Demonstrating Safety & Quality of Aftermarket Parts

Demonstrating Safety & Quality of Aftermarket Parts

Aftermarket auto parts are high-quality,
safe, affordable alternatives to similar components sold by car companies known
as original equipment manufacturers or OEM’S Typically priced twenty five to fifty
percent lower aftermarket parts are engineered to meet
the quality of the OEM parts and are often produced by the same
manufacturers that supply the car companies. With competitive pricing and
widespread availability aftermarket parts have carved out a
significant amount of market share. Today fifteen percent of crash parts, those
most often repaired following auto accidents, are produced by the aftermarket As the OEM’s have lost their near
monopoly and seen their own sales of repair parts decline they have grown increasingly critical of
the competition, challenging the quality of aftermarket parts even as their own
vehicles face unprecedented numbers of recalls and serious safety concerns. Yet tests consistently demonstrate
aftermarket parts not only meet the public’s needs but also deliver the
quality and protection their consumers demand and deserve Some aftermarket critics have used saws to
cut through parts suggesting that different materials used in OEM and
aftermarket parts may impact safety however the only conclusion to be
drawn from those theatrics is that motorists should avoid slowly driving
into madmen wielding reciprocating saws. This video shows that when both OEM
and aftermarket parts are subject to a saw applying the same pressure it takes an equal amount of time
to cut through both. Merely chopping up parts though, tells you
nothing about how they will perform in crashes. In the real world, part performance,
quality and safety are measured using scientific instruments and sophisticated
tests and analysis, so that’s just what the Automotive Body Parts Association or ABPA did. The results consistently showed
aftermarket parts meeting the same crash worthiness criteria as OEM’s. Two 2007 Ford Mustangs were
crash tested at 5 MPH. One vehicle featured an aftermarket
bumper reinforcement bar and the other an original equipment
supplied equivalent. At this speed the aftermarket equipped
vehicle performed better. As expected, air bags did not
deploy in either vehicle and while both parts effectively absorbed
the impact and protected the vehicle’s occupants, a piece of the bumper fell off of
the OES outfitted Mustang. Two repair shops calculated
the cost of repair, one gave an identical estimate, while the other estimated it would
cost $200 less to repair the aftermarket equipped vehicle than the one
with original equipment parts which sustained more damage. A high-speed crash test at
35 mph provided valuable data related to the impact of
aftermarket parts on vehicle dynamics, air bags sensor response, and most importantly occupant safety. This test is the same procedure used by the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to assign the star safety
rating to new cars Two 2006 Toyota Corollas were used.
One equipped with a high quality aftermarket bumper
reinforcement bar and the other unmodified from its
original factory condition. The side by side video is precisely timed and shows the impact, crush and
deployment of the air bags when engineers compared data from both
cars’ onboard instruments they found the numbers
essentially equivalent. The first set of analyzed results
involved vehicle crush along the center line of the cars. The measurement of six hundred one
millimeters on each car was identical. The timing of the airbag sensors was
evaluated down to the 1000th of a second. Airbag response occurred at 7.5 milliseconds. The timing for both cars was identical. When it came to occupant injury the aftermarket equipped car performed
essentially the same actually slightly better numerically
than the OEM. In terms of head impact the
aftermarket vehicle was 36% and the OEM was 45% of the
maximum allowable limits. Chest deflection is another key measure
of injury in a crash. The aftermarket and the OEM results
were identical at 29%. In the end an average of eleven
occupant injury criteria revealed that the aftermarket equipped vehicle
performed slightly better than the OEM As with the previous tests these numbers
are essentially equivalent. Both cars delivered occupant
safety performance well within the allowable limits for crash
certification established by NHTSA under the Federal Motor Vehicle
Safety Standards number 208. Auto makers have suggested only car company branded parts should be
used to repair vehicles. Yet despite an estimated eight million
annual crashes in the U.S So despite claims by car companies,
the 35 MPH tests in laboratory conditions demonstrated that these aftermarket
parts are safe and crashworthy In fact, the aftermarket and the OEM equipped
vehicles used in this test fell well within government established
safety standards for occupant protection. Based on the results of tests at both
low and high speeds, consumers should feel secure about using aftermarket parts
to repair their cars the ABPA invites you to visit our
website at: and learn more about the benefits of
aftermarket parts at:

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. After 30 years in the collision repair business they still don't fit. I'll keep installing OEM parts thank you. There's no excuse for a CAPA certified part having crimps that look like a cheap aluminum pie tin vs. the smooth OEM crimps. I find it interesting that in the saw test a hand saw was used in the other test but your test used a machine shop chop saw. Very different animals and makes one cry "foul" unless you do it with a hand recip saw like Bill Fowler did.

