ROCKLEIGH, NJ – Volvo Cars of North America LLC on July 18 issued a service manager bulletin advising its dealers to warn collision shops, insurance adjusters and vehicle owners against the use of aftermarket or salvage parts in the repair of a Volvo vehicle damaged in a collision.

The bulletin states that Volvos are designed to absorb the impact of a collision, and the individual components in the energy absorption system must work together to maintain cabin integrity and protect the vehicle occupants. As a result, the automaker said it "does not support the use of aftermarket, alternative or anything other than original Volvo parts for collision repair."

The bulletin adds that Volvo "does not support the use or re-use of structural components from an existing vehicle that has been previously damaged." Such parts may appear the same as original equipment parts, the bulletin states, "but it is difficult to tell if the parts have been previously replaced with non-OE parts or if the part has been damaged as a result of a prior collision. The quality of these used parts may also have been affected due to environmental exposure."

In response to the bulletin’s release, the Automotive Body Parts Association released a statement of its own that criticizes Volvo’s bulletin.

"The Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) continues to advocate for the use of quality, safe alternative parts for consumer vehicle repairs, despite attempts by Volvo and other car companies to limit competition and promote their branded components as the best and only option," the ABPA statement said. "Crash testing by the ABPA at low and high speeds has conclusively demonstrated that aftermarket parts provide occupant protection well within the federal motor vehicle safety standards, that energy absorption in a crash is equivalent for aftermarket and car company parts and that aftermarket part performance is comparable and does not impact the timing or deployment of airbags."