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      10-10-2012, 08:17 AM   #1
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Exclamation NHTSA Warns of Counterfeit Air Bags. List of BMW Models Possibly Affected.

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"Government to warn motorists tens of thousands may have counterfeit air bags."

Includes the "2007 - 2011 E90 and E91" among other BMW models.

If you've had any airbag replaced in the last three years, you may be interested in this article.







ARTICLE:

Car owners whose air bags have been replaced in the past three years may have had dangerous counterfeit bags installed, the Obama administration warned Wednesday.

Only 0.1 percent of the U.S. vehicle fleet is believed to be affected, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a statement. But industry officials briefed by the government said tens of thousands of car owners may be driving vehicles with counterfeit air bags. NHTSA testing has shown most of the counterfeit bags don't inflate or fail to inflate properly. In at least one case, a counterfeit bag fired shards of metal shrapnel on impact, the agency said.

NHTSA is asking car owners to check a government website, www.Safercar.gov, for information on how to contact a call center established by auto manufacturers to learn if their vehicle model is among those for which counterfeit air bags are known to have been made.

No deaths or injuries have been tied to the counterfeit bags, NHTSA said. But it's unclear whether police accident investigators would be able to identify a counterfeit bag from a genuine one, industry officials said.

NHTSA has compiled a list of dozens of vehicle makes and models for which counterfeit air bags may be available, but the agency cautioned that the full scope of the problem isn't clear yet and the list is expected to "evolve over time."

If a car is on the list and has had its air bags replaced during the past three years by a repair shop other than a new car dealership, NHTSA is asking owners to bring the vehicle into a dealership to be inspected at their own expense to determine whether the replaced air bags are counterfeit. Fees for checking out air bags could run $100 or more, industry officials said. Some types of cars have as many as eight air bags.

The counterfeit bags typically have been made to look like air bags made by automakers and usually include a manufacturer's logo. Government investigators believe many of the bags come from China, an industry official said.

The bags are marketed to auto body shops as the real deal, industry officials said. Auto dealerships that operate their own body shops are usually required by their franchise agreements to buy their parts, including air bags, directly from automakers and therefore are unlikely to have installed counterfeit bags, industry officials said.

But only 37 percent of auto dealers have their own body shops, according to information on the National Association of Automobile Dealers' website. Many consumers whose vehicles have been damaged are referred by their insurance companies to auto body shops that aren't affiliated with an automaker.

Consumers who bought replacement air bags online or who have purchased a used car that may have its airbags replaced in the past three years were also asked to check NHTSA's list.

Counterfeiting of a wide variety of auto parts has long been a well-known problem, industry officials said. But recent incidents have escalated concern by government officials. In August, federal agents confiscated nearly 1,600 counterfeit air bags and arrested a North Carolina auto mechanic, according to a report by the Charlotte Observer. The mechanic was tied by federal officials to another counterfeit air bag case last year in Tennessee, the report said.

Last February, Dai Zhensong, a Chinese citizen, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in federal court in Chattanooga, Tenn., to 37 months in prison for trafficking in counterfeit air bags, according to a statement made at the time by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Zhensong was a part owner and manager of the international department of Guangzhou Auto Parts, which made a variety of auto parts, many of which were counterfeit, the statement said. In 2010, he traveled from China to Chattanooga to sell additional counterfeit air bags and other auto parts. The counterfeit air bags were manufactured by purchasing genuine auto air bags that were torn down and used to make molds to produce the counterfeit bags. Trademark emblems were purchased through Honda, Toyota, Audi, BMW and other dealerships located in China and affixed to the counterfeit air bags. The air bags were advertised on the Guangzhou Auto Parts website and sold for approximately $50 to $70 each, far below the value of an authentic air bag, the statement said.

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Vehicles for which counterfeit air bags may be available, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The list is expected to evolve.

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

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/...rfeit-air-bags
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      10-10-2012, 08:20 AM   #2
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Saw this on the news this morning ...............Phil
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      10-10-2012, 08:43 AM   #3
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wtf! Another black eye for Chinese merchants looking to make a quick buck. These get-rich-quick schemes are getting bolder and bolder. If this guy was caught in China, he would have gotten the needle.
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      10-10-2012, 08:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdosu View Post
wtf! Another black eye for Chinese merchants looking to make a quick buck. These get-rich-quick schemes are getting bolder and bolder. If this guy was caught in China, he would have gotten the needle.
Ha.

Well, actually, I think the most appropriate penalty would be to put him inside a car that was just equipped with his special airbags, and then point him in the direction of an oncoming locomotive and say "Hope these work for you, bud!"

.
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      10-10-2012, 08:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VMcV3y View Post
Ha.

Well, actually, I think the most appropriate penalty would be to put him inside a car that was just equipped with his special airbags, and then point him in the direction of an oncoming locomotive and say "Hope these work for you, bud!"

.
the dude only got 37 months in a federal prison
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      10-10-2012, 08:56 AM   #6
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These are the stories that will bring mfg back to the US. Eventually the initial P&L's people use to start these projects will put these "costs" into perspective and bet all these "money makers" are not as profitable when the complete picture is revealed. Imagine if the war in the middle east was put onto the bottom line of the oil companies instead of the taxpayers, think things would be quite different
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      10-10-2012, 09:01 AM   #7
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I think the people at these shops ordering the parts for their customers are also complacent in this. If the airbags normally costs $700 to source and this dude is charging $50, don't you think something is wrong?!
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      10-10-2012, 09:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdosu View Post
I think the people at these shops ordering the parts for their customers are also complacent in this. If the airbags normally costs $700 to source and this dude is charging $50, don't you think something is wrong?!
There are definately 2 wrongs in the equation. The arguement i always hear when it comes to fake/replica parts in other industries, or even the car world is: " well we wouldnt make it, if there wasnt a market for it " then the flipside arguement " we wouldnt buy it if it wasnt made "

What came first? The chicken, or the egg?


