Warnings on counterfeit airbags and recalls due...

Warnings on counterfeit airbags and recalls due to faulty airbags make vehicle owners more cautious and vigilant.

Warnings on the dangers of counterfeit airbags made it to the news last week. Now, two auto manufacturers have also been reported to issue recalls because of airbag-related problems. Ford and Mercedes-Benz have each recalled their vehicles for potentially faulty airbags.

NHTSA Warns Against Counterfeit Airbags

Last week, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a consumer safety advisory warning vehicle owners as well as repair shops against the dangers of counterfeit airbags. This warning is especially addressed to car owners who have had their airbags replaced within the past three years at a shop which is not part of a dealership and repair shop owners who bought airbags online recently. According to the NHTSA, counterfeit airbags are dangerous because fake components could deploy during an accident or launch hot shrapnel into the driver's face and hands.

These fake airbags may look very much similar or identical to their original counterparts and so spotting them right away could be really difficult. Accordingly to the NHTSA, vehicle owners who have had their airbags replaced within the past three years by a shop that is not part of a dealership may have unwittingly gotten these counterfeit spare parts. In addition, repair shop owners who have purchased airbags online may also have installed these fake airbags in their customers' vehicles.

As of the moment, the government agency cannot say for sure how large the problem with counterfeit airbags is. However, as a precautionary measure, the NHTSA recommends that vehicle owners have their airbags inspected by their vehicle manufacturer. Although the inspection is not free, it's always better to be safe than sorry: prevention is better than cure.

Mercedes-Benz Recalls E Class Coupe for Faulty Airbag

In line with the statement prevention is better than cure, Mercedes-Benz has issued a recall of it's 2012 E Class Coupe. The problem was potential faulty airbags that we're fitted to the said car. Specifically, Mercedes-Benz is issuing the recall for some 499 E350 and E550 coupe vehicles that we're manufactured from April 2 until June 29, 2012.

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The problem with the coupe's airbags lies in the improper stitching of the window curtain air bag on the passenger side. Because of this defect, Mercedes-Benz worries that the airbag may not deploy, as intended, or may deflate more quickly in the affected vehicles. Both of these scenarios would result in reduced protection and increased risk of injury for the vehicle driver and passengers.

To remedy this faulty airbag concern, reports say that Mercedes-Benz will be contacting affected vehicle owners. They will be requested to proceed to the nearest Mercedes-Benz dealership to have their faulty airbag replaced. In contrast to the case with the counterfeit airbags, Mercedes-Benz vehicle owners affected by this problem need not worry as the airbag replacement is free of charge. Vehicle owners can contact the NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236 (reference recall campaign number 12V492000) or Mercedes-Benz at 1-800-367-6372 for more information.

Ford Fiestas Recalled for Faulty Side Curtain Airbag

Mercedes-Benz is not the only auto manufacturer who has issued recalls due to faulty airbags recently. Aside from Mercedes-Benz, Ford has issued a recall of a segment of 2011 to 2013 Fiesta subcompacts. The reason for the recall is the improper deployment of side curtain airbags. A total of 154,604 vehicles, specifically those that we're manufactured between November 3, 2009 and September 21, 2012, will be affected by this recall.

The said Fiesta models' side curtain airbags, which cover both front and rear passengers, we're designed to deploy during a side impact collision if the front passenger seat is empty. As a result of the faulty airbag, Ford worries that the side curtain airbags may not deploy and passengers, especially the right rear occupant, will not be protected in a collision if the front passenger seat is empty, thus increasing the risk of injury. In effect, the affected Ford vehicles fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208 or Occupant Crash Protection.

To remedy the situation, Ford will be notifying the affected vehicle owners to have their vehicles brought to the nearest Ford dealers. The vehicles' software will be reprogrammed to have the side curtain airbags deploy properly when the front seat is empty. The software reprogramming is free of charge. For more information, affected vehicle owners may contact the NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236 (reference recall campaign number 12C26) or Ford at 1-866-436-7332.

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Posted in Transportation/Automotive Post Date 12/21/2014






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