Technicians work to replace Takata airbags.
Technicians work to replace Takata airbags.

RECALL: Hundreds of death traps still on North Coast roads

HUNDREDS OF cars across the North Coast are potential death traps as they drive around with a dangerous airbag that have caused death in a number of crashes.

The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission is urging consumers to check if their vehicle is affected and book them in for a replacement.

The commission has released figures that show how many cars still have the dangerous component across the North Coast, and in some towns it’s close to 100 still on the road.

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Coffs Harbour leads the way with 129 vehicles still yet to have changed over the airbags, with Byron, Ballina and Grafton around 75 each.

Find out how many are left in your town in the table below.

According to the latest ACCC figures on the compulsory recall, about 180,000 airbags (4.4 per cent of all airbags subject to this recall) in more than 155,000 vehicles (5.1 per cent of affected vehicles) are yet to be replaced.

“These airbags are extremely dangerous and have the potential to misdeploy, sending sharp metal fragments into the vehicle cabin at high speed, with the potential to kill or seriously injure the occupants,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Technicians work to replace Takata airbags.
Technicians work to replace Takata airbags.

“It is essential that you do not ignore or delay responding to notices about the recalls from your manufacturer. If your vehicle is under active recall, please act now to arrange for a free replacement.”

More than 6,000 of those vehicles are so dangerous that they should not be driven at all.

These vehicles contain the highest risk ‘critical’ airbags, and states and territories will be deregistering them to take them off our roads. Some states and territories are also preventing re-registration of unregistered vehicles unless there is evidence that the affected airbag has been replaced.

epa05716398 (FILE) – A Takata brand airbag inflators after it was removed during the recall service is shown at Suburban Honda in Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA, 27 May 2015 (reissued 14 January 2017). According to reports on 14 January 2017, Japanese company Takata was fined 1 billion US dollars over exploding airbags, which were linked to several deaths and injuries. EPA/JEFF KOWALSKY
epa05716398 (FILE) – A Takata brand airbag inflators after it was removed during the recall service is shown at Suburban Honda in Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA, 27 May 2015 (reissued 14 January 2017). According to reports on 14 January 2017, Japanese company Takata was fined 1 billion US dollars over exploding airbags, which were linked to several deaths and injuries. EPA/JEFF KOWALSKY

“If your vehicle contains a ‘critical’ airbag, you should stop driving it immediately and contact the manufacturer to arrange for it to be towed or a technician to be sent to you so the airbag can be replaced,” Ms Rickard said.

Consumers who imported a vehicle directly into Australia from overseas are urged to contact the vehicle manufacturer’s Australian office to see if it is affected by the recall, and those who imported a vehicle using a business in Australia should check this with the business, and arrange airbag replacements if needed.

In the past three months, more than 40,000 vehicles have had their airbags replaced despite the pandemic, and a further 2,250 vehicles have been identified as no longer on the road. On average, more than 3,100 airbags have been replaced each day since the compulsory recall began in March 2018.

“There are only six months left for manufacturers to meet their replacement obligations, and while the compulsory recall is progressing well, it is important to get these remaining deadly airbags off our roads,” Ms Rickard said.

“Checking ismyairbagsafe.com.au to see if your vehicle is affected, and getting the airbag replaced if it is, is an essential step to preventing more deaths and injuries.”

FAST FACTS:

As at June 30, 2020:

In total about 3.66 million airbag inflators (89.2%) have now been rectified in about 2.68 million vehicles (87.8%).

This leaves 180,869 airbag inflators (4.4%) in 155,351 vehicles (5.1%) remaining for replacement.

An additional 262,725 airbags (6.4%) in 218,393 vehicles (7.1%) were reported by suppliers as unrepairable (written off, unregistered for more than two years, exported, scrapped, stolen, or modified and unable to have the airbag replaced).

There are 1,334 vehicles with critical-alpha airbags and 4,718 vehicles with critical non-alpha airbags outstanding for replacement.

Vehicles with critical airbags should not be driven, and drivers are entitled to have their vehicles towed to the dealership to have the airbag replaced for free.



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