Certified Automotive Parts Association
1000 Vermont Ave. NW Suite 1010
Washington, D.C. 20005
P: 202-737-2212
F: 202-737-2214
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What CAPA Certifies
CAPA 101 - Metals | CAPA 201 - Plastics | CAPA 301 - Lighting | CAPA 401 - Foam Rubber | CAPA 501 - Bumper Parts

CAPA quality standards apply to various types of parts made from different materials. CAPA is constantly expanding the certification program to include more parts and new materials. Currently, the specifications that set quality standards for metal (CAPA 101), plastic (CAPA 201), lighting (CAPA 301), foam rubber (CAPA 401), and bumper parts (CAPA 501) are in place. Each specification provides detailed testing and inspection procedures to ensure the quality of the parts covered by that specification. Where possible, all test procedures refer to the nationally recognized tests such as those of ASTM and SAE.

CAPA 101 - Metals

Metal parts that are primed, decoratively painted, plated with metallic coatings, or painted and plated with metallic coatings are covered, including:

Bezels Deck Lids Door Shells Fenders
Grilles Hoods Pickup Beds Pickup Box Sides
Quarter Panels Radiator Supports Wheel Houses Tailgates

(The standard does not cover metal or chrome bumpers, but CAPA 501 does - see below.)


CAPA 201 - Plastics

Plastic parts that are unprimed, primed, decoratively painted, plated with metallic coatings, or painted and plated with metallic coatings are covered, including:

Bezels Bumper Cover Fenders Fascias Grille
Bezels Bumper Covers Fenders Fascias, Front/Rear Grilles
Header Panels Hoods Fender Liner Side Molding  
Header Panels Hoods Liners, Fender Side Mouldings  

The CAPA 201 specifications include requirements for:

  • Adhesive integrity
  • Appearance
  • Assembly requirements
  • Coating performance
  • Dimensional Checks
  • Fasteners
  • Hardware
  • Materials analysis
    (composition, mechanical properties)
  • Production requirements
  • Quality control procedures
  • New Part Approval Vehicle Test Fit (VTF), as applicable

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CAPA 301 - Lighting

CAPA 301 for Lighting was approved by the CAPA Technical Committee in March 2002. Automotive lighting parts are covered, including:

Headlamps Taillamps Side Markers High-Mounted
Brake Lights

The CAPA 301 specifications include requirements for:

  • FMVSS 108 Compliance, Initial and Ongoing
  • Dimensional Verification
  • Physical Dimensions and Effective Projected Luminous Lens Area
  • Electrical and Power
  • Illumination, Photometry, and Color
  • Life and Durability Requirements
  • Gaskets, Adhesives, Sealants, and Auxiliary Equipment
  • Aiming Devices
  • Metallurgical/Material Analyses
    (composition, mechanical properties)
  • Appearance
  • Production
  • Quality Control Procedures
  • New Part Approval Vehicle Test Fit (VTF)

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CAPA 401 - Foam Rubber

Limited to flexible cellular rubber products known as sponge rubber and expanded foam rubber, used as a seal.
CAPA 401 specifications include requirements for:

  • Dimensional Verification
  • Appearance
  • Material Comparability

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CAPA 501 - Bumper Parts

Bumpers (front and rear), bumper reinforcements (rebars), bumper brackets and energy absorbers are covered:


Front Bumper
Bumper Reinforcement
Rear Bumper
Energy Absorber
Impact Bar
Front Bumpers


Rear Bumpers Energy Absorbers Impact Bars

CAPA 501 includes requirements for:

  • Material Composition
  • Mechanical Properties (strength)
  • Dimensions
  • Appearance
  • Welds
  • Fasteners
  • Primer
  • Decorative Coatings
  • Hitches
  • Density
  • Compression
  • Chemical Resistance
  • Full Part Stress Testing
  • Vehicle Test Fit (VTF)


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Additional part types will be added as appropriate