13 On Your Side: Airbag warning
We have an important safety alert for you. Federal officials say tens of thousands of car owners are driving around with dangerous, fake air bags. If you replaced an airbag in your car in the past three years, you could need to get it checked.
News 13's Jon Chrisos is On Your Side to help you find out if you're at risk.
The national highway traffic safety administration is using this video to show what can happen when a fake airbag is deployed in a crash. They tested ten fake airbags seized as part of a criminal investigation, and all 10 failed.
These seemingly genuine airbags are, in fact, shoddy fakes that pose a significant safety hazard when installed. These airbags don't work. Problems ranged from bags that didn't deploy to bags that exploded, showering the crash test dummy with metal shrapnel.
They aren't going to save you in an accident. They are a fraud and danger from start to finish and you don't want them in your car, period. The airbags are illegally manufactured in foreign factories under false trademarks and shipped to brokers in the United States. Then, they're often sold on ebay or craigslist.
So how do you know if you could have one? You could be at risk if you had airbags replaced within the last three years at a repair shop that is not part of a new car dealership. If you bought a used car without knowing its full history, or if you bought a "salvaged" or rebuilt car. Airbags purchased over the internet may also be unsafe.
Safety officials say it's impossible to know how many fake airbags are out there. If you think you could have a counterfeit airbag, you should visit safercar.gov for more information.
If you've had your airbag replaced at a new car dealership, you don't have anything to worry about.
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