04262018CM0203SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett’s (D-Champaign) measure to address the sale of counterfeit airbags was approved by the Senate this week.

Senate Bill 560 increases the penalty for fitting a car with any device instead of an airbag from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Class 4 Felony. A Class A Misdemeanor is punishable by up to 364 days in the county jail, whereas a Class 4 Felony is punishable by one to three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and up to two-and-a-half years of probation.

“This measure is a step in the right direction to cracking down on organized criminals who are selling dangerous counterfeit airbags to consumers and suppliers with little to no regard to their deadly consequences,” Bennett said. “Increasing the penalty will deter criminals from selling these defective devices.”

Bennett said that due to the significant cost of modern airbags, their design and the technology involved in making them, scammers have taken to producing counterfeit and/or nonfunctional airbag replacements. These products often go unnoticed because airbags are only opened in the event of a collision.

“Airbags are critical in helping to protect drivers and passengers,” Bennett said. “We need to make sure that everyone has the appropriate equipment that meets proper safety standards to keep them safe in the event of a crash.”

SB 560 passed with bipartisan support and will now move to the House for consideration.

 

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