EARL ON CARS - Palm Beach Florida Weekly

2022-06-23 06:33:11 By : Mr. Jason Huang

By Admin.naples@floridaweekly.com | on June 23, 2022

Fewer than 1 out of 5 vehicles involved in crashes are repaired at a dealership certified by the manufacturer of that vehicle.

Most insurance-owned body shops and independently owned body shops will use the cheapest fenders, bumpers, roof and door panels and other crash parts to repair your car. These parts aren’t made by the manufacturer of your car and often are Imported from other countries. No other countries have as strict and safe requirements regarding the manufacturing of auto parts as the United States.

When your car was sold new, it was required by the NHTSA, or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to use crash parts that have passed safety crash tests. Only original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, parts are safety tested. Other non-OEM parts manufacturers and your insurance company will tell you that their parts are “certified,” but that only alludes to quality, not safety. Your insurance company does not require OEM parts because they’re more expensive, so insurance company owned body shops and independent body shops use mostly aftermarket, nonsafety tested, crash parts.

The dealer for the manufacturer of your car can buy original equipment parts from the manufacturer for about 40% less, than a nondealership-operated body shop. Therefore, he or she has the motivation to use the best and safest parts to repair your car. Nondealership body shops must buy the parts to repair your car from a dealership of that make. Of course, the dealership marks up the price well above his or her cost. Therefore, these nondealership body shops usually buy cheap, nonsafety-tested parts overseas.

Imagine a front-end collision at 40 mph and think how quickly and precisely your airbag must open to keep you safe. The computer that opens your airbag must “know” how fast the bumper, hood, fenders and doors of your car will collapse to safely deploy your airbag. Deploying your airbag too soon or too late could be fatal. NHTSA testing verifies that all crash parts will collapse at a speed specified by the NHTSA. Crash parts not manufactured to these specifications can collapse too fast or too slow, causing you injury or death.

After a collision, most victims are anxious and upset, more likely to be vulnerable to bad advice. Don’t let this happen to you. There are a lot of entities that might have their fingers in the pie. That is, have something to gain by steering you to a specific body shop. Your insurance company probably has “preferred shops” that it will suggest, but remember that they’re paying for the repair. The police on the scene may have a suggestion for a body shop they’re familiar with and usually know a towing company. The first concern for police is getting the wrecked cars out of the street as quickly as possible. The towing companies often have relationships with insurance companies. They’re paid by the insurance company for towing and for storing your car on their lot.

Remember that you have the legal right to choose the body shop that repairs your vehicle. You should insist on your right to choose the best and safest place to repair your car. Nobody cares more about your safety and the safety of your family than you. ¦

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