Allowable Use of Used or Reconditioned Parts
North Carolina law does allow the use of used parts and reconditioned parts in the vehicle repair process. As a practical matter, most repair shops and insurance carriers will not use used or after-market parts when the damaged vehicle is less than two years old. Also, your repair shop will reject used parts or reconditioned parts if they are not in perfect condition. Thus, you really should not fear the use of used parts in the repair process. If you choose to reject used, reconditioned, or after-market parts, you must personally pay for the additional expense involved in the use of new, original-equipment parts.
Choosing a Repair Facility
Accident victims are often steered toward certain body shops and repair facilities. This can occur at the towing stage where the wrecker driver suggests a facility. Shop recommendations also occur in discussions with insurance adjusters. The first thing you should know is that you have the sole right to choose who handles your vehicle repairs.
Many insurance carriers typically work with repair shops with labels, such as “approved,” “certified,” “blue-ribbon,” or other indicia suggesting the insurance carrier promotes the use of the particular dealership or body shop. This approval does not require you to use these facilities. If you have a relationship with a body shop or you prefer to use the manufacturer’s dealership facility, this is your legal right. However, it is also safe to work with the insurance company’s “approved” shop.
Insurance carriers will only approve of a facility if they have a course and history of honest and successful business dealings with that shop. Further, approved facilities will only employ ICAR certified repair technicians. The ICAR certification is the highest level of body repair training in the industry. Further, if you use the insurance carrier’s approved facility, typically, the insurance carrier will extend the body shop’s standard repair warranty so that your collision repairs remain warranted for as long as you own the vehicle. With these advantages, it is often wise to allow the approved repair facility to handle your repairs.