The airbag is an important safety innovation that protects passengers during the moment of impact because it inflates when an accident occurs.
Although side airbags are not mandated, most manufacturers equipment them in their vehicles. However, after an airbag deploys, consumers need replacement options, but harvesting and marketing un-deployed OEM equipment is difficult.
An anonymous scrap industry expert understands how to deploy an airbag safely. He also knows how to remove un-deployed airbags from cars that are on their way to a shredder. According to the expert, consumers never want to talk about their airbags because there are no state approved practices for airbag removal. Usually, most people let dismantlers remove their airbags along with used condensers before they sell their vehicles to scrape yards.
If an airbag is deployed around people, it can be a safety concern. For example, it should never deploy during dismantling or on a picking line. It is a safety and environmental issue because injuries can occur after the explosive propellant detonates. This is why most airbags deploy from a shredder.
The scrap industry prefers that auto companies adopt the ISRI because it helps manufacturers development plans for recycling.
According to Michael E. Wilson, recycled OEM airbags are now used in more locations in the U.S and around the world. Most U.S auto insurance companies, however, are not onboard with the widespread reutilization, but there is still a substantial market for the units.
Customers and re-builders must deal with non-insurance claims; they are the top un-deployed OEM airbag users.
ARA greatly supports recycling practices for un-deployed OEM airbags, but the airbags must met certain industry standards.
The ARA thinks that shoppers benefit from competition. A recycled un-deployed OEM unit is the only alternative to a new airbag.
Over the last few years, the ARA has met with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on numerous occasions to secure better recognition of recycled airbag use for automotive repairs.
The ARA understands its role as a reliable resource for airbags. The company will still advocate to eBay and other companies that are qualified recyclers. Also, the ARA will continue to teach NHTSA standards so that affordable options will continue to be accessible to consumers.
The ARA launched ARApro to ensure that specific standards for airbags are met. The protocol was designed so that the best practices are implemented during handling, extracting, inspecting, and storing tasks. Workers handle each of these tasks using various interchange reference sources and the vehicle identification number. ARApro helps employees match the year, make, and model to specific replacement parts for cars that need repairs.
Not reusing un-deployed airbags before they are scrapped wastes resources. The canister’s metal value is negligible, but recovering the airbag is substantial. Well-trained recyclers will ensure that the proper replacement airbag is installed.