Which item is most often stolen from vehicles?
C. Air Bag
D. DVD System
Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft – approximately 50,000 a year. New airbags cost about $1,000 but go for $50 to $200 on the black market.
Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them.
There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all.
That is definitely one car part you don’t want to take a chance with, so we recommend following the following guidelines:
- Use a reputable collision repair center that employs ASE certified mechanics.
- Inspect the invoice to ensure that the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer, or recycler. If you can inspect the airbag prior to installation, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer.
- You will see the SRS light (Supplemental Restraint System) when you first start your vehicle up. This tells you that the airbag system is activated. If you do not see the SRS light, there is likely a problem with the airbag system.