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Memo: State Farm allows new aftermarket parts categories on customers’ vehicles — sort of

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Announcements | Business Practices | Insurance | Repair Operations
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A May memorandum provided by a Select Service source indicates State Farm will now allow new classes of certified aftermarket parts to be used on customers’ vehicles.

State Farm declined to respond to questions about the memo. “We have nothing to share with RDN,” public affairs senior specialist Jim Camoriano wrote in an email.

The May 3 document states:

When an estimate is prepared by State Farm or a Select Service repairer, the following new non-OEM crash related parts, when subject to certification standards developed by an organization approved by State Farm,* will be certified unless otherwise requested by the vehicle owner:

Bumper components

Lighting components

Radiator supports/tie bars and associated mounting components

Outer sheet metal and plastic / composite parts

To date, only Certified Automotive Parts Association and NSF certifications will count for these purposes, according to the memo.

However, at least three of the new additions might not have much of an impact on shops and adjusters. State Farm still forbids most “Bumper components” and “Outer sheet metal and plastic / composite parts” and many “Lighting components” from being anything other than OEM.

Explaining that State Farm “made a business decision” against using many aftermarket parts in October 1999, the memo reminds readers that “State Farm representatives and Select Service repairers are not to specify non-OEM crash parts in repairs paid by State Farm unless those parts are requested by the vehicle owner.”

It goes on to provide an extensive list of parts which remain suspended, a lineup that include virtually every bumper part and exterior substrate and some key lighting parts:

Bumper Brackets/Supports

Bumper Cover/Face Bars

Bumpers (excluding chrome bumpers)

Deck Lids

Door Body Side Moldings

Door Shells

Doors

Fenders

Filler Panels

Front and Rear Fascias

Front End Panels

Front Wheel Opening Moldings

Grills

Head Lamp Mounting Panel/Brackets/Housings/Lenses/Doors

Header Panels

Hoods

Luggage Lid Panels

Outer Body Moldings

Outer Panel Mounting Brackets, Supports, and Surroundings

Pickup Truck Beds, Box Sides, and Tail Gates

Quarter Panels

Radiator/Grill Support Panels

Rear Outer Panels

Side Moldings

Tail Lamp Mounting Panels/Brackets/Housings/Lenses

“We consider non-OEM structural parts such as face bars, reinforcements, brackets/supports to be included in the list of crash parts we currently have under suspension,” the memo continues.

However, the memo states that anything not on the list of banned aftermarket parts is fair game to write as long as it’s CAPA- or NSF-certified. State Farm then offers a “not an all-encompassing list” of examples which include some CAPA- and NSF-certified bumper and lighting parts:

• Bumper Absorbers
• Door Mirrors
• Wheelhouse Liners
• Wheel Opening Flare
• Fog Lamps
• Park Lamps
• Side Marker Lamps
• Chrome Bumpers (Minor formatting edits.)

Approval of CAPA and NSF radiator supports is odd considering that the IIHS doesn’t appear to have crash-tested aftermarket copies in the past 30 years, and attorney Todd Tracy has argued his 2017 test reflects badly on an imitation version.

State Farm direct repair program shops will need to remember this list to avoid incorrectly attempting to meet a key performance indicator by writing unpermitted or uncertified parts. But the document is important for non-Select Service repairers as well. If an adjuster who missed or forgot the memo attempts to use an uncertified or unpermitted part, the shop or customer can refer to the company’s own guidance to decline it (unless the customer wants such a part).

Images:

A State Farm sign in Huntsville, Ala., is seen in 2011. (sshepard/iStock)

Some of these parts seen at the NSF booth of NACE 2016 are among the classes of aftermarket parts which State Farm forbids, even if certified by NSF or CAPA. (John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)

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