Model legislation covering airbags and aftermarket parts use will be debated by the National Conference of Insurance Legislators Property and Casualty Insurance Committee (NCOIL) beginning Thursday. NCOIL drew attention from collision repairers this summer when it introduced the model legislation, which is used as a base for legislation introduced in state legislatures.
NCOIL’s Model Act Regarding Auto Airbag Fraud establishes criminal penalties for fraudulent installation or reinstallation of an airbag; requires detailed recordkeeping for anyone who buys, sells or installs airbags; and mandates that vehicle owners receive documentation from repairers saying that an airbag was installed properly, among other things, according to NCOIL.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) says it’s opposed to the airbag legislation because it allows for salvage airbags as options for airbag replacement, which it believes puts consumers and repair facilities at risk.
In July, Harry Moppert owner of the multi-store Moppert Brothers Collision Services Group in Morton, Pa. testified to NCOIL that ASA discourages the use of salvage airbags.
"Is this the time to put cost analysis before the protection against injury or even death in that one-thousandth of a second when vehicle occupants rely on the integrity of airbag design?" Moppert asked the committee. "Automotive airbags cannot be compromised in any way without additional risk to the consumer."
NCOIL will also discuss its Model Act Regarding Motor Vehicle Crash Parts and Repair. According to NCOIL, the model requires disclosure and consent prior to crash part repair or replacement; establishes conditions whereby insurers may require use of aftermarket crash parts; mandates permanent, transparent identification of crash parts; and provides for consumer choice in selection of an auto repair facility.
In July, ASA expressed displeasure with the legislation because it didn’t do enough to protect consumers and repairers.
“Aftermarket crash parts, certified or not, do not assure consumers or repairers that they are equal to OEM," he said. "The quality and safety requirements, particularly for offshore parts, may or may not be evident for certified aftermarket parts."
Download the airbag fraud model legislation