On April 24, the Rhode Island House Committee on Corporations held a hearing on House Bill (HB) 8013. If enacted, certain provisions in the bill would not allow insurers to require “repair specifications or procedures” that are not in compliance with vehicle manufacturer recommendations.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) submitted written testimony in support of the OEM compliance requirements within HB 8013. The testimony outlined the importance of adherence to OEM repair standards for the shop, as well as the consumer.
“Vehicle manufacturers issue recommended repair procedures for a reason,” said Scott Benavidez, ASA Collision Division director and owner of Mr. B’s Paint & Body in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “The use of materials such as high-strength steels, and the need to recalibrate modern electronic vehicle control systems, demand specific processes, tools and equipment in order to achieve a proper and safe repair. With this in mind, the ASA Collision Operations Committee strongly supports the position outlined by House Bill 8013 to protect both the repairer and the consumer.”
ASA-Massachusetts/Rhode Island Executive Director Stephen Regan said, “With the complexities of today’s vehicles, there needs to be assurances for the public that their cars are being repaired in a manner that is consistent with the vehicle manufacturer’s stated repair procedures. As we have painfully learned from the recent $42 million award against a repairer in Texas that did not follow manufacturer repair recommendations, following the OEM procedure can be a matter of public safety.”