FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2009
Elizabeth Stelzer (614) 249-1025
Nationwide Insurance to Congress: Support the "Access to Repair Parts Act"
Nationwide Applauds Solution to Looming Car Company Parts Monopoly
WASHINGTON — Today, Nationwide Insurance joined a growing roster of consumer and senior citizen advocates and representatives of the insurance and independent parts industry in support of the "Access to Repair Parts Act," H.R. 3059. Introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-16), the bill would guarantee consumers can choose high-quality, low-cost alternative collision replacement parts when repairing their vehicles. Joining Rep. Lofgren in support of the legislation are original cosponsors Reps. Rick Boucher (VA-9), Steve Cohen (TN-9), William D. Delahunt (MA-10), Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18) and Charles A. Wilson (OH-6). This "repair clause" legislation preserves competition in the automotive replacement parts market, providing money-saving options for budget-conscious consumers and helping to keep insurance rates more affordable in these tough economic times.
Aftermarket competition affords consumers a savings of up to $1.5
billion each year. But recently, the car companies have obtained an
increasing number of design patents on certain crash parts, attempting to
block competitors from producing affordable alternatives. Consumers and
businesses alike will feel the impact of a car company parts monopoly
resulting in fewer choices for customers, higher prices for replacement
parts and pressure on insurance companies that could cause increased
rates. Now more than ever, consumers are eager for lower cost
alternatives to repair their cars.
Nationwide firmly believes customers deserve a choice in the selection of replacement parts used to repair their motor vehicles following an accident. For this reason, Nationwide offers customers an optional Original Equipment endorsement, where allowed, on all covered repairs for as long as the customer owns or leases their vehicle.*
"Nationwide is committed to supporting the 'Access to Repair Parts Act' and the protection it gives to consumers and the aftermarket industry," said Terry Fortner Nationwide vice president of Claims. "Without a permanent legislative change to design patent law, consumers are left at a clear disadvantage and open market price competition is jeopardized."
Rep. Lofgren understands the serious need for competition in the
automotive aftermarket, and in the previous Congress, introduced similar
repair clause legislation, H.R. 5638. Co-sponsors of the bill included
Representatives Rick Boucher (VA-9), Charles A. Wilson (OH-6), Sheila
Jackson-Lee (TX-18), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Steve Cohen (TN-9),
William D. Delahunt (MA-10) and G.K. Butterfield (NC-1), underscoring the
need for repair clause legislation.
A broad coalition of consumer and business groups supported H.R. 5638. Members of this diverse roster included, among others: Advocates for Auto and Highway Safety, American Insurance Association, Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, Automotive Body Parts Association, Center for Auto Safety, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Public Citizen, Quality Parts Coalition, and the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality.
Nationwide Insurance, a member of the Quality Parts Coalition, has been working alongside fellow "repair clause" advocates to secure this permanent legislative change to U.S. design patent law. For more information about the Quality Parts Coalition, visit www.qualitypartscoalition.com.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by A.M. Best. The company provides a full range of personalized insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
Nationwide, the Nationwide Framemark and On Your Side are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.
*Subject to certain policy terms and conditions.