On March 27, the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) submitted opposition to Texas Senate Bill 1083 (2023), which will adversely affect Texas drivers as it would establish a 36-month restriction against the use of alternative parts including aftermarket, recycled, remanufactured and refurbished parts when OEM repair procedures are mandated.
The ABPA is against any repair procedure that encourages monopolistic behavior that would solely benefit the OEM manufacturer, as this would further burden the consumer.
Based on the language of the bill, Texas vehicle owners will be given the false impression that alternative parts are inferior and unsafe compared to car company parts.
In its letter, the ABPA said the bill "would not achieve its goal, as consumers would be adversely affected should they be limited to having their vehicles repaired only with car company branded parts as stated in OEM repair procedures. Consumers will be affected financially by higher part pricing due to lack of competition and higher insurance costs due to the higher costs of parts. Consumers will also face delays in getting their vehicles repaired and more vehicles will be totaled due to interruptions in the supply chain.
The ABPA pointed out the rate of inflation for auto body repair and auto insurance has been at levels not seen since the late 1970s and early 1980s.
As of January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI data reported the annual inflation rate for vehicle maintenance was 14.2%. Compared to the already elevated general inflation rate of 6.4% for all items in January, the costs to repair a vehicle in the U.S. is far outpacing inflation.
In addition, car insurance rates were up 14.7% in January, which again is more than double the overall rate on inflation.
"The reasons for this is twofold; increases in part prices as well as the increased costs incurred by insurance companies (rental cars) due to supply chain issues," the ABPA said.
"The car companies and other proponents of these self-serving repair procedures will often cite safety concerns with aftermarket parts," the ABPA said. "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the federal agency that oversees transportation matters, has concluded that aftermarket parts are cosmetic in nature and do not affect vehicle safety.
"The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has come to similar conclusions on the safety of aftermarket parts after years of crash testing," the ABPA continued. "They have also stated that the only major difference between aftermarket parts and car company parts is the high price variance. Meanwhile, the car companies have been under scrutiny over the past few years with the increased amount of safety recalls they have had to administer due to the faultiness of their own parts."