Is a dealer accountable for airbags?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is a dealer accountable for airbags?

I’m a recent buyer of a 15 year old car. Originally said vehicle came equipped with an airbag. The vehicle as sold to me is missing the airbag but this was not disclosed to me. The instrument cluster is missing so I had no way of knowing the airbag was missing. If the law here in my state requires the airbag to be present if so equipped, what was the dealer supposed to do?

Asked on June 20, 2017 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If they sold you a vehicle claiming it had an airbag when it did not, they likely committed either fraud (misrepresenting a fact which they knew, or given their situation as dealer, reasonably or logically should have known) and/or breach of contract (not selling you what you had agreed to buy--i.e. a car with all its normal safety equipment). You therefore would appear to have grounds to sue the dealer for the cost to install, etc. an airbag (or they could settle the case by doing the installation itself). Suing them in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se," is likely a cost effective option.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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