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NHTSA Issues Warning to Consumers About Counterfeit Airbags

A consumer safety advisory has been issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which warns vehicle owners and mechanics about counterfeit airbags. According to the NHTSA, these forgeries are nearly identical to the real deal, but testing showed the units consistently malfunction, resulting in non-deployment or even expulsion of metal shrapnel.

The NHTSA says the full scope and scale of the problem is uncertain at the moment, but it is not aware of any deaths or injuries connected to counterfeit airbags. The agency believes the problem affects less than 0.1 percent of all vehicles in the U.S. If your car has been in a crash in the last three years, and had its airbags replaced by a repair shop other than a new car dealership, NHTSA urges you to contact the manufacturer to have your vehicle inspected. The inspection – and replacement airbag, if necessary – would be at the owner’s expense.

Along with a number of other government agencies, the NHTSA has been working to prevent the sale and installation of counterfeit airbags in the U.S. The agency is also working with automakers to learn how each company verifies the authenticity of replacement parts. Moving forward, the NHTSA will keep an eye on consumer complaints, police accident reports, and other sources to learn more about counterfeit parts.

A full list of automaker call centers and additional information can be found here. Below is a list of vehicle makes and models that NHTSA has identified counterfeit airbags may be available for. To see how dangerous these bootleg parts can be, check out the video at the bottom.

  • Make
  • Model Year(s)
  • Model(s)
  • Acura
  • 2009-2011
  • TSX
  • Audi
  • 2006-2009
  • A3, A4, A6, A8, Q5, Q7
  • BMW
  • 2007-2011
  • X5, E70, E60, E61
  • 2008-2010

    • 5-series, 528i, 535i
  • 2004-2007

    • 5-Series, 525i, 530, 535, E60, E61
  • 2007-2011

    • E90, E91
  • Not listed E92, E93
  • 2007-2011

    • X5, E70
  • 2004-2007

    • 525i, 530, 535
  • 2011-2012

    • X3
  • Buick
  • 2010-2011
  • Lacrosse
  • Chevrolet
  • 2011-2012
  • Cruze
  • 2006-2010

    • Aveo
  • 2011-2012

    • Volt
  • 2012

    • Camaro
  • Ford
  • 2012
  • Focus
  • 2005-2009

    • Mustang
  • Honda
  • 2003-2012
  • Accord
  • 2006-2011

    • Civic
  • 2002-2011

    • CRV
  • 2007-2011

    • Fit
  • 2009-2011

    • Pilot
  • 2009-2011

    • Insight
  • 2009-2011

    • Crosstour
  • 2011

    • Odyssey
  • Hyundai
  • 2007-2011
  • Elantra
  • Not listed Genesis
  • Not listed Sonata
  • Infiniti
  • 2007-2011
  • G35, EX35
  • Kia
  • 2010-2011
  • Soul/Forte
  • 2004-2009

    • Spectra
  • Land Rover
  • 2012
  • Range Rover Evoque
  • Lexus
  • 2006-2011
  • IS250, IS350, IS-F
  • 2003-2008

    • GX470
  • 2007-2009

    • RX350
  • Not listed ES350
  • Mazda
  • 2004
  • Mazda 3
  • 2010-2012

    • Mazda 3
  • Mercedes
  • 2009-2011
  • C, GLK
  • 2010-2011

    • E350, E550
  • 2007-2008

    • S550
  • 2006-2009

    • ML
  • 2009-2010

    • GL, ML
  • Mitsubishi
  • Not listed
  • Outlander
  • Nissan
  • 1992-2002
  • Quest
  • 2010-2011

    • Quest
  • 2009-2011

    • Cube
  • 2007-2011

    • Versa
  • 2009-2010

    • Murano
  • Not listed Altima
  • Subaru
  • 2008-2009
  • Forester
  • 2008-2009
  • Imprezza
  • 2008-2009
  • Outback
  • 2010-2011
  • Legacy
  • Suzuki
  • 2007-2010
  • SX4
  • Toyota
  • 2002-2006
  • Camry
  • 2012

