The court heard that 25-year-old Abdul Masood Qayumi of Surrey, B.C., and his brother, Abdul Masih Qayumi, bought counterfeit Honda, BMW and Toyota airbags from China and sold them on eBay.
Homeland Security Investigations agents purchased and tested two of the airbags, which failed to deploy as designed, and one of them shot flames from the top and bottom, with its cover being ejected towards the driver.
In sentencing, Judge John Coughenour said time in prison was needed to express the seriousness of the offence because Qayumi was importing extremely dangerous counterfeit goods into America.
Qayumi claimed he didn't know the airbags were fake and posed a risk of death or serious harm, but the judge said he knew about airbags and if he didn't have knowledge of the dangers then he was reckless.
The brothers entered guilty pleas in July to the charges, and Abdul Masih Qayumi will be sentenced by the same court next week.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous story said the man was sentenced to 16 months in U.S. prison.