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Honda Canada calls on auto recyclers to seek out undeployed airbags

Honda Canada is on a mission to recover airbags manufactured by Takata. The company is calling on the automotive recycling industry to seek out undeployed airbags that may be found in some end-of-life vehicles.

By Mike Davey

Toronto, Ontario — August 23, 2016 — Honda Canada is on a mission to recover undeployed Takata airbags from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs).

Defective airbags manufactured by Takata have resulted in the largest automotive recall in history. Most of the major vehicle manufacturers have had to issue recalls for at least some models. But what happens if the vehicle has already entered the salvage stream?

The issue, as Brian Robinson of Honda Canada explains, is that a recycler may recover an undeployed airbag from a salvage vehicle, and then sell it to a repairer or consumer.

Furthermore, airbags may be deployed by the recycler for decommissioning before recycling. Either of these scenarios could lead to a very dangerous situation.

“We’re trying to prevent them from being sold as replacement airbags for other vehicles,” Robinson said in an interview with Canadian Auto Recyclers magazine. “It’s not totally uncommon for a recycler to sell an undeployed airbag. Our goal is to keep those possibly defective airbags from being put into other vehicles. We also want to ensure that recyclers themselves are not exposed to potential hazards associated with these airbags.”

Honda Canada has contracted with Target Recycling to handle recovery of the undeployed airbags from automotive recyclers.

“The yard contacts Target Recycling with a list of VINs, and Target confirms that they are on the list,” Robinson said. “Target Recycling then sends them the shipping boxes and shipping information. From there, the recycler ships the undeployed airbags to Target.”

Target Recycling pays automotive recyclers both for the cost of the airbags and the shipping costs. In essence, recovering one of these undeployed airbags is a guaranteed sale.

“There was a similar endeavour initiated in the US by American Honda” Robinson said. “We’re also using this project to obtain a clearer picture regarding which affected Honda and Acura vehicles are still in use and which vehicles are in the salvage stream in order to prioritize customer contact.”

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