    • Camry
  • 2009-2011

    • Corolla, Matrix
  • 2007-2011

    • Yaris
  • 2004-2011

    • Highlander
  • 2004-2011

    • Sienna
  • 2004-2011

    • Tacoma
  • 2010-2012

    • Prius
  • 2003-2006

    • Tundra
  • 2007-2011

    • Tundra
  • 2003-2006

    • Sequoia
  • 2003-2010

    • Land Cruiser
  • 2004-2007

    • Highlander
  • 2008-2010

    • Highlander
  • 2004-2009

    • 4Runner
  • 2007-2009

    • Solara
  • 2005-2011

    • RAV4
  • Volkswagen
  • 2006-2010
  • Jetta
  • Volvo
  • Not listed
  • XC60, XC70
  • Not listed V70, S60, S80

Click here for video

Source: NHTSA

  • Make
  • Model Year(s)
  • Model(s)
  • Acura
  • 2009-2011
  • TSX
  • Audi
  • 2006-2009
  • A3, A4, A6, A8, Q5, Q7
  • BMW
  • 2007-2011
  • X5, E70, E60, E61
  • 2008-2010

    • 5-series, 528i, 535i
  • 2004-2007

    • 5-Series, 525i, 530, 535, E60, E61
  • 2007-2011

    • E90, E91
  • Not listed E92, E93
  • 2007-2011

    • X5, E70
  • 2004-2007

    • 525i, 530, 535
  • 2011-2012

    • X3
  • Buick
  • 2010-2011
  • Lacrosse
  • Chevrolet
  • 2011-2012
  • Cruze
  • 2006-2010

    • Aveo
  • 2011-2012

    • Volt
  • 2012

    • Camaro
  • Ford
  • 2012
  • Focus
  • 2005-2009

    • Mustang
  • Honda
  • 2003-2012
  • Accord
  • 2006-2011

    • Civic
  • 2002-2011

    • CRV
  • 2007-2011

    • Fit
  • 2009-2011

    • Pilot
  • 2009-2011

    • Insight
  • 2009-2011

    • Crosstour
  • 2011

    • Odyssey
  • Hyundai
  • 2007-2011
  • Elantra
  • Not listed Genesis
  • Not listed Sonata
  • Infiniti
  • 2007-2011
  • G35, EX35
  • Kia
  • 2010-2011
  • Soul/Forte
  • 2004-2009

    • Spectra
  • Land Rover
  • 2012
  • Range Rover Evoque
  • Lexus
  • 2006-2011
  • IS250, IS350, IS-F
  • 2003-2008

    • GX470
  • 2007-2009

    • RX350
  • Not listed ES350
  • Mazda
  • 2004
  • Mazda 3
  • 2010-2012

    • Mazda 3
  • Mercedes
  • 2009-2011
  • C, GLK
  • 2010-2011

    • E350, E550
  • 2007-2008

    • S550
  • 2006-2009

    • ML
  • 2009-2010

    • GL, ML
  • Mitsubishi
  • Not listed
  • Outlander
  • Nissan
  • 1992-2002
  • Quest
  • 2010-2011

    • Quest
  • 2009-2011

    • Cube
  • 2007-2011

    • Versa
  • 2009-2010

    • Murano
  • Not listed Altima
  • Subaru
  • 2008-2009
  • Forester
  • 2008-2009
  • Imprezza
  • 2008-2009
  • Outback
  • 2010-2011
  • Legacy
  • Suzuki
  • 2007-2010
  • SX4
  • Toyota
  • 2002-2006
  • Camry
  • 2012

    • Camry
  • 2009-2011

    • Corolla, Matrix
  • 2007-2011

    • Yaris
  • 2004-2011

    • Highlander
  • 2004-2011

    • Sienna
  • 2004-2011

    • Tacoma
  • 2010-2012

    • Prius
  • 2003-2006

    • Tundra
  • 2007-2011

    • Tundra
  • 2003-2006

    • Sequoia
  • 2003-2010

    • Land Cruiser
  • 2004-2007

    • Highlander
  • 2008-2010

    • Highlander
  • 2004-2009

    • 4Runner
  • 2007-2009

    • Solara
  • 2005-2011

    • RAV4
  • Volkswagen
  • 2006-2010
  • Jetta
  • Volvo
  • Not listed
  • XC60, XC70
  • Not listed V70, S60, S80

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