GEICO Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Unsafe Vehicle Repairs

GEICO has been slammed with a proposed nationwide class action lawsuit alleging the auto insurance provider routinely refuses to compensate policyholders for essential vehicle repairs.

Oregon plaintiff Leif Hansen, owner of Leif’s Auto Collison Centers, brought the GEICO class action lawsuit, specifically taking issue with GEICO’s alleged practice of not covering electronic scans of policyholders’ vehicles after collision repairs. He details his experience stating that in November 2017 the rear bumper of his GM Sierra 3500 was damaged in a collision. He filed a claim with GEICO and took his vehicle for a repair estimate at a local auto body shop. During this appointment, Hansen requested pre- and post-repair electronic scans to ensure that his vehicle was repaired safely and completely.

According to the GEICO class action lawsuit, Hansen knew the electronic scans were a necessary part of collision repairs from his experience as an owner of a group of Portland-area auto repair shops. These pre – and post-repair electronic scans cost around $100 and use software to test for diagnostic trouble codes that help ensure safe repairs.

However, Hansen says that GEICO’s representatives have continuously refused to authorize these scans unless there was a maintenance light illuminated on the vehicle’ dash. The GEICO class action lawsuit asserts that by not paying for these scans, GEICO is putting the truck at risk for having undetected repairs and being unsafe to drive.

Many auto manufacturers, including Nissan, Honda, Toyota, and General Motors have issued public statements requiring or recommending that auto collision repair shops use electronic scans before and after repairs. Additionally, the Automotive Service Association endorses electronic system scanning as necessary for safe collision repairs. Both the ASA and auto manufacturers require or recommend pre – and post-repair electronic scans whether or not maintenance lights are illuminated on a vehicle’s dash.

Hansen says his issue with GEICO is not isolated and that he has first-hand knowledge that GEICO routinely denies coverage for these essential electronic scans, including those for airbag and steering system repairs. Earlier in 2017, for example, a customer brought a car to one of Hansen’s auto repair shops. The car had airbag and steering problems that could have been avoided had GEICO authorized electronic scans to detect unresolved damage.

“By refusing to compensate policyholders for electronic scans, GEICO violates the terms of its car insurance policies to each policyholder. Without the electronic scans, damage to the policyholder’s vehicles goes undetected; system problems go unexplained; and GEICO puts unsafe cars back on the roads.”

The GEICO class action lawsuit is seeking certification for a nationwide Class of current and former GEICO car insurance policyholders in the United States who suffered losses caused by collisions from 2011 to present.

Hansen and the proposed nationwide class are represented by Steven D. Olson and Paul Conable of Tonkon Torp LLP.

The GEICO Class Action Lawsuit is Leif Hansen, et al. v. Government Employees Insurance Company, Case No. 3:17-cv-01986, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Portland Division.

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