The Importance of Using OEM Parts in Vehicle Repairs after a Car Accident in Louisiana
After an auto accident that has damaged your car, you have the right to request that your vehicle be repaired only with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) replacement parts made and/or distributed by or for your car’s manufacturer. This is to ensure proper fit, function, and safety.
Several factors will influence whether or not your request will be honored.
If You Were At Fault For the Auto Accident
If you were at fault and you have filed a claim with your own insurance company, you will need to check your insurance policy to see what allowances may, or may not be, made for certain replacement parts.
If your policy does not require that your insurance company pay for genuine OEM parts, you still don’t have to accept third-party replacements, although you will likely have to pay the difference in cost between the OEM parts you want, and the cheaper replacement parts that your insurer is willing to pay for.
If You Were NOT At Fault For the Auto Accident
If the accident was not your fault, and you have filed a damage claim with the guilty driver’s insurance company, at the time of publication of this article (August, 2016) you can insist that your vehicle be repaired with OEM parts. However, there are current efforts by the insurance industry to change this, and allow for forced use of non-OEM parts in certain circumstances with certain disclosures. The proposed exceptions (which have not passed through the Louisiana legislature, yet) do not apply to safety parts like antilock brakes and airbags.
The Debate Between Using OEM and Non-OEM Parts
Whether non-OEM, or aftermarket, parts are equivalent to those manufactured by the car makers, themselves, has been the subject of extensive debate and litigation, nationwide. Supporters of using generic, remanufactured, or even recycled (junk) parts claim they are no different than using other types of generic or used products with the added benefit of their being less expensive. In fact, some proponents of aftermarket parts contend that sometimes they are actually better than the originals and that they incorporate improvements to OEM parts that were found to have been operating less than satisfactorily after being road-tested a few years. Also, sometimes OEM parts are simply not available for some older model cars.
Importance of Using OEM Parts to Repair a Vehicle Following an Accident:
- Today’s vehicles use more advanced high-strength steels, exotic metals, and composite materials than ever before. They also include highly advanced crash avoidance and safety system technologies. It is critical for these systems to be repaired with parts that will deliver the intended level of form, function, performance, and safety the car’s engineers originally specified. The only way to be certain you are getting original equipment performance is to use genuine OEM replacement parts.
- Some replacement parts are salvaged or reconditioned from other, similar vehicles and thus their source, condition, and durability are unknown. Using these types of parts can put the car owner of a repaired vehicle in a potentially unsafe situation.
- Using non-OEM parts may decrease the resale value of a vehicle because of poor quality structural integrity, fit, finish, and/or appearance.
- Using aftermarket, salvage, or reconditioned parts may void a car’s new vehicle warranty.
- Insurance is designed to put you back as close as possible to the same position you were in before a loss and “like kind and quality” has traditionally been the standard for replacement.
The Bottom Line
You have made a major investment in your automobile/ and because of another individual’s fault or negligence, your vehicle has been damaged and is in need of repair. You should not have to accept the value of your car being diminished because it has been repaired with parts that are not equivalent to the original OEM parts placed there by the manufacturer.
All aftermarket parts are not created equal, but all OEM parts are.
In addition, you have already suffered the results of one accident. Using non-OEM parts may increase the likelihood that another accident can occur because a replacement part is faulty or simply not as good as the original. Your safety, and the safety of your passengers and loved ones, is not worth the risk of or savings behind using aftermarket, non-OEM parts. So, the bottom line is this: always insist on use of OEM parts in vehicle repairs after an accident.