Let’s Talk Recalls

Airbag Facts: Combating Fake News



Katie Stark and Paul D’Adamo represent the Rebuilders Auto Supply (RAS) Recall Team. They announced they have a mission to find and remove defective airbags. They are reaching out to auto recyclers to inform them about defective airbags, especially in light of the massive Takata Airbag Recall Initiative.

Why Should Recyclers Remove Airbags?

There is a lot of “fake news” relative to the airbag recalls and in many cases auto recyclers are not recovering them. There are three main reasons why auto recyclers should remove defective airbags:

  1. Legal liability to their corporation and potential negligence for lack of participating.
  2. Guilt. I would not want to be the guy who sells the next airbag that explodes in someone’s face causing injury or death.
  3. Financial opportunity. Don’t let anyone tell you that it is not cost effective! I took some women from our Recall Team out in the field to pull airbags. Guess what? They averaged under three minutes per bag (driver and passenger sides). The only tools you need are: a screw gun, Torx bit and a 10mm socket. Can you imagine paying a parts puller $20 per hour to recover five sets (five-times $115) for $575? A pretty good return! The women have thrown down the gauntlet.

The Process

Here are some frequently-asked questions we get about the recycling recalled airbags:

Is there a penalty or fine if I sell a recalled part?

It is illegal to sell a known/documented recalled part. Fines can run up to $21,000 per violation. More importantly, sales of airbags could result in injury or death.

Is there a fee for shipping materials?

No, all shipping and shipping materials are covered by RAS.

How often do I need to ship my air bags and what is the maximum number of airbags I can ship at one time?

Most recyclers ship monthly as part of their process and while we can ship smaller quantities, most auto recyclers accumulate bags weekly or monthly; 110 airbag boxes can fit on a standard pallet.

Can I deliver airbags to RAS on my delivery truck?

Due to DOT and HazMat regulations, we ask that you call us for pick up through one of our certified freight carriers.

There are airbags on recall but they are not on my RAS list for purchase.

RAS can only purchase bags for automakers that are on our list. See our website for the most current list. Each manufacturer determines their level of participation.

I want to know which cars have recalls ASAP. How do I Identify recalls on incoming vehicles?

We do recommend verifying the VIN for recall upon arrival at yards. There are several ways to verify the VIN:

  • Log in to www.rascorepro.com to view active recalls in your inventory.
  • Hollander issues monthly email blasts specific to your yard inventory on EDEN.
  • URG has a Recall Hot Key that works with Checkmate, Pinnacle PRO and Powerlink. The Hot Key is available to URG members and non-members

Is there a best management practice when selling non-recalled airbags?

Yes, run the VIN through the previously-mentioned checkpoints at the point-of-sale. Once the report displays that there are no recalls on the airbag, print and attach to your invoice. Some recyclers scan that report and attach it to their YMS.

Do I get paid for the air bags we remove from our vehicles?

Yes, current pricing is $55 for driver-side and $60 for passenger-side. All airbags must be validated at check-in. A note: Recalls are not cores. Recalls are subject to VIN validation, set pricing and special hazmat packaging requirements.

When can I expect a check?

Checks are paid within 30 to 45 days of check-in at our facility, not from time of pick up.

What training and/or certifications are available for our employees?

ARA offers ARA PRO which covers Airbag Training & Certification, Hazardous Materials Training & Certification and Airbag Inspection (see www.airbagresources.com for more information). VET Environmental also offers stand-alone training (www.vet-env.com).

Will pulling airbags help my cash flow?

Absolutely! The average ticket for a set of airbags is $115. What is your average ticket? What is your average cost per vehicle? Buying vehicles in the $300 range, $115 represents almost 40 percent of your purchase price. If you are a full-service

dismantling shop; put Recalls on your dismantling report; 1 - Parts for Stock, 2 - Cores, 3 - Recalls. Easy as 1-2-3!

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