Airbags Nicked To Order, Inflatingen Car Parts Market
It is no secret that enterprising thieves find it easier to steal individual parts from a car rather than the whole car itself. For example, (BMW) Mini cars are often targeted for their wing mirrors, curiously enough, and then there is the problem of catalytic converter thefts taking place from cars, but mainly from vans.
These sorts of parts are very expensive to buy brand new, and so thieves target such components of a car because of their value, hoping to capitalise on their ill-gotten gains in the secondhand car parts market.
You only have to do a Google search to find all sorts of stories about these parts being stolen to order across the world. But one car part which now seems to be an attractive item to steal for criminals are airbags, believe it or not!
Are car airbags really that valuable?
You might not think so, but actually they are! Car airbags in the UK can often cost several hundred pounds to replace, with average costs being around £350 to £500 per airbag.
Now, consider that most modern cars contain a number of airbags (one on the driver’s steering wheel, a passenger airbag fitted underneath the dashboard, and several ‘curtain’ airbags on the door pillars or sides of car seats). A determined car thief could easily steal all of those airbags if they had enough time to do so!
According to a recent news article from the Manchester Evening News, police have been telling motorists who have been victims of such crimes that a car thief can break into a car and steal an airbag in just 6 minutes.
Figures that the newspaper have obtained under the Freedom of Information Act state that airbags are stolen every four days in Manchester, with 83 reported thefts in 2013 alone.
Obviously this is just one part of the United Kingdom, so assuming that the problem is widespread in all major cities and towns, it is, therefore, turning into a widespread issue for motorists and law enforcement.
What to do if you’ve been a victim
If you go to your car and discover, to your horror, that it has been broken into and one or more airbags have been stolen, you will need to contact your local police station by dialling the 101 non-emergency number (or the equivalent number for your country, for those of you living outside of the UK) and reporting the crime.
Once you have been given a crime reference number, you will need to decide what action to take next.
Firstly, you have the option to contact your insurance company (if you have fully comprehensive insurance) and make a claim. They will then arrange for your car to have replacement glass and airbags. In order to claim on your car insurance, you will need to pay the theft excess as stated in your policy documents.
For those of you that would rather pay for the replacement parts themselves, you can instead utilise websites such as www.247spares.co.uk to get the best quotes for new or used replacement glass and airbags. Going down this route means that you won’t risk having a potentially increased insurance premium.