All Auto Recalls: COVID-19 Raises Risk Of Using Unsafe Parts

All Auto Recalls (AAR) says that as COVID-19 shuts down vehicle parts manufacturing plants, demand for Recycled Original Equipment (ROE) vehicle parts will grow rapidly. As a result of faulty manufacture, some of these parts may be under active recall, creating a heightened risk of dangerous and potentially fatal recalled parts being fitted to cars.

The company says the law demands that faulty car parts are recalled, but the recall system appears to be flawed and does not always protect drivers.

AAR Managing Director, Chris Daglis, says Australians need to be aware of the increased risk and learn how to protect themselves. According to Daglis, the most important question every driver should ask of their repairer, insurer or seller of parts is: Do you know if a part is safe, not subject to recall and can be traced to my vehicle should it be recalled in the future?

“It’s not something many of us would give a second thought to,” said Daglis. “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 mechanic 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 – could the part be traced to us and our vehicle?”

According to Daglis, ROE parts for collision repair have traditionally made up around five per cent of all parts used in Australia. However, with unprecedented demand following the outbreak of COVID-19, experts expect demand to rise dramatically, possibly beyond 20 per cent.

AAR says vehicle owners need to know that used parts fitted to their vehicle during repair were sourced from licensed automotive recyclers who have a lawful and robust recall process in place. The process must cover the life of the car to ensure traceability when the vehicle is sold. Daglis said this applies to all parts recyclers, including online operators.

“The recalls process is often overlooked by online sellers. It took me a short time to find over 70 unsafe, recalled Takata airbags available for sale in the online marketplaces. If I kept looking, I am sure that I would have found hundreds more. Online sellers must know if the items being placed online for sale are subject to an active recall, and they must have a recall process in place as part of their business process. Regardless of whether you are taking your vehicle to a mechanic, your insurer is fixing it, or you are a car enthusiast purchasing your own parts, knowing this could save your life,” explained Daglis.

“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. 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 product safety website offers the automotive industry a static database that they can check against for recalls, or they can use the All Auto Recalls system which is dynamic, live and offers the ‘Auto Alert’ function. This will alert the mechanic 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.”

AAR says the automotive recycling industry will play an increasingly important role in the parts supply chain in future, adding that ROE parts supplied by professional automotive recyclers that manage recalls effectively are critical to the long-term sustainability of the automotive repair and insurance industry.

Statistics provided by AAR reveal:

  • Recycled parts usage by country: Australia over five per cent, New Zealand 40 per cent, the USA 11 per cent and the UK two per cent.
  • Manufacturers recalled 29.3 million vehicles in 2018, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data
  • Between 2014 and 2016, the number of vehicles affected by recalls spiked, reaching 50.5 million in 2016
  • There are in excess of 1.5 million insurance claims each year in Australia, with parts making up around 50 per cent of a vehicle’s repair cost
  • More than one million vehicles are repaired due to road accidents every year, with more going to mechanics for routine repairs

ARA President Steps Down To Join All Auto Recalls

The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) has announced that Chad Counselman, its current President, has stepped down from his position.  Counselman will remain on the Board of Directors and Scott Robertson, the First Vice President, will step in to serve the remainder of Counselman’s term. Counselman will join All Auto Recalls in Australia, relocating his family to Melbourne in the coming weeks.

“I feel strongly that the ARA membership deserves a leader that can devote the necessary time and resources to guiding the Association,” said Counselman. “While my family and I are excited about this new opportunity in Australia, due to time zone differences and other commitments, it would make it very difficult for me to serve the members to the best of my ability as President.  As such, I am stepping down and know that incoming President, Scott Robertson, will do an excellent job representing the membership. I look forward to continuing to serve the industry as a board member and will continue to be actively involved in ARA.”

“It has been a pleasure working with Chad and I look forward to continuing to work with him as a board member,” said Sandy Blalock, ARA Executive Director. “He will be a great asset to our Australian members. I know that Scott is ready and able to assume the reigns and has the support of the board and Association staff behind him.”

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Chad Counselman’s calibre coming to join our team,” said Chris Daglis, Managing Director of All Auto Recalls. “He will be an asset not only to our team, but to the industry in Australia and ARA.  We are looking forward to working with Chad as we continue to build the recalls solution for the auto recycling industry.  I am committed to supporting Chad and ARA [to] grow the awareness of industry issues like recalls, but most importantly, to providing solutions to these.”

