The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a consumer safety advisory to warn about counterfeit airbags. The NHTSA said that these forgeries are almost the same as the original airbags but when tested, these will consistently malfunction, leading to the non-deployment or the expulsion of metal shrapnel.
The NHTSA said that it has yet to determine the full scope and scale of the problem but it hasn’t received reports yet of deaths or injuries linked to counterfeit airbags. It’s estimated that the issue covers less than 0.1% of all vehicles in the U.S. The agency said that car owners should call their manufacturer or get their car inspected if they’ve been in a crash within the past three years and its airbags were replaced by a repair shop instead of a new car dealership.
The owner would have to spend for the inspection and replacement airbag, if necessary. The NHTSA, together with other government agencies, has been working to put a stop to the sale and installation of counterfeit airbags in the U.S.
The NHTSA has also been cooperating with automakers to study how to verify the authenticity of replacement parts. From now on, the agency will be closely monitoring consumer complaints, police accident reports, and other sources. The complete list of automaker call centers and further information have been released. There’s also a list of vehicle makes and models that counterfeit airbags may be used on.