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Non-OEM replacement parts not ‘inferior’: Illinois high court

November 22, 2010

The Illinois Supreme Court in August rejected plaintiffs’ claims that the use of non-factory replacement parts to repair vehicles covered by State Farm Insurance was a breach of contract, and that the non-factory parts violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (CFA). 

In the case, Avery vs. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., justices also ruled that the plaintiffs do not have a viable basis for a nationwide class action under the state CFA. Only one of the plaintiffs, Michael Avery, was found to be an Illinois resident, so the others could not tie their complaint to his.


The court rejected Avery’s CFA charge because Avery did not suffer any actual damages as required under the act. Avery sold his vehicle at Blue Book value, and not at any discount allegedly due to the installation of non-OEM replacement parts. 

In addition, Avery failed to prove that non-OEM parts were "inferior" to factory parts prior to any representations by State Farm and to their installation on his vehicle.


However, the court did consider State Farm claims to be "puffing"—exaggerations from a seller regarding quality, the truth or falsity of which cannot be precisely determined—when the insurer said that non-OEM parts are "quality replacement parts" and met "high performance criteria."