FoMoCo reported a finding on Wednesday that aftermarket replacements for critical safety parts on a car or often inferior to OEM parts. This is a real issue, considering that insurance companies often pressure consumers into cheaper aftermarket parts for repairs. The company says that it will be pushing for some sort of review and standardization of aftermarket parts and warnings to consumers when cheaper, non-standard replacements are used.
Ford decided to examine the issue after a presentation by Toby Chess, a repair expert who has toured the collision conference circuit demonstrating the inferiority of replacement parts. The company”s own research found parts made of plastic that were intended to replace OEM parts made of steel and/or magnesium.
The Dearborn automaker looked at copy bumper beams, bumper isolators, bumper brackets and radiator supports made for 2005 to 2009 Mustangs and 2004 to 2007 F-150 pickups and found that some of the replacement parts were made from plastic instead of steel or magnesium.
“These are structural parts of the vehicle, and that makes the concern elevated,” said Paul Massie, powertrain and collision product marketing manager for Ford. Air bag sensors are attached to many of these parts, and differences in materials could lead to air bags that respond too slowly or explode unnecessarily, he said.
– By: Stephen Calogera