NSW to take Takata cars off the road
Now all states, with the exception of Victoria, have the ability to deregister cars for safety reasons.
New South Wales has become the latest state to nullify the registration of Takata airbag recall affected vehicles.
"Roads and Maritime Services may refuse to register a vehicle or may suspend or cancel a vehicle's registration, if the vehicle, or any part of the vehicle, is subject to a compulsory recall notice under the Australian Consumer Law," New South Wales minister for roads Melinda Pavey said in a statement.
Now all states, apart from Victoria, have the ability to strip cars of registration for safety reasons.
Director with Bennett & Philp Lawyers Mark O'Connor welcomed the new legal provisions and explained the possible legal ramifications for alpha-airbag insurance claims.
"In normal circumstances, you would make a claim against the other party's compulsory third-party (CTP) cover. But if you have repeatedly ignored the recall and continue to drive an unsafe vehicle, then the CTP insurer of the responsible vehicle may refuse to compensate you for the injuries," O'Connor said in a statement.
O'Connor illustrated a car insurer's reasoning for withholding cover.
"In such situations, the insurer could argue your inaction over the airbag recall has caused or contributed to any injuries suffered in the accident. A deregistered vehicle automatically means no insurance cover either," he said.
How the Takata airbag recall unfolded
As early as 2001, US safety regulators began to receive reports about faulty airbags supplied by the Takata Corporation. Over the next few years, it became apparent that certain models fitted with alpha designation airbags were at high risk of causing drivers injury or death. Due to a design defect, when the airbag experiences high temperatures and humidity, the inflation device can deteriorate. The airbag is then compromised and in the event of a crash, can project shards of metal into the vehicle cabin.
A voluntary Australian recall began in 2009. However, in February 2018, the recall became compulsory with a legally enforced deadline for replacement.