Determining quality in a replacement part isn't about how it looks or feels, whether it carries a clever marketing name, what it costs or even if it comes with "liability" protection; It's a matter of science.
Quality can be determined only by subjecting it to proven, objective methods of testing and evaluation. For example, is it made from the proper metal or plastic? Are the welds correctly positioned? Is it protected against rust? Are all the gaps and flush measurements on target? Does it meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety requirements and standards?
Proof of Quality.
That's why the CAPA Quality Seal is so important. Attached to a replacement part, the CAPA Seal confirms that it is a quality part. It provides proof positive that the part will fit, perform, last and be as safe as the part it replaces.
For collision repair professionals, claims adjusters and insurers, using "functionally equivalent" replacement parts is not only a responsible business practice, it is a matter of safety. For vehicle owners, it can be a matter of avoiding serious accident and injury.
Proof Against Fraud.
Each two-part CAPA seal carries a unique number and bar code on each part. It comes with a tear-off tab to be used by the collision repairer to verify the use of a CAPA Certified part to the customer and insurance company.
Once a seal is affixed to the inside surface of a part by the manufacturer, it will self-destruct should any attempt be made to remove it. This ensures that a seal cannot be transferred from a CAPA Certified part to a non-CAPA Certified part and used to commit fraud or other deceptive practices.
Warning: Tampering with CAPA Seals is Illegal. The CAPA Quality Seal is a key element of the CAPA program and as such is owned by CAPA and protected by federal and state law. Only participating manufacturers are licensed to apply the Seal. Possession of CAPA Seals by anyone other than the lawful Participant or illicitly placing seals on parts is a legal offense. Discovery of parties engaged in either action will result in public notice of the offense and possible legal action.
Simple Steps to Quality Aftermarket Parts
Check the estimate for CAPA Certified parts
(most estimates indicate the use of a CAPA Certified part by the use of a “C”).
When ordering parts, you need to specify that the parts be CAPA Certified. Indicate that parts without CAPA seals will be returned.
Look for the unique CAPA Packaging and the CAPA Quality Seal on each part upon delivery.
Reject parts without CAPA Quality Seals. Return them to the distributor immediately for full credit.
(They are NOT CAPA Certified no matter what the seller claims.)
Where to find the CAPA Quality Seal The illustrations below represent the recommended location of the CAPA seal, manufacturer’s name and lot number. Remember, only parts that have a CAPA Quality Seal can be considered CAPA Certified. (It pays to heed the advice of collision professionals who warn “If it’s not on the part, don’t even start.”)
Location of CAPA Seal for Part Types that have CAPA Certification Standards in place and with Parts that are Currently Certified.