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A bill prohibiting the installation of salvaged airbags, S.B. 48, is being considered by the Maryland Senate. The bill also prohibits the fraudulent sale or installation of airbags and requires specified records to be maintained in connection with the sale or installation of airbags.
The Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) says it supports the bill, as the association believes salvaged airbags pose a safety risk because their quality and functionality cannot be verified. In testimony the association supplied for a Feb. 9 hearing, the group suggested two minor amendments to the bill’s language one dealing with repair orders and another removing seat belt pretensioners from the bill.
"The use of salvaged replacement airbags for consumer vehicles is not a practice that is currently employed or accepted in the collision repair industry due to a litany of safety concerns," WMABA’s testimony stated. "There are not currently any manufacturers that endorse the use of nondeployed salvaged airbags, and to the contrary, most original equipment manufacturers strongly caution against the practice due to the liability risks. If these products are being purchased in the United States, the likely recipients of these airbags are vehicle rebuilders, which often do not conform to the same levels of workmanship and concern for consumer safety as quality-minded collision repair facilities."