Replacement airbags may be counterfeit, 'extreme safety risk'
WASHINGTON — Thousands of motorists may be driving cars and trucks installed with dangerous counterfeit airbags and they should have them replaced at their own expense, the Obama administration warned Wednesday.
Most at risk are motorists who have had airbags replaced in the past three years by a repair shop other than a new car dealership, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration officials said.
Auto industry officials briefed by the agency said they were told that tens of thousands of car owners may be driving vehicles with counterfeit airbags.
In government tests last month of 11 counterfeit bags, 10 didn't inflate or failed to inflate properly. In one test, a counterfeit bag shot flames and shards of metal shrapnel at a crash dummy instead of inflating, said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.
“It is an extreme safety risk,” he said.
NHTSA is asking car owners to check a government website, http://www.Safercar.gov, for information on how to contact auto manufacturer call centers to learn whether their vehicle is among the 0.1 percent of the nation's car fleet for which counterfeit airbags are known to have been made.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Burnett’s stellar start paves way for Pirates’ victory over Diamondbacks
- Rossi: Penguins’ best bet is on Martin
- Spirit Airlines lifts fortunes of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
- Rossi: Rutherford falling apart, too
- Penguins president: General manager, coach won’t be fired
- Elites, media & character
- It’s business, but not as usual in Pittsburgh
- From injuries to front office, Penguins’ season didn’t lack drama
- High risk, reward with 1st-round quarterbacks in NFL Draft
- Experts: If health insurers’ safeguard goes broke, consumers could pay
- Hip science: Rock-star physicists make tough concepts easier to understand