CAPA Analyzes Georgia TV Station's Aftermarket Parts Report, Asks for Retraction - BodyShop Business
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CAPA Analyzes Georgia TV Station’s Aftermarket Parts Report, Asks for Retraction

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The Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) says that its in-depth analysis of a Fox 5 Atlanta investigative piece on aftermarket parts that aired in July proves that the report is invalid. The report appeared to show that a CAPA-certified aftermarket radiator support was inferior in strength and quality to its OEM counterpart, a BMW part.

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In the televised piece, reporter Dana Fowle demonstrates the reported differences in aftermarket and OEM parts by bending an aftermarket part in half by hand. CAPA claims the TV report’s comparison of the bendability and strength of a BMW brand radiator support with an aftermarket counterpart was invalid because the two supports were different parts made to fit on different models of BMW 3-Series vehicles. The comparison was performed by the reporter and Performance Auto Collision of Alpharetta, Ga.,  

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In a released statement, CAPA says it found the following during its analysis:

1) The demonstration compared two items that were actually completely separate and distinct parts.

a. The BMW-made part shown in the FOX 5 report was an upper tie bar radiator support (BMW#51717114123) manufactured specifically by BMW to be installed in its 3-Series convertible.

b. The aftermarket part Performance Auto Collision used in the FOX News report was a piece of the combined upper and lower tie bar radiator support manufactured specifically to be installed in a different vehicle, the 3-Series sedan/coupe/wagon, as a replacement for BMW part #51717111691. The part BMW designed for the 3-Series sedan/coupe/
wagon is dramatically different than the comparable part it uses in its convertible. (The actual aftermarket part used in the demonstration was manufactured by Gordon Auto Body Parts Co. and certified by CAPA.)  

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c. The BMW cast aluminum upper tie bar for the BMW convertible would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to bend by hand. Both the BMW and CAPA-certified wrought aluminum upper tie bars for the BMW sedan/coupe/wagon would be relatively easy to bend by hand, especially if separated from the lower tie bar.

d. These two parts are not intended to be interchangeable. For whatever reason, Performance Auto Collision represented to FOX 5 and its viewers that the CAPA-certified aftermarket radiator support part shown was manufactured and marketed to be identical to the BMW-made support when, in fact, they were comparing two different parts.  

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2) The Gordon aftermarket combined radiator support part for the BMW sedan/coupe/wagon which Performance Auto Collision used in the FOX 5 demonstration had been modified in a manner to more closely resemble the very different BMW convertible upper tie bar radiator support. Specifically, the rivets attaching the upper tie bar piece to the lower tie bar piece had been removed and only half of the aftermarket part was used by Performance Auto Collision in the FOX 5 demonstration.
 
CAPA concluded that the demonstration was "flawed and invalid."

"Not only did Performance Auto Collision conduct an invalid comparison of two different parts, they also performed an unauthorized and potentially unsafe modification on the Gordon aftermarket part to make it appear to be the same as the BMW-made part in the demonstration," CAPA stated.  
 
CAPA has asked both Performance Auto Collision and Fox 5 Atlanta to issue a retraction of the report.

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