Counterfeit watches, hand bags and movies are fairly harmless when considering the immediate external physical consequences of these knockoffs. Worst case scenario is you look cheap (or crafty, depending on the judger’s worldview). It’s a victimless crime.
But counterfeiting airbags? That’s just cruel, rotten and loathsome.
Unfortunately, it’s happening. The NHTSA informed the public last week from Washington:
“While these air bags look nearly identical to certified, original equipment parts – including bearing the insignia and branding of major automakers – NHTSA testing showed consistent malfunctioning ranging from non-deployment of the airbag to the expulsion of metal shrapnel during deployment.”
The agency instructed anyone who’s had an air bag replaced in the last three years anywhere other than a dealership to call a hotline that’s run by the vehicle manufacturer and set up an inspection toute suite.
NHTSA estimates less than 0.1% of the nation’s vehicle fleet being affected by the recall, but is urging the utmost caution for drivers. They’ve yet to identify the source of the counterfeiting, and continue to work with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, US Customs Border Protection and the US Department of Justice to better understand “the issue.”
In addition to the folks who’ve had their airbags replaced by non-dealerships, NHTSA suggests consumers with a car that’s been branded salvaged, rebuilt or reconstructed, those with an automobile that may have sustained an air bag deployment prior to their purchase, and consumers who bought air bags from eBay for unusually low prices (less than $400, but…who the heck does that!??!?!) to contact the call center.
If you counterfeit air bags or pharmaceuticals (drugs!), you are despicable.
To try to lighten the mood a bit (as a heads up, that was a pun…you’ll understand soon enough), take a few seconds and guess what the most popular car color is.
There is a really good chance you got it whight. (That was another amazingly lame and unfunny pun. I apologize.)
(I’m confident you’ve guessed correctly. If not…I’m holding my tongue.) It’s white! Yup, that’s right…PPG Industries released data last week detailing which colors dominated the globe. They are:
- White! At 22% of vehicles.
- Silver! At 20%.
- Black! At 19%.
- Gray! At 12%.
- Red! At 9%.
Jane Harrington, PPG’s manager of color styling for automotive, says:
“The palette being developed for the automotive segment continues to be influenced by culture, nature, fashion, interior design, color popularity and new pigment technology.”
Which is a complete and total lie, considering white, silver, black and gray are dominating.
At least she’s not counterfeiting air bags. Just opinions.