Let’s say that you recently bought a new black suit, which was made in the USA. I’m not sure what a high quality USA suit cost, but let’s say you spent $550.00 on it. You get the suit dirty, so you take it to the dry cleaners to have it cleaned. While at the cleaners, an accident occurs leaving your suit beyond repair. You tell the cleaners that they are responsible for the suit and they say no problem, we’ll replace it for you. They run down to the thrift shop to find a replacement suit or better yet, they go to the local discount store and buy a no brand black suit made in another country. You stop by the cleaners and they give you your no name black suit. You claim that this is not equal to the suit that you brought them, but they refuse to buy from the store that you bought it at. They claim that the suit covers your body, that it is black, and looks much like the suit that was damaged. Then they go on to explain that buying cheaper clothing to replace the clothing that they destroy allows them to keep costs down, which allows them to make a better profit.
Would you stand for that? Would you take your lesser quality suit, proudly knowing that you did your part to help make the business profitable? Probably not, but why would you standup for a $500 suit, but allow insurance companies to do the same thing to your $30,000+ investment? Not only are aftermarket parts lesser quality, they may not provide the safety that the original (OEM) factory parts do. Like the suit, just because it looks similar does not make it equal quality.
Aftermarket Parts-Do They Repair Your Vehicle back to it’s Pre-Accident Condition?
Many insurance companies have required body shops to use aftermarket parts on cars older than one year. Insurance companies claim that less expensive parts help them keep your premiums down. However, does this repair the car back to it’s pre-accidental condition?
Let’s look at some of the differences in aftermarket and OEM parts:
Modern cars are very complex and every part on the vehicle has a purpose and function. The days of designing just for looks are long gone. For instance, hoods, fenders, etc., all have crush zones. They are designed to crush and collapse at a predictable manner. This is designed to absorb the impact to keep the passengers safe. For instance, if a hood was not designed properly, it may not fold and collapse properly, which could result in the hood crashing through the windshield decapitating the passengers inside. Even if the crush zones are designed into the aftermarket part, how can it react the same in an accident if the part is made out of thinner gauge metal? The thinner parts are going to collapse different from an OEM part.
Rust has always made a vehicle look bad. However, the way today’s vehicles are designed, require the strength of every part. Rust not only looks bad, but it weakens the part, which could cause it to react different in an accident. Aftermarket parts may not have equal corrosion protection applied to the parts, which could lead to an unsafe vehicle.
You may hear aftermarket companies claim that their parts are equal quality. However, I find that hard to believe. Just because it looks the same, does not guarantee it is the same. All the crash testing performed on vehicles are done using OEM factory parts. If they’re not crash testing with aftermarket parts, then how can they claim that they are the same quality?
If you’re not willing to settle for a cheap suit to replace your original suit, than I suggest that we start working together to require insurance companies to stop demanding body shops to cut corners to save the insurance companies money. If you buy a new car, the insurance is going to insure you accordingly. However, if you wreck the car and less expensive parts are used to repair the car, do you think the insurance company will lower the premiums? No, they’re going to charge for the pre-accidental condition value. Therefore, it’s only fair to demand that the car be repaired to it’s pre-accidental condition.
Let’s hear your thoughts…