The Auto Body Association of Connecticut (ABAC) issued a consumer alert warning of the potential safety risks associated with non-OEM bumpers and has offered to inspect consumers’ repair invoices and vehicles to determine if any potentially unsafe non-OEM crash parts have been installed.
In recent weeks, parts associations, manufacturers, repair groups and insurers have questioned the safety and performance of untested, non-OEM crash parts and have recommended they be pulled from shelves.
ABAC noted the potentially hazardous parts include front and rear bumper reinforcement beams, radiator core supports, bumper brackets and bumper energy absorbers.
“We now are urging any of our members who may have used these aftermarket bumper parts to immediately stop,” ABAC President Bob Skrip said. “As well, we want all body shops to clearly understand the huge potential liability they may face by using inferior parts.”
Skrip added that selected ABAC member shops are now offering to review, without charge, the paperwork for any bumper repair to help consumers learn if any recalled aftermarket parts were used in a repair.
“Our members see problems with aftermarket parts every day,” Skrip said. “Our strong stand for many years has been that these parts are potentially unsafe. It has finally come to light.”
Skrip suggested that the government prohibit the use of unsafe bumper parts.
“Alternatively, the legislature should require the car insurance companies that request the use of these inferior parts to accept any potential liability that may arise in the event of the failure of the substandard parts,” he added.
Like NYSACTA, ABAC believes insurance companies should offer to replace any potentially dangerous non-OEM parts installed on claimants’ vehicles with OEM parts.