Looking At OEM vs Aftermarket Parts

Alan’s Collision Center rarely prefers use of aftermarket parts in collision repair. If the professional team had a choice, they would always use OEM vs aftermarket parts.

There’s a battle brewing in OEM vs aftermarket parts in the auto body repair industry. A class-action lawsuit consisting of multiple collision repair businesses from across the country as plaintiffs against the auto insurance companies has been filed. Much of the suit has to do with OEM vs aftermarket parts.

In Virginia, ABC-TV news reporters investigated a 7-month auto body repair job done entirely with aftermarket or salvaged parts. The repair job was poor, and the vehicle owner said the auto body shop used entirely aftermarket parts that did not fit the vehicle. The auto body repair shop indicated it had followed the auto insurance company’s policy to use aftermarket parts only.

Sometimes that’s not an option, however. If an insurance policy states definitively that aftermarket, salvaged, refurbished or recycled parts must be used in auto body repair, then that’s what the collision center has to use.

Oftentimes, the auto body repair businesses that are part of a direct repair network or DRP program use aftermarket parts over OEM parts. When an auto body repair business is part of an auto insurance network and gets business in the direct repair program or DRP, then those collision centers are more inclined to use aftermarket parts subject to price controls of the insurance company.

OEM vs Aftermarket Parts: Which Is Good?

Using salvaged, recycled, refurbished or aftermarket parts may be a good investment for the customer if the vehicle is 4-5 years old or has high mileage. The vehicle owner needs to know about it, give permission for it and accept the consequences of that decision.

An auto body repair business cannot knowingly and fraudulently install aftermarket parts in a collision repair without first understanding the auto insurance company’s policy for part replacement. Therein lies the rub.

What the auto insurance policy says is what the auto body repair team must do in order to get reimbursed for the claim.

The vehicle owner in the Virginia story above fought daily for the proper repair of his vehicle, and the insurance company, Elephant Insurance, finally agreed to re-repair the vehicle with OEM parts.

Alan’s Collision Auto Body Repair Re-Inspection Program

Recently, Alan’s Collision Center in NE Philadelphia launched an auto body repair re-inspection program to visually inspect collision repairs done at previous facilities. If a vehicle owner wishes to check whether their collision repair was completed accurately, safely and with appropriate parts, they can bring the auto to Alan’s Collision Center for a visual inspection.

Should the vehicle require removal of parts, the insurance company will need to be contacted first. No additional auto body repair will be done by Alan’s Collision without an estimate, approval and interaction with the auto insurance company.

Auto Body Repair Shops Getting Squeezed

Currently, auto body repair businesses that are not part of insurers’ direct repair programs are getting squeezed by the auto insurance companies. In a class action lawsuit filed by auto body repair businesses nationwide against a variety of insurance companies, the legal matter states that collision repair business owners are getting squeezed by insurance companies to use more salvaged or recycled parts rather than OEM parts.

Consumers need to be more informed. They need to read their insurance policy, especially the section referencing OEM vs. aftermarket parts, and they need to ensure that a collision repair is done accurately with the highest quality replacement parts.

Again, knowledge is power. Understanding which part is being used in auto body repair service is critical. Understanding the type of auto insurance you have is also important because that dictates the type of parts that can be used to repair your vehicle from a collision.

Alan’s Collision Center is a non-direct repair program that fights for the consumer. When vehicle owners choose Alan’s Collision for their auto body repair, the expert team will always choose OEM parts first.