QLD drivers told to replace Takata airbags or lose registration

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Motorists in Queensland who haven’t replaced faulty Takata airbags could have their vehicle registration cancelled.

The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads is expected to send out notices to 1,000-plus motorists still driving the affected vehicles, encouraging them to replace the potentially-deadly airbags or face losing their registration.

“If a member of the community receives a defect notice, we strongly recommend they contact their local dealer/manufacturer immediately to have the vehicle repaired,” a department spokesperson stated.

“Failure to comply with the defect notice may result in cancellation of registration for the vehicle.”

The department states that drivers who receive a defect notice have 21 days to replace their airbags before their registration is cancelled. The notice only applies to motorists with vehicles that have the Takata ‘Alpha’ airbag. Alpha bags are a higher risk subset of the Takata bags being recalled, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The move was met with support from RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy, Steve Spalding.

“If we can’t rely on car owners to protect themselves, then the State needs to step in,” he said.

“It’s not just about the car owner’s safety, these cars could be used as ride share vehicles or could be resold on to an unsuspecting buyer. There are just too many lives at stake.”

While applauded by the RACQ, other states – such as New South Wales and Victoria – will not follow suit, but the remaining states and territories are expected to proceed with a similar program.

“Components such as airbags, which cannot be tested, are currently not part of roadworthy checks,” reads a NSW Road and Maritime Services statement.

“Roads and Maritime is assisting vehicle manufacturers by providing up to date details of affected vehicle owners and will continue to work with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in the recall process.”

What should you do if you have a Takata airbag?

Those affected by faulty Takata airbags are encouraged to take their vehicle to their local dealership to have their airbags replaced free of charge, with registration fees to be refunded should any motorists not make the 21-day window.

The Takata recall began back in 2009, with 950,000 vehicles voluntarily recalled and replaced, while in February this year, the federal government ordered a compulsory recall for more than two million vehicles, which included brands such as BMW, Ford, Holden, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen.

Any motorists not sure about the replacement process are encouraged to visit the ACCC website.

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