Oct. 10, 2012
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a warning earlier today that tens of thousands of American automobiles may be affected by counterfeit airbags. A story from The Denver Post stated any vehicle that has had its airbags replaced in the past three years at a facility other than an authorized dealership is potentially at risk.
The warning comes after federal law enforcement seized approximately 1,600 units of the defective products in North Carolina last month. The bust relied upon information received following the arrest of a Chinese citizen last year who was distributing Chinese-manufactured, counterfeit airbags in the United States.
The man’s company, Guangzhou Auto Parts, would buy genuine airbags, then break them down and use the parts to create molds for counterfeit airbags to be manufactured. The company would buy trademarked emblems for the counterfeit parts from Chinese manufacturing plants affiliated with automakers like Honda, Toyota, and Audi. The fake airbags were sold well below the market value.
The airbags have caused serious injury to motorists involved in an auto accident, with one victim claiming the defective product shot shards of metal shrapnel in their direction. Experts believe that in most cases, the bags will simply fail to inflate.
The Denver Personal Injury Lawyers with McDivitt Law Firm would encourage all motorists with a vehicle that has had its airbags replaced to visit the NHTSA website to check if your particular make and model could potentially have a faulty unit.