Massachusetts House Reviews Auto-Glass Related Bills
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™ for more details as they become available.

Need more info and analysis about the issues?
CLICK HERE to subscribe to AGRR magazine.