DOES YOUR CAR HAVE A FAKE AIRBAG?

Fake Car Airbag

Grateful to provide help to Stacia Naquin, Call 12 for Action News for article today on azcentral.com.

The search continues across the Valley for those who may have been affected by the recent arrest of a man suspected of selling counterfeit airbags to individuals and businesses in the area.

As Officer James Holmes, a Phoenix police spokesman, recently stated, “The arrest of Mr. Dwight Smith and the manufacturing of counterfeit airbags have caused justifiable concern by the public regarding the safety and functionality of their supplement restraint systems in their cars.”

As a driver, how can you look at your car and know for sure whether you’re part of the affected group?

I asked that question of Frank Leutz, CEO of Desert Car Care and chapter president of the Automotive Service Association of Arizona.

“When you look at the steering wheel, where the airbag is, if the seams are irregular or crooked, you could have a counterfeit,” he said. “The plastic seam on the airbag must have a perfect fit in the steering-wheel housing. Like the seams on a skirt or blouse, look for crumples or an irregular seam pattern. They will not be straight in the steering- wheel pad.”

Phoenix police also point to CarFax as another tool for drivers to learn about their vehicle’s history. If you believe yours could be part of this affected group, contact the vehicle manufacturer. You’ll also want to contact the authorities. Homeland Security and the police are trying to pinpoint how many counterfeit airbags could be on the road right now and where they may have been sold.

Watch for updates on the search for victims on 12 News Today,

5-7 a.m. Monday-Friday. Send a tweet to @stacia_naquin with your thoughts on this investigation.