SECAUCUS, N.J., March 23, 2011 — At the March meeting of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC), ABPA unveiled a presentation based on the results of independent studies that demonstrated the quality and safety delivered by competitively produced aftermarket body parts.
The Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) presented the results of various data obtained through low- and high-speed crash tests, lump mass modeling simulations and quasi-static crush tests to this latest meeting of the CIC, which initially placed this issue on the front burner more than a year ago.
Co-Chair of the ABPA Legislation and Regulation Committee Eileen A. Sottile presented data that debunked information about aftermarket parts presented at not one, but two CIC meetings last year by original equipment manufacturer (OEM) proponents. In addition to showcasing the videos of crash tests and other studies that supported the integrity of aftermarket parts, the ABPA also revealed misleading and inaccurate claims made concerning energy absorption, accident occurrence, injury frequency and airbag sensor response.
A team of engineers with deep experience in automotive safety systems critiqued the earlier studies, highlighting the lack of data to support claims made by the car companies and the misleading conclusions which were contradicted by the ABPA’s subsequent scientific testing.
Included in the ABPA presentation was information released by the group last month following a 5 mph front-end barrier test in which an aftermarket bumper reinforcement bar outperformed its original equipment supplied (OES) equivalent.
In that test, a pair of 2007 Ford Mustangs (one outfitted with an aftermarket bumper reinforcement bar and the other an original equipment supplied part), both effectively absorbed the impact without the deployment of airbags. However, a piece of the bumper fell off the vehicle outfitted with the original equipment part, and a Ford dealer auto body shop estimated it would cost $200 less to repair the aftermarket-equipped vehicle than the one with the car company part, which sustained more damage.
The ABPA also explored the results of a 35 mph crash test of two 2006 Toyota Corollas, one with an aftermarket bumper reinforcement bar and the other a car company equivalent. The test resulted in identical degrees of vehicle crush (601 mm) and airbag deployment in both cars at the exact same time (7.5 milliseconds). The performance of the two vehicles was essentially equivalent, with similar results obtained for 11 separate occupant injury criteria. The aftermarket- and the car company-equipped cars both delivered occupant safety well within the federal safety standards.
Said Sottile, “ABPA appreciates the opportunity that was given to us by the CIC to present this data, which shows definitively that aftermarket parts perform well within the federal safety standards, provide the same crashworthiness and occupant protection as car company parts, and have no impact on airbag response timing.”
She added, “Facts are stubborn things. Hopefully they will help put to rest some of the criticism of the aftermarket by original equipment manufacturers with whom the industry competes. ABPA looks forward to releasing additional modeling and testing data to the general public which illustrates the safety and quality of aftermarket parts.”
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, the Automotive Body Parts Association represents manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of independently produced aftermarket body parts. The membership base consists of more than 150 of the industry’s leading companies which operate in approximately 400 separate locations and which supply more than 75 percent of these type parts to the marketplace.