Auto Insurance Lawsuits Claim Body Shops Forced To Use Aftermarket Parts

by Martin Arguello

Auto repair shops across the country have filed auto insurance lawsuits claiming that carriers have forced them to use aftermarket parts for their repairs. A report from a Boston TV station showed that auto body shops in 19 states have filed auto insurance lawsuits against numerous insurance providers. The report also found that these auto insurance lawsuits against insurance providers could spread across as many as 36 states, from Massachusetts to California.

Details of Auto Insurance Lawsuits

These auto insurance lawsuits allege that the carriers will only compensate the shops for aftermarket parts, which often do not meet the same safety standards as brand-new parts from the manufacturer. The body shops must then choose between installing the potentially dangerous aftermarket parts, or installing the new parts and passing the difference on to the customer. The auto insurance lawsuits also allege that the insurance providers’ referral programs emphasize price and speed of repairs, rather than the quality of the parts and labor.

Auto Insurance Lawsuit Example

An example of the behavior that prompted the auto insurance lawsuits comes from a Boston-area body shop. The driver of a 2010 Toyota Corolla took her car to a shop on her insurance provider’s “preferred” list. She later took her car to a more established shop and found that the parts installed by the “preferred” shop were aftermarket parts. The shop owner informed her that the parts were attached with glue, rather than spot welds, and that the replacement parts had not been crash-tested by the manufacturer.

Auto Insurance Lawsuit: Customer as “Crash Dummy”

Rob DelGallo, owner of a Boston-based auto repair shop, also cited some of the behavior that prompted so many auto insurance lawsuits from his peers. “They want (repairs) the cheapest way possible,” Mr. DelGallo told a Boston TV station. He also stated that the use of aftermarket parts by preferred body shops, as alleged in the auto insurance lawsuits, are often not crash-tested. He said that the insistence on the use of such parts by insurance companies implies that “they (insurance companies) want you to be the crash dummy.”

Carriers Refute Auto Insurance Lawsuit Claims

A spokesperson for the insurance industry denies the claims set forth in the auto insurance lawsuits. Paul Tetrault, an attorney for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, told a Boston TV station that insurers insist on aftermarket parts as a means to keep prices low for their customers. He refutes the allegations made in the auto insurance lawsuits about the carriers’ disregard for drivers’ safety. “The insurance company,” he said, “has no interest in having an unsafe vehicle on the road.”

Source: WCVB-TV

Get Answers For Your Auto Insurance Lawsuit Questions

To find out how we can answer your questions about auto insurance lawsuits, contact one of our attorneys today. Our intake team will take down the details of your case and quickly connect you to an attorney who understands how to get the most from your auto insurance lawsuit. You can also fill out the “Confidential Evaluation” form at the top of this page.

NOTE: This blog post is a news story and is not an endorsement of Arguello Law Firm by any party mentioned herein.

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