When you’re in a car accident, you depend on two things to save your life: your seatbelt and your airbags. Oftentimes, those are the things that can mean the difference between injuries and fatalities. That is why the discovery of a man selling counterfeit airbags is so disturbing. A man in Vancouver, WA has pleaded guilty to distributing almost 1,000 airbags from China through the website eBay. 25-year-old Vitaliy Yaremkiv sold his conterfeit airbags to independent garages. He ran a business called Vital Auto Parts and Sales from his home, and made over $137,000 by selling the airbags, which garages are believed to have unknowingly installed in several vehicles.
Yaremkiv could be sentenced to a maximum of ten years in prison, and must pay the $137,000 he made through the sales of the airbags to Honda Motors Corporation and Toyota Motors Corporation. But, it’s scary to think how those fake airbags are in people’s cars without them knowing they are counterfeit. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that over 18,000 people have their airbags to thank for being alive today. It is unknown whether the owners of those vehicles with the counterfeit airbags will be able to be tracked down and notified so that they can get proper replacements.