Canadian Underwriter

Industry and government groups support ban on rebuilt airbags

August 29, 2002   by Canadian Underwriter

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The Collision Industry Action Group (CIAG) is applauding a decision by one government body to recommend a ban on rebuilt air bags.
Following spring meetings with industry groups, the federal/provincial Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) announced it would recommend a ban on the construction, sale or installation of rebuilt airbags, meaning bags which have been deployed and reconstructed. Further, driving a vehicle equipped with a rebuilt airbag would also be disallowed under the proposal.
However, the Council did recommend that recycled airbags, those which have not been deployed, could be reused, given strict controls on proper installation.
“A number of stakeholders, including CIAG, believe that there are not enough controls in place to be satisfied that recycled airbags, assuming they are installed in the correct specific vehicle, will operate safely, particularly if there are no controls or evidence on whether the airbag may or may not have been water damaged,” states a CIAG release.
Some insurers, however, have noted that the use of recycled bags could save claims costs, and studies by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia show no significant reduced safety in the use of recycled bags. Lawsuits have been launched against insurers for the use of non-OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts in car repairs and some insurers have sworn off the practice.
Individual provinces will now have to decide if they will follow the CCMTA’s recommendations or not. Quebec has already placed a ban on rebuilt and recycled airbags car owners were recently warned in that province of at least one person rebuilding air bags which were found to be explosive. Ontario and Manitoba are currently looking at whether or not to institute a similar ban on all non-OEM airbags.

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