RetireSafe president slams automakers for bashing aftermarket parts

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August 25, 2010—Recent attempts by automakers to show the inferiority of aftermarket parts are “shameless efforts” to strengthen a repair parts monopoly and stomp out competition, according to a statement by Thair Phillips, president of RetireSafe, a senior citizen advocacy organization.

Ford Motor Co. release_notesd a study in July showing that aftermarket parts are often substandard to those made by automakers and that consumers are often not told when these parts are used in repairs. Soon thereafter, Hyundai Motor America and American Honda stated that genuine parts are made to specific standards to keep vehicle occupants safe in the event of a collision, and therefore do not support the use of aftermarket parts.

Phillips’ organization, which represents 400,000 older Americans, said these claims by automakers are harmful to seniors—and all Americans—because they stifle necessary competition and free choice in the marketplace.

"There is a certain irony that after a year-long parade of car company recalls, a number of car companies are attacking aftermarket repair parts in an effort to push their own, usually much more expensive repair parts," Phillips said. "In the toughest economy since the Great Depression, seniors and all American consumers count on having the money-saving choice of high-quality aftermarket parts to repair their vehicles."

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