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Counterfeit Air Bag Racket Blows Up

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the why-are-pigeons-coming-out-of-my-steering-wheel dept.

China 288

Hugh Pickens writes "According to Joan Lowy of the Associated Press, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has alerted the auto repair industry that tens of thousands of car owners may be driving vehicles with counterfeit air bags, which fail to inflate properly or don't inflate at all. Although no deaths or injuries have been tied to the counterfeit bags, it's unclear whether police accident investigators would be able to identify a counterfeit bag from a genuine one. The counterfeit bags typically have been made to look like air bags from automakers, and usually include a manufacturer's logo, but government investigators believe many of the bags come from China. 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. But only 37 percent of auto dealers have their own body shops, so many consumers whose vehicles have been damaged are referred by their insurance companies to auto body shops that aren't affiliated with an automaker. Safety officials will warn millions of Americans that the air bags in over 100 vehicle models could be dangerous counterfeits, telling them to have their cars and trucks inspected as soon as possible. Dai Zhensong, a Chinese citizen, had the counterfeit air bags manufactured by purchasing genuine auto air bags that were torn down and used to produce molds to manufacture the counterfeit bags. Trademark emblems were purchased through dealerships located in China and affixed to the counterfeit air bags, which were then 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 NHTSA has made a list of automobiles available that may be at risk for having counterfeit air bags."

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Well, that explains it (4, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41610583)

I was wondering why my new airbag looked so much like beach ball attached to a can of Fix-a-Flat.

Re:Well, that explains it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41610793)

I don't RTFA, but there's not a single thing in TFS saying the "counterfeits" are defective or dangerous.
Indeed, no one's been hurt.
Sounds like it's just a case of trademark infringement, a practice that usually saves the consumer money.

Re:Well, that explains it (5, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41610921)

Considering this device performs a controlled explosion right in front of your face I would rather like my airbag to have had some form of assurance that their manufacturing techniques are sound and that they go though a rigorous QA process.

And to think.... (2, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#41611163)

And to think...we were seriously considering giving the Chinese control of a large part of our telecommunications systems and other infrastructure.....more than they already have.

What are our officials thinking!?!?

Re:And to think.... (5, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#41611373)

What are our officials thinking!?!?

"Money. Power. Money. Power. Money. Fucking. Money. Power. Money. Power. Money. Fucking. Money. Power. Money. Power. Money. Booze."

And so on.

You people have *got* to stop thinking of politicians as sane, reasonable human beings. Honestly, much of the noise in the world starts to make complete sense when you just accept that.

Re:And to think.... (1)

judoguy (534886) | about 2 years ago | (#41611693)

They *are* sane, reasonable human beings. Just evil. The two aren't mutually exclusive. They are parasites that have a willing, or at least passive, host.

Quite reasonable and rational from their point of view.

Re:Well, that explains it (1)

SharpFang (651121) | about 2 years ago | (#41611419)

Well then, why doesn't the article suggest performing such tests and checks, but immediately jumps to conclusion that they are all bad? Maybe they should just get certified and have the offending logos removed instead?

Re:Well, that explains it (4, Informative)

geoskd (321194) | about 2 years ago | (#41611701)

Well then, why doesn't the article suggest performing such tests and checks, but immediately jumps to conclusion that they are all bad? Maybe they should just get certified and have the offending logos removed instead?

Because the offending air bags were just dummy mock ups. No incendiary, no detonator, just a chunk of plastic with the logo on it. We're not talking about pirate copies, we're talking outright fraud...

-=Geoskd

Re:Well, that explains it (2, Insightful)

thelexx (237096) | about 2 years ago | (#41611027)

Really? Sounds like a bit more than that to me:

"While NHTSA says it has no reports of injuries or deaths linked to a counterfeit device, in its testing the counterfeit bags had "consistent malfunctioning," ranging from not deploying on impact to throwing metal shards."

Feel free to install them in your car however and re-sell the genuine ones for a bit of quick cash.

