Posts Tagged ‘aftermarket parts’


According to Wikipedia steering refers to the practice in which real estate brokers guide prospective home buyers towards or away from certain neighborhoods based on their race.

Fair Housing Act makes steering against the law. Just the word itself has negative connotation. In my mind it’s like forcing someone into a direction against their will. It’s a crime often committed and rarely prosecuted. According to WRA, a real estate magazine, there were more than 4 million breaches of Fair Housing Act last year, but only 31 of those cases prosecuted.

Considering this very interesting statistic, it almost makes this crime legal. As luck would have it it’s legal when it concerns collision repair industry. Steering, which allows Auto Insurance Companies to coerce their clients to have their vehicle repaired at the Shop of Insurance Companies’ choice, has passed a legislature several years ago and became a common practice in collision repair industry.

Even though steering has different meaning in real estate and collision repair industry, the gist is the same. Steering is guiding consumers in the direction against their will. Intellectually it is against the laws of our fair nation. So then why insurers are being allowed to practice steering?

It’s a good question. May be it is because steering is one of the most important systems of modern automobile, which allows it to move freely in any direction. Or maybe it is because Insurance Companies have unlimited resources to lobby and therefore legislate and number of collision repair shops cannot get together and unite to oppose financial giants.

In a perfect world it would be illegal, but in a real world Insurance Companies are getting more and more aggressive steering their customers to use body shops that they have discount contracts with. They use intimidation and a coercion to achieve their goals- financial gains.

They tell customers, yes you can go to the shop of your choice, but we won’t be able to approve repairs for a week and you cannot get a rental car until the repair is approved, but if you go to our shop, they will be able to start right away. And sometimes they outright lie – they tell consumers that if they take their vehicle to the shop of their choice, insurance company will not be able to guarantee repairs, when in reality Insurers never guarantee repairs, they just pay for them.

So, why is this happening to you, a sophisticated, 21st century consumer? And why are there so many homeless people in our rich and plentiful country?

Those are the questions that do not have a simple answer; still they should be asked.




Aftermarket is described as “any market where customers who are searching to buy one product or service are likely to buy a related, follow-on product.” This simply means aftermarket products are made by other manufacturers outside of the original one, and are not directly affiliated with that manufacturer. The quality and legitimacy of these products has significant ranges, from cheap ‘knock-off’ purses which are coming apart at the seams in swap meets, to unofficial iPhone accessories available for purchase at the Apple Store. A case purchased for an iPhone not made by Apple is an aftermarket case.


Just like generic drugs flood pharmacies a year or two after the original drug becomes available, aftermarket parts have become a huge part of the auto industry. A friend of mine recently destroyed the bumper of his Toyota Camry and he asked me whether or not aftermarket was ‘bad,’ and I gave him a response similar to the paragraph above. His next question was “well, how are the aftermarket parts? Are they the cheap knock-offs or the iPhone cases?”


Aftermarket automobile parts range in quality quite drastically. You could order a part and have absolutely no problems, or, in the case of bad bumpers, you’ll find the plastic molded and warped in such a way that it doesn’t fit. Sometimes it does fit but it’s not stable, or the bumper sticks out somewhere ruining the smooth design of the car, leaving an unwanted eyesore. A lower risk is in CAPA certified parts. The Certified Automotive Parts Association performs dealer-style tests, testing resilience, flexibility, dimensions, and many others factors of each aftermarket part they receive. This guarantees that pretty much all CAPA certified parts are as good as dealer parts. Common sense dictates this isn’t always the case and you should still check your new part for any deformities or problems and be sure to ask for an exchange in the event of any problems.


After this my buddy gave it some thought. Since his car was almost sixteen years old and the paint had faded quite a bit he decided that he didn’t give a damn what it looked like as long as he and the inner structure were protected. This is the quintessential use of aftermarket parts: they have to fit you and your situation. Another example is a business using aftermarket parts for its damaged work vehicles, where aesthetics don’t matter but the safety of the vehicle and the driver does.


Then there are cases that are not as positive, such as your insurance carrier who is paying for a repair on your brand new vehicle insists that aftermarket parts replacement is in your policy. Those cases sometime end up in court


Whatever the case may be, now that you are armed with knowledge, you can make a decision whether aftermarket parts is the right option for you. Remember it is your vehicle and your  decision.