ASA Supports New Parts Policy
Policy recognizes certification and verification for parts quality.
During the 1990s after a state-approved policy limiting replacement crash parts to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts only during the warranty period of the vehicle, the Automotive Service Association (ASA), representatives from the new car dealers and the OEMs worked to establish compromise model legislation. This model legislation, consumer notice and written consent as to the type parts used in the vehicle repair, became law in several states.
ORIGINAL: 1.17 ASA supports state disclosure laws that require insurers and auto collision facilities to obtain the express written consent of vehicle owners before installing alternative replacement crash parts. ASA supports disclosure statements that alert consumers that the use of alternative crash parts other than those manufactured by the OEM may have an effect on their warranties or market value.
ORIGINAL: 1.35 ASA believes any public policy changes relative to automotive parts should include extensive quality requirements. ASA opposes parts policies that focus solely on cost efficiency without regard to quality and safety.
During the last 15 years, ASA has hosted forums, stakeholder groups, meetings with federal regulators and industry groups with a goal of ensuring that collision repairers have access to a competitive crash parts marketplace and safe, quality parts.
ASA has met with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on multiple occasions to discuss the safety aspect of replacement crash parts, including demonstrations for NHTSA vehicle safety engineers. ASA participated in NHTSA’s strategic planning meetings and discussed the various aspects of the crash parts industry as it relates to collision repairers. Clearly, ASA has made a good faith effort to improve the crash parts marketplace for repairers.
During the 111th Congress, ASA worked with members of Congress to establish federal law regulating replacement crash parts. Various stakeholders could not agree and no legislation moved forward.
For some time, ASA’s Collision Operations Committee has been meeting with crash parts manufacturers and distributors to discuss parts quality, new certification and verification programs. It has been obvious to volunteer ASA leaders that the crash parts marketplace has changed since the mid-1990s and the earliest efforts to establish formal notice and written consent as the baseline for crash parts policy.
For the last several months, a team from ASA’s Collision Operations Committee and the Government Affairs Committee have been meeting and discussing ASA’s crash parts policy. During the 2011 Fall Board meeting in New Orleans, ASA’s board of directors unanimously approved the following replacement crash parts policy.
ASA supports requiring insurers and auto collision facilities to provide disclosure of part type, description and warranty information to the consumer for all part types including, but not limited to, original equipment manufacturer, aftermarket, recycled, remanufactured, reconditioned and rebuilt crash parts.
ASA supports quality parts, certified and verified in which the quality is determined based on empirical and measurable evidence equal to the standard of OEM parts. ASA recommends quality verification and testing related to metallurgy, fit, functionality and responsiveness.
ASA believes a competitive parts marketplace, of tested and verified quality parts, is in the best interest of the motoring public. ASA continues to oppose parts policies that focus solely on cost efficiency without regard to certification, verifiable quality and safety.
With reference to the new policy, Dan Stander, ASA Collision Division director and co-owner of Jerry Stander’s Collision Works, Littleton, Colorado, said:
“ASA’s replacement crash parts position statement is in response to today’s parts usage and market conditions. With an increasing number of part types with various levels of quality, and an increase in the number of processes used to validate – or not validate – these various lines of quality, it is confusing at best to most repairers.
“ASA’s position better defines its goal to provide the highest level of repair by requiring full disclosure of all part types by all parties, and having the standard for replacement crash parts that are certified and verified to be the equivalent of the OEM part.”
Roy Schnepper, ASA Government Affairs Committee chairman and owner of Butler’s Collision Inc. in Roseville, Mich.,, said:
“We are seeing a changing market in the collision industry, especially in reference to the growing use of aftermarket crash parts, which we, as shop owners, are being asked to use in repairing vehicles.
“ASA believes collision repairers should have confidence that replacement crash parts will respond equally as well in a secondary collision as the parts originally placed on the vehicle. Collision repairers, insurers, parts distributors and manufacturers must work together to ensure the testing and verification procedures are the best possible to protect consumers and repairers. When this happens, consumers can have confidence that the parts they are receiving meet OEM standards.”
ASA’s goal is to see that parts quality continues to improve. Although some states recognized the importance of an educated consumer consenting to the use of specific replacement crash parts in writing, there has been no national consensus on this issue. This was quite evident during the National Conference of Insurance Legislators’ (NCOIL) on again, off again dialogue about model crash parts legislation. Its focus on state certification programs while ignoring other options highlighted the dilemma of achieving a legislative or regulatory consensus.
NCOIL, wisely, opted to not endorse a state certification program but this did not resolve the crash parts debate.
ASA is hopeful that the crash parts marketplace will continue to improve and provide the safest quality parts possible for consumers and repairers. To view more on crash parts and other legislation and regulatory issues, please go to www.TakingTheHill.com.
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