Let’s Talk Recalls: 2019 – Year of the Bounty Hunter

It’s hard to look forward to 2019 without a quick review of 2018. Thanks to Auto Recyclers across North America, tens of thousands of defective Takata airbags have been removed from the Auto Recycling Industry in 2018. As an industry, we have stepped up our game to remove defective Takata airbags from resale inventory thereby decreasing the chance for someone to be injured or perhaps killed. We believe there are still opportunities out there for improvement.


We have three overarching priorities here at RAS to ensure most effective identification and removal of safety recalled parts from our industry. First, to have all affected Automakers participate in the buyback program. We currently have 22 Automakers, 144 models, and 15 years of coverage. Second, continue to drive awareness and education for auto recyclers at all levels (Full Serve, Self-Serve, and Scrap) until we have 100% participation. Last, but not least, we continue to focus on developing new tools and processes that help recyclers in this space.

Awareness and Education

We launched the #yankthatbag campaign as part of our North American Road Tour in January.  Our multi-media campaign covered a wide spectrum of material with presentations, articles, videos, social media posts, email marketing, and many phone calls. With over 45 years in the Auto Recycling Industry, RAS has developed deep roots with Recyclers, and we have built an incredible team in Rhode Island to support the Airbag Recovery Program.

Resources at RAS

Directly and indirectly, we have over twenty-five people working all aspects of the Airbag Recovery Program. Our Accounting, Check-In, Recall Phone Support, Shipping, IT, Compliance and Marketing teams have all contributed to making this program successful. From the administrative to executive level, RAS has invested substantial resources in helping Auto Recyclers comply with this Federal Recall while generating income from the bounty.

Developments in 2018

During 2018, we brought on four new Original Equipment Manufacturers; Jaguar/Land Rover, Ford (Ford, Lincoln, Mercury), Mercedes Benz (MB, Sterling), and Nissan (Nissan, Infiniti). At the same time, new premium bounties were placed on certain VINs for the 2006 Ford Ranger (extra $100) and all models under Jaguar/Land Rover (extra $90) to encourage recyclers to remove them. In the case of the Ranger, Ford identified some airbags that were more susceptible to being defective due to manufacturing defect, and the Jaguar/Land Rover premium bounty was put in place due to heightened difficulty of airbag removal.

Plans for 2019

We are putting a renewed focus on the Self-Service/Scrap segment of Auto Recycling in 2019. Self-Service and Scrap yards produce large monthly turns of vehicles. I wrote an article earlier this year which addressed why Self-Service/Scrap Recyclers have an advantage over traditional full-serve recyclers. It pointed to several key variables such as Volume, Unit Pricing, Vintage, Process, Corporate Responsibility, and Return on Investment (ROI).

We have developed a mobile phone App for Self-Service/Scrap Recyclers to more efficiently manage their airbag recovery program. I affectionately refer to it as our YAPP (Yard App). We are currently testing it in the Northeast. We hope to have another OE join the program in the first quarter and to introduce several other recall program developments to bring more value to auto recyclers.

We will be putting a new twist to our “Be a Lifesaver, #yankthatbag” campaign in 2019. Stay tuned . . .

Katie the “Recall Gal” and Paul the “Recall Guy” represent the RAS Recall Team. Their Mission is to rid the planet of defective Airbags.

Want to join the Mission? Call our Recall Team 877-829-1553 x 160