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Auto repair: new part or spare part?

Since 1st January 2017, motor vehicle servicing and repair professionals have been required – for certain categories of replacement parts – to make every effort to allow their customers to choose “circular economy parts” instead of new parts. However, this obligation was not accompanied by implementing provisions defining the concrete procedures for informing customers about the prices or the terms and conditions for the sale of circular economy parts. This situation has now changed with the Order of 8 October 2018, which came into force on 1st April 2019.

What activities are concerned?

Professionals must inform their customers when performing motor vehicle servicing and repair activities, including fault-finding or troubleshooting services.

 

How are customers informed about circular economy parts?

At the customer entrance to the site, in the area where the professional arranges appointments, a clear and prominent notice must be displayed, which can be read from outside the premises, informing customers about the opportunity to choose circular economy parts.

This notice must specify:
- the categories of replacement parts concerned,
- a description of the families to which the parts belong,
- and the legal grounds for the professional not using circular economy parts (particularly when they are not available within a time frame compatible with the period set aside for repairing the vehicle or are likely to pose a significant risk).

This same information must be posted on the professional’s website.

 

Used parts – an established practice at Assercar

Created in 2004 on Pacifica’s initiative, Assercar is a network of motor vehicle repair professionals made available to insurers and fleet managers. Since 2018, Assercar has been in partnership with Opisto.pro, which gives over 1,700 body repair professionals in the network online access to a national and personalised range of used parts.

“We have established a Web portal enabling the repair professionals in our network to access a pooled stock of used parts at preferential terms. This marketplace is supplied by dismantling centres – formerly known as end-of-life vehicle recycling sites – using our partner Opisto’s stock-management system.

This enables the repair professionals in our network to consult a stock of 650,000 parts which are updated in real time and can be ordered online via the Assercar extranet system. This system helps to control repair costs and facilitates the repair of vehicles worth barely more than their repair value, while contributing to the protection of our environment.”

Stéphane Rapiné, CEO of Assercar

 

How is the customers’ approval obtained?

Before the customer agrees to a proposed service, his or her decision to opt for circular economy parts must be recorded by the professional on a durable medium (e.g. on the repair order). It must be stated, in a clear and legible declaration immediately after the right to choose, that the supply of circular economy parts is subject to availability, notification by the professional of their availability date and their price.

If, while searching for parts, the professional identifies several circular economy parts that could be used to replace a single defective part, he or she must clearly allow the customer to choose between these different parts, especially when a particular choice impacts the vehicle repair period. The customer must clearly state his or her choice – concerning each circular economy part – on a durable medium.

Finally, whenever a professional is not legally required to offer circular economy parts, he or she must inform the customer, under the same conditions, of the legitimate grounds for this inability.

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