Today, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) is recognizing the efforts of Connecticut state legislators and Governor Daniel Malloy to address the increasing prevalence of counterfeit airbags in the automotive parts marketplace. On July 12, Governor Malloy signed legislation into law making it a crime to manufacture, import, install, reinstall or sell a counterfeit or nonfunctional airbag. The new law goes into effect October 1.
“ARA continues to speak out against counterfeit air bags and cautions the automotive repair industry community and consumers about their increasing prevalence and the dangers they pose to consumers,” said ARA President, Chris Wright. “We met with U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) representatives earlier this year to support their October 2012 consumer advisory warning about the prevalence of counterfeit airbags, and also requested that future advisories acknowledge recycled OEM airbags as a practical repair option. in repairs.”
Many states are aware of the threats posed by counterfeit airbags and are actively addressing the concerns. Legislation targeting counterfeit airbags passed both chambers of the New York state legislature last month and is expected to be signed into law by the Governor. Lawmakers in Ohio, New Mexico and Maryland also introduced similar bills. ARA has worked with local automotive recyclers, bill sponsors and other stakeholders to build support for the measures. “ARA has been able to reach out to other interested parties, including a number of automotive manufacturers, to address the specific issue of counterfeit airbags,” said ARA CEO, Michael E. Wilson. “We look forward to strengthening these relationships and pursuing other opportunities to keep counterfeit airbags out of vehicles and to promote collaborative efforts which can meet the needs of consumers and other interested stakeholder groups.”
As law enforcement agencies across the country and in the Federal Government step up efforts to combat the sale, distribution, manufacture and installation of counterfeit airbags, professional automotive recyclers are emphasizing once again that quality, recycled, non-deployed OEM airbags are not counterfeit and provide common-sense solutions for consumers, repair facilities and insurance companies. ARA continues to share with both industry and policymakers alike that entities such as the National Conference of Insurance Legislators has incorporated ARAPro Quality Control Inspection and Protocol guidelines for non-deployed OEM airbags into model legislation. The ARAPro guidelines have also been included in proposed state legislation this year.