(Who Is Looking Out For The Consumer?)
A recent article written by John Huetter in RDN Repairer Driven News highlighted the news of CAPA (Certified Automotive Parts Association) decertifying two lots of aftermarket parts after said parts failed to meet OEM specifications. The article went on to ask the question why such parts have not been recalled at the federal level. We agree that decertified parts ought to be recalled.
The question that, to our knowledge, is not yet being addressed is this: Who is and/or should be responsible for notifying (and subsequently protecting) the end user (the consumer) in the event of such decertification? What happens when parts that were previously certified become decertified? And who is telling the consumer who may currently be driving on no-longer certified parts?
It would appear to us that the current onus belongs to no one in particular. Its a game of high-stakes pass-the-buck that in fact, ultimately victimizes the end user. It is our position that the responsibility clearly belongs on the shoulders of the institution with the loudest voice requiring or endorsing the use of these aftermarket parts if and when they become decertified.
We believe that the insurance companies that continue to insist upon the use of aftermarket parts are in the best position to notify the consumer (their insured and/or claimants) of the decertified nature of affected parts. The consumer should be put on notice and be allowed to make the decision of whether they wish to continue with decertified parts, or be given the option to have said parts replaced.
Many – if not all insurance companies otherwise guarantee the replacement of aftermarket parts that are later found to be defective and not within “generally accepted industry standards”.
We are calling upon legislators and legal authorities, both here in Colorado and across the nation to investigate these insurance practices in order to protect the consumer. A process needs to be put into place where end users of aftermarket certified parts (later decertified) can be put on notice and make the final determination if they want those parts to be replaced. And we are calling upon the insurance industry to step up to their responsibility to protect the consumer, instead of their bottom line.
Right now, we are not aware of any such process.
The ultimate solution is what we do in our business. At Nylund’s Collision Center, we refuse to use aftermarket parts. We choose to side with the original manufacturer of our guests’ vehicles, and only make repairs with OEM parts.