MVDA

MVDA

Friday, 19 February 2016

HUNDREDS OF FAKE HONDA AIRBAGS SOLD ON EBAY

Police have launched an investigation after Honda Motor Europe alerted them to counterfeit airbags being sold at half manufacturers' prices.
 
Hundreds of motorists are being warned their cars have potentially counterfeit airbags following the arrest of a suspect accused of selling fake equipment on eBay.
 
The man was arrested in Dorset on Thursday as officers told 680 people to urgently return their vehicles to a dealer to have their vehicles checked after buying his stock online.
 
Superintendent Maria Woodall, City of London Police said: "We are urging anyone who has concerns about a possible counterfeit car part they may have to contact their nearest authorised car dealer."
 
Officers launched an investigation after Honda Motor Europe discovered counterfeit airbags were being sold at half their normal prices. Factory analysis showed "they would not deploy as a genuine airbag would on collision, presenting a clear danger to the public".
 
City of London police said. "Every individual has been advised to make contact with their local dealership immediately so that their vehicle receives the necessary checks to ensure it is safe," a statement added.
 
It is understood that 148 of the consumers affected purchased suspected counterfeit Honda CRV and Accord airbags.
 
A 34-year-old man was arrested in Blandford Forum on Thursday morning on suspicion of counterfeiting and money laundering offences. He remained in police custody as officers seized approximately 100 suspected counterfeit airbags, financial documents and computers.  Staff from the Ministry of Defence were also at the address as a precaution due to the presence of explosives in the airbags.
 
As a result of investigations, 680 people were identified by officers from payment records relating to eBay vendors using the names ‘EUTrading’, ‘OMNADRENIAK1984’ and ‘barbo2007.’ It has been established that purchases have been made by a wide range of small and medium-sized businesses and individuals. Officers are currently establishing if the remaining 532 purchases concern other counterfeit manufacturer car parts.
 
The counterfeit Honda airbags had been on sale since September 2013 for approximately £170. Philip Crossman, managing director of Honda Motor Europe’s UK subsidiary, said: “The safety of customers is of paramount importance, and we aim to eliminate counterfeiting. We strongly recommend any modification to the airbag systems of our cars be undertaken by a trained technician in an official dealership. If customers are concerned, they should visit their local dealership.”
 
More information can be found here

MVDA had already warned, & indeed shown, Government, Thatcham & Motor Insurers that counterfeit airbags were widely available on the internet.  We have similarly demonstrated the use of eBay by criminals to sell car parts.

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