West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw announced today that Liberty Mutual and Greg Chandler’s Frame & Body in St. Albans will halt their use of “junkyard parts” in repairs of new vehicles.
The terms of the Preliminary Injunction Order with Liberty Mutual and the body shop provide that the defendants will immediately cease repairing vehicles that are three years old or less with salvaged parts until all issues raised in Attorney General McGraw’s complaint are fully resolved. Liberty Mutual also agreed that it would provide the State with a list of all West Virginia consumers whose vehicles were repaired illegally within the last three years using salvaged parts.
“It’s important to notify West Virginians who have been victimized by Liberty Mutual’s unlawful policy,” Attorney General McGraw said. “Consumers likely have no idea their vehicles were repaired with junkyard parts.”
In one case, Kanawha County’s Regina Anderson filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s office in December 2011 after experiencing problems with her 2009 Chevrolet Aveo, which was repaired by the body shop in the fall of 2011. When the vehicle was returned to her after repairs, Anderson noticed “the rear hatch did not line up and there was a gap between the driver’s side hatch and the quarter panel big enough to put my fingers in.”
Anderson reviewed her invoice which showed that “like-kind and quality” parts were used to replace the driver’s side quarter panel. It wasn’t until she saw news coverage about Attorney General McGraw’s lawsuit against Liberty Mutual that she realized her car had been repaired with junkyard parts.
“State law requires insurance companies and body shops to secure a consumer’s written authorization before repairing a new vehicle with salvaged parts,” Attorney General McGraw said. “Liberty Mutual intentionally withheld this material information. Consumers had no notice that their vehicles had not been repaired with new parts.”