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In the last decade, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asked repairers and franchised new car dealers to install airbag deactivation switches in certain vehicles. Repairers and dealers responded slowly to participation in the deactivation program. NHTSA pressed our organization to discuss how we might encourage repairers to install the deactivation switches. What was evident was the lack of awareness of the potential risk to repairers for the deactivation switch installations.

As negotiations continued, NHTSA inquired about the prevalence of salvage airbags in the automotive service and repair industry. Insurers that have a significant presence in providing insurance to the independent repair-dealer marketplace were included in the discussions. All of the insurers made it clear that they had no salvage airbag policy at that time, relative to coverage for businesses involved in collision repair. The same insurers expressed some reservation about the use of salvage airbags.

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