The air bag light has been modified. The air bags were missing, but the airbag light worked.
Airbag Service has inspected airbag systems since 1992. We have seen the complexity of airbag fraud increase along with the value of airbags on the black market.
You Can’t Trust the Air Bag Light
It costs pennies to jump wire an air bag system to make the air bag light turn-off. It costs several hundred dollars to repair an air bag.
To detect air bag light wiring fraud the car needs to be physically inspected by an airbag technician. Only after the system is validated you can trust the airbag light.
Vehicles of Greatest Risk
- Used car trade-ins
- Fleet vehicles
- Auction vehciles
- Private Party Sales
These cars are a greater risk because they can change hands several times and may not have complete repair records. Responsible people selling these cars are seldom aware of the airbag and/or SRS fraud.
If you see any of the below characteristics, you should be suspicious of the vehicles air bags, seatbelts and electronic components of the vehicle safety system.
- Steering wheel center looks different - the color and texture should be an exact match
- Uneven gaps around the steering wheel center (this is the driver side airbag panel)
- Uneven gaps around the dashboard trim
- Scratches or pry marks on the dashboard or steering wheel
- Evidence of bodywork – good bodywork is hard to see, look closely or get help
- A creased headliner
- Poor or unmatched sticting on uphostry
- Mechanically noisy seatbelts
- Seatbelts wrong color
- The airbag light is on
- The airbag light doesn’t come on at all
- The airbag light doesn’t behave as described in the vehicle owners manual
- A price on a used car that is too good to be true
- Trust your instincts – if you have a doubt, check it out
How to Protect Yourself
- Get a vehcile history report like Edmunds or CARFAX. However, fraudulent vehicles in our shop have had clean reports.
- Have your used car inspected and obtain a certification that the air bag system and other SRS components are intact
- Before buying a used car, have it inspected or get in writing a guarantee that the air bag system and SRS components are intact and functioning
Our air bag technicians inspect and certify air bag systems.
Vehicles can be brought to our locations, or in some areas, we have mobile units that can travel to you. And we have airbag technicians at auctions supporting dealerships and other wholesale customers.
Airbag Fraud in the News