Dangerous, Counterfeit Airbags Making Their Way Into Repair Shops, Dealerships

June 27, 2024
With these knockoff parts often having the appearance of a genuine one, the lower cost can trick repair providers into unwittingly purchasing something less safe.

A recent report from the Wall Street Journal has revealed the rising threat of dangerous counterfeit airbags that are making their way into repair shops and dealerships, according to Kelley Blue Book.

According to the Journal’s report, people have been killed or injured by counterfeit airbags in their vehicles at least five times in the past year. The actual number may be higher as, the Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council noted, it’s an atypically large volume of accidents that happened in a relatively short time frame.

Additionally, the actual number may be hard to know as these counterfeit airbags often go unnoticed. Automakers have sent out warnings to dealerships, cautioning them on the presence of copycat auto parts in the market, marked with logos and symbols that are nearly indistinguishable from authentic brands.

These knockoff parts are typically marked down to a significantly lower price, with authentic airbag modules going for up to $1,000, while fake ones can be found for as low as $100. If it has the appearance of a genuine part, this lower cost can often trick repair providers into unwittingly purchasing something less safe.

Almost three dozen states have enacted laws against inauthentic parts, but automakers have urged for more action, such as banning the sale of airbags and any related parts on eBay. Amazon and Alibaba both currently have similar policies in place.

About the Author

Ratchet+Wrench Staff Reporters

The Ratchet+Wrench staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and mechanical repair experience.

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