In November 2013, state Sen. Joe Uecker (R-14) introduced Ohio Senate Bill 232, a bill to level the playing field for mechanical automotive repair shops. S.B. 232 extends the jurisdiction of the Motor Vehicle Repair Board (MVRB) to anyone who performs mechanical repairs on motor vehicles, requires motor vehicle repair facilities to register with the board, creates the Motor Vehicle Repair Operator Vendor’s License Suspension Fund and makes changes to the Motor Vehicle Repair and Window Tint Operator Law. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) supports S.B. 232.
Under current law, only collision repair facilities are required to register with the MVRB. This loophole for mechanical repairs has allowed “backyard” operators to undercut legitimate businesses by avoiding compliance with OSHA laws and Ohio’s environmental standards. Because many of these “backyard” shops do not pay taxes or workers’ benefits, there is a considerable price difference between these operators and law-abiding shop owners. S.B. 232 would ensure that all automotive repair professionals are adhering to a uniform set of service and safety standards.
ASA has been supportive of this bill since its inception. ASA-Ohio worked with Uecker and the mechanical repair industry in Ohio to create the legislation that is currently before the Ohio Senate chamber. It is important to note that S.B. 232 does not require additional licensure, it simply ensures that legitimate businesses face fair competition. It also provides more information to the consumer, protecting them from unfair business practices.
ASA encourages Ohio’s mechanical repairers to go to the ASA legislative website, www.TakingTheHill.com, to send a letter to the Ohio legislature in support of S.B. 232.