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Rhode Island Senate Passes Bill Restricting Use of Aftermarket Crash Parts

Senate Bill 2679A 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.

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The Rhode Island Senate on May 15 passed an amended version of a bill that would extend the state’s restriction on aftermarket parts and require OEM procedures when using OEM parts to repair collision-damaged vehicles.

Senate Bill 2679A 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.

The bill also would forbid insurance companies from trying to make body shops follow “repair procedures that are not in compliance with the recommendations of the original equipment manufacturer” when shops are using OEM parts to repair vehicles.

The Automotive Service Association of Massachusetts and Rhode Island (ASAMARI) testified in support of the bill at previous committee hearings.

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While lawmakers have tweaked some of the bill’s language since it was introduced on March 20, ASAMARI asserted that the bill’s “original intent is still intact.”

“In my opinion, the initial proposed legislation was intended to address three specific areas,” ASAMARI Executive Director Stephen Regan said. “To amend existing Rhode Island law that related to parts usage to include first-party claims and not just-third party, to extend to 48 months from 30 months the requirement that consumers provide written authorization for the type of parts to be used and to ensure insurers could not influence or require repairers to use repair procedures that conflict with OEM repair procedures. I believe the bill, as passed by the Senate, accomplishes those goals.”

ASAMARI commended the Auto Body Association of Rhode Island “for taking the lead on this legislation and generating substantial support among Rhode Island senators and House members.”

ASAMARI is one of 18 state and regional affiliates of the Automotive Service Association.

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