LOS ANGELES–Federal authorities seized eight counterfeit Honda airbags in two express packages from China at the Ontario International Airport.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the California-based airport’s express air cargo, in coordination with import specialists assigned to the Automotive and Aerospace Center of Excellence, discovered the airbags while conducting an enforcement examination of the express packages. Automotive and Aerospace import specialists confirmed that the airbags were in violation of the Honda protected trademark. If genuine, the seized airbags would have an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $4,856.
“Protecting the health and safety of the American consumer is a top priority for CBP,” said Carlos Martel, Customs and Border Protection Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “Counterfeit airbags pose American motorists in extreme danger, they can fail to deploy or even hurt passengers during a collision.”
Airbag fraud occurs after a vehicle is involved in a wreck and the original airbags are replaced. Consumers buying airbags from non-legitimate sources online may encounter counterfeit versions sold at what appears to be a deep discount.
“Airbags are essential car safety features and we know counterfeit devices are a major invisible threat already associated with fatalities in the United States,” NHTSA Acting Administrator James Owens said. “As a safety agency, NHTSA takes these cases extremely seriously and we applaud CBP’s efforts to intercept dangerous products before they get into circulation. NHTSA values its partnership with CBP and this work is literally saving lives.”
“CBP commits substantial resources to detect, intercept and seize illicit goods arriving in the express package environment,” said Donald R. Kusser, CBP Port Director overseeing ONT international operations. “Counterfeiters are constantly attempting to take advantage of consumers by disguising their illicit goods as legitimate shipments.”
Customs and Border Protection focuses on priority trade issues such as intellectual property rights and health and safety, in order to protect consumers from harmful products.