Re:Well, that explains it (5, Informative)

CubicleZombie (2590497) | about 2 years ago | (#41611097)

Here's a video of a counterfeit airbag in action [jalopnik.com] . The first one just didn't work. The second one grenaded in the dummy's face. Both defective and dangerous.

Re:Well, that explains it (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | about 2 years ago | (#41611537)

Look at the little fiery spirals... did they use leftover fireworks as the explosive?

Re:Well, that explains it (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#41611197)

That's funny since TFS says:

Safety officials will warn millions of Americans that the air bags in over 100 vehicle models could be dangerous counterfeits, telling them to have their cars and trucks inspected as soon as possible.

Maybe you need to read all of the summary next time?

Re:Well, that explains it (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#41611207)

So RTFA you lazy fuck, "NHTSA testing has shown some of the counterfeit bags don't inflate or fail to inflate properly, they said. In at least one case, a counterfeit bag fired shards of plastic and other projectiles on impact, they said."

Re:Well, that explains it (5, Funny)

supervillainsf (820395) | about 2 years ago | (#41611261)

I don't RTFA, but there's not a single thing in TFS saying the "counterfeits" are defective or dangerous. Indeed, no one's been hurt. Sounds like it's just a case of trademark infringement, a practice that usually saves the consumer money.

Let me translate your post:

"I got really poor marks in reading comprehension and am way too lazy to actually click on a link and spend a whole 2 minutes of my life reading something that isn't distilled down to LCD levels, but I really felt the need to post something that demonstrates my bias"

Thank you for posting I am a better person for reading your intelligent comment.

Re:Well, that explains it (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#41611411)

way too lazy to actually click on a link and spend a whole 2 minutes of my life reading something

This is the site where I recently got flamed for suggesting that taking five *seconds* to pick out clothes in the morning isn't something to obsess about.

Re:Well, that explains it (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#41611649)

Weren't the examples in that story big public figures? I'm thinking that a few more eyeballs might be on their wardrobes than on the typical Slashdot workin' stiff.

Of *course* they came from China (0)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#41610653)

government investigators believe many of the bags come from China

No shit.

Re:Of *course* they came from China (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41610699)

Even the authentic ones...

Re:Of *course* they came from China (2, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | about 2 years ago | (#41610851)

I'm a little suprised even the legit ones work properly. Manufacturers of anything in China are the same mindset of those who passed off industrial chemicals as baby milk formula. Speaking of which, watch out for packaged food in the supermarkets these days - a lot of it says 'Made in China' and it's just a matter of time before a major ingredients scandal hits.

Re:Of *course* they came from China (4, Informative)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41611243)

...it's just a matter of time before a major ingredients scandal hits.

Waddya mean [cbsnews.com] 'before' [huffingtonpost.com] ?

Re:Of *course* they came from China (2)

SuperMooCow (2739821) | about 2 years ago | (#41611455)

Dollar stores also have a lot of food items these days, especially since they now also have $2 and $3 items.

One thing I've noticed is that a lot of items now say "Made in PRC" instead of "Made in China".

The good thing is, I also see a lot of items made in Italy, Germany, Netherlands, etc. We even also have items made in Canada and the USA!

Re:Of *course* they came from China (3, Informative)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 years ago | (#41611483)

Speaking of which, watch out for packaged food in the supermarkets these days - a lot of it says 'Made in China' and it's just a matter of time before a major ingredients scandal hits.

Too late: Study: Most Honey Is Just Fake, Pollenless Goo [gothamist.com]

But I wouldn't blame the Chinese only. Our own Federal government is the one to blame. As long as the fake cheaper substitutes do not kill us, our own government won't intervene.

Vote with your feet people. Learn which stores carry fake honey. You never know what else they might be carrying that's fake. My local Safeway for instance still carries fake honey (even after the news came out), but my local Trader Joes' doesn't (it apparently never did).

