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Used Holden Air Bags for your Chevrolet SS... are they safe?

Posted by Maverick Man on

Used Holden Parts. You've seen them, you probably bought them. Maybe from a Facebook seller or even e-bay.  But there is one thing that I have been seeing pop up over and over again... and that is used Holden Air Bags such as these below.

 

You seen them for sale maybe you even bought one! I mean, everyone who does the "Holden" conversion eventually wants a Holden Airbag to make their "conversion" complete, right? 

What they don't realize is that a used air bag may not function correctly because airbags are highly susceptible to moisture and temperature. The airbag could be subjected to these issues even before they're extracted from the junked vehicle.

For example, if the recycled car had been in an accident during a rainstorm or a flood and the airbag was exposed to water, it may no longer be viable even though it was never deployed. Do remember all those cars during Katrina that got flooded?

In the US there is a very large market for counterfeit airbags which can account for failures in performance and safety. Now, whether or not counterfeit airbags exist in Australia or not... I can't say.  However, I do know that other counterfeit parts are sold there, so there is always that chance. For example...

Counterfeit Hoods:

Holden Issues Warning About Counterfeit Bonnets

Counterfeit Wheels: 

Lastly, did you know that the VF Commodore and Caprice had a recall on Airbags?

The ACCC recall notice stated that the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) may not have been secured properly into the casing of the Air-bag Control Module, also known as the Sensing & Diagnostics Module (SDM).  Do note: this is a different recall then the reprogramming on the Chevrolet SS for the airbag.  Wondering if the airbag you bought is one that has been recalled?  Well, you just don't know.  I can pretty much guarantee you the seller doesn't know either, nor do they probably care. 

Now whether or not you care about the safety of your airbag or the one you plan to buy, that is up to you. This is just a warning for those who plan to buy a used Holden Air Bag. There are A LOT of Facebook resellers out there.  You know who they are. I doubt they can tell you where their used airbags came from, what the reasoning was for the bags to become used in the first place, and even if the airbags were supposed to be recalled.  The fact is, most of these US sellers are buying them off e-bay.com.au.  They buy them in bulk at a discounted price and resell them a tad cheaper than if you bought it yourself.

Resellers (or what i like to call ebay filppers) reading this post will be getting all up in arms about what I have written, just like my last Blog about Counterfeit Holden Parts.  As much as they want to make you believe I am making this up, I am not. The truth is, I DON'T sell airbags, so I don't profit from this article at all.  Below are very reliable sources supporting this fact, including the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission government website, and Takata, the manufacturer of most airbags used today.

SOURCES:

https://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/38/2/4

https://www.autonews.com/article/20140623/OEM10/306239960/takata-says-moisture-may-be-culprit-in-airbag-recalls

https://www.edmunds.com/car-safety/are-recycled-oem-non-deployed-airbags-safe.html

https://www.productsafety.gov.au/recall/gm-holden-ltd-vf-commodore-caprice?source=recalls

It was also noted that some owners were having issues even needing a VIN number to where the used airbag came from.  It seems in some states if you were getting it inspected via a salvaged car, the air bag could be considered stolen and there needs be proof of that sale. Just a thought for every situation.

So is your airbag safe? Where did you buy yours? Is it a real one? Do you know where your airbag came from and why was used? Do you have inspections in your state? If you don't care, more power to you. But if you care about your safety and you want to be sure your airbag will work, buy a new airbag.

Be smart, be safe!

 

 

 

 

 


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