The Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council (A2C2) is urging eBay to halt the sale of all supplemental restraint system (SRS) airbags and components on its marketplace, calling it the only effective way of preventing the sale of dangerous counterfeit airbags on the site.
A2CA is an automotive association composed of representatives from virtually all major North American vehicle manufacturers.
In its statement, A2CA said that counterfeit airbags pose a serious threat to the health and safety of the motoring public, as they are not made to airbag manufacturers’ specifications, are not subject to quality control tests or the application of industry safety measures, and do not abide by existing federal regulations.
Tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of counterfeit airbags have shown consistent malfunctions ranging from non-deployment to the expulsion of metal shrapnel during deployment.
According to tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), counterfeit airbags have consistently malfunctioned, including not deploying and expulsing metal shrapnel during deployment.
The problem with counterfeit airbags has taken a new urgency as counterfeiters are using some components from original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and are mixing them with counterfeit components to make them look like they are real OEM products.
For example, the A2CS says an inflator from one vehicle may be combined with an airbag from a different vehicle, shielded by a counterfeit airbag cover.
“These fake airbags are notoriously difficult to spot, often appearing nearly identical to genuine, original equipment parts, but in the most tragic cases they can result in catastrophic failures with fatal consequences. For this reason, A2C2 has consistently advocated for eCommerce platforms to ban the listing of all airbags and related SRS components on their sites.”A2C2 President Teena Bohi
A2C2 has been working since its inception in 2015 to protect consumers by educating online marketplaces about the dangers of allowing the sale of airbags and related components, even providing samples of the counterfeits being sold on those websites.
A2C2 Has Been Trying to Get eBay to Fix This Problem Since 2017
Since 2017, A2C2 has engaged directly with eBay executives on this issue and while several other online commerce platforms have responded by enacting a broad sales prohibition of all airbags and airbag components to address the growing problem, eBay has not followed suit.
Instead, the A2CA says eBay has continued to permit the sale of airbags on its site, which allows the sale of completely counterfeit airbags and those incorporating cobbled components, as shown in recent law enforcement investigations.
Even recalled airbags have been found for sale on eBay, the A2CA claims.
Furthermore, the A2CA elaborated that eBay’s own policies prohibit the listing and sale of combustibles and recalled goods and that shipping hazardous materials are prohibited or restricted by shipping carriers, specifically calling out the prohibition by the US Postal Service.
Online sales of automotive parts have increased significantly in recent years, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic and with the current supply chain shortage.
The A2C2 believes the likelihood of unsuspecting consumers and repair shops purchasing dangerous counterfeit auto parts, including airbags, has increased as well.
This is demonstrated by the arrests and convictions of individuals who sell counterfeit airbags and components on eBay.
The A2C2’s position remains that a complete sales prohibition on SRS airbags and components is the only effective solution to prevent the sale of counterfeits on eBay, and the automotive association strongly urges eBay to make this change immediately for the safety of its shared customers.
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