Re:Of *course* they came from China (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41611559)

the legit stuff is audited during manufacture. all the US based brand owners spend lots of money to audit everything they make to make sure its up to spec.

sometimes i wonder why not make it in the US and worry less about auditing your factories

Re:Of *course* they came from China (1)

mrbene (1380531) | about 2 years ago | (#41611667)

I, too, am verily surprised that these newfangled iPhone 5 thingamabobs work properly.

Re:Of *course* they came from China (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about 2 years ago | (#41610835)

Welcome to the World of Fakes.

Re:Of *course* they came from China (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41610955)

government investigators believe many of the bags come from China

No shit.

There are other sources for crap besides China.

China makes a lot of crap, but not all of the crap.

Re:Of *course* they came from China (2, Insightful)

CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) | about 2 years ago | (#41611393)

True, but doesn't most of the crap bought in the U.S. come from China?

Re:Of *course* they came from China (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41611491)

True, but doesn't most of the crap bought in the U.S. come from China?

And India and Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe and even The United States of America.

Re:Of *course* they came from China (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 2 years ago | (#41611519)

There are other sources for crap besides China.

China makes a lot of crap, but not all of the crap.

Don't forget union workers you insensitive clod.

Re:Of *course* they came from China (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#41611657)

There are other sources for crap besides China.

China broke 100 million factory workers in 2008. Thats 4 years ago. Only 11 countries had more citizens in total than china had factory workers at that time.

If you pick a container ship at random from all the oceans, the odds are very good that its full of stuff made in China.

I'm going with Bayes on this one.. the priori probability that an item selected at random is made in China is quite high. That we then we learn that its a counterfeit.. that makes it almost a certainty. Thats exactly what a spam filter would say.. and those are damn good these days.

Re:Of *course* they came from China (1)

robot5x (1035276) | about 2 years ago | (#41611019)

serious question -

are there any news stories from China which don't involve how they're either spying on us or trying to kill us with counterfeit products?

I'd genuinely like to know how much of this news is anti-china propaganda, or whether things really are that fucked up over there.

Re:Of *course* they came from China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611837)

Yes, there certainly are. They tend to be about how workers at Foxconn are treated or about how they go on strike and riot because we don't want blemishes on our iDoohickeys.

Won't be the last (5, Informative)

Ogive17 (691899) | about 2 years ago | (#41610697)

I'm in the OE service part industry. We've been dealing with counterfeit parts from China for the past decade, one of the reasons why less companies are allowing any assembly to occur there. The Chinese subsidiary companies will even cheat their own US/Japan mother company....

I saw video comparing the counterfeit to the OE airbags. If the counterfeit bag even deployed, it was very delayed and rarely had enough pressure to actually prevent serious injury.

Re:Won't be the last (5, Informative)

Dupple (1016592) | about 2 years ago | (#41610809)

It's not just car parts. It's happening in the aircraft industry and else where. There's also the issue of refurbished parts being sold as new...

http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=67ee8eb6-54ae-403c-bcd5-3c76b6f95506 [aero-news.net]

Re:Won't be the last (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611513)

WAIT WAIT WAIT. You're telling me that a company with no oversight in a country known for corruption, with NO motive but profit CAN'T be trusted? WAHT???

Re:Won't be the last (1)

Rob Riggs (6418) | about 2 years ago | (#41611589)

WAIT WAIT WAIT. You're telling me that a company with no oversight in a country known for corruption, with NO motive but profit CAN'T be trusted? WAHT???

I thought we were talking about China here. Let's leave Wall Street out of this, OK?

Re:Won't be the last (3, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41611645)

It's not just car parts. It's happening in the aircraft industry and else where. There's also the issue of refurbished parts being sold as new...

Aviation is well known since the big busts in the 80s orcehstrated by fake FAA part tags and such. It was so bad it even got onto the presidential airplane (Air Force One, when he's on board).

The FAA went around a busted a bunch of dealers of counterfeit parts because it was such a huge problem that practically every commercial jet had at least one counterfeit. Even worse, they were documented as real so no one really knew (the counterfeiters were the ones profiting - the airlines and everyone else didn't know they were buying counterfeit parts).

