The IAAF has warned the sector it is at risk of unravelling. Chief Executive Brian Spratt expressed his concern that the fighting in the sector over the matching quality debate, and now with the storm brewing over Unipart’s comparative brake test, will be to the detriment of the aftermarket.
Spratt said: “The industry is in danger of creating a divide that will have repercussions throughout the supply chain. The current issue of parts quality has seen suppliers failing to address the real heart of the matter.
“There is a risk of unravelling and undoing all the hard work the industry did in promoting its unity during the Right2Repair campaign and the current Right2Choose campaign.
“The IAAF has fought for years to protect the freedoms we have available to us under block exemption.
“A key freedom is that motorists don’t have to use franchised dealers for servicing and repair and that using the independent aftermarket will not invalidate their warranty, so long as parts used are of appropriate quality and recorded as such.”
Spratt believes there should be closer attention paid to the quality of parts that are called genuine OE parts, and urged the industry to work through the IAAF to squeeze unsuitable parts out of the market.
One area of concern for the IAAF is the change in definition by the BER, which currently states ‘matching the quality of parts used by dealers’, which Spratt believes makes it more difficult to assess.
He added: “IAAF and parts suppliers can tackle this issue together, promoting the case of parts quality and the exclusion of inferior and dangerous replacement parts from our industry.”
Spratt also commented on the current friction between Unipart and TMD by adding the IAAF is keen for suppliers to properly validate the quality of its products. He said there needs to be better testing programme in place to help confirm the quality of the product and is working with suppliers on a system for springs.
He said: “Without information on the testing methods used by Unipart and TMD it is somewhat difficult to assess the opposing technical statements, but it does highlight the advantage in devising and agreeing appropriate testing methods across the trade and the benchmarks to be used.
“Having clearly defined quality and performance data may help to reverse the market’s current fixation.
“An agreed testing programme is how we are trying to assist some of the spring manufacturers, and we’d be happy to facilitate something similar for friction material suppliers.”