ARA Testifies Against Legislation Targeting Used Parts
ARA President Scott Robertson and Association Executive Director Sandy Blalock joined several Rhode Island automotive recyclers in testifying against harmful legislation in the state that would place severe limitations on the utilization of ROE – Recycled Original Equipment® auto parts. Senate Bill 869 and its companion, House Bill 6325, were introduced in early May and propose several discriminatory and baseless restrictions on the utilization of ROE parts for automotive repairs in Rhode Island. Restrictions such as requiring that the used part be sourced within a 50-mile radius of a location that is not specified in the bills.
Blalock’s testimony both before the House Corporations Committee on May 20th and the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 3rd pointed out that one might interpret the point of origin as the center of Rhode Island, which measures 48 miles north to south and 37 miles east to west. Therefore, the bill could very easily be interpreted as an outright ban on the use of used repair parts from any entity outside of Rhode Island. Discriminating against forms of commerce from other states and only permitting insurers to source used parts from businesses within Rhode Island is a violation of interstate commerce law.
Another proposed limitation put forward in the bills would limit a vehicle owner’s choice to used OEM parts harvested from a vehicle of the same year or newer. Blalock testified that this is impractical and demonstrates a lack of understanding about the many replacement part options available to vehicle owners today. ROE – Recycled Original Equipment® parts in the same vehicle model series should always be allowed. For many used parts the mileage of the vehicle from which the part was disassembled has no bearing on the functionality or condition of the part, such as body or cosmetic components. Using real-life examples from her own vehicle history, Blalock asked why good, quality parts from the same model series should be excluded from consideration in vehicle repair.
ARA President Scott Robertson focused on the positive environmental impact that the industry has and fielded multiple questions from interested members of the House and Senate Committee members. Robertson referenced the 2017 study by Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts that measured the environmental impact the automobile recycling industry had in Massachusetts. WPI’s study verified that auto recycling is carbon negative and reduced Massachusetts carbon footprint. Robertson also pointed out that on April 10, 2021, Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee signed the Act on Climate into law, environmental legislation with the goal of reaching climate emissions to net zero in 2050. He emphasized that if passed, the restrictions on used auto parts outlined in SB 869/HB 6325 will increase the carbon footprint of every automotive repair performed in Rhode Island – the exact opposite of what was signed into law with the Act on Climate.
Several members of the Automotive Recyclers Association of Rhode Island, an ARA affiliate chapter, testified and engaged in focused grassroots action by placing phone calls and sending emails to their state legislators about the bills.
While the intent of this legislation may be to ensure a safe and quality repair, it demonstrates a lack of understanding about the sophisticated quality control processes that many professional automotive recycling facilities employ to ensure that the used parts they provide meet the grade and condition requirements that their body shop customers have come to expect. ARA and ARA-RI are continuing to work with stakeholders to vigorously oppose the bills.
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All Auto Parts, Inc.
Assured Auto Parts
TDA Metals LLC
New Open Groups Added to MyARA Online Community
You might still be wondering: “What exactly can I do in this online space?” ARA recently added several new open discussion groups for family-owned business, certified automotive recyclers, the Ladies of Automotive Recyclers Association (LARA), facility owners, and more. These groups are open to all members and here are just a few of the ways you can participate:
• Ask Questions of Your Peers. Start discussions with fellow ARA members by creating posts that your peers can provide their thoughts on.
• Share Important Resources. Have a document that you think others in the community would benefit from? The online community is a perfect place to share it.
• Get and Give Answers. See a question that you know the answer to?
You can use the ARA community to provide your thoughts! Access the platform via the MyARA button on the ARA homepage.
Join these groups or create a new one!
Right to Repair Trial Concludes in Massachusetts
As ARA members will recall, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot measure in November 2020 that would provide vehicle owners with broader access to and control of the diagnostic and repair for their vehicle, including telematics information. The ballot was approved by a 75-25 percent margin. The vehicle manufacturers trade group, Alliance for Automotive Innovation, promptly filed a lawsuit in Federal Court to overturn the ballot question citing cyber security concerns, insufficient time to comply with the data access requirements for model year 2022, as well as the argument that the ballot initiative is preempted by federal law. The trial began in Federal Court mid-June.
Aaron Lowe, Auto Care Association senior vice president of regulatory and government affairs, testified during the trial that the technology needed to ensure the cyber-secure transmission of data already exists, and the implementation of the new law was critical to the future of the independent auto care industry. He explained that failure to allow car owners to control their own data will mean that manufacturers will become the gatekeepers, providing them with the ability to determine who repairs vehicles. Lowe testified that the law was crucial to ensuring that consumers continue to have a choice on where they have their vehicles repaired.
