W. Va. Court Issues Ruling in Recycled Parts Case
July 15, 2014—The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that salvage and recycled OEM crash parts are not prohibited by the state’s Automotive Crash Parts Act, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) announced Tuesday.
The act requires collision repair professionals to get an owner’s signature before repairing a vehicle with replacement crash parts. However, the court found that the act was intended to cover only some replacement crash parts. In its ruling, the court said that aftermarket crash parts versus salvage or recycled OEM crash parts are “diametrically different” in terms of the statute. While a disclosure and vehicle owner signature will still be required for aftermarket crash parts, recycled OEM parts will not have the same requirements.
"This ruling is a significant step forward for the professional automotive recycling industry and the increased utilization of genuine, recycled OEM parts," said Michael Wilson, ARA’s CEO. "ARA applauds the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals for recognizing the value of recycled OEM parts to automotive consumers, collision repairers and insurance companies, and for supporting the definite role professional automotive recyclers serve in today's automotive marketplace."
The ruling brings closure to a 2011 suit in which the state of West Virginia Attorney General’s office filed a complaint and petition for injunction against Liberty Mutual and Greg Chandler's Frame & Body. The suit alleged the defendants violated the state's Automotive Crash Parts Act as well as the Consumer Credit and Protection Act by repairing new vehicles using salvage crash parts without getting the vehicle owner's’ consent.
The court also considered whether the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act had any application to the use of salvage/recycled OEM parts. In both parts, the court determined that the defendants did not violate the law.
The ARA has been involved with the case since 2012, when it wrote a letter to the state’s Attorney General in favor of recycled OEM parts, saying the “green” recycled OEM auto parts meet the performance, safety, fit and durability standards of new parts. The ARA also called on the Attorney General’s office to help the people of West Virginia understand that recycled or salvage parts are “OEM parts, fully functional and in many cases identical to original parts."
For more information about the ARA, visit a-r-a.org.