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Stand Up Speak Out: Recycled parts usage among collision repairs down for 2020

Toronto, Ontario — According to a recent survey of Collision Repair readers, collision repair businesses have reported using a lower quantity of recycled parts through 2020 than in previous years. 

While 64 percent of readers who responded to a survey said their collision facilities used approximately the same amount of recycled parts in 2020 as 2019, close to 30 percent of respondents indicated they had stopped using as many recycled parts. Just seven percent indicated increasing the amount of parts purchases from recycling facilities.

The survey also indicated a rise in concerns about the quality of recycled parts among collision repair professionals. All respondents agreed that the quality of parts was frequently a disappointment on parts ordered from auto recycling facilities. In 2018, that figure sat at 80 percent. 

“Part quality differs from listed on a consistent basis,” wrote one respondent. 

Part quality labelling inconsistencies might be the most vexing issue facing collision facilities, but it is not their only concern. Inconsistencies in how a product looks when it arrives is also a major concern.

“Most insurers only pay one to a maximum of two hours to clean-up used parts, so we generally check with the recycler on the quality before quoting used parts. We never use items like bumpers unless it’s dictated by the insurer. Clean-up time is, too often, more than we are paid to do.”

While the gulf between auto repair facilities and recyclers may be growing, recyclers appear to be making headway with other groups.

The proportion of customers requesting the use of recycled parts appears to be on the rise⁠—likely the result of the sector’s focus on its ecological benefits. In the same survey, close to three-in-ten respondents indicated that customers requested recycled parts over new ones. 

In fact, where Canadian Auto Recyclers spoke with drivers in 2017, none of the 16 sampled drivers said they felt comfortable having repaired parts used in their vehicle. Following the results of the Collision Repair survey, this magazine reached out to the same 16 drivers. 

Four stated a preference for recycled products. All of those who had been swayed said they viewed recycled products as more sustainable.

“Even if there’s no difference in price, I’d prefer the greener option.”

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