There are three main focus areas for the activities: the robustness of the parts approval programmes from suppliers; the commercial incentive schemes being used to drive the use of such parts, and the transparency of the use of these parts to the consumer.
Jason Moseley, executive director of bodyshops at the RMI commented, ‘We have received market intelligence data from our members that the use of non-oe parts is becoming an increasing concern for bodyshops.
‘We believe that healthy competition is good for the parts market, but never at the cost of compromised safety and consumer detriment.
‘Within the RMI we have extensive knowledge in relation to non-oe parts provenance and want to ensure that any claim or implication that parts are of a ‘matching quality’ to OE parts is substantiated with robust, transparent and verifiable testing protocols.’
The RMI Bodyshop team will be engaging with major parts suppliers to communicate members concerns and to seek the required assurances to feedback to our members and the wider market, on the potential risks, pitfalls and benefits associated with the use of non-oe parts, enabling informed decisions to be made within bodyshops.
Moseley continues, ‘Vehicle technology is progressing rapidly and the complex designs, materials and repair processes developed by the vehicle manufacturers, must be closely adhered to in order to claim that parts are ‘certified’ to equivalent standards. Commercial pressure should never be put ahead of safety.
‘We note the recent work that the Northern Ireland Bodyshop Alliance (NIBA) has undertaken on this subject and echo their concerns.’
One of the first steps RMI Bodyshops is taking is to set up a series of meetings with parts providers to gain more clarity on the activities related to the non-oe parts approvals process.