The Diamond Standard Parts Management Center has issued
an industry paper titled, "Equivalent Bumper System Crash Pulse
Performance Through the Lens of Crashworthiness & Occupant Safety
Experts," to address structural aftermarket parts use.
The study was conducted by MGA Research Corporation,
which Diamond Standard says is "an accredited, recognized worldwide
leading independent provider of automotive testing technologies." It
compared the front absorber/reinforcement system of a 2006 Nissan Altima when both OEM parts and Diamond Standard alternative parts were installed. A series of Federal Motor
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 214 fixed barrier tests were reportedly conducted to
measure crash pulse management and vehicle occupant head trajectory.
Diamond Standard says the test results were reviewed and
validated by George Neat, former
chief of vehicle crashworthiness division, the Volpe National Transportation
Systems Center (DOT), and Dr. David Breed, who received the H. H. Bliss
Award as one of the inventors of the airbag.
The tests were conducted at MGA’s Burlington, Wisc.,
facility utilizing the FMVSS 214 sled protocol at a speed of 9.5 MPH just under
the threshold of the no-fire airbag velocity range.
According to James Hackney, former director of crashworthiness, NHTSA, co-author of the “New Car Assessment Five-Star
Crash Rating Vehicle Safety Performance Characteristics," and developer of many of the test protocols utilized by MGA, "properly manufactured
aftermarket parts can provide, at least, equivalent performance to OEM service
parts they replace.”
The first set of sled tests were conducted without an
anthropomorphic dummy, providing system benchmark data comparatives including
load carry capabilities, crash pulse and deceleration markers. George Neat
concluded, "The performance of the Diamond Standard Alternative
absorber/rebar can be expected to be very similar to the performance of the OEM
equipment in a crash scenario."
The second series of comparative testing inserted an
anthropomorphic dummy in the test sled vehicle with the fixed barrier test repeated. The tests focused on and determined the affect of the
bumper system components on dummy head trajectory, measuring the "x"
position for forward movement and "z" position for vertical
Dr. David Breed concluded, "The Diamond Standard and
the OEM bumpers are for all practical purposes identical in the region where
the bumper determines crash pulse. It’s unlikely that they would perform
differently in real world crashes where an airbag deploys."
"Diamond Standard patently believes and supports the
industry goal of achieving a complete, safe repair that restores the collision
management system of the vehicle to predamaged condition with equivalent parts
that limit collateral damage and vehicle totals in lower speed events and
protect occupant safety in higher speed collisions," said Geoff Crane,
business development manager of Diamond Standard Parts, LLC.