Allstate Files Calif. Suit Against CMA

April 25, 2005

More than 100 cars and trucks owned by Allstate Insurance Company customers and claimants are reportedly being held inside a chain of troubled California collision repair centers.

Seeking immediate release of the vehicles, Allstate said on Monday it is filing suit in California against Credit Managers Association of California (CMA) – the liquidator that has taken control of the former M2 Collision Care Centers.

“Our concern is for our customers and claimants,” said Terry Lewkoski, Allstate Claim Field director for California. “Allstate cannot tolerate our customers and claimants being treated this way – their vehicles are being held hostage as a result of circumstances far outside their control.”

The 100-plus vehicles belonging to Allstate customers and claimants are among hundreds of other cars and trucks locked inside shuttered M2 facilities. The vehicles are currently in various stages of repair and are reportedly not being released to their owners or insurers.

The suit was filed Friday in California Superior Court in Los Angeles after CMA reportedly refused five days of demands by Allstate to give up the vehicles being held in at least 13 of the 27 collision centers formerly run by M2 in California.

Allstate said it is acting on its customers’ behalf to do everything possible to resolve this situation. “We have contacted impacted customers and claimants to advise them of the situation and to assure them their vehicles will ultimately be repaired to our high standards. We are letting them know Allstate is making sure their needs are taken care of while we fight for the release of their cars,” Lewkoski said.

“While we work on resolving this issue, Allstate customers and claimants needing rental cars are being offered rentals at no additional charge.”

“We have been forced to seek legal recourse demanding, among other things, immediate release of the vehicles so these repairs can be completed in as timely a fashion as possible so consumers can get their cars back in their own garages,” Lewkoski added.

“It is possible that there may be Allstate customers who have their vehicles inside these shops on their own – independent from Allstate,” Lewkoski said. “We have the means and the skills to act in their defense. This is about supporting valued relationships with our customers.”

Allstate is asking these customers to call their claim adjuster or local claim office.

Once the cars are released, Allstate said it would transport vehicles belonging to its customers and claimants to the local body shop of their choice at no charge so that repairs could be completed.

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