Friday, 04 October 2019 13:05

Urgent safety alert for ‘critical’ Takata airbags: ACCC Featured

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Australian car manufacturers have warned that 20,000 vehicles already under recall for faulty Takata airbags are now classified as “critical”, with the competition watchdog issuing an alert that the cars listed as critical should not be driven.

The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) issued a statement on Friday on the warnings by BMW, GM Holden, Honda, Mitsubishi and Toyota, and urging consumers not to drive the cars at all until the defective airbag has been replaced.

Critical vehicles listed by the ACCC are:

  • 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.

“Cars with airbags listed as ‘critical’ should not be driven. Classification as ‘critical’ means manufacturers have assessed these airbags as being particularly unsafe. A Takata airbag misdeployment can result in death or serious injury, even in a minor collision,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“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.”

Rickard said consumers can check whether their car is affected by visiting:

  • IsMyAirbagSafe.com.au and entering their state/territory and registration plate number or by texting 0487 AIRBAG (247224) and following the prompts
  • The vehicle manufacturer’s website and entering their VIN number in their Recall Database or by contacting them direct for information
  • ProductSafety.gov.au and checking either the active or future recalls lists with further information available about the recall.

The ACCC says that under the compulsory recall 425,971 vehicles are still to be rectified, warning that critical airbags are a sub-category of faulty Takata airbags that require immediate replacement because of their increased safety risk for drivers and passengers.

The Commission also says the number of airbags classed as ‘critical’ may increase as manufacturers continue to review the safety risks, so drivers should re-check to ensure their airbag is in need of critical replacement.

“This recall is a rolling recall, which means that more vehicles can be added to the critical category at any time, and we’re urging consumers not to ignore recall messages from manufacturers to get their airbag replaced,” Rickard said.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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