By demanding that automobile repair and body shops use cheaper and less reliable replacement parts after collisions, are automobile insurance companies bringing down the best repair shops to the level of the worst ones?
That was the basic question asked by a recent article in the Dallas Morning News. Every driver should read this article and respond appropriately. Do we really want insurance companies making our vehicles less safe after wrecks than they could be if repaired by a good body shop? Here is one excerpt from the article:
More than 500 shops across the country have joined a lawsuit against the nation’s top insurance companies, contending that insurers send consumers to shops that spend a minimum to fix vehicles — and fail to restore them to their pre-accident condition. The Texas group and its dealers haven’t joined that suit so far.
And U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., recently urged the Department of Justice to investigate the collision repair business because much of the work is being done with after-market or used parts that could affect safety.
Honda crash-tested a vehicle with after-market parts on it and found that the parts — which are often lighter than original pieces — affected the timing of air-bag deployment.
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