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Complain to the Right People

If a CAPA part doesn’t work for whatever reason, sitting around the shop complaining about it won’t solve the problem. Take the time you’d spend griping and fill out a CAPA Part Complaint Form instead

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In light of recent class-action lawsuits filed against major insurance companies regarding the use of aftermarket (A/M) parts, the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) has been the subject of serious scrutiny.

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A lawsuit filed in Illinois claims insurance companies conspired to defraud motorists by creating a "puppet standards-setting agency" to make cheaper autobody repair parts appear better than they truly are. The lawsuit accuses seven major insurance companies of creating CAPA in order to conceal flaws with A/M crash parts. The lawsuit also alleges that since CAPA-certified parts aren’t comparable to original equipment (OE) parts, insurers set out to defraud policyholders by falsely claiming CAPA certification meant the parts are of like kind and quality and, therefore, safe.

"These aren’t just any insurance companies," said plaintiff’s attorney Michael Hyman. "They created CAPA, were on the board of directors at CAPA and paid significant monies to CAPA." Hyman also said there’s evidence to show that CAPA was created mainly to serve the interests of the insurance industry, adding that the first two presidents of CAPA were State Farm executives who maintained both positions simultaneously.

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As if that weren’t enough bad publicity, articles in magazines like "Consumer Reports " and exposés on national news programs such as "Dateline" have created intense public awareness regarding the use of these alternative crash parts.

But all this is old news to collision repairers who’ve struggled with A/M crash parts for years and have continually questioned CAPA’s "certification" process.

What does all this mean to you — the collision repairer left holding the A/M part? Take a cue from Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Carowner and make some noise.

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If you’re not happy with the fit and finish of a CAPA-certified A/M part, send it back to the distributor, negotiate with the adjuster for OE parts and send CAPA a part complaint form. You heard correctly — send a part complaint form.

In a survey conducted by the National Collision Marketing Institute, 72 percent of repair shop owners reported never notifying CAPA of their complaints. (And the industry wonders how CAPA gets away with what it does.)

If you don’t have a CAPA catalog, which includes a complaint form, one has been included in this article.

In the continuing battle to improve A/M crash parts, we’ve done our part by providing you with the tools to effect change. Now it’s time to do yours.

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Send to:
Certified Automotive Parts Association
1518 K St. NW #306
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: (202) 737-2212
Fax: (202) 737-2214

Car Make: __________________________________

Car Model: __________________________________

Year of Car: __________________________________

Please select type of part:
___ Bumper Cover, Front Hood

___ Bumper Cover, Rear Lamp Cover

___ Door Shell, Left Quarter Panel

___ Door Shell, Right Radiator Support

___ Fender, Left Side Molding

___ Fender, Right Tail Gate

___ Grille Truck Bed

___ Header Panel Trunk Lid

___ Headlight Bezel

CAPA Manufacturer: __________________________________

CAPA Part #: __________________________________

Lot Number (stamped on part): __________________________________

CAPA Seal #: __________________________________

OEM #: ________________________________

You are a:
___ Collision Repairer

___ Distributor

___ Insurance Adjuster

___ Other (specify): __________________________________

Please supply the following information about yourself:

Your Name: __________________________________

Your Company: __________________________________

Address __________________________________

City:______________________________

State: ____________________________

Zip: ______________________________

Phone: ___________________________

Fax: ______________________________

e-mail: __________________________________

Please supply the following information about the part’s distributor:

Distributor Name: _____________________________________________

Address _____________________________________________________

City:_________________________________________________________

State: ____________________________

Zip: ______________________________

Phone: ___________________________

Fax: ______________________________

e-mail: ___________________________

What was wrong with the part?
(Select as many as you like.)

___ Adhesive, Too Much

___ Adhesive, Too Little

___ Appearance, Ripples

___ Appearance, Dings

___ Appearance, Mold Overflow

___ Body Line, Poor

___ Contour, Poor (corners and edges poorly formed)

___ Cut, Poor (light or grille cut our location)

___ Gap, Inconsistent

___ Gap, Too Wide

___ Fit, Poor

___ Not Flush with Adjacent Parts

___ Grind Marks Evident

___ Holes/Brackets, Poorly Placed

___ Holes/Brackets, Wrong Size

___ Installation (significantly exceeded book time)

___ Length, Too Long

___ Length, Too Short

___ Latch Problems

___ Packing Inadequate

___ Paint, Inconsistent

___ Paint, Doesn’t Adhere Well

___ Seal Missing

___ Shipping Damage Evident

___ Studs, Inappropriate Location

___ Surface, Wavy

___ Width, Too Wide

___ Width, Not Wide Enough

___ Welds, Missing

___ Welds, Weak

___ Welded Fastener, Inappropriate Location

Location of Problem/Comments:

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

Is the part available for inspection, if necessary?

 Yes      No

Are photos available?

 Yes       No

Did you return the part to the distributor?

 Yes      No

Did you end up using OE to complete this job?

 Yes      No

Did an insurance company recommend this part?

 Yes     No

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