There are two sides to every story, the saying goes. This is certainly true in the ongoing debate about OEM (original equipment manufacturer) versus aftermarket collision repair parts. Auto manufacturers contend that some aftermarket parts do not fit properly and may not perform the same in subsequent collisions. Aftermarket suppliers contend that certified parts are equivalent in fit and function. Insurance companies, for their part, typically specify that replacement parts must be “like kind and quality” which could mean used OEM parts or an aftermarket equivalent. A quick search on Google or YouTube will reveal a wealth of information, and opinions, by those on both sides of this debate.
The two opposing views are represented in the below videos, one produced by Ford Motor Company, the other by the ABPA:
In the middle of this debate is the insurance policyholder that simply wants a properly repaired vehicle. At Safeguard Insurance, we see the merit in both sides of this argument. Certainly, OEM parts are more expensive and were they the only option collision repair costs would be significantly higher. That would lead to higher auto insurance premiums. However, we have personally seen many aftermarket parts that do not fit correctly. Also, crash testing seems to support the contention that some aftermarket parts do not perform the same as OEM.
How then does a policyholder ensure their vehicle repairs will be completed properly? Here are some tips that we share with our customers:
- Find out if your insurance provider has an OEM parts endorsement available. This is a reasonably priced option that ensures the policyholder will never have to deal with aftermarket part issues.
- If aftermarket parts are specified in your repair estimate, make sure they will be CAPA certified. CAPA parts are tested for fit and function. Not all aftermarket parts are tested in the same way.
- Another option would be used OEM parts, meaning sheet metal from an identical donor vehicle that is reconditioned by the body shop.
- Work with a reputable auto body shop. Get a referral from your insurance agent, ask around or look at online reviews. Discuss your repairs with the body shop and make sure they are willing to fight for OEM parts if the aftermarket parts are not an exact fit.
- Understand that “like, kind and quality” means that the parts used on your vehicle should restore it to the same condition it was in before the accident. Make it clear to the insurance adjuster that you will not accept anything less.
- Lastly, involve your agent or broker if you are unhappy with the repair process.
At Safeguard Insurance, we have a vested interest in keeping our customers happy. When an auto accident occurs it is our goal to make sure your repairs are completed quickly and properly. As our customer, you have our commitment to help ensure you are satisfied with the outcome of your claim. Please contact us today and let us show you how we “work for you”!