The Automotive Service Association (ASA) submitted written testimony for an April 24 hearing on Rhode Island House Bill 8013, expressing support for a provision that would forbid insurers from requiring “repair specifications or procedures” that aren’t in compliance with OEM recommendations.
The testimony outlined the importance of adhering to OEM repair standards for the shop as well as the consumer.
“Vehicle manufacturers issue recommended repair procedures for a reason,” said Scott Benavidez, ASA Collision Division director and owner of Mr. B’s Paint & Body in Albuquerque, N.M. “The use of materials such as high-strength steels, and the need to recalibrate modern electronic vehicle control systems, demand specific processes, tools and equipment in order to achieve a proper and safe repair. With this in mind, the ASA Collision Operations Committee strongly supports the position outlined by House Bill 8013 to protect both the repairer and the consumer.”
HB 8013 is a companion bill of S 2679 in the Rhode Island Senate. In addition to their language on OEM repair standards, both bills would require written consent from consumers if insurers or body shops specify aftermarket crash parts for vehicles that are newer than 48 months beyond their manufacturing date.
“With the complexities of today’s vehicles, there needs to be assurances for the public that their cars are being repaired in a manner that is consistent with the vehicle manufacturer’s stated repair procedures,” ASA-Massachusetts/Rhode Island Executive Director Stephen Regan said. “As we have painfully learned from the recent $42 million award, against a repairer in Texas that did not follow manufacturer repair recommendations, following the OEM procedure can be a matter of public safety.”