CDI Announces Approval of Repair Regulations Aimed at Consumer Protection
January 10, 2013

by Casey Neeley,

The California Department of Insurance (CDI) has announced the Office of Administrative of Law (OAL) has approved amended regulations submitted by the CDI regarding the use of aftermarket auto parts.

When asked by™/AGRR™ magazine if auto glass shops would be affected by the amended regulations,Tony Cignarale, deputy commissioner of consumer services and market conduct branch for the CDI confirmed, "Any repair to [a] damaged automobile as a result of an insurance claim would be covered under the approved regulation. This would include glass replacement and repair."

"The amendments build on existing protections by requiring insurers to settle automobile insurance claims using repair standards described by the Bureau of Automotive Repair, and not the insurer's own standards of repair," says insurance commissioner Dave Jones. "This also places greater accountability on the insurer when they require use of an aftermarket replacement part so that damaged automobiles are repaired properly and safely."

In a release issued by the CDI, it explains, "After investigating complaints from consumers and automobile repair shops and evaluating the law, CDI drew the conclusion that defective or otherwise non-compliant aftermarket parts continued to infiltrate the repair process due to insurers' failure to perform the necessary steps to ensure public safety. CDI had been made aware of defective aftermarket bumper reinforcements, hood latches, and other safety related parts being required by insurers that otherwise were not compliant with current repair standards. CDI had also been made aware of substantial costs borne by automobile repair shops and their customers associated with installing defective or poorly fitting parts required by insurers."

One of the added provisions from the amended document reads, "In the repair of a particular vehicle, an insurer specifying the use of a non-original equipment manufacturer replacement crash part that is not equal to the original equipment manufacturer part in terms of kind, quality, safety, fit and performance, or does not otherwise comply with this section, shall pay for the costs associated with returning the part and the cost to remove and replace the non-original equipment manufacturer part with a compliant non-original equipment manufacturer part or an original equipment manufacturer part."

The CDI says that these amendments will require insurers to pay for costs associated with returning a defective part and the cost to remove and replace said part with a compliant part; require the current insurer's warranty to be expressly stated in the insurer-generated repair estimate; and require an insurer to pay an amount to repair the vehicle to its pre-damage condition in a "good and workmanlike manner," based on the repair standards required for licensed shops under the Bureau of Automotive Repair.

The regulations are expected to go into effect January 30, 2013.

View the full document of amended regulations here.

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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