News, Trends & Reports from the Automotive Recyclers Association

Jan 1, 2021 | Industry

The new COVID-19 relief bill does provide employers with the ability to voluntarily extend paid leave as it existed under the FFCRA and still be eligible for the FFCRA applicable tax credit through March 31, 2021.

COVID Update: What You Need To Know

Expiration of Paid Leave for Employees that Contract COVID-19

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) passed in March 2020, the federal government required employers with less than 500 employees to provide up to two weeks (or 80 hours) of paid sick leave to employees for COVID-19 related issues. The FFCRA also contained provisions extending paid family and medical leave. However, these provisions of the FFCRA expired on December 31, 2020. Employers are no longer required to provide paid leave under the FFCRA.

The new COVID-19 relief bill did not extend the requirement that employers provide paid leave after December 31, 2020. However, the new COVID-19 relief bill does provide employers with the ability to voluntarily extend paid leave as it existed under the FFCRA and still be eligible for the FFCRA applicable tax credit through March 31, 2021.

For a good FAQ on the FFCRA, visit

Paycheck Protection Program:

Congress has appropriated more funds for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). It will permit businesses that have not received a PPP loan to apply for their first loan and also permits businesses to apply for a second loan (under certain conditions). Not all banks will be participating in the process again so if you or your business are considering applying for a PPP loan, contact your bank as soon as possible and ask if they are participating.

The PPP program has reopened and the Small Business Administration (SBA) is now starting to accept applications for first draw and second draw PPP loans. For more information

Businesses looking for capital should take advantage of this program made available by the federal government. So far, the SBA has forgiven loans from 85 percent of the 1.3 million forgiveness applications.

Employee Retention Tax Credit:

The Employee Retention Tax Credit, which is a refundable payroll tax credit for eligible payroll costs of certain employers negatively impacted by COVID-19, is now available to businesses that have taken Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Department of Labor:

The Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule that clarifies the standard for employee versus independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The rule will go into effect on March 8, 2021. According to the new rule, which will be published in the federal register today, the test for whether an individual is an independent contractor or employee is as follows:

Primary Analysis: Is the individual in business for him or herself (independent contractor) or is economically dependent on a potential employer for work (FLSA employee)?

To determine whether a worker is economically dependent on someone else’s business or is in business for him or herself look at:

    (1) the nature and degree of control over the individual’s work; and

    (2) the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss based on initiative and/or investment.

Three Other Factors that can Help Determine if an Individual is an Independent Contractor or Employee

1. The amount of skill required for the work.

2. The degree of permanence of the working relationship between the worker and the potential employer.

3. Whether the work is part of an integrated unit of production.

Electric Vehicles & the Future Challenges for Auto Recyclers

In late December, ARA Past President Jonathan Morrow presented to a governmental task force in California about future challenges presented by electric vehicles. The presentation emphasized the value that Recycled Original Equipment® (ROE) parts play in today’s replacement parts market and why reuse is the purest form of recycling. Morrow detailed ways in which the industry is adapting to meet the increasing sales of hybrid and electric battery vehicles, including more training, specialization, and increased professional standards. The presentation provided an overview of the tools and PPE that recyclers are using to recover, transport, dismantle and process the batteries. 

Morrow also shared results of a survey that took place in the summer of 2020 that collected feedback from the ARA membership about what information they needed about EV batteries. Safety issues dominated the members’ concerns.

An ARA webinar on this topic is currently planned for March and will coincide with the release of new resources and training from ARA.

ARA Invests in New Member Engagement Platform, Tradewing

Building on the success of the virtual Annual Convention that took place last year, ARA is excited to announce the debut of a new member engagement platform, Tradewing. Tradewing is the leading community and video platform for associations designed as an all-in-one engagement community, offering virtual meetings, collaborative chat capabilities, virtual trade shows, and more. The platform will be rolled out to various ARA communities and committees this spring.

Be Part of the 2021 ARA Annual Convention – Submit Your Idea Today!

The 2021 ARA Annual Convention Educational Programming Committee is now soliciting presentations for the 78th Annual Convention and Exposition, scheduled for November 10-13 at the Sheraton Hotel in Dallas, TX.

The Committee aims to develop a strong, comprehensive educational program to appeal to the many aspects of the automotive recycling industry, addressing the immediate needs of the profession as well as providing opportunities to discover and discuss upcoming trends, techniques, best practices, issues, etc. 

Submissions may be for in-person or virtual content as both formats are expected to take place. Proposals are due to Kim Glasscock ( as soon as possible.

