A local couple had 200 air bags seized from their Vancouver home and investigators are now working to determine if they are part of a larger counterfeit air bag ring.
Yevginey and Lyudmila Smirnov were arrested in July on charges related to selling stolen items including diet pills and teeth whitening strips on eBay, according to investigators.
Investigators searched their home on Northeast 93rd Street in May and said they found a stockpile of those items.
Clark County deputies now say they also seized more than 200 air bags.
Federal investigators said two men were recently charged in Yakima with trafficking counterfeit air bags from China.
According to court documents, Jason Jordan and Salvador Martinez represented the air bags as genuine and sold them on eBay. Investigators said they made nearly $670,000 between June 2011 and July 2012 selling the counterfeit air bags online.
Clark County deputies said they are working with federal investigators to determine if the air bags found at the Smirnov's Vancouver home are linked to the Yakima case.
The Smirnovs are not yet facing charges in that case.
Federal safety agencies said counterfeit air bags can look nearly identical to the certified versions, including bearing the branding of major automakers.
However, testing showed consistent malfunction ranging from non-deployment of the air bag to metal shrapnel appearing during deployment.
Consumers who believe they may be at risk should contact the call center that has been established by their auto manufacturer. The full list of call centers and additional information is available at www.SaferCar.gov.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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