By Clair Morton
Last updated on: February 28, 2018 at 3:13 pm
A dangerous airbag fault linked to at least 23 deaths and 200 injuries around the world has spurred the Federal Government to enact the first and biggest compulsory vehicle recall in Australian history.
The airbags, which were installed in vehicles from 1999 to 2017, are at risk of shooting out sharp metal pieces when they’re deployed due to a serious defect in the Takata airbag inflator.
Until recently, recalls on the faulty airbags have been voluntary, but at the end of February the Federal Government announced a compulsory recall for all affected vehicles.
The decision was based on a recommendation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which found that the voluntary process had not been as effective as they would like.
Millions of cars from manufacturers including Honda, Mazda, Ford, BMW, Mitsubishi, Chrysler, Subaru, Jeep, Nissan and Toyota have already been recalled, with more models being added to the list this week.
Two truck manufacturers, Volvo and Hino, and three models of Honda motorcycles have also been recalled.
In fact, the ACCC has estimated about two in every seven vehicles in Australia are affected.
RAA spokesman Mark Borlace said while all faulty airbags needed to be replaced by the end of 2020, owners of cars with ‘alpha’ airbags (also made by Takata) were urged not to be complacent and to seek an immediate replacement as they pose a more severe risk.
Around 89,000 alpha airbags from several makes and models (see below) have been replaced so far, with another 25,000 to go.
“The RAA urges motorists to follow up and act on the information available for this safety-related recall,” Mr Borlace said.
“If you have already received information about your vehicle’s inclusion in this recall, follow up ASAP with your dealer or manufacturer. If unsure, follow up in any case with your dealer or manufacturer, or look for information on their respective websites.
“If you’re on a waiting list for parts, stay in regular contact with your dealer and insist on the urgency for completing this recall.”
Check whether your vehicle is affected by the wider Takata recall by looking at the full list of affected vehicles here, or contact your dealership or car manufacturer.