NCR Counterfeit airbags

Counterfeit airbags – seriously, what next?

The U.S. Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council (A2C2) has called on eBay to immediately halt the sale of airbags and airbag components on eBay.com, saying that the move is the only effective way to prevent the sale of dangerous counterfeit airbags on the site.

A2C2 said it has “engaged directly” with eBay executives about the subject since 2017, and although several other e-commerce platforms have agreed to prohibit the sale of airbags and airbag components to address the growing problem, eBay has not followed suit.

Counterfeit airbags have been a subject of concern to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as, according to their testing, counterfeit airbags have shown consistent malfunctions ranging from non-deployment to the expulsion of metal shrapnel during deployment.

Although its focus is on mass-market commerce marketplaces and not the parts procurement systems used by repair professionals, A2C2 said shops also face some risk from eBay’s position. “As with almost all consumer products, the sale of automotive parts online has surged significantly in recent years, and with that A2C2 believes the potential for unsuspecting consumers and repair shops to purchase dangerous counterfeit automotive parts, including airbags, has also increased.”

However, eBay said that only airbags produced by OEMs can be offered for sale on its site, and only by “approved sellers who adhere to our strict policies and federal and state laws.”

eBay added: “Counterfeits are not tolerated on eBay and we strongly support the goal of keeping drivers and passengers safe. We look forward to continuing to work with the Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council to address their concerns while supporting approved sellers.”

In response, A2C2 pointed to several recent law enforcement investigations over the sale of counterfeit airbags, as well as those incorporating cobbled-together components, on the site.

“eBay regularly monitors our marketplace for airbag listings that do not follow our Policy that includes any airbags that are not made by the original equipment manufacturer, or don’t comply with federal and state laws and removes items and sellers that are not in compliance.”

A2C2 noted that not all counterfeits are immediately obvious. Some have been found to be “comprised of certain used OEM components cobbled together with counterfeit components so as to appear to be complete OEM airbags – an inflator from one vehicle may be combined with an airbag from a different vehicle, shielded by a counterfeit airbag cover.”

This article courtesy of John Huetter of Repairer Driven Education (RDE). Check out the website at: http://www.repairerdrivennews.com/.

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