Published 01-03-2018

TAKATA RECALL NOW COMPULSORY

01-03-2018

The Takata airbag recall continues to expand in scope, with almost three million cars now falling under Australia's first ever compulsory automotive recall. 

The faulty airbags are at risk of exploding upon deployment, sending shrapnel into the interior of the car. They have so far been implicated in twenty deaths globally, including one in Australia in late 2017, and many additional injuries. 

The ACCC has ordered automotive manufacturers, some of whom have previously fallen under the voluntary recall and others who have not, to provide a list of Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) of the 875,000 additional affected vehicles by April 3. Those VINs will then be added to the existing compulsory recall list.

Assistant Minister Michael Sukkar said that voluntary recall had not been robust enough, and some manufacturers had not been dilligent or prompt in informing their customers of the danger.

"I've agreed with this recommendation because the previous voluntary recall has not been satisfactory overall, and it's the safety of all Australians which is the first priority of this government," he said.

The ACCC believes that of the airbags not replaced, about 27,000 are from Takata's Alpha range, which pose a higher risk than other ranges.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the Alpha airbags carry the highest risk of explosion, classified as "critical", and cars with these airbags were not safe to drive.

He said it was not clear how many of these cars were still on Australian roads, but urged consumers to check the list and immediately stop driving their cars if they found it on the "critical" list.

"For those airbags we're saying to people don't drive the car again, just contact the manufacturer, they are obliged to come out and fix it."

Even customers who have had a Takata airbag replaced under the recall may need to have a second refitting, as some previous replacements simply swapped out the old Takata airbag for a newer one, delaying but not preventing the risk of shrapnel. 

Takata's air bag fiasco has resulted in 100 million recalls worldwide and forced the Japanese company into bankruptcy protection after they admitted to hiding evidence of their product's faulty design.

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