Snap-up airbag bounties with YAPP app

By Paul D’Adamo and Katie Stark

Toronto, Ontario – April 17, 2019 – Rebuilders Automotive Supply has announced a new bounty program for recyclers, deployed and missing airbags.

Additional automakers are bound to follow Ford’s lead in becoming the first automaker to pay for deployed/missing airbags. For recyclers, the only significant change is that the current desktop validation system will not support the mobility and imaging required to satisfy the demands of the deployed and missing airbags. The new mobile Yard Airbag App (the YAPP) supports the base image requirements for the validation of airbags to be recovered and one additional picture of the deployed and missing airbags.

The bottom line for deployed or missing airbags: After the two standard photos of the dash and the VIN plate, we will require one additional photo of the deployed or missing airbag. For a bounty vehicle with two deployed airbags, we would estimate a total time requirement of fewer than two minutes to do the initial scan and take four photos. It’s kind of like a Geico commercial only in this case, two minutes will make you $30.

Our recall team has been aggressively looking for additional bounty opportunities in the recovery and identification of defective Takata airbags. The new YAPP provides the platform to eliminate time-consuming steps and allow recyclers to incorporate a mobile device into their processes to ensure these dangerous airbags are removed and destroyed. While the YAPP was originally designed for high volume self-service auto recycling operations which demanded a mobile device that eliminated paperwork, full-service operations have begun to adopt the platform into their flow process.

Most auto recyclers have a check-in process which involves staff that will most likely never pull an airbag. These check-in folks can still use the YAPP as the first step to scan and identify whether the vehicle has defective Takata airbags that are part of the bounty program.  Whether it is a mark on the car or a coloured magnetic hat that is placed on the roof, we want visibility to the vehicles with Takata airbags to ensure that they are processed according to company procedure.

It is important to note that the YAPP does not currently identify some automakers that have defective Takata airbags but do not participate in the RAS bounty program, i.e. VW, Dodge, Chrysler, BMW, and others. RAS is working on a solution to address this gap, but there are still some hurdles to overcome.

Once the bounty airbags are identified, the vehicles can either be segregated to a quarantine area where the bags will be removed by a parts puller prior to de-pollution, or for full-service yards, brought into dismantling where the airbags will be handled.

The beauty of the YAPP is that now recyclers have a tool that can also be used pre-crush. With a simple scan of the VIN’s, a parts puller could capture additional bounty revenue prior to the vehicle going to the crusher. With scrap prices at a low point, that extra $55 to $60 or even $15 for deployed or missing could be a significant revenue stream with more ROI than the crushed car. Remember that Ford, Honda, and Toyota just added 3.9M VIN’s to the database at the end of 2018. The YAPP would give you an opportunity to capture bounty revenue for vehicles currently sitting in your yard.

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