Automotive Recyclers Association CEO Michael E. Wilson. Photo courtesy of ARA.

Automotive Recyclers Association CEO Michael E. Wilson. Photo courtesy of ARA.

The Automotive Recyclers Association on Sept. 7 issued a statement “admonishing” General Motors and its CEO Mary Barra for a recent company notice that warned about safety risks associated with the use of salvage or recycled parts in collision repair work.

The industry group’s criticism came in response to a bulletin that GM posted in August on the company’s Genuine GM Parts website.

“General Motors does not support the use of salvage or recycled parts due to the sensitive nature of the safety and performance of General Motors vehicles,” the notice stated. It also included warnings that salvage or recycled parts may have compromised crush zones as a result of previous repairs, and may have additional layers of refinish materials affecting long-term durability and repair appearance.

Additionally, such parts lead to more complex repairs because of variations in how the assembly is stored, processed, and shipped to a repair center, GM said.

“GM recommends the use of Genuine GM Parts in repairs to help ensure the vehicle is returned to pre-collision condition,” the bulletin concluded.

In its own released statement, the Automotive Recyclers Association characterized the GM notice as representing a “new anti-environmental position on the utilization of recycled GM parts.”

The position expressed in the GM notice “significantly backtracks on the company’s economic stewardship commitments to conserve resources and protect the global environment, and contradicts its publicly stated Environmental Principles by now attacking the use of environmentally friendly recycled GM parts,” the Automotive Recyclers Association press release alleged.

The Automotive Recyclers Association also argued that the use of recycled parts in collision repair is a widely accepted practice with a decades-long track record.

“We believe the campaign by GM continues to be part of a coordinated and concerted effort among auto manufacturers to limit competition in the automotive parts replacement market by engaging in an ongoing campaign to undermine the recycled OEM part market,” said Michael E. Wilson, CEO of the Automotive Recyclers Association.