The National Association of Bodyshops (NAB) has been nominated by some of the UK’s leading body repair specialists to represent them in a Creditors’ Committee looking into the conduct of directors of failed accident management company, Drive Assist.
When Drive Assist, once one of Britain’s leading non-fault accident vehicle replacement companies, collapsed in December 2012 with debts of more than £82 million, 150 bodyshops were left with more than £7m in unpaid repair bills.
Frank Harvey, head of NAB, said: “The NAB has agreed to represent any bodyshop creditor of Drive Assist in the committee being set up by the administrator, Zolfo Cooper.
“There’s no charge for our unconditional support and has been made available regardless of whether the affected bodyshop is a member of the association.
“It is important that bodyshop interests are vigorously supported and that lessons are learnt for the future.”
NAB had previously taken legal advice on behalf of members affected by the Drive Assist collapse to try to recover outstanding monies but were advised that debts were unsecured and that settlement of outstanding invoices would be unlikely.
Harvey added: “The focus is now on the conduct of directors and, in particular, promises that were made to repairers concerning the ring fencing of funds paid to Drive Assist by insurers for vehicle repair work.
“We will communicate the outcomes of the Creditors’ Committee meetings promptly, and widely and will also use this experience to influence the conduct and behaviour of intermediaries involved in our industry going forward.”
The first meeting of the Drive Assist Creditors Committee is being held at the Birmingham offices of Zolfo Cooper today (Wednesday, October 22).