July 21, 2024
Car Repair

Avoid Cheap and Dangerous Airbag Inflators with NHTSA’s Tips

As we approach the 10-year mark of the extensive Takata airbag recall, it is important to address ongoing concerns regarding airbag safety. The recall, which has resulted in 30 deaths worldwide and numerous injuries, has highlighted the potential dangers of faulty airbag inflators. Surprisingly, some replacement airbags that have been installed in vehicles have proven to be just as deadly as the original units they replaced.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently issued a warning about substandard replacement airbags, linking them to three fatalities and two severe injuries. These replacement airbags are suspected to have come from foreign companies with questionable manufacturing practices, sold at significantly lower prices than genuine equipment.

A previous report by Autoblog raised concerns about the increasing number of counterfeit airbag replacements in American vehicles. The NHTSA has highlighted cases where malfunctioning airbag inflators sent metal fragments into drivers’ bodies, resulting in tragic outcomes.

To avoid ending up with a defective replacement airbag, buyers are advised to follow guidelines provided by the NHTSA, including:

  • Check the vehicle’s history report for any airbag deployments and ensure a receipt from a reputable shop accompanies the purchase.
  • Have a qualified mechanic inspect any potential used-car purchase.
  • Only visit well-known, independent shops or dealers for airbag replacements to access official or OEM-approved parts.
  • Avoid purchasing discounted parts manufactured overseas, as they may not meet safety standards.
  • Ensure replacement parts come from the original manufacturer of the vehicle.

If a faulty airbag inflator is detected, it is crucial to replace it and notify local Homeland Security Investigations or FBI field offices.

Includes Associated Press


Q: How can I ensure the replacement airbag in my vehicle is safe?

A: Check the vehicle’s history report, have it inspected by a qualified mechanic, and only use reputable shops for replacements.


Ensuring airbag safety in vehicles is crucial to preventing unnecessary injuries and fatalities. By following NHTSA guidelines and being cautious about replacement parts, drivers can protect themselves and their passengers on the road.

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