Monday, 05 March 2007 16:01

CCRE strongly opposes proposed Ohio legislation on non-OEM parts

A message to CCRE members

To all CCRE member shops, the following is an example of what CCRE is actively doing constantly on your behalf. The following response from CCRE was recently entered into the debate at the Ohio DOI, concerning pressure from insurers and imitation parts certifiers such as CAPA, to change the wording of existing Ohio Rules to eventually have imitation parts be considered the same as OEM.

CCRE actively opposed such changes when they were twice considered, on a national level, at NCOIL meetings. Now, it appears that insurers and their imitation parts certifiers are going to go to individual state legislators to try to accomplish this on a state-by-state basis. Ohio appears to be among the first states to be hit. Your state may be next. So, watch what’s happening in your state, and keep CCRE informed. Together we can keep this “mad dog” at bay. 

The background
    Since insurers and imitation part certifiers couldn’t push through legislation over the past 5 years to have imitation parts be considered equal to or better than OEM on a national level before NCOIL, they are now pushing for it in individual states, Ohio apparently being the first of these.

    The following are excerpts from CCRE’s response to the Ohio Superintendent of Insurance. This is in regards to CCRE’s position on rule changes for aftermarket crash parts to be deemed legally equal to OEM or OEM salvage parts. Similar attempts at changes in rules will likely affect every state.

Response submitted to Ohio DOI

    “The Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE Limited), a national organization of collision repair professionals, is strongly opposed to the proposed changes/amendments to Ohio Rule (3901-1-54 Unfair Property/Casualty Claims Settlement Practices).

    “Under section “B” of the Ohio Unfair P/C Claims Settlement Practices, it is stated, “The provisions of this rule are intended to define procedures and practices which constitute unfair claims practices.”

    “Having miserably failed twice in the past five years to convince the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) to accept on a national level aftermarket/imitation crash parts - those manufactured by other than the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or its authorized manufacturer of its OEM parts - as equal to or better than OEM crash parts, insurance companies and/or the so-called “certifying entities” of such parts (such as CAPA, the Certified Auto Parts Assn.) have begun taking their case to the legislatures of individual states. Ohio appears to be one of the first states in which they are attempting to revise the wording of such legislation, to their own benefit for their personal gain.

“Aftermarket/imitation crash parts always have been, and still remain, far inferior to OEM crash parts. Thorough crash testing of a number of these aftermarket/imitation crash parts, as chronicled in Consumer Report magazine, proved their incredible inferiority to OEM.

“This testing was performed as a result of the similar experiences of thousands of collision repair professionals across the country. The only reason aftermarket/imitation parts manufacturers are still selling their wares is that the insurance industry has systematically forced the use of these in insurer-dependent collision shops, for the purpose of artificially forcing down the cost of OEM parts. If these aftermarket crash parts were allowed to compete in a free and open market system, their manufacturers would either be forced to improve their quality, or be forced out of business.

“The objective in this proposed change to existing Ohio legislation is obvious: to re-define such terms and provisions of Ohio law sufficient to place their inferior, un-crash tested, often unable to pass DOT standards, parts on an equal standing (concerning their fit, finish, and structural integrity) with recycled OEM parts (parts manufactured by the original vehicle manufacturer, or under its authorization, which are subsequently being resold as used).

“The object of this maneuver (to position aftermarket/imitation parts on a par with used OEM parts) is to emplace them only one short step from “new OEM” parts… legislation that could then be easily attained in the near future to fabricate the impression that aftermarket/imitation parts are “equal to OEM” parts, so they could further force these inferior parts on dependent shops and uninformed consumers.

“Like kind and quality part” (3901-1-54 definition #11) always has meant and should remain exactly what is presently stated in this Ohio Rule definition… a used part of OEM origin… nothing more, nothing less.

“The CCRE wishes to thank you for seriously considering our concerns over any changes made to Ohio law in this respect.”