GM Says It’s Dangerous to Use Salvage Structural Parts on Your Cadillac—Here’s Why They’re Right

July 31, 2023

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Salvage parts threaten the overall structural integrity of your Cadillac.

When you take your Cadillac to a body shop for collision repair, of course you’re going to want the job to be done as safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively as possible.  At our shop, one of the ways we can ensure the best possible repair for our customers is by adhering to the recommendations of each vehicle’s manufacturer.  

Just about every manufacturer provides “Position Statements” that explain how to repair their types of vehicles properly.  Some shops toss this advice out the window, but we believe it’s imperative to study the information carefully and follow the recommendations as expressed by the manufacturer.

GM has issued a Position Statement about the reuse of salvage structural parts on their Cadillacs and here’s what they say:

“General Motors does not approve of or support structural repair procedures where Genuine GM Parts are not used for Buick, Cadillac, GMC, and Cadillac vehicles. Any repairs performed not using Genuine GM Parts may expose current or future vehicle owners and occupants to unnecessary risk.”

Essentially, they are explaining that it would be detrimental to your safety if salvage structural parts are used in a repair.

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How are structural parts different from any other parts?

Structural parts include floor elements, body panels, frame rails, and more that basically hold your vehicle together.

You might already be aware that GM disapproves of salvage parts in general for your vehicle, but it’s specifically important to preserve the integrity of your structural components, as they are the sections of your car that can help minimize damage in the event of a collision.

According to GM, “Structural parts are critical elements in the design of specific crush zones that allow the energy of a collision to be absorbed in a predictable way and maximize the effectiveness of the restraint system to protect the occupants. The use of parts not specifically designed and tested by General Motors may compromise the integral balance between these safety systems.”

Here’s the problem with salvage structural parts.

The biggest problem with salvage parts is that it’s impossible to know the quality of their condition by the time they get to you.  They might be from a car that was already involved in a collision or experienced extreme weather fluctuations or simply survived general wear and tear.  Even upon close inspection, it’s often impossible to see all the microscopic damage a salvage part might have endured.

Keep in mind that even very minor discrepancies in material or shape can cause a structural part to become less effective and, therefore, less safe to use on your vehicle.

The best replacement structural parts for your Cadillac are Genuine GM Parts.

General Motors explains in their Position Statement that the only parts you should ever use on your Cadillac are new OEM parts:

“Only authentic Genuine GM Parts are designed, engineered, manufactured and tested to the General Motors internal and government mandated standards and are the only ones equivalent to the original equipment installed on the vehicle.”  

Unlike salvage parts, new Original Equipment Manufacturer parts have never been used, never been exposed to the elements, never been rendered defective by improper disassembly.  New structural parts are made to function optimally on your vehicle, increasing your car’s performance and your personal safety.

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While other shops might disregard GM’s recommendations, we respect this information because we care about the quality of your repair.

It might be surprising to you, but collision repair shops are not required to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  There’s no one actually enforcing these Position Statements, so manufacturers are putting their trust in us to do as they recommend.  

At our shop, we genuinely care about every repair we do.  Because of this, we make sure to follow GM’s recommendation of using new replacement structural parts, instead of taking chances with salvage components.  It is our mission to do what’s best for your vehicle’s performance and for your safety.

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