When you consider a screw that costs 10 cents at Home Depot will probably cost $4-10 for aviation, the urge to counterfeit is very real. Even parts that are worn out or expired would get new coats of paint and resold as new.

Of course, if there's anything to show for it, is to show really how capitalistic the Chinese are - if there's a way to make a buck (scamming or otherwise), they'll do it. We've seen it happen through the many recalls - lead in toys and paint, melamine in milk (watered down - but melamine added to boost protein so hide watering down), etc. If there's a way to cut a corner, they'll find it.

Re:Won't be the last (0)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41611029)

I saw video comparing the counterfeit to the OE airbags. If the counterfeit bag even deployed, it was very delayed and rarely had enough pressure to actually prevent serious injury.

So is that better than it blowing up too much and bursting? Cause that is what would worry me.

The time has come (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41610709)

To nuke China.

Re:The time has come (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41611015)

Your nukes have fake Chinese slapper detonators, they won't explode on hitting the target. You'll only be supplying them with cheap extra plutonium.

Jiffy pop air bag (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 years ago | (#41610739)

The counterfeits have some surprising benefits, for example, you can have a snack while you wait for police with the Jiffy Pop air bag.

China (3, Insightful)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#41610773)

China - The first economy based of stealing other people's ideas and manufacturing it for less.

Re:China (4, Insightful)

w_dragon (1802458) | about 2 years ago | (#41610969)

Since Japan, you mean? And Germany before that? It's a pretty well-established way of getting to an industrialized economy. The only question is if they will be able to make the leap from cheap imitation crap to cheap imitation quality.

Re:China (1)

thelexx (237096) | about 2 years ago | (#41611189)

On the whole, I would say no.

Building a reputation for quality is hard and restrictive. It restricts your ability to be lazy and make short term cash by ripping people off.

China can make high quality things right now. They just choose not to.

And though I feel it is crucial, I will leave the cultural differences between Germany/Japan and China unexplored so as not to incite a riot.

Re:China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611451)

They do actually make some insanely high-quality items in very strange areas. One of the nicer cameras I own (I'm a collector) is a Chamonix 045N-1; the tolerances and finish are at least the equal of my Sinars.

Re:China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611705)

China can make high quality things right now. They just choose not to.

Wrong, you choose not to pay them for making high quality things. It just depends on the price you are willing to pay. When you go to a chinese contract manufacturer to build 1,000,000 shiny objects you negotiate desired quality against price with them. When you accept 20% death-on-arrivel you pay next to nothing. You want 100% tested, 24h burn-in and 10 years life-expectancy? They will build it happily, but for a price that you also could build it in the US. Best example is Foxconn, for Apple they deliver high quality and for other customers they deliver lower quality.

Re:China (1)

mrbene (1380531) | about 2 years ago | (#41611707)

China can make high quality things right now. They just choose not to.

Right. Is that the rationale behind the scratches on the iPhone 5? Or does that not count as a quality thing?

Re:China (4, Informative)

quintus_horatius (1119995) | about 2 years ago | (#41611267)

Lets not forget the United States itself, which used to be a capital of intellectual piracy and cheap knock-offs in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Re:China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611713)

I've read this claim a lot on Slashdot. Do you happen to have any sources I can read? Much of American innovation came from immigrants, but that hardly makes it a capital of piracy and cheap knock-offs.

Re:China (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#41611835)

Citation Please

Re:China (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41611125)

Those who do not learn history have no fucking clue what is going on.

Re:China (1)

SuperMooCow (2739821) | about 2 years ago | (#41611487)

Did you come up with that one yourself? It sounds really smart, I bet it will become a classic!

Re:China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611165)

Actually, Swiss watches got their start as low-cost knock-offs of originals made in Philadelphia.

Re:China (1)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | about 2 years ago | (#41611231)

Or, often times, not really manufacturing it at all? I would hardly call an airbag that fails to deploy a valid copy.

Re:China (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41611607)

Yeah - cause no other country EVER thought of THAT before!!

