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 to obtain the primary point-of-contact for the vehicle make and model.