The Rhode Island Senate is considering a bill that 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.
The existing state law requires written consent for the use of aftermarket parts on vehicles that are newer than 30 months from their manufacturing date.
Sen. Maryellen Goodwin introduced S. 2679 on March 20.
“Whenever an insurance company, in adjusting a claim for motor vehicle physical damage, intends to specify the use of aftermarket parts, it shall notify the vehicle owner in writing,” the bill states. “Any auto body repair shop conducting business in the state of Rhode Island shall not use non-original equipment manufactured (OEM) parts, also referred to as aftermarket parts, in the repair of any person’s automobile, without that person giving the repairer his or her 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.”
The language above would apply only to vehicles that are newer than 48 months beyond their manufacturing date.
While most of the bill text tweaks the language in the existing statute – changing “insured” to “vehicle owner,” for example – it also adds an entirely new paragraph that would be music to the ears of collision repairers:
“No insurance company may require any repairer to use repair specifications or procedures that are not in compliance with the recommendations of the original equipment manufacturer for those parts.”
As of April 26, the bill is in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has recommended that it be “held for further study.”