Massachusetts House Reviews Auto-Glass Related
December 1, 2010
The Massachusetts House of Representatives' House Committee on
Ways and Means currently is reviewing a bill that is designed to
identify certain tactics that are considered "unfair or deceptive
acts or practices for the purpose of inducing a person to use a
particular motor vehicle glass repair shop to provide motor vehicle
glass services." In addition, just this month the House announced
that the bill now accompanies H5080
, which addresses
motor vehicle glass repair shop registration and requirements
for registered auto glass shops.
"The committee on Ways and Means to whom were referred the
bill relative to motor vehicle glass repair shop registration (House
No. 883) and the bill relating to consumer protection in motor vehicle
glass service (House No. 4538) reports recommending that the accompanying
bill (House, No. 5080) ought to pass," writes the Committee
in its recent report on H5080.
Among the items identified as deceptive acts or practices in the
anti-steering bill (H4358), are the following:
- engaging in any act or practice designed to intimidate, threaten
or coerce any person to use, or for having used, a particular
auto glass shop;
- requiring that an insured use a particular shop after the insured
as identified a particular registered auto glass shop as "their
shop of choice;"
- assigning or dispatching work to a different shop than the consumer
originally requested "without the knowledge and consent of
the insured;" and
- using coercion or intimidation to cause appraisals or repairs
to be made or not made at a specific auto glass repair facility.
If passed, companies that violate the law could incur fines of
$1,000 to $5,000 per incident; according to the bill
language, the language applies to both third-party administrators
and insurers, as does the fine.
The accompanying glass shop registration bill, H5080, sponsored
by Rep. Thomas Conroy, would make it illegal for any person "to
engage in motor vehicle glass repair unless such person is registered
as a motor vehicle glass repair shop under this chapter."
It would also require that shops have a physical place of business
within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts "at which it has indoor
facilities to perform motor vehicle glass repair services, or from
which it would lawfully dispatch mobile service vans." Likewise,
mobile service vans would be required to be "commercial vehicle[s]
properly registered and insured in the Commonwealth."
The bill also includes several record-keeping requirements, including
records that would show "the usage of all glass parts, major
accessory parts including mouldings and major hardware component
parts, and the adhesive system used in the motor vehicle glass repair."
"Such adhesive system record shall include the brand, product
number or name, lot and batch numbers for the product used, and
shall be maintained for as long as the vehicle is known to be in
operation," reads the bill. Evidence of the record-keeping
system would be required of those applying to become registered
auto glass repair shops.
The bill also would require that registered auto glass shops "advise
the consumer of post-repair practices that may be necessary to insure
safe operation of the vehicle."
The positive report by the Ways and Means Committee was issued
on November 18. Stay tuned to glassBYTEs.com for more details
as they become available.
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