  2. I prefer OE parts when possible, but have come to view credible competition as a good thing, both for customer choice and to help keep down the cost of OE parts. Due to aftermarket competition, some OE's have instituted official price matching programs, and many dealerships have become more willing than ever before to make deals on OE parts.

  3. Can the same part (same material) be offered to consumer with same corrosion preventative materials and offered at Aftermarket prices, if so that is a sweet deal.
    Insurance Companies LOVE THIS and policies are written to reflect "Not Your Choice", but Ins. Co's. choice and if you would like factory parts as a matter of CHOICE then you must pay for an additional coverage policy for the chance that you may be involved in a collision. All in all there is no savings except to Ins. Co.

  4. I use CAPA parts and have had no problem with fit or quality. Alexander you guys repeat the same talking points all the time. If you really were having problems with am parts you wouldn't be ordering them. If you are happy with paying more for the same parts, then continue with what you are doing. That's the great thing about living here in the US…. we all have a choice!

  5. Guys, the giant fallacy in the thinking behind your video is that just because THIS one am part performed well, ALL am parts will perform just like OEMs. Wow! That's a whopper of a blanket endorsement—entirely unsupported by fact. We all know you're promoting the am industry. Fine. We get it. But doing it by compromising your credibility makes absolutely no sense. To my knowledge only CAPA certified parts are tested and certified by independent third-party testers, not some guys down the hall.

  6. @artisanauto therein lies the rub "credible competition". Frankly I'm appalled that OEs are instituting these price matching schemes because it does not lend to their credibility. Their parts are better and unless they are comparing apples to apples they should not be selling apples at the prices of oranges. I refuse to take part in these price matching programs. If an insurer specifies AM the customer decides what goes on their car. If it's AM it's AM (very rare) if it's OEM, they pay the diff.

  7. @bigtiii I don't support the idea that OE's should have a monopoly on parts. When OE's can charge whatever they feel like just because they can, ultimately my customers suffer. The only rationale for not taking advantage of a price matching program is not wanting to give up the higher markup on the higher dollar amount. I believe that does a disservice to the customer. Our shop will continue to offer customer choice and to provide the highest quality repairs possible per dollar spent.

  8. @artisanauto I don't support the idea of ill fitting, junk imitation parts (aka CAPA certified). In fact from what I've seen the AM parts tend to price themselves yards apart from the OEM prices while the quality is miles apart. My customers want VALUE not just a price. So do yours. I can't offer any value using AM crash parts. All you do is devalue their vehicle with ill fitting parts that look like pie tins banged out by hand. Give me value over price.

  9. @artisanauto ….continuing…..speaking of monopolies I have 3 letters "L K Q". Keystone is just as much a monopoly as others claim about the OEMs. The OEMs are putting out quality parts that fit. If I own something I want to replace broken parts with ones that come from the manufacturer. I feel like I'm getting a correctly engineered part. It's like buying a store brand electronic device vs a brand name…'s a gamble that typically doesn't pay off.

  10. @bigtiii While I'm NOT defending the quality of A/M parts I continue believe competition is a good thing. You don't. You see it as being in your best interests to allow OE's to continue to monopolize the replacement parts industry so you can enjoy the tremendous profitability of inflated list prices. We continue to offer a customer oriented approach with an unvarnished representation of the relative merits of various repair methodologies, instead of the all-or-nothing mentality you embrace.

  11. @artisanauto Competition is a great thing and I do not support monopolies. I do fully believe in it. However two things have to be comparable or equal if any competition exists. Take a football game. One team heavily outperforms the other. What is said "they were no competition". AM parts vs OEM parts is the same NO COMPETITION. There's no comparability therefore no fair comparison between the two.

