All auto parts are NOT created equal!

Auto parts fall into 2 general categories:

“OEM” = “Original Equipment Manufacturer” parts
“Aftermarket” parts = Replacement crash parts, often referred to as “aftermarket parts” are those made by a company other than the original manufacturer or vendor.

OEM parts are those produced by the maker of the vehicle or the manufacturer’s designated vendor. Replacement crash parts, often referred to as “aftermarket parts” are those made by a company other than the original manufacturer or vendor.

In other words, these parts are the automobile industry’s equivalent of the generic version of a brand-name drug. There are also different categories of these parts, including certified and non-certified parts. The certification comes from an organization created and largely funded by the insurance industry, not any governmental entity. Nonetheless, the majority of aftermarket parts are non-certified.

According to the Collision Industry Conference’s October 2003 Cycle Time Task Force presentation, using OEM parts in repairs increases body shop productivity due to the availability and proper fit of parts and has a 99.9% satisfaction rate among customers. Using certified aftermarket parts by body shops requires more time and attention from repairers as orders must be cross-referenced with OEM part numbers, incorrect parts are shipped, parts are less well packaged and are more likely to be damaged in shipping, or uncertified parts are substituted for certified ones. The CIC task force also determined that many aftermarket parts do not fit properly and require additional time to adjust the product in an attempt to make it function. Customer satisfaction with these parts is only 50% to 70%. Non-certified aftermarket parts have the lowest customer satisfaction and have similar fit and ordering issues like their certified counterparts.

Are low-cost replacement bumpers safe?

Not according to Consumer Reports! CLICK HERE to read this Consumer Reports article which highlights the safety concerns of the structural/safety of aftermarket parts.

More on the Use of Aftermarket Parts

View the Spring 2010 issue of “On Target” Magazine. See what FORD has to say about the use of aftermarket auto parts!

Quality (???) Replacement Parts

Would you object to having your vehicle repaired with auto parts that are “Quality Replacement Parts” (QRP) or “Like, Kind and Quality” (LKQ)?

Although these terms sound good enough, they may be anything but! Read this article “Generic aftermarket crash parts” by Boston Vehicle Inspections & Evaluations Examiner, Bob Collins

Auto Damage Appraisers Licensing Board

View Report

California Department of Insurance

Terms under which insurers may require use of non-original equipment manufacturer replacement crash parts – Click Here

SCRS Position on SRS Replacement Parts

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) issued its position on Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) replacement parts – i.e. airbags.

Click here to read why the SCRS recommends against using “salvaged, remanufactured, or aftermarket alternatives.”

Ford Takes Issue with Aftermarket Parts

“Imitation Parts”

Ford Position Statement

Wheel Return Program

Structural Parts

General Motors on Refinishing Aluminum Wheels

Read Refinishing Aluminum Wheels

Honda on Aftermarket Parts

Position Statement

Nissan on Airbag Replacement

Position Statement