After a recent fatal incident in the US, Paul D’Adamo and Katie Stark stress to auto recyclers that the removal of Takata airbags should still take precedence.
A lot of things have taken a back seat due to COVID-19. In some cases, Recyclers have pushed the removal of Takata Airbags to the back burner as they work through staffing issues. We are trying to communicate this month because these lethal airbags are still in circulation, as witnessed by the news of another death in South Carolina. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the latest victim.
The key mission of the Takata Airbag Recall Program for Auto Recyclers is to ensure that no defective airbags are “pulled” and sold to unsuspecting customers. Your customers expect you to do the “Right Thing” and protect them from faulty devices that could severely injure or kill them or their family members. While this incident did not involve a Takata airbag sold from an auto recycler, it reminds us of our responsibility to remove these lethal products from the vehicles that come through our doors as inventory.
Do The Right Thing!
As business owners, we have a moral obligation to “Do the Right Thing.” In the case of the Takata Airbags, the moral obligation begins with our family and friends and then extends out to our customers. It is estimated that approximately 12 million vehicles are scrapped each year in the US. Most of those vehicles will find their way into our supply chain, arriving from auctions, donation companies, tow lots, and from the general public. It is only fair to report that Honda had made more than 100 attempts to reach owners of this vehicle through mailed notices, phone calls, emails, and even in-person visits. Considering how many hands most used vehicles travel through over 15-20 years, there’s no surprise that the initial recall replacement wasn’t made. Our industry must serve as the safety net, the last line of defence, to be vigilant about identifying and recovering defective Takata airbags.
Let’s not forget that upwards of 70 million inflators were put out into the marketplace in vehicles from 19 Automakers for years in the US. Even with current estimates of 40 million inflators being repaired, that leaves a substantial number of inflators in the marketplace. This recent death involved the crash of a 2002 Accord, a 19-year-old automobile.
Once the vehicles come into our possession, it is up to us to identify if any of these lethal Takata Airbags are present and then removed accordingly. The RAS software identifies both Bounty and Non-Bounty airbags while providing easy-to-follow steps for processing the airbags whether you use the web/desktop or mobile software. The Bounty automakers fund the procurement of the hazmat supplies, inbound freight to RAS, and the management of the program. The EPA and DOT have made rule changes to facilitate the quick transport of these airbags to RAS to be destroyed quickly. But the program is only successful if our industry participates.
RAS Is Here to Help You Be Successful!
RAS has an incredible support system for Auto Recyclers. First, we have Account Managers and Recall Specialists.
They can be reached at 877-829-1553. Second, there is a “Recall Training Guide” PDF as soon as you log into CorePro for Recalls. Lastly, there are numerous videos on our Rebuilders Automotive Supply YouTube Channel (google #yankthatbag).
You can contact Paul the “Recall Guy” at firstname.lastname@example.org