Thursday, March 7, 2013
Maryland Holds Hearing on Counterfeit Airbag Bill
The Maryland House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on counterfeit airbag legislation on Wednesday. House Bill 885 would make it a criminal offense if an individual knowingly sells or installs a counterfeit airbag in a vehicle.
"I view this issue as an important consumer protection concern for all Marylanders," said Maryland State Delegate Keiffer Mitchell Jr. "The rising prevalence of counterfeit airbags across the country requires action be taken now in the General Assembly to ensure Maryland's families are not exposed to inadequate protections in the event of a crash."
The Association of Global Automakers, who had in hand in drafting the legislation, urged the committee to pass the measure. "This is a public safety issue that auto manufacturers are taking very seriously," said Paul Scullion, Manager of Safety at Global Automakers. This legislation is needed to make individuals think twice before they intentionally make, distribute, sell, install, misrepresent, or otherwise encourage the use of non-functional or counterfeit airbags."
Last fall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a consumer alert after becoming aware of sales and installations of counterfeit airbags that posed a risk of serious injury to the public. Since then, the Global Automakers has worked closely with NHTSA and state legislatures to bring attention to the issue.
The Association worked closely with bill sponsor Delegate Keiffer Mitchell Jr.'s office to provide technical expertise during the drafting of the legislation. Global Automakers said it will be working with other state legislatures to pass laws similar laws in other states.