Airbag danger

Authorities are cracking down on car owners who refuse to fix malfunctioning airbags.

The Queensland government has announced plans to issue defect notices and void registrations on cars whose owners have failed to replace deadly Takata airbags.

Owners of more than 600 high-risk cars are set to receive a final warning letter from the Department of Transport and Main Roads, with those who fail to respond being issued a defect notice.

RACQ Principal Technical Researcher Russell Manning said he supported TMR’s decision.

“We’re amazed that the government has had to resort to such drastic action,” Mr Manning said.

“These defective airbags have killed at least 24 people and seriously injured hundreds, yet we have people ignoring repeated requests to access their vehicles for free repairs” 

The move to issue defect notices and cancel registrations comes after BMW announced a new recall involving an additional 12,000 vehicles fitted with Takata airbags.

The airbags were found to pose a ’critical risk‘ to drivers and were not part of the current compulsory recall, of which more than 400,000 vehicles across Australia are still outstanding.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said the Takata NADI type 5AT airbags found in BMWs was suspected in two recent misdeployments resulting in a death and a serious injury.

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said affected owners should contact BMW to have their vehicle inspected as soon as possible.

“Because of the critical level of risk, the ACCC urges people to stop driving their vehicle immediately,” Ms Rickard said.

“BMW will arrange to tow your vehicle to repair facilities for inspection or send a mobile technician out to your premises or vehicle’s location to inspect the vehicle.

“If your vehicle has been fitted with one of these dangerous airbags, BMW will arrange a loan or hire car or reimbursement for alternative transportation costs until airbag replacement parts are available or until other arrangements are made.

“You may also wish to discuss the vehicle being purchased back by BMW.”

As of 31 August 2019, more than 3.36 million affected airbags (82.4% of total airbags supplied) have been replaced in 2.41 million vehicles.

There remain around 483,071 airbags in 425,971 vehicles across Australia still subject to the recall.

Motorists can check whether their car is affected by visiting and entering their state/territory and registration plate number.

Critical vehicles: 

  • Holden – 1,843 vehicles – 2010 Holden Cruze
  • Honda – 6,043 vehicles – Honda City MY2012, CR-V MY 2011, Insight MY2012-2013, Jazz MY2012-2014 & Jazz Hybrid MY2012-2013, Honda Civic MY2006-2011, Jazz Hybrid MY2012 and Legend MY2007-2012, Honda Accord MY2001-2007 and Honda MDX MY2003-2006
  • Toyota – 582 vehicles – 2003 – 2005 Toyota Echo and Rav4
  • BMW – 7,909 vehicles – BMW 5 Series (E39) MY2002-2003, BMW 3 Series (E46) MY2001-2006 & BMW X5 (E53) MY2003
  • Mitsubishi – 3,254 vehicles – 2007 – 2014 ML & MN Triton.

Newly affected BMW models:

  • 316i
  • 318i
  • 320i
  • 323i
  • 325i
  • 328i
  • 330i
  • 318Ci
  • 320Ci
  • 323Ci
  • 328Ci
  • 330Ci coupe and sedan.