Recycling Recalled Airbags

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A May expansion of the Takata airbag recall by The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) called for an additional recall of 35 to 40 million airbags. Including the previously recalled 28.8 million airbags, the total recall is now estimated at more than 60 million airbags.

Responsibility (and liability) to manage the removal and replacement of recalled airbags has fallen largely on automotive dealerships. Quest Resource Management Group (Quest) — a subsidiary of Quest Resource Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: QRHC) — has developed a sustainable solution to address recalled airbags. Quest’s airbag recycling program ensures the destruction of removed recalled airbags while reducing the dealership’s environmental footprint.

View the below SlideShare presentation to learn more about the program.

Expansion of Recalled Airbags

The airbag recall expansion includes all Takata phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate-based propellant (PSAN) frontal air bag inflators without a chemical drying agent (non-desiccated PSAN inflators). Third party evaluations associate inflator ruptures with PSAN propellant degradation. Degradation occurs when the propellant is exposed to temperature cycling and environmental moisture over time.

The agency estimates the life of affected airbag inflators to range from six to 20 years, depending on environmental heat and humidity. States and territories in high absolute humidity regions are at a more immediate risk for the potential rupture of PSAN airbags. Based on these risk factors, the NHTSA divided the U.S. into three geographic zones (A, B and C).

Zone A includes the high absolute humidity regions of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico. Recalled airbag propellant degradation is projected to occur between six and nine years of exposure in this region.

Zone B is comprised of states with moderate temperature cycling and humidity. This region includes Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Recalled airbag degradation is projected to occur between 10 and 15 years in this region.

Zone C comprises states with lower temperature cycling and humidity. It includes Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Recalled airbag degradation is projected to occur between 15 and 20 years in this region.

The airbag recall expansion will take place in five phases between May 2016 and December 2019. Recall phases have been prioritized by risk, determined by the age of the airbag inflator and the geographic zone temperature fluctuation and humidity.

The airbag recalls include all vehicles not currently under recall containing non-desiccated frontal Takata PSAN inflators. The NHTSA accelerated timeline is outlined below.

Phase 1 – May 16, 2016
Zone A: Model year 2011 and older
Zone B: Model year 2008 and older
Zone C: Model year 2004 and older

Phase 2 – December 31, 2016
Zone A: Model year 2012 and older
Zone B: Model year 2009 and older
Zone C: Model year 2008 and older

Phase 3 – December 31, 2017
Zone A: Model year 2013 and older
Zone B: Model year 2010 and older
Zone C: Model year 2009 and older

Phase 4 – December 31, 2018
Zones A, B and C: All remaining vehicles

Phase 5 – December 31, 2019
Zones A, B, and C: all like for like replacement parts

With airbag replacements continuing over the next few years, it is important for dealerships to have a program in place to properly manage the excess waste generated from airbag removals.

Quest’s recalled airbag recycling program delivers:

  • 100% destruction of recalled airbags
  • Proper disposal of hazardous waste
  • Recovery of recyclable materials
  • Nationwide coverage
  • 24/7/365 customer service support

To reduce liability and the environmental footprint of your dealership through an airbag recycling program, contact the experts at Quest.

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