The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) recently sent a letter to Louisiana Attorney General James D. “Buddy” Caldwell responding to what it calls “mischaracterizations and disparaging statements” made about recycled automotive parts.
In public comments related to a recent lawsuit filed by the Louisiana attorney general’s office against State Farm for allegedly steering consumers to direct repair providers who must comply with insurer requirements for replacement parts, Attorney General Caldwell was quoted as saying: “In some cases, we’ve found that these parts are nothing more than used junkyard parts.”
The ARA believes the attorney general’s statement leads consumers to believe that salvaged/recycled automotive parts are unsafe and inferior to new OEM parts. ARA’s stance is that:
- Recycled OEM parts meet OEM requirements
- Recyled parts are OEM parts, designed by the OEM and built to meet the OEM requirements for fit, finish, durability, reliability and safety
The ARA says Attorney General Caldwell calling recycled parts “junkyard” parts is a mischaracterization and “does a disservice to consumers in Louisiana by seeking to limit their access to safe, affordable and environmentally friendly automobile repairs.”
In the Sept. 8 letter, ARA CEO Michael E. Wilson pointed out that the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals recently affirmed the use of salvage/recycled OEM crash parts in vehicle repairs. The letter also stated that the Court found that neither the West Virginia Automotive Crash Parts Act nor Consumer Credit and Protection Act statute prohibited body shops or insurers from utilizing these parts, that aftermarket crash parts and salvage/recycled OEM crash parts are “diametrically” different products and not interchangeable, and applauded the insurers for using measures to reduce premium costs for their customers.
“The West Virginia ruling is a significant step forward for the professional automotive recycling industry and the increased utilization of genuine, recycled OEM parts,” said ARA CEO Michael E. Wilson. “Regrettably, not all state attorneys general have done their homework and educated themselves about our industry and the critical role that recycled OEM automotive parts play in the market.”