Drivers warned of airbag scams

Drivers have been warned of a new crash data clearing scam that falsifies if a car’s airbags have been deployed.

Crash data clearing involves firms offering to reset motorists’ locked airbag modules after the airbags have gone off, potentially saving hundreds of pounds just on airbag module repair alone.

The online scammers offer to restore the airbag module in as little as 24 hours, so it appears as if the vehicle has not been involved in a collision and the airbags have not been deployed.

Jon Clay, identification director at HPI, said: “There can be legitimate reasons for resetting crash data on a vehicle if displays need to be reset once the airbags have been replaced. However, if crash data is reset, this makes it very difficult to pinpoint exactly why the airbags were deployed in the first instance, with the vehicle receiving significant damage or even being written off.

“Withholding this information from a potential buyer is illegal and not only could it prove very costly financially, it could present a danger to driver and passenger safety. Not disclosing if a vehicle has been previously written off after repairing it is an attempt to cover up a potentially lethal situation.”

He added: “Falsifying readings, especially with something as important as the airbags of a car, often lead to mechanical issues and faults later down the line, which could have safety implications or lead to significant repair bills.”