China - The first economy based of stealing other people's ideas and manufacturing it for less.

Re:China (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#41611807)

Yeah - cause no other country EVER thought of THAT before!!

So you are saying China stole the idea to steal other's ideas?

Re:China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611697)

economy based of stealing other people's ideas:
1. USA
2. Japan
3. Korea

Returns... (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about 2 years ago | (#41610779)

When I first read title, I was thinking that I bet they don't get too many retuns of defective products... :)

But I guess they aren't actually fake, they are just not the Brand they say they are, and don't work as well.

Re:Returns... (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 2 years ago | (#41611111)

When I read the summary, I was thinking "far below the PRICE you stupid monkeys! 'Value' is not 'Price'!" Airbags are such worthless shit. (The statistics on airbag "lives saved" works like this: if you have a collision and the airbag deploys and the collision theoretically could be fatal and you didn't die, airbag saved your life. On top of that, seatbelts are often crippled--slow locks, no centripital lock, etc--so while a no-airbag standard from the 90s might save you, an airbag failure to deploy in a 2011 will kill you. QED.)

Re:Returns... (1)

Spectre (1685) | about 2 years ago | (#41611289)

When I first read title, I was thinking that I bet they don't get too many retuns of defective products... :)

But I guess they aren't actually fake, they are just not the Brand they say they are, and don't work as well.

counterfeit bags had "consistent malfunctioning," ranging from not deploying on impact to throwing metal shards.

"don't work as well." != "not deploying ... throwing metal shards."

The last thing a person needs while in the process of a vehicular collision is to have their steering wheel explode like a fragmentation grenade.

While "don't work as well" is true, it so much of an understatement as to be NOT TRUE.

Capitalism at it's finest (2)

enlefo (738946) | about 2 years ago | (#41610789)

I'd be surprised if this hasn't been happening for some time. Everything else has been KIRFed, look at the variety of cheap crappy aftermarket car parts on eBay.

Re:Capitalism at it's finest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611037)

Except China is communist.

I do not trust Chinese manufacturing, BUT .... (1, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#41610795)

the issue in cases like this, is the pure unadulterated greed that USA and other western nations display. Combine that greed with lack of regulations and we have results just like this.

Personally, I would love to see one or two of the top republicans family members die from this, but not because I wish ill on them. It is because it will take that for neo-cons to realize that THEIR attacks on American regulations, and their constant support of Chinese goods being imported, to change their tune. Until then, America (and the west as a whole) will have to suffer death and sickness all in the interest of bringing in cheaper goods.

Re:I do not trust Chinese manufacturing, BUT .... (-1, Troll)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#41610823)

Please remove the tinfoil hat covered in Obama stickers. Perhaps you will be able to post intelligently after removal.

Re:I do not trust Chinese manufacturing, BUT .... (1, Funny)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#41611185)

And yet, I up until recent times, I voted Libertarian. And I suspect that you will never be able to post intelligently.

Re:I do not trust Chinese manufacturing, BUT .... (0)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41611457)

Perhaps you will be able to post intelligently after removal.

So what is your excuse regarding your rather unintelligent posts?

I do not trust "sell by..." (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41610911)

Well since it's our greed (does the consumer desire for cheaper products count?) that's responsible. You shouldn't have a problem with stricter laws then? [arstechnica.com]

Re:I do not trust Chinese manufacturing, BUT .... (4, Informative)

Ogive17 (691899) | about 2 years ago | (#41610925)

the issue in cases like this, is the pure unadulterated greed that USA and other western nations display. Combine that greed with lack of regulations and we have results just like this.

How so? This is a bait & switch situation. US company orders a $50 part from China. Someone in China decides to send a $20 part in its' place and pocket the other $30.

Re:I do not trust Chinese manufacturing, BUT .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611081)

The genuine part is more like $500 in this case. I'd guess most installers should have enough knowledge of the part to know that at a price of $50, this is exceedingly unlike the actual part. That someone replaced a $50 fake with a $20 fake is the least of the problems.

