Compulsory recall on the cards for Takata airbags

The Australian Government is considering a compulsory recall of cars fitted with defective Takata airbags, following an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission safety investigation.

RACQ has backed calls reported in The Australian for local drivers to check if their vehicle was impacted, with close to 2.4 million Australian drivers at risk from the faulty bags.

The airbags were unstable and could cause shrapnel to spray around a car’s interior. An Australian was among the 18 killed and 200 people injured by the airbags worldwide.

“These airbags are potentially really dangerous and people need to take this seriously,” RACQ’s Principal Technical Researcher Russell Manning said.

“We support any moves to make it compulsory for vehicle owners to take their car to a dealership and have replacement airbags fitted,” Mr Manning said.

Compulsory recalls were usually only applied where a mandatory safety standard had been breached or in the very rare event a manufacturer refused to conduct a voluntary recall.

“Vehicle manufacturers are responding to this safety concern, and we believe every company involved has voluntarily issued a recall for these airbags,” Mr Manning said.

“We also know there is growing frustration that vehicle owners are not heeding the message.”

BMW, Mazda, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and Mitsubishi models were among those affected.

It was not yet clear how the Government’s proposed compulsory recall would take effect but Mr Manning encouraged vehicle owners to head to the Product Safety Australia website to check their car’s make and model.