Investigations

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Manufacturer Pleads Guilty to Selling Fake Airbag Covers

Lawrence G. Hicks, owner and operator of Hicks Motor Auto Airbag Covers, Lacey Spring, AL, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Birmingham, AL, to selling counterfeit automobile airbag covers bearing the registered trademark of the General Motors Corporation (GMC) Chevrolet Division. The covers did not contain the integral airbag system of original manufactured equipment but were cosmetic reproductions of the outer cover and were designed to replace original safety-restraint equipment that had been damaged or deployed. Hicks sold over 4,600 of these covers between 1999 and 2000 to individuals, used-car dealerships, and auto body shops, which used them in repairing wrecked cars. Hicks’s sentencing date has not been set. This case was a joint effort by OIG and the FBI, with assistance from NHTSA.