The government announced today that it was committed to ridding cars of faulty or potentially deadly airbags by 2020.
The first compulsory recall was issued today by Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Michael Sukkar for all vehicles with defective Takata airbags, as they have the potential to explode and – terrifying – launch METAL SHARDS when they’re deployed.
“The recall will force manufacturers, dealers and other suppliers to ensure that all dangerous Takata airbags are located and replaced as quickly as possible,” said Mr Sukkar.
The Takata airbag has been for a while now – the ACCC found the airbag to be faulty because of it’s use of ammonium nitrate, a chemical compound that deteriorates over time, making it volatile. Ammonium nitrate is used because it can quickly inflate the bag after a crash, but it’s also highly combustible. The risk of explosion rises after 6 years.
The airbag has actually been linked to 23 deaths and at least 200 injuries world-wide, according to the ACCC, including claiming the life of an Australian in Sydney last year.
“There has been one death and one case of serious injury in Australia. The government doesn’t want to see anymore,” Mr Sukkar said.
He went on to say that while there have been some voluntary recalls, it’s time for the government to take the safety issue into their own hands.
We’ve seen some manufacturers respond well and do the job and voluntarily call the motorists in to replace these airbags. But that’s why the ACCC and the government has had to step in because it has been inconsistent and other manufacturers have essentially hoped the problem would go away.
All of the defective airbags must be replaced by December 31, 2020. Priority is being given to airbags which pose the greatest safety risk.
“If [car owners] are worried about it, they should get onto the ACCC website and check whether their car is one of those that has been affected,” Mr Sukkar said.
Many major auto brands have been affected by the recall, including BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, Ford, Honda, Jeep, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peformax, Subaru, Toyota, and a small number of motorcycles.
To find out if you have a faulty Takata airbag, visit the ACCC site for makes and models affected.