Normally when you think of petitioning the White House, you imagine some lofty goal, or pie in the sky idealism attached to the petition. It can be about anything from the environment to gun control to international relations. Auto Parts and auto repair aren’t exactly “trending” when it comes to news stories, though "steering" remains a major problem; so it’s no wonder that a recent White House direct repair petition falls short. A very well meant petition trying to address enforcement of existing agreement falls short of its goal. The agreement was a 1963 consent decree by then Attorney General Robert Kennedy, which aimed to get rid of “preferred” body shops.
The petition was titled Enforce Safe Car Repairs To Save Lives. It read:
Many auto insurance companies force customers to take cars to insurance preferred body shops for repairs. By cutting corners & safety standards to save money, the driving public is at risk & the value of the customers’ cars are diminished. Repair shops performing proper repairs are having a hard time staying in business. In 1963, US Attorney General Robert Kennedy sued the ins. industry to prevent them from forcing body shops to cut corners at the risk to public safety. The 1963 Consent Decree was signed stopping the auto ins. industry from controlling body shop labor rates, the parts used to repair cars, and returning the independence of auto body shops back to themselves. We plead with this Administration to enforce the 1963 Consent Decree for the safety of the American driving public.
Anyone can petition the White House for anything, and the rules are rather simple. They ask that you search through existing petitions by subject first. If someone else has addressed your issue, simply sign theirs to avoid both redundancy and help saturation. If no one is yet asking what you are asking, go ahead and start a new petition. Once the petition is started, the petitioner has 30 days to round up 100,000 online signatures. In fact, they need at least 150 signatures for the petition to be publicly searchable. If 100,000 signatures are gathered, the White House then guarantees that the issue will receive some sort of hearing and the petitioner is contacted. If not, someone else can try again at a later date.
This effort, though righteous in cause, did not come anywhere close to the number of signatures needed. In fact, by the time the 30 days expired, it had less than 2.5% of what was needed. That is not to say that their efforts were wasted. Merely to say that if is worth bringing up once, it’s worth bringing up again. The number of people who still don't know their rights when they are in an accident is staggering.