Counterfeit car air bags hit U.S. market
Counterfeit automobile air bags that don’t perform as well as the vehicle’s original equipment have been imported and installed in some US cars and trucks, federal officials warned Wednesday. The automotive industry cautioned that drivers who have had their factory-installed air bags replaced should contact the shop, or dealer that did the install to determine whether the new bags are counterfeit. “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,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who added that a list of call centers and additional information is at www.safercar.gov – The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, an industry trade group, said that drivers who have purchased an air bag online or through auction sites should promptly determine whether the equipment is counterfeit. NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said his agency has been working with a number of other government agencies — include ICE, Customs and Border Protection, and the Justice Department’s intellectual property rights division — to prevent counterfeit air bags from being sold and installed.
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