Federal Agency Releases Counterfeit Airbag Safety WarningTrusted Content
Legally reviewed by:Erik Abrahamson, J.D. January 12, 2013
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a safety advisory alert warning motorists that counterfeit airbags may have been installed in their vehicles if they were involved in an automotive accident within the last three years. The installation of these fake or counterfeit airbags may result in the serious injury or death of motorists or passengers if they are involved in another accident.
Although most vehicles may not be associated with this particular problem, up to .1 percent of vehicles may be affected. Product liability lawyers have not ascertained an exact number of vehicles that have this particular problem.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has identified certain models of vehicles that may have the airbags installed in them. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not received any reports of any deaths or injuries that have been linked with the failed deployment of the fake airbags.
Motorists may easily overlook the counterfeit airbags which are not readily visible in most models of vehicles. The airbags have an identical appearance to the vehicle’s original airbags. They include the car manufacturer’s insignia to further deceive motorists and passengers.
Although they look similar, they do not function in a similar fashion. When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tested the airbags, they consistently malfunctioned. Some airbags failed to deploy upon impact while other airbags had projectile metal shrapnel that shot out after the airbag deployed.
Not only can these airbags fail in protecting the passengers in a vehicle, they may cause further damage to them due to the unsafe objects that could fly out and injure individuals in the vehicle at the time of an accident.
The vehicles that are in question would have had their airbags replaced within the last three years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises motorists to contact the manufacturer of their vehicle if they believe that their vehicle may be impacted by the new problem involving counterfeit airbags.
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