State Farm has come out and denied allegations of steering by a group of Northern California body shops that met Nov. 12 to discuss the possibility of filing a class-action lawsuit against the nation’s No. 1 auto insurer.
Bob Devereux, public affairs assistant manager for State Farm California Media Relations, specifically addressed G&C Autobody owner Gene Crozat, who is spearheading the suit.
“Gene Crozat has employed these type of tactics ever since he was removed from our Select Service program. State Farm does not admit repairers to the program based on anything but program guidelines, and Crozat said he would stop his tactics if readmitted to the program,” said Devereux. “The Department of Insurance has not justified one steering complaint against us, so we’re at a loss as to why he and other repairers are accusing us of steering. Were there any basis in fact, it would have been exposed by the DOI or litigation.
“It is the vehicle owner’s choice where to have his or her car repaired, and State Farm supports that choice. We have resources and a process in place to handle customer claims, and we treat them all the same no matter where you get your car repaired. And the service is prompt, courteous and efficient.”
Approximately 80 people from 40 shops were at the meeting, which was also attended by two lawyers who advised repairers on how they can protect themselves from steering and what steps they can take to pursue legal action if necessary.
A second meeting is tentatively scheduled for Southern California in January to address other shops’ grievances and to inform and educate more people on how to fight steering.
California Repairers Gear Up for Class Action Suit Against State Farm