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Monday, 04 March 2019 21:34

MT Legislators Table Bill Addressing OE Parts, Aftermarket Part Disclosure

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On Feb. 1, the House Committee tabled House Bill 252, which addressed OE parts use and aftermarket parts disclosure, after hearing it Jan. 31. Montana State Representative Jacob Bachmeier sponsored the bill.


The bill’s goal was to require insurers to give consumers the option of using original or aftermarket parts on a repaired vehicle without being charged more for choosing OEM parts.


House Bill 252 would have required written consent for the use of any aftermarket parts: “(2)(a) An insurer may not directly or indirectly require the use of non-original equipment manufacturer parts or accept any estimate or authorize any repair unless the consumer is advised that the consumer is not required to accept non-original equipment manufacturer parts in the repair of the vehicle and the consumer consents in writing to the use of any non-original parts, if applicable, before the repair is made. (b) An insurer may not directly or indirectly require the consumer to pay any difference in price if the consumer elects to use original equipment manufacturer parts in the repair of the vehicle.”


The bill would have also banned the use of any aftermarket part unless it “(a) carries sufficient permanent identification of its manufacturer, which must be positioned to be as accessible as possible after installation; and (b) is at least equal in quality to the original equipment manufacturer part in terms of fit and performance. The cost of any modification potentially needed when making the repair is considered in determining the quality of the non-original part.”


Finally, House Bill 252 would have mandated that each aftermarket part be identified on the estimate, along with the customer receiving a 10-point-type notification stating: “This estimate has been prepared based on the use of automobile parts not made by the original manufacturer. Parts used in the repair of this vehicle that are made by other than the original manufacturer are required to be of at least equal quality in terms of fit and performance to the original manufacturer parts they are replacing.”


A House Committee staff member stated that it’s unlikely that House Bill 252 will be revisited.

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