Man charged with selling fake airbags on eBay

A British man has been charged in connection with selling fake car airbags on eBay to as many as 680 people.

Robert Czernik, 35, from Poole, Dorset, was specifically charged with selling goods that were likely to be mistaken for a registered trademark.

The case follows an investigation by the City of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), which was launched last year in January after Honda Motor Europe identified that counterfeit airbags were being sold on eBay.

As many as 680 people were believed to have purchased fake airbags and airbag covers featuring the trademarks of several car manufacturers, including Honda, from a single account on the online auction site. Besides individuals, small and medium sized businesses had also purchased the counterfeit airbags.

The counterfeit Honda airbags had been sold on eBay since September 2013 with a price tag of £170, which is half the price of the genuine airbag.

An arrest was made in February last year as part of a raid where about 100 fake airbags and airbag components were seized from a property in Poole, Dorset. Due to the presence of explosives in airbags, staff from the Ministry of Defence also had to be present during the raid.

Tests conducted by Honda and the PIPCU on the seized goods revealed the airbags were fake and that they would not deploy as a genuine airbag would on collision, which presented a danger to the public.

The account has been removed from eBay and customers of the account have been advised to determine from their car manufacturers if the airbags are safe.

"The counterfeiting of any device designed to save lives demonstrates the obscene lengths criminal will go to to make money and their sheer disregard for those they are exploiting," said Superintendent Maria Woodall of the City of London Police.

She added: "We are working closely with Honda, the motoring industry and online auction platforms, to disrupt the sale of counterfeit airbags and car parts and ensure that they are permanently eliminated from the market. Our message to consumers is clear – think before you buy online and ensure your purchases are made from genuine and official websites. The chances are that if you don't, you place your finances, personal security and wellbeing at significant risk."

Czernik is due to appear on bail at City of London Magistrates Court on 16 March.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top