Recent assertions by an autobody parts association have raised the ire of Ford Motor Company. At issue is a recent press releases issued by the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA), a Texas-based organization of parts distributors, recyclers and aftermarket manufacturers, which alleges that Ford’s crash service parts are different from those parts installed on vehicles on the assembly line. Ford calls these assertions inaccurate. “The 2005 – 2009 Mustang front bumper isolators tested by NSF were both used for vehicle manufacturing as well as service replacement,” says the company. “The statements in Ford’s YouTube video are true and accurate, and Ford stands behind all of them, including Ford’s claim that collision replacement parts are the same as those used to manufacture the vehicle. Ford says that the inaccurate information offered by the ABPA is inaccurate and incomplete, and that this caused the association to conclude that the parts were different than production components. “ABPA’s accusations highlight the aftermarket’s lack of understanding and difficulty staying current with the frequent running changes made by automakers in their quest to constantly improve vehicles. The parts referenced in the ABPA press releases were used for both manufacturing and service replacement, and were thoroughly tested and proven to meet Ford’s specifications for the Mustang.” The facts, says Ford, are as follows: * Many part materials are exhaustively analyzed and tested during the vehicle development process to meet internal and external requirements for safety, quality, fuel economy, cost-of- ownership and breakthrough technologies. * At Job 1 for the 2005 – 2009 Mustang, specifications called for single-density polypropylene front and rear bumper isolators. However, as the vehicle had been tested and certified using a double-density polypropylene front bumper isolator, Ford maintained the use of that material until the vehicle culd again be thoroughly tested and certified using the single-density polypropylene front bumper isolator. * From Job 1 until January 18, 2007, the double-density polypropylene bumper isolator was used for both vehicle manufacturing and service replacement. Upon completing testing and proving the single-density polypropylene front bumper isolator met all requirements and specifications, it went into vehicle production and was used for both vehicle manufacturing and service replacement. As both double- and single-density bumper isolators were proven forward- and backward-compatible, both were available for service replacement until stock of the double- density isolators was exhausted.
“As the NSF testing speaks to material differences, it would have been more complete and meaningful if the aftermarket polystyrene isolator had also been tested and compared to the Genuine Ford polypropylene isolators. This chronology illustrates the lengths that Ford goes through to thoroughly test our Genuine Ford OEM Collision replacement parts as part of an entire system. These facts and Ford’s continuing concerns with the fit, finish, material composition and structural integrity of aftermarket collision parts reinforce Ford’s position that Genuine Ford Replacement Collision Parts are the right choice for consumers.”