Legislation sponsored by New Jersey State Senator Jim Holzapfel, R-10, which prohibits the manufacture, sale or installation of counterfeit or nonoperational air bags in motor vehicles has passed in Senate. The bill, S-2174, targets any person who knowingly manufactures or installs a nonfunctioning air bag and charges them with a crime of the fourth degree.
“Across the nation we have seen countless reports of auto repair shops and used car dealers putting customers at risk through the sale and repair of ineffective and nonfunctioning air bags,” said Holzapfel. “An air bag that has deployed in a collision can no longer be used, even if the vehicle's diagnostic system indicates that air bag is operational.”
According to the bill, a person who manufactures, imports, installs or sells any device with the intent to replace an air bag knowing that the device is counterfeit and does not meet federal safety requirements is guilty of a fourth degree crime. A fourth degree crime is punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment, a fine of us to $10,000 or both.
“The bill will help stop the thriving underground market for cheap knock-off and refurbished air bags by punishing those responsible for their sale and installation," added Holzapfel. "Drivers shouldn't be put at risk by shady businesses looking to make a buck at the risk of their customers' lives."
At least 19 other states have a law prohibiting the sale or installation of nonfunctioning air bags. The bill passed in the Senate with a vote of 39-0.