Why isn’t the insurance carrier using new parts on my car?

What vehicle owners need to know about aftermarket crash parts

By William J. Price

aftermarket crash partsWhen my 2006 Honda Accord was involved in an accident, the insurance company opted to use “non-original equipment manufacturer aftermarket crash parts” in the repairs. Also called non-OEM aftermarket crash parts, these parts were not new. The use of certain types of aftermarket crash parts can be a cause of concern for vehicle owners who are not properly informed about the practice. Read on to learn what you can expect of the parts used in repairs on your vehicle. 

Terms vehicle owners need to know:

  • “Aftermarket crash part” refers to sheet metal or plastic parts used on repairs of the exterior or interior of the damaged vehicle. These are often referred to as “replacement crash parts.” This type of part would never be used on a mechanical area of the car.
  • “Non-original equipment manufacturer aftermarket crash parts” or “non-OEM aftermarket crash parts” are parts made by a different manufacturer than the vehicle being repaired. For example, the parts placed on my Honda were not made by Honda.
  • “Like kind and quality part” refers to a salvage motor vehicle part acquired by a licensed dealer that is equal to or better than the replaced part. An insurance company or repair facility may use salvage parts in the repair of a motor vehicle only if the part is of “like kind and quality” and is removed from a salvage motor vehicle by a salvage motor vehicle dealer licensed in Ohio.

The following measures must be taken by the insurance carrier or body shop if these types of parts are used in a repair:

  • The written estimate issued by the insurance company or body shop must clearly identify each non-OEM aftermarket crash part and contain a standardized notice detailing the use of the parts and applicable warranty information.
  • The insurance company or body shop is required to obtain a written acknowledgement from the vehicle’s owner approving the use of these types of parts.
  • If the vehicle owner requests an oral estimate or does not request an estimate at all, the insurance carrier or body shop must send a written notice outlining the information above or read it to the owner at the time the oral estimate is given or when approval is requested to repair the car. A copy of the written notice should always be included with the final invoice.

The use of these types of parts is perfectly legal, but there are various reasons a vehicle owner could take issue with the practice. In addition to providing the required notices, insurance companies and body shops should offer an in-depth explanation of the parts in any discussions related to the repairs and be prepared to answer any questions about the quality of the parts or reasons they are being used.

Were non-OEM aftermarket crash parts or like kind and quality parts used in repairs on your vehicle? How were you notified about the plans to use them? Share your experiences in the comments. 

SOURCES:

Ohio Administrative Code 3901-1-54: Unfair property/casualty claims settlement practices

Ohio Revised Code 1345.81: Using nonoriginal equipment manufacturer aftermarket crash parts

William J. Price focuses his practice on personal injury litigation for people who have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, defective products, negligence in construction sites and trucking and auto accidents. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, AVVO and is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

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