by Bob Bissler
Senior Editor, BodyShop Business
BEDFORD, TX — The Automotive Service Association (ASA) and its Chief Staff Executive Ron Pyle played a significant role in two CBS programs that addressed the issue of insurer-owned body shops. Pyle was recently interviewed at ASA’s headquarters in Bedford, Texas, and appeared Wednesday, Feb. 11, on the “CBS Evening News” during its “Eye on America” segment. On Thursday, Feb. 12, Pyle provided follow-up coverage on this issue when he was interviewed again by CBS during an appearance on “The Early Show.”
“ASA opposes insurance companies having an ownership interest in automotive repair facilities and views such interest as being in direct conflict with consumers’ right to choose,” said Pyle. “Placing this issue in the national spotlight can only be beneficial to independent repairers and the consumers they serve.”
In the “Eye On America” segment, a CBS reporter covered the story of California’s Caliber Collision Centers, which has been under fire by California’s Bureau of Automotive Repair and the state attorney general for performing work that they deemed “grossly negligent.” Pyle addressed what critics call a colossal conflict of interest – that Caliber is owned by a group of insurance companies.
“The folks in that facility actually work for the insurance companies. I think the consumer is not served by that,” Pyle said during the segment.
On “The Early Show,” Pyle gave advice on finding a technician after a car collision. He said an insurance company owning a car-repair facility can result in the customer receiving bad service and inferior replacement parts. Pyle also said car owners have rights when getting routine maintenance repairs, too.
Pyle discussed what questions car owners should ask insurance companies after they’ve been involved in a collision, including: May I choose any repair shop? How can I be sure that you’re going to repair my vehicle with quality parts?
The show also featured ASA’s recommendations on how to follow simple and inexpensive preventive checks for car owners to maintain their cars.
The segments were part of CBS’s “Taking Advantage” series, jointly presented by the “CBS Evening News” and “The Early Show.”
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