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Michigan’s Turn to Attempt to Legislate Aftermarket Parts

While an attempt to legislate against the use of aftermarket parts failed to gain traction in Maryland, the Michigan legislature has also taken up the cause. Michigan House Bill HB4344 would revise state law to make it illegal for a repair shop to:

“Replace a certain major component part with a part that did not meet or exceed standards recognized as OEM comparable quality as verified by a nationally recognized automotive parts testing agency, unless no OEM or verified part was available or unless otherwise directed by the owner of the motor vehicle in writing (except with respect to the replacement of a major structural part that was no longer covered under the original equipment manufacturer’s warranty).”

In case the language in the above section was not clear enough in its aim at aftermarket crash parts, the bill clarifies its intent by including this paragraph:

“The major component parts referred to above would include the right or left front fender; the hood; the door that allows entrance to or egress from the passenger compartment of the vehicle; the front or rear bumper bar; the right or left rear quarter panel; the deck lid, tailgate or hatchback; the trunk floor pan; the cargo box of a pickup; the frame, or if the vehicle has a unitized body, the parts identified by the motor vehicle manufacturer as structural components; the cab of a truck; the body of a passenger vehicle; or airbags or seatbelts.”

If passed, this would restrict the use of aftermarket parts to only certified parts, unless the shop received permission from the vehicle owner in writing. This is another misguided bid to limit consumer choice. It is not surprising to see this language being used in Michigan, the home state of so many auto makers.

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