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Auto industry officials say the government is preparing to warn car owners whose airbags have been replaced in the past three years that dangerous counterfeit bags may have been installed.
Industry officials said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has alerted them that thousands of car owners may be driving vehicles with counterfeit airbags.
Some of the counterfeit bags fail to inflate properly.
The officials requested that their names not be used because NHTSA had asked them not to speak publicly about the problem until after an announcement scheduled for Wednesday.
Industry officials said NHTSA will ask car owners to check a government website or call their manufacturer or local dealership to learn if their vehicle model is among those for which counterfeit airbags have been made.