Automakers want eBay to stop selling airbags

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The Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council (A2C2) urges eBay to stop selling all airbags and auxiliary restraint (SRS) components on its marketplace, calling this the only effective way to prevent dangerous counterfeit airbags from being sold on the website.

A2CA is an automotive association made up of representatives from virtually all of the major North American vehicle manufacturers.

In its statement, A2CA said counterfeit airbags pose a serious threat to the health and safety of motorists because they do not meet airbag manufacturers’ specifications, are not subject to quality control tests or the application of industry safety measures, and do not adhere to existing federal regulations .

Tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on counterfeit airbags have shown consistent malfunctions ranging from failure to deploy to ejection of metal fragments during deployment.

According to tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), counterfeit airbags consistently malfunction, including not deploying and ejecting metal fragments while deployed.

The problem with counterfeit airbags has taken on a new urgency as counterfeiters take some components from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and mix them with counterfeit components to make them look like real OEM products.

According to A2CS, for example, a gas generator from one vehicle can be combined with an airbag from another vehicle, shielded by a fake airbag cover.

A consumer advisory published by the NHTSA in October 2012 warned vehicle owners and repair professionals about the dangers of counterfeit airbags. Similar notices have been issued by other federal agencies.

“These counterfeit airbags are notoriously difficult to spot and often look almost identical to genuine parts, but in the most tragic cases they can lead to catastrophic failures with fatal consequences. For this reason, A2C2 has consistently advocated that e-commerce platforms prohibit the listing of all airbags and associated SRS components on their websites. “

A2C2 President Teena Bohi

A2C2 has been working to protect consumers since its inception in 2015 by educating online marketplaces about the dangers of selling airbags and related components and even providing samples of the fakes sold on these websites.

A2C2 has been trying to get eBay to fix this problem since 2017

Since 2017, A2C2 has dealt directly with eBay executives on the issue, and while several other online trading platforms have responded with a sweeping ban on the sale of all airbags and airbag components to address the growing problem, eBay has not followed suit.

Instead, the A2CA says eBay continued to allow airbags to be sold on its website, allowing the sale of completely counterfeit and cobblestone airbags, recent law enforcement investigations have shown.

Even recalled airbags have been found for sale on eBay, claims the A2CA.

Additionally, the A2CA stated that eBay’s own policies prohibit the listing and sale of flammable and recalled goods, and that shipping of hazardous materials by freight forwarders is prohibited or restricted, specifically pointing out the prohibition imposed by the U.S. Postal Service.

Online auto parts sales have increased significantly in recent years, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic and given the current supply chain shortage.

The A2C2 believes that the likelihood of unsuspecting consumers and repairers buying dangerous counterfeit auto parts, including airbags, has also increased.

This is evidenced by the arrests and convictions of people who sell counterfeit airbags and components on eBay.

A2C2’s position remains that a total sales ban on SRS airbags and components is the only effective solution to preventing counterfeit sales on eBay, and the Automotive Association urges eBay to make this change immediately for the safety of its mutual customers to undertake.

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