Man arrested for sale of counterfeit airbags

Police warn of serious danger as fakes sold on eBay

Published:  20 February, 2016

A 34-year-old man from Dorset has been arrested as part of a major operation into the sale of fake vehicle airbags.

City of London Police believe around 680 people purchased counterfeit airbags and covers from an eBay account. These fake items could pose a serious danger to drivers and passengers.

Bomb squad offers were called to an address in Poole when officers discovered more than 100 suspected counterfeit airbags of various makes. They have since been taken to a Ministry of Defence facility for safe storage.

The inquiry, Operation Landguard, was launched in January after Honda UK conducted test purchases on airbags sold through eBay. Two airbag units and an airbag cover for the Honda Accord and Honda CRV bearing the Honda badge were found to be fake.

Detectives discovered that fake airbags had been supplied by the eBay seller to at least 148 individuals or businesses since September 2013. They are also investigating another 532 purchases.

The airbags were being sold for £170, about half the cost of genuine Honda airbags.

Police say the fake airbags are made differently from the real ones and there is a "significant risk" they will not inflate in an accident, or that the metal Honda emblem will fly off.

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