  12. @artisanauto ..continuing. Look at Microsoft. They are a monopoly of sorts. They have the #1 operating system used by more companies and people in the world. Yes there are alternatives but they are not as user friendly….cheaper, but not as good. Therefore since MS has no real competition by definition it's a monopoly…'s expensive, but it's what people want! When the AM parts companies can put out an equal product for less…..I'll buy it.

  13. @bigtiii My customers have disagreed with your assertions countless times. But you are entitled to your opinion, such as it is. You still have given no satisfactory reason why you would not save your customers money AND provide OE quality by participating in an OE price matching program.

  14. @mitchwood1000 that's funny we have a 75-80% return rate with used parts from LKQ and every part we've ordered and tried was CAPA certifed. I won't say none ever fit. I remember one bumper cover and one fender. The one fender that fit like a glove was missing a welded bracket that came with the OEM fender. In the end it cost the customer more! Where's the money savings and "assurance" of a quality product. Maybe my standards are higher. So who's pulling your strings?

  15. @bigtiii …. insurance adjuster who at that point must make a decision if they want to be responsible for paying twice to do the job over again. We don't make parts fit. Most times they call and say "just put on OEM". Customer's happy, I'm happy. We are a DRP free shop that has an educated customer base and most insurers just back off. We work for our customers alone. You guys are either incredibly lucky, have low standards or are lying. We have a low % use of AM parts..substandard.

  16. @artisonauto Arti…I ordered a US made AM aluminum ford truck hood from the Diamond Standard folks. Sucker was beautiful! Great stamping, beautiful crimps, solid weld joints. absolutely gorgeous. Looked just like an OEM Ford hood. Pssssssssst…. wouldn't bolt it on because the place-nut plate was welded in the wrong place.

    You may convince the ignorant but after 30 years of seeing the worst quality and peeling paint coming from AM parts….can't fool me. When they're good…I'll sell em.

  17. @bigtiii Are you are ignorant of OE price matching programs, or if you are purposely being misleading here? Margins on the programs are the same as with normal OE purchases. But perhaps you are more interested in extracting every last penny from your customers? I for one am thrilled to bring high quality repairs using OE parts to my customers for less money. You SAY you work for your customers, but seem singularly uninterested in an issue that looms large in the minds of most consumers: COST.

  18. @artisanauto quite the opposite. I'm very aware of the margins. However x% of 150 vs the same % of 250 means more dollars. Are you ignorant of that? You may assume about me all you want but you need to recognize that we give our customers the choice of AM or OEM. They choose OEM 99% of the time. They are willing to pay the "COST" because it offers greater value. I'm not willing to play a pricing scheme so I look like a "hero" to my customer. I have a loyal customer base I assure you.

  19. @artisanauto my assumption of you is you take the easy road and call it heroism. I call it lazy and uneducated as to how to get your customers in OEM parts and charge OEM list price. I do it everyday. Insurers do not have the right to force AM parts on any insured or claimant unless they elect to repair in the policy. Since I'm liable for the repairs I have learned ways to do the above. I have a far different mindset than the average body shop owner looking to make the least waves. (i.e. lazy)

  20. @bigtiii
    Ultimately for you, then, it's all about the extracting the most dollars per customer under the guise of quality. People that read these comments will see that readily enough. Have a nice day!

  21. @henriformisano they match price to keep the AM to be sold. I disagree with that and don't think it does a thing to change the industry, but anyone who has done collision repair for more than 15 minutes knows there is a difference.

  22. @bigtiii agreed TOTALLY…especially with honda fenders and bumpers…and a lexus? dont even try an aftmkt fender, lol

  23. LOL how nice of you to mislead the people by increasing the speed of the blade on the bandsaw test…..if you count when the white stripe on the blade passes by you will notice it takes 3 seconds for the oem…and 4 seconds for the aftermarket……

  24. @transmissionjimmy69 and notice the airbag delay timing…the aftermarket bag goes off later….resulting in more possible injury

  25. @henriformisano to throw the aftmkt off the market…the oe made the part, spent lots of $ designing it, and the aftmkt comes behind them and copies their design……weak

  26. @paulmontclair lol that's a real zinger! OH you're serious? Obviously you don't work in the collision industry. I bet I know what industry you do work for. wink wink

  27. The test proves only that the aftermarket part or parts in the test perform like the OEM service parts. That is way far short of proving that ALL aftermarket parts will do the same.

    People aren't fools.

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