Miss. Body Shops File Suit Against State Farm
Aug. 29, 2013—The Mississippi Collision Repair Association and more than two dozen body shops are asking a Mississippi court to block State Farm’s use of its PartsTrader electronic parts procurement program, according to a report by the Associated Press.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Hinds County Chancery Court against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and PartsTrader LLC.
According to the report, the lawsuit claims consumers are at risk if State Farm was to require body shops in its direct repair program to use PartsTrader for the purpose of “finding the least expensive parts available to do repairs.” The lawsuit also alleges that the use of PartsTrader could extend the time needed for repairs (due to greater shipping distances) and cause friction in a body shop’s relationships with its customers, the AP said.
Reached for comment by the AP, State Farm spokesperson Roszell Gason said the company was “unaware of any complaint and will have to limit what we can say until there is an opportunity to review it.”
To date, State Farm’s PartsTrader program has not been implemented anywhere in the state of Mississippi. It launched in April of 2012 in five test markets—Tucson, Ariz.; Birmingham, Ala.; Charlotte, N.C.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Chicago. Since then, State Farm has expanded it to include several more metropolitan cities throughout Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.