by Seth Maiman
AGSC Director, Public Affairs
Most state legislatures have concluded their legislative business for 2020 with many legislative sessions delayed, curtailed or halted due to the coronavirus.
In Connecticut, the only state in the nation that licenses auto glass technicians, AGSC opposed a failed effort to create an emergency license that would have allowed companies to hire up to 15 unlicensed auto glass technicians during a disaster. AGSC joined the Connecticut Auto Glass Dealers Association in expressing concern that the bill would allow unlicensed technicians who had not completed the state’s stringent training requirements to perform auto glass work.
AGSC also supported state legislative efforts to address Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) calibrations and ensure that they are performed in a safe and proper manner.
Utah enacted legislation that included provisions requiring auto glass service providers that work on an ADAS equipped vehicle to inform the customer, prior to performing work, whether a calibration is necessary and will be performed, provide an itemized description of the work and the amount of the repair that will be covered by the insurer. Auto glass companies are required to meet or exceed the original manufacturer’s specifications but are not limited to tooling or equipment dictated or recommended by the manufacturer’s procedures or specifications. If the calibration is not performed or is not completed successfully, auto glass service providers must inform the customer that the vehicle should be taken to the manufacturer’s certified repair shop or other qualified repair shop for proper calibration and repair. Insurers may not be required to pay more than a fair and competitive price for the local market area. The bill also prohibits anyone with actual knowledge that the ADAS is inoperable or requires calibration to sell the vehicle.
The New Hampshire House passed long debated legislation but it was put aside in the Senate amid the virus-curtailed session. The bill was an updated version of legislation that passed the legislature the previous year but was vetoed by the New Hampshire Governor. It would have made it an unfair insurance practice for an insurer to knowingly fail to pay a claim when the vehicle was repaired in conformance with applicable manufacturer’s recommendations or specifications. It included requirements that auto glass service providers give certain information to consumers and the repairer’s right to use their own tools and equipment if they meet or exceed Original Equipment Manufacturer recommendations. The New Hampshire House added a rebuttable presumption that manufacturer recommendations for scans and calibrations are necessary for vehicle safety and for restoration of a vehicle to its pre-loss condition. The legislative proposal is likely to be addressed again in the 2021 New Hampshire legislative session.
AGSC is also supporting a Right to Repair Ballot Initiative in Massachusetts that updates present law to require that internal vehicle repair data is available to independent repair facilities so car owners are not forced to go to manufacturer’s dealers for repairs.