“The decision to move to Australia has been one we’ve considered very carefully, especially as the current President of ARA,” said Counselman. “This commitment to Chris and the Australian market is evidence of how seriously I feel about the recalls issue for our industry. Chris is building a solution that is revolutionary and helping deliver this to auto recyclers around the world is something I feel extremely strongly about.”

Volkswagen Joins All Auto Recalls To Recover Takata Airbags

Following on from its agreement with Subaru Australia, All Auto Recalls has added Volkswagen Group Australia to its list of partners for recovering Affected Takata Airbag Inflators (ATAIs) from salvage yards and automotive recyclers.

The mandatory recall notice issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) requires all manufacturers to replace all defective ATAIs that were used in their vehicles by 31 December 2020.

As vehicles get older, a combination of high temperatures and humidity can affect airbags installed inside. In the event of a collision, airbags can activate with too much explosive force, causing sharp metal fragments to shoot out and kill or seriously injure people in the vehicle.

Any salvage yard or automotive recycler wanting to determine whether any vehicle or parts in their possession are affected by the Takata mandatory safety recall can use the VIN check tool available on the Volkswagen website. This tool is accessible at au.volkswagen.com.au/airbag-safety-recall.

Alternatively, All Auto Recalls says it offers a bespoke validation tool and process using their systems, which will enable checking of every VIN held on record retrospectively. For more information, contact All Auto Recalls at [email protected], or Chris Daglis at [email protected] or 0411 743 560. Daglis says upon contact, he will discuss next steps and have his team facilitate the collection/return of frontal Takata airbags on behalf of Volkswagen Group Australia.

Subaru And All Auto Recalls To Recover Takata Airbags

Subaru Australia has partnered with All Auto Recalls to recover Affected Takata Airbag Inflators (ATAIs) from salvage yards and the automotive recycling industry across Australia.

The mandatory recall notice issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) requires all manufacturers to replace all defective ATAIs that were used in their vehicles by 31 December 2020. Subaru Australia says it is committed to doing everything possible to locate every one of them.

“Our partnership with All Auto Recalls is a critical component of this effort and commitment by Subaru Australia,” said Colin Christie, Managing Director of Subaru Australia.

“We are proud to be working closely with the AAR team who have already, in only a few months, helped us account for ATAIs that would otherwise have been difficult to locate.”

All Auto Recalls will manage the retrieval of ATAIs on behalf of Subaru Australia from the salvage and automotive recycling industry.

“We are excited at the opportunity to work with Subaru Australia,” said Chris Daglis, Founder and Managing Director of All Auto Recalls.

“Our knowledge of the industry, networks and technology we have built and continue to develop, [offer in a combined way] so much to the manufacturers both today and in the future. We have made a commitment to working with all industry stakeholders to eliminate recalled components from the marketplace in the interest of public safety by working with manufacturers like Subaru Australia, who are proactive in their pursuit of consumer safety.”

Subaru vehicles affected by the Takata airbag recall notice contain a passenger-side front Takata airbag inflator that is subject to a mandatory safety recall issued by the Australian government. It followed an investigation in which the ACCC concluded that certain Takata airbag inflators are faulty and could kill or seriously injure people in the vehicle.

As the vehicle gets older, a combination of high temperatures and humidity can affect the airbag. In the event of a collision, the airbag can activate with too much explosive force, causing sharp metal fragments to shoot out and kill or seriously injure people in the vehicle.

Any salvage yard or automotive recycler wanting to determine whether any vehicle or parts in their possession are affected by the Takata mandatory safety recall can use the VIN check tool available on the Subaru website and check each VIN one by one. This tool is accessible at www.subaru.com.au/takata-recall.

Alternatively, All Auto Recalls says it offers a bespoke validation tool and process using their systems, which will enable checking of every VIN held on record retrospectively. For more information, contact All Auto Recalls at [email protected], or Chris Daglis at [email protected] or 0411 743 560. Daglis says upon contact, he will discuss next steps and have his team facilitate the collection/return of frontal Takata airbags on behalf of Subaru Australia.