This week, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) sent a formal letter of complaint to West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw urging him to refrain from using the term "junkyard parts" when referring to recycled/salvaged automobile parts. The group believes the phrase is "derogatory and misleading."
In a December 2011 press release announcing legal action against Liberty Mutual Insurance, the Attorney General's office referred to recycled/salvage parts as "junkyard parts." ARA said the release implied that recycled/salvaged parts are inferior to new OE parts.
In the press release, McGraw says, "My Office will always work to insure that West Virginians receive safe, high quality, competent, and lawful repairs to their vehicles."
ARA believes that McGraw's press release provides a "derogatory and misleading characterization" of recycled/salvaged parts and does a disservice to consumers in West Virginia.
"We believe that this statement infers that salvaged, used and/or reconditioned parts are somehow unsafe and inferior to new OE parts," says ARA CEO Michael E. Wilson. "This is simply false. Recycled/salvaged automobile parts are not 'junkyard parts,' nor are they classified as such under West Virginia statute. We have asked the Attorney General to clarify this statement."
Additionally, in the letter, ARA called on McGraw to correct what the association says is inaccurate information about vehicle warranties posted on the frequently asked questions section of the Attorney General's Office website.
Listed on the website is a statement that indicates that any manufacturer can declare a consumer vehicle warranty void solely on the basis of utilization of a recycled or aftermarket part. The use of recycled/salvage or aftermarket parts, as opposed to new OE parts, cannot void a vehicle warranty under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the ARA notes. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission recently reaffirmed
the underpinnings of the Magnuson- Moss Act by issuing a Consumer Alert that advises consumers that "simply using an aftermarket or recycled part does not void a warranty."
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