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Saturday, October 13, 2012

What are you really paying for?

The dealership this blog is based around does something that I find extremely offensive to the consumer. I have never heard of any other shop that does this so I can't really say how widespread it is in the industry. What I can do, however, is let the world know something for which to look.

As you may or may not know, there are parts that come from the manufacturer of the vehicle, called OEM parts (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and other parts that are made by a different company and sold at parts stores across the country, called aftermarket parts. One of the many advantages of bringing your vehicle to a dealer for repair is that they will use OEM parts. With the use of OEM parts you know you are getting a high quality part that was made specifically for your vehicle.  This is not to say that aftermarket parts are never a good option, nor is it to say that a dealer will never use aftermarket parts.

This particular dealer is passing off certain aftermarket parts as OEM parts to the consumer.  When I first found out about this, I was surprised.  After I found out about it is when I realized I should not be surprised by anything this dealer does to make additional profit.  Was this a mistake?  No.  The parts come in different boxes that are clearly not from the Manufacturer.  The parts department in this dealership still bills the OEM part number on the invoice, charging the matrix pricing (see earlier post) for a part that is inferior in quality and costed them less to buy.

Let's say that part were to fail in 10 months while the customer is out of town and they bring their vehicle to another dealership since they know the part is covered by the OEM part warranty.  Now, another dealer goes to replace the part and they realize it is, in fact, not an OEM part.  They will be unable to process a claim on the part and the customer will have to pay for the repair again.

As I stated earlier, this type of thing is not commonplace , as far as I know, in the industry.  But I still advise you to do your due diligence when having your car serviced.  Most repair shops, dealers and not, are trustworthy and are not there to take every penny they can out of your wallet.  Shop carefully, and when you find a trustworthy shop, stay with them and build a relationship.