The collision repair industry has to date largely avoided attracting the attention of regulators. The main reason why this lack of regulation exists is the public has not needed the protection. Competition kept the prices down and for 50 years cars evolved in a manageable way. This manageable evolution meant that skills and work habits from one year could still be used the next, with minor tweaks and updated versions of equipment. Problems were created, but these were more anecdotal than systemic.
Poor repairs did compromise the car, but two significant factors kept these compromised cars from being very real problems.
The first was the structure of the car. A car made primarily from mild steel did not change too much in strength and safety after that metal was repaired with heat or pulling. Today’s cars, made of far more sophisticated materials demand specific and accurate repair or replacement methods, otherwise their strength and safety are very much affected.
The second was that the control system of the car was 98% the driver and the driver was not affected by the repair.
The changes that have occurred in mass market vehicle technology should be enough for regulatory oversight. But for many valid reasons, across many industries, regulation does not happen until after the lack of regulation starts to cause problems. It then takes years to catch up and become effective.