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Automotive Recyclers Association Applauds Ruling In California Anti-Trust and Unfair Competition Case

 
For Immediate Release:                                   For More Information Contact:
September 7, 2012                                           Michael E. Wilson
Manassas, Virginia                                            (888) 385-1005 (Phone)


Automotive Recyclers Association Applauds
Ruling In California Anti-Trust and Unfair Competition Case

Manassas, VA - Last week a California federal court dismissed the Perez et al v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company et al case in which plaintiffs claimed that insurance companies had violated California’s antitrust statute and unfair competition. Of particular concern in the case, the plaintiffs' expert witness stated in submitted documents that with regards to six categories of aftermarket parts and four categories of salvage [recycled] parts there is at least a 25% probability that the use of these parts 'will lessen the quality of the automobile's repair as to safety, fit, structural integrity or mechanical functioning than [sic] would be experienced over the life of a high-quality OEM repair part".
 
The court dismissed the case on procedural grounds and noted that the plaintiffs’ expert testimony lacked an "articulated methodology for choosing which sources to rely upon" and was "particularly troubling, in light of evidence that the sources consulted may have been systematically skewed towards demonstrating non-OEM inferiority". The Court further noted that the expert witness "did not make any effort to seek out sources that would support a contrary view". The Court went on to find that this is precisely the type of methodology that is "biased toward a particular conclusion" and therefore "does not comport [ ] with dictates of good science".

The court’s ruling highlights an ARA frustration with similar broad, non-scientific based statements repeatedly made by the OEMs about the quality and use of recycled automotive parts. Regrettably, many OEMs continue to make such statements that are far too imprecise and subjective to rise to the level of sound methodology. ARA has requested that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission hold OEMs accountable for their repeated unfounded statements questioning the quality and utilization of recycled OEM parts.
 
ARA closely monitored the California case and worked with interested parties by providing expert testimony, written statements and background information. ARA is pleased with the court’s decision and will continue to consider our options in any case which could have an adverse impact on the recycled automotive parts industry.
 
For almost 70 years, ARA has represented an industry dedicated to the efficient removal and reuse of “green” automotive parts, and the proper recycling of inoperable motor vehicles. ARA members provide consumers with quality, environmentally friendly, low-cost alternatives for vehicle replacement parts. Today, ARA represents the interests of over 4,500 auto recycling facilities in the United States and fourteen other countries around the world. For more information on green recycled parts, please visit http://www.greenrecycledparts.com.
 

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