Government announces “most significant” vehicle recall in Australia’s history

Posted: 28 February 2018 10:19 am

2 in 7 vehicles in Australia will be affected.

The Federal Government has announced a compulsory recall of all vehicles with faulty Takata airbags following an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, the Hon Michael Sukkar, said that the use of vehicles with Takata airbags may cause injury to drivers and passengers and suppliers of these vehicles haven't taken satisfactory action to prevent these vehicles causing injury.

The ACCC has previously issued warnings to consumers regarding Takata airbags which have so far caused 23 deaths and 230 injuries worldwide. So far, one death and one serious injury have been reported in Australia.

Sukkar said it was the largest and most significant recall in Australia's history.

"The compulsory recall will force manufacturers, dealers, importers and other suppliers to ensure that all dangerous Takata airbags are located and replaced as quickly as possible," he said to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The issue with the Takata airbag design is that it degrades over time when exposed to high temperature and humidity. In the event of this degradation, the airbag may deploy with too much explosive force during a crash causing the airbag inflator housing to rupture and sharp metal fragments to shoot out and hit people in the vehicle.

This compulsory recall applies to:

  • All vehicles that are subject to existing voluntary Takata recalls and
  • Approximately 1.3 million additional vehicles that have not been voluntarily recalled.

This will affect approximately two in seven Australian vehicles.

Suppliers of vehicles with defective Takata airbags will need to replace these airbags in vehicles by 31 December 2020 (or later if approved by the ACCC). Keep in mind that your vehicle may not be recalled immediately as it depends on certain factors, such as relative safety risk.

The ACCC is urging drivers to check whether their vehicle is affected. You can check if your vehicle is on this list – if it is under "active recall" you can contact your supplier to arrange the replacement of the airbags in your vehicle. You can also consult your supplier's website to see information about recalls.

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