Recent CIC Parts Test Identifies Problems With Two CAPA Parts

During the past year, Certified Auto Parts Association (CAPA) parts have excelled in Collision Industry Conference (CIC) testing. The results of the most recent CIC test were less positive. Two CAPA parts, which were certified in 1996, do not meet today’s strict certification standards.

“While these results are disappointing, they prove an extremely important point,” said CAPA President Butch Viccellio. “Parts that have successfully passed CAPA’s new vehicle test fit produce better results.”

In March of 1999, CAPA added an extensive vehicle test fit component to its certification process, which measures how well parts fit on the car. This test is conducted only after parts pass rigorous material, construction, corrosion and appearance tests.

Many of the CAPA-certified parts that produced such good results at the previous CIC tests had been manufactured using this new testing standard. The parts tested at the most recent CIC were certified before the vehicle test fit standard was in place. “This outcome could well be expected,” said Viccellio. “CAPA’s quality standards are better – as a result, the parts that are more recently certified are of better quality.”

While CAPA’s newer parts are outperforming parts certified using the prior standards, CAPA isn’t satisfied and recently started working with manufacturers to begin applying its successful vehicle test fit program to all parts.

“We plan to evaluate these parts via the vehicle test fit and will take any corrective action that is necessary,” said Viccellio. “This will bring our quality and consistency to a level exclusive to the CAPA organization.”

The two parts that performed poorly at the recent CIC test were certified in1996. Since that time, both of the parts have been re-evaluated as part of CAPA’s effort to re-test all parts. CAPA’s test fit engineers noted problems similar to those observed by CIC attendees during the latest test fit, and corrective actions by the manufacturer are underway. Pending those actions, and in response to the CIC test results, these parts have been decertified by CAPA.

While the CIC test fits verify the importance of the CAPA vehicle test fit program, the fact is, these parts could have just as easily appeared in a repair shop and caused problems for the repairer. “Through CAPA’s effort to re-test parts certified prior to the vehicle test fit requirement, only a small number of parts are being found to need correction. Before long, all CAPA sheet metal parts will have gone through an extensive vehicle test fit and any necessary corrective actions, which should serve to minimize this problem for repairers,” said CAPA Executive Director Jack Gillis.

Results of Last Eight CAPA Parts Tested By CIC
September 2000 – July 2001
Vehicle Part Part
Fit Finish Overall
1998 Honda Civic CAPA Hood 4.22 4.5 91.0%
1998 Honda Civic Car Co. Hood 3.39 3.63 69.0%
1998 Honda Civic CAPA RF Fender 4.00 4.81 92.0%
1998 Honda Civic Car Co. RF Fender 3.65 4.21 90.0%
2001 Ford F150 pickup CAPA LF Fender 3.40 3.81 61.0%
2001 Ford F150 pickup Car Co. LF Fender 2.94 3.36 56.0%
2001 Ford F150 pickup CAPA RF Fender 3.16 3.56 70.0%
2001 Ford F150 pickup Car Co. RF Fender 2.89 3.22 31.0%
1997 Ford Expedition CAPA LF Fender 2.09 3.17 16.7%
1997 Ford Expedition Car Co. LF Fender 3.04 3.27 60.0%
1997 Ford Expedition CAPA Hood 3.46 3.48 83.3%
1997 Ford Expedition Car Co. Hood 2.26 3.24 16.0%
1998 Nissan Maxima CAPA RF Fender 2.48 3.41 19.0%
1998 Nissan Maxima Car Co. RF Fender 4.00 4.38 100.0%
1998 Nissan Maxima CAPA LF Fender 1.93 3.00 18.2%
1998 Nissan Maxima Car Co. LF Fender 3.71 4.05 72.7%