When it comes to car parts issues, consumers may be largely in the dark. One of the situations where education on this is necessary is in the event of a car insurance settlement with non OEM parts. When you are dealing with an insurance company in this kind of scenario, you need to know all about the standards for replacing auto parts after an accident.
OEM auto parts are parts made specifically by the manufacturer. As such, they are guaranteed to function well in a vehicle. Using OEM parts means that the OEM replacement parts will be identical to those that were put in at the factory, barring any engineering changes by the auto maker.
In contrast, aftermarket parts are parts made by third party companies. In some cases, these parts are just as good as OEM parts, but in others, they are not. It can be difficult to prove whether or not OEM parts have a significant advantage over aftermarket parts for replacing specific auto systems.
A policy holder whose car or truck has been in an accident is not guaranteed OEM parts unless these clauses are specifically outlined in their insurance agreement. Otherwise, the driver is simply entitled to “quality replacement parts,” and this definition can change a lot in interpretation. Insurance companies will generally want to use aftermarket parts, because they may be significantly cheaper than OEM parts for a replacement job.
If a customer really wants OEM parts included in the repair job, an insurance company may agree to using them in exchange for the driver paying a percentage of the cost of repair. This kind of deal can be unsatisfactory to those who thought they were entitled to OEM parts in the first place, but flexibility means the car owner can choose which parts are important enough to warrant the OEM replacement.
Another option that some car owners talk about is a buy-back. In this complicated process, the car owner would “buy back” their vehicle from the insurance company for the purposes of repairing it on their own terms. Drivers can talk to their insurance companies about how this process works in the case of an accident and subsequent claim.
Drivers can also ask for OEM replacement in exchange for skipping some of the cosmetic damage that they may not be worried about on their vehicle. In various kinds of accidents, the owner may be entitled to more than they need in terms of fixing cosmetic damage that doesn’t stop the car from working. These kinds of settlements can often be the solution to a conflict over OEM parts in a replacement situation.
Overall, a car owner should know which aftermarket parts are sufficiently rated for quality, and when it’s necessary to go wth OEM, for example, to protect a warranty or provide standard engineering for fixes. A lot of the issue also revolves around what a specific part does. Mere structural elements or low-functioning parts can often be replaced with aftermarket parts with no negative results, while sensors or other critical engine computer parts may provide better results with OEM choices.