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Monday, 11 June 2018 17:29

Certification, Legislation Related to Non-OEM Parts Get Spotlighted at Convention

Written by
Ray Colas, director of government affairs for LKQ Corporation Ray Colas, director of government affairs for LKQ Corporation

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State and federal legislation related to non-OEM parts was also on the agenda at the ABPA convention. A bill introduced in Iowa, for example, would prohibit insurers from requiring a shop to use a specific parts vendor or procurement process, or from requiring the use of non-OEM crash parts for the repair of a vehicle 5 years old or newer. Ray Colas, director of government affairs for LKQ Corporation, told those at the ABPA convention that the bill was introduced by a lawmaker who represents a district in which an LKQ facility is located. Colas said that previously bringing the state representative in for a facility tour had helped raise his understanding of the issue, something Colas reminded the lawmaker about.


“‘In all honesty,’ he told us, ‘I completely forgot about that,’” Colas said, noting that the lawmaker still has some concerns but said he would “remove the bill from consideration.”

 

Colas had similar assessments of lawmakers sponsoring bills in Illinois that would require the use of OEM repair specifications and procedures when estimating repairs and prohibit the use of non-OEM parts without the customer’s consent in writing.


“They did not realize what they got themselves into,” Colas said. “We had to educate them. It’s always good if we educate these members before somebody else does.”


(In an op-ed piece published in a Rhode Island newspaper in June after the convention, ABPA Executive Director Ed Salamy voiced opposition to proposed legislation in that state that would expand the state’s ban on the use of non-OEM parts to include vehicles up to 48 months old---from the current 30-month ban. Calling the legislation anti-competitive, Salamy warned consumers that, “Put simply, these bills would take away your choice about how to repair your vehicle.”)


Sources say that during a portion of the ABPA convention closed to the media, a former U.S. Senator expressed optimism about the prospects for the “PARTS Act,” proposed federal legislation that would slash the time that automakers can use design patents to prevent other companies from producing replacement crash parts from 14 years to just 30 months.


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