Either way, messing with saftey equipment brings this bootleg parts biz in china to a new low.
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      10-10-2012, 10:39 AM   #9
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Pathetic. I often wonder what replaces automobile body parts post accidents. OEM or wanna be OEM?
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      10-10-2012, 10:39 AM   #10
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That scam has been going on for years now
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      10-10-2012, 10:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yolkster View Post
That scam has been going on for years now
counterfeit car parts? (misrepresenting OEM branded parts)

Yes, mostly linked to eastern European organized crime in the past and present.
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      10-10-2012, 10:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTM_Challenge View Post
There are definately 2 wrongs in the equation. The arguement i always hear when it comes to fake/replica parts in other industries, or even the car world is: " well we wouldnt make it, if there wasnt a market for it " then the flipside arguement " we wouldnt buy it if it wasnt made "

What came first? The chicken, or the egg?


Either way, messing with saftey equipment brings this bootleg parts biz in china to a new low.
but this is purposeful misrepresentation as an OEM brand. Your argument is for a company like Rota Wheels, who does not misrepresent design and manufacturing specs of Volks, BBS, etc...and market theirs directly and openingly as replica style wheels with different names and colors.

In my view, what this guy did is downright illegal

Rota "BBS RE reps":
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      10-10-2012, 11:06 AM   #13
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Da fuk. Am I allowed to make a 'should have bought an E92 not E90' comment? Just kidding!

I say the shops that done the installs should be paying the $$ for having the check done as well as the replacement if needed.
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      10-10-2012, 11:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdosu View Post
counterfeit car parts? (misrepresenting OEM branded parts)

Yes, mostly linked to eastern European organized crime in the past and present.
There is also a scam where disreputable shops just put in an airbag (stolen or otherwise) and dont do any of required coding or electronics to have it work with the car..they just remove the SRS lights so people think they have a working airbag, until they get into an accident and realize they dont
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      10-10-2012, 11:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klammer View Post
These are the stories that will bring mfg back to the US.
Not sure about that. More likely off-shore manufacturing will just raise their quality control to barely meet the necessary standards. Price is king, just ask Walmart.

As for counterfeiting, whether the genuine part is made in the US, China, or Bulgaria, the counterfeiters will still be able to copy them.
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      10-10-2012, 11:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yolkster View Post
There is also a scam where disreputable shops just put in an airbag (stolen or otherwise) and dont do any of required coding or electronics to have it work with the car..they just remove the SRS lights so people think they have a working airbag, until they get into an accident and realize they dont
Oh.....that is awful in so many ways.

Now I'll make sure that ALL of the lights check-"on" during ignition!


- V
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      10-10-2012, 11:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdosu View Post
but this is purposeful misrepresentation as an OEM brand. Your argument is for a company like Rota Wheels, who does not misrepresent design and manufacturing specs of Volks, BBS, etc...and market theirs directly and openingly as replica style wheels with different names and colors.

In my view, what this guy did is downright illegal

Rota "BBS RE reps":


I get what you are saying, but i meant it beyond just like replica wheels etc. Ive seen other cases where there have been straight up fake, labeled parts. Look at the luxury fashion goods industry, its nuts there!

My point still is that both the manufacturer and the customer blame one another for the existance of the replica part.
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      10-10-2012, 11:58 AM   #18
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I just hope no one has died because of this. ...but I already know the answer.
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      10-10-2012, 11:58 AM   #19
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Wow.. that's not cool..

Imagine the profit they have been making on this considering a new bag goes for $500 to 1K.

I'm glad all my cars have the original bags!

I would be intereted in inspecting a counterfeit one to see if I could tell.

I don't think they would be able to match the quality of a real one.
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      10-10-2012, 04:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdosu View Post
wtf! Another black eye for Chinese merchants looking to make a quick buck. These get-rich-quick schemes are getting bolder and bolder. If this guy was caught in China, he would have gotten the needle.
I wouldn't say that they are getting bolder in their schemes. Things sort of peaked (in the bad sense) with the melamine in their own kid's milk. Using a toxic agent to fool tests designed to detect dilution of the milk took things to about as bad as I hope we ever see.

It isn't as easy to say, "hopefully this milk will never be ingested". One might give the benefit of the doubt that the scum might have thought that the chance of an airbag deployment was slim, and that someone might survive even without the airbag...
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      10-10-2012, 06:18 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdosu View Post
If this guy was caught in China, he would have gotten the needle.
Chinese executions are hardly so humane. You get a bullet in the back of the head, and your family gets a bill for the bullet.
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      10-10-2012, 09:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdosu View Post
I think the people at these shops ordering the parts for their customers are also complacent in this. If the airbags normally costs $700 to source and this dude is charging $50, don't you think something is wrong?!
+1 in mose cases. BUT what if they charge only a bit cheaper or even the same as everywhere else? If this is the case then people wouldnt even think anything of it.
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