NHTSA Warns of Counterfeit Airbags

Airbag
Motorists who get replacement airbags after being involved in a crash should be careful, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Today the organization issued a consumer safety warning about counterfeit airbags.

NHTSA has been investigating the sale of counterfeit airbags used as replacement parts for vehicles involved in a crash. The group's tests have found that many of these bags consistently malfunction; issues reported range from non-deployment to shrapnel being projected during deployment. "NHTSA is not aware of any deaths or injuries connected to counterfeit air bags," the agency said in a statement.

NHTSA is partnering with several government agencies, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Department of Justice, to track where they're coming from.

"Organized criminals are selling dangerous counterfeit and substandard airbags to consumers and suppliers with little to no regard to hazardous health and safety consequences. We will continue to aggressively investigate criminal supply chains with our law enforcement and private industry partners and bring these criminals to justice," Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said in a statement.

Consumers most at risk include those who have had a car repaired during the past three years at a shop not affiliated with a dealership, those who bought a used car with prior airbag deployment and consumers who bought low-cost replacement airbags from non-certified websites.

The catch is that the fakes are tough to spot. NHTSA warns that these airbags may look identical to the original ones, and they are often stamped with automakers' logos. The only way to know is by getting an inspection at a dealership, a service consumers must pay for.

The good news is that NHTSA has identified vehicles where the replacement airbags are often used, and it believes that only less than 0.1 % of cars in the U.S. are affected. The list is below.

Make

Model Year(s)

Model(s)

Acura

2009-2011

TSX

Audi

2006-2009

A3, A4, A6, A8, Q5, Q7

BMW

2007-2011

X5, E70, E60, E61

2008-2010

5-series, 528i, 535i

2004-2007

5-Series, 525i, 530, 535, E60, E61

2007-2011

E90, E91

Not listed

E92, E93

2007-2011

X5, E70

2004-2007

525i, 530, 535

2011-2012

X3

Buick

2010-2011

Lacrosse

Chevrolet

2011-2012

Cruze

2006-2010

Aveo

2011-2012

Volt

2012

Camaro

Ford

2012

Focus

2005-2009

Mustang

Honda

2003-2012

Accord

2006-2011

Civic

2002-2011

CRV

2007-2011

Fit

2009-2011

Pilot

2009-2011

Insight

2009-2011

Crosstour

2011

Odyssey

Hyundai

2007-2011

Elantra

Not listed

Genesis

Not listed

Sonata

Infiniti

2007-2011

G35, EX35

Kia

2010-2011

Soul/Forte 

2004-2009

Spectra

Land Rover

2012

Range Rover Evoque

Lexus

2006-2011

IS250, IS350, IS-F

2003-2008

GX470

2007-2009

RX350

Not listed

ES350

Mazda

2004

Mazda 3

2010-2012

Mazda 3

Mercedes

2009-2011

C, GLK

2010-2011

E350, E550

2007-2008

S550

2006-2009

ML

2009-2010

GL, ML

Mitsubishi

Not listed

Outlander

Nissan

1992-2002

Quest

2010-2011

Quest

2009-2011

Cube

2007-2011

Versa

2009-2010

Murano

Not listed

Altima

Subaru

2008-2009

Forester

 

2008-2009

Impreza

 

2008-2009

Outback

 

2010-2011

Legacy

Suzuki

2007-2010

SX4

Toyota

2002-2006

Camry

2012

Camry

2009-2011

Corolla, Matrix

2007-2011

Yaris

2004-2011

Highlander

2004-2011

Sienna

2004-2011

Tacoma

2010-2012

Prius

2003-2006

Tundra

2007-2011

Tundra

2003-2006

Sequoia

2003-2010

Land Cruiser

2004-2007

Highlander

2008-2010

Highlander

2004-2009

4Runner

2007-2009

Solara

2005-2011

RAV4

Volkswagen

2006-2010

Jetta

Volvo

Not listed

XC60, XC70

Not listed

V70, S60, S80

Related
More Safety News on Cars.com
Vehicle Recalls on Cars.com
More Automotive News on Cars.com

By Jennifer Geiger | October 10, 2012 | Comments (0)

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