Pennsylvania Rep. Matthew Bradford, D-District 70, has introduced a
bill to penalize fraudulent practices regarding airbag installation and
reinstallation. The legislation includes penalties for those who:
(1) install or reinstall, as part of a motor vehicle inflatable
occupant restraint system, an object in lieu of an airbag, including a
light manipulating system;
(2) sell or offer for sale any device with the intent that the device
will replace an airbag in any motor vehicle if the person knows or
reasonably should know that the device does not meet federal safety
(3) sell or offer for sale any device that, when installed in a motor
vehicle, gives the impression that an operable airbag is installed in
that motor vehicle, including any light manipulating system; or
(4) intentionally misrepresent the presence of an airbag when one does not exist.
The Motor Vehicle Airbag Fraud Prevention Act also outlines
restrictions for purchasing, selling or installing new or salvaged
airbags. This includes:
(1) A person engaged in the business of purchasing, selling or
installing salvaged airbags shall maintain a manual or electronic
record of the purchase, sale or installation, which must include the
identification number of the airbag; the VIN of the vehicle from which
the salvaged airbag was removed; the name, address and driver’s license
number or other means of identification of the person from whom the
salvaged airbag was purchased; and in the event that the salvaged
airbag is installed, the VIN of the motor vehicle into which the airbag
is installed. No new or salvaged airbag shall be sold or installed that
is or has been subject to a specific manufacturer’s or appropriate
authority’s notice of recall.
(2) (i) A person engaged in the business of installing a new
replacement airbag shall maintain the name and tax identification
number of the supplier of the airbag and record the VIN of the motor
vehicle into which the airbag is installed, as well as the
identification number of the airbag being installed. The identification
number of the previously deployed airbag being replaced shall be
(ii) Upon request of any law enforcement officer of the
Commonwealth or other authorized representative of the agency charged
with administration of this section, the installer shall produce such
records and permit said agent or police officer to examine them.
(3) A person who installs a salvaged airbag in a motor vehicle shall
apply a permanent, durable label that clearly states that the motor
vehicle contains a salvaged airbag. The label shall be permanently
installed on the dashboard of the motor vehicle.
(4) A person who sells a salvaged airbag or who installs a salvaged
airbag shall disclose to the purchaser and motor vehicle owner that the
airbag is salvaged.
(5) A person who installs a new or salvaged airbag shall submit an
affidavit to the motor vehicle owner or the owner’s representative
stating the replacement airbag has been properly installed.
(6) All records shall be maintained for not less than five years
following the transaction and may be inspected during normal business
hours by any law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth or other
authorized representative of the department.
(7) Upon request, information within a portion of a record pertaining
to a specific transaction shall be provided to the insurer and the
motor vehicle owner.
(8) A person engaged in the business of selling salvaged airbags shall
comply with regulations developed by the department. The regulations
shall include, but not be limited to, the following standards:
(i) Identification of the supplier of the unit.
(ii) Identification of the recipient motor vehicle, including VIN, year, make and model.
(iii) Identification of the airbag module cover color and color code, if available.
(iv) Identification of the donor motor vehicle, including VIN, year, make and model.
(v) Supplier’s internal stock number or locator number.
(vi) Indication of source of interchange information (i.e., interchange manual/part number, OEM information, etc.).
(vii) A supplier certificate indicating that all the requirements
of the inspection protocol have been successfully achieved and
identifying the person who completed the inspection.
(viii) A document containing the motor vehicle description
including the year, make and model for which the airbag system
component is required when being sold to the end user.
(9) Salvage airbags conforming to the regulations promulgated in
accordance with paragraph (8) shall be accompanied by a certificate of
conformance, which shall be retained by the installer.
(b) Prohibition. It is unlawful for any person to knowingly possess, sell or install:
(i) a stolen airbag;
(ii) an airbag from which the manufacturer’s part number labeling or VIN has been removed, altered or defaced; or
(iii) an airbag taken from a stolen motor vehicle.
In addition, the Motor Vehicle Fraud Prevention Act states that anyone
aware of the fact that they are selling or trading an inoperable airbag
must notify the person they are selling or trading to by written
confirmation. The act concludes by outlining the consequences of
violating the Motor Vehicle Fraud Prevention Act, which include:
(1) Any person who violates section 3, 4(a)(3) or (b) or 6 is guilty of
a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of
not less than $1,000 and not more than $2,000 per violation, or
imprisonment for up to two years, or both.
(2) A person whose violation of section 3, 4(a)(3) or (b) or 6 results
in a serious bodily injury or death shall be imprisoned for not more
than 10 years or fined not more than $100,000, or both.
(3) Any person who fails to maintain complete and accurate records, to
prepare complete and accurate documents, to provide information from
such records upon request or to properly disclose that an airbag is
salvaged, as required by this act, commits a misdemeanor of the third