Reconditioned Wheels Are Not Approved by Volkswagen—Here’s How That Affects You

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Volkswagen says that it’s dangerous for you to drive on reconditioned wheels.

If you are not familiar with wheel reconditioning, it is a process of using various tools and methods to try to repair a damaged wheel, instead of replacing it entirely.  Some methods include welding, re-plating, or reshaping the wheel.  

When it comes to wheel reconditioning, Volkswagen has issued a position statement explaining why they do not accept wheel reconditioning in any vehicle repairs.  Here’s what they state:

“Reconditioned wheels do not meet the exacting specifications of genuine Volkswagen wheels and therefore are not an acceptable method of repair on any Volkswagen vehicle.  A reconditioned wheel or any wheel not approved by Volkswagen may cause unsafe vehicle operation, including loss of control which may result in injury or death of the vehicle occupants or other drivers.”

Volkswagen is saying that it is dangerous to take chances with your wheels.  After all, they are the only parts of the vehicle that actually make contact with the road. 

Heating, welding, reshaping, and other methods of wheel reconditioning compromise the structural integrity of these essential parts.  


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What wheel repairs are approved by Volkswagen?

While wheel reconditioning is not approved of by Volkswagen, certain wheel repairs are permitted:

“Volkswagen approves only wheel repairs which are limited to surface sanding and cosmetic refinishing processes that remove and replace only paint coatings. Any wheel near the area of collision damage should be thoroughly examined to ensure that the wheel meets the original safety specifications.”

Basically, only superficial cosmetic adjustments are allowed, since they won’t jeopardize the integrity of the wheel structure. 

If the wheel is damaged beyond minor cosmetic issues, then it should be replaced entirely.


Your vehicle won’t pass inspection if welding was used to repair the wheels.

In its position statement, Volkswagen included the following note:

“The Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Department of Transportation, contains section 570.10 regarding Wheel Assemblies. Based on section (a) Wheel integrity, state governments which have mandatory vehicle safety inspections require that vehicle wheels do not have any indication of repair by welding.”

Because it is so potentially compromising to a wheel’s structure, a vehicle can’t even pass a safety inspection if welding has been used.  


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Not all shops follow these recommendations, but we do.

It’s disappointing, but some shops throw caution out the window and continue to practice wheel reconditioning, despite Volkswagen’s clear instructions to avoid it at all costs.  They can get away with this because no body shop is actually forced to adhere to a manufacturer’s Position Statement.  

At our shop, we strongly believe that there’s no reason to take a chance with your Volkswagen’s repair by cutting corners.  Reconditioned wheels can lead to very dangerous problems down the road. 

We will always replace your Volkswagen’s wheels entirely if they’ve sustained damage.  You won’t have to worry about failing your inspection or having unstable wheels when you bring your vehicle to us. 

We will always follow the manufacturer’s ommendation and deliver the best possible repair to our customers. 

Volkswagen Approves Only OEM Parts on Structural Repairs—Here’s Why You Should Care

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Volkswagen is wary of aftermarket, recycled, and salvage replacement parts in structural repairs.

It is common practice in our industry for each vehicle manufacturer to provide “Position Statements” that explain the best methods for repairing their makes and models. 

In the event of structural repairs, Volkswagen has released a Position Statement recommending that only Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts be used on their vehicles:

“Volkswagen requires the use of new Genuine Volkswagen collision parts in the repair of Volkswagen vehicles. These parts are factory tested to provide maximum passenger safety should the vehicle be involved in a future collision.”

Volkswagen is explaining clearly and directly that your safety might be in jeopardy if you choose to use any replacement structural parts on your vehicle besides Volkswagen OEM parts.


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How are structural parts different from any other parts?

Structural parts include floor elements, body panels, bumpers, frame rails, and more that basically hold your vehicle together. 

It’s especially important to preserve the integrity of your structural components, as they are the sections of your car that can help minimize damage in the event of a collision. 

These parts are designed with crush zones that are intended to absorb the energy in a collision, giving you and your passengers additional protection. 


Here’s the problem with non-OEM structural parts.

There are plenty of aftermarket, recycled, and salvage structural parts available, but none of them will ever be as reliable or as structurally sound as new OEM parts.  

Aftermarket parts are developed to fit a range of makes and models, so they may not fit the exact specifications for placement on a Volkswagen.  That means a technician would have to bend, heat, and employ other creative methods to get the part to fit properly.  

Recycled and salvage parts might seem like a good idea, but keep in mind that it’s nearly impossible to determine the quality of their condition by the time they arrive to you.  They might be from a car that was already involved in a collision or experienced extreme weather fluctuations or simply survived general wear and tear. 

Even upon close inspection, it’s often impossible to see all the microscopic damage a salvage part might have endured. 

Even very minor discrepancies in material or shape can cause a structural part to become less effective and, therefore, less safe to use on your vehicle.


It’s dangerous to use anything besides OEM parts in your repair.

The engineers at Volkswagen have carefully designed their structural parts to work together seamlessly.  According to Volkswagen: 

“These structural components are specifically designed to work in conjunction to provide maximum passenger safety in the event of a future collision. Concessions to any of these individual structural components may negatively impact the complete vehicle structure in the event of a future collision.”

They are saying that disrupting even one structural element could throw the whole system off, leading to major problems down the road, including poor vehicle performance and less protection in a collision.

There’s no sense in taking chances with your safety. 

OEM parts are higher quality than aftermarket parts.  OEM parts have also never been used, never been exposed to the elements, never been rendered defective by improper disassembly like recycled or salvage parts. 

New structural parts are made to function optimally on your vehicle, increasing your car’s performance and your personal safety.


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While other shops might disregard Volkswagen’s recommendations, we respect this information because we care about the quality of your repair.

If you’re in a collision and need to take your Volkswagen to a shop for repairs, it only makes sense that you would want the job to be done as safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively as possible.  At our shop, one of the ways we can ensure the best possible repair for our customers is by adhering to the recommendations of each vehicle’s manufacturer.  

It might be surprising to you, but collision repair shops are not required to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  There’s no one actually enforcing these Position Statements, so manufacturers are putting their trust in us to do as they recommend.  

At our shop, we genuinely care about every repair we do.  Because of this, we make sure to follow Volkswagen’s recommendation of using new replacement structural parts, instead of taking chances with aftermarket and salvage components. 

It is our mission to do what’s best for your vehicle’s performance and for your safety.