By Gideon Scanlon
Vancouver, B.C. -- February 5, 2018 -- Provincial Automotive Retailer Association spokesman Adam Grossman has struck back against reports that questionable bodyshop billings had lead to the ICBC's $1.3 billion loss last year. Despite the fact that the ARA's position is supported by ICBC, the unsubstantiated claims have spurred the provincial government to hire an external auditor to go over past repair bills.
Last week, an ICBC employee claimed the crown corporation had been paying hundreds-of-millions dollars on inflated bodyshop bills, convincing the provincial government to hire major American auditing firm PriceWaterhouse Coopers to review past claims. Ken McCormack, CEO of the Provincial Automotive Retailers Association, also delivered a statement rebuking the suggestion that repairers were artificially inflating prices, and that the increased cost of repairs were spent on increasingly expensive replacement parts – new parts mandated by the insurer themselves.
“We don’t want to be accused of that 30 percent increase because we’re not getting it.”said McCormack, “Our labour rates have not changed. The high price of parts can push up the cost of a simple headlight repair to $10,000.”
ICBC spokesperson Adam Grossman quickly came to the defence of the province's bodyshops. Pointing to a 2016 internal review that found no significant billing inconsistencies, he explained that while some reports of over-billing did exist, the full figure was not in the multi-millions.
The ARA also provided the province with a series of recommendations in order to reduce billing costs, including giving local recyclers preferential access to written-off vehicles in order for the province to maintain a larger stock of like new OEM parts.
Here are McCormack's full response to the allegations here: