Aftermarket Auto Parts & Non OEM Roof Repairs Flunk Crash Safety Test
Auto Insurance Carriers pressure and downright bully the collision industry into using cheaper aftermarket auto parts and non Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts to save money. The car insurance bullies as we call them put profits over the safety of their customers and now we can scientifically prove it.
In the wake of a $42 Million jury verdict for damages suffered by a young couple when their 2010 Honda Fit burned and crushed them because the roof had been replaced using glue, the Auto Body Association of Texas and vehicle safety attorney Todd Tracy conducted scientific crash tests.
The insurance company bullies flunked two of three controlled tests conducted by KARCO Engineering.
- Black 2009 Honda Fit in Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) condition was used as the control vehicle in the test.
- Red 2010 Honda Fit was tested with a glued roof instead of the OEM procedures recommended by Honda.
- Dark Blue 2013 Honda Fit was tested with aftermarket parts.
You can read more about the equipment and testing profiles here. Although the three vehicles are different model years, it is the same design without any changes produced by Honda during that time period.
The vehicle equipped with aftermarket auto parts performed the worst. The tests scientifically prove that a non OEM approved repair and the use of aftermarket parts dramatically effect how energy from crash forces should be channeled around the occupant compartment.
The safety restraint systems and airbags failed to protect the front seat driver and passenger from serious injury, inflicting brain damage and broken necks in both the vehicle equipped with aftermarket parts and the vehicle with a non OEM approved glued roof panel.
The crash tests replicated earlier tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. that show that the occupants should be able to walk away from such an accident. Instead, data from the crash test dummies show that both the driver and passenger would suffer broken legs, ankles, and feet.
Todd Tracy explains how not using OEM parts and repair procedures throws the critical safety systems out of synch.
Watch the video above to learn more about the injuries.
Todd Tracy is preparing a lawsuit against the auto insurance companies on behalf of collision repair businesses to out of pocket monies spent to repair vehicles with OEM parts and repairs that were rejected by insurance estimators.
If you prefer to read, here’s a transcript of Todd Tracy’s video:
Vehicle Manufacturers Tune Safety Systems To Work In Sync In An Accident
Todd Tracy: When vehicle manufacturers design, develop, test, and assemble vehicles, one of the primary responsibilities they have is to tune they safety systems to the design of the vehicle. What we saw in our three crash tests is that ever so slight changes to material or to the assembly as it relates to repairing a vehicle can have devastating consequences to the way the safety systems are tuned.
OEM Seat Belt Restraint System Protected Occupants in Crash Tests
Let’s look at the OEM vehicle and you’ll notice that on the OEM passenger side, that there was eight inches of pass-through over the D ring of the passenger side belt during the forty mile per hour moderate frontal offset impact. This was the baseline and it was consistent with what we saw in an earlier test that was conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) back in 2009.
Now, let’s compare what happens when we know that there’s eight inches on two separate tests that were conducted on 2009 OEM vehicles and let’s look and see what happens when an improper vehicle repair is made, for example, utilizing a glued-on roof and an after-market windshield, and we’ll see this on the red vehicle.
Non OEM Repair Causes Serious Injury In Crash Tests
Now, remember, the two OEM tests that were conducted, eight inches of webbing pass-through. However, what happens, when you affect the tuning of the restraint system, you don’t get eight inches of pass-through any longer. You get 12 inches.
Now, what does that do to the human body? First of all, it affects occupant kinematics which are the way the occupant moves, going forward and going rearward on rebound. What does that also do? That also affects the head injury criteria because if you have too much webbing going through, you’re engaging too much with the airbag, you’re coming back in a different location on the head restraint system, we’ll see that in the actual crash testing when we see the airbags deploy and the occupants rebounding, when we show you the actual films.
Aftermarket Parts Cause Catastrophic Injury & Death In Crash Tests
So let’s look and see what consequences it had when we used after-market parts comparing it to the improper repaired vehicle and the OEM. So what happens when you use after-market parts? Does that affect the tuning of the safety systems? As we saw on the crash testing, the passenger side belt didn’t allow eight inches like it did on the OEM. It actually allowed 13 inches of pass-through to go over it, so that means the restrained anthropomorphic test device is going forward 13 inches and that affects kinematics, it affects head injury criteria, and the reason it does is because you end up missing almost the entire head restraint like we see on this particular vehicle which increases the head injury criteria.
So what did the crash test prove from a scientific basis? They proved several points. First of all, when you change the assembly of the vehicle and when you alter the material of the vehicle, then that has devastating consequences to the restraint system performance that we’ve seen on the seat belts. We also see on the injury performance, from the ankles, the tib-fibs which are the lower legs, the femurs which are the bones from your kneecap to your pelvis, those numbers are all increased dramatically when you alter the material and you alter the repair like we see in our vehicles crash test. More importantly, you also see that these slight changes in material and slight changes in assembly, they affect the head injury criteria which is your brain, which is your ability to withstand the crash forces necessary so that you can walk away with no brain injury.
When you mess around with the vehicles tuning, devastating consequences can happen and don’t take my word for it, you trust the data from the scientific testing.