Thursday, 02 August 2018 09:48

1.8m faulty Takata airbags yet to be replaced in Australia Featured

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A total of 1.8 million faulty Takata airbags still have to be replaced in vehicles used in Australia, the consumer watchdog says, with the recall likely to run until 2020.

Releasing state-by-state data, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said on Thursday that a year since it started overseeing the airbag recall, 1.1 million airbags had been replaced in about 930,000 vehicles.

It said data provided by vehicle manufacturers showed the location of all known registered vehicles and the number of defective airbag inflators that needed to be replaced.

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While the ACCC deemed the rate of progress of replacing the airbags to be satisfactory, ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said motorists should not become complacent.

“Don’t ignore or delay responding to a letter or call from your car’s manufacturer asking you to have your airbag replaced," she said.

"The airbags degrade over time and can become lethal by misdeploying and firing metal shards at the car’s occupants."

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The ACCC said the most dangerous airbags, known as “alpha” airbags, were fitted on about 115,000 cars, with about 19,500 still potentially on the roads.

These required urgent replacement and drivers should not use such cars until they were replaced.

Rickard said: “Our greatest concern remains around the alpha airbags, which can still be found in almost 20,000 cars.

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"Make no mistake, these airbags can kill and our advice is for consumers to check our website to see if there car is affected by this recall. If your car contains an alpha airbag, it should not be driven.”

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has launched a national consumer awareness campaign titled "Faulty airbags? Don’t die wondering". There is an online tool and a text service 0427 AIRBAG as well.

“The website provides an easy place to enter your car’s number plate to check if it’s affected and I encourage everyone who owns a car to visit this site,” Rickard said.

Graphs: courtesy ACCC

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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