Seat Belt Pre-Tensioner Recycling

Automotive safety advances like airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners help to prevent injury caused by passenger impact with objects in the car, such as the steering wheel. Pre-tensioners have proven to be life saving. One NHTSA crash study found that belts equipped with pre-tensioners and load limiters reduce the fatality risk by 12.8 percent.

Almost immediately after impact, seat belt pre-tensioners react by firing a pyrotechnic device that removes excess slack in the seat belt. Removing slack allows the belt to firmly engage across the lap and torso, restricting the occupant’s motion. In minor collisions, the seat belt pre-tensioners may be fired without the air bags being deployed. In more serious crashes, both the pre-tensioners and the air bags will be deployed.

While no mandates have been passed requiring the install of seat belt pre-tensioners in vehicles, automotive manufactures have embraced the technology. By model year 2008 all new cars and LTVs sold in the U.S. were equipped with seat belt pre-tensioners at the driver and right-front passenger seats.

Recycling Pre-Tensioners

Seat belt pre-tensioners are single-use devices that should be replaced after a crash, even if airbags are not deployed. Previously deployed pre-tensioners may not effectively remove slack from the seat belt and restrict motion. For this reason, pre-tensioners should be destroyed to eliminate the risk of sale on the secondary market.

Once removed from the vehicle, pre-tensioners must be properly recycled. Quest’s seat belt pre-tensioner recycling program ensures the proper handling of hazardous waste and recovers recyclable materials.

Pyrotechnic substances used in pre-tensioners are classified as hazardous material, which must be disposed of in accordance with federal, state and local laws. Quest manages the proper handling of hazardous material by providing a DOT compliant container for seat belt pre-tensioner collection and leveraging a national network of fully certified vendors for transportation of materials. When the provided collection container is full, simply call Quest at 877.321.1811 to schedule a pick up.

Quest’s Turnkey Seat Belt Pre-Tensioner Program provides:

  • Hazardous material management
  • Destruction of pre-tensioners
  • Recovery of recyclable materials
  • 24/7/365 customer service support
  • Nationwide coverage


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