Figures released by the consumer watchdog show that more than 250,000 vehicles fitted with the defective Takata airbags are still on Australian roads.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says that more than 3.5 million Takata airbags have so far been replaced during the course of the total recall, with around 2.5 million vehicles affected.
Despite this, close to 300,000 defective airbags are still to be rectified in a quarter of a million vehicles.
“We are now in the final year of the compulsory recall, but more than a quarter of a million dangerous vehicles remain on our roads,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“There is a risk these airbags may misdeploy, even in a minor accident, and send sharp metal fragments into the vehicle at high speed, causing serious injury or death to its occupants.”
The numbers come after Honda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki issued statements recalling select models earlier this month, joining five other manufacturers who had also issued recall notices.
“We’re particularly concerned by the number of vehicles with a critical airbag remaining for airbag replacement,” Ms. Rickard added.
“If your vehicle is listed as critical, please do not drive it. Contact your dealer to arrange for your vehicle to be towed to the place of repair so you do not have to drive it.”
The critical recall category applies to vehicles with alpha airbags and other defective Takata airbag inflators which pose a heightened safety risk of causing injury or death.
There are 2,611 critical-alpha vehicles and 8,585 critical non-alpha vehicles remaining for airbag replacement.
The ACCC recommends that drivers check to see if their vehicle is affected by either visiting ismyairbagsafe.com.au and entering their number plate and state, or texting ‘TAKATA’ to 0487 247 224. Similarly, vehicle owners are also urged to contact their car manufacturer to arrange an inspection and potential airbag replacement.
Vehicle suppliers are expected to replace all defective Takata airbags in Australian vehicles by December 31, 2020, unless otherwise approved by the ACCC.
Takata airbag facts
- About 3.56 million airbag inflators (86.7%) have now been rectified in about 2.59 million vehicles.
- This excludes 246,768 airbag inflators (6%) in 206,840 vehicles identified as unrepairable (written off, scrapped, stolen, or modified and unable to have the airbag replaced.)
- There remains 299,122 airbag inflators (7.3%) in 256,670 vehicles outstanding for replacement.
- As at 31 December 2019, there are 2,611 vehicles with critical-alpha airbags and 8,585 vehicles with critical non-alpha airbags as outstanding for replacement.
- Vehicles with critical airbags should not be driven, and drivers are entitled to have their vehicles towed to the dealership to have the airbag replaced for free.
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