Several consumer groups around the nation are urging California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign Assembly Bill, AB 2825, which is designed to protect California motorists from auto body repair fraud. According to this news report, the legislation has been passed by a strong bipartisan vote and will become California law after Governor Schwarzenegger signs it.
AB 2825 will essentially safeguard consumers from fraudulent businesses that illegally or unethically switch parts, causing financial loss and possibly vehicle safety issues for the consumer. This bill requires a vehicle repair invoice to specify if any used, rebuilt, remanufactured or reconditioned parts are supplied. Current law requires that consumers be provided an itemized written estimate prior to work commencing and a final invoice listing work completed and parts provided. But this AB 2825 also mandates that an automotive repair dealer must attach copies of specified invoices to the estimate for all crash parts installed that are over $50.
Auto repair complaints are among the most widespread categories of consumer grievances. Many of the reported cases involve fraud, according to the Center for Auto Safety, a consumer group that is pushing for this legislation. In California, the insurance industry reportedly pays out $3.2 billion annually for auto collision repairs. That’s an average of $3,000 per claim. In California, with about 1 million traffic accidents occurring every year, the odds are most of us will need collision repair services at some point. It is estimated that 40 percent of California motorists are likely to become victims of vehicle repair fraud.
As an auto accident attorney in the state of California, I welcome this legislation that will hugely benefit consumers and keep fraudulent auto repair businesses in check. I urge Governor Schwarzenegger to support this legislation and give it his stamp of approval.
To view the text of AB 2825, please visit this Web site.