In late January, ARA submitted a memo of opposition regarding legislation currently being debated in the Hawaii state legislature that could have a harmful impact on the utilization of recycled OEM automotive parts in the state. House Bill 1620 focuses on the fees passed on to vehicle owners by insurance companies when consumers elect to use new OEM parts rather than other replacement parts options, like recycled or aftermarket. The legislation would prohibit such fees in any instance where the auto manufacturer recommends that only new OEM parts be used for repair work. Current state statute prohibits such fees when required by the manufacturer and by watering down that language to instances when the manufacturer simply recommends new OEM parts be used over other replacement part options, H.R. 1620 sets a dangerous precedent.
The bill was debated by members of the Hawaii House Intrastate Commerce Committee which ultimately recommended that a task force instead be convened to study the issue. The state’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs would oversee the proposed task force, which would be comprised of various stakeholders from the insurance, repair, and replacement parts industries.
ARA’s memo of opposition was referenced by the Committee Chairman during the January 31, 2018 hearing. The state’s Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito also testified in opposition stating that his office couldn’t see any “obvious benefit to consumers” and that consumers were adequately protected under current law. The text of House Bill 1620 now proposes the creation of a Vehicle Repair Practices Task Force.