Re:I do not trust Chinese manufacturing, BUT .... (1, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#41611229)

The AC was correct. These are 1/10th of the price being sold on the market. Otherwise, there is no incentive to walk away from known products.

Re:I do not trust Chinese manufacturing, BUT .... (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#41611525)

And yet the ripped off consumer is expected to foot the bill for the inspection and if necessary, the replacement.

Re:I do not trust Chinese manufacturing, BUT .... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#41611719)

I don't think that government should be in the business of reimbursing people who were scammed, but I am all for government arresting people who take part in the fraud.

Re:I do not trust Chinese manufacturing, BUT .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41610957)

Communists make substandard parts, and you somehow blame the people in the USA that are fighting for making things in that country again? You're an illogical nutcase.

Re:I do not trust Chinese manufacturing, BUT .... (0)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#41611249)

Communists at war with the west, sells a fake product for 1/10th of the price and you do not question why it is 1/10th of the price? YOU are the illogical nutball.

Re:I do not trust Chinese manufacturing, BUT .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611747)

They're only professing to be communists.

Re:I do not trust Chinese manufacturing, BUT .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611085)

There are regulations covering that situation (fraud, etc).

As far as greed goes, how is anyone (consumer or body-shop purchaser) to know? You might say that the overly-low price is a clue, but again, how is one to know? The low price could be due to a legitimate production-line over-run.

Do like Japan does with imported autos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611187)

How is anyone to know that the part is substandard?

Well, we could do like Japan does: require the importer to disassemble each one (not just a manufacturer selected sample set) for sub-part safety inspection by government inspectors and then reassemble before sale.

Re:I do not trust Chinese manufacturing, BUT .... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#41611263)

1/10th of the price? Nope. Not even close. More importantly, American cars airbags are made in America. European Airbags are made in both EU and America. Yet, in comes a 'product' from China for 1/10th of the price and somebody does not think twice about it? Seriously?

Re:I do not trust Chinese manufacturing, BUT .... (1)

Spectre (1685) | about 2 years ago | (#41611353)

There are regulations covering that situation (fraud, etc).

As far as greed goes, how is anyone (consumer or body-shop purchaser) to know? You might say that the overly-low price is a clue, but again, how is one to know? The low price could be due to a legitimate production-line over-run.

If you were to purchase (for example) a tire for your car, normally about a $100 item, and you were told the price was $10, wouldn't you be wondering "Why is this only 1/10 the normal price?"

Being 90% below the expected price is not the norm for an overstock situation, even on low-volume items.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41610861)

Free market, bitches! Get duh gubmint out of my scams!!

They really don't work (0)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#41610873)

NHTSA testing showed consistent malfunctioning ranging from non-deployment of the air bag to the expulsion of metal shrapnel during deployment.

Re:They really don't work (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 2 years ago | (#41611167)

...the expulsion of metal shrapnel during deployment.

Finally! I've been advocating something like this for years: install a device that ensures certain death in a crash and everyone will drive way more carefully.

Not covered by insurance or the auto shop? (2)

jest3r (458429) | about 2 years ago | (#41610877)

Since the inspection and replacement is not covered by insurance or the auto shop I can only imagine that these counterfeit airbags will be on teh road for a long time.

Considering many / most people would go through insurance to get a new airbag installed as it's typically one part of a bigger job (ie. your front bumper assembly and other parts probably needed replacing at the same time) it's strange that Insurance would not cover the inspection.

You just paid a deductible just to get the work done and now you are being told that you need to pay to get it re-inspected and then you need to pay if the airbag is indeed a fake.

The burden shouldn't be on the consumer unless they knowingly purchased it and installed it themselves.

Re:Not covered by insurance or the auto shop? (1)

sunking2 (521698) | about 2 years ago | (#41611227)

The problem is it's a relatively small percentage of bags that have been replaced. In most cases the inspection will come up negative so the insurance company and certainly the shop won't cover the cost of inspection. In cases where one is found I'm assuming you can go after the shop who installed.

