The Truth Behind Aftermarket Parts
Good for Your Insurance Company, Bad for Your Safety
Being a Detail Detective Makes You a Strong Self Advocate
Insurance companies and LKQ (Like Kind Quality) Aftermarket Parts suppliers have informed every collision repair shop on their referral programs that it is up to the owner of the vehicle being repaired to identify problems with any repairs utilizing LKQ parts.
Not only does this policy leave it to the car owner’s untrained eye to point out mismatched or ill-fitting parts and improperly functioning installations, but it also impedes insurance company preferred shops from meeting their own fiduciary requirements in your collision repair.
And once, as the car owner, you’ve identified an issue with the fit of an LKQ aftermarket part, the insurance company will request more aftermarket substitutions before resorting to a new part. Why? Follow the money. But wait, it’s your money. Theoretically, you’ve already paid for your repair through years of insurance premiums!
LKQ vs OEM
Auto body repair shops within insurance company networks are required to utilize a certain percentage of LKQ (Like Kind Quality) aftermarket parts rather than OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) new parts.
Translation: LKQ Parts are Aftermarket Parts that are typically foreign knockoffs created to imitate the appearance of the OEM Parts that they replace. That makes them inferior in design and unreliable in performance, which makes them unsafe!
The insurance company required ratio is commonly about 40% LKQ Parts.
Departure from this guideline exposes the shop to expulsion from the insurance company network program and, consequently, from the cash cow that is insurance company referrals.
Made for Looks; Not Meant for Longevity or Safety
By nature, LKQ parts stipulated in a collision repair estimate can often result in compromised repairs that are not a perfect fit. Alarmingly, most insurance companies require that their preferred shops use these parts in safety and structural areas in order to achieve their required expense benchmarks. Use of LKQ parts can result in compromised vehicle performance in the event of a future accident, endangering driver and passenger safety.
The use of LKQ Aftermarket Parts is not only an unsafe tactic but can also diminish the value of your vehicle.
It Now Seems Up to You to Get the Right Repair, So It’s Even More Critical to Choose a Reputable Auto Body Shop That’s Not Bound By Insurance Company Cost-Controlling, Profit Protecting Mandates