BOSTON — Insurers are calling on Gov. Charlie Baker to sign legislation establishing criminal penalties for selling or installing a counterfeit airbag in a vehicle.
The legislationwas among dozens of bills that lawmakers suddenly rushed to the governor's desk in the days leading up to and on New Year's Day. Under the bill, anyone found guilty of airbag fraud would face a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for not more than 2.5 years, or both.
"The insurance industry is a strong advocate for highway safety and diligently works to protect against the use of unsafe parts," Frank O'Brien, a vice president at the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, said in a statement. "When an accident occurs, consumers expect to be protected by their safety equipment. It should be a criminal act to market or install a counterfeit airbag that may not open properly and potentially cause serious injuries or even death."
The House approved the bill in April; the Senate passed it New Year's Eve, just before the session ended. It is based on a bill filed by Rep. Jennifer Benson of Lunenburg.