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CAPA Introduces CAPA 501 Aftermarket Bumper Parts Standard

November 03, 2010 - Press Release

WASHINGTON - The Technical Committee of the Certified Automotive Parts Association has approved the CAPA 501 Standard for the certification of aftermarket bumper parts which includes steel bumpers (front and rear), steel reinforcements (rebars), bumper brackets and energy absorbers. 

Like all other CAPA Standards, the new CAPA 501 Standard is based on the comparative testing of an aftermarket part to its car company brand counterpart. Standard specifications include material composition, mechanical properties (strength), corrosion resistance, dimensions, appearance, construction features such as welds and fasteners, Vehicle Test Fit (VTF), and full part stress testing, either dynamic or quasi-static. The CAPA 501 Standard was approved by a vote of CAPA's Technical Committee, whose membership includes collision repairers, manufacturers, distributors, insurers and quality consultants. 

The development of the CAPA 501 Standard began well prior to April 2009 when CAPA's Board of Directors officially approved developing the new standard. The standard development process included an extensive examination of various bumper parts, comparative testing, consultation with a variety of industry experts, and input from CAPA's Technical Committee. In addition, CAPA also turned to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the nation's preeminent crash testing and auto safety authority, to conduct a series of demonstration tests. 

"This wide-ranging approach enables those depending on CAPA Standards to have complete confidence that parts meeting our comprehensive requirements will perform the same as car company brand parts," said Jack Gillis, Executive Director of the Certified Automotive Parts Association. 

In addition to recent industry reports about poor performing bumper parts, CAPA's own testing has identified deficiencies in the quality and performance of independently produced bumpers when compared to car company brand parts. "As such, there is a real need for a certification standard which identifies bumper parts that are truly comparable to the car company brand parts," said Gillis. "The good news, the industry can be assured that bumper parts meeting the CAPA 501 Standard have demonstrated comparable performance across the board to the car company brand bumper parts." 

In addition to all of the critical CAPA tests needed to ensure true comparability to car company brand parts, the new CAPA 501 Standard will require that bumper parts go through CAPA's full part dynamic crash or quasi-static tests. This full part stress testing, conducted on every part number submitted for certification, will further demonstrate true comparability of the aftermarket part to the car company brand service part. The CAPA program also requires comprehensive post-certification inspection and marketplace monitoring. 

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