Monday, 28 February 2005 17:00

NCIA helps enact anti-steering and consumer protection laws

The Nevada Collision Industry Association (NCIA) wrapped up its first full year in a whirlwind of success. The handful of members who established the NCIA in October of 2003 has grown to 46, with the prospect of continuing to increase membership in 2005. 

This active young collision repair association has seen landmark progress since its inception. The successful legislation A.B. 396, sponsored by Assembly-woman Vonne Chowning, was only the beginning of the road. Michael Spears, Green Valley Collision Center and first President of the NCIA, worked with Assemblywoman Chowning to pass this first anti-steering legislation in Nevada in late 2003.

The same year, Assemblywoman Barbara Buckley sponsored the passage of A.B. 325 - a statute enacted to protect the consumer from improperly repaired vehicles. A vehicle can now be totaled at 65% of the actual cash value (ACV).

Assemblywoman Buckley, guest speaker at the association's December meeting in Las Vegas, addressed industry concerns regarding the 65% law. "When this law was being considered there was no association to help me draft the language,"stated Buckley, "but now that there is an association, I will consult with you before we look at changes in your industry."

Police collision repair industry?

Buckley recommended that NCIA consider proposing legislation to police the collision repair industry. "There is no real enforcement mechanism to protect consumers from bad shops," she continued. "It is only the few who drag the industry's image down, but consumer's tend to paint all the shops with the same brush." With Buckley's support, NCIA has been working with the Nevada Motor Vehicles Department to write regulations enforcing A.B. 325. This coalition created better definitions to serve Nevada's consumer and collision repair industry.

NCIA member, Mike Harris, an instrumental part of the legislative process, agrees that there is still some confusion about A.B. 325. The association is endorsing plans to improve this situation, but until that can happen, Harris has simplified the process using the following formula:

Take the complete estimate and subtract the following: paint, refinish labor, paint materials, tow bill and sales tax. If the adjusted estimate exceeds 65% of the ACV of the vehicle then it is considered a total loss.

NCIA legitimate representative

The Nevada Insurance Council (NIC) has recognized NCIA as the legitimate representative of the collision repair industry. The Nevada Insur-ance Council and NCIA worked together defeating ballot initiatives that would have arbitrarily reduced insurance rates by as much as 40% and would prevent the State Legislature from regulating fees lawyers can charge to clients.

The NIC invited the association to make a proposal for an Automotive Technologies Building at CCSN's Cheyenne campus. The bill draft proposal is an appropriation for $20 million to develop this facility. Both associations are working with the school to help provide funding for the interim automotive technologies program, which should be in place by Spring 2005.

NCIA meets monthly in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information about NCIA, call executive director, Bob McLeary at 702-450-4822.


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