Issues Dealer Guidance on Counterfeit Air Bags
Today the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a consumer advisory on counterfeit air bags. Federal investigators have determined that thousands of counterfeit bags have been bought and installed in U.S. motor vehicles over the past three years. NHTSA also has determined that, in the event of a frontal collision, these counterfeit bags are unlikely to deploy properly or may deploy in a manner that can harm vehicle occupants.
All told, vehicles with counterfeit air bags installed are believed to constitute less than .1% of the total in-use fleet. Nonetheless, dealers should be prepared to respond to inquiries from the public on this matter. NHTSA is urging concerned owners to start by visiting http://www.safercar.gov/Air+Bags to determine if they are at risk. In addition to the NADA guidance noted above, dealers should expect to receive communications directly from the OEMs they represent, addressing how to detect and manage counterfeit air bags. Note: unlike for a safety recall campaign, customers should expect to pay to have their air bags diagnosed and, if necessary, replaced.