The Vehicle Recyclers Association (VRA) UK has worked closely with All Auto Recalls (AAR) to develop a mechanism through which automotive recyclers in the UK can identify and remove recalled parts from inventories. The collaboration has led to the development of a tool that is now available to VRA members.
AAR says that with the cost of repairing vehicles increasing sharply in recent years, Reclaimed Original Equipment (ROE) parts offer a quality, cost-effective solution to the problem. However, the increased use of ROE vehicle parts can lead to the increased risk of dangerous recalled parts being fitted to a car.
Chris Daglis, Managing Director of AAR, says that every driver should be asking their mechanic, insurer or parts seller if the car part is safe, not the subject of a recall, and whether or not the part can be traced to the vehicle if it ends up being recalled in the future.
With the launch of the UK certification programme in the middle of this year, the VRA says it has foreshadowed a need for this service and can now deliver it through AAR.
“VRA is delighted to be working closely with Chris and the team at All Auto Recalls to make available to UK vehicle recyclers a user-friendly facility to identify any parts in their stocks which are still subject to outstanding recalls,” said Chas Ambrose, Secretary of VRA UK. “This will make the challenge of dealing with rising numbers of recalls a much more manageable task. Furthermore, not only will this ensure that vehicles dismantled in the future are screened for outstanding recalls in real time but it will allow recyclers to retrospectively screen their existing parts stock for current and, significantly, future recalls.
“Effective recall management really is integral to the ongoing professional development of the UK reclaimed parts sector and will make a valuable contribution to ensuring reclaimed parts are safe and operate correctly, but also demonstrate the commitment of UK recyclers to building consumer confidence in reclaimed parts and their suppliers.”
AAR says it has been developing the capability since early 2018 and is now servicing multiple stakeholders.
“Our purpose is to develop and provide traceability solutions to the automotive industry that reduce risk, increase confidence and ensure customer safety,” said Daglis. “It’s not something many of us would give a second thought to – you have been in a collision, or your car is due for routine repairs and maintenance, and we pass our vehicle over into the hands of our local collision repairer, garage or insurer.
“Once our car is returned, repaired and ready to drive, how many of us would question where the parts had been sourced and if they were safe? How would we know if one such part was in fact a dangerous part on the recall register? And how would we know if, it were to be recalled in the future, the part could be traced to us and our vehicle?”
AAR says ROE parts for collision repair are used in high volume across the globe and make up around five per cent of all parts used. However, with the massive demand following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, being driven by cost pressures on insurance claims and the environmental benefits that can be derived from using reclaimed parts, experts are already seeing the effects and are expecting to see demand rise dramatically – beyond 20 per cent:
- Australia currently uses around 10 per cent of such parts, the USA 12 per cent, New Zealand as much as 40 per cent and the UK around two per cent
- Manufacturers recalled 29.3 million vehicles in 2018, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data
- The total number of vehicles affected by recalls spiked between 2014 and 2016, reaching 50.5 million
- There are millions of insurance claims each year in the UK, with parts making up approximately half of a vehicle’s repair cost
- Over a million vehicles are repaired due to road accidents every year, with more going to mechanics for routine repairs
AAR says everyone needs to know if a part that has been added to the vehicle is from a licenced automotive recycler and, more importantly, that they have a lawful and robust recall process in place. That recall process must go beyond the day that the part is added to the car – it needs to be for the life of the car and the time it is owned. If this information does not reach either the owner or the mechanic that fitted the part, there is zero traceability. This also applies no matter where the part was sourced and by who it was fitted, including the online marketplace.
“It is critical for mechanics, collision repairers, insurers and any on-seller of parts to have a recall checking capability so that they can alert their customer to a safety problem on their vehicle,” said Daglis. “Sometimes these recalls are critical – they are death traps in the Takata airbag scenario. We are talking about some airbags being in vehicles that are now 24 years old, yet they were only recalled three months ago.
“The All Auto Recalls UK system offers the Auto Alert function – this will alert the auto recycler if any of the vehicles they have entered into the system have a recall against them at any time in the future. Remember, a vehicle may be clear today, but recalled at some time in the future.”