CENTREVILLE, VA – Industry experts estimate that as many as one out of 25 previously damaged vehicles may have non-functional airbags. Conmen purposely replace deployed airbags with anything from packing peanuts to stolen units. This growing scam is threatening used-car buyers everywhere. To help consumers protect themselves, Carfax now makes the airbag deployment information in its database available for free.

“No question, airbags are a lifesaver,” said Larry Gamache, communications director at Carfax. “To best protect yourself, follow these two important steps: use the free Carfax airbag check and always have your mechanic test the airbag system to ensure it’s functioning properly before you buy. Do not assume your car’s airbags will deploy when you need them, because most victims of this scam may never know until it’s too late.”

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 20,000 lives have been saved by airbags deploying in an accident. As the height of used-car buying season quickly approaches, consumers need to be on the lookout for scams like airbag fraud that can threaten their safety.

“While we don’t know about every airbag deployment, we want consumers to have access to what we do know,” added Gamache. “We also encourage all of our customers who have information about a previous airbag deployment not currently in our database to tell us so we can further help consumers steer clear of this scam.”

Consumers can log on to www.carfax.com/airbag to access the free Carfax airbag check and can report airbag deployment information using the “Tell Us What You Know” link on all consumer-purchased Carfax Vehicle History Reports.