ARA slams Toyota for salvage parts position

Jan. 1, 2020
The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) slammed Toyota Motor Sales USA for its recently announced position statement on the use of aftermarket, rebuilt or recycled parts. The ARA said if there was a "Chutzpah of the Year" award, it would surely go
The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) slammed Toyota Motor Sales USA for its recently announced position statement on the use of aftermarket, rebuilt or recycled parts. The ARA said if there was a "Chutzpah of the Year" award, it would surely go to Toyota.

In its statement, Toyota recommended that repairers not use aftermarket parts, rebuilt parts or salvaged/recycled parts when repairing vehicles because they have not been tested to determine their effect on vehicle crashworthiness. The ARA said that automotive recycled parts have been widely accepted for decades and there is a long track record of their successful and safe use.

Toyota launched into what seems to be a rather transparent attempt to boost sales of expensive new parts and malign perfectly good parts, ARA said. In light of the 14 million Toyota recalls this past year alone (25.67 million units since 2005), it would seem that Toyota would be better served focusing more internally on Toyota‟s own "genuine" safety concerns and quality control.

Recycled parts are original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. They are fully functional and are in many cases identical to original parts, ARA said. Recycled parts were new OEM parts at some point, yet Toyota is calling for the use of their own new parts in repairs.

"Following the logic held by Toyota, the warranties of every one of their vehicles that has been involved in an accident could be in question given their assertion that parts that remain on a vehicle post collision „may‟ only ‟appear equivalent,‟" says ARA‟s Chief Executive Officer Michael E. Wilson. "Toyota‟s press releases have failed to cite any statistics indicating that recycled parts are more dangerous than new parts. What probabilities of safety issues with recycled parts is Toyota working with? Is Toyota really asserting that their vehicles are manufactured in such a way that if someone gets into an accident with a Toyota or Lexus that every single part of the vehicle is compromised, even if the accident only affected one part of the vehicle? ARA hopes that is not what Toyota is asserting, but it seems to be the logical conclusion from its stated position on recycled parts, regarding its own vehicles."

Continued efforts to limit collision repair choices will only lead to higher repair costs and insurance premiums for consumers, Wilson said. Recycled parts are quality alternatives that provide consumers significant additional benefits compared to new OEM parts:

  • Recycled parts allow consumers to save on costs while using parts identical to new OEM parts.
  • Recycled parts are better for the environment, since no additional resources or energy were used to create a new replacement part.
  • Auto recyclers provide warranties on recycled parts used in a repair, indicating that recycled parts are not used in an attempt to cut corners with customers.



"We believe the statement released by Toyota continues to be part of a concerted effort among automobile manufacturers to limit competition in the automotive parts market by engaging in a continued campaign to undermine the recycled OEM parts,” said Wilson. ARA's desire is for more professional collision repair representatives to fix repairable vehicles owned by consumers within the insurance structure. Entities that press for mandated higher priced parts only ensure more vehicles owned by consumers will ultimately be declared total losses by insurance companies. Regrettably, these "total loss" vehicles are increasingly being purchased and repaired by individuals with little to no accountability and sold to unsuspecting consumers, Wilson said.

According to the most recent Mitchell Repair Collision Data, new OEM parts accounted for 67.4% of all parts used in repairs, which represented a decline from previous quarters. In the second quarter of 2008, new OEM parts accounted for 74.4% of all parts used in repairs. Much of this decline can be explained by consumers and the collision repair industry becoming better educated about quality part alternatives, such as recycled OEM parts. As automobile manufacturers watch their large market shares shrink from legitimate competition, they seem be becoming concerned about loss of profit, resulting in unfounded attacks and possibly misleading information being disseminated about recycled OEM parts. In addition, Wilson stated "we believe that many, if not most manufacturers are attempting to maintain their market power through inappropriate restrictive activities including issuing statements that their warranties will not cover the use of recycled parts”.

Wilson said ARA hopes that Toyota and other manufacturers cease their activities related to maligning the very parts that they have manufactured.

For more information visit ARA online at

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