Volume 34, Number 5, May 1999

 

USGAuto NEWS

AGRSS Committee Approves Third Draft

The Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standards Committee (AGRSS) has approved the third draft of the Auto Glass Replacement Standards. The draft was approved by committee vote, including 17 affirmatives, two abstentions and one negative, according to Dean Mieske, AGRSS chair.

The draft has been submitted to ANSI to begin the approval process. ANSI will post a notice for public comment on the draft standard in their newsletter at www.ANSI.org. Once the comment period is completed, the committee will respond and, if necessary, refine the standards, according to Mieske.

Harmful Insurance Regulations Proposed in Pennsylvania and Minnesota

Senate Resolution number 35 which would limit the consumer’s right to choose glass shops has been proposed, according to Sam McEwen president of the Pennsylvania Glass Association. The bill proposes that if insurers provide the names of two companies yet the consumer has a different company do the repairs, he may be responsible for any difference in cost. The bill would also approve the use of Like Kind Quality parts, meaning, as long as the part carries the same or better warranty than the OEM part, it may be used. Finally, the "Operational Safety" of the motor vehicle shall be paramount especially when the parts involved pertain to the drive train, steering gear, suspension units, break systems or tires.

According to the National Automotive Glass Consultants newsletter, the Right to Choose bill in Minnesota is also under scrutiny. Proposed changes would affect which vendors could be used and the definition of reasonable costs. According to the proposed changes, "‘Reasonable costs’ means the reasonable costs generally available in the area for the repair or replacement of comparable motor vehicle glass and does not include incentives, inducements, or rebates offered by or through the glass vendor."

The bill did not meet the committee deadline, so it will not be heard during this year’s session of the House and Senate, according to Eric Ewald, executive director of the Minnesota Glass Association. The bill will be proposed again next year, said Ewald.

Auto Insurance Legislation Reintroduced in New York

According to the New York State Glass Association (NYSGA) based in Albany, NY, two bills have been introduced in the New York legislature that would allow insurers operating in New York to offer a new type of automobile insurance policy. Insurers would be allowed to mandate the use of repair shops in exchange for an unspecified reduction in collision and comprehensive premiums. Bill A.229 would allow managed care polices for insurance for all vehicle repairs, and bills S.1559/A.2602 would allow managed care policies for auto glass insurance only.

Both bills are threats to the glass and collision industries because under S.1559/A.2602, insurers would be allowed to mandate vendors for the glass portion of a claim requiring glass and body work, according to the NYSGA.

More ABRA-cadabra

ABRA Auto Body and Glass of Minneapolis, recently acquired Pulera Collision Center of Kenosha, WI, and High Country Auto Body of Wheat Ridge, CO. According to the company, these two collision facilities generate combined annual sales in excess of $6 million. Pulera Collision Center, formerly owned by Randy Pulera, becomes the eighth ABRA Auto Body and Glass facility in the state of Wisconsin. "Joining with ABRA allows Pulera Collision Center to further enhance its quality and customer service. ABRA can also provide growth opportunity and security for my employees," explained Pulera. High Country Auto Body brings ABRA Auto Body and Glass to a total of six locations in the Denver market.


USG

Copyright 1999 Key Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.