Some startling news is out today that if you've had your airbag replaced in the last three years and if the work was not performed by a car dealer, the airbag may be a counterfeit. Various new outlets are reporting about this issue which could have serious consequences in a car accident. Of course, if you have replaced your air bag in the past three years, please take it to your dealer to get checked out.
Apparently the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a safety alert today warning of the dangers posed by the fake airbags. From the NHTSA safety alert:
"While these air bags look nearly identical to certified, original equipment parts-including bearing the insignia and branding of major automakers -NHTSA testing showed consistent malfunctioning ranging from non-deployment of the air bag to the expulsion of metal shrapnel during deployment. NHTSA is not aware of any deaths or injuries connected to counterfeit air bags."
Apparently the counterfeit airbags were obtained through an elaborate scheme using a source in China. Only a very small number of vehicles are affected; however, please get your car checked out if your car's airbag was replaced in the last three years. This is a growing concern in a globalized economy where sufficient safety standards and testing are not enforced in other countries that manufacture products for sale in the United States. Here's a list of cars that may be affected.