ARA Resumes Weekly State Legislative Update Calls

ARA is pleased to continue, as one of its member benefits, a weekly conference call open to all members interested in state legislation impacting the recycled parts industry. Taking place every Monday afternoon at 3pm Eastern, the calls resumed in late January and will go until late April or early May. These calls are vital to keep the industry updated on all legislative hurdles.

The impact of a global pandemic presents several challenges for both state legislators and those seeking to influence legislation this year. While a few state capitals are open to the public, many are shortening their legislative calendar and conducting business remotely – meaning hearings and public testimony are taking place via Zoom. Some have limited legislation to priority issues dealing with COVID-19 and state budgets. Others are fast tracking legislation that was pending in 2020 before legislatures adjourned due to the pandemic. 

Issues expected to dominate the 2021 state legislative season are efforts to combat catalytic converter theft, OEM repair procedures and consumer choice, workers’ compensation, stormwater, autonomous vehicles, right to repair, just to name a few.

Make it your goal to stay in the know this year! To participate in the calls and be added to the email distribution list, please contact ARA Director of State Government Affairs, Jessica Andrews at

Update to Federal Odometer Disclosure Requirements on Vehicle Transfers

Under NHTSA’s new regulations, vehicles with model years 2010 or older have an existing 10-year disclosure requirement. For vehicles manufactured in 2010 or earlier, they have already been exempted on or before January 1, 2020.

On 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a new regulation extending the coverage of vehicles subject to the federal odometer disclosure requirements from 10 to 20 years. The new regulation went into effect on January 1, 2021. The new regulation restores the intent of the original NHTSA rule that required all motor vehicle transfers to be recorded up until 25 years of the vehicle’s life at the time of transfer. This rule change was enacted with strong support from law enforcement, state departments of motor vehicles, and consumer groups.

The federal odometer disclosure requirements require the recording of the following information from sellers and purchasers of vehicles (in many cases, this information is recorded on the physical title of the vehicle):

1. Odometer reading at time of transfer (obligation of the transferor to record on vehicle title certificate or odometer statement)

2. Date of transfer (to be recorded by both transferor and transferee)

3. Transferor’s printed name and current address 

4. Transferee’s printed name and current address

5. Identity of the vehicle including, make, model, year, body type, and VIN

The new regulation’s language states in 49 CFR 580.17(a)(4),“(i) A vehicle manufactured in or after the 2011 model year that is transferred at least 20 years after January 1 of the calendar year corresponding to its designated model year; or (ii) Example to paragraph (a)(4): For vehicle transfers occurring during calendar year 2031, model year 2011 or older vehicles are exempt.” This is the language contained in the Code of Federal Regulations that extends coverage of vehicles subject to federal odometer disclosure requirements from 10 to 20 years.

While NHTSA’s new odometer disclosure rule extends the coverage of vehicles subject to the federal odometer disclosure requirements from 10 to 20 years, it does not retroactively make vehicles manufactured in 2010 or older subject to odometer disclosure requirements – they are still exempt. There is even an example in 49 C.F.R. § 580.17, which incorporates the rule change and shows that a vehicle older than 2010 remains exempt. Under 49 C.F.R. § 580.17(a)(3), “(i) A vehicle manufactured in or before the 2010 model year that is transferred at least 10 years after January 1 of the calendar year corresponding to its designated model year; (ii) Example to paragraph (a)(3): For vehicle transfers occurring during calendar year 2020, model year 2010 or older vehicles are exempt.” Therefore, based on the information contained in the federal regulations, vehicles already exempted under the previous 10-year rule will remain exempted.

To summarize, under NHTSA’s new regulations, vehicles with model years 2010 or older have an existing 10-year disclosure requirement. For vehicles manufactured in 2010 or earlier, they have already been exempted on or before January 1, 2020. NHTSA’s new odometer disclosure regulation goes into effect on January 1, 2021. Therefore, the new federal odometer disclosure requirements retain the exemption for these previously exempted vehicles to avoid creating a new retroactive liability. For vehicle model years 2011 or newer, these vehicles have not yet reached a period where they have already been exempted from odometer disclosure requirements. Therefore, the new regulation extends the existing disclosure obligations for vehicle model years 2011 or newer for 20- years.

As a result of the federal change to odometer disclosure requirements, ARA has been working with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) to ensure that state legislatures are modifying their motor vehicle laws to consistently and correctly apply the new federal requirements. Particularly, ARA’s efforts have resulted in helping to ensure that state legislatures pass legislation that correctly reflects the new federal regulation. By doing so, ARA is protecting automotive recyclers from added liability by making sure that vehicles manufactured in 2010 or earlier continue to remain exempted and that they are not retroactively subject to odometer disclosure requirements.


