Maryland Bill Regulating Salvaged Airbag Use Endangers Consumers, Repair Group Says - BodyShop Business
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Maryland Bill Regulating Salvaged Airbag Use Endangers Consumers, Repair Group Says

WMABA says it’s concerned bill would encourage insurers to call for salvaged airbags in repairs to cut costs.

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The Maryland Senate is considering a bill, S.B. 209, that would create
a record-keeping system and rules for the installation of new and salvaged airbags. The
legislation is similar to a bill created by the National Conference of
Insurance Legislators
(NCOIL).

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The Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) has warned
that regulating the use of salvaged airbags could lead more insurance
companies to call for them in repairs to cut costs and subsequently put consumers in danger.

“This bill was opposed by the Society of Collision Repair Specialists
during the NCOIL hearings because they feel that this language will
open the state regulation for giving a process to use salvaged
airbags,” said WMABA Executive Director Jordan Hendler. “The collision
repair industry does not use these airbags, and if this language is
accepted, it will give incentive for their use by insurers.

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“At minimum, the consumer who chooses not to use them for safety
concerns could then have additional out-of-pocket expenses for using a
new OEM airbag instead of the salvage, where currently they do not. The
possible unintended consequences of this bill for Maryland shops and
consumers are horrendous.”

Per the bill, anyone installing a salvaged airbag in a vehicle would have to place a permanent label on the dashboard stating the vehicle contains a salvaged airbag. Additionally, the installer would have to keep a record of:

• The VIN of the vehicle the airbag is removed from;

• the VIN of the vehicle the airbag is subsequently installed in; and

• the name, address and driver’s license number of the airbag seller.

WMABA claims there is no viable data for the safety of salvaged airbag use and no way of knowing
the integrity of the vehicle the airbags are removed from, the way they are stored or the removal and subsequent delivery processes. The association
also noted that there are no vehicle manufacturers who endorse the use
of salvaged airbags, and some go as far as to state that they could
cause injury or death.

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“Salvaged airbags can come from any vehicle, but they are most likely
to be removed from a vehicle that has been already total-lossed by an
insurance company for any reason from collision or fire to flood,”
noted WMABA President Brad Whiteford of Whiteford’s Collision. “As a
repairer, we cannot accept the liability of the salvaged airbag not
performing to OEM specifications in a subsequent crash.”


More information:


SCRS Says Industry’s Voice Heard After Airbag Model Act Passes with
Amendments
 

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