By Edward Salamy, Executive Director – Automotive Body Parts Association
Smithfield, RI – Famed YouTuber Tyler Hoover aka “Hoovie” of Hoovie’s Garage recently posted a video stating that his 2020 Jeep Gladiator was just totaled for a very “DUMB reason”. That reason? A simple lack of repair parts from Stellantis, the company that manufacturers the Jeep.
Hoover has owned the vehicle for approximately two years. Recently, he had given the vehicle to an employee who was involved in an accident that damaged the right front of the vehicle. The collision included extensive damage to the fender, wheel, and axle assembly. Thankfully, there appeared to be no injuries as a result and the employee was given a new Hyundai Santa Fe as a replacement to the Jeep. Hoovie also mentions other car companies with part shortages for both newer and older vehicles.
The Jeep example clearly illustrates the need for a robust supply chain that includes alternative repair parts. Had these parts been available, the vehicle would have been repairable and back on the road. For several years, the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) has been clear on our stance against the various methods that the car companies utilize to suppress the aftermarket. These methods include abuse of design patents, influencing US Customs, controlling first notice of loss through in-vehicle telematics, and self-serving position statements / repair procedures that dictate only their parts can be used in a repair. In the end, the consumer is being greatly affected with an ever-increasing cost of repair that is far outpacing inflation. With more vehicles being totaled, consumers are being forced to purchase new vehicles and the car companies get another sale.
This effect on consumers has not gone unnoticed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Last month the FTC delivered a report to Congress based on their findings and research from the “Nixing the Fix” workshop. In the report, the FTC highlights the aforementioned issues that consumers are facing in vehicle repair and illustrates the methods the car companies are using.
The ABPA welcomes consumers and business owners to visit the consumer education website “mypartschoice.com” to find out more and to voice for change. Further information can also be found at the Consumer Access to Repair (CAR) Coalition website, “carcoalition.com”.