Consumer Alert: Recycled airbags

Posted: Updated:
NORWALK -

You could have dangerous, recalled airbags in your car and have no idea. The problem: airbags that are recycled and moved from one car to another.

About 69 million Takata airbags were pulled off the market because they can release dangerous shards of metal in an accident. But there's a flaw in the government's safety effort.

Thousands of drivers may have recalled airbags in their cars right now and not know about it, because the airbags were recycled from other cars.

"Without the recycled airbags being properly checked, they can be put into cars almost anywhere," says Chris Basso, of Carfax, a website that provides vehicle history reports.

The problem is that you can only search the government's recall database using your car's VIN, or vehicle identification number. Parts that started off in other car's won't show up in a search.

Earlier this year, a woman from Las Vegas almost died after an exploding airbag punctured her trachea; her family had bought the car used and had no idea it had a recycled, recalled airbag.

So what can you do to protect yourself? For one thing, avoid cars with "salvage titles" since they were totaled and are often rebuilt with salvage yard parts.

Also, check a vehicle's accident history. Did the airbag deploy? If it did, your current airbag is a replacement.

If you think you have a replacement airbag, the only way to know it's safe is to have your mechanic check the brand and serial number, and that can cost a couple hundred bucks.

  • Connecticut ConsumerConsumerMore>>

  • Business Briefs: Netflix, Amazon, Kanye West

    Business Briefs: Netflix, Amazon, Kanye West

    Monday, April 23 2018 2:28 PM EDT2018-04-23 18:28:48 GMT

    Netflix is raising its debt to finance new content.

    Netflix is raising its debt to finance new content.

  • Business Briefs: Walmart, Gmail, gas prices

    Business Briefs: Walmart, Gmail, gas prices

    Monday, April 23 2018 8:57 AM EDT2018-04-23 12:57:32 GMT
    Walmart is taking aim at Amazon overseas. Some Gmail users were hit with suspicious spam messages over the weekend. Just in time for the summer driving season, gas prices are going up.Walmart is taking aim at Amazon overseas. Some Gmail users were hit with suspicious spam messages over the weekend. Just in time for the summer driving season, gas prices are going up.
    Walmart is taking aim at Amazon overseas. Some Gmail users were hit with suspicious spam messages over the weekend. Just in time for the summer driving season, gas prices are going up.Walmart is taking aim at Amazon overseas. Some Gmail users were hit with suspicious spam messages over the weekend. Just in time for the summer driving season, gas prices are going up.

    Walmart is taking aim at Amazon overseas. Some Gmail users were hit with suspicious spam messages over the weekend. Just in time for the summer driving season, gas prices are going up. 

    Walmart is taking aim at Amazon overseas. Some Gmail users were hit with suspicious spam messages over the weekend. Just in time for the summer driving season, gas prices are going up. 

  • Business Briefs: Tech earnings due as Facebook faces questions

    Business Briefs: Tech earnings due as Facebook faces questions

    Apr 22, 2018 01:16 PM2018-04-22 17:16:00 GMT

    Here's a look at your top business and tech headlines from Cheddar on News 12.

    Here's a look at your top business and tech headlines from Cheddar on News 12.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."