair
facility use non-OEM aftermarket crash parts, unless the consumer
is advised in writing. In all instances where non-OEM aftermarket
crash parts are intended for use by the insurer, the written estimate
shall clearly identify each such part, and a disclosure document
(with wording similar to Arizona’s) in 10-point type must appear
on or be attached to the insured’s copy of the estimate.

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Any aftermarket crash part must have affixed or inscribed the
logo or name of its manufacturer and must be visible after installation.

Oregon

If crash parts to be used in repair work are not supplied by the
OEM, the estimate must include a statement that says:

"This estimate has been prepared based on the use of a motor
vehicle crash part not made by the original equipment manufacturer.
The use of a motor-vehicle crash part not made by the original
equipment manufacturer may invalidate any remaining warranties
of the original equipment manufacturer on that motor-vehicle part.
The person who prepared this estimate will provide a copy of the
part warranty for crash parts not made by the original equipment
manufacturer for comparison purposes.

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No repair shop may supply or install, without the owner’s consent,
any aftermarket crash part unless the part has been certified
by an independent test facility to be at least equivalent to the
part being replaced.

Pennsylvania

An appraisal statement for the repair of a motor vehicle must
contain all items necessary to return the vehicle to its condition
prior to the damage in question, including, but not limited to,
labor involved, necessary painting or refinishing, and all sublet
work to be done.

Rhode Island

Whenever an insurance company intends to specify the use of aftermarket
parts, it must notify the insured in writing. Repair facilities
must not use non-OEM parts without the owner giving the repairer
express written consent. No insurance company may require the
use of aftermarket parts when negotiating repairs with any repairer
unless the repairer has written consent from the vehicle owner
to install aftermarket parts. These provisions apply only to automobiles
that are less than 30 months beyond the date of manufacture.

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South Carolina

No current law.

South Dakota

No insurer may specify the use of non-OEM aftermarket crash parts
in the repair of an insured’s motor vehicle, nor may a repair
facility use non-OEM aftermarket parts, unless the consumer is
advised in writing. The written estimate must clearly identify
each such part, and a disclosure document (with wording similar
to Arizona’s) in 10-point type or larger must appear on or be
attached to the insured’s copy of the estimate.

Tennessee

No current law.

Texas

Insurers may not limit their coverage under a policy covering
damage to a motor vehicle by specifying the brand, type, kind,
age or condition of parts or products that may be used to repair
the vehicle. Any limitations must be clearly and prominently displayed
in the policy, and the insured must give written consent to such
a limitation, following both oral and written notification at
the time the policy is purchased.

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Utah

Unless the insured is given written notice, an insurer may not
specify the use of non-OEM aftermarket crash parts in the repair
of an insured’s motor vehicle. Unless the consumer is given written
notice prior to installation, a repair facility may not use non-OEM
aftermarket parts to repair a vehicle. In all instances where
non-OEM aftermarket crash parts are intended for use by an insurer,
the written estimate must clearly identify each non-OEM aftermarket
crash part, and a disclosure document (with wording similar to
Arizona’s) in 10-point or larger type must appear on or be attached
to the insured’s copy of the estimate.

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Aftermarket crash parts must have the logo or name of the manufacturer
affixed or inscribed on the parts and be visible after installation.

Vermont

The Vermont Consumer Fraud Act contains general prohibitions against
unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commerce. The use of
aftermarket crash parts in repairs without disclosure could fall
within such a

prohibition.

Virginia

No insurer may prepare or use an estimate of the cost of automobile
repairs based on the use of an aftermarket part unless the insurer
discloses to the claimant in writing on the estimate or in a separate
attached document (with wording similar to New Hampshire’s).

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Washington

Whether or not a written estimate is required, an invoice must
indicate whether the parts supplied are rebuilt, used, or aftermarket
or non-OEM body parts.

West Virginia

For motor vehicles requiring repair work in the year of their
manufacture or in the two succeeding years, repair shops must
use genuine crash parts sufficient to maintain the manufacturer’s
warranty for fit, finish, structural integrity, corrosion resistance,
dent resistance and crash performance unless the vehicle owner
consents in writing to the use of aftermarket crash parts.

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No insurer may require the use of aftermarket crash parts for
a period of the same three years, unless the vehicle owners consent
in writing. Repair shops must provide a list to the vehicle owner
of the replacement crash parts that the body shop intends to use,
specify whether the parts are genuine crash parts and identify
the manufacturer of the parts if they’re aftermarket crash parts.

If the crash parts to be used in the repair are aftermarket crash
parts, the repair shop must include with its estimate the following
written statement on a separate piece of paper in 10-point, capital
type:

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"This estimate has been prepared based on the use of aftermarket
crash parts that are not manufactured by the original manufacturer
of the vehicle or by a manufacturer authorized by the original
manufacturer to use its name or trademark. The use of an aftermarket
crash part may invalidate any remaining warranties of the original
manufacturer on that crash part."

Wisconsin

An insurer may not require the use of a non-OEM replacement part
in the repair of an insured’s motor vehicle unless the insurer
provides to the insured a notice (with wording similar to Arizona’s)
in not smaller than 10-point type.

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The notice must also clearly identify each non-OEM replacement
part intended for use. The notice must appear on or be attached
to the estimate of the cost of repairing the insured’s vehicle
and be delivered to the insured before the vehicle is repaired.

Wyoming

No current law.

Some information in this article was provided courtesy of ASA.
State legislation was gathered through state attorney general’s
offices, state agencies charged with regulating the automotive
repair and/or insurance industries, state consumer affairs offices,
the Congressional Research Service, and ASA affiliate directors
and individual members.

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Additional reporting done by Rich Mae, a free-lance writer
from Massillon, Ohio.

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