Giovanni Adamo – Chief Technical Officer, e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management, discusses the new standard for reclaimed parts
“Reclaimed Parts” as we at e2e like to refer to them, have for a long time had a bad press to include consumer and insurer worries about provenance and safety and bodyshop concerns about quality. However, I prefer to think of these good, undamaged components (also referred to as second-hand parts, green parts or recycled parts) which have been removed from a vehicle, cleaned up and sold to be fitted to another vehicle, as an opportunity to repair a car and save a considerable amount of money, and in the same time as it would take to fit a genuine OEM part. So what’s not to like about these parts?
Contrary to some popular misconceptions, using reclaimed parts can have an incredibly positive effect on many levels. Firstly, there is a significant financial saving to be made for the purchaser of the part. Secondly, by purchasing a reclaimed part we are saving tonnes of waste going to landfill. So, if we have a perfectly good OEM wing removed from an end of life vehicle, does it not make total sense to refit it to another damaged car? Rather than melt it down to make, yes you’ve guessed it, another wing for the same car. Forgive the shortened path for the recycling journey of steel but I am sure you understand what I am saying.
The vehicle recycling industry has long required something to demonstrate that buying a reclaimed part is not a last resort but a cost-effective, time-efficient way of sourcing parts for the repair of a vehicle. As a result, the VRA, together with several stakeholders has devised the VRA Certification for reclaimed parts from end of life vehicles. By attaining this certification recyclers can market the components as quality-tested, checked and graded parts which are of a standard which provides purchasers with a great deal of certainty. This takes into consideration a full and detailed record of the donor vehicle, recorded checks on DVLA recalls for safety-related components, grading for the part in question, and traceability of the part.
e2e members have always had an unerring focus on quality-related to their reclaimed parts which are quality checked and offered with an appropriate warranty and full provenance details. Our members have welcomed the VRA Certification scheme, recognising the benefits and confidence that a new industry standard will bring.
With millions of reclaimed parts professionally removed and stored under acres of purpose-built warehousing, ready to be shipped with next day delivery, members of the e2e network are keen to undergo the audit and receive certification. Indeed, four of our members were the first vehicle recyclers in the country to be audited and were immediately awarded the standard and many more are currently going through the process. Our members believe that this certification will help to dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding reclaimed parts and encourage confidence and trust in the concept.
I asked one of our smaller, rurally based members, Auto Spares & Salvage to explain why they had been amongst the first to apply for the VRA Certification and their managing director, Robert Austin said:
“We were really pleased and proud to be amongst the first of a handful of companies to have been passed for the new VRA Certification process. Initially, the certification was born out of necessity for the new eBay business to business platform but it has a bigger meaning than that alone. Having passed the audit, it ensures to all clients whether they be Insurance, trade or public that we as a company are working to higher standards. This means to our consumers that our products will be of excellent quality, backed up by testing and extended warranties. We implemented a formal grading process in order to achieve the certification which although we were grading to some degree, we now have a more concrete strategy in place going forward. We’re really proud of our staff who have really bought into the whole process, they all understand the importance of quality and were instrumental in getting the certification.”
The recycling industry has been providing parts for private individuals for many years, however, at e2e we believe that we could do much more to assist insurers and fleets in reducing their total loss ratio and to help reduce the average repair cost by supplying more high quality, genuine parts from our members’ sites. One large insurer is already seeing the benefits by using reclaimed parts in the repair of its customers’ vehicles. This has the effect of placing more work into the repairer network where the vehicles are repaired and returned to their grateful owners rather than being rendered a total loss due to the cost ( for example) of a pair of headlamps. Customer satisfaction gains alone are clear to see.
e2e congratulates the VRA on the launch of the VRA Certification scheme and will look to encourage and support all of its network members attain this certification which will increase the sale of parts, increase profitability and more importantly give the general public and corporate buyers such as fleets and insurers the confidence and therefore the choice to regularly use reclaimed parts as a viable alternative to OEM parts.