Auto Parts Distributor Files Lawsuit, Declares Replacement Parts Ruling Invalid In California

August 2, 2000

Collision Parts Network, a Fresno auto parts distributor, filed a lawsuit asking a California Supreme Court to declare the 1999 Illinois court decision that resulted in insurers suspending their use of competitive replacement parts in auto repairs invalid in California.

The original court decision, which is now on appeal, prompted State Farm and other insurers to suspend use of the parts until a final verdict is reached. This decision, in turn, reduced competition and drove up the cost of both auto repairs and insurance. California law recognizes the use of replacement parts in repairs. In fact, it is required that the written estimate given to the customer must identify each such part with the name of the manufacturer and distributor, according to Sam Sorich, vice president and western regional manager for the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII).

In addition, the state’s regulations require that the replacement parts be of at least equal “kind, quality, safety, fit and performance” as original manufacturer’s equipment.

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