Saving Money vs. Saving Lives

The case for OEM parts and procedures in auto body repair just keeps growing and growing. The latest comes from this report on a series of crash tests conducted as a follow-up to last-year’s historic $42 million jury award against a Texas body shop for their liability in a horrific crash involving a 2010 Honda Fit.

GCAB was among the financial supporters of the tests, which compared new, OEM-repaired, aftermarket-repaired and improperly repaired Honda Fits. The results bore-out what we’ve long believed: that inferior quality parts and repairs can be downright dangerous.

“When there is a 400-800 percent difference in the results, it’s staggering. This could be the difference between broken bones, permanent injuries, life or death,” said Jerry McNee, a New Jersey-based shop owner who also helped finance the tests. Of course, most repair professionals already knew that, he said; he just wishes insurance companies would catch on.

“They make comments like, ‘It’s just a fender,’ ‘It’s in their policy’ and ‘LKQ parts are the same,’” he said. “They’re dictating what they’re paying for to unjustly enrich themselves, but numbers and test results don’t lie.”

“The biggest takeaway of this presentation is that we’re beginning to define what ‘like kind and quality’ means,” said Burl Richards, President of the Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT) and another test supporter. “We now have scientific proof that shows vehicles are safer when they’re repaired using OEM parts and OEM procedures.”