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 3 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.

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