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AASP-MN Seeks Legal Action to Prevent PartsTrader Implementation

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Oct. 7, 2013—The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) has filed a formal complaint with the Minnesota Department of Commerce requesting administrative and legal action to prevent State Farm Insurance from mandating that Minnesota body shops use its Web-based electronic parts procurement system through PartsTrader, the organization announced Monday.

AASP-MN said its complaint and request for relief is based on State Farm’s alleged violation of Minnesota statute 72B.092, subd. 1(6).  The provision, which was enacted in 2007, prohibits insurers from specifying “the use of a particular vendor for the procurement of parts or other materials necessary for the satisfactory repair of the vehicle,” according to AASP-MN.

AASP-MN’s complaint states that the mandated use of PartsTrader restricts market options for parts procurement, and should be prohibited as intended by the legislature.  

“For over a year, AASP-MN has corresponded and met with Department of Commerce officials to express concerns regarding the mandated use of PartsTrader in other states.  Until State Farm indicated its intention to implement PartsTrader in Minnesota, the Department was reluctant to act,” AASP-MN said. “Now that State Farm is rolling out the system in Minnesota, the issue is ripe for the Department of Commerce to address.”

AASP-MN is also pursuing the PartsTrader issue with the Office of the Attorney General. The organization said information has been transmitted to the appropriate officials to request that they work with the Department of Commerce to prohibit the implementation of PartsTrader as a violation of the Minnesota statute. 

In addition, AASP-MN said it has consulted with legal counsel to identify possible causes of action that could be brought before a court. 

“In May of 2012, AASP was among the first industry associations to go on record stating that State Farm’s newly-mandated bidding process for parts procurement was an unprecedented and uninvited intrusion into the business of collision repair,” AASP-MN said. “AASP-MN’s efforts reinforce that position and are intended to protect the interests of the collision repair industry and give voice to its concerns.”

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