There has been a new consumer alert released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for all drivers. This alert was released on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, and is regarding the use of counterfeit air bags in crash repairs. If one of these fake air bags is installed in a vehicle it could cause serious injury or death.
After an investigation, the NHTSA has been informed of a new problem with vehicle crash repairs. According to the information gathered there is a current scam in which people are selling counterfeit replacement air bags to repair shops. These fake parts look identical to the actual certified original parts that dealerships are receiving. However, if a driver is involved in a crash, the bag may cause more harm than good. These counterfeit airbags react in a variety of harmful ways, from simply not deploying to deploying with metal shrapnel. The bogus equipment parts have all the same visible signs as its certified counterparts—they have the insignia and auto manufacturer logos, in the same color and size. It is very difficult to identify the counterfeit airbags from the real ones.
Initial information suggests there have not been any reported injuries or deaths from the faulty parts. However, the NHTSA is unsure how many of these air bags have been installed and therefore injury or death is still a possibility in the future.
There has been a call center set up for people to get more information. Auto manufacturers are also setting up places for people to come have their vehicles checked for the fake parts and repaired if necessary. However, this is at the owner’s expense.
The vehicles possibly affected by this alert are any car or truck repaired in the past three years at a repair shop that was not affiliated with a dealership. They believe there are only a very small percentage of drivers at risk, but the information is still new and that could change.
If you find yourself injured by a faulty air bag and need legal assistance, we can help. Attorneys at Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas have many years of experience with Virginia auto accidents and injuries. They are looking forward to speaking with you today.