Airbag recalls often happen due to manufacturer defect or error, but NHTSA has now been warning consumers about defective airbags sold on second hand markets – such as those found on eBay. Unfortunately there are individuals peddling these known-to-be-defective air bag models without any concern for the safety of those who purchase them.
The majority of the defective air bags started to flood the market after the Takata recall occurred. When manufacturers issued their recalls due to defective airbags, shoppers started looking online for replacements instead of taking their vehicle into the dealership for a replacement. NHTSA warns that anyone purchasing a replacement online should be wary, and instead should take their vehicle to a dealership rather than trust online second hand stores.
Consumers should never risk purchasing a replacement from anyone except an authorized dealer. Replacing an airbag requires technical expertise and it must be completed by a trained individual – not a car owner. The Takata recall is one of the largest in the United States history – averaging a total of 23 million vehicles that needed to have their airbags replaced, but only a quarter of those affected vehicles have had the replacement actually done. Already seven fatalities have been confirmed due to the defective airbags in the United States and overseas.
Unfortunately there is a black market for just about every product a consumer can buy – including airbags. Law enforcement agencies throughout the country have been reporting underground networks that are selling inflators – including defective Takata versions – and putting them up at a high price.
Takata recalls do not cost consumers any money -but for some reason consumers are under the assumption that they will have to pay to have their defective airbags repaired. NHTSA has been informing consumers over the past few weeks and encouraging them to visit their local dealer rather than purchase secondhand airbags for their vehicles.
In addition to the fake airbags being sold on eBay, there are some companies out there offering free repairs on Takata airbags – but instead of replacing the airbag with a genuine replacement, they have been using cans, paper and even plastic bags. They stuff the airbag compartments with these materials. There have already been several cases where victims have died or been seriously injured in accidents because the company that claimed to replace the airbag cut it out and replaced it with fakes or nothing at all – and then used fake dashboard covers to cover up their work.
Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no obligation case evaluation. Call us or contact us online to get started.