When you bring in your to a local auto repair shop, how important is it that the shop uses original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts instead of aftermarket or generic ones? It is a question many drivers don’t even think about but it is one that has garnered recent attention lately. Should insurance companies pressure auto repair shops and the insured to settle for less expensive aftermarket parts to save money or should the insurance company be required to pay for OEM parts?
Insurance companies contend that aftermarket parts are as good as OEM parts and therefore they shouldn’t have to pay the higher price for the OEM parts. But many mechanics and fellow car repair experts aren’t so sure of this logic. In an extensive report by CNN, mechanics and drivers are filing lawsuits saying they are being forced to use inferior parts that are not safe. Specifically, more than 500 auto repair shops across the nation are participating in such lawsuits.
Many mechanics question the use of aftermarket parts
Part of the argument by mechanics and repair shops across the nation is that part quality really matters. Moreover, it should be the mechanic — and not the insurance company — to decide on suitability of using OEM or aftermarket parts.
For many auto repairs, the devil is in the details. Drivers should read the insurance contract to see whether OEM parts or generic are covered, this is something many drivers typically do not do. Depending on the agreed contract, the insurance company may not be required to replace a Toyota part with another Toyota part in an accident.
If the insurance company will only cover the cost of the counterfeit part, drivers are left to pay for the difference if they want an OEM part. Many drivers are suing their insurance companies for not coughing up the dough for OEM parts. Insurance companies are essentially being accused of putting profits over driver safety.
A secondary issue is that using aftermarket parts instead of OEM parts may negatively impact your vehicle’s resale value. So your Toyota that has had repair work done using aftermarket parts is now worth less. Yes. You read that correctly. Again, more often than not, drivers are not made aware that these generic parts are being used when they get an repair done at their local car repair shop.
So if you need an auto repair after your accident, make sure you ask the mechanics at the shop what kind of parts they will be using. And always read your insurance contract.
As a side note, Griffin’s only uses original OEM parts for all of our auto repairs. If for any reason we are unable to, we always inform our customers prior to repair.