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Thursday, 14 February 2019 16:22

Emergency CAA Meeting on Storage & Towing Fees Experiences Record Attendance

Written by Victoria Antonelli
The Feb. 6 CAA meeting had 210 attendees, the highest number in the chapter’s history. The Feb. 6 CAA meeting had 210 attendees, the highest number in the chapter’s history.

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On Wednesday, Feb. 6, 210 industry members gathered at The Phoenix Club in Anaheim, CA, to discuss legislation passed in January concerning storage and towing fees.

 

Dave March, owner of Fountain Valley Body Works and longtime member of Orange County/Los Angeles California Autobody Association (CAA), said the meeting had the highest attendance in the chapter’s history.

 

Mathew Gibson, a top Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) official in the Department of Consumer Affairs, flew down from Sacramento to explain the new laws and clear up any fee confusion. The night began with a meet-and-greet at 5:30 p.m. and was followed by a tri-tip steak dinner at 6:30 p.m. Gibson was introduced by former Los Angeles CAA President Anthony Guinn at 7:30 p.m. Gibson’s slideshow presentation lasted until 8 p.m. and was followed by an hour-long Q&A session.

 

Gibson’s main points were:

 

• Insurers can’t cap storage rates.


• Insurance companies are trying to use California Highway Patrol (CHP) rates, which are half of the normal rate.


• CHP rates aren’t meant for body shops---more for towing and storage facilities.


• Body shop owners have the right to charge reasonable, competitive rates that make sense for collision repair facilities.


• Insurers cannot cap the number of days a vehicle is held in storage.

 

“We are pretty much in the same position we were in before the regulation passed Jan. 1,” explained March. “These laws came into play [because] the BAR got wind that some shops in San Francisco and Los Angeles were charging exorbitant amounts---around $500 a day---for storage, and no rules [were] in the books to regulate this. Now, the BAR is able to say that’s unreasonable.”

 

According to March, the going rate for storage for a shop in the Valley, for example, is around $100 a day, but several insurance companies have been trying to charge around $52 because that’s the CHP rate.

 

Gibson said the BAR has clarified that the competitive rate can continue to be charged.


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