Salvage Wire

Salvage Wire
Helping Automotive recyclers become leaders in their industry

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Airbags: Re-use or destroy?

Under the Association of British Insurers Code of Practice for Motor Vehicle Salvage airbags and seat belt components in a total loss vehicle must not be re-used.


In the USA, (the most litigious society in the world) there are laws that allow this to happen. Businesses undertaking this work must be correctly licenced, registered, trained etc. and as long as they follow the rules set down they are perfectly entitled to take a non deployed airbag out of an accident damaged vehicle and put it into a vehicle of the same age, make and model.

Despite the statement in the code of practice, this is going on in the UK, but without the legislative support, training and regulation.

It is high time some areas of the salvage and insurance industries met to discuss a number of topics, including airbags and seat belt components. i know that these discussions may not come to anything, but at least the two sides would be entering into a dialog that could produce other benefits for both sides.

Who should initiate this, the BVSF, or MVDA, the ABI or some other body?

Why don't all the members of the aformentioned trade bodies put pressure on their executives to look for ways of moving forward, adopting a regulated approach to the re-use of airbags that could be supported by the ABI and the insurers that would ultimately lead to the amendment of the Code of Practice?

Who knows, this could even bring about fewer total loss settlements, saving insurance company money, but then that would be no good for the salvage industry as their supply of vehicles would fall.
And the insurance industry would come under pressure from vehicle manufacturers through the repair relationships they are building together.
But the environment would benefit, not as much raw material required to build increasing numbers of pyrothechnic devices, not as much damage to the environment as these devices are deployed as a car is dismantled and de-polluted, and if properly regulated, handled by trained technicians, correctly stored and fitted much increased health and safety in the motor salvage industry; and assurances that if the repaired vehicle is ever involved in another accident these life saving devices would do exactly what they are designed to do.

Hmm, a conundrum, what do you think?

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