Published on August 20th 2021 in

Subaru toughens position on alternative parts

Subaru has updated its position statement on the use of alternative parts with stronger language to clarify the carmaker’s stance on the use of recycled, salvaged, aftermarket and reconditioned parts.

“Subaru of America simply wants to be as clear as possible regarding its position on the proper repair of Subaru vehicles,” said Devin Wilcox, Subaru’s Collision Certification Manager.

In the company’s previous statement, the company explained the use of Subaru Genuine Parts would “help ensure the vehicle is restored back to its original pre-collision condition” and the use of non-OEM parts “could compromise occupant safety in a subsequent collision.”

While both of those warnings still exist the new position statement states unambiguously that “Subaru of America, Inc. does NOT approve of the use of recycled, salvaged, aftermarket, or recondition parts that may not be manufactured to the same specifications or tolerances as Subaru Genuine Parts.”

Wilcox said, “These issues are addressed in both this position statement and in Subaru’s repair procedures, available via the Subaru Technical Information System (STIS). Generic collision parts may use different materials and manufacturing techniques, resulting in quality or performance that differs from OEM parts,” he added. “OEM replacement parts are identical to the parts originally installed on Subaru vehicles from the factory, and they are engineered to meet the same strict safety and quality standards, and these issues have become increasingly important in light of advanced driver assistance systems and related technologies.”

I-CAR explains how foreign materials can interfere with some ADAS systems in an article on blind spot monitoring systems.

“With the radar being behind the bumper cover, the radio waves sent out by the sensor needs to pass through the substrate that is in front of them.

Passing through a plastic bumper cover can slow down the radio waves. This is programmed into the radar sensors to consider the slower rate. However, when other materials, such as bumper repair material or even metallic stickers, are in the sensors field of vision, it can slow down the radio waves even more, which can cause false readings from the radar unit.”

NCR Subaru

When asked what a repair facility might do if they should receive pushback from a bill-payer on this new position statement, Wilcox said, “Subaru’s Certified Collision Support centre ready to support our customers, repairers and bill-payers in restoring vehicles as closely as possible to their pre-collision condition.

This article courtesy of John Huetter of Repairer Driven Education (RDE). Check out their website at; for this and many other informative and educational articles on the collision repair industry.

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