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ARA cautions acceptance of OEM procedures as industry standards

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Dec. 1, 2011—The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) cautions the collision repair industry in recognizing automotive original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) published repair procedures as the official industry standards for collision repair, according to a statement released by the organization Wednesday.

Several collision repair organizations recently issued a joint statement officially recognizing OEM published repair procedures as the collision industry’s repair standards. Those organizations included the Automotive Service Association (ASA), Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) and Assured Performance Network (APN).

The ARA said it has concerns regarding auto manufacturers' recent activities against the use of recycled OEM parts. An increased use of recycled OEM automotive parts has reduced the market for new OEM replacement parts over the last three years. That has caused OEMs to release revised collision repair position statements that are based on weak scientific research, claiming recycled OEM parts are inferior to new OEM parts, according to the ARA.

The ARA said auto manufacturers are attempting to exclude recycled OEM parts from the market, which would result in OEM recommendations becoming the only source of parts and procedures for the repair of consumers’ vehicles. Declaring OEM repair procedures as the standard could be viewed as aggressively pushing the limits of antitrust laws and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

"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 Michael Wilson, CEO of the ARA.

Recycled OEM parts have 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 in most cases are identical to the OEM parts manufacturers recommend for repairs, the ARA said.

The organization added that recycled OEM parts also have several additional benefits compared to new parts. Recycled OEM parts are typically 30 to 70 percent less expensive than comparable new parts, and are better for the environment because no additional resources or energy are used to create them.

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