Following an in-depth review and assessment of the certification of aftermarket collision repair parts, and consultation with its insurance embers. Thatcham Research in the United Kingdom has decided to hand over all aftermarket parts certification activities with its current partner, TUV Rheinland AG. However, the Thatcham Research/TUV Rheinland partnership which officially ended March 2018, with Thatcham Research having ceased aftermarket parts certification services at the end of 2017.

According to Thatcham, the move will allow it to invest more resources into the priority areas of active safety systems and the vehicle structures/materials, which are increasingly contributing to collision repair costs. In parallel, the company is also gearing-up its investment in countering the growing risk of cyber theft of vehicles.

Peter Shaw, chief executive of Thatcham Research commented, “A healthy aftermarket parts supply is vitally important for the UK repair industry.

However, we need to make key strategic decisions to ensure that we are addressing current and evolving challenges for the repair and insurance industries. This move will allow us to achieve this while at the same time handing over the certification of aftermarket parts to a trusted and qualified partner to ensure consistency now and in the future.”

Massimo Bianchi, Business Stream Manager Mobility, TUV Rheinland, Italy, said, “We believe that certification of equivalent parts is very important to answer the need of the market for high quality spare replacement parts. Voluntary independent certification of products is one of TUV Rheinland’s core businesses and increases the trust in customers.”

As part of the transition, TUV Rheinland has taken over all new parts certification operations from January and there will be a gradual removal of the Thatcham Research brand from certified parts. Newly certified parts will carry the sole TUV Rheinland brand from April. As parts certifications remain valid for two years, joint Thatcham Research/TUV Rheinland branding will remain on certificates issued or renewed before April 2018 until the date they expire.

Together, Thatcham Research and TUV Rheinland have provided aftermarket certification services for the past nine years and there are more than 1 800 parts certified under the programme.