Drivers nationwide should be on alert regarding the dangers of counterfeit airbags, according to a safety advisory that was issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These airbags are being installed to replace ones that have deployed in crashes.
Auto repair workers may not even be aware of the fact that these airbags are counterfeit because they look similar to the original. However, NHTSA performed tests that revealed various problems. They include failure to deploy and metal shrapnel discharging when it does deploy.
So far, there have been no reports of injuries or death. However, there is certainly the potential for danger because it affects airbags that were installed in the past three years by auto repair shops. New car dealerships don’t appear to be impacted.
To help car owners know if they could be at risk of suffering injuries as a result of a counterfeit airbag, the following are reasons to take further action:
- the airbag was replaced within the past three years at a repair shop not connected with a new car dealership;
- you own a used car with an airbag that may have deployed prior to purchase;
- the car has a title branded reconstruction, rebuilt or salvaged; and
- a replacement airbag was purchased from a non-certified source (such as eBay), particularly those sold at a very low price (less than $400).
If you believe that your vehicle is impacted, auto manufacturers have established call centers that you can contact. NHTSA has identified several popular models as having the potential to be outfitted with a counterfeit airbag, including Fords and Land Rovers. However, only certain makes have been identified as being at risk. So check the listing to see if your car is one of them.
Injured by a dangerous product? Contact a defective product attorney from Gacovino, Lake & Associates at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).