Counterfeit air bags could malfunction, explode, regulators warn
Federal safety regulators are warning that counterfeit air bags are being installed by auto repair shops that might not deploy in an accident or alternately, could explode, sending metal shrapnel into the vehicle's passenger cabin.
“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.
The fake air bags look nearly identical to certified, original-equipment parts, right down to bearing the insignia and branding of major automakers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The problem affects almost every major auto brand.