Replacement car parts and product liability protection
January 23, 2012
A prominent manufacturer of auto parts frequently used in collision centers throughout New Jersey and the rest of the United States is offering “product liability protection” for collision centers approved by the company. The reason for offering such protection is to encourage collision centers to use only approved parts in repair that are not cheaply designed or prone to failure like many substitute products used.
Often collision repair facilities use such substitute or replace products that are manufactured outside of the United States. The problem with such practices is that if and when such a product was to fail, the repair facility may ultimately be the one held liable for the product failure as there is no way to reach the product manufacturer.
Obviously, such an arrangement does have certain advantages for those injured because of defective products used in the repair of their vehicle. Collision repair shops may be judgment proof and not have the financial resources to compensate individuals that are injured. Also, if collision repair shops feel that another party ultimately was responsible for the person’s injuries due to a defective product rather than a negligent repair of the vehicle, they can be assured that they will not be on the hook for any product liability matter and can inform the injured party of the right party to be sued.
This arrangement will by no means bring product liability suits to an end, however. Simply because the manufacturer provides product liability protection for certain collision centers would not in itself mean that their own products are safer than others already on the market. Such an arrangement may also be a way that the manufacturer makes sure that collision repair shops only do business through them.
Source: SearchAutoParts.com, “Diamond Standard parts offer repairers product liability protection,” Jan. 16, 2012