On August 1, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo approved the
Counterfeit Airbag Prevention Act (S. 5037-B/A.6378-B), which will make it a crime in New York to knowingly import,
install, reinstall or sell a counterfeit or nonfunctional
airbag. The law, which will go into effect in November, is
similar to a law approved in July 2013 by Connecticut
Governor Daniel Malloy.
In 2010, U.S. customs seized over 300 counterfeit airbags manufactured by
Guangzhou Auto Parts and distributed via internet to Chattanooga,
Tennessee. This incident, and others, contributed to rising awareness about
the potential dangers of counterfeit airbags, of which federal
authorities seized approximately 2,500 in 2012. In October
2012, the United Stated National Highway Transportation Safety
Administration issued a consumer safety advisory urging vehicle owners
and repair professionals to use only certified, original equipment
replacement parts. The advisory identified a particular
problem involving the sale of counterfeit air bags for use as
replacement parts, which "showed consistent malfunctioning
ranging from non-deployment . . . to the expulsion of metal
shrapnel during deployment."
Independent research firm Frost and Sullivan estimate that
automobile suppliers lost $45 billion on account of airbag
counterfeiting in 2011. State representatives are confident that the new laws will decrease such
counterfeiting and help to ensure that one's airbags will
correctly deploy and protect in the event of an accident. The
passage of the Counterfeit Airbag Prevention act and similar laws
underscores the enormous cost and potential danger of counterfeit
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