- Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
- Division of Standards
Media Contact for Delinquent Auto Body Shops Brought Into Compliance
Jacqueline Horigan, Public Outreach
Boston — Today, the Division of Standards (Division), a regulatory agency under the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, announced targeted inspections of 69 auto body repair shops found almost half operating without a valid registration.
In June and July, compliance officers from the Division conducted inspections of damage repair shops that were identified for failing to renew their registration. As a result of these inspections, 31 shops obtained proper registration status, including five that were issued stop work orders. The division collected nearly $14,000 in registration fees, which will support the enforcement program.
“Consumers should have assurances that the damage repair shop where they bring their car is duly registered and abiding by state laws,” said John Chapman, Undersecretary for the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. “Unregistered damage repair shops do not have the same consumer protections as their registered competitors in the event of an incomplete or poorly performed repair. Today’s announcement underscores our commitment to consumer protection across the Commonwealth.”
“It’s important for the industry that all shops are operating on a level playing field. These inspections are a reminder for all damage repair shops. If shops are not complying with the registration requirement, they should expect enforcement actions from the Division,” said Charles Carroll, interim Director of the Division of Standards. “Consumer protection is our top priority, and we will continue working with auto body shops across Massachusetts to ensure they are properly registered. We encourage consumers to reach out to our office with any concerns and always check they are working with a registered auto body damage repair shop.”
The inspection also found 39 shops were no longer operating and seven were no longer performing damage repair. Damage repair is generally defined as repairs due to vandalism, theft, fire or collision.
Auto body repair shop registrations are valid for three years. The fee for registration is $450. To be eligible for registration, repair shops must also obtain a $10,000 bond, provide the Division with a copy of its workmen’s compensation insurance policy, and have a licensed appraiser on staff.
The primary mission of the Division of Standards is to provide uniformity in the marketplace by enforcing standard accuracy requirements for commercial devices used in the weighing or measuring of any item sold by weight, measure or count. The Division also regulates the licensing of hawkers and peddlers, auctioneers, retailers of oil and motor fuel, transient vendors and event promoters.
The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for all Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s vehicular and customized wheelchair Lemon Law Arbitration Programs, data breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Program, and the state’s Do Not Call Registry. Follow the office at its blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter @Mass Consumer.