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ASA asks NHTSA to regulate aftermarket crash parts

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Feb. 19, 2010--The Automotive Service Association is asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to regulate aftermarket crash parts through an aftermarket crash parts regulatory program.

The ASA is concerned with the quality and safety issues regarding aftermarket crash parts being used to repair vehicles.

The NHTSA does have the authority to regulate aftermarket crash parts used, according to the ASA.

In 2000, the General Accounting Office (GAO) reviewed NHTSA’s role in regulating replacement crash parts. The GAO report on “Motor Vehicle Safety: NHTSA’s Ability to Detect and Recall Defective Replacement Crash Parts is Limited” resulted in the following conclusions:

• NHTSA has broad authority to set safety standards for aftermarket crash parts.

• The Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA) provides NHTSA with the authority to prescribe safety standards for new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle equipment sold in interstate commerce – a category that includes aftermarket crash parts.

• Although NHTSA has the authority to regulate aftermarket crash parts, it has not determined that these parts pose a significant safety concern and therefore has not developed safety standards for them.

• The MVSA provides NHTSA with more limited authority to prescribe safety performance standards for used motor vehicles to encourage and strengthen state motor vehicle inspection programs.

• NHTSA may set motor vehicle safety standards for vehicle systems as well as for an entire vehicle. The agency could elect to develop safety standards for occupant restraint systems—which could incorporate airbags—under the used vehicle provision.

• NHTSA has not developed such standards because it has not identified significant problems with occupant restraint systems that could be addressed by state motor vehicle inspection programs.

Less than half the states have state motor vehicle inspection programs, according to the ASA.

Visit to download the GAO report and ASA’s letter to NHTSA.

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