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‘URGENT RECALLS – Vehicle Manufacturers Supporting Auto Recyclers in the Interest of Public Safety’

In a recent podcast, Chris Daglis and Chad Counselman of Auto PARTnered Solutions based in Australia, discuss with vehicle manufacturers about how they are working to assist auto recyclers when it comes to recalled parts.


URGENT RECALLS - Vehicle Manufacturers Supporting Auto Recyclers in the Interest of Public Safety four

Among the panel were five vehicle manufacturers (VM) based in Australia, including Jerome Figuiere – Audi Australia, Murray Finlay – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Derrick McCarthy – Subaru Australia, Shane Bradford – Mazda Australia and Matt McCroarey – JLR, along with Chris Daglis and Chad Counselman, from Auto PARTnered Solutions. They were there to discuss what the VMs are looking to achieve with regards to the Takata airbag recall. What is expected over the next four months when the Takata compulsory notice comes to an end in Australia and how VMs and the recycling industry can support one another now and beyond Takata.

First on the agenda concerned their thoughts on what they are looking to achieve concerning the Takata airbag recall.

Derek McCarthy, Recalls Specialist from Subaru, Australia said:

“Our primary goal is to keep them (Takata airbags) away from vehicles which could be used and possibly involved in an accident which could hurt someone. These things are dangerous, and we need to get them off the road. We need to trace all of them down, not just the ones in cars but the ones in stock to be sold as parts, or those in cars which have been crushed or waiting to be crushed. Not just some but ALL of them. So, we are working through All Auto Recalls with salvage yards to make sure they have cleared their stock, whether they are crushed, exported, or in stock and most importantly, the ones in cars which can’t be traced. We need to help each other.” 

For Audi, their priority is the safety and security of their customers, and how they need to work with auto recyclers to achieve the same goal. But in the future, after the Takata recall, Jerome Figuiere, After Sales Director at Audi said that “we must all work together.”

The vehicle manufacturers spoke along the same lines as one another. Firstly, consumer safety was paramount but according to Murray Finlay, Takata Team Leader from FCA, who works as part of the team on the phones, is often met with a lot of hostility from customers and many won’t even talk to them when trying to recover airbags but fortunately, this is not the majority, as they are around 10% away from recovering the airbags from their vehicles.

The discussion moved on to EVs and their batteries and with these, come many challenges, in particular, concerns for lack of training when handling these high-voltage vehicles. There needs to be more understanding of how to handle and inevitably dismantle them but as there is no standard information to differentiate between brands, it is important that VMs share their information, not just to first responders but also to auto recyclers. 

Again, the VMs were in agreement with this and said that sharing information and in particular, training is key, but with each VM having their own standard for training, it makes it more of a challenge for the auto recycler.

Matt McCroarey, National Technical and Warranty Manager, JLR talked about the Jaguar i-pace and how they have been working with first responders and promoting the idea of safety behind high voltage components. And if they are dismantled appropriately, these vehicles will be a benefit to everyone. He said; ‘If we can repair these vehicles rather than write them off, that’s a win-win for everyone.”  JLR has been working closely with All Auto Recalls for over 24 months now and enjoys the benefits of the central point of contact for the distribution and aggregation of data through to and from the auto recycling industry.

Chris Daglis added that there is a clear opportunity for all of the industry to share more information from a safety, environmental and commercial benefit view and there also is a great opportunity for vehicle repairability to be enhanced and more vehicles to be repaired rather than total loss by getting a better mix of product on the vehicles. Auto PARTnered Solutions now provides an array of solutions to both recyclers and vehicle manufacturers and is working closely with a number of these stakeholders to streamline the aggregation and distribution of critical information both ways.

From an auto recycler’s perspective, Chad Counselman mentioned how getting information about electric vehicle dismantling processes from VMs is not an easy process. 

He said that a challenge in the US and so far in Australia is to properly and safely remove a battery from a vehicle, store and distribute, as each brand is unique. He said that auto recyclers are having to build their own databases of how to handle these vehicles safely to keep their employees safe.

He added that in the auto industry, there are different professional levels, and they need training and education when it comes to EVs.

Shane Bradford, Senior Manager Customer Service from Mazda said: 

“With EVs, they introduce new technologies and new risks not only to the network but also to recycling. Understanding what is required to correctly and safely dismantle a vehicle is part of Mazda’s planning. We need to ensure that everyone who touches that vehicle remains safe.” 

The consensus was that there needs to be a broad training regime for all parties involved as the industry starts to move more towards EVs and because the technology for these batteries is different between VMs, training needs to be quite broad but targeted at the same time. 

As for Takata, what happens after Dec 31st when the ACCC mandatory recall comes to an end in Australia?

It seems that the vehicle manufacturers won’t give up even though the mandatory recall comes to an end on 31st December. If there are still defective airbags out there, they are determined to find them, but this can only be achieved if everyone works together. Jerome Figuiere said: “All of us are working to achieve the same goal – to recover 100% of those airbags. We need to continue to work together to finalise that recall.”

Chris Daglis concluded:

“The automotive recycling industry has for years wanted to engage with the vehicle manufacturing industry in a more meaningful way, and it’s taken an unfortunate recall to bring the industries closer together.”

“Concerning EV training, there is an opportunity to work closely and look at some of the challenges the industry has, not as segments but as a collective.” He added: “The automotive recycling industry is a critical component of the automotive broader industry, especially moving into the next five to ten years as there will be challenges economically – people will be keeping hold of their cars for longer and looking at repairing their vehicles. We’ve already seen significant increases in automotive recycler’s parts sales, and there’s no doubt that people will be looking to buy automotive recycled parts more and more.”

“We need to make sure that we work together, to keep the consumers safe, to make sure that ALL recalls are tracked, traced and we can determine where that part is even if it’s been sold through an auto recycler.  We must have a recalled part contact tracing capability that helps recyclers meet their obligations and ultimately keeps the consumer safe. That is the magic of the All Auto Recalls system, as it efficiently enables facilities to do this as well as provides a reverse feed of data to partnered manufacturers so that they can account for recalled parts, whether destroyed, in stock at an auto recycler or previously sold to an unknowing consumer”

Although the vehicle manufacturing and auto recycling industries have been working closely together, especially since the Takata recall, there is still a long way to go. But there appeared to be an echo chamber amongst everyone when it came to working together. 

To listen to the podcast ‘Urgent Recalls – Vehicle Manufacturers Supporting Auto Recyclers in the Interest of Public Safety’ click here

Currently, All Auto Recalls has recyclers across Australia and the United Kingdom using their solution to manage their recalls. For further information on All Auto Recalls go to Auto PARTnered Solutions.