MANASSAS, VA – Today, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) is applauding the efforts of state legislators in New York to address the increasing prevalence of counterfeit airbags in the automotive parts marketplace as Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Counterfeit Airbag Prevention Act into law. The legislation (S. 5037-B/A.6378-B) was sponsored by the Chairman of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee, Senator Lee M. Zeldin, and the Chairman of the Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, and makes it a crime to knowingly import, install, reinstall or sell a counterfeit or nonfunctional airbag. The new law goes into effect in November.
“ARA is committed to speaking out against counterfeit airbags and warning the automotive repair industry community and consumers about the dangers they pose and their increasing prevalence,” said ARA President, Chris Wright. “We have met with U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) representatives twice this year, as recently as last month, to give our support their October 2012 consumer advisory warning about the prevalence of counterfeit airbags, as well as request that future advisories acknowledge recycled OEM airbags as a practical repair option in repairs.”
Lawmakers across the country are aware of the threats posed by counterfeit airbags and are taking steps to address the problem. Legislation targeting counterfeit airbags was signed into law last month in Connecticut and state legislators in Ohio, New Mexico and Maryland introduced similar bills this year. 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, such as the Association of Global Automakers, 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.”
Another important piece of legislation addressing airbags in the state of New York was considered this year. Senate Bill 3779 would have allowed for the sale and installation of recycled, non-deployed OEM airbags in the state as well as incorporated guidelines from ARA Product Service’s Airbag Protocol, ARAPRO, into the statue. ARA, its affiliate chapter ARANY and local automotive recyclers actively worked with bill sponsors and other stakeholders to build support for passage of the bill and look forward to gaining passage of it next session. New York is currently the only state in the country that prohibits the sale of recycled, non-deployed OEM airbags due to the state’s failure to implement a provision of the airbag code passed over ten years ago that requires the designation of a nationally recognized testing, engineering and research body to establish standards. 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.
Since 1943, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) represents an industry dedicated to the efficient removal and reuse of “green” automotive parts, and the proper recycling of inoperable motor vehicles. ARA represents the interests of over 4,500 auto recycling facilities in the United States and fourteen other countries around the world. With programs such as the Certified Automotive Recycler Program (CAR), Green Recycled Parts, and other partnerships, ARA members continue to provide consumers with quality, low-cost alternatives for vehicle replacement parts, while preserving our environment for a “greener” tomorrow.
To learn more about the Association, visit ARA’s Home Page at www.a-r-a.org or call (571) 208-0428.