VANCOUVER -- A Vancouver man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly selling almost 1,000 counterfeit vehicle airbags from his home business.
Prosecutors allege between June 2011 and June 2012, 25-year-old Vitaliy Yaremkiv sold at least 964 counterfeit airbags over eBay from his business, Vital Auto Parts and Sales, totaling sales of $137,243, according to U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.
“Counterfeit airbags shred the safety systems built into our cars, which could cause catastrophic results. Counterfeit airbags may fail to deploy in crashes, or deploy in a ball of fire,” Durkan said Thursday in a press release to KGW.
Yaremkiv allegedly imported counterfeit Honda, Subaru and Toyota airbags from sources in China and elsewhere before selling them on the internet. Investigators believe that many of the airbags are sold to independent garages who install them in vehicles believing they have purchased a genuine airbag, Durkan said.
“Counterfeit devices do not carry that same guarantee, threatening the lives of unknowing users and violating their trust. The FBI and its partners will continue to seek and stop those like Mr. Yaremkiv, who irresponsibly put innocent lives at risk for their personal, financial gain,” said FBI Assistant Special Agent Carlos Mojica.
If convicted, Yaremkiv face ten years in prison and a $2 million fine.