Illinois legislators are thinking about an invoice that would require OEM specifications that must be followed in collision repairs, glass replacement and advanced driver assistance system calibration covered by insurance.
The bill, HB4719, provides add new provisions to Section 155.29 from the state’s Insurance Code, which currently requires insurers to notify customers in writing when an aftermarket part will be utilized in a repair. It had been filed by Democratic state Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez on Jan. 27, and referred to the guidelines Committee.
The bill states that no insurer can require repair specifications that do not meet or exceed the OEM’s repair specifications “for those [aftermarket] parts within the repair of an insured’s motor vehicle.”
Brian P. Wojcicki, executive director of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Illinois , explained that the bill is supposed to put the concentrate on the the repair and just how the repair is done, rather than the parts.
It is different from past unsuccessful bills that known OEM procedures, many of which address the acceptability of non-OEM parts. The main focus on procedures drew objections from “a few of the stakeholders,” Wojcicki said.
He noted that Illinois law already spells out that all collision repair parts used must be “a minimum of equal in like kind and quality to the original part when it comes to fit, quality and gratifaction.” This bill would not change that.
It stipulates the utilization of OEM parts is not required, “if the repair parts used are identified and disclosed pursuant to this Section.”
Exceptions towards the specifications requirement would be produced in cases “that unreasonably restrict access to a repair facility.”
The bill would also add requirements that OEM specifications be followed for glass replacement, and for ADAS calibration.
“In the past, concerns were also raised concerning the inclusion of glass repair in the legislation; however, OEM repair specifications, including ADAS calibration, are extremely applicable to glass repair so are also included within the guidelines being sought within the legislation,” Wojcicki said.
“AASP Illinois supports House Bill 4719 and its recognition from the importance of OEM repair procedures, including ADAS calibration,” he explained. “Hopefully to assist bring industry stakeholders together in the coming months to find common ground on necessary updates to Illinois law to be able to promote repair best practices and consumer safety.”
The approach would seemingly address past opposition through the alternative parts industry which has partially resulted in unsuccessful OEM procedure bills filed in a number of state houses in recent years. Automotive Recyclers Association Executive Director Sandy Blalock has said the obstacle has been that OEM documents contain language objecting to non-OEM parts.
“If we get somewhere where that language isn't there ,” it may be possible to possess a discussion about legislation, Blalock said during a virtual Nov. 10, 2022 Collision Industry Conference panel. But as long as automakers continue to have statements declaring “it's not wise to begin using these parts” or that they “do not recommend” the components, “there's gonna be a problem for us in the industry,” she said.
The CIC panel’s focus had been what's been a largely unsuccessful series of attempts by body shop and OEMs to make use of state regulations to advertise OEM repair procedures.
A conditional approach proved to be successful in Rhode Island. Under a law that took effect July 1, 2022, Insurers may no longer ask an accident repairer to deviate from OEM repair procedures “hen 'OEM part' are utilized.”
The original wording “sent the aftermarket part world into overdrive,” panelist Jina Petrarca-Karampetsos, of Auto Body Association of Rhode Island, said in the CIC session. Parts retailers first viewed it as imposing as a blanket prohibition on their own components, as OEM procedures dictate OEM parts, she said.
The original Rhode Island bill stated, “No insurance provider may require any repairer to use repair specifications or procedures that aren't in compliance using the recommendations from the original equipment manufacturer for those parts.”
The final version instead stated, “When 'OEM part are used within the repair of the motor vehicle, no insurance provider may require any repairer to use repair procedures that are not in compliance with the recommendations of the original equipment manufacturer.”