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Counterfeit Air Bags Pose Danger to Motorists

Counterfeit Air Bags Pose Danger to Motorists

By Jeff Youngs, October 15, 2012

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a consumer advisory warning about the dangers of counterfeit air bags. Currently, the problem is not widespread, involving fewer than one in 1,000 vehicles on U.S. roads, but because counterfeit air bags have displayed what the NHTSA calls "consistent malfunctioning ranging from non-deployment of the air bag to the expulsion of metal shrapnel during deployment," the federal agency is asking some vehicle owners to contact special call centers set up by the affected auto manufacturers.

"Anytime equipment that is critical to protecting drivers and passengers fails to operate properly, it is a serious safety concern," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We want consumers to be immediately aware of this problem and to review our safety information to see if their vehicle could be in need of inspection."

According to the NHTSA, your vehicle may be at risk if it meets the following criteria:

  • Your vehicle has had an air bag replaced in the past 3 years
  • The replacement air bag was purchased online or by a repair shop that is not part of a new-vehicle dealership
  • The replacement air bag was installed by a repair shop that is not part of a new-vehicle dealership
  • The title papers for your vehicle identify it as salvaged, rebuilt, or reconstructed

Additionally, consumers who have purchased a used vehicle that may have sustained an air bag deployment prior to their ownership may be at risk.

The NHTSA has identified the following makes and models as at-risk models. If you own one of these models, and you believe your vehicle meets any of the criteria above, you can contact the manufacturer at the number listed below:

ACURA: 1-800-382-2238
2009-2011 Acura TSX

AUDI: 1-800-253-2834
2006-2009 Audi A3, A4, A6, A8, Q5, Q7

BMW: 1-800-831-1117
2007-2011 BMW 3 Series
2004-2011 BMW 5 Series
2011-2012 BMW X3
2007-2011 BMW X5

BUICK: 1-866-237-3601
2010-2011 Buick LaCrosse

CHEVROLET: 1-866-237-3601
2006-2010 Chevrolet Aveo
2012 Chevrolet Camaro
2011-2012 Chevrolet Cruze
2011-2012 Chevrolet Volt

FORD: 1-800-392-3673 / 1-800-232-5952 (TDD)
2012 Ford Focus
2005-2009 Ford Mustang

HONDA: 1-800-999-1009
2003-2012 Honda Accord
2006-2011 Honda Civic
2002-2011 Honda CR-V
2009-2011 Honda Crosstour
2007-2011 Honda Fit
2009-2011 Honda Insight
2011 Honda Odyssey
2009-2011 Honda Pilot

HYUNDAI: 1-800-633-5151
2007-2011 Hyundai Elantra
(Model Year Not Listed) Hyundai Genesis
(Model Year Not Listed) Hyundai Sonata

INFINITI: 1-800-662-6200
2007-2011 Infiniti G, EX

KIA: 1-800-333-4542
2010-2011 Kia Forte, Soul
2004-2009 Kia Spectra

LAND ROVER: 1-800-452-4827
2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

LEXUS: 1-800-255-3987
(Model Year Not Listed) Lexus ES
2003-2008 Lexus GX
2006-2011 Lexus IS
2007-2009 Lexus RX

MAZDA: 1-800-222-5500
2004 Mazda 3
2010-2012 Mazda 3

MERCEDES-BENZ: 1-800-367-6372
2009-2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, GLK-Class
2010-2011 Mercedes-Benz E350, E550
2009-2010 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
2006-2010 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
2007-2008 Mercedes-Benz S550

MITSUBISHI: 1-888-648-7820
(Model Year Not Listed) Mitsubishi Outlander

NISSAN: 1-800-647-7261
(Model Year Not Listed) Nissan Altima
2009-2011 Nissan Cube
2009-2010 Nissan Murano
1992-2002 Nissan Quest
2010-2011 Nissan Quest
2007-2011 Nissan Versa

SUBARU: 1-800-782-2783
2008-2009 Subaru Forester, Impreza, Outback
2010-2011 Subaru Legacy

SUZUKI: 1-800-934-0934
2007-2010 Suzuki SX4

TOYOTA: 1-800-331-4331
2004-2009 Toyota 4Runner
2002-2006 Toyota Camry
2012 Toyota Camry
2009-2011 Toyota Corolla, Matrix
2004-2011 Toyota Highlander
2003-2010 Toyota Land Cruiser
2010-2012 Toyota Prius
2005-2011 Toyota RAV4
2003-2006 Toyota Sequoia
2004-2011 Toyota Sienna
2007-2009 Toyota Solara
2004-2011 Toyota Tacoma
2006-2011 Toyota Tundra
2007-2011 Toyota Yaris

VOLKSWAGEN: 1-800-822-8987
2006-2010 Volkswagen Jetta

VOLVO: 1-800-433-8236
(Model Year Not Listed) Volvo S60, S80, V70, XC60, XC70

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