Faulty airbags in over 2.7 million Australian vehicles have been identified as dangerous and in need of replacement in the world’s biggest recall in automotive history.
The Takata airbags have been linked to 18 deaths around the world, including a 58 year old Australian man who was involved in a fatal crash in NSW last year.
60 makes affected
The airbags are found in 60 makes of cars that are sold in Australia, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and include models such as, BMW, Toyota, Lexus, Subaru and Mazda.
The defective airbags deteriorate and become volatile over time, leading them to explode and release shrapnel, which has injured drivers and passengers in 180 recorded incidents globally.
These explosions can cause serious injury to drivers or passengers.
Consumer organisation Choice found that more than two-thirds of the 2.7 million cars affected in Australia still have not had their potentially lethal air bags replaced.
Spokesperson Tom Godfrey said that, “it leaves people driving ticking time-bombs”.
There is also the issue of cars that have been on-sold from the original buyers, who are even less likely to be identified as being at-risk and so may never be presented to the car manufacturers for airbag replacement.
Is your car on the list?
You can find out if your vehicle is one of the large number of car makes and models or small number of motorcycles and trucks affected by checking the list on the government product safety website.
Be aware this list is regularly being updated.
What you should do if it is?
- Take action
If your car is on the active recall list, then it’s essential to get in touch with your local dealership or manufacturer as soon as possible to have it replaced.
- Don’t attempt DIY
It’s important to not try and remove or disable the airbags yourself – this is dangerous and leaves you without protection in the event of an accident.
- Check about previous replacement bags
If your car has had a replacement airbag in the past, you should contact your car dealer or manufacturer to have your car inspected.
Rod Sims from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said, “we’re urging people, if you have had a replacement airbag to get in touch with your dealer and find out if it’s one of the Takata bags”.