Used cars being sold without airbags

May 4, 2012 12:00 AM

Many used cars are being unknowingly sold without airbags due to thieves stealing the safety devices from inside the steering wheels, reports KOMO News in Seattle.

Airbags have become a popular target for criminals and scam artists, as the safety devices are quite expensive - sometimes between $1,000 to $3,000 for a single airbag deployment system. Unfortunately, sophisticated thieves have found ways to essentially trick the car's computer system into thinking there's an airbag present in the steering wheel, causing many consumers and dealers to be unaware of the issue. That's resulted in many used cars being sold without airbags properly installed.

"This is a Toyota airbag that we took out of a customer's car," airbag repair technician Doug Hansen told the news source, holding up an old airbag. "The mechanical inspection on the car didn't reveal anything because the airbag light on the dash worked properly. And then when we turn it around there's absolutely no airbag at all in the car." 

Drivers considering purchasing a used car should have a vehicle maintenance expert look over the vehicle to ensure that the airbag hasn't been tampered with.

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