ARA and many others in the automotive aftermarket industry as well as consumer advocates will be closely monitoring developments. ARA has been a member of the Right to Repair Coalition for several years.
ARA Summer Membership Drive: Together We Succeed, July 1 – September 1
ARA members know that being part of this Association is an investment in your future. Whether it be the access to up-to-date safety and environmental resources, unparalleled educational opportunities, mentorship and networking, advocacy at the local, state and federal level, or exclusive business solutions and savings, the benefits available to ARA members are designed to help grow and protect your business.
With ARA’s year-over-year membership renewal retention rate of consistently 90 to 95 percent, ARA leaders and staff thank YOU for your continued involvement. This summer, we are asking for your help in spreading the word about ARA!
Beginning July 1, ARA is launching a membership drive with amazing raffle prizes available to those who sign up the most new members. Have a colleague that’s not yet an ARA member? Get him or her to join as a member and you’ll be entered into the raffle!
• A Complimentary Annual Convention Registration
• One Year of Association Dues
• A Grand Prize of a $1,000 Gift Card.
Sign up as many new members* as you can for additional raffle entries and increase your chances of winning.
*You must notify ARA Director of Member Services, Kelly Badillo, of your referral in order to receive raffle entries. Please encourage your referral to list your name in the Sponsor field of the membership application.
Advocating for ROE Parts as Average Age of Vehicles in Operation Increases to 12.1 Years
ARA issued a press release in June calling on vehicle owners, repair facilities and insurance companies to increase utilization of ROE – Recycled Original Equipment® automotive parts as the average age of light vehicles in operation rises to 12.1 years.
In response to new research from IHS Market, a research firm that delivers an annual report on the age of vehicles on the road in the United States, ARA Executive Director, Sandy Blalock took the opportunity to remind consumers that they have a choice when it comes to how their vehicle is repaired. “The age of vehicles on the road is at an historic high, increasing from 11.9 years in 2020. Professional automotive recyclers play a vital role in keeping these vehicles in road worthy condition,” stated Blalock. IHS cites the impact of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting reduction in new vehicle sales as well as an increase in vehicle scrappage as primary factors in driving up the average age of light vehicles. The shortage of new cars and increasing value of used cars presents an opportunity for the recycled parts market.
“ROE parts can meet the demand for quality, safe replacement parts as these older vehicles are maintained,” said ARA President, Scott Robertson Jr. “In many cases, new OEM parts may not be available either because the automaker stopped manufacturing the parts or disruptions in the supply chain linger. Even before COVID, the average age of vehicles on the road has been trending up. Every day over 500,000 ROE parts are sold to consumers who want to protect the residual value of their vehicle. ROE parts are the smart choice in today’s replacement parts market.”
Recycled Parts Promotional Flyer for Collision Repairers
Are you looking for resources to use when promoting your business to local collision repairers? ARA supports ARA member businesses in their important role in today’s vehicle supply chain as the best choice for replacement parts
in the competitive collision and mechanical repairs marketplace. Download this informational flyer for your customers to better understand the importance of automotive recycling in collision repairs. The flyer is also available on this page of the ARA website: www.a-r-a.org/auto-recycling-in-collision-repair.html.
Have You Visited the MyARA Savings Marketplace Yet?
You can save BIG on everyday products and services for your business simply by belonging to ARA! Access the MyARA Savings Marketplace right on the ARA homepage which offers a wide range of discounts to help save you money. Some of the programs most popular with ARA members include ADP, Staples and Unifirst.
For a complete list of discounts and information on how to enroll, please visit the MyARA Savings Marketplace. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for member testimonials telling you how easy it was, and is, to save!
ARAU Featured Webinar Added – HR: Finding and Developing the Right People
Are you attracting the right people? And if you are, are they staying? Or do you find that you have untapped talent around you that is simply waiting to be developed? Regardless of your answers to these questions, this session is for you. Together, let us uncover the basics of finding and developing the right talent. You will hear from three well-known recyclers, Shannon Nordstrom, Nordstrom’s Automotive, Dan Snyder, Snyder’s Recycled Auto and Truck Parts & Wrench -A- Part and Ryan Falco, Midway Auto Parts, Inc. Each owner will describe challenges they have faced in this area and the actions they continue to take to find and develop the right people. Additionally, Rietje Lulsdorf, HR Coordinator for United Catalyst Corporation will share basic principles, tools, and resources to ensure you walk away from this session knowing which war on talent you are fighting and how to ensure you win.
This informative session is available NOW on ARA University: https://arauniversity.org/resources/industry-training/.