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Final Thoughts

By Michael E. Wilson, ARA Chief Executive Officer

No Respite for ARA as Issues Impacting Professional Auto Recyclers Continue to Grow

n the United States during a Presi- dential election year, there is always an extended time when Congress is away for their respective political conventions and customary recess during the month of August. During this period, activity in Washington, D.C. typically slows down as folks take advantage of this time to vacation and relax. For ARA leadership and staff, the past two months have been anything but slow, with the weeks full of meetings, events and discussion both inside and outside of the U.S. and around the globe.


I had the pleasure of joining ARA President Mike Swift for the 2016 Complete Auto Recycling & Secondary Materials Trade Show and the inaugural Metals Recycling Event (CARS) July 13- 15, 2016 near Derby, England. More than 1,200 attendees from all sides of the auto and metal recycling industries attended and ARA participated in many key discussions, including this year’s challenges of meeting the European Union’s 95 percent recycling and recov- ery targets for ELV recycling. In early August, ARA representatives met with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to dis- cuss implementation of the FAST Act (Fixing America’s Surface Transporta- tion Act) enacted in December 2015 that provides automotive recyclers with critical recalled parts data. It was a sig- nificant meeting for communicating directly with regulators about the neces- sary steps needed to provide efficient, effective and comprehensive identifica- tion of defective recalled automotive parts. In the meeting, ARA representa- tives emphasized the need for electronic VIN specific data that contains recalled part names, part descriptions and part numbers. We will continue to work with NHTSA on this important issue in the months ahead.

66 Automotive Recycling | September-October 2016

The Volkswagen officials told Judge Breyer that they intend to engage in this program to ensure that eligible vehicles are recycled effectively and in an

environmentally sound manner. This is sure to be an interesting development for the entire industry.

Also in August, ARA submitted com- ments to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding the Agency’s Partial Consent Decree with Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) regarding their diesel vehicles. ARA’s comments focused on ensuring that professional automo- tive recyclers are entitled to equitable treatment under the agreement. A copy of our letter is up on the ARA website. Many ARA members likely noticed that on August 12 a California federal judge cleared the way for Volkswagen AG to study the feasibility and logistics of scrapping certain diesel engine cars and salvaging them for parts, as part of multi-district litigation over the automak- er’s vehicle emissions.

The automaker will conduct a pilot program to study the process, timing, costs and logistics of scrap- ping some vehicles and harvesting reusable parts for 20 of VW’s 2.0-liter diesel cars – now owned by the automaker’s finance company. The Volkswagen officials told Judge Breyer that they intend to engage in this program to ensure that

eligible vehicles are recycled effectively and in an environmentally sound man- ner. This is sure to be an interesting development for the entire industry.

In mid-August, ARA representatives met with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to discuss concerns about Hyun- dai’s “consumer awareness” campaign launched this past February. This meeting was the result of a letter submitted by ARA in June challenging the propriety and lawfulness of disparaging press releas- es and online ads aimed at recycled orig- inal equipment (OE) parts and other replacement part options.

During the meeting we shared exam- ples of the Hyundai campaign that could potentially mislead consumers into believ- ing that recycled OEM parts are “non- OE” parts and insinuates that recycled parts are counterfeit. We have sent addi- tional correspondence to the Agency regarding concerns with General Motors revised “Genuine GM Parts” campaign and will continue to work with FTC staff to address these groundless attacks on our industry.

As September arrives, our focus moves to the final planning of the 73rd Annual ARA Convention & Exposition taking place this year October 26-29 in Baltimore, Maryland. If

August is any indication, expect more activity in the months ahead and be sure to attend the 73rd Annual Convention for the latest information and updates. 

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