Published: Friday, August 3, 2018
More than 100,000 South Australian motorists are still driving around with faulty and potentially deadly airbags in their vehicles, despite the Federal Government launching a compulsory recall earlier this year. Words: Jeremy Rochow
Takata airbags, which were installed in millions of cars from as early as 1999 from various manufacturers – including Honda, Mazda, BMW, Jeep, Nissan and Subaru – have been linked to at least 23 deaths and 266 injuries worldwide.
More than 3 million Australian vehicles were recalled in February, with about 1.1 million already repaired.
About 103,000 South Australian cars still have the faulty Takata airbags installed.
Cars still with faulty Takata airbags in SA
Now, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has unveiled a new website to help motorists check if their car has been recalled.
RAA motoring expert Mark Borlace urged motorists to check if their vehicle was part of the nationwide recall.
“Manufacturers have attempted to contact as many vehicle owners as possible via their own records, but RAA is urging motorists to conduct checks themselves,” Mr Borlace said.
“To do this, car owners can visit the Is My Airbag Safe website.”
Why are the recalled Takata airbags so dangerous?
A combination of heat and humidity can make the propellant in affected Takata airbag inflators deteriorate over time.
In extreme cases, the faulty airbag may not deploy correctly, shooting out sharp metal pieces and potentially causing serious or fatal injury to the vehicle’s driver or occupants.
About 19,000 of the 1.8 million cars that still need to be repaired are equipped with the most dangerous ‘alpha’ airbags.
In South Australia alone, 617 cars have the faulty ‘alpha’ airbags requiring urgent attention.
While all faulty airbags need to be replaced, Mr Borlace said owners of cars with alpha airbags should act quickly and seek an immediate replacement as they posed a more severe risk.
“Motorists need to keep following up with their dealer or manufacturer to ensure the faulty airbags are replaced, especially as there is no cost to the owner for the work that is done” Mr Borlace said.
“Even if the dealer has suggested they don’t have the parts required to replace the airbag, keep in touch regularly to check when repairs can be completed.”
To check if your car’s affected, you simply need your vehicle’s registration number and to go to the Is My Airbag Safe website or contact your dealership or manufacturer.