The report, titled “Competition Drives Real Consumer Savings in Collision Repair,” examined 100 of the top most commonly sold certified collision repair parts from 2009-2014 using data from the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA). Research showed that the independently-produced certified parts were, on average, 27 percent less expensive than their car company brand counterparts with a cost difference as large as 68 percent or $502.04.
“It’s clear that independent auto parts are driving competition in the auto repair parts market and that consumers are reaping the benefits,” said Ed Salamy, executive director of the QPC. “That’s why it’s important to ensure the industry stays competitive and continues to pass along savings to consumers.”
In recent years, the QPC says automakers have increasingly secured design patents on individual collision repair parts to limit the availability of independently-produced counterparts, forcing consumers to pay car companies more to fix their vehicles.
Bipartisan companion legislation which the QPC claims would fix design patent law to safeguard consumers against price gouging has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representative and the Senate. The QPC states that the Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade, and Sales (PARTS) Act of 2015 (H.R. 1057 and S. 560) would preserve consumer choice for auto collision repair parts and protect more than 60 years of competition that has existed in the collision repair parts market. The QPC claims that if the competition for parts were eliminated, insured loss costs could increase by as much as $1.5 billion.
“Consumers save big when there’s a competitive marketplace,” said Jack Gillis, director of public affairs for the Consumer Federation of America. “Major car companies are trying to disrupt the status quo by limiting competition in order to grow their profits at the expense of the average American.”
QPC hosted an informational briefing on Dec. 1st for House and Senate staff members on the importance of passing the PARTS Act.
To learn more about the QPC and the PARTS Act, visit KeepAutoPartsAffordable.org.