Friday, 31 October 2003 17:00

CAPA seal should be left on parts

The Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) is calling on repairers to leave the CAPA seal on all certified parts in order to demonstrate the use of a CAPA part and to aid in tracking the part, should it be necessary. 

In order for a part to become CAPA certified, samples of each part are tested for material properties, finish, paint adhesion, coating performance, weld integrity, adhesive performance and corrosion resistance, and are examined to confirm that they include markings identifying the participant and date of manufacture. Then, before the part gets the seal, it must pass CAPA's Vehicle Test Fit.

The CAPA Quality Seal is a two part seal: one portion remains affixed to the part and the other is a tab that can be removed along a perforation. Both the tab and the seal have the same unique number that can be used to easily identify the manufacturer, lot, and part details. Once the seal is affixed to a surface, it will self-destruct when removed. This ensures that a seal cannot be transferred from a certified part to a non- certified part.

Through the CAPA Parts Database, the unique seal number can be used to determine which manufacturer produced the part, the date of the production lot, and all part details. This links directly to material used to produce the part, inspection information and other key part information. Therefore, any issues with a particular lot or part can be analyzed and addressed by both the manufacturer and CAPA.

Because each seal has a unique number and the current tracking mechanism is so precise, placing the detachable quality tab on the repair file will enable the repairer to easily research that part should it be necessary in the future. Placing the tab on a repair order creates a permanent record of the use of a CAPA part.

As more insurance companies look to ensure that their policyholders get a quality aftermarket part, CAPA strongly recommends that shops take advantage of the seal design and use the removable tab to record the use of a CAPA part. If an insurer wants proof that a CAPA part was actually used, they can see the removable tab when they examine repair orders. CAPA says it is currently experimenting with automated processes to verify seal use at the shop level.

"The CAPA Quality Seal is a critical part of our quality control system and enables us to track parts from manufacture date to installation," said Jack Gillis, Executive Director of the non-profit association. "Use of the unique seal number enables us to quickly address any quality issues with our parts."


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