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The Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) says Ford is playing on consumers’ and repairers’ fears with a YouTube video that compares Ford crash parts to aftermarket parts. The video explains how Ford’s “Personal Safety System” is activated during a crash and compares several OEM structural crash parts to their aftermarket counterparts.
“Genuine parts are the same as the ones on the vehicle when it was new, which contributes to the effective repair of that vehicle,” Advanced Technology Service Engineering Manager Jim Groate says in the video.
The ABPA countered that the tests Ford performs in the video including one in which a Sawzall is used to cut into aftermarket and OEM bumper beams and another in which radiator supports are compared are unscientific and don’t prove that aftermarket structural parts are inferior or unsafe.
“The truth is that vehicles repaired with aftermarket parts are just as safe as vehicles repaired with parts from the car companies, while a thriving aftermarket industry also ensures that there are economical parts options available in the marketplace,” ABPA said in a statement. “The ABPA and its more than 140 members who have provided the vast majority of the independently produced aftermarket collision parts sold to the collision repair trade over the past 60 years employ quality assurance programs including NSF International and Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) to ensure that our aftermarket parts are comparable in fit, finish, performance, safety and quality to car company parts. The availability of aftermarket parts also helps keep the prices of car companies’ replacement parts lower, allowing for more vehicles to be repaired rather than declared total losses, thus avoiding the financial stress car owners face when they are left to pay the balance due on the loans of their totaled vehicles.”
ABPA also emphasized that its member companies engage in testing that validates that their parts are crashworthy.
“Crash test results prove that the spurious claim that aftermarket parts are less safe and less effective in a collision than car company parts is simply not true,” the ABPA statement says.
In the video, Ford also says that its engineering team is working to make its vehicles less costly to repair and safer, and Ford Genuine Parts are an important part of the repair equation. ABPA countered that Ford is attacking the safety of aftermarket parts to secure a monopoly on the market and that “it would better serve American motorists by competing on price and quality rather than playing on consumers’ emotions with false and unsubstantiated claims to gain market share.”