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18 March 2014

Thatcham are providing the crash repair industry with an even wider choice of aftermarket parts, as the research centre’s parts certification programme puts headlamps into the spotlight. In conjunction with TÜV Rheinland – the global provider of independent inspection, testing and certification services - the Thatcham/TÜV Certified parts scheme has now added a range of more than 40 lamps, from 18 different vehicles, to a listing of over 1,000 aftermarket parts, which have been successfully certified for use with confidence since 2008.

The certification programme provides European repairers with a reliable alternative equivalent in quality and fitment to the original product provided by the vehicle manufacturer. Along with bonnet, bumpers and wings, the scheme is now rigorously testing non-OE front headlamps, tail lamps and fog lamps, which have demonstrated full compliance to EU regulations and are manufactured at approved and inspected facilities.

During testing, original products are removed from a particular vehicle and replaced with the aftermarket alternative to verify that the fit, function, adjustability and beam pattern of the lamp are comparable to that of the original. As well as demonstrating equivalent quality and finish, it should be possible to fit a certified part with identical fittings as the original in a comparable time, giving repairers an alternative product, which can be fitted accurately without the need for additional time, and at a competitive price.

Repairers can also be reassured that as a Thatcham/TÜV Certified part, all products are accepted for use within the PAS 125 specification, which advocates safe and quality repairs to accident damaged vehicles. Ian Curtis, Product Assessment Services Team Leader at Thatcham, said, “By adding lighting to our range of alternative proven quality cosmetic crash parts from a range of manufacturers and distributors, we are now providing insurers and repairers with a complete parts basket for most accident scenarios.” As well as adding lamps to the Thatcham/TÜV Certified parts scheme, distributors can also opt to present parts for certification if manufactured by an accredited manufacturer.

Lesley Upham Commercial Director at Thatcham said “We are constantly looking at ways to extend the alternative parts service we offer. With the addition of the lighting category and the opening of the certification service to distributors, we will see the number of quality parts available grow to provide a wide choice for specification and use with confidence by insurers and repairers.”

Martin Gray, Chief Executive Officer at the UK’s largest car parts distributor, Euro Car Parts, said “I congratulate Thatcham for devising such a comprehensive and rigorous testing process for vehicle lighting. Euro Car Parts is currently introducing a wide range of headlights and other lighting products under our Platinum Plus brand, all carrying Thatcham/TÜV certification.”


Repairers have easy reference to the full certified aftermarket parts list, via the Thatcham Research website at www.thatcham.org/parts