California BAR, DOI Refute Assembly Member's Claims of Rampant Collision Repair Fraud - BodyShop Business

California BAR, DOI Refute Assembly Member’s Claims of Rampant Collision Repair Fraud

Despite claims to the contrary, accounts of collision repair fraud constitute a very small percentage of complaints in California, reported Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) Chief Sherry Mehl  and Deputy Commissioner of the Enforcement Branch for the California Department of Insurance (DOI) Rick Plein at a public hearing Aug. 25. Mehl stated that the fraud rates in the industry are “probably average to low.”

The hearing was called by Assemblymember Mary Hayashi (sponsor of A.B.1200) of the Committee on Business and Professions, who wrote in an op-ed piece for the San Francisco Chronicle that the collision repair industry is “challenged by fraud and misrepresentation.” Sen. Jackie Spier wrote a piece in defense of collision repairers.

According to Mehl’s statistics, 2 percent of complaints filed through the BAR’s complaint hotline actually resulted in disciplinary action, and Plein added that less than four-tenths of 1 percent of the DOI’s fraud complaints involve a collision repair facility.

At the hearing, Hayashi said the committee should identify further steps to be taken to combat fraud in the auto repair industry.

However, Assemblymember Roger Niello noted that “it would be a bit of a leap…to condemn an entire industry because of a few bad apples. I have a concern about leaving a public hearing with the information that there is a pervasive problem of dishonesty, lack of ethics and fraud in the autobody repair industry because I see absolutely no evidence of that based upon the testimony today.”

The board of directors for the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) expressed appreciation of the facts presented by the BAR and the DOI, which the group says countered Hayashi’s negative claims about the industry and reinforced the fact that most collision repairers aren’t interested in defrauding customers.

“It’s important for the motoring public to have a strong sense of faith and trust in the professionals who go to work each day to repair their vehicles with the utmost concern for safety and accuracy of the repair,” said SCRS Chairman Barry Dorn. “Our industry has had obstacles in overcoming the public perception of our trade, and facts presented such as these validate that we have an industry of hard-working men and women who do work tirelessly to repair the public’s damaged vehicles in a safe, honest and professional manner.”
 
“As an industry association, we fully understand the ramifications that fraudulent activity has to our consumer base and to those of us who have worked hard to uphold the professionalism of the industry,” added SCRS National Director Luis Alonso. “It is, however, extremely important that the legislature, media and industry not sensationalize what has been proven to be a very small occurrence in a state such as California. Doing so only fosters an inaccurate public perception of the collision repair trade and minimizes the public’s assurance in their service providers. ”

The SCRS says part of its mission is to maintain consumers’ trust in collision repairers.

“This is a proud industry of hardworking professionals who fulfill a valuable and needed role for their communities,” said SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg. “It’s very important to ensure that false assumptions, accusations and allegations of activity do not undermine the vast professionalism and integrity of our industry.”

Visit www.scrs.com for more information.

You May Also Like

Cruise Postpones Release of Driverless Taxi Service

Cruise, a GM subsidiary, recently announced that it will miss its goal of launching a large-scale self-driving taxi service in 2019.

Cruise, a GM subsidiary, recently announced that it will miss its goal of launching a large-scale self-driving taxi service in 2019. Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said the company plans to dramatically increase the number of its autonomous test vehicles on the road in San Francisco, but will not be offering rides to regular people this year, according to an article from The Verge.

Cutting Edge Automotive Solutions Partners with Andretti Rallycross

Andretti Rallycross announced that Cutting Edge Automotive Solutions will serve as technical partner on Cabot Bigham’s No. 02 OINK Clothing Beetle for the remainder of the 2019 Americas Rallycross season, showcasing their SP Tools USA brand.

Ford, Volkswagen Expand Collaboration to Include Autonomous, Electric Vehicles

Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG announced they are expanding their global alliance to include electric vehicles – and will collaborate with Argo AI to introduce autonomous vehicle technology in the U.S. and Europe.

CCAR Updates Website with More OSHA Alliance Resources

CCAR (Coordinating Committee For Automotive Repair) has announced the addition of new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Alliance content on its main website, www.ccar-greenlink.org.

CARSTAR McLaren Lake Forest and CARSTAR McLaren Irvine Open in California

Owned by husband-and-wife team James and Mary Davis, CARSTAR McLaren Lake Forest and CARSTAR McLaren Irvine are a family business.

Other Posts

CIECA to Offer Webinar on What Businesses Need to Know to Implement CIECA Standards

CIECA will hold its next CIECAst webinar, “Implementing CIECA Standards: Implementation Guide and Appendix C – BMS, Code Lists and Shema Components,” on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 at 11 a.m. CST.

CARSTAR Urges Customers to Stay Winter Ready

Cold weather can create some of the harshest driving conditions of the year. The months between October and February top the list for accidents, vehicle damage and injuries.

CIECA Adds Broadly as Corporate Member

The Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) announced that Broadly has joined CIECA as a corporate member.

NABR Launches BillableGenie Online Searchable Database of Insurer-Paid Not-Included Procedures

National AutoBody Research (NABR) has announced the launch of its BillableGenie online service, an independent, centralized source of actual data on insurer paid not-included procedures and operations, labor rates, labor rate concessions and other manually entered estimate line items.