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Validating a collision shop replaced air bag with genuine OEM part.

techman41973techman41973 Member Posts: 83
edited June 2015 in General
I've been reading how many shops will cut corners by replacing air bags with counterfeits on EBAY and other sources.
When looking for a good collision shop, going by Yelp reviews or recommendations from my insurance company may be insufficient
Is it enough to just ask for a detailed receipt for any air bags replaced in my vehicle?
Or are there additional steps I should take to be sure airbag replacements are genuine OEM.


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    thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,751
    The decision as to what kinds of parts will be installed when the vehicle is being repaired usually isn't the shop's in most cases. When one of my cars got hit on the street even though I stressed O.E. parts, the insurance company rep tried to go behind my back and insisted that the body shop use components from other sources. Shops often get caught in the middle with the vehicle owner having certain expectations while the insurance companies have their own ideas. The article you linked is typical as to how quick the writer tried to throw the shops under the bus. That's not to say that someone wouldn't or shouldn't look for way's to increase profits and save someone some money if possible. The problem is that the shops and techs have no way to prove how well the parts that they were(are) being told to install from sources other than the O.E. are going to operate.

    There are other problems with the article though besides just the potential concern of a flawed replacement part. The article basically recommends the CarMD tool and at one point states "The device can determine whether the airbag control unit has been removed, altered or is not functional. And if it detects a problem, a car owner can find the average cost of the repair in the user's specific locale on the CarMD Web site or from an agent at the company's phone-in help center"

    A scan tool, any scan tool, can only report what the onboard modules can detect and generate codes and data for. Many of the aftermarket tools only do a small fraction of the systems that are on the car, and even then they only perform a small percentage of that. CarMD cannot determine if the system is compromised if the vehicle cannot discern that itself, and even if the vehicle can there are no guarantees that a tool at that level can do anything more than retrieve and try to clear the codes. The article does attempt to qualify the above quote a few sentences later but IMO most wouldn't catch the significance of the contradiction that occurs.

    Take this quote " Nationwide and across car brands and models, the average cost to replace an airbag control unit and its impact sensor is nearly $555, including parts and labor, said Art Jacobsen, vice president of CarMD Corp. in Irvine, California. The cost of the airbag itself can add another $400-$500, he said."

    Hogwash.. It's all too common that someone like that starts spouting off numbers like that. Having done hundreds of repairs on these systems the "average" cost in situations other than a crash is less than half of what the CarMD spokesperson stated.
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    kimmysarkelakimmysarkela Member Posts: 4
    I would contact your local dealer and ask them what body shops in the area they use that certified by your vehicle manufacture. I work for honda ans we only swnd our cars to one body shop and they are honda certified and get all their parts from us. Also the above statement is true insurance companies have a huge role in the decision making process.  They usually do not want to pay the higher cost of owm parts. Any certified body shop should be able to get quality aftermarket parts not shady ones.
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