Body shops not to blame for ICBC’s financial issues: ARA

The Automotive Retailers Association is fighting back against accusations levelled against them

Posted by Automotive Retailers Association on Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The president of the B.C. Automotive Retailers Association says his industry refuses to be the scapegoat for the ongoing financial issues within ICBC.

“Our concern is that our industry might be used as a scapegoat, quite frankly, for the escalating costs of ICBC,” says Ken McCormack, president and CEO of the Automotive Retailers Association. “We are not the problem, but we do want to be part of the solution.”

As president of B.C.’s aftermarket automotive repair business, he is calling on the government and ICBC to cut repair costs without sacrificing safety through a number of recommended measures.

The ARA participated in a third-party review of automotive repair, recovery and recycling.

Included in the recommendations are changes to ICBC’s salvage procurement policies to enable access to serviceable ‘like new’ used parts for vehicle repairs.

McCormack says this could dramatically cut repair costs without sacrificing quality or safety.

Responding to news that ICBC has incurred a $1.3 billion deficit, he acknowledges government claims that collision repair costs have risen 30 per cent over the past two years, but contends it is not the fault of the repair industry.

“We have certainly seen a significant increase in the value of those repairs,” notes McCormack, but he says it is not the body shops that are escalating those costs.

“The body shops in this province have little to no pull whatsoever on those costs. Vehicles are getting more expensive. While those costs have increased by 30 per cent, I can assure you it is not the body shops reaping the benefits.”

Related: ICBC in ‘financial dumpster fire’: minister

He says motorists are purchasing more expensive and technologically-advanced vehicles and the parts to repair these vehicles are more expensive.

“The standards and methodology for repairs and replacement of parts for damaged vehicles have been set by manufacturers. Use of high-strength steel and aluminium as well as technology including lane departure warning, automatic braking and adaptive cruise control which continually monitors and, in some cases, controls the vehicle, add to repair costs that collision shops have no control over,” he adds.

The ARA states that collision shops have had to invest heavily in equipment and training to be able to keep up with these technological advances.

“There is a need to find economies outside of the repair shops. They already have low profits and the collision sector has had no substantial increase for the past eight years and it’s been longer than that for rate increases in other sectors including glass, towing and salvage,” McCormack says.

Among other recommendations advanced by the ARA is increased support for industry-led technician certification programs designed to save ICBC money through efficiency and improved cycle times.

“We want to work with ICBC and the government to find solutions that will help ICBC reduce its financial burdens while improving vehicle service availability and quality,” McCormack says.

“We think the economies are there to reduce ICBC’s costs and ensure the future viability and sustainability of our automotive-service sector. ICBC’s policyholders are our customers as well.”

RELATED: ICBC projects deficit of $1.3 billion this year

RELATED: ICBC board members replaced before NDP overhaul

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

U.S. tug firm to be sentenced for 2016 spill in B.C. First Nation’s territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

No delivery services hard on local families

New parents Candace Knudsen and Bjorn Samuelsen spent five weeks away from home

UPDATED: Vehicle strike likely caused death of grizzly cubs

The cubs were discovered on June 30 on Thorsen Creek Road

B.C. to begin increasing coastal log export charges

New fees based on harvest cost, cedar no longer exempt

Three more earthquakes off north and central B.C. coasts

No tsunami or damage reported after the aftershocks in near Bella Bella, Port Hardy and Haida Gwaii

VIDEO: Reports say Lashana Lynch is the new 007

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Bond one last time

Nine kittens and cats rescued after being locked in bins in northern B.C.: SPCA

SPCA says cats were starving, and matted with feces and urine

High-speed rail link would run from Vancouver to Seattle in under 1 hour: study

Annual ridership is projected to exceed three million

ICBC insurance renewals get more complicated this year

Crash history, driver risk prompt more reporting requirements

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Asylum figures show overall slower rate of irregular crossings into Canada

Between January and June 2019, a total of 6,707 asylum seekers crossed irregularly into Canada

Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

Most Read