On Sept. 14--16, the Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT) hosted its 2018 Texas Auto Body Trade Show at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, TX.
The event featured a variety of industry training, but the showstopper was Saturday’s unveiling of a project ABAT collaborated on with Todd Tracy, the Houston Auto Body Association (HABA) and Jerry McNee, owner of New Jersey’s Ultimate Collision Repair and president of AASP/NJ. Tracy escalated his fight against using unsafe aftermarket parts with the results of a new crash test.
He stressed, “By dictating improper vehicle repairs for decades, insurance companies have killed thousands of customers who were driving around in time bombs ...Your industry has to work together with politicians and state agencies so that insurance companies stop jeopardizing family safety."
Continuing his previous test of aftermarket parts, Tracy had a 2010 Honda Fit repaired using OEM parts and OEM procedures by Donald “Trip” Spring, a technician at Burl’s Collision Center in Henderson, TX. The OEM parts that were replaced mimicked the previous aftermarket versions of Tracy’s infamous crash tests, but the results were very different.
Tracy’s most recent test showed that the OEM parts performed exactly as the manufacturer intended to ensure passenger safety, whereas the vehicles previously crash-tested after being repaired with aftermarket parts produced results in critical areas that Tracy deemed “total and massive destruction.” The test took place at KARCO Engineering in California.
ABAT President Burl Richards noted, "The biggest takeaway of this presentation is that we're beginning to define what 'like kind and quality' means. We now have scientific proof that shows vehicles are safer when they're repaired using OEM parts and OEM procedures. We made major frontal repairs to this vehicle, and its crashworthiness held up and was exactly the same as a new OEM car."
McNee observed, “"Most professional repairers know that aftermarket parts are not the same as OEM parts; however, insurers are willing to twist, turn and use the position statements incorrectly. They make comments like, 'It's just a fender,' 'It's in their policy,' and 'LKQ parts are the same.' They're dictating what they're paying for to unjustly enrich themselves, but numbers and test results don't lie. This OEM-repaired car fared exactly like the undamaged Honda Fit.