Opt OE parts can be an issue for safety, fit and function. Using these parts can be more trouble than it’s worth for a collision center. These parts may not be designed specifically for the vehicle you are working on and this can be a big cause for concern for items that are integral for safety, such as headlights and airbags.”
—Rick Leos, Marketing Division/Collision Program Developer, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
OPT OE PARTS CAN SEEM LIKE THE REAL DEAL. They appear to be Toyota parts, but for a less expensive price than a collision center would normally pay when ordering parts through a Toyota dealer. However, Opt OE parts may come with a hefty cost that isn’t reflected in the price tag of the parts.
“The problem with Opt OE parts is that there is no way to be certain about where these parts are sourced from,” says Rick Leos, Marketing Division/Collision Program Developer, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “It is very likely they are not designed for use in the vehicle a collision center might be intending to use them in.”
Opt OE is short for Option OE. These parts are also sometimes referred to as OEM surplus parts. Opt OE parts are any parts that come from a vendor that is not a Toyota dealer. Though these parts may be Toyota parts, they are not Genuine Toyota Parts that have been designed to be distributed in the North American market.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The important thing to understand about these parts is that Toyota does not have an Opt OE or surplus program.
Any parts marketed as such are not part of a Toyota program and are not sanctioned by Toyota for use in vehicles sold in North America. Even though parts classified as Opt OE might appear in various estimating systems or parts ordering documentation, collision centers should be aware that they are not considered to be legitimate by Toyota.
The issue with these parts is that they are of unknown origin. Most of the time, they are parts that have been sourced from foreign countries and so they are not necessarily designed to be compatible with Toyota vehicles sold in the United States of America.
“Opt OE parts can be an issue for safety, fit and function,” explains Leos. “Using these parts can be more trouble than it’s worth for a collision center. These parts may not be designed specifically for the vehicle you are working on and this can be a big cause for concern for items that are integral for safety, such as headlights and airbags.”
Genuine Toyota Parts are engineered to function properly within the entire system of the vehicle. Especially when it comes to safety functions, these parts are designed with precise requirements in mind so that they can perform properly in the event that something goes wrong. For example, an Opt OE part might not trigger a warning light to appear on the dashboard because the part is not designed to communicate adequately with the vehicle.
“These parts can cause everyone a lot of grief and cost time and money,” Leos cautions. “The fit and function might not be quite right, causing the collision center to spend extra time trying to make the part work or causing the customer to be unhappy with the quality of the repair.”
In addition, if an Opt OE part is used in a vehicle repair, this may cause warranty issues with the dealer for your customer at some point down the line.
If a collision center is being encouraged to use Opt OE parts, they should communicate clearly as to why these parts are not recommended for use in Toyota vehicles.