At a driver’s most vulnerable time, the last thing that needs to be thought about is our ever reliable, safe, soft, fluffy air bag which we can lay our faces into as our cars make head on collisions right? Wrong!
In a report out this morning, the Obama administration is getting ready to warn car owners who might have replaced their air bags during the last three years. The danger appears to have stemmed from counterfeit air bags. Some don’t inflate, or fail to inflate properly; other airbags have had shards of plastic shoot out from impact.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration alerted the industry in a series of telephone briefings Tuesday that 10,000’s of cars may have counterfeit air bags. The NHTSA is asking car owners to check a government website Safecar.gov to learn which counterfeit air bags have been made.
The findings are similar to electronic components, in the fact that counterfeit air bags are made to look the same as the real deal. They are marketed as the real deal to the body shops. Auto dealerships that operate their own body shops are usually required to buy from franchised agreements to procure parts including air bags directly from automakers and therefore it’s unlikely they have had counterfeit air bags infiltrate their supply chain.
However, only 37% of auto dealers have their own auto body shops, according to the National Association of Automobile Dealers website. Insurance companies often refer consumers to auto body shops that are not affiliated with the automaker.
Counterfeiting auto parts has been a well-known issue for a while. However, recent incidents have risen substantially and caused concern for the Obama administration to put out this warning.
DAG is a unique, strategic and forward-thinking group. Distributors must be part of the counterfeit avoidance conversation. DAG, by aligning with USNC/IECQ, has positioned itself as an important voice and partner in the effort to protect the supply chain from counterfeits.
To become a member of the USNC/IECQ Distributors Advisory Group, please contact Christina Clark at Christina.Clark@ecccorp.org or 541.847.0644.