Property Casualty Insurers Association of America
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News Release



Clare Fitzgerald











January 21, 2009



PCI Aftermarket Parts Study Highlights Potential Costs of Auto Replacement Parts Monopoly


CHICAGO – Consumers and insurers would face staggering costs if car companies gain a monopoly on the market for parts needed to repair vehicles after a collision, according to research study findings released today by the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).


According to the study, even without the cost of paint and labor, a 2005 Ford Mustang GT built entirely from car company crash parts would cost nearly three times the car’s original price. In one example, the price of a car company right headlamp assembly for the Mustang was $156.17, compared to $121.00 for a certified aftermarket right headlamp. The aftermarket part savings was $35.17, or 23 percent.


The availability of aftermarket parts has created competition in the market and has helped bring about lower costs for replacement automobile parts. Aftermarket parts are certified and tested by The Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA), a non-profit organization that oversees a testing and inspection program for certifying the quality of parts used in collision repairs.


“This study reinforces the fact that aftermarket parts not only provide lower-priced, quality alternatives, they also keep car company parts prices lower, resulting in tremendous direct and indirect savings for consumers,” said Robert Passmore, PCI’s director of personal lines.


Despite the benefits to consumers, some automobile manufacturers are seeking replacement part patents in an effort to eliminate competition. “Car company efforts to gain a monopoly by eliminating aftermarket parts would increase repair costs and harm consumers,” said Passmore. “The loss of a competitive market for these parts would also add more than $3 billion to insurers’ costs, which would be passed on to consumers in the form of higher insurance premiums.”

Higher repair costs also would mean that more vehicle owners without physical damage insurance coverage would be forced to forego repairs and more vehicles would be declared total losses, requiring consumers to replace their vehicles. Greater numbers of total losses resulting from higher repair costs also hurts auto body repair shops by lowering the number of overall repair jobs. 


For more information on aftermarket parts, visit or


PCI is composed of more than 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross-section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write over $198 billion in annual premium, 40.5 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 51.6 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 39.7 percent of the homeowners market, 33.2 percent of the commercial property and liability market, and 38.7 percent of the private workers compensation market.



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