Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers Warn Vehicle Owners about the Danger of Counterfeit Airbags
Air bags may be the most important vehicle safety innovation since the development of seat belts, but not all airbags are created equal. Although there has been extensive media coverage regarding defective air bag systems installed in vehicles manufactured by a number of large automakers, less coverage has been devoted to the dangers posed by counterfeit airbags. The risk posed by this form of defective vehicle safety equipment has evolved into a national problem since organized crime rings began selling counterfeit airbags to independent auto body shops. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has estimated that more than 230,000 used vehicles could be equipped with these unsafe airbags.
Counterfeit airbags can leave drivers and passengers unprotected in a collision or cause injury when none would have been suffered had the airbag not deployed. These unsafe airbags can deploy at an inappropriate time or fail to deploy at all in a serious accident. While any defective airbag might pose these types of risks, counterfeit airbags can actually explode rocketing shrapnel toward vehicle occupants at a high velocity. When one of these counterfeit airbags explodes, it can cause devastating injuries or even fatalities.
The risk of having a counterfeit airbag installed in your vehicle should not be potentially present unless you purchased your vehicle used, or your vehicle was repaired following a crash. These faulty airbags are sold by unscrupulous individuals and criminal organizations to repair shops at cut rate prices. The auto collision shops that purchase and install these counterfeit airbags often do not realize they are installing a dangerous explosive device that can bombard vehicle occupants with fire and metal shards. If your vehicle was repaired by an authorized dealership after a crash, the NHTSA has indicated that your vehicle is not at-risk.
Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has expressly addressed this safety concern, "Anytime equipment that is critical to protecting drivers and passengers fails to operate properly, it is a serious safety concern. We want consumers to be immediately aware of this problem and to review our safety information to see if their vehicle could be in need of inspection."
Atlanta defective product attorney David Montlick recommends, "Vehicle owners who have had their airbag replaced following a collision during the last five years should take their vehicle to a dealership to be inspected."
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If you or a loved one is injured or a loved one dies because of a defective airbag or a counterfeit airbag, our experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over thirty years.
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