NADA: Dealer Guidelines on Counterfeit Air Bags

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Fed­eral inves­ti­ga­tors have deter­mined that thou­sands of coun­ter­feit bags have been bought and installed in U.S. motor vehi­cles over the past three years.

NADA issues guide­lines for deal­ers to follow.

Be sure to read the entire arti­cle – NADA guide­lines include:

  1. Sin­gle owner vehi­cles where no air bag has ever been replaced are not a con­cern.  Vehi­cle air bags replaced with gen­uine OEM replace­ment parts at a fran­chised deal­er­ship ser­vice depart­ment or body shop also are not a concern.Single owner vehi­cles where an air bag was replaced at an inde­pen­dent repair facil­ity could have a coun­ter­feit air bag.  The repair facil­ity, insur­ance com­pany (if one was involved), vehi­cle OEM, and/or air bag sup­plier may be able to help deter­mine if an installed part is a gen­uine OEM replace­ment.  Vehi­cle own­ers also may know whether a gen­uine OEM replace­ment part was not used, whether a replace­ment bag was bought from an inter­net sales or on-line auc­tion com­pany, or whether they paid “below mar­ket” price, indi­ca­tors that a bag could be counterfeit.The air bag replace­ment his­tory of vehi­cles pur­chased used can be hard to deter­mine. A com­mer­cial vehi­cle his­tory report may indi­cate if a vehi­cle was involved in a crash involv­ing an air bag deploy­ment, how­ever such reports can­not be fully relied upon and typ­i­cally do not show if a non-crash air bag replace­ment has occurred.  It is also pos­si­ble for installed air bags to exhibit cer­tain out­ward phys­i­cal signs sug­gest­ing that the mod­ule may be coun­ter­feit. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion on such indi­ca­tors, see NHTSA’s Guid­ance on Man­ag­ing Coun­ter­feit Bags.

Direct [inquiries by con­sumers] to NHTSA’s con­sumer web­site www.safercar.gov/Air+Bags to obtain the pri­mary point-of-contact for the vehi­cle make and model.

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