SB 986 - Under this act, every motor vehicle physical damage appraiser is required to give each consumer a written estimated price for labor and parts for specific motor vehicle repairs. The physical damage appraiser is required to describe in the estimate the major parts needed for the repair and shall designate whether parts will be new parts, used parts, rebuilt parts, repaired or aftermarket parts. The estimate shall indicate that the physical damage appraiser used a published flat rate manual or an automated system to determine the cost of the repairs. The flat rate manual shall be used in its entirety and without modification to establish the cost of repairing a vehicle.
The act provides that if it is necessary to disassemble a vehicle in order to provide a written estimate, the estimate shall show the cost of any disassembly, diagnostics, storage and administrative fees if the consumer elects not to proceed with the repair of the vehicle.
The estimate shall include the date it was prepared, the vehicle's odometer reading, and its VIN number.
The estimated price quotation shall include the following statement: "You are entitled to a price estimate for the repairs needed to restore your vehicle to a condition similar to the motor vehicle condition prior to the damage or deterioration. You are also entitled by law to select the repair facility of your choice to do the repairs."
Under the act, if it is determined that the estimated price is insufficient due to unforeseen circumstances, the consumer is entitled to full disclosure of the cost of the additional parts or labor subsequent to a complete diagnosis.
The act also provides that a motor vehicle physical damage appraiser shall not exhibit or engage in a pattern or practice of preparing written estimates underestimating the final costs of repairs by more than 10%.
Violations of the act are deemed to be an unlawful practice under the Merchandising Practices Act. Under the act, the attorney general shall have the power to enforce the provisions of the act.