(Editor's Note: In response to industry requests, the following represents a collection of all Ford position statements relating to collision repair.)
IMITATION PARTS AND FORD WARRANTY:
Imitation crash parts are not covered under the Ford new vehicle limited warranty or any other Ford warranty. In addition, any damage to or failure of a Ford part caused by the installation or improper performance of an imitation part is not covered under the Ford new vehicle limited warranty or any other Ford warranty.
However, the use of imitation crash parts for vehicle repair does not, in itself, void the Ford new vehicle limited warranty. The limited warranty for the rest of the vehicle, excluding the imitation part itself, remains in effect.
Ford believes the interests of vehicle owners and collision repairers are best protected by the use of genuine Ford replacement crash parts to repair collision damage.
SALVAGE PARTS AND FORD WARRANTY:
Many factors can influence the quality of salvage parts, such as exposure to weather, improper removal or hidden structural damage. In addition, parts salvaged from Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles may not always be genuine Ford parts. Ford believes the interests of vehicle owners and collision repairers are best protected by the use of genuine Ford replacement crash parts to repair collision damage.
IMITATION CRASH PARTS AND AIR BAG SYSTEMS:
Testing by Ford has shown imitation crash parts to be substandard in their fit and structural integrity. To our knowledge, no testing has been conducted to verify that the performance of imitation crash parts -- particularly crucial front-end parts, such as hoods, bumper reinforcements and header panels -- in front-end crashes will be compatible with Ford air bag systems.
Genuine Ford replacement crash parts are the same as those used on new vehicles, which have been crash tested and meet all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
Because so little is known about the effect of imitation parts on airbag system and component integrity, Ford believes genuine Ford crash parts should be used for collision repairs to protect the interests of both collision repairers and vehicle owners.
USE OF SALVAGED AIR BAG SYSTEMS:
Many factors may influence the integrity of salvaged air bag systems or components, such as weathering and improper removal techniques. In addition, air bag systems are designed for specific vehicles, with changes occurring even within specific vehicle models to accommodate technological advancements. it is possible for an air bag system or an individual air bag component to fit into an inappropriate vehicle, thereby jeopardizing the integrity of the air bag system.
For these reasons, Ford believes only new air bag systems and components should be used to repair damaged vehicles. Ford believes the interests of repairers and vehicle owners are best protected when new genuine Ford replacement air bag systems and components are used.
REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT OF SAFETY BELT SYSTEMS:
Before installing a new safety belt assembly, the safety belt attaching areas must be inspected for damage and distortion. If the attaching points are damaged or distorted, the sheet metal must be reworked back to its original shape and structural integrity. Also, be sure that if new safety belt service parts are needed, they are intended specifically for the vehicle in which they are being installed.
Ford Motor Company describes recommended functional testing procedures for both shoulder harnesses and lap belts and retractors in Ford
Technical Service Bulletin 85-2-4, and in Ford service manuals. 1/98
Ford Crash Parts Headquarters