The largest auto recall in history is currently underway and hampered in part by counterfeits. The recall, which will involve 34 million cars and 11 different automakers, is to replace airbags made by Takata, a major supplier of airbags located in Japan. The airbag’s inflator, a metal cartridge loaded with propellant wafers, is faulty and may explode and send metal shards that can injure or even kill the car occupants. (See Youtube video above and website below.)
The recall, however, is hampered in Australia by the discovery of fake Takata airbags. The genuine airbag costs the equivalent of $300 and the fakes go for about $50. The counterfeit part does not have gold plated connectors, the crimping of the cable is not strong enough and it does not use copper wire. The recall in Australia is expected to be over a million and comes less than a year after the Australian government ordered a recall of counterfeit Toyota brake pads that were sold online to unsuspecting customers. The fakes brake pads were discovered in Toyota’s popular HiLux utility vehicle and HiAce van as well as commuter buses.