ARA Responds to Louisiana Attorney General’s Mischaracterization of Recycled Automotive Parts

The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) sent a letter to Louisiana Attorney General James D. “Buddy” Caldwell this week responding to mischaracterizations and disparaging statements made about recycled automotive parts.

In public comments related to a recent lawsuit filed by the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office against State Farm Insurance for allegedly steering consumers to direct repair providers who must comply with insurer requirements for replacement parts, Attorney General Caldwell is quoted as saying: “In some cases, we’ve found that these parts are nothing more than used junk yard parts.”

The Attorney General’s statement leads consumers to believe that salvaged/recycled automotive parts are unsafe and inferior to new original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. Recycled genuine original OEM parts meet OEM requirements. They are OEM parts, designed by the OEM, and built to meet the OEM requirements for fit, finish, durability, reliability and safety. Attorney General Caldwell’s mischaracterization of recycled automotive parts does a disservice to consumers in Louisiana by seeking to limit their access to safe, affordable and environmentally friendly automobile repairs.

In the September 8 letter, ARA CEO Michael E. Wilson pointed out that the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals recently affirmed the use of salvage/recycled OEM crash parts in vehicle repairs. The Court also found that neither the West Virginia Automotive Crash Parts Act not Consumer Credit and Protection Act statute prohibited body shops or insurers from utilizing these parts, that aftermarket crash parts and salvage/recycled OEM crash parts are “diametrically” different products and not interchangeable, and, moreover, applauded the insurers for using measures to reduce premium costs for their customers.

“The West Virginia ruling is a significant step forward for the professional automotive recycling industry and the increased utilization of genuine, recycled OEM parts,” said ARA CEO Michael E. Wilson. “Regrettably, not all state attorneys general have done their homework and educated themselves about our industry and the critical role that recycled OEM automotive parts play in the market.”

Since 1943, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) represents an industry dedicated to the efficient removal and reuse of “green” automotive parts, and the proper recycling of inoperable motor vehicles. ARA represents the interests of over 4,500 auto recycling facilities in the United States and fourteen other countries around the world. With programs such as the Certified Automotive Recycler Program (CAR), Green Recycled Parts®, and other partnerships, ARA members continue to provide consumers with quality, low-cost alternatives for genuine vehicle replacement parts, while preserving our environment for a “greener” tomorrow. To learn more about the Association, visit ARA’s Home Page at or call (571) 208-0428.