You’ve heard about crash test dummies, but how about dummy airbags? If you just bought a used car, your life could be at risk and you might not know it. Drivers around the country rely on airbags to protect their life and the lives of their family and friends in an accident. Since 1999, all new passenger cars and light trucks in the United States have been required to have dual front airbags. They’ve become so common that many of us take them for granted.
But today, airbag fraud has become a serious problem that could threaten your safety on the road. Alarmingly, approximately one in every 25 previously deployed airbags are replaced with nonworking systems, dummy airbags or trash, according to Carfax, a provider of used vehicle information.
It’s not diffucult to see why criminals commit airbag fraud. Replacement airbags can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $3,000 a piece. But crooked repair shops can pocket insurance claims for replacing them, while actually installing a dummy system that simply looks like an airbag. When they do an improper repair, they are actually pocketing the money and putting unsuspecting consumers at risk.
Experts say if you’re buying a used car, you should first get it checked out by a mechanic you trust. Only a mechanic can make sure your airbag system is functioning properly. It’s also a good idea to check out a car’s past at www.carfax.com.
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Filed under: Good Driving