ARA questions GM’s circular economy logic

Auto components reuse group says GM is attempting to keep reusable parts off the market.

The Manassas, Virginia-based Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) is admonishing General Motors (GM) and its CEO Mary Barra for what the ARA calls an “anti-environmental” position on the use of recycled GM parts.


GM’s revised position statement on recycled and salvage original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) parts, found on the corporation’s updated “Genuine GM Parts” website, significantly backtracks on the company’s economic stewardship commitments to conserve resources and protect the global environment, and “contradicts its publicly stated Environmental Principles by now attacking the use of environmentally friendly recycled GM parts,” says the ARA. The revised position statement was posted in August 2016.

ARA says that in a revised position statement GM includes the following paragraph:

“Genuine GM Parts are designed and constructed using metals with specific properties, thicknesses and stamping features built to perform in a consistent and predictable way during a collision event. The use of non-OEM structural components may compromise the overall crashworthiness and occupant safety of General Motors vehicles in a subsequent collision. In summary, General Motors does not support the use of salvage or recycled parts in a vehicle’s repair. GM recommends the use of Genuine GM Parts in repairs to help ensure the vehicle is returned to pre-collision condition.”

GM and other manufacturers continue to fail to cite any specific data or research to back up their claims that recycled parts are inferior to new parts, says the ARA’s CEO. “We believe the campaign by GM continues to be part of a coordinated and concerted effort among auto manufacturers to limit competition in the automotive parts replacement market by engaging in an ongoing campaign to undermine the recycled OEM parts market,” says ARA CEO Michael E. Wilson.

“Regrettably, GM’s revised ‘Genuine GM Parts’ campaign seems to be a rather transparent attempt to hoodwink consumers to boost sales of expensive ‘new’ parts and malign entirely appropriate, environmentally beneficial recycled GM replacement parts,” adds Wilson. “Recycled OEM parts are genuine OEM parts built to the same quality, durability, fit and finish specifications as new replacement parts. These recycled OEM parts went through the same rigid GM testing to ensure they [can be integrated] and are functional with all specified vehicle systems. These recycled parts are fully functional and in most cases match or exceed the condition of the components before the repair or service,” Wilson comments.

ARA is urging GM’s leadership “to cease their current anti-environmental and misinformation activities related to maligning recycled GM parts — the very parts that they manufactured.”

The ARA describes itself as being dedicated to the removal and reuse of genuine original equipment manufacturer (OEM) automotive parts, and the proper recycling of inoperable motor vehicles.




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