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ACCC releases list of ‘critical’ Takata airbags

Mission critical: The ACCC says there are 19,631 vehicles on Australian roads that are still fitted with ‘critical’ Takata airbags, which could injure or kill upon misdeployment.

About 20,000 Australian vehicles fitted with ‘critical’ Takata airbags that could kill

8 Oct 2019

THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued an urgent safety alert for 19,631 BMW, Honda, Mitsubishi, Holden and Toyota vehicles that are fitted with ‘critical’ Takata airbags that have up to a 50 per cent chance of misdeploying in an accident and therefore potentially injuring or killing occupants.


For BMW, 7909 combined examples of the MY01-06 E46 3 Series, MY02-03 E39 5 Series and MY03 E53 X5 have been relisted as ‘critical’ alongside 6043 combined examples of Honda’s MY12 City, MY12-14 Jazz, MY12-13 Jazz Hybrid, MY12-13 Insight, MY06-11 Civic, MY11 CR-V, MY01-07 Accord, MY07-12 Legend and MY03-06 MDX.


Additionally, 3254 combined examples of Mitsubishi MY07-14 ML and MN Triton are now classified as ‘critical’ alongside 1843 MY10 Holden Cruzes and 582 combined examples of Toyota’s MY03-05 Echo and RAV4.


According to the ACCC, ‘critical’ is now a sub-category of Takata airbags that is determined by manufacturers which “continue to review the safety risks” associated with the ongoing recall action, meaning that the number of vehicles on this list may increase in the future.


“Cars with airbags listed as ‘critical’ should not be driven,” said ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard. “A Takata airbag misdeployment can result in death or serious injury, even in a minor collision.


“Under this urgent recall, drivers are entitled to have their vehicles towed to the dealership by the manufacturer and have the airbag replaced for free. Drivers may be entitled to a loan vehicle while the airbag is replaced.


“We encourage all drivers to check if their vehicle is affected, even if they have checked before, and to act immediately to have their airbag replaced.”


The Australian automotive industry’s peak body, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), echoed this sentiment, with its chief executive, Tony Weber, adding that “it is vital that, regardless of whether a vehicle’s airbags are in the ‘critical’ category or not, all owners of vehicles with Takata airbags that are part of the recall should contact their local dealer as soon as possible”.


“The potential danger in the case of an accident can be catastrophic to vehicle occupants. Motorists cannot afford to be complacent,” he said.


Under the ACCC’s compulsory recall that is due to be completed by December 31, 2020, 425,971 vehicles still require at least one Takata airbag replacement, of which 483,071 are outstanding, as of August 30 this year.


In total, 82.4 per cent of – or about 3.36 million – Takata airbags have now been replaced in around 2.41 million vehicles.


The ACCC’s announcement comes two weeks after the FCAI confirmed that more than eight million Australians have used its www.ismyairbagsafe.com.au website to check if their vehicles are fitted with Takata airbags, of which nearly 1.3 million have been identified.


Alternatively, owners can text ‘TAKATA’ to 0487 AIRBAG (0487 247 224) and follow the prompts to see if their vehicle is subject to the recall.


Vehicle owners can also consult the recall databases on manufacturers’ websites, which will notify them if one or more Takata airbags are fitted.


As reported, there have been at least 26 deaths and more than 300 injuries caused worldwide by Takata airbags. In Australia, one person died and another was injured in separate incidents.

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