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OTHER ITA SITES:
The Fate of Aftermarket Parts
Aftermarket parts have gone a long way since its introduction to the riding world. In fact there are a lot of developments and innovations which resulted to the boost of its sales.
The result of its improvement and upgrading was the powerful influence that drove riders and drivers alike to purchase and use it in their bikes. However, one thing startled these purchasers. It is all about the claims against insurance companies. Another drawback though, is the spread out of phony and scrupulous companies.
Recently, a significant Illinois suit sprang. This suit is called the Avery lawsuit. It is a class suit which seeks to claim against a State Farm. Plaintiffs are suing for breach of contract and violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (CFA). They claim that State Farm did not honor its insurance contract to pay for parts of "like kind and quality" to restore the insured's vehicle to "pre-loss condition". The insureds are complaining that State Farm repaired their vehicles using a substandard replacement crash parts instead of original equipment manufacture (OEM) parts and positively misrepresented the quality of these replacement parts. They allege that said deception is made in order to save money at the insureds expense.
During trial, plaintiffs presented expert testimonies to affirm that aftermarket parts have been used. Said experts testified according to the parts appearance, fit, quality, function, durability and performance. According to the plaintiffs, it was not only the quality that is unsatisfactory but the promise of State Farm to replace the non-OEM part.
Also, it was made known in the trial that State Farm recommends the use of aftermarket parts in their repair. The insurer’s adjustors use a computer system programmed to select the available and least expensive aftermarket part. It was also made known that State Farm’s employees, executives, associates and ‘special customers’ were exempted from these practice and their vehicles are repaired with OEM and not aftermarket parts.
The jury awarded almost $500,000 million to indemnify the insured class. In addition, the judge ordered State Farm to disgorge $130 million in savings realized by mandating the use of non-OEM parts and awarded plaintiffs $600 million in punitive damages.
On appeal, however, the Court reversed the award to disgorge the $130 million in savings and upheld the remainder of the decision.
This decision has its stigma. It will definitely affect the aftermarket industry. It is an influencing factor that can redound to aftermarket parts boom or downfall.
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