ARA Cautions Giving Automotive Manufacturers Carte Blanche Power Over Repair Procedures

CONTACT:  Caryn Smith                                        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(571) 208-0428                                                   Date: November 30, 2011

ARA Cautions Giving Automotive Manufacturers Carte Blanche Power Over Repair Procedures
Renewed Concerns Over Recent Manufacturers' Aggressive Activity

MANASSAS, VA - Today, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) is calling on the collision repair industry to proceed cautiously in recognizing only automotive original equipment manufacturers(OEM) published repair procedures, as the official industry sanctioned “Repair Standards” for collision repair. Recently, several prominent collision repair groups issued and signed a joint statement officially recognizing OEM published repair procedures as the collision industry’s repair standards. While the collision repairers' statement did afford a limited role for the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR), a significant concern of ARA centers on recent auto manufacturers' activity which could be viewed as aggressively pushing the limits of antitrust laws and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Over the last three years an increase in the use of recycled OEM automotive parts has reduced the market for new OEM replacement parts. As a result, automotive manufacturers have become more aggressive by releasing revised collision repair position statements that are even more biased and based on weak or no apparent scientific research claiming the recycled OEM parts are inferior to new OEM parts. In making these types of statements, auto manufacturers seem to be attempting to exclude recycled OEM parts from the market which would result in only one source of parts and procedures for the repair of consumers’ vehicles – the auto manufacturers. "We believe that the goal of the manufacturers is to discourage the use of recycled OEM parts and secure a market that establishes automakers as the only source of parts and procedures for the repair of consumers’ vehicles", said ARA CEO Michael E. Wilson.

For example, Chrysler released a position statement last year implying that recycled OEM parts may have invisible defects due to environmental and human error factors and stated that, “Chrysler Group LLC does not approve of or recognize structural repair procedures where Authentic Mopar Parts are not used for Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge and Ram vehicles.” This statement suggests that consumers’ warranties might not be honored if parts other than Authentic Mopar Parts were used. Similar statements have also been released by American Honda, Toyota Motor Sales, and Hyundai Motor America.

In response to these inflammatory statements, ARA earlier this year met with the U.S. Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) requesting the FTC to clarify warranty policies so that consumers would not be duped into thinking that using recycled OEM parts in a repair could void their warranty. As a result, the FTC announced the update of a consumer alert entitled Auto Warranties, Routine Maintenance, and Repairs: Is Using the Dealer a Must? The revised alert specifically notes that the mere use of recycled OEM parts does not void a warranty and that it is illegal for warrantors to void a warranty or deny coverage simply because a recycled OEM part was used.

Use of recycled OEM parts has been widely accepted for decades and there is a long track record of their successful use. Recycled OEM parts are fully functional OEM parts and are in most cases identical to the OEM parts automobile manufacturers recommend for repairs.

In addition, recycled OEM parts have several additional benefits compared to new parts. Recycled OEM automotive parts are typically 30 to 70 percent less expensive than comparable new parts. Recycled OEM parts are much better for the environment than new parts because no additional resources or energy are used to create them.

Since 1943, the Automotive Recyclers Association (“ARA”) represents an industry dedicated to the
efficient removal and reuse of “green” automotive parts, and the proper recycling of inoperable motor vehicles. ARA represents the interests of over 4,500 auto recycling facilities in the United States and fourteen other countries around the world. With programs such as the Certified Automotive Recycler Program (CAR) and other partnerships, ARA members continue to provide consumers with quality, low-cost alternatives for vehicle replacement parts, while preserving our environment for a “greener” tomorrow.


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