1.4m dangerous Takata airbags still in Australian vehicles

posted by Francis Churchill
12 November 2018

There are still 1.4m potentially lethal Takata airbags in Australian vehicles, according to Australia’s competition watchdog.

Of the airbags that still need to be replaced, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said 12,000 were the higher risk ‘alpha’ airbags.

ACCC announced more than 350,000 airbags were replaced in the third quarter of this year following a renewed push to recall all affected vehicles.

Faulty airbags from the Japanese firm Takata were installed into millions of vehicles worldwide, and have been linked to 18 deaths internationally. The airbags propelled fragments of metal and shrapnel towards the car occupant.

The dangerous components were used by a number of car manufacturers, including Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW and Nissan, among others.

Alpha model airbags are 50% more likely succumb to the type of failure that has caused death or injury, and are responsible for nine of the 15 US deaths confirmed to be the result of a faulty Takata airbag.

Delia Rickard, ACCC deputy chair, said she was “pleased to see” car manufacturers were taking their responsibilities to replace airbags seriously, but urged consumers not to delay if their manufacturer notified them their vehicle was affected.

In August – a year after ACCC initiated its investigation into Takata airbags – the watchdog said there were still 1.8m potentially lethal airbags that needed to be recalled.

A voluntary recall was announced back in 2009, however it wasn’t until the end of February 2018 the Australian government launched a compulsory recall.

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