SACRAMENTO, Calif. --- The state of California estimates that as many as one in 25 accident-damaged cars is equipped with a stolen, salvaged or fake airbag. A new airbag can cost as much as $3,000. According to Newsweek, one way to protect yourself is to use your vehicle identification number to check a vehicle's airbag history at There is no charge for checking. You can also view the airbag panel on the steering wheel or dashboard. If its color isn't quite right, it might have been replaced. Original-equipment airbags usually, but not always, have the initials SRS or SIR on the panel, at least on the passenger side, and the car's logo on the driver's side. Another safety measure is to have a mechanic inspect the airbag.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials