California State Senator Jackie Speier (D - San Francisco/San Mateo) predicted that "there will be a battle in the legislature over quality crash parts" within the next year and that she may be "promulgating rules on anti-steering," an issue on which she expects State Insurance Commissioner Harry W. Low to take an aggressive attitude.
It is time for our community to call upon the true authority of the 1963 Consent Decree and utilize it as a tool to bring about a substantial change in the method in which consumer claims are handled in our collision repair environment.
When Allstate Corporation last month acquired Sterling Collision Centers Inc., a consolidator with 39 collision repair shops in seven states and nine metropolitan areas, it started a shockwave that resonated across the industry with as much thunder as the State Farm non-OEM parts verdict.
"If you're a good shop, you have nothing to worry about. If you're a bad shop, you have every reason to be concerned!" warned the California Bureau of Automotive Repair's Robert Trent. Trent, who works out of BAR's Oceanside office, was addressing the San Diego chapter of California Autobody Association at their July meeting. Trent and his associate Bill Neu discussed the BAR inspection program that began July 1. The inspection program was created by the Auto Insurance Fraud Act (SB 1998) of 2000.
New laws in China enable SEMA member companies to sell products legally, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. This historic announcement was presented during a recent meeting at SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California, and was received with appreciation and enthusiasm by the association's leadership.
The major paint companies, struggling to overcome federal charges of price-fixing and their largely unsuccessful and expensive "shop investment" programs of the '90's are now focusing on "value added" shop management programs to attract and retain customers.
Throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center the 35,000 attendees at last month's NACE seemed to be talking as much about the event itself as they did about the usual industry announcements, speakers and the "good deals" to be had on the trade show floor.
On the heels of a federal antitrust investigation into price-fixing by paint manufacturers in the automotive refinish industry, at least four lawsuits have been filed around the country by paint distributors and body shops accusing the world's five largest paint makers of price-fixing.
Auto body shops in California continue to get a black eye as the Bureau of Automotive Repair's (BAR) reinspection program picks up steam. A preliminary report issued in late January showed that 43% of cars inspected so far had evidence of fraud, with an average of $586 in overcharges for parts not used or labor not performed. BAR says that it has already inspected 507 vehicles and found evidence of fraud in 217, most often billing for parts not used or labor not supplied.