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Motorists told to tow their cars to dealership to get Takata airbags fixed

Lachlan Roberts 8 October 2019
Deployed airbag

ACCC strongly recommends owners of vehicles on the “critical” list to stop driving their vehicles immediately. Photo: File.

Major car manufacturers including BMW, GM Holden, Honda, Mitsubishi and Toyota are warning that 20,000 vehicles already under recall for defective Takata airbags are now classified as “critical” and shouldn’t even be driven to the nearest dealership.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said the “critical” faulty Takata airbags require immediate replacement because of their increased safety risk for drivers and passengers.

The ACCC is urging motorists not to drive the listed cars at all until unsafe airbags have been replaced, suggesting people should have their vehicles towed to the dealership.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said the “critical” classification 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,” Ms 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.

“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. We are urging consumers not to ignore recall messages from manufacturers to get their airbag replaced.”

Ms Rickard said more vehicles could be added to the critical category at any time, as manufacturers continue to review the safety risks.

An ACCC spokesperson said there are around 400 vehicles fitted with defective Takata critical airbag inflators registered in the ACT identified as outstanding for repair. Access Canberra disagreed, with a spokesperson stating that only seven vehicles in the ACT have the critical airbags and the owners of the vehicles have been directly contacted by Access Canberra.

The current list of critical vehicles include:

  • BMW: 7,909 vehicles – BMW 5 Series (E39) MY2002-2003, BMW 3 Series (E46) MY2001-2006 & BMW X5 (E53) MY2003
  • 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
  • Mitsubishi: 3,254 vehicles – 2007 – 2014 ML & MN Triton
  • Toyota: 582 vehicles – 2003 – 2005 Toyota Echo and Rav4.

As of 31 August, around 3.36 million airbags (82.4 per cent of total airbags supplied) have been replaced in 2.41 million vehicles, but there remain around 483,071 airbags in 425,971 vehicles still subject to the compulsory recall.

Motorists 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 directly for information
  • ProductSafety.gov.au and checking either the active or future recall lists with further information available about the recall.

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