Imagine you are leaving your office after a long day of work. You are tired but excited to get home to see your family and unwind. As soon as you open your office door, taking one small step into the parking lot, you notice something is wrong. When you get to your car, you notice the window by the driver's seat has been smashed. Great, someone broke into my car. Once you look into your car, the sinking feeling of anger, disappointment, and confusion sets in - your steering wheel is completely missing.
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Does this story sound familiar? Unfortunately, hundreds of car owners across the US are dealing with the same problem - airbag theft. Just take a look at your local news station and you are sure to see a story or two about the rise in this particular crime.
And if this is the first time you are hearing about airbag theft, buckle up because it doesn't sound like this issue is going away any time soon. There are plenty of car parts that are well known for being a target of theft such as catalytic converters. And now, car owners need to add airbags to their list of concerns.
In Detroit, Michigan, it has been reported that 10+ vehicles have become a victim of airbag theft. Yes, thieves are now breaking into cars to remove the entire steering wheel just to steal the airbags.
The worst part is, Detroit, Michigan isn't the only hotspot for airbag theft. In major metropolitan areas all over the country, this type of theft has become more and more common. Airbag theft has become more and more common, possibly as a result of factory shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With airbags being in high demand, thieves can make more money than ever before.
What Cars Are Targets of Airbag Theft?
Any car with a steering wheel and an airbag can be a target of airbag theft, but some makes and models are more popular among thieves than others. Most notably is the Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Equinox, and Honda Civic.
Since airbags are made for specific vehicles, the more popular vehicle makes and models will be higher targets. So, while the vehicles mentioned above have been popping up in the news, if you own a popular vehicle, you might not be safe from this type of theft.
Why Are Thieves Stealing Airbags?
You might be wondering, "Why airbags?"
The short answer is that they are quite expensive. A brand new airbag can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000 depending on the make and model. Once the thief removes your car's airbag, they will sell it on the black market and make anywhere from $50-$200. Then the new owner of the stolen part will be able to sell the new airbag and charge their own customers full price.
Another reason why airbags have become a more popular part to steal is that they can be removed fairly quickly and are very easy to hide. For skilled thieves, an airbag can be removed in less than two minutes!
Should I Be Worried?
For a car owner, this should be a huge concern. The cost of replacing an airbag will be high, but then you will have to add on labor costs. The final price is enough to leave many drivers concerned about airbag theft in their area.
There isn't a whole lot you can do to stop thieves from stealing your car's airbags, but there are steps you can take to ensure that your car isn't an ideal target.
Here is what you can do to prevent airbag theft:
- Purchase a steering wheel locking device
- Park in well-lit, high traffic areas
- Lock your car
- Remove all valuables, or keep them out of sight
- Ensure your car's alarm is functioning properly
What To Do If You Are A Victim Of Airbag Theft?
If you notice your airbag or whole steering wheel are missing, don't drive your car! If you don't have a steering wheel, it will be impossible to drive your car, but driving without an airbag is also very dangerous. The first thing you will want to do is contact your local police. If possible, leave your car the same way you found it and wait for an officer to come.
Once the officer has finished filling out their report, they might be able to give you some more guidance specific to your situation. However, we would recommend having your car towed to a local repair shop in hopes of getting an airbag replacement service. But due to the lack of available airbags on the market, it might take a while before one becomes available to you.
If that's the case, you might be forced to drive a rental car, carpool with family and friends, or use public transportation until your car can be repaired.
Best Mobile Mechanics In Detroit, Michigan
Whether you are in need of a new steering wheel, an oil change, or a battery replacement service, Wrench's has the mobile mechanics for you! We have a large team of ASE-certified automotive technicians that will come to your location, even your home or place of work in Detroit, Michigan.
To book an appointment with Wrench, all you need to do is go to the homepage of our website or download our mobile app. You will be able to log into your existing account, create a new one, or book an appointment as a guest. If you are a new user, we will need to gather a little bit of information about your car and its needs.
The first thing we will need to know is what kind of car you have. You will need to provide the year, make, and model as well as the VIN and license plate number. This will help us get a good understanding of what kind of vehicle we are going to be working with so we can arrive at your preferred location fully prepared.
Then we will need to know what services your car requires. If you need a routine oil change or tire rotation, go ahead and book an appointment right away. We offer hundreds of auto repair and maintenance services, and if you would like to browse our list of services, click here! If you don't see the service you are looking for, don't worry! We might still be able to help you with your automotive issues. Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 844-997-3624 and chat with one of our friendly customer service representatives to see what Wrench can do for you.
Then we will send you a quote that will include both a time and cost estimate. You will look over our quote and ask any questions you have before finalizing your appointment. When you feel good about the quote, you will pick a date, time, and location for your Wrench service appointment. It's that easy!
Although we hope you don't fall victim to airbag theft, our mobile technicians will be standing by to save the day as soon as disaster strikes. Whether your car won't start or your car is making strange noises, Wrench's mobile technician can handle it all. Book your auto repair or maintenance appointment with us today!
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