Systems have become more sophisticated with lane-keeping assistance, automatic braking and blind spot detection. As a result, auto makers are insisting that only authorized dealers can provide parts and repairs to ensure safety. This has drawn the ire of independent repair shops and suppliers that currently dominate the aftermarket.

Aftermarket auto repair and suppliers claim that they can produce parts and repair cars for a fraction of the cost to drivers. However, Subaru tells its customers that problems caused by substitute replacement parts for the EyeSight System will not be covered by warranty.

Subaru is not alone in issuing such guideline. According to a Reuters review of automaker positions on advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) repair and calibration, Nissan’s luxury division Infiniti and Volvo also warns that parts and repairs from unauthorized dealers are not covered by warranty. Meanwhile, General Motors and Honda say that original parts and authorized installation and repairs are critical to ensuring safety but they have not made any warranty warnings.

The aftermarket dispute is rapidly increasing in the United States and independent repair shops and part makers have asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to intervene. The aftermarket wants FTC to prohibit carmakers from making conditional warranties on ADAS parts and service. Carmakers must bring new tech in line with the rules of traditional auto equipment and they must provide access to the latest diagnostic data from the vehicle software.

The aftermarket auto repair industry is worth $390 billion a year in the United States and double the amount globally. According to Edward Salamy, executive director Automotive Body Parts Association, independent supplies can produce ADAS parts that are 25% to 50% cheaper than the price charged by automakers. One example is windshields that cost about $420 cheaper in the aftermarket but tests by IHHS revealed that non-authorized windshields could prevent sensors from working properly.

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