The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) is calling on the collision repair industry to proceed cautiously in recognizing only automotive OEMs’ published repair procedures as the official industry-sanctioned repair standards for collision repair. Recently, several prominent collision repair groups issued and signed a joint statement officially recognizing OEM published repair procedures as the collision industry’s repair standards.
ARA says its main concern with the position statement centers on recent auto manufacturers’ activity that could be viewed as "aggressively pushing the limits" of antitrust laws and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. ARA believes OEMs see recycled parts as a threat to their bottom lines and are revising repair standards to exclude recycled parts from the repair equation.
"Automotive manufacturers have become more aggressive by releasing revised collision repair position statements that are even more biased and based on weak or no apparent scientific research claiming the recycled OEM parts are inferior to new OEM parts. In making these types of statements, auto manufacturers seem to be attempting to exclude recycled OEM parts from the market, which would result in only one source of parts and procedures for the repair of consumers’ vehicles the auto manufacturers," an ARA press release stated.
"We believe that the goal of the manufacturers is to discourage the use of recycled OEM parts and secure a market that establishes automakers as the only source of parts and procedures for the repair of consumers’ vehicles," added ARA CEO Michael E. Wilson.
ARA cited a Chrysler position statement released last year that said: "Chrysler Group LLC does not approve of or recognize structural repair procedures where Authentic Mopar Parts are not used for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram vehicles." This statement suggests that consumers’ warranties might not be honored if parts other than Authentic Mopar Parts were used, ARA noted, adding that similar statements have also been released by American Honda, Toyota Motor Sales and Hyundai Motor America.
In response to these statements, ARA earlier this year met with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requesting the FTC to clarify warranty policies so that consumers would not incorrectly believe that recycled OEM parts in a repair could void their warranty. As a result, the FTC announced the update of a consumer alert, "Auto Warranties, Routine Maintenance, and Repairs: Is Using the Dealer a Must?" The revised alert specifically notes that the use of recycled OEM parts does not void a warranty and that it is illegal for warrantors to void a warranty or deny coverage simply because a recycled OEM part was used.
Automotive Recyclers Association