Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has filed a lawsuit against State Farm, alleging the insurer is illegally diverting customers who have been involved in an accident to repair sites that use junkyard and substandard parts.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Baton Rouge, accusing the insurance company of violating Louisiana's unfair trade practices act.

Caldwell says State Farm steers people who have been in a car crash to repair providers that have agreements to get the car fixed as cheaply as possible. The attorney general's office says that jeopardizes safety.

"We have an interest, especially the American motorist, in having safe cars and cars that perform well," Caldwell told 99.5 WRNO. "What conduct we are alleging here in our petition is very well drafted and will serve as a model for the rest of the country."

State Farm insures 33 percent of drivers in Louisiana. Company spokesman Phil Supple said State Farm still is reviewing the lawsuit, but he says the claims are out of line with the company's mission and its history of vehicle safety advancements.

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