Consumer Alert Part III Aftermarket Parts

Consumer Alert Part III Aftermarket Parts

Today we offer part three of our response to an irresponsible article posted by another Denver-area auto body shop.  Click Here for our FIRST and SECOND responses.  And Click Here to read the original article we are responding to in it’s entirety.  The title of the original article is: “4 Ways Aftermarket Parts are Just as Good as OEM.”

The title of today’s Nylund’s Response is:

Facts Don’t Lie

The original article states: Here are the main characteristics that make aftermarket parts just as good, or better, than OEM.

Optimized Design

Automakers frequently have to issue recalls to handle widespread issues regarding parts originally installed on their vehicles. When this happens, new parts may be created to circumvent the defect causing issues for vehicle owners. Aftermarket parts suppliers will work the optimized design into their products to avoid the issues that cropped up immediately after the original release of the vehicle. Therefore, by the time a vehicle needs collision or vandalism repairs, the aftermarket parts feature the upgraded design that lacks flaws found in the original components.

Fact: Given the number of parts of on a vehicle, original manufacturer’s recalls aren’t really all that “frequent”. They do happen occasionally, and when they do – the manufacturers redesign, engineer and test the parts that are then replaced at no additional expense to the vehicle owners. Aftermarket manufacturers do not have access to this information.

Fact: Aftermarket parts are ALWAYS reverse-engineered from the OEM parts.  They are, by their very definition, less than 100% accurate copies of OEM parts.  They cannot be 100% the same – that would violate patent laws.

Fact: Aftermarket parts do NOT fix flaws discovered in OEM parts.  They simply (poorly) copy OEM parts.

The original article states:

Extensive Testing

Aftermarket parts go through an extensive testing process to ensure the components work, fit and look as expected. The parts testing process includes usage in real life situations to really put the components to the test. Aftermarket parts manufacturers may also sponsor motorsports participants to further test components in high stress situations. Aftermarket parts manufacturers also listen to their clients to determine if each item requires additional design upgrades. Clients often have brand loyalty to specific aftermarket parts producers, which drives them to provide feedback on an ongoing basis.

Fact: Just saying that aftermarket parts go through extensive testing is at best misleading and unsubstantiated, and unthinkably irresponsible.  Feedback from people who purchase aftermarket parts (“brand loyalists”) is nowhere near the documented safety testing that manufacturers put OEM parts through before producing a safety-rated vehicle.

Fact: Aftermarket parts rarely work, fit or look as expected.  They often require body shop technicians to alter original parts in order to be made to fit at all.  Examples of new holes drilled into structural parts, mis-aligned or altogether missing mounting brackets, and wrong sized parts are abundant in every shop that uses aftermarket parts.

In our next article, we’ll tackle the remaining two “reasons” that the original article states that make aftermarket parts better than OEM.  Stay tuned…