Legislating Quality? A Bill to Declare Aftermarket Crash Parts Equivalent To OE Crash Parts - BodyShop Business

Legislating Quality? A Bill to Declare Aftermarket Crash Parts Equivalent To OE Crash Parts

If common sense is so common, then why do so few people have it? I see examples every day that common sense is going the way of LPs and dinosaurs, and this latest only confirms my suspicions: California legislators are actually considering Assembly Bill 1163 – a bill to declare aftermarket crash parts equivalent to OE crash parts. A bill that, in essence, legislates quality.

If we say these parts are good, then darn it, they are!

The bill is being sponsored by the Certified Aftermarket Parts Association (CAPA) – surprise, surprise! – and was introduced by Assembly Member Leland Yee.

And you know what they say … stupidity loves company. A.B. 1163 is similar to the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) even more moronic Certified Aftermarket Crash Parts Model Act.

“This model act is … only good for insurers, as it gives them an easy mechanism for mandating the use of these parts, creates the presumption of quality and insulates them from all liability,” says Erica Eversman, chief counsel for Vehicle Information Services, Inc. in Bath, Ohio.

California A.B. 1163 is almost as irrational as NCOIL’s model A/M parts act, except that it proposes that any third-party certifier be accredited by the American National Standards Institute and the International Organization for Standardization. It also makes insurers warrantors of the A/M parts.

“True product warranties … are typically governed by state consumer protection laws and enforced by the Attorney General, not by the Department of Insurance,” says Eversman. “As a result, offering a product warranty is not regulated by the Department of Insurance as the ‘business of insurance’ and, therefore, insurers have no exemption via McCarran-Ferguson from the application of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act…

“It’s interesting to consider that exposure to liability for warranting aftermarket parts could wind up costing insurers far more than they save by insisting on them in the first place.”

But that’s the only glimmer of intelligence in an otherwise black hole of stupidity. The California Assembly went on to take an already nonsensical bill and then managed to amend it to make even less sense. The most absurd change was to section 9875.4:

“Noncar company certified aftermarket crash parts used to repair a motor vehicle shall be presumed to be are of like kind and quality to car company parts.”

This amended legislation would take certified A/M parts from being presumed to be of equivalent quality to OEM parts (already a bold assumption) to being irrefutably established as equivalent.

“Regulation like this is crazy,” says Eversman. ” … California legislators intend to give non-American companies a fake quality rating so their parts can be substituted for OEM products – which had to earn their quality ratings. We don’t market-protect American-made products in this manner. Surely, if we won’t protect products manufactured in our own country, we certainly shouldn’t be protecting products made elsewhere.”

It also seems an affront to American capitalism to artificially declare a product “buyable.” If it’s buyable, the buyers will want it without legislation. And if they don’t want it, then it’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to figure out why.

“The mere fact that any legislature is considering passing a law for them tells you that the marketplace has already rejected these parts as inferior,” says Eversman. “Otherwise, there would be no need for any legislation – the products would stand on their own merits.”

Both the proposed NCOIL model act and A.B. 1163 subscribe to the theory that if you say something is true, then it is. What’s next? Legislators ruling that Melllo Yello is like kind and quality to Mountain Dew?

Georgina K. Carson, Editor

You May Also Like

Sticker Shock at the SEMA Show

This year’s SEMA Show held a new surprise for me — a secret drop-off at our booth in the form of a mysterious sticker.

There are always surprises at the SEMA Show, which is one reason why it’s such a special event. New faces to meet, old faces that you haven’t seen in a long time with which to reunite, new technological wonders … the list goes on and on.

This year held a new surprise for me, however — a secret drop-off at our booth. Visiting the booth one day to make sure the magazines on display were still neat and tidy, I noticed a roll of stickers on the table. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the stickers read: “Collision Repair Equal To Mechanical Repair Rates: Why Not?” And there was also a mysterious symbol that my wild imagination took to be the logo of some secret society. But it wasn’t so mysterious after all; the letter “Y” and the drawing of a knot was a visual representation of: Why + Not. Haha, very clever!

Keys To Making 2023 A Huge Success For Your Auto Body Shop

Stopping daily work to work “on” your business instead of “in” your business is essential in order to deliver change in the new year. 

Auto Body Consolidation Update: What Will 2023 Bring?

The bull market of consolidation is expected to continue in 2023 even amidst high inflation, rising interest rates and other challenges.

The Great Awakening: Collision Repairers Taking a Stand

Many repairers are now taking a stand, realizing they cannot conduct business the way they used to.

CARSTAR Fort Collins: Process Produces Performance

The new facility that CARSTAR Fort Collins moved into was designed with organization and performance in mind.

Other Posts

Are Collision Repairers Their Own Worst Enemy?

It’s always been easy for repairers to see insurers as the bogeyman that causes all of their problems, but insurers are merely taking advantage of repairers’ lack of business knowledge and acumen.

Are You Ready to ROCK in 2023?

Do you know a “rockstar” in the automotive aftermarket? Then it’s time to nominate them as a Vehicle Care RockStar!

BodyShop Business 2022 Executives of the Year

This year’s Single-Shop award winner is Michael Bradshaw of K & M Collision in Hickory, N.C., and the Multi-Shop winner is Matt Ebert of Crash Champions.

Conducting Collision Business: It’s a New Day

The goal is not to declare war against insurers; it is to declare independence for your organization so that you’re able to provide the highest level of service to your true customers.