Auto Service World
News   September 24, 2002   by Auto Service World

Ontario Changes May Force Drivers to Pay Extra for OEM Collision Parts


The Ontario government may be considering changes to insurance laws that could require car owners to pay extra to have their cars repaired after a collision using OEM parts.
Information from the Collision Industry Action Group (CIAG) says that the government’s Auto Insurance Review Committee sent a list of proposed changes to interested stakeholders on September 16. The list of possible changes to the Insurance Act and other laws included a new proposal that customers must pay for additional coverage if they want their collision-damaged vehicle to be repaired back to original condition through use of Original Equipment Manufactured (OEM) parts made by their car’s manufacturer.
According to the CIAG, the review committee received a report from them profiling the problems repair facilities are experiencing with “aftermarket” collision repair parts and urging the government to ensure these parts are safe (by meeting OEM standards incorporated in federal legislation) and fit properly.
However, the review committee is proposing:
“For consumers who have a preference for original parts, require insurers to offer optional coverage where only original equipment parts may be used in collision repairs”. The committee is proposing that an additional insurance premium cost be charged to motorists who want their car or truck repaired to original pre-accident condition using the body parts that were made by the original manufacturer of the car.
“Shop and consumer complaints are epidemic, and lawsuits are still outstanding from consumers who found that the “aftermarket” parts installed, often without their knowledge, failed to fit, perform or had acceptable finish, compared to the original equipment parts. To now charge these consumers additional premiums to repair their car back to the way it was before the accident using the car manufacturer’s own parts is a slap in the face to motorists who value their vehicle and will add fuel to claims of diminished value of their car,” said John Norris of CIAG.
One recent study showed in a comparison test, that the a car repaired with "aftermarket" parts was valued at a significantly reduced price by used car experts compared to a car repaired with original equipment parts.
In the United States, State Farm Insurance, was hit by the courts with a $1.18 U.S. billion dollar fine for knowingly having installed on their insured’s cars, “aftermarket” or non-original equipment parts that they knew were not the same fit and function as the OEM parts, and those “aftermarket” parts failed to bring the car back to pre-accident condition. A number of similar lawsuits have been filed in Canada.
Ontario consumer law does not require that a motorist is told or given any documentation to advise them that the collision repair parts put on their car originated with their own car manufacturer that meet federal safety standards or if they are from private parts factories in and are not required to meet any safety standard for use in Canada.


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