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NHTSA Warns of Injuries from Counterfeit Airbags
The federal administration is drawing attention to a potentially serious problem affecting many vehicles that have been repaired following a crash. Some of these vehicles may have been fitted with counterfeit or fake airbags that may not only fail to protect occupants in the event of an accident, but could also actually injure them.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a safety advisory alert that warns vehicle owners of the danger of injuries from counterfeit airbags. The agency says that these counterfeit airbags have been installed in many vehicles that have been involved in accidents.
The airbags look very identical to original airbags that are manufactured by reputed companies. They come with the insignia of the manufacturer, and look extremely similar to the branded airbags that are installed in major automobiles. However, upon testing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that many of these airbags consistently malfunctioned. In some cases, the airbags failed to deploy at all upon impact. In other cases, small pieces of metal shrapnel were expelled from the airbag during deployment.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has confirmed that there have been no reports of any deaths or injuries associated with the deployment of these counterfeit airbags. It is also not clear to product liability lawyers how many cars or airbags are affected by the problem. However, the agency had managed to identify certain models of automobiles that may have been fitted with the fake airbags. Overall, the airbags have been installed in less than 0.1% of the total number of cars in the United States.
If you are a car owner, whose car has been involved in an accident recently and was placed for repairs in a repair shop, then your vehicle may be one of the .1% of the vehicle fleet that is affected by this problem. If your vehicle was in a crash and the airbags were replaced with new airbags at a repair shop over the past 3 years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises you to get in touch with the call center of the manufacturer of your automobile.
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