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Study: Car Owners Saved $80M Since 2009 Using Certified Alternative Parts

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May 29, 2014—A report released Tuesday from the Quality Parts Coalition (QPC) demonstrated a significant price gap between original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and aftermarket or alternative versions of the 20 most commonly sold auto collision parts from 2009–14.

The research was conducted by the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) and compiled by QPC. All parts used in the study were certified by the CAPA.

According to the study by QPC, the top-20 aftermarket parts were priced, on average, 29 percent less than the OEM versions of the parts. The largest discrepancy was 50 percent.

In total, the price differences accounted for an $80 million savings for car owners since 2009.

“This report reinforces the importance of consumers having a choice when making collision repairs to their cars,” said Ed Salamy, executive director of the QPC. “Without competition, auto manufacturers would be free to charge inflated prices, and consumers would have no other options.”

In the announcement of the study results, QPC also campaigned for the Promoting Auto Repair, Trade, and Sales (PARTS) Act of 2013, bills H.R. 1663 and S. 780, which have been introduced to both the U.S. House and Senate. QPC stated that the bills would help close a “loophole in design patent law” that currently limits access to alternative collision parts, “forcing consumers to pay car companies more to fix their vehicles.”

“It is simply not fair to saddle consumers with higher repair and insurance costs as a result of car companies seeking to eliminate competition and charge monopolistic prices,” said Jack Gillis, director of public affairs for the Consumer Federation of America. “This report highlights the extraordinary consumer savings inherent in a competitive marketplace and the need for Congress to pass the PARTS Act without delay. Consumers need to make their voices heard to ensure that happens.”

According to its release, QPC “represents the interests of the independent parts industry, repairers, insurers, consumers and seniors.”

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