Monday, 02 August 2010 16:58

i-team Atlanta VIDEO aftermarket parts story

The Fox 5 Atlanta i-team did an indepth investigation of aftermarket parts for their July 29 broadcast.

In the report the team interviewed a consumer who’s truck was being fixed with aftermarket parts at the request of his insurance company.

The Ford F150 owner, Craig Brown, tried to go to his insurance company, Grange Insurance, and request that his truck be fixed with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts instead of aftermarket parts.

Brown was turned down by his insurance company several times; the company would only pay to repair the truck with aftermarket parts not Ford or brand name parts.

“This is not a Ford hood, it’s an aftermarket hood and right there you can see things are not lining up the way they’re supposed to be,” said Brown.

David Montanaro, owner of Performance Auto Collision in Alpharetta, GA and former insurance adjuster, believes generic parts are inferior to their OEM counterparts. During the report Montanaro and i-team reporter Dana Fowle attempted to bend an OEM BMW radiator support and an aftermarket radiator support. Fowle could not bend the OEM support but crushed the aftermarket support with ease.

“This is the part that’s supposed to help keep you from getting hurt in an accident,” said Fowle.

Many demonstrations of the difference between aftermarket parts and OEM parts have been cropping up across the country; from industry experts to government officials.

The i-team also spoke to David Colmans, Executive Director for the Georgia Insurance Information Service, about the lack of regulations and standards for aftermarket parts.

“Aftermarket parts are not regulated ... from a federal government standpoint they are not regulated,” said Colmans.

Cosmetic aftermarket parts are regulated by the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA), but the association does not regulate any of the structural aftermarket parts used for repairs.

As the i-team explains, CAPA only regulates cosmetic parts such as grilles and tailgates.

“Structural parts meet no standards at all,” said Fowle.

Although the jury is still out on whether or not aftermarket parts are actually as safe as OEM parts, the i-team also revealed that some car companies may not honor warranties on the OEM parts in a car once an aftermarket part is installed.

The i-team was able to obtain a statement from Ford saying “that if any aftermarket part causes damage to a Ford part that’s under warranty, the warranty will not cover that repair.”

There is still some specualtion about whether or not all car manufacturers will honor warranties when aftermarket parts come in to play.

For more information please visit myfoxatlanta.com.

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