Part Type Definitions
Today’s vehicles are complex, sophisticated and technologically advanced. A multitude of systems must work together to provide an enjoyable and safe driving experience. This includes your vehicle’s sheet metal, bumpers, and safety-related items, such as airbags, and the sensors that trigger airbag deployment.
Many consumers may be aware of the existence of non-OEM (non-original equipment manufacturer) mechanical parts sold at traditional, highly visible and highly advertised auto parts stores. But most consumers are totally unaware of the existence of alternative collision repair parts (also called “crash parts”).
Sometimes, insurance companies will specify the use of these alternative parts (non-OEM) to repair your vehicle as a cost-saving measure. The following is offered to help you better understand the terminology of collision repair parts and some of the ramifications of their use.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Collision Parts:
Sometimes called “OEM Part” on the estimate, OEM collision parts are designed by your vehicle manufacturer and are produced to the same specifications and tolerances as the parts on the vehicle when it was manufactured. These parts meet stringent requirements for fit, finish, structural integrity, corrosion protection and dent resistance. They are the only parts proven during vehicle development to deliver the intended level of protection as a whole system.
The only way to know for sure you are getting collision repair parts just like the original parts on your vehicle is to use your vehicle’s OEM collision replacement parts. No other parts meet this level of testing. Using them also ensures your new-vehicle warranty remains intact.
Aftermarket collision parts—also referred to as “non-OEM parts,” “imitation parts” or “copy parts”—are parts produced and supplied by companies other than the original equipment (OE) manufacturer; in other words, non-OEM collision parts.
Aftermarket collision parts—including but not limited to sheet metal, bumper components, and lamps—may offer a price-based alternative, but may not be made of the same material or to the same tolerances and specifications as Original Equipment collision replacement parts. As a result, some new aftermarket collision parts may not be of the same quality or have the same performance characteristics as OEM collision parts.
Some aftermarket companies may offer a lifetime warranty, but that alone does not make them equivalent to Original Equipment collision replacement parts in terms of quality and performance. Damage to your vehicle or its parts caused by the failure of new aftermarket collision parts may not be covered by your new-vehicle warranty.
Aftermarket collision parts are often referred to on your estimate with these names or abbreviations:
A/M Aftermarket / Automotive replacement parts
QRP Quality Replacement Parts
CP Competitive Parts