Arrest Made In Fake Vehicle Air Bag Case

April 03, 2014

A Maricopa man is facing state charges for allegedly manufacturing fake air bags for cars.

Phoenix police say Dwight Smith was arrested as the result of a joint task force that involved U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. After serving a search warrant, agents say they found more than 40 counterfeit air bags at Smith’s home.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says fake airbags might not deploy in an accident, or could explode, sending metal shrapnel into the vehicle’s passenger compartment.

The fake air bags are often sold online or installed by unscrupulous auto body shops, which buy the counterfeit parts for pennies on the dollar and pocket the profit from drivers, who could be seriously hurt when the fake air bags fail to properly deploy in a crash.

Detectives say they determined that if the air bags they found at Smith’s home had been installed in vehicles, they would not have worked properly.