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Counterfeit Airbags Pose Hidden Danger in Georgia Car Accidents

November 29, 2012

Airbags provide a vital supplement to seatbelts when drivers and passengers are involved in a collision at moderate to high rates of speed. An increasing number of vehicle manufacturers are marketing their vehicles based on safety features including improved airbag systems.

Unfortunately, vehicle owners who have recently had their airbags replaced may fall victim to counterfeit airbags that do not function properly or fail to deploy in an auto collision. Industry manufacturers have informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that tens of thousands of vehicles are equipped with counterfeit airbags.

These counterfeit airbags have malfunctioned in a variety of ways according to the NHTSA, including the following:

  • Failing to inflate
  • Inflating improperly
  • Firing shards of shrapnel upon impact

While the NHTSA has indicated that it is not yet aware of any injuries or fatalities attributable to the counterfeit airbags, the investigation is ongoing. The NHTSA has also pointed out that the airbags look so similar to those installed by the manufacturer that law enforcement officers may not be able to distinguish the fake airbags at the scene of car accidents.

The federal agency has published a list of vehicles that may be equipped with counterfeit airbags and recommends that owners of such vehicles have their airbags checked if they have had them replaced during the last three (3) years unless the work was done at a new car dealership.

“We expect all motor vehicle equipment to meet federal safety standards — and air bags in particular play a central role in keeping drivers and passengers safe in the event of a crash,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “That’s why it’s critical that vehicle owners work with their automotive dealers and repair professionals to ensure they use the appropriate, original equipment parts in the event they need to replace their air bag.”

The federal traffic safety agency has also provided a list of vehicles that may potentially be at-risk, which includes:

  • Vehicles with salvage titles
  • Vehicles that have had their airbag replaced at repair shops that are not part of a new dealership within the preceding 3 years
  • Used cars that previously have been in an accident where an airbag deployed
  • Cars with replacement airbags obtained on e-Bay or from other resellers at substantial discounts (under $400)

When drivers ignore traffic safety laws or fail to concentrate on their driving, they may cause vehicle ejection accidents, rollover accidents, head-on collisions, road departure accidents or many other types of dangerous collisions. When airbags fail to deploy properly, vehicle occupants are exposed to a greater risk of suffering severe injury or wrongful death.

Our Atlanta motor vehicle accident attorneys are available to represent clients injured in collisions throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.

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