Michigan auto owners who have their cars repaired after a wreck should make sure only certified, original air bags are installed as replacement parts.
Some body shops are using counterfeit – and dangerous – air bags instead of the real thing.
The problem has become so widespread the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a consumer safety advisory on the subject.
The counterfeit air bags look nearly identical to certified, original equipment parts—including bearing the insignia and branding of major automakers. But NHTSA testing shows malfunction risks ranging from non-deployment of the air bag to expulsion of metal shrapnel during inflation.
You might be at risk if:
- You had your air bags replaced within the past three years at a repair shop that is not affiliated with a new car dealership.
- You purchased a used car in which the air bag might have deployed before you bought it.
- You own a car that was salvaged, rebuilt, or reconstructed.
- You purchased replacement air bags from eBay or other non-certified sources—especially if they were purchased at unusually low prices (i.e. less than $400).
If you purchased your vehicle new and have not had the air bags replaced, you are likely not at risk.
The NHTSA is warning of counterfeit air bags for the following vehicle makes: Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo.
The full list of vehicle makes and models that are possibly affected can be viewed here.
If you think your car might be at risk for a counterfeit air bag, contact your local dealer or manufacturer’s call center to schedule an inspection. A list of call centers is available here.
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The Michigan Injury Lawyers represent clients throughout Michigan, including residents of Macomb County, Oakland County, Warren, Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, St. Clair Shores, Mount Clemens, Utica, Roseville, Troy, Farmington Hills, Waterford, Southfield, Pontiac, Birmingham, Rochester Hills, West Bloomfield and Bloomfield Hills.
- SaferCar.gov www.SaferCar.gov
- National Traffic Highway Safety Administration Press Release http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/2012/Safety+Advisory:+NHTSA+Alerting+Consumers+to+Dangers+of+Counterfeit+Air+Bags
- Counterfeit Air Bag FAQs http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Shoppers/Air+Bags/Counterfeit+Air+Bags+FAQ