“If I don’t put a scan tool on a vehicle, it’s impossible for me to identify all the damage on that vehicle,” Bartanen said at the ABPA event. “It’s very similar to three-dimensional measuring. If I don’t three-dimensionally measure the vehicle, it’s impossible for me to identify all the damage on that vehicle. When we’re talking a millimeter or two millimeters or even five millimeters of damage on a vehicle, if I don't measure the vehicle, I can’t see that. It’s the same thing with pre-repair scanning. Without it, I can’t build an effective repair plan unless I identify everything that’s going to need to be replaced.”
Another speaker at the ABPA convention was Stacy Bartnik, industry relations manager for the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA). She asked the audience of distributors of non-OEM parts if there can be a difference between an OEM part installed at the factory, and the OEM service parts sold to shops.
“I see heads nodding. Yes, there is,” Bartnik said. “But I will tell you there are a lot of repairers who, when I ask that question, say no. But the part that’s on that car when it is purchased by the customer can be different from the service part. The service part may be manufactured by someone other than who manufactured the original part. I’m not saying it’s of different quality. But it can be a different part, manufactured by a different manufacturer.”
Bartnik said that’s why CAPA certifies non-OEM parts based on how they replicate OEM service parts – “the same part a shop would get when they ordered a part from a dealer to repair a vehicle” – rather than the OEM part installed on the vehicle at the factory.
“So it’s really important that the part that we’re certifying is functionally equivalent to that service part, that we’re confident when we put that [CAPA] seal on a part, it is functionally equivalent to not just the fit but also the function of that service part,” Bartnik added.
Peggy Bekker of Intertek, the international firm that conducts parts testing for the CAPA program, said in addition to responding to any complaints about CAPA-certified parts, the program includes ongoing inspections of parts factories and “market surveillance.”