Subaru hardens its position on alternative parts

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Subaru has updated its position statement on the use of alternative parts with stronger language to clarify the automaker’s position on the use of recycled, salvaged, aftermarket and reconditioned parts.

“Subaru of America just wants to be as clear as possible about its position on the proper repair of Subaru vehicles,” said Devin Wilcox, Collision Certification Manager at Subaru, of the need for the new position statement.

In the company’s previous statement regarding the use of alternative parts, the company explained that using genuine Subaru parts “would help ensure that the vehicle is restored to its original condition before the collision” and that the use of non-OEM parts “could compromise the occupant. safety in a subsequent collision.

While these two caveats still exist in the new position statement released this month, the most recent version clearly states that “Subaru of America, Inc. does NOT endorse the use of recycled, salvaged, aftermarket parts. or refurbished which cannot be manufactured. to the same specifications or tolerances as genuine Subaru parts. (Subaru emphasis.)

Wilcox said, “These issues are addressed both in this position statement and in Subaru’s repair procedures, available through the Subaru Technical Information System (STIS).”

“Generic collision parts can use different materials and manufacturing techniques, resulting in different quality or performance than OEM parts,” Wilcox said. “OEM replacement parts are identical to the parts originally installed on Subaru vehicles from the factory, and they are designed to meet the same strict standards of safety and quality. “

“These issues have become increasingly important in light of advanced driver assistance systems and associated technologies,” said Wilcox.

Image of Snap-on: The sticker inside the bumper protector, placed just in front of the radar sensor, prevented the sensor from working properly.

An interesting example of this concern documented by Snap-on was for a 2018 Subaru Forester. While trying to calibrate the blind spot radar system behind a newly installed aftermarket bumper, the store found that the driver’s side unit failed. had failed to calibrate.

In this case, the failure was caused by the unfortunate placement of a metal sticker inside the bumper, rather than an issue with the material of the bumper itself. Calibration was ultimately successful after the sticker was removed, but not before the store wasted extra time and effort in finding the cause of the problem.

I-CAR explains how foreign matter can interfere with certain ADAS systems in an article on Blind Spot Monitoring Systems. “Since the radar is behind the bumper, the radio waves sent by the sensor must pass through the substrate in front of them. Passing through a plastic bumper can slow down radio waves. This is programmed into the radar sensors to account for the slower rate. However, when other materials, such as bumper repair material, are in the field of view of the sensors, it can slow down the radio waves even more. This can cause false readings from the radar unit.

When asked what a repair center might do if they were to receive a reminder from a billpayer on this new position statement, Wilcox said, “Subaru is here to help our customers, service centers. collision repair and bill payers restore vehicles as closely as possible. to their pre-collision state. If there are any questions regarding these repairs or Subaru’s position regarding replacement parts, they can be sent to [email protected]

More information

Subaru aftermarket position statement
Subaru Replacement Parts Position Statement – August 2021.pdf

Snap-on: Blind Spot Radar Calibration – Post-Collision
https://www.snapon.com/EN/US/Diagnostics/News-Center/Blind-Spot-Radar-Calibration-Post-Collision

I-CAR: when ADAS cannot see: blind spot monitoring system
https://rts.i-car.com/collision-repair-news/when-adas-can-t-see-blind-spot-monitoring-system.html

Pictures:

Featured Image: Subaru Outback Courtesy Subaru of America
Image of Snap-on: The sticker inside the bumper protector, placed just in front of the radar sensor, prevented the sensor from working properly.

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