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The Automotive Recyclers Association Urges West Virginia Attorney General to Correct The Record



CONTACT: Caryn Smith                                      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(571) 208-0428                                                   Date: January 4, 2012

The Automotive Recyclers Association Urges West Virginia Attorney General to Correct the Record

Manassas, VA. This week, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) sent a formal letter of complaint to West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw urging him to refrain from using the derogatory and misleading term "junkyard parts" when referring to recycled/salvaged automobile parts.

In a December 2011 press release announcing legal action against Liberty Mutual Insurance, the Attorney General's office referred to recycled/salvage parts as "junkyard parts" and implied that recycled/salvaged parts are inferior to new OE parts. In the press release the Attorney General says: "My Office will always work to insure that West Virginians receive safe, high quality, competent, and lawful repairs to their vehicles."

The Attorney General’s derogatory and misleading characterization of recycled/salvaged automobile parts does a disservice to consumers in West Virginia. Restricting legitimate choices for vehicle repair does not protect West Virginia consumers. Rather, restricting access to recycled/salvaged parts creates a monopolistic market, inflating the cost of vehicle repair and increasing insurance premiums.

"We believe that this statement infers that salvaged, used and/or reconditioned parts are somehow unsafe and inferior to new OE parts," says ARA CEO Michael E. Wilson. "This is simply false. Recycled/salvaged automobile parts are not "junkyard parts" nor are they classified as such under West Virginia statute. We have asked the Attorney General to clarify this statement ," said Wilson.

Additionally, in the letter ARA called on McGraw to correct inaccurate information posted on the frequently asked questions section of his office's webpage. Listed there is a statement that indicates that any manufacturer can declare a consumer vehicle warranty void solely on the basis of utilization of a recycled or aftermarket part. The simple use of recycled/salvage or aftermarket parts, as opposed to new equipment manufacturer parts, cannot void a vehicle warranty under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The United States Federal Trade Commission recently reaffirmed the underpinnings of the Magnuson-Moss Act by issuing a Consumer Alert that specifically advises consumers that "simply using an aftermarket or recycled part does not void a warranty." See link -- http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt192.shtm.

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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