State legislative efforts to enact legislation on the use of OEM repair procedures have bogged down.
Other issues, such as steering and non-OEM parts, have taken priority. Therefore, these issues are being incorporated into the proposed legislation, according to speakers at the Collision Industry Conference held in Nashville, TN.
For example, a bill in Nevada that would have prohibited an insurer “to repair a motor vehicle in a manner which is contrary to the recommendations of the manufacturer of the vehicle,” failed to move forward by a legislative deadline, this spring. Opposition to the bill surfaced at a hearing in March. The opposition was geared towards new limits the legislation would have placed on the use of non-OEM parts.
“In the collision industry, we can’t seem to escape loading these things up,” Bob Redding, national lobbyist for the Automotive Service Association (ASA), said of such state bills. “Only a few [of the current proposed state regulations] are skinny bills, dealing with OEM procedures. We often see parts get in. In some state bills, like in Texas, you see steering slip in there. When you have a bill moving, people try to solve every single issue in it. It brings in all sorts of controversy when it picks those other kinds of things. It brings out other adversaries, and typically [the bills] have problems along the way.”
Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists, agreed.
“It becomes easier to argue against when it gets muddied with other issues,” Schulenburg said. “Parts, as an example, has been debated and addressed in almost every state. There is a lot of existing language. When that enters into the discussion, it makes it much harder to move something forward. The states didn’t isolate the [OEM procedure] issue and I think that’s the trend for this year. I think going forward it would be advantageous to do so.”
During the CIC, there was a discussion on the other state-to-state variation in some of the OEM procedure bills. Some state bills focus solely on the need for insurers to pay for such procedures. While others would require shops to follow the OEM procedures, some of the bills do both.