‘Fake Airbag Exporters’ Arrested in Japan

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Metropolitan Police Department

Counterfeit airbags falsely labeled with logos of major Japanese automakers were produced and exported by a group of four Pakistani men who were arrested last month and rearrested on Thursday, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

The four were initially arrested on Jan. 26 on suspicion of violating the Trademark Law by possessing counterfeit airbags for the purpose of selling them. They were rearrested on Thursday on suspicion of violating the Customs Law and other laws.

According to the MPD, a 36-year-old used car dealer living in Isesaki, Gunma Prefecture, and three other men had exported the fake airbags and other items to about 40 countries since June 2020, and had chalked up sales of about ¥280 million.

Police said the men attempted to export 12 airbags bearing fake logos of automakers including Honda Motor Co. and Subaru Corp. to the United States around November 2022. A customs officer at Narita Airport detected the airbags and halted their export.

The four men allegedly acquired components from China to make the airbags, attached the fake logos and then sold the items online both in Japan and overseas.

Airbag manufacturers’ examination of the airbags revealed they might not deploy in a collision and also were at risk of having parts fly off.