SAN FRANCISCO - The California Department of Insurance's legal division on April 30 issued a written notice aimed at reminding auto insurance companies of state law regulating the use of non-OEM replacement crash parts.
The notice cited existing California regulations that prohibit insurers from requiring the use of non-OEM replacement crash parts in the repair of an automobile unless:
- The parts are at least equal to the OEM parts in terms of kind, quality, safety, fit and performance
- Insurers specifying the use of non-OEM crash parts will pay the cost of any modifications needed to make the repair
- Insurers specifying the use of non-OEM crash parts provide a warranty ensuring that the parts are of like kind, quality, safety, fit and performance as the OEM crash parts
- All OEM and non-OEM replacement crash parts, when supplied by repair shops, include non-removable labeling to identify the manufacturer
- The use of non-OEM replacement crash parts is disclosed, as required by state code.
The memo notes that the department has learned that "certain aftermarket bumper reinforcement bars may be significantly different in terms of like kind, quality, safety, fit, and performance as compared to the original equipment manufacturer replacement part."