Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) October 12, 2012
Counterfeit auto parts are a massive problem in the United States, particularly safety features designed to save lives in crashes, according to a public warning issued by the Obama Administration this week, reports NBC News*. The statement estimates that counterfeit airbags could be installed in tens of thousands of vehicles currently operating across the nation’s roadways. Vehicles at risk for having fake replacement parts installed in them are those that have been involved in serious accidents and have had their factory-installed airbags replaced since 2009, according to the Washington Post**. Philadelphia car accident attorney Richard P. Console Jr. sees the potential for enormous harm if vehicles with fake airbags get into additional accidents.
“Airbags protect people by reducing head trauma in crashes,” said Console. “Motorists could be driving around right now with fake airbags and not even know it. Intercepting shipments of counterfeit parts is absolutely essential to protect drivers as well as passengers in this country. Failing to do so could have deadly consequences.”
Vendors selling counterfeit airbags have charged repair shops as little as $50 for fake airbags, whereas dealer prices can range up to $1,000 per replacement, according to NBC News*. Tests performed on 11 counterfeit bags revealed many failed to inflate in accident conditions, while others inflated improperly for the crash situation. Several tested airbags even spewed shrapnel (sharp fragments of metal or plastic) as they inflated, writes NBC News*. Console and his team of Bethlehem car accident lawyers realize the larger issue is finding the models installed with counterfeit components before drivers have need of their safety features again.
“The federal government’s list of affected models spans several years,” commented Console. “The trouble is finding the affected vehicles out of a list that could include hundreds of thousands of cars, trucks or SUVs. Being in one accident is bad enough without having a second crash with fake safety features. There are real lives at stake.”
The federal government’s warning doesn’t involve damaged vehicles repaired through a certified new car dealership or repairs conducted with factory components. Private auto repair shops purchasing replacement components over the Internet, particularly from China, are at highest risk to receive fake parts, states the Washington Post**. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes the counterfeit airbag problem pertains to 0.1 percent of the entire U.S. fleet, which translates to about 23,980,000 vehicles on the road every day.
Car owners wishing to verify their replacement airbags are legitimate should visit a certified auto dealer to examine the components. The list of “at-risk” models ranges widely from the 2004 Kia Spectra to the 2012 BMW X3. For a comprehensive list of all models potentially installed with counterfeit airbags, visit the NBC News website.
Since 1994, the Reading car accident attorneys at Console & Hollawell P.C. have represented more than 5,000 motor vehicle collision victims across Pennsylvania. The firm’s tireless efforts have earned them a 97 percent success rate and allowed them to obtain more than $30 million in compensation for their clients.