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New Law Eliminates Car Dealership Mandate

WAMC/Pat Bradley

New York Congressman Bill Owens was at a local car dealership in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning to present a signed copy of a new law eliminating an federal mandate affecting car dealerships.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has required all car dealerships to have the “Relative Collision Insurance Cost Information” booklet available for customers.  It provides potential car buyers information on comparative insurance costs based on ‘damage susceptibility and crashworthiness.’  A bill sponsored by Congressman Bill Owens, a Democrat, was signed into law in January. It eliminates the mandate.  Owens says the  information provided was confusing consumers.

So what is a loss ratio? Congressman Owens explains.

National Automobile Dealers Association Executive Director of Legislative Affairs Michael Harrington says for more than 20 years, the booklet had been sent to dealers, but did not benefit consumers.

Harrington adds that the information had been presented in a clumsy format.

New York State Auto Dealers Association President Bob Vancavage says the new law prevents unnecessary paperwork.

While his sons currently run the dealership, Bill McBride has been active in some measure in car sales for 62 years. He says while the booklet was heavily advertised when it was first produced, no one has ever asked to review it in the 21 years it was distributed.

Credit WAMC/Pat Bradley

Congressman Owens presented Bill McBride, a past chair of the NYS Auto Dealers Association, with a copy of the bill and a presidential pen used to sign it. The Congressman noted that there had been no objections from consumer groups nor insurance companies about the change.