As a higher percentage of cars on the road contain airbags, a growing problem is the sale of vehicles without disclosing that their airbags are missing. One study estimates that about 40,000 cars are returned to the road each year without airbags. There are cases in which consumers keep a vehicle after the airbag has deployed, without replacement, due to high cost or simple negligence. A dealer accepting one of these cars as a trade-in may be told about the missing airbag or notice an airbag malfunction light, but may not pass the information on to a subsequent purchaser and instead disconnect the malfunction light. In other cases, due to the expensive cost of airbags, airbag theft is becoming more and more popular, and encouraging airbag scams. A rogue repair shop could steal the airbag and disconnect the malfunction light, and no one would be the wiser. A repair shop could also tell the consumer that the airbag was replaced when it has not been to make a quick profit.
Fraud related to missing airbags may result in significant punitive damages because of the safety hazard involved. In Florida, it is a crime to install a junk-filled airbag or to conceal the fact that the airbag has been deployed. According to Florida Statutes, “It is unlawful for any person to knowingly import, manufacture, purchase, sell, offer for sale, install, or reinstall on a vehicle a fake airbag or junk-filled airbag compartment. Any person who violates this subsection commits a felony of the second degree.” Also, the Airbag Anti Theft Act requires that all persons maintain complete and accurate records, prepare complete and accurate documents, provide information within a portion of such record upon request, or properly disclose that an airbag is salvaged.
Driving on the road can pose possible threats, the possibility of missing an airbag should not be one of them. If you have been injured in an accident while unknowingly driving a car that lacked an airbag, it is important to hire an attorney that can assist you. At Darfoor Law Firm, we can help you navigate the law and protect your rights. We will review your case and provide professional legal options and any compensation you may be entitled. Contact Darfoor Law Firm at 1-833-DARFOOR for a free initial legal consultation to discuss your case.
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