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Monday, 04 June 2007 15:38

New California bill requires shop owners signature on estimates to affirm crash parts used

    The California Autobody Association (CAA) recently told its members that it is still opposed to AB 1483, the bill introduced by Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter that would require shop owners to affirm that all crash parts on the estimate were in fact used. The CAA said their position will not change unless amendments are made to address concerns.
    “The proponents of the bill want you to believe that this measure will prevent auto body fraud,” the CAA reported. However the bill does nothing to protect consumers nor address fraud. Existing law already provides for severe penalties (revocation of license/criminal prosecution) against repair shops that charge for and fail to install parts on the vehicle.
    The CAA said AB 1483 will only harm the honest and legitimate auto repair shops in the state. The bill will require the repair shop or employee to sign on the first page of the final invoice that the crash parts specified on the estimate were actually installed on the vehicle.
    The bill states:
    “Upon completion of the repairs, provide a written affirmation to the customer that the crash parts identified on the itemized written estimate, or pursuant to an approved change to the itemized written estimate, have been installed on the motor vehicle. The affirmation shall be signed by the automotive repair dealer or responsible managing employee and shall appear on the first page of the final invoice that is given to the customer.”
    “If passed, the bill has the potential effect of repair shops losing their business (license revocation by BAR) or subject to criminal prosecution for simply forgetting to sign the final invoices,” the CAA told members. “Delays in your business will undoubtedly occur in delivering the vehicle to the customer if you are away from the shop and/or the responsible managing employee is not available to sign the final invoice.” The CAA has recommended amendments and statements rather than a signature.
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