Feds caution against counterfeit airbags being installed as replacements
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Car owners who have had a replacement airbag installed in their cars and auto shops are being warned by federal officials Wednesday that the new airbag could be a harmful fake.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation administrators, the dangers from counterfeit airbags include failure to deploy or partial deployment, might cause fire, and could even explode as revealed in the tests.
The worrying trend over counterfeit airbags increased last month after officials tested ten fake airbags confiscated as part of a criminal investigation and all 10 failed.
John Morton, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which seized 2,500 fakes in 2012 stated that what looks like authentic airbags are in fact shoddy fakes which don’t work.
Morton added that you don’t want them in your car because they are not going to save you in an accident being a fraud and a danger from start to finish.
Although no known injuries or deaths due to fake airbags have been reported, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believe that counterfeits would endanger motorists and passengers if they stay undiscovered.
It was reported that only an estimated 0.1% of cars have fake airbags.
Officials said that those counterfeit airbags were manufactured overseas and found in more than 75 different makes and models of both domestic and internationally made cars, which mean thousands of car owners could be affected.
ICE recently arrested and convicted a Chinese counterfeiter who was found with nine different brands of airbags and other brokers are also being investigated.
Motorists dubious about their airbags should contact call centers established by car manufacturers to have their vehicles inspected or go to www.SaferCar.gov .
Consumers will have to pay the cost of inspections, according to government and industry authorities.