Counterfeit air bag safety alert - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Counterfeit air bag safety alert

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MYFOXNY.COM -

Thousands of cars on the roads in the United States may be fitted with counterfeit airbags, putting motorists at extreme risk of injury or death in the event of an accident, according to federal officials.

U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted is urging owners of cars that may be at risk to replace their airbags, which could cost hundreds of dollars or more.

NHTSA became aware of counterfeit airbags being used as replacement parts in vehicles that have been involved in a crash.

"While these air bags look nearly identical to certified, original equipment parts -- including bearing the insignia and branding of major automakers -- NHTSA testing showed consistent malfunctioning ranging from non-deployment of the air bag to the expulsion of metal shrapnel during deployment," the agency said in a statement.

Most at risk are car owners whose vehicles have been in a crash and had their air bags replaced by a repair shop that is not part of a new car dealership within the past three years or who have purchased a replacement air bag online, NHTSA said.

If your car firs those criteria, you should contact your auto manufacturer's call center to have your car inspected and have the air bags replaced, if necessary, at your own expense.

See more information HERE.

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