NHTSA Shares Tips to Avoid Low-Quality and Unsafe Airbag Inflators

Airbag Safety Concerns: The Hidden Danger of Counterfeit Airbag Replacements

The Takata airbag recall, which began almost a decade ago, has left a lasting impact on the automotive industry. With 30 deaths worldwide and numerous injuries, the dangers of faulty airbags have never been more apparent. However, the issue of airbag safety has taken a new turn as concerns arise about the quality of replacement airbags being installed in vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a warning about substandard replacement airbags, linking them to three deaths and three life-altering injuries. These replacement airbags are suspected to be counterfeit products from foreign companies, sold at prices far below genuine equipment and installed by unauthorized repair shops or dealerships.

The Rise of Defective Replacement Airbags

According to a report by Autoblog, the ongoing push for replacement airbags following the Takata recall has raised fears about the influx of counterfeit products into American vehicles. The fear is that unsuspecting consumers may end up with replacement airbags that are just as deadly as the ones they are replacing. The NHTSA has issued guidelines to help consumers avoid purchasing defective replacement airbags, emphasizing the importance of research and caution when it comes to airbag replacements.

Guidelines for Avoiding Defective Replacement Airbags

1. Research the history of used vehicles: Before purchasing a used vehicle, check its history report to see if there are any records of collisions where an airbag deployed. If the airbag has been replaced, make sure to obtain a receipt from a reputable shop to verify the authenticity of the replacement.

2. Have a potential purchase inspected: Prior to buying a used car, have it inspected by a qualified mechanic who can assess the condition of the airbag and ensure that it is safe and genuine.

3. Choose reputable repair shops or dealers: When getting your airbag replaced, only visit well-known, independent shops or dealers that have access to official or OEM-approved parts. This can help you avoid the risk of counterfeit products being installed in your vehicle.

4. Beware of overseas products: Be cautious when buying airbag parts manufactured overseas, especially if they are sold at a discounted price. If a deal seems too good to be true, it likely is, and the product may not meet safety standards.

5. Communicate with your repair shop: When getting your airbag replaced, have a conversation with your repair shop about the brand and sourcing of the replacement parts. Ensure that the components being installed are approved by your vehicle’s original manufacturer to guarantee their safety and quality.


The dangers posed by counterfeit replacement airbags highlight the importance of being vigilant and informed when it comes to airbag safety. By following the guidelines provided by the NHTSA and taking steps to verify the authenticity of replacement airbags, consumers can reduce the risk of falling victim to counterfeit products and protect themselves from potential harm. Prioritizing safety and quality when it comes to airbag replacements is essential to prevent tragic accidents and ensure the well-being of all passengers on the road.

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