The federal government issued a warning last week about the dangers of counterfeit airbags, which are becoming an increasing problem in the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thousands of motorists could be at risk.

Although it may be difficult to tell who has a counterfeit airbag and who does not, those most at risk are motorists who have had their airbags replaced in the last three years by a repair shop other than a new car dealership. Consumers who fear they may be at risk can visit www.safercar.gov to learn more on how to contact auto manufacturers to tell if their vehicle is among those for which counterfeit airbags are known to have been made.

Last month, the government tested 11 counterfeit airbags, and 10 of them failed to inflate properly. In one of the tests, the bag shot flames and metal shrapnel out. Fortunately, no deaths or injuries have been tied to the counterfeit bags, although it would be difficult to identify a counterfeit bag from a real one.

Unfortunately, fees for checking out airbags are between $100 and $200, and the cost of replacing a driver’s side airbag is usually between $750 and $1,000, which will have to be paid by the vehicle’s owner. The reason the owner must pay is that the counterfeiting problem is not the fault of the manufacturer or in most cases the repair shop. The counterfeit airbags came from China and look as if they are the real thing. The problem came to light in August after nearly 1,600 counterfeit airbags were seized from an automobile mechanic in North Carolina.

If you have had your airbags replaced in the last three years, get your vehicle examined as soon as possible. If you have been in an accident and believe a counterfeit airbag was involved, call the Dallas personal injury attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 866-986-1529. We will help to determine who the responsible party for the accident is and to hold them responsible. Call today.