Bipartisan bills in Michigan would make fake airbag dealing a felony

Lawmakers in Michigan want to make importing, installing, selling, or distributing a counterfeit or faulty airbag a felony.

House bill No. 4923 (PDF) has been introduced by state representatives Sarah Anthony (Democrat, pictured) and Jim Lilly (Republican) and would allow individuals involved in the counterfeit airbag trade to be charged with a Class F felony, which carries a penalty of up to four years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

Brought to light as a result of massive recalls in 2008, there have been at least 15 deaths and 250 cases of severe injury caused by defective airbags nationwide in the years since, according to Michigan House Democrats. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates there will be nearly 65 to 70 million vehicles recalled for counterfeit airbags by the end of 2019, they add.

If passed, Michigan would join 21 other states who have passed similar legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support.

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