Most at risk are motorists who have had their airbags replaced over the past three years by a repair shop other than a new car dealership, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration officials said.
Only 0.1 percent of the U.S. vehicle fleet — about 250,000 cars on the road — are makes and models for which counterfeit airbags are known to be available, NHTSA said. Auto industry officials briefed by the agency said they were told that tens of thousands of car owners may be driving vehicles with counterfeit airbags.
In government tests last month of 11 counterfeit bags, 10 didn’t inflate or failed to inflate properly. In one test, a counterfeit bag shot flames and shards of metal shrapnel at a crash dummy instead of inflating, said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland, who showed a video of the test at a news conference.
“It is an extreme safety risk,” he said "
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