Volkswagen Approves Only OEM Parts on Structural Repairs—Here’s Why You Should Care

July 31, 2023

Volkswagen is wary of aftermarket, recycled, and salvage replacement parts in structural repairs.

It is common practice in our industry for each vehicle manufacturer to provide “Position Statements” that explain the best methods for repairing their makes and models.

In the event of structural repairs, Volkswagen has released a Position Statement recommending that only Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts be used on their vehicles:

“Volkswagen requires the use of new Genuine Volkswagen collision parts in the repair of Volkswagen vehicles. These parts are factory tested to provide maximum passenger safety should the vehicle be involved in a future collision.”

Volkswagen is explaining clearly and directly that your safety might be in jeopardy if you choose to use any replacement structural parts on your vehicle besides Volkswagen OEM parts.

Image of Volkswagen

How are structural parts different from any other parts?

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

It’s especially 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.

These parts are designed with crush zones that are intended to absorb the energy in a collision, giving you and your passengers additional protection.

Here’s the problem with non-OEM structural parts.

There are plenty of aftermarket, recycled, and salvage structural parts available, but none of them will ever be as reliable or as structurally sound as new OEM parts.  

Aftermarket parts are developed to fit a range of makes and models, so they may not fit the exact specifications for placement on a Volkswagen.  That means a technician would have to bend, heat, and employ other creative methods to get the part to fit properly.  

Recycled and salvage parts might seem like a good idea, but keep in mind that it’s nearly impossible to determine the quality of their condition by the time they arrive 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.

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.

It’s dangerous to use anything besides OEM parts in your repair.

The engineers at Volkswagen have carefully designed their structural parts to work together seamlessly.  According to Volkswagen:

“These structural components are specifically designed to work in conjunction to provide maximum passenger safety in the event of a future collision. Concessions to any of these individual structural components may negatively impact the complete vehicle structure in the event of a future collision.”

They are saying that disrupting even one structural element could throw the whole system off, leading to major problems down the road, including poor vehicle performance and less protection in a collision.

There’s no sense in taking chances with your safety.

OEM parts are higher quality than aftermarket parts.  OEM parts have also never been used, never been exposed to the elements, never been rendered defective by improper disassembly like recycled or salvage parts.

New structural parts are made to function optimally on your vehicle, increasing your car’s performance and your personal safety.

Image of Volkswagen

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

If you’re in a collision and need to take your Volkswagen to a shop for repairs, it only makes sense that you would 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.  

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 Volkswagen’s recommendation of using new replacement structural parts, instead of taking chances with aftermarket and salvage components.

It is our mission to do what’s best for your vehicle’s performance and for your safety.


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