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Federal authorities fine MTV's 'Pimp My Ride' auto shop

UPI News Service, 12/31/2004 

Federal authorities have fined a California car shop made famous by MTV's "Pimp My Ride" show for disabling or removing safety equipment.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said West Coast Customs and another TV customizer, Unique Autosports of Uniondale, N.Y., are facing fines for disabling or removing safety equipment from vehicles as part of the overhaul work they do, reported Friday.

The NHTSA fines are part of a crackdown on illegal customization.

The NHTSA slapped a $16,000 fine on "Pimp My Ride," which follows the Inglewood, Calif., crew of West Coast Customs as they turn decrepit vehicles into high-glitz, rolling entertainment platforms.

The $16,000 fine was for removing air bags to install video monitors in the steering column of some cars.

"It's not only a bad idea to disable the air bag, it's against the law," agency spokesman Rae Tyson told The New York Times." If you have a DVD player there instead of an air bag, it's not going to protect you in a crash."

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Copyright 2004 by United Press International

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