Published: Fri, March 02, 2018
Science | By

Mitsubishi issues national reminder to replace deadly Takata airbags

Mitsubishi issues national reminder to replace deadly Takata airbags

The federal government has announced a compulsory recall of vehicles in Australia fitted with defective Takata airbags.

The Australian compulsory recall is one of the largest of its kind and follows voluntary recalls by carmakers previous year affecting 1.7 million vehicles.

- Worldwide, there have been at least 23 deaths and more than 230 serious injuries reported associated with the airbags.

Australia's consumer body triggered compulsory recalls for the first time on Monday, asking Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Michael Sukkar to compel reluctant auto companies to replace airbag inflators in dozens of popular models.

The new recall applies to vehicles made by more than 25 manufacturers.

While brands such as Holden and Mercedes told the consumer authority airbags fitted to European-built vehicles are "currently safe" and posed "no safety risk", the ACCC's recommendation to Minister Sukkar said evidence put forward by carmakers is "is unreliable or inconclusive" and manufacturers "have clearly not taken satisfactory action to avoid risk of injury".

If is it under active recall, contact a dealership or the vehicle manufacturer to arrange a replacement as soon as possible.

The recall requires suppliers of vehicles with defective Takata airbags to replace all defective Takata airbags in Australian vehicles by 31 December 2020 (or later in some instances if approved by the ACCC).

About 2.7 million vehicles have been recalled voluntarily, and 1.7 million had their airbags replaced. He assured vehicle owners that not all models pose an immediate threat, and priority will be given to replacing alpha airbags which pose a critical safety risk.

A total of four million vehicles in Australia are affected.

Australian government recalls 4M vehicles equipped with Takata air bags

Today's compulsory recall adds a further 1.3 million vehicles to the list. Of note, too, is that there are more recalls to come as Takata airbags reach the age where they too start showing symptoms that they are at risk of failing.

Takata's faulty airbags have led to massive recalls around the world over the past decade.

Another 450,000 airbags that were already replaced with a like-for-like replacement are also part of the compulsory recall.

- Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Michael Sukkar: "I don't think anyone who understands the process could have accused us of dragging the chain".

The airbags will need to be replaced within two years.

Mr Sims said manufacturers would bear the cost of all replacements, and that consumers should not be overly inconvenienced by getting their airbags replaced.

Priority will be given to vehicles at a higher risk.

Under the settlement, Takata will continue its recall, and along with the automakers will pay for replacement air bags.

They have been subject to multiple compulsory recalls outside Australia.

The second category relates to what Sims described as airbags that were "not badly made, they just have a design fault", and account for most of the recalls.

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