...getting legislation enacted designed to ensure consumers have information and choice, she said. That includes an anti-steering bill, a two-tier "Class A" and "Class B" shop designation system, a total loss threshold of 75% that prevents a vehicle with lesser damage from being totaled without consumer consent, and a law that requires consumer consent for use of anything other than OEM parts for vehicles up to four years old.
“Knowledge is power, and choice is power,” Petrarca-Karampetsos said. “If you’re doing the right thing, giving consumers a choice is never going to be a negative in your business.”
The Rhode Island OEM procedure regulation is tied to the parts legislation. It originally prohibited insurance companies from requiring any repairer “to use repair procedures that are not in compliance with the recommendations of the original equipment manufacturer.”
But Petrarca-Karampetsos said in a compromise---based on opposition from the non-OEM parts industry---the bill was amended to say the requirement for automaker procedures applies only “when OEM parts are used.”
“It’s been a major success. And it was a compromise,” Petrarca-Karampetsos said.
Blalock said such compromise is not out of reach, particularly in states, like Rhode Island, that have generally viewed used parts as OEM, unless they were non-OEM originally.
Compromise on an OEM procedure bill in Washington State earlier in 2019 was also “very close,” she said.
“But I think the biggest compromise is we need to stop thinking we have to go pass legislation to protect every facet of our businesses,” Blalock said. “We need to stop going to our legislatures and asking them to protect a certain segment of our industry.”
Petrarca-Karampetsos said she disagreed with the idea that legislation is not necessary, given consumers’ lack of awareness and understanding of...