Nice headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41610891)

Counterfeit Air Bag Racket Blows Up 16

Fry: I get it!

Somehow (0)

WillgasM (1646719) | about 2 years ago | (#41610971)

this will mean the DHS needs to seize more websites.

Thank goodness my faulty airbag is not counterfeit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611033)

Nice to know (from checking the list of affected vehicles) that my "airbag" light that has been periodically going on and off over the last few years (after it went out of warranty...and after it was addressed multiple times *IN* warranty) is the product of just plain old lousy design and/or manufacturing. If I die in a crash because the airbag doesn't deploy, I'd feel much better about it being said at my funeral that it was because I refused to keep paying the hundreds of dollars every so often to my local dealership to not properly fix my airbag rather than it being said that I died due to a counterfeit airbag.

I'll be sleeping much better tonight...

Re:Thank goodness my faulty airbag is not counterf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611811)

Most probably it is not a problem with the airbag itself but a problem with one of the several sensors required for the airbag control unit (not part of the airbag but somewhere under the dash) to correctly determine if, when and how strong it should deploy the airbag.

Beware the air bag..... (4, Interesting)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41611049)

You even need to be careful of the legit air bags.... http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57444565-71/airbag-saves-man-then-kills-him/ [cnet.com]

Re:Beware the air bag..... (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#41611595)

Gotta love the claim that inhaling a lungfull of fine silicate glass dust should be 'harmless'

If he was wearing his seat belt, it is unlikely that the airbag played any part in saving him.

Just the fake parts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611129)

They're not talking about most 3rd-party replacement parts, which may or may not be decent quality but at least the customer would know what they were buying. Instead they're talking about 3rd-party replacement parts that have been falsely labeled and sold as OEM parts, at the highly-inflated OEM prices. It's almost a sure bet those re-branded parts are poor quality.

Extradition? (4, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 2 years ago | (#41611149)

tens of thousands of car owners may be driving vehicles with counterfeit air bags, which fail to inflate properly or don't inflate at all. ... Dai Zhensong, a Chinese citizen, had the counterfeit air bags manufactured

Given how hard we've been trying to extradite Kim Dotcom for facilitating copyright infringement, I assume we will be getting at least as heavy handed with China over this guy's tens of thousands of cases of attempted fraudulent homicide (or whatever it is called).

Only 37%, really? (1)

funnyguy (28876) | about 2 years ago | (#41611169)

"But only 37 percent of auto dealers have their own body shops, according to information on the National Association of Automobile Dealers' website."

Ok, I've NEVER seen a franchise dealer who doesn't also have a repair shop. It may not be onsite, but at another one of their locations, etc. I think of a body shop as a TOTALLY different thing, art vs mechanical, if you will. Many dealers will use a local body shop for body work. As far as repair, thats where dealers have a good chance to make money. All the little old ladies take their cars to their dealer for oil changes at $80 a pop.

This number must be including non-franchised dealers, as in used-car dealers.

Wow shocker... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611191)

they came from China... I am totally shocked by this(Sarcasm heavy)

Headline? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611225)

When did Slashdot become the Springfield Shopper?

Whew, I'm safe (0)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 years ago | (#41611319)

I can't afford any of the cars on that list - they either are too expensive on the used market at any age, or they are too new to be on the used market at an affordable price.

This suggests these counterfeit airbags will mostly kill wealthy people, or at least people who are wealthier than I am. If they were cheap enough to acquire a bogus bag, I have no pity for them.

Re:Whew, I'm safe (1)

6332J1N (207934) | about 2 years ago | (#41611839)

You can't afford a five year-old Hyundai Elantra?

Videos (1)

RdeCourtney (2034578) | about 2 years ago | (#41611341)

Here's the video's of counterfeit airbags.. my particular favourite is the second one.. at least you whilst you lay their dying, you can enjoy a fireworks show! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEYExJhYbg8 [youtube.com]

Wear a seat belt (0)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 2 years ago | (#41611711)

The bags are redundant and a waste of money.
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