Thursday, 12 March 2009 10:22

McClune---California Autobody Association Board Meeting Kicks Off 2009

Written by David McClune

The California Autobody Association held its first quarter board of directors meeting on Saturday, February 21 in Buena Park, CA.

This first quarterly meeting included the swearing in of the new 2009 Board of Directors, which include Don Feeley as President, Gigi Walker as First Vice President, Chuck Reyes as Vice President-Finance, Dave Picton as Treasurer, and Ben Mendoza as Secretary. Immediate Past President this year is Ted Stein.

In addition, the CAA held its annual Awards Banquet and the winners will be included in our next newsletter.

The CAA announced that the member website, www.calautobody.com, will be updated next week and will feature a number of improved areas for members. In addition, it was  announced at the meeting that Kent Industries and ComputerLogic are the newest Corporate Sponsors to support the CAA. Also, the CAA is working with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) on a formalized program to assist them on statewide notifications on hit and runs and other damaged vehicle crimes.

Legislative Report by Jack Molodanof: The deadline for introduction of legislative bills is February 27, 2009. CAA continues to review newly introduced bills each day.

1) New Sales Tax on Automotive Repair Labor Fails. The Governor signed the state budget on February 20, 2009 and it did not include a new automotive labor sales tax. A victory for the automotive industry! The CAA was actively opposed to this tax. Due to the State Budget deficit, the Governor was proposing a new sales tax on automotive repair. The CAA along with other automotive repair associations opposed the proposal and actively lobbied the legislators and the Governor. The tax would have added to the cost of the repair and could have made the difference in repairing the vehicle or having it “totaled”. Furthermore, the tax unfairly targeted only a small set of services (auto repair, furniture, appliance repair, golf and veterinary) and would not be applied to all services.

2) Automotive Repair: Crash Parts Legislation. It is CAA’s understanding that a new version of the previously vetoed AB 2825 may be reintroduced this session. The previous bill required repair shops performing auto body repairs to certify that the crash parts identified on the estimate and the invoice were actually installed on the vehicle. The bill also authorized a customer to receive copies of all invoices from the distributor, dealer or manufacture for all crash parts installed for which the customer is charged in excess of $50.00 and would have required the shop to provide copies of these invoices upon request by customer. The CAA actively opposed this measure last year and the Governor vetoed the bill. The CAA will monitor and will report to our members once the bill is introduced.

3) Aftermarket Crash Parts Legislation. The CAA also believes that a new bill may be introduced that will deal with defining certified aftermarket crash parts. The legislation would state that aftermarket crash parts would be certified when they meet the standards set by an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recognized entity, and would be presumed to be at least of like kind and quality to the part being replaced in terms of fit, function, and finish. We will monitor this legislation closely and report to our members once the bill is introduced

4) Damage Assessment Bill Legislation. The CAA also believes that a bill may be introduced this session that would require insurers to disclose to claimants that any damage assessment made by the insurer is not a written estimate of repair costs. We of course, will monitor and report to our members regarding this possible legislation.

5) Career Tech Bills. The CAA will continue to closely monitor and support bills that improve career technical educational opportunities.

Department of Insurance (DOI)

6) Department of Insurance (DOI) Anti-Steering Regulations. The Department of Insurance has published a draft of proposed anti-steering regulations, which have been previously provided to our members. These regulations are a direct result of many workshops held by the Department of Insurance with key stakeholders, including the insurance and auto body industry. The CAA appreciates the DOI efforts in this regard and believes that the proposed language is a move in the right direction, but feel it could be further improved and will provide suggestions to the DOI. The CAA will also testify at the hearing scheduled for March 25, 2009 in Sacramento. CAA members are encouraged to attend. Information is on the CAA Web site.

7) Implementation of SB 1371 (Correa), Insurance: Automobile Repair Paint and Material Capping. SB 1371 took effect on January 1, 2009 and the CAA will be working with the insurance industry, data providers, DOI and the BAR (methodologies are BAR compliant) and to make sure the intent of the bill is properly implemented (methodologies are acceptable to both repair shops and insurers) and enforced by the DOI.

Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR)

8) CAA continues it efforts to have BAR do an industry survey, which will include a question regarding the shops labor rate.

California Air Resources Board (CARB)

9) CARB has proposed under inflated tire pressure regulations that would require by July 1, 2010 automotive service providers to;

1) check and inflate tires to manufacturers recommended pressure;

2) indicate on the vehicle service invoice that a tire inflation service was completed, if the tire inflation service was not performed (i.e. deemed unsafe the service provider must indicate on the invoice).

3) uses and maintain an ANSI B40.1 tire Grade B tire gauge;

4) maintain a tire inflation guidebook that is current within 3 years;

5) keep copy of invoice for 3 years. The law would apply to all automotive service providers performing or offering to perform maintenance or repair service. As currently drafted the regulations would not apply to auto body and paint; auto glass; auto parts distributors or retailers; auto wreckers or dismantlers; vehicles with GVWR over 10,000 lbs.

The hearing is set for March 26, 2009 in Sacramento.