Almost 2 million potentially deadly Takata airbags still on Aussie roads

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Australia’s consumer watchdog has revealed that nearly two million potentially deadly Takata airbags are still on our roads.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today released a report into how many recalls there have been, but also how many of the airbags are still being driven around in the country.

A year after the ACCC began overseeing the recall, 1.8 million airbags still need replacing.

For consumers worried about the hassle, replacing problem airbags is free and can be completed in as little as about an hour by your car’s manufacturer.

The state with the most Takata airbags still on the roads is New South Wales, with over 500,000 airbags still out there. Next is Victoria with 440,000 and Queensland with 326,000.

Western Australia has more than 160,000 still on the road, with 103,000 in South Australia, 39,000 in Tasmania, 30,000 in ACT and 11,000 in the Northern Territory.

More than 140,000 airbags are still in question, where manufacturers are still yet to determine where the vehicles are and if they are still on the road.

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard has warned motorists not to be complacent.

“Don’t ignore or delay responding to a letter or call from your car’s manufacturer asking you to have your airbag replaced. The airbags degrade over time and can become lethal by misdeploying and firing metal shards at the car’s occupants,” Ms Rickard said.

The ACCC has reported that the most dangerous airbags are known as “alpha” airbags, fitted to about 115,000 cars, with around 19,500 still potentially on the roads.

The ACCC has warned that these airbags require urgent replacement and drivers should not drive cars containing these airbags until they have been fixed.

“Our greatest concern remains around the alpha airbags, which can still be found in almost 20,000 cars. Make no mistake, these airbags can kill and our advice is for consumers to check our website to see if their car is affected by this recall. If your car contains an alpha airbag, it should not be driven,” Ms Rickard said.

What vehicles are affected by the Takata airbag recall?

There are 10 manufacturers affected by the airbag recall prior to July 1 – and they’re all the major ones.

BMW, Ferrari, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Honda Motorcycles, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota (including Lexus) are affected.

Currently Toyota, Honda and Mazda make up the bulk of cars affected and cars already rectified.

From July 1, an additional 10 manufacturers have commenced recall action. These makes include Audi, Citroen, Ford, GM Holden, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Skoda, Tesla and Volkswagen. In this group, GM Holden made up the bulk of airbag recalls and fixes.

The ACCC’s report coincides with the launch of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ national awareness campaign advertising the website ismyairbagsafe.com.au. Users can simply put their number plate into the website to find out if they are affected.

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