The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Many Third-Party Auto Lights Fall Short of Quality Standards

March 13, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. --– Though collision repairers use thousands of independently manufactured lights, the Certified Automotive Part Association said that only 584 meet the association's quality standards.

The CAPA 301 Standard includes specifications for form and fit, appearance, composition, coating performance, mechanical properties, adhesives, fasteners and associated hardware.

CAPA’s 301 Standard requires full compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108. While all automotive lighting is required to comply with FMVSS 108, CAPA is the only independent certification body in the U.S. that tests for and confirms compliance with this safety standard.

Lighting products covered by the CAPA standard include: headlamps, tail lamps, turn signals, brake signals, reflectors, running lamps, fog lamps and high-mounted brake lamps.

"Lighting manufacturers who choose to comply with CAPA's comprehensive quality requirements have a way to clearly demonstrate product quality to repairers, insurers and consumers," said Jack Gillis, executive director of the non-profit association. Those parts that meet the CAPA standard are clearly marked with CAPA's tamper-proof quality seal.

"There will be no question in the marketplace as to which parts are genuine CAPA-certified products," said Gillis. This is an important distinction since only 584 part numbers currently comply with the CAPA Lighting Standard.

In addition to compliance with FMVSS 108, a key component of CAPA certification is passing CAPA's unique Vehicle Test Fit or "VTF."

"Repairers have told us time and again that they are tired of being the 'product test fitters,'" said Gillis, "so that's why the CAPA program conducts extensive test fits before certifying parts for quality."

CAPA now has six manufacturers approved for participation in the 301 Lighting program. They include DEPO, Eagle Eyes, Gordon, Great Bestcam, TYC Brother and Y.C.C.

The Certified Automotive Parts Association, founded in 1987, is the nation's only independent, nonprofit, third-party crash parts quality certification organization.


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