Toronto, Ontario — As parts shortages wage on, collision repairers are growing frustrated.
Meanwhile, Canada’s auto recyclers continue to stock genuine OEM Parts–parts that, while used, are indeed parts sourced directly from vehicle manufacturers.
OEMs are no strangers to position statements all but forbidding the use of non-OEM parts in the repair process; Subaru boldly released a position last August unambiguously stating the OEM “does NOT approve of the use of recycled, salvaged, aftermarket or reconditioned parts that may not be manufactured to the same specifications or tolerances of Subaru Genuine Parts.”
As pandemic-related supply chain stresses rage on, automotive repairers continue to encounter struggles in acquiring parts. During an early April session discussing the ongoing parts shortage, hosted by the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF) with Paul Stella, Toyota Canada’s manager of collision repair and refinish, moderator Patrice Marcil asked Stella for his thoughts on repair versus replace when faced with the present challenges.
“What about [using] aftermarket or recycled parts? That is definitely something that comes to mind when you’re looking to deliver the car to the customer,” asked Marcil.
“I’m not going to say this doesn’t happen in the industry; obviously it does,” replied Stella.
“I want to go back to my opening point about Toyota and genuine parts–that’s what I can support. But at the end of the day, collision centers have a customer in front of them and you know they’re dealing with an insurance partner and need to get a car fixed. So if that means doing what you have to do to get the car fixed, then you have to get the car fixed.
“But again I just need to reiterate my stance as a Toyota employee that I can only support Toyota,” he added.
Marcil added that, in such cases, particular logic needs to be used: particularly the same safety elements already considered in a repair versus replace decision.
“Correct,” said Stella. “That information also needs to be communicated with your customer.”
Experts from the automotive recycling industry were quick to point out the advantageous position this puts Canadian recyclers in, with Auto Recyclers of Canada managing director, Steve Fletcher, saying “[this] definitely points to a major advantage that auto recyclers have in meeting repairer demands as we have genuine OEM parts available locally.”
ARC facilitates a quality-control program dubbed Gold Seal, based on the American Automotive Recyclers Association’s own successful program. The Gold Seal program, while voluntary, serves as a quality assurance accreditation program for ARC members that essentially guarantees high-quality recycled parts, says the organization. It utilizes a series of standard, audits and Customer Satisfaction Indexes (CSI) requirements to help ensure the best quality recycled parts are reliably provided to repairers, insurers and the motoring public.