1998 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) White (29th)
Senate Bill 2984
AN ACT TO REQUIRE DISCLOSURE TO MOTOR VEHICLE OWNERS OF INFORMATION ON CERTAIN REPLACEMENT CRASH PARTS FOR REPAIRS TO THEIR MOTOR VEHICLES AND TO PREVENT BOTH MOTOR VEHICLE BODY SHOPS AND INSURANCE COMPANIES FROM REQUIRING THE USE OF AFTERMARKET CRASH PARTS FOR REPAIR WITHOUT THE OWNER'S CONSENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The Legislature hereby finds and declares as a matter of public policy that the purposes of this article are to require disclosure to motor vehicle owners of information on certain replacement crash parts for repairs to their motor vehicles and to prevent both motor vehicle body shops and insurance companies from requiring the use of aftermarket crash parts for repair unless the motor vehicle owner consents in writing at the time of the repair.
(2) Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meaning defined:
(a) "Aftermarket crash parts" means crash parts:
(i) Manufactured by a person other than the original manufacturer of the motor vehicle to be repaired; and
(ii) For which the original manufacturer of the motor vehicle has not authorized the use of its name or trademark by the manufacturer of the crash parts.
(b) "Crash parts" means exterior or interior parts made of sheet metal, plastic, fiberglass, or similar materials that form the superstructure or body of a motor vehicle, included but not limited to, frames, frame rails, fenders, bumpers, bumper covers, cowls, glass, quarter panels, door panels, hatchbacks, trunk and deck lids, T-tops, sunroofs, moonroofs, astro roofs, cabs, cab clips, hoods, grills, fire walls, permanent roofs, floors, wheel, wheel covers, seats, seat tracks, seat belts, air bags, radiators, radiator supports, and front and rear lamps and lamps display panels.
(c) "Genuine crash parts" means crash parts:
(i) Manufactured by or for the original manufacturer of the motor vehicle to be repaired; and
(ii) That are authorized to carry the name or trademark of the original manufacturer of the motor vehicle.
(d) "Motor vehicle" shall be defined according to existing Mississippi codes.
(e) "Motor vehicle body shop" means any person or business establishment that removes, replaces, reconditions, or repairs crash parts.
(3) For all motor vehicles requiring repair by motor vehicle body shops in the year of their manufacture or in the two (2) succeeding years thereafter, motor vehicle body shops must use genuine crash parts sufficient to maintain the manufacturer's warranty for fit, finish, structural integrity, corrosion resistance, dent resistance and crash performance unless the motor vehicle owner consents in writing at the time of repair to the use of aftermarket or imitation crash parts. No insurance company may require the use of aftermarket crash parts when negotiating repairs of the motor vehicle with any repairer for a period of three (3) years: the year the motor vehicle was manufactured and the two (2) succeeding years thereafter, unless the motor vehicle owner consents in writing at the time of the repair to the use of aftermarket or imitation crash parts with the repair facility. The aftermarket parts must be deemed equal in fit form and function to its OEM counterpart and must meet all federal and state safety standards.
(4) Notices and written statements to be provided to vehicle owner.
(a) Effective after this bill is put into law, before beginning repair work on crash parts, a motor vehicle body shop shall:
(i) Provide a list to the vehicle owner of the replacement crash parts that the body shop intends to use in making repairs;
(ii) Specify whether the replacement parts are genuine crash parts; and
(iii) Identify the manufacturer of the parts if the replacement parts are aftermarket crash parts.
(b) If the replacement parts to be used by the body shop in the repair work are aftermarket crash parts, the body shop shall include with its estimate the following written statement: "THIS ESTIMATE HAS BEEN PREPARED BASED ON THE USE OF AFTERMARKET CRASH PARTS THAT ARE NOT MANUFACTURED BY THE ORIGINAL MANUFACTURER OF THE VEHICLE OR BY A MANUFACTURER AUTHORIZED BY THE ORIGINAL MANUFACTURER TO USE ITS NAME OR TRADEMARK. THE USE OF AN AFTERMARKET CRASH PART MAY INVALIDATE ANY REMAINING WARRANTIES OF THE ORIGINAL MANUFACTURER ON THAT CRASH PART OR PARTS ASSOCIATED WITH THAT CRASH PART INCLUDING ENGINE COMPONENTS THAT FAIL DUE TO THE USE OF A CRASH PART INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO COOLING SYSTEM COMPONENTS."
(c) The notices and statements required under this section shall be made in writing in a clear and conspicuous manner on a separate piece of paper in ten-point capital type.
(5) This act does not:
(a) Prohibit a person from filing an action for damages against a body shop; or
(b) Require a person first to exhaust any administrative remedy he may have.
(6) A violation of this act is an unfair or deceptive act or practice and is subject to the enforcement and penalty provisions contained under applicable state laws.
(7) No insurance company or its representatives shall:
(a) Require, imply or give incentives that any insured or claimant must have a vehicle repaired at any certain repair facility.
(b) Subject any insured or claimant to a lesser quality of service because of any other program it may offer.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.