deployed airbag

Airbag Scams: How Can You Spot and Avoid Them?

Your car’s airbag should save your life in the event of an accident. But what happens if it doesn’t deploy? Unfortunately, there are dishonest mechanics out there that can potentially put your life at risk on the road. 

Be mindful of airbag scams, in which counterfeit or phony parts can endanger both you and your family. In this post, we will talk about some of the most common airbag scams that you may encounter today: 

Phony Deploy Ploy

When your vehicle is taken to a body shop, employees will deploy your airbags or pull them physically to make it appear they deployed during an accident. Once the insurance company inspects the car and gives an estimate for airbag replacement, the mechanics will replace your airbag with a cheap one. There were some instances when mechanics replaced airbags with beer cans, cardboard, and rags. 

Airbag Switch

Another airbag scam is when mechanics remove undeployed airbags to switch them with deployed ones to make it appear that an accident caused them to inflate. When the insurance company provides a repair estimate, the mechanics will put the original airbag back into the car but bills the insurer for the entire airbag replacement cost. There are cases when the mechanic won’t even replace your airbag at all and instead stuff garbage in it and sell your airbag on the black market. 

Now, how do you know if you’ve been scammed? Watch out for these signs: 

  • The indicator light is on: Newer cars have lights on the dash that let you know the status of your airbag system. If the light goes off, the airbags are usually in good working order. 
  • No airbag on the invoice: If your airbag is deployed or needed replacing, but you don’t see it on the invoice, you need to ask questions and don’t let it go until you get a good explanation or you have the airbag item on the invoice. 
  • Airbag cover looks different: If you notice something odd about the airbag cover, then you need to inspect it closely. Does it fit poorly? Is the logo of the vehicle missing or is the color a bit off? In that case, there’s a possibility the airbag has been stolen. 
  • Consumer complaints: It’s essential to check the BBB and the internet for reports of consumer complaints.

Fight Airbag Scams

There are times that it’s so easy to fall into a scam, especially when your car is already being repaired. Don’t worry; you can still fight off these airbag scams. For one, if you’re thinking of buying a car, look into the history of the vehicle. If the history is altered, then you might want to skip that one. 

Another thing is to get a mechanic or repair center you trust. They can check out the airbag and make sure it’s certified. 


When it comes to airbag problems, it’s essential you only leave it to a reputable company. That way, you can guarantee that your airbag will be taken care of properly. Do your research to help you find the company that suits you best. 

For airbag module reset in Westfield, MA that is reliable, trust only Safety Restore. Contact us today to inquire about our post-accident restoration services, from seat belt repair to webbing replacement.


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