Could recyclers sell electronics as parts instead of scrap?

An engine control module from a Toyota. The Vehicle Security Professional program could allow some recyclers to sell modules as parts rather than for their scrap value.

Hamilton, Ontario — September 21, 2016 — Electronic components are everywhere in modern vehicles, and buying new ones is often extremely expensive. Could automotive recyclers sell these components, not as scrap, but as parts?

John Norris thinks so. He administers the Vehicle Security Professional (VSP) program, a data exchange system designed to allow eligible automotive professionals and locksmiths to gain access to vehicle specific security information. He believes that many automotive recyclers could realize more profits from recycled electronics than they’re currently recycling.

“Many recyclers, when you visit them, have shelves or bins full of control modules, ECMs, even immobilizers, sitting and  waiting for scrap sale,” he says. “What if recyclers decided that they wanted to match up some of those electronic modules to other cars for customers?”

VSP has been running since 2012 through the Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard (CASIS) agreement.

In essence, VSP is a program that can share sensitive security information—like keycodes, immobilizer resets and so on—with accredited professionals who are members of the program.

“What is the only thing holding back recyclers was obtaining the security codes and programming that would allow them, or the tech, the opportunity to reprogram the module to a different vehicle? Those codes have been available for most Canadian vehicles for four years, but most recyclers don’t take advantage of it,” Norris says.

Automotive recyclers may want to look into the possibilities offered by this program. For the individual yard, it could lead to more part sales. In addition, a resold module is one less module that needs to be manufactured, which means lowered costs in terms of both resources and enviromental impacts from manufacturing.

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