The Minnesota House Commerce Committee on March 3 held an oversight hearing on the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota’s (AASP-MN) legislative proposal to ensure coverage and payment for repairs conducted in accordance with original vehicle manufacturer repair procedures.
Commerce Committee Chair Rep. Laurie Halverson (DFL-Eagan) offered the hearing to air the issues when AASP-MN reported to her it had not reached a compromise with the insurance industry on the measure introduced in the 2019 Session.
The hearing did not involve debating the specific language of the proposal. No action by the committee was expected and none was taken.
AASP-MN prepared and delivered testimony outlining the repair industry’s position.
Darrell Amberson of LaMettry’s Collision served as the association’s spokesperson.
Amberson cited the repair industry perspective that, with the increasing technological sophistication of vehicles, it has become more important to follow all vehicle-specific repair procedures to ensure vehicles are restored to safe operating condition---including all of the operations necessary to test and recalibrate sensors and other systems designed to ensure occupant safety.
The repair industry’s concern regarding liability for proper repairs was a key issue presented to the committee.
The committee was also informed of the extensive discussions and negotiations between AASP-MN and the insurance industry that took place last summer and fall in an attempt to reach a compromise.
The Insurance Federation of Minnesota (IFM) also testified and expressed its fundamental concerns with the proposed legislation as it was introduced last year.
Aaron Cocking, the new executive vice president of IFM, said the reliance on original vehicle manufacturer repair procedures would result in higher repair costs and higher premiums.
Cocking also expressed concern that shops were relying on guidance which was not definitive, citing the fact that certain original vehicle manufacturer documents are framed as “recommendations” rather than requirements.
He specifically indicated any general guidance document should only be considered on a case-by-case basis, rather than as a repair standard.
Parts recyclers, including LKQ and the Automotive Recyclers of Minnesota, got into the mix as well.