Sunday, October 12, 2008

Airbag Fraud

If you've bought a used car, you need to do some checking. According to this NPR article, many folks around the nation have been ripped off by unscrupulous auto dealers/mechanics with air bags that are not functional.

Several instances have been reported where a vehicle had been in an accident, but the air bag was never repaired. In some cases paper, cans, packing peanuts & even garbage bags were stuffed back into the airbag compartment. Oftentimes, the old airbag was just stuff back in the compartment. The result is an inoperable safety component.

Some deaths have been reported where air bags were simply not reinstalled.

But in January, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a report that reviewed 1,446 fatal crashes and found that in 255 of those cases, the air bags had not been replaced after a previous accident. An agency spokesman said that although NHTSA didn't look into why they were missing, officials believe that at least some of those cases involved air bag fraud.

"We have a life-and-death scam on our hands ... just waiting to be discovered," says Jim Quiggle, director of communications for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, a nonprofit alliance of insurance companies and consumer groups. He is frustrated because it is so hard to pin down the number of air bag fraud cases.

"Unfortunately, until the dat a bubble to the surface and give us a quantitative sense of what this is about, it's always going to be the hidden, silent killer," Quiggle says.

This sort of stuff shouldn't surprise us: there have been cheaters & liars since Genesis chapter 4 --- people willing to kill someone over jealousy, money, power, or whatever else you wanna name. Just check out your vehicle. Better to be safe than sorry.

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