Caterpillar, Inc. – Building Construction Products Division

Crossroads Auto Recycling

Elite Auto Parts Co

Hemminger Auto and Truck Parts

Holly Oak Towing & Service Center, Inc.

Papio Valley Auto Parts

Pieces d’autos Fernand Bégin

The Toolbox®: A New Beginning: The Legacy Continues

I want to talk about Mike French, Harmony, and their magazine, the Toolbox®. I remember way back at my previous employer, getting my first copy of this magazine. The content and the articles have always been interesting, and as time went on, the content became better and better.

The nice thing about this magazine is that it was sent to all auto recyclers, and the content was targeted mostly to the “average Joe” recycler. I was so impressed with this magazine that I started writing articles for it several years ago, and I would get calls or comments from other recyclers on them – most of whom I was not familiar. This made me want to contribute more, and I also became an advertiser.

This magazine always impressed me, and with every issue I found something of interest that I could use and apply to my business. This was a great forum. I think they did a great job with this. I wonder how much they profited from it? If I had to guess, I would say probably not much.

I think Mike did it, not for the money, but for the passion that he had for this industry and all of us recyclers.

So, it was a sad day when I got a call from Mike saying that he made the hard decision to retire. He wanted to pursue other interests and one of his passions is in the ministry. I told him that I am sad to see him go, but I understand and respect his decision.

Then, he gave me some good news, that he was donating the Toolbox® to ARA.

We have some big shoes to fill, for sure. I only hope that we can come close to doing the great job that he has done over the past 40+ years in the industry and 13 years publishing the magazine. Our intent is to continue his legacy and make this publication available to all auto recyclers. Hopefully, we can continue to provide all auto recyclers, ARA or state affiliate members or not, with good, practical, and helpful information that they can use and apply in their business, as always.

To Mike and Harmony, thank you for all that you have done for this industry. Your great work has made a difference. I wish you folks well. I’m sure you are proud of what you have done for the industry. I know I am. We will do our best to continue your work and honor your legacy.

At ARA, we represent the concerns and interests of all auto recyclers, members or not. Now we have another tool at our use, sorry …I mean Toolbox!

Stay tuned for more information from the ARA on when to expect the next edition. 

– Marty Hollingshead

ARA Honorary Lifetime Member Mike French, Mike French & Company, Inc. Retires; Donates Legacy Publications to the ARA

Auto Recycler’s Toolbox Magazine® and Virtual Auto Recycler Trade Show™ Now Part of ARA Publishing Program

AARA is honored to announce that longtime industry supporter and ARA Honorary Lifetime Member Mike French, who is also a longtime contributor to Automotive Recycling magazine, has generously donated the Auto Recycler’s Toolbox Magazine® and the Virtual Auto Recycler Trade Show™ to ARA. French will be retiring effective February 28, 2021 and announced the donation of his popular industry magazine and online trade show platform in a press release this week. 

“Mike and his family have been strong supporters of ARA and this industry for as long as I can remember,” said ARA Executive Director, Sandy Blalock. “Our leadership and staff is humbled that Mike would choose to transfer the Auto Recycler’s Toolbox®, the online Virtual Auto Recycler Trade Show™ and accompanying website over to ARA. We are committed to preserving the integrity of these communication platforms as we integrate them with the Association’s overarching communications strategy to support automotive recycling businesses, including services and suppliers to the industry, as well as promoting the use of Recycled Original Equipment® auto parts.”

MF&CO has operated since 1982 and launched Auto Recycler’s Toolbox® in 2007 as “The Auto Recycler’s Trade Show in Print®,” which served as a cornerstone of MF&CO. French felt compelled to help auto recyclers who were disconnected from others with quality information to help them succeed. The publication quickly grew as a widely-read nationwide publication with the aim to deliver all the aspects of a trade show experience to those that are unable to attend in-person industry events. MF&CO then launched the Virtual Auto Recycler Trade Show™ in 2020, to offer more tradeshow-like experiences, such as video presentations, demos, and more.

“ARA’s current publishing program serves as exclusive ARA member benefits,” says Caryn Smith, CEO of Driven By Design LLC, who has supported ARA’s publishing and communications efforts for over 20 years. “We are especially excited to assist ARA to publish the Toolbox® and associated websites that reach beyond the current ARA membership audience. With the support of loyal Toolbox® writers and industry suppliers, we want to continue to offer all automotive recyclers and suppliers on the mailing list with quality information that will help them thrive. Those to love the Toolbox® will continue to enjoy it as a quality industry resource.” 

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