Blog: Dave LeggettPsst! Want an airbag?

Dave Leggett | 9 November 2009

I have just read a curious item about an aftermarket trend in Malaysia. The Perodua Myvi is apparently being targeted by thieves after its airbags. The Malay Mail says it has learnt recently that syndicates have been stealing airbags, the single most expensive part in the car’s cabin - in order to resell them in the black market to unscrupulous parts dealers.

Customers can install 'second hand' airbags from unauthorised dealers that massively undercut official prices - RM1,000 instead of RM5,000 for a pair. The newspaper points out that there are dangers with these aftermarket airbags (probably procured from dodgy sources); they may not function, may deploy at odd times or could explode and injure the installer.

The report goes on to say that 'this thieving trend is that it is not difficult to do for those with the expertise'.

Thieves with the technical know-how could apparently open up the Myvi hood easily, short-circuit certain equipment and gain access through all the vehicle doors. From that point onwards, stealing the airbags is a breeze, the Malay Mail says.

Perodua has come up with a solution and has fixed anti-theft features on new cars coming out next year. Older models would, however, need to return to service centres for an upgrade. You'd think the thieves might want the whole vehicle, but maybe they have established a nice little 'closed loop' earner sticking with the airbags.


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