Press "Enter" to skip to content

Shop owner arrested after $280K in counterfeit airbags found at business

Shops that suspect they have purchased a counterfeit airbag should report the information to A2C2 and contact any of the automaker brand protection teams

Homestead, Fla.—A Homestead, Fla., an auto shop owner faces numerous felonies after police reported they intercepted a shipment of counterfeit airbags at his business. Michael Keith Reid, 61, of southwest Miami-Dade, owner of Mike’s Auto Miami, was arrested last week on Wednesday and faces 306 felony charges. According to police, the counterfeit airbags were filled with “junk.”

“This law enforcement action is a great success and a concern,” wrote Jon Ruttencutter, Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council (A2C2) program manager, in an email to Aftermarket Matters Weekly. “We have to wonder if any [shops] have purchased a dangerous counterfeit airbag from an online seller. If anyone suspects they have purchased or may be in possession of a counterfeit airbag, they should report the information to A2C2 members by visiting and contacting any of the automaker brand protection teams directly.” 

According to Miami-Dade police and a report by NBC 6 WTVJ, Reid became a suspect after Homeland Security Investigations agents in Raleigh, N.C., conducted a border search of a FedEx shipment of 20 Honda airbags from the UK, addressed to Mike’s Auto. The airbags, authorities noted, were packaged and marked improperly.

A Miami-Dade detective posing as a prospective customer contacted Mike’s Auto and requested a quote for 2015 Honda Accord airbags. He was informed there were “plenty in stock” at $350 a piece which, if authentic, would sell for $900 each, police stated. After receiving a warrant, the police conducted a search of Mike’s Auto and discovered 286 counterfeit airbags, most of which were labeled Honda and Acura, in addition to others labeled Chevrolet, Toyota, Nissan, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz.

Police said the seized airbags were worth $281,766.

“The safety of vehicle occupants is our main priority,” said Bob Stewart, GM Global Brand Protection manager. “GM is committed to the usage of authentic automotive parts and the elimination of counterfeit parts, including airbags, which have penetrated the market. These counterfeit parts do not meet our stringent engineering and safety standards and may not properly protect vehicle occupants.” Stewart also serves as the the A2C2 president and National Automotive Service Task Force chairman.

Comments are closed.

Bringing you regional and national automotive aftermarket news
Verified by MonsterInsights