A MAN who sold "potentially dangerous" fake airbags has been spared a prison sentence.

Robert Czernik, of Blackbird Close in Poole, bought airbag parts from suppliers in China and Poland using an online account with the username eu_trading.

He then sold them to customers. Detectives from the City of London Police force discovered more than 190 airbag covers and parts bearing the names of major brands at the 35-year-old's home.

In total, 28 brands, including Honda, Toyota, Mercedes Benz, Audi and Skoda were identified as being affected. Almost 700 people have been notified to contact their car manufacturer to ensure their vehicle's airbag is safe.

Czernik was sentenced at the Inner London Crown Court yesterday after admitting two offences under Section 92 of the Trade Marks Act.

He received five months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and will have to carry out 135 hours of unpaid work.

The court heard officials from Honda compiled an extensive report on the airbags. The report revealed the items sold by Czernik had not been produced to any recognised safety standard, and may not activate correctly in a collision.

Detective Sergeant Kevin Ives, of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, said: “Czernik has put drivers at risk of serious injury and death by selling counterfeit airbags and covers.

"We have worked tirelessly for more than two years to ensure the successful prosecution of Czernik."

The dangers of buying counterfeit goods "should not be underestimated," he said.

"With potentially shocking implications for public safety, it’s vital that you are extra careful and check where you are buying goods from," he added.