Over the past month we've had hundreds of calls from auto recyclers asking;
"I've bought a car from the auctions and have signed an undertaking that I will handle the vehicle and the Affected Takata Airbag Inflator (ATAI) as required, but I don't know where to start and who to contact..."
While we at All Auto Recalls (AAR) can advise on process and even training on how to handle these ATAI's, it has become clear that there are some fundamental challenges that the industry needs to address. These challenges include;
How many auto recyclers are aware of these 'registered buyer' only Takata auctions?
What constitutes a 'registered buyer' and what do registered buyers need to do to participate in these auctions?
Many vehicles our subscribers have purchased from this auction have been wrongly classified, adding an unnecessary level of complexity for everyone involved after the sale.
How well have the requirements been communicated and/or understood?
What will happen if you do not comply?
How many auto recyclers are actually participating in these auctions and what impact is it having on salvage returns? Most will suggest that we keep this 'our little secret' but let's not take a short term view here - if it does not work for all participants, including insurers, then it will be short term!
This is not an issue for one stakeholder in isolation. We are all participants and all have an obligation to get it right. The regulators, insurers, manufacturers and auto recyclers all have a role to play. We all have a responsibility to eliminate these 'ticking time-bombs' from the market and we must take it seriously.
The only way to achieve this is to make sure that we stop pointing the finger and treating the issue like a hot potato, tossing the problem to someone else and making it their responsibility. Yes, the manufacturer has ultimate responsibility for the ATAI, and, in my dealings with 8 that we are contracted to, they are doing everything possible to fix the problem. In fact, they are taking a fix it at all costs approach which has been impressive.
We are working with all stakeholders on a daily basis to find a workable, efficient and sustainable model and we will continue to look for win, win options. Remember, we all know someone that has or has had an ATAI in their vehicle, literally inches away from their face. We need to work together to remove these from the market, and the auto recycler/salvage supply chain is a critical component to a successful outcome by December 2020.
So, auto recyclers, please be aware of your obligations, both legal and moral. If you need support in dealing with these vehicles or are not 100% sure of what to do when you buy one, feel free to contact the team at AAR here with your questions or call me directly on 0411 743 560.