My car was damaged in a collision and the insurance company does not want to pay for new factory parts. My car is only four years old, and I want new factory parts. What can I do?
I remember as a kid going to see the new car models every fall with my dad. There was a time when car models changed every year, and the only source of crash parts was the car manufacturers. When car models began staying substantially the same for years, other manufacturers entered the crash parts market. In a competitive market place, there are going to be differences in the cost of crash parts. Oregon law allows for the use of after market parts, but there are important safeguards. The part must be certified by an independent test facility to be at least the same quality with respect to fit, finish, function and corrosion resistance as a factory part. The insurance company is also required to provide a warranty for crash parts not made by the original equipment manufacturer.
The use of recycled parts has also become quite common. The parts on your car aren't brand new, they're four years old. If a salvage yard has a car like yours, your insurance company may choose to use a quality recycled part.
The bottom line: Insurers can use aftermarket or recycled parts to keep your insurance costs down only if they meet quality standards to ensure safety. If you have a concern about whether the parts meet quality standards, call the Oregon Insurance Division at 503-947-7984 or toll-free at 1-888-877-4894. E-mail your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. An advocate can assist you!