2013_Toyota_Vios_review_ 089

Last week, it was reported that Toyota Australia was attempting to locate a number of Toyota vehicles that may be fitted with counterfeit airbag parts, which could pose a deadly risk in the event of a crash. The topic was revealed in a confidential dealer bulletin issued by the company, which a news publication managed to get its hands on.

The bulletin said that the company had identified two suppliers selling counterfeit Toyota airbag spiral cables that were marketed as original replacement parts. Packed in bogus Toyota Genuine packaging, these counterfeit parts were sold to independent repairers, who were likely to be unaware that the parts were fakes.

Today, the company has announced that it has lodged Federal Court proceedings against the two independent retailers over the matter. Toyota Australia says the legal action relates to ‘trademark infringement’ and ‘misleading and deceptive conduct’.

The company said via a statement that it was concerned that customers have been misled into believing they have purchased a genuine Toyota part, and that internal testing had found that the counterfeit airbag spiral cables are of inferior quality.

airbag spiral cable

It had been reported that the counterfeit parts do not feature gold-plated connectors and doesn’t use copper wire like the genuine part. Additionally, the crimping of the cable is apparently not strong enough, and the plastic locking tabs are also said to be poorly formed or misaligned.

Toyota Australia added that it is expecting independent retailers in the country to contact the impacted customers to advise them that they have purchased counterfeit parts and to replace the airbag spiral cable with a genuine Toyota part at no cost to the customer.

The spiral cables are a core component of the airbag connector assembly, and the unit is replaced along with an airbag if the latter is deployed. While cars that have never had their airbags deploy are unaffected, vehicles that have been repaired, especially outside Toyota’s dealer repair network, may be equipped with a counterfeit unit.