In addition to converting its entire light-duty vehicle lineup to all-electric powertrains by 2035, GM is also aiming to enhance the company’s sustainability through waste reduction. To that end, General Motors has launched a headlamp remanufacturing program that has already successfully prevented the equivalent of 100 truckloads of parts from ending up in landfills. The program was established in collaboration with Llink Technologies.
General Motors states that in a vehicle collision, the headlamp is one of the most commonly damaged components, with bumpers being the most commonly damaged. The automaker states that while many components in a headlamp can be salvaged, insurance company preferences on claims often dictate that the entire headlamp assembly is replaced, usually with a less-expensive aftermarket part. This results in many usable parts ending up in landfills.
“In 2017, a cross-functional team from GM – including Customer Care and Aftersales, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, and Product Engineering – identified this as an opportunity and began developing a headlamp remanufacturing process with supplier Llink Technologies,” the automaker says.
The headlamp remanufacturing program officially launched in 2021 for units of the 2016- through 2019-model-year Chevy Silverado, and is expected to expand to select units of the 2018- through 2020-model-year Chevy Equinox sometime in the future.
The team behind the program initially aimed to reuse 25 percent of components, but ended up exceeding that goal, with remanufactured cores eliminating as much as 95 percent of headlamp waste from reaching landfills. Additionally, it’s estimated that remanufacturing consumes up to 80 percent less energy than the comparable aftermarket manufacturing process.
The headlamp remanufacturing process includes replacement of the headlamp housing and lens, as well as reuse of internal components, including integrated circuit chips, materials, and fans. General Motors says that each assembly is tested in order to ensure OEM standards, and each component includes a two-year GM Parts warranty. In addition, the automaker states that the remanufactured component is cost competitive with aftermarket alternatives.
The program has remanufactured more than 13,000 headlamps since 2021.