Which item is most often stolen from vehicles in Houston? Is it the stereo, wheels, air bag, or DVD system?
Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in Houston – approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market in Houston.
Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them.
There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all.
That is definitely one car part you don't want to take a chance with, so Kacal's Auto and Truck Service recommends following these guidelines:Use a reputable collision repair center that employs ASE certified mechanics (we can offer recommendations at Kacal's Auto and Truck Service).
Inspect the invoice to ensure that the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer, or recycler. If you can inspect the airbag prior to installation, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer.
You will see the SRS light (Supplemental Restraint System) when you first start your vehicle up. This tells you that the airbag system is activated. If you do not see the SRS light, there is likely a problem with the airbag system.