General Motors is reminding its dealers of controversial policies intended to increase use of factory rather than aftermarket parts in repairs.
In June, GM told dealers it disapproves of the use of "aftermarket, reconditioned or salvage bumpers/fascias" to fix collision-damaged vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS, such as ultrasonic blind spot detection and adaptive cruise control.
The automaker says it will not honor warranty claims if a nonfactory part fails.
In a memo to dealerships, GM suggested that nonfactory parts could be less safe. "Only Genuine GM ADAS bumpers/fascias and components are tested and validated as a safety system," the memo said.
The Automotive Body Parts Association, an industry group in Smithfield, R.I., that represents aftermarket crash-replacement parts suppliers, expressed "extreme disappointment" with the GM notice.
"The ABPA takes exception to the position that plastic bumper fascias produced by the aftermarket crash parts industry create a safety issue when an ADAS assistance system is involved," the association said in a press release that was also emailed to members and other subscribers to its newsletter.
Aftermarket collision replacement parts typically cost 25 to 50 percent less than comparable factory parts, says Edward Salamy, the association's executive director.
Separately, the Insurance Information Institute, a group in New York funded by the insurance industry, also defended the quality of aftermarket parts.
"Auto insurers, when possible, want aftermarket parts to be used because they're safe and they're less expensive than OE parts," institute spokesman Michael Barry told Fixed Ops Journal. "After all, the insurance company wants to put a safe vehicle back on the road."
Barry added that he was making a general statement, not commenting specifically about the GM policy.