Counterfeit airbags putting Tennessee drivers at risk

Counterfeit airbags putting Tennessee drivers at risk
Counterfeit airbags putting Tennessee drivers at risk
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 10:51 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The airbags in your car are the sort of things you don’t really think about…until you need them.

WSMV4 Investigates discovered they could be hidden threat to your safety that federal officials are working hard to stop.

Car accidents can happen at any moment and if your airbag fails to work, it could be devastating.

“That could be absolutely catastrophic,” said Neal Hargrove who owns Hargrove Auto Body in Nashville.

Customs and Border Protection officers in Tennessee said they are working hard to prevent such a tragedy by confiscating counterfeit airbags coming through the airports.

“That’s what really motivates them to go after and find these threats because they see the reports of injuries and accidents with airbags reported that didn’t deploy,” said CBP Officer Benjamin Canfield

Officials said people are buying the airbags online and trying to get a deal, while putting lives at risk.

“If you encounter a deal that’s too good to be true, there’s a reason for it. They’re not the high quality you expect. They’re not installed correctly, and they don’t communicate appropriately with your vehicles,” said Canfield.

Hargrove says a reputable shop should be able to test your airbag to ensure it works correctly.

“You don’t want to be in an accident and then figure out, oh my airbag didn’t open up because then it might be too late,” Hargrove warns.

Ultimately, purchasing an airbag through a trusted source could make the difference on whether it saves your life.

“I want to make sure that a family or person is safe in their vehicle,” said Hargrove.

A replacement airbag can cost between $400 and $1,500 from a reputable company.

If you do find out your airbag is fake, law enforcement needs to know, so make sure to report it. Click here for more information on who to report it to and what steps to take.

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