As part of the ongoing review of the Salvage COP, Insurers have asked Government to make the sale of 2nd hand airbags illegal in the UK. This includes all pyrotechnic devices (airbags & seat belt pre-tensioners), from all salvage categories.
In reality, it will be impossible to distinguish ‘salvage’ from ‘non-salvage’ airbags, and of course the same concerns would apply to all airbags irrespective of source. So the only practical approach is to ban all airbag sales. This is despite the fact 2 EU Directives on pyrotechnic devices currently being implemented by the UK do NOT make the sale of used airbags illegal. Far from it.
Instead of reducing the availability of 2nd hand airbags, this may simply drive the trade ‘underground’, into the hands of illegal operators, or overseas. Customers will simply buy 2nd hand airbags from abroad – there’s already plenty available on-line. Or is Government also going to make it illegal to purchase 2nd hand airbags?
It would also seem that insurers are not concerned about the effects on repairable salvage of a ban on 2nd hand airbags. Or are they simply happy to see more salvage move abroad?
This has very serious implications for UK vehicle recyclers, and may only be the ‘thin end of the wedge’! Will we see the sale of other ‘safety critical items’ being banned – tyres? Suspensions? Brakes? Steering? Wheels? The list goes on & on….
The significance of this cannot be over-stated. What view will insurers & Government take on new-technology such as Autonomous Emergency Breaking, Lane deviation etc.? Will we see a ban on the sale of these parts?
It is by no means certain that the Salvage COP will become law. Currently it is voluntary, so vehicle recyclers are under no greater obligation than insurers. Even though the ABI has asked Government to legislate – this Conservative Government is strongly ‘de-regulating’ & is not keen on more regulation.
We understand that Thatcham will shortly be undertaking some work on 2nd airbags, but we have no way of knowing or influencing the outcome. Despite UK vehicle recyclers having handled more than 225 million pyrotechnic devices since they were introduced into mass market vehicles in 1994, we are not aware of any evidence which shows 2nd hand airbags are a safety problem. And as you know, MVDA has already undertaken research which shows that 2nd hand airbags are safe to re-use. But this all seems to be ignored.
Government does respond to business. So we need all MVDA members to write to Department for Transport saying that the proposal to ban 2nd hand airbag sales is not based on fact and will cost UK jobs.
To help you do this MVDA has drafted a letter for members to send. All you need to do is add your name & address, sign it & post it!
We will be e-mailing this letter to all members TODAY
DO NOT DELAY!
If you are a serious vehicle recycler you should be a member of MVDA - the UK's Trade Body for the professional auto-recycler. Our members have more than 2,300 people involved in their businesses, handle 500,000 vehicles a year & issue 300,000 Certificates of Destruction.
If you want to be part of MVDA, download an application form from our website. For just over £1/ day you can have a say in the future of your industry. The more members we have, the stronger our voice!