CAPA Vehicle Test Fit Study of Over 1900 Car Company Parts Shows Half Do Not Meet CAPA Standards

Washington, DC: As part of its comprehensive vehicle test fit process, the Certified Automotive Parts Association regularly conducts test fits of car company brand service parts. Between March 1999 and March 2002, CAPA put 1,907 car company parts through an extensive vehicle test fit and discovered that 50% (954 parts) do not meet CAPA standards for fit, finish and appearance.

CAPA initiated these test fits to ensure that parts bearing the CAPA Quality Seal were equal to or better than car company service parts. In order to establish a baseline for performance, CAPA has now tested 1,907 parts and today is releasing a detailed report on the results of this extensive testing.

Parts submitted for CAPA certification that exhibit the types of problems encountered in the car company service parts will not be certified. Only after the problems are corrected and the part passes a subsequent vehicle test fit will the part become CAPA certified. This essentially means that CAPA certified parts are of higher quality than the car company service parts randomly selected in the marketplace. There is currently no independent quality certification for car company service parts.

Company Parts Tested % Not Meeting
CAPA Standards
General Motors 467 65%
Ford 440 60%
Chrysler 295 47%
Nissan 141 41%
Toyota 236 39%
Honda 227 27%

One of the greatest hurdles CAPA has had to overcome is the inconsistency in car company parts. This study of a broad cross section of parts identifies the types of problems that create a very difficult situation in the repair environment. These types of problems, clearly evident in the car company brand parts, are the types of problems CAPA standards will identify so they can be corrected before a part is certified.

“One of the clearest messages CAPA hears from repairers is that they want a part that fits right the first time and they don’t want to be the ‘testing labs’ for part manufacturers. To keep that from happening, CAPA runs each part through an extensive battery of material properties, fit, finish, paint adhesion, coating performance, weld integrity, adhesive performance and corrosion tests before it is approved as CAPA certified,” said Jack Gillis, Executive Director. “To simply provide ‘blanket approval of parts’ would be a disservice to today’s already beleaguered technician who is pressed for quick turn-around times and quality repairs,” said Gillis.

A complete copy of the report may be obtained from CAPA’s website at or by calling 202-737-2212.