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AAA OFFERS SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE SOLUTION TO AUTO REPAIR ABUSES

 AAA OFFERS SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE SOLUTION TO AUTO REPAIR ABUSES
 WASHINGTON, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Motorists can identify competent and reliable automobile repair facilities through the American Automobile Association's Approved Auto Repair (AAR) program, said John Archer, managing director of AAA government affairs, in testimony before the consumer subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee today.
 Archer told the subcommittee that AAR, developed in 1975, assures those seeking competent auto repairs that facilities displaying the AAA approval sign have met rigorous standards. Before AAA will consider a garage as an AAR facility, it must have a track record of excellence, based on a AAA survey of 100 recent repair customers, and an outstanding reputation in the community as indicated by the local Better Business Bureau and consumer affairs offices.
 AAA-approved facilities guarantee that repair costs will not exceed the estimate by more than 10 percent unless the owner is consulted and offer a 90-day or 4,000 mile warranty on repairs.
 The testimony was in response to recent disclosures about deceptive and fraudulent auto repair facilities which, Archer explained, have created a climate of mistrust among car owners.
 Archer told the subcommittee that better designed and manufactured mechanical components meant most late model automobiles don't require the level of maintenance and repair of even a few years ago. Preventative maintenance is still essential, however, to ensure proper fluid levels, check drive belts and hoses, and perform other checks that full-serve service stations used to provide.
 "Old fashioned tuneups are no longer a regular part of automobile maintenance because there is very little that can be adjusted to make a computer-controlled car run better. The resultant decrease in routine repair work, coupled with the complexity of diagnosing more advanced systems, has created a situation where mistakes are more likely to happen in repair shops and the potential for fraudulent billing is enhanced," he said.
 AAA members and the motoring public benefit from the AAR program because AAA clubs record complaints and make the facility aware that there is a problem.
 Approximately 4,000 auto repair facilities in 28 states and the District of Columbia have met AAA standards for customer service and satisfaction, equipment and training. Approved facilities include new car dealerships, service stations, tire dealers and independent repair shops.
 AAA is a not-for-profit federation of 145 motor clubs with more than 1,000 offices providing its more than 33 million members in the U.S. and Canada with travel, insurance, financial and auto-related services.
 -0- 7/21/92
 /CONTACT: Richard F. Hebert, 202-554-6060; or Jerry Cheske, 407-444-8000, both of American Automobile Association/ CO: American Automobile Association ST: Florida IN: AUT SU:


SS-JB -- FL002 -- 1260 07/21/92 11:08 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 21, 1992
Words:450
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