Senator Fasano’s Air-Bag Legislation Passes State Senate

April 20, 2006

Legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Len Fasano (R-North Haven) that would make it illegal to sell so-called “fake airbags” received unanimous approval in the state Senate today. House Bill No. 5182, An Act Concerning Fake Air Bags, had previously passed the House of Representatives unanimously and now requires only the signature of Governor M. Jodi Rell to become law.

“This legislation was the result of a great deal of bi-partisan effort. After this matter was brought to my attention, I immediately contacted Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who was instrumental in helping to raise awareness about a very serious safety issue,” said Senator Fasano. “These imposter airbags are extremely dangerous for Connecticut motorists. Once they are installed, drivers may not know whether or not an air bag is underneath and are unknowingly putting themselves and their passengers at risk. We do not want safety compromised in this state and this bill ensures that will not happen.”

Specifically the bill prohibits selling or offering to sell in Connecticut any device intended to replace an air bag if the seller knows that it does not meet federal safety standards. Violators would be charged with an unfair trade practice. While federal law already prohibits auto repairers or dealers from installing air bag covers without air bags in vehicles whose bags have deployed, non-professionals are not covered by either federal or state law.

“Numerous state and local officials worked together to craft this legislation to close up the loopholes that currently exist. Now any dealer or individual that attempts to sell these devices that compromise the safety of drivers in this state will be justly prosecuted.”

Senator Fasano is the Ranking Senator on the Committee on General Law, where the legislation originated. He is serving his second term representing the 34th district communities of East Haven, North Haven, and Wallingford.