Two vehicle customizing firms, West Coast Customs of Inglewood,Calif., and Unique Autosports of Uniondale, N.Y., have been fined atotal of $21,000 for the removal of drivers' side air bags,according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.The air bags were removed to install video monitors in the steeringwheels.

West Coast has been featured on the MTV program, Pimp My Ride.“No matter how busted your ride is, these guys can turn it into adope-ass date magnet,” the shop's crew claims.

Federal law prohibits the removal of mandated safety equipment.NHTSA officials have expressed concern about the growing popularityof customizing, and have said that they would aggressivelyinvestigate custom shops that disable safety equipment.

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