McGraw obtains injunction against Liberty Mutual over spare auto parts

CHARLESTON – State Attorney General Darrell McGraw announced Dec. 28 a permanent injunction against Liberty Mutual Insurance Company to prevent the insurer from violating consumer protection laws. The Circuit Court of Kanawha County issued the permanent injunction, which stops Liberty Mutual from using salvaged or aftermarket crash parts to repair motor vehicles less than three years old. The order upholds the current state law that requires body shops and insurance companies to obtain written consumer authorization prior to using salvaged parts for the repair of new vehicles. McGraw sued Liberty Mutual in January, alleging it intentionally violated state consumer protection laws. The insurer allegedly repaired approximately 200 vehicles using aftermarket and junkyard parts and defended its use of the parts despite the potential safety hazards and diminished value of consumers' vehicles. Using aftermarket and junkyard parts in vehicle repair is a violation of the West Virginia Aftermarket Crash Parts Act. “This is a victory for West Virginia consumers," McGraw said. "Every consumer has the right to know the type and quality of crash parts used to repair their damaged vehicles.” The court did not rule on restitution Liberty Mutual must pay or the amount of civil penalties related to the matter.

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