State lawmakers want to protect residents against counterfeit airbags

Sep 9, 2019

Fighting counterfeit airbags is on the agenda for a bipartisan pair of lawmakers in Lansing. State Representatives introduced a package of bills last week.

Democratic Representative Sarah Anthony and Republican Representative Jim Lilly are behind the bills. They want to make it a felony to knowingly and intentionally install, sell or distribute a faulty airbag.

Anthony said it’s not enough to just tell people they can’t install or sell bad airbags.

“We have to have some teeth behind the legislation,” she said. “So, this not only identifies the problem, but says if there are bad actors out there that are doing this, then this will actually be a felony, a Class F felony.”

Republican Jim Lilly said it’s hard to detect counterfeit airbags after they’ve been installed.

“So, ensuring that we have proper penalties in place to dissuade people from doing this up front is critical if we want these to be safe in Michigan,” Lilly said.

Fake airbags can result in multiple problems – including not deploying when needed and spraying metal shrapnel when deployed. That’s according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But the agency says it’s not a widespread problem.

According to the Administration fake airbags affects less than 0.1% of the US vehicle fleet.