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1HomePageMap small w 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in California, NevadaOregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Alaska and Wyoming

Consumer Watchdog is urging Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) to amend her proposal (AB 1200) that seeks to undo a current California law prohibiting insurance companies from pushing, or "steering," customers to auto body shops under contract with the insurer.

Since late 2008, Southern California body shops have been prevented from installing new spray booths or been able to modify their existing spray booth from its existing permit condition, including moving an existing booth to a new location, or adding an air make-up system for waterborne paint.

The California Autobody Association (CAA) would like to thank their members for meeting with Senator Yee (SB 350) and Senator Negrete McCloud (SB 427) and educating them regarding the issues surrounding aftermarket crash parts. Both SB 350 and SB 427 are going to be held in Committee and are now two-years bills. They could possibly be back next year in some form or another.

The CRA continues to oppose the insurance industry’s AB 1200 which has been rewritten to do more damage to the state’s anti-steering law. The bill is slated to be heard Wednesday, July 1, 2009 by the Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee at 1:30 p.m. in Room 112 of the State Capitol. At this late date members should email their opposition to the committee’s consultant: Kenneth.cooley@sen.ca.govThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Attached below is the bill followed by the CRA’s latest letter of opposition.

CRA Sides with New Car Dealers in Fighting Insurance Bill

CRA president Lee Amaradio today called the association’s opposition to AB 1200 (Hayashi, D-Hayward) a “defining moment in the collision repair industry. “This short-sighted legislation, written by the Personal Insurance Federation of California, seeks to end the right of consumers to choose where their damaged vehicle is repaired,” said Amaradio. “In articulating our opposition, we have an opportunity to educate lawmakers on the harm caused by insurers that steer customers to their DRP shops. Conversely, if we fail, insurers will have a death lock on the process by which repair facilities are selected by vehicle owners.”

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced June 24 the arrests of Ruben Andrade Sr., 48; his son, Ruben Andrade Jr., 18; Cristina Ramirez, 20; and Gustavo Hernandez, 20; all of Sacramento, in connection with insurance fraud charges.