Fraudulent Airbag Bill Awaiting Senate Approval

03/13/02 12:00AM

(Host) The Vermont Senate on Tuesday gave its preliminary approval to legislation that is designed to protect people who ride in the front seat of a car. The bill imposes stiff penalties on car mechanics who knowingly replace air bags that have been activated in an accident with fraudulent materials.

Windsor Senator John Campbell says a recent survey of car accidents in California showed that this issue is becoming a major problem. The survey found that in 25% of the cases, mechanics replaced activated air bags with rags or in some cases crushed beer cans. The mechanics then charged the consumer for a new $3,000 airbag.

Campbell says it's important for the state of Vermont to deal with the issue before it becomes a problem here:

(Campbell) "Someone driving in a vehicle with an air bag ¿ a fake air ¿ bag is akin to jumping out of an airplane with a parachute that has been packed and shredded. We're talking about potential death and serious bodily injury if someone is involved in an accident. So therefore, we felt that it is important to have that on the books now in case is does happen it sends a message out."

(Host) The measure is scheduled to come up for final approval in the Senate on Wednesday afternoon.
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