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JuLY 2007

New guidelines for CAR and gold seal programs from ARA

The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) recently added new and stricter guidelines to its Certified Automotive Recycler (CAR) and Gold Seal programs.

The CAR and Gold Seal programs include a set of standards for general business practices as well as environmental and safety issues along with providing guidance for members.

Upon applying to the CAR Program, each automotive recycling facility must submit more than 30 photographs and photocopies of licensing documentation, along with a signed agreement that the facility will adhere to the code of conduct. The facility’s application is then reviewed by an ARA committee. Each facility must then be audited by an environmental professional to maintain CAR Certification.

New this year, the CAR Program added to its guidelines a requirement that CAR members participate in the National Vehicle Mercury Switch Removal Program. CAR certified facilities are charged with locating, removing and safely disposing of the mercury switches.

CAR certified facilities striving to be known as “Best in Class” for customer service must now also meet improved standards to qualify for the ARA Gold Seal Program. The Gold Seal Program, available only to qualifying CAR members, is a unique program focused on customer service satisfaction.

Additions to the Gold Seal Program standards include the institution of a minimum composite Customer Service Index score, minimum warranties on mechanical parts, the mandatory use of the ARA Parts Grading system when inventorying all parts, and the disclosure of the Gold Seal Customer Complaint Hotline number on all parts tags.