• May 7th 2007 at 7:32PM
  • 12
Many used car buyers are completely unaware that their airbags might not deploy in the event of an accident. There are a few reasons for this, but the most prevalent is a scam in which a car that's experienced a previous collision has had its deployed airbag improperly replaced, sometimes with stolen airbag units from other cars and sometimes with nothing more than stuff like packing peanuts or whatever else was lying around the shop.
Being that Carfax offers a service attempting to expose every little detail about a car's history that's available, the company has decided to release information about a car's airbag deployment history for free. The new service doesn't appear to be available from the home page by entering a candidate car's VIN number, but rather from this separate page. We tested it out with a few VINs culled from Autotrader and have yet to find one with an active deployment history. On the other hand, Carfax admits it doesn't have complete records for every airbag deployment that's ever happened. Nevertheless, the database, while perhaps incomplete, contains useful info for those considering the purchase of a used car that's seen some crunch time.

[Source: Carfax]


Carfax Opens Database of Air Bag Deployments Free to Public; Faulty Air Bag Replacements Put Consumer Lives At Risk

CENTREVILLE, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Industry experts estimate that as many as one out of 25 previously damaged vehicles may have non-functional air bags. Con men purposely replace deployed air bags with anything from packing peanuts to stolen units. This growing scam is threatening the lives of used car buyers everywhere. To help consumers protect themselves, Carfax now makes the air bag deployment information in its database available for free.

"No question, air bags are a lifesaver," said Larry Gamache, communications director at Carfax. "To best protect yourself, follow these two important steps: Use the free Carfax air bag check and always have your mechanic test the air bag system to ensure it's functioning properly before you buy. Do not assume your car's air bags will deploy when you need them, because most victims of this scam may never know until it's too late."

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, nearly 20,000 lives have been saved by air bags deploying in an accident. As the height of used car buying season quickly approaches, consumers need to be on the lookout for scams like air bag fraud that can threaten their safety.

"While we don't know about every air bag deployment, we want consumers to have access to what we do know," added Gamache. "We also encourage all of our customers who have information about a previous air bag deployment not currently in our database to tell us so we can further help consumers steer clear of this scam."

Consumers can log on to www.carfax.com/airbag to access the free Carfax air bag check and can report air bag deployment information using the "Tell Us What You Know" link on all consumer-purchased Carfax Vehicle History Reports.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 11 Months Ago

      why does every place require a LOGIN. And usually this means giving away stuff that - why would you be silly enough to do so. This is ridiculous in the time when all this Big Brother stuff is going on. You don't have to be a clone! But, ya, this air bag scam is scary since it is the opposite of the reality which is that American car manfactuers are making their cars self-destruct. It's brilliant. And it's making them a lot of money. Yes, THERE IS A REASON WHY JEEPS ARE SO POPULAR IN CHINA. It's the fact that they are RESOLD. BIG BUCKS!!! That's the Americans getting screwed over and the Chinese - probably a sons second car is a Jeep. Good for them. Oh, And good for Jeep. Just what's up with our Internet...is it not working properly. Oh, bay the way it is. TOO good. P

      • 8 Years Ago
      The only way I would think this is possible is to show that the air bag module was replaced on the insurance paperwork.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Carfax is a sham for fools. They were founded by the same company that practically owns the used car market, auctioning millions of used cars per week. They create the used car market, fabricate fears about the market, and then, conveniently, offer ways to avert the fears that they created--all the while profiting from all aspects.
      • 8 Years Ago
      can someone help me get a car fax on this car JTJHA31U940035710
      • 8 Years Ago

      05/24/2000 105,853 Illinois
      Motor Vehicle Dept.
      Aurora, IL
      Title #T0145168025 Title or registration issued
      06/06/2000 Automotive Recycler
      Quincy, IL Vehicle at automotive recycler facility

      Vehicle reported as crushed and should not be on the road.
      10/04/2000 Illinois
      Motor Vehicle Dept.
      Quincy, IL
      Exempt from odometer reporting
      • 5 Years Ago
      A very good evening to you sir,

      I have a question...Would it be possible for an airbag on a Ford Mondeo not to deploy in a collision when a car without a driver runs downhill and hits a stone wall. There are no occupants in the car at time of impact.
      Furthermore what kind of damage can an airbag system sustain in such a collision...... and what the life expectancy of an airbay system of the Ford Mondeo....

      Whilst thanking you for an early reply, I send my best regards
      G. Stagno Navarra
      • 7 Years Ago
      Please check VIN# 19UUA66295A045712
      • 8 Years Ago
      This car shows an airbag deployment.



      • 8 Years Ago
      This one does not; it should, for both sides.
      I don't have an account, but I hope it says wrecked title in there somewhere.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I checked a car that should have confirmed airbag deployed but did not. Unreliable.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I need free car fax on my new car
      • 8 Years Ago
      Unreliable. Just purchase a vehicle for my daughter, did a carfax on it prior to purchase, even had it checked and found out it was in a serious accident. Buyer beware.