Vancouver man accused of selling fake air bags

TACOMA — A federal prosecutor who has accused a Vancouver, Wash., man of selling nearly 1,000 counterfeit vehicle air bags says the fakes could fail to deploy in a crash or “deploy in a ball of fire.”

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan of Seattle said Thursday that 25-year-old Vitaliy Yaremkiv was arrested this week on a four-count indictment charging him with trafficking in counterfeit goods.

Prosecutors allege the man imported the counterfeit Honda, Subaru and Toyota air bags from China and elsewhere, selling them over the Internet as real air bags. Durkan says sales topped $137,000.

Federal investigators think many of the bags were sold to independent garages that install them in vehicles and believe they have purchased genuine air bags.

Trial was set for May 28. If convicted as charged, Yaremkiv faces a maximum 10 years in prison and a $2 million fine. It was not immediately known whether he had a lawyer.

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