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Consumer Reports: Consumers should demand OEM parts

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September 29, 2010—In the Consumer Reports’ October issue, aftermarket parts were reported to be unsafe and consumers should “demand” OEM parts be used.

Aftermarket parts “can be significantly cheaper” in quality than OEMs. The report showed particular safety concern for internal bumper parts. Consumer Reports said internal bumper pieces work together to properly transmit the crash vibrations from impact that move through the vehicle, to air-bag sensors and away from the passenger compartment to reduce or prevent injury.

The article referenced a Ford study done in July on aftermarket parts, which found that aftermarket parts are not as safe as OEMs.

“Don't let your insurance company pressure you into using aftermarket collision-repair body parts, especially safety-related ones,” said Consumer Reports. “If your car has already been repaired, check your invoices or ask your insurer to see whether aftermarket parts were used. If knockoffs were used, demand that they be replaced with original equipment.”

ABPA criticized Consumer Reports earlier this month after they published a blog supporting Ford’s study. “Consumer Reports has sorely missed the mark with its piece, ‘Are low-cost replacement bumpers safe?’” said Eileen Sottile, co-chairwoman of the Auto Body Parts Association Legislation and Regulation Committee.

For more information, go to consumerreports.org and autobpa.com.

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