Auto Service World
News   May 1, 2020   by Allan Janssen

MACS petitions for cabin cleaning guidelines

The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide says technicians need some guidance from a health authority regarding sanitizing vehicles.

MACS has called on the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Center for Disease Control, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to develop uniform standards for sanitizing the cabins of vehicles.

According to a letter sent to those agencies, there are some 763,700 auto service technicians at 166,000 different automotive service facilities throughout the U.S. at risk of catching the virus in a customer’s car.

“Each vehicle cabin is a small, self-contained, climate-controlled environment, which restricts movement, requires close contact of occupants, and repeated touching of interior surfaces,” the letter says. “Air conditioning panel outlets are close to occupants’ faces, directing air at the occupant’s face, mouth and nose. The instrument panel surface can become contaminated by [the] breathing [or] coughing of front seat occupants.”

Given the risk, MACS says guidelines are needed for cleaning and disinfecting vehicles – for protection of both the consumer and service facilities. Without guidelines, cleaning misinformation and unverified product claims will thrive and the health of vehicle owners and service technicians may be adversely affected.

“Service technicians need guidelines for pre-cleaning vehicles prior to service to protect themselves from transmittable diseases and harmful bacteria,” the letter states. “They also need guidelines for dealing with challenges like servicing cabin air filters, evaporators, and system airflow components, which may become contaminated with virus.”

MACS made its request for guidelines to be provided “as soon as possible” on behalf of the motoring public and service industry,

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2 Comments » for MACS petitions for cabin cleaning guidelines
  1. Daren Hodgson says:

    I fully support MACS initiative for proper procedures to clean and disinfect vehicle interiors to ensure everyone’s safety.
    Currently there is limited to no information regarding proper cleaning methods.
    My opinion is a sort of fogging device like they use in ambulances and hospital rooms but are cost prohibitive ( units and disinfecting solution)
    Or a heating unit which could safely raise the temperature to a level high enough to kill the virus without melting everything.( Like what’s done for bedbugs..)
    Unfortunately fogging presents problems with potentionally damaging electronics because we’ve already seen situations like this before after cars were improperly detailed/ cleaned causing all sorts of problems.
    The only way we found to remedy this was to let the car run outside all day with the heat on max to dry it out.
    We’ve been closed since March 13 and still have no plans to reopen until we can be assured of a safe way to progress and ensure everyone’s health and safety.
    – And not by what the government says is OK.

  2. I agree with the need for accurate information about how to be safe regarding cabin interiors, but strongly disagree with MACS choice of experts. Previous commentor shared a similar concern when stating , not by what the government says is ok. Why don’t some of our industry organizations do some research of commercially available methods and products or call on shops who are already performing fogging type of sanitizing with success.

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