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Tuesday, 29 July 2014 00:00

New Jersey Latest State to Introduce Legislation to Ban Fake Airbags

State Assembly and Senate bills introduced in July seek to prohibit the manufacture, sale, or installation of counterfeit or nonoperational air bags in a motor vehicle.

New Jersey Assemblywoman Annette Quijano on June 9 introduced Assembly Bill 3364 that seeks to seek to prohibit the manufacture, sale, or installation of counterfeit or nonoperational air bags in a motor vehicle. The measure contains language similar to that found in legislation and laws introduced in several other states over the last year. An identical bill was also introduced in the New Jersey Senate on June 12 by Senator Peter J. Barnes III.

 

Under the provisions of this bill, as introduced, a person who “manufactures, imports, installs, reinstalls, sells, or offers for sale any device with the intent that the device replace an air bag in any motor vehicle and knows or reasonably should know that the device is a counterfeit air bag, a nonfunctional air bag, or does not meet certain federal safety requirements is guilty of a fourth degree crime.”

A fourth degree crime is punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment, and a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

The bill also includes language that seeks to make it illegal to disable or cause the vehicle’s diagnostic system to make it seem like a functioning airbag is installed. The bill would also make it a fourth degree crime for anyone “…who sells, installs, or reinstalls in any motor vehicle a device that causes the motor vehicle’s diagnostic system to inaccurately indicate that the vehicle is equipped with a functional air bag when a counterfeit air bag, a nonfunctional airbag, or no air bag has been installed…”

The bill would also make each instance where a counterfeit or nonfunctioning airbag was installed count as a separate violation.

Violations under the bill would also be treated as an unlawful practice under the consumer fraud act in the state and would be punishable by a penalty of not more than $10,000 for the first offense or $20,000 for further offenses. Also, an injured party could be awarded triple damages and costs under the bill language.

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