ABPA compares Ford production, service parts with new tests

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Sept. 9, 2011—The Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) on Thursday release_notesd parts testing results that reveal discrepancies between production and service parts that Ford Motor Co. claims are the same.

Testing revealed that Ford service parts have lower hardness, lower weight, lower density, higher flammability and absorb less energy than Ford’s production parts.

According to the ABPA, two factory-installed front bumper isolators from 2005-2009 Ford Mustangs weighed 72 percent more than two genuine Ford service parts for the same components. Additional testing by NSF International confirmed those weights.

The average density of the Ford service parts was 79 percent lower than the density of the Ford production parts. The average hardness of the two Ford replacement parts was 23 percent less than the hardness of the production parts. Both of those results fall outside of the variance permitted by NSF’s Vehicle EPP Energy Absorber criteria, according to the ABPA.

The Ford service parts withstood an average compressive load of 83 percent less than the production parts, while the average compressive energy declined an average of 81 percent from the original parts to the Ford-branded collision replacement components, according to the ABPA.

In addition, the average burn rate was 319 percent higher for the Ford service parts than the original Ford parts installed during production.

"To anyone who reviews the data, it is indisputable that Ford's production and service parts are hardly the same as the company has asserted," said Eileen Sottile, co-chair of ABPA’s Legislation and Regulation Committee. "If Ford's genuine collision repair parts can vary as much from the production parts as these do and still be considered acceptable for consumers, then obviously material composition is not as crucial as Ford has claimed. Testing by the ABPA has already demonstrated that high quality aftermarket parts can deliver the same vehicle occupant protection as car company parts despite their lack of a car company logo or higher price tag."

To review the ABPA’s detailed test results, visit autobpa.com.

The ABPA, based in Houston, represents manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of independently produced aftermarket body parts. Its membership base consists of more than 150 companies that supply more than 75 percent of the market’s aftermarket parts.

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