The Federal Government has issued a safety warning on Takata airbags, after an estimated 1.5 million cars across Australia were affected by one of the world’s biggest vehicle recalls.
RACV last month called for the Federal Government to place a greater emphasis on the recall, and to put pressure on manufacturers to speed up the process for replacing defective airbags.
News reports say that at least 18 people worldwide have been killed by the airbags, including a NSW man who police say was fatally injured by flying shrapnel form his Honda CR-V airbag.
The faulty airbags include 60 makes of cars sold in Australia, including popular brands such as Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Nissan and many more.
Small Business Minister Michael McCormack said an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) taskforce would run a safety investigation that would consult with vehicle dealers and manufacturers.
“The ACCC will investigate the risks involved in the use of vehicles with Takata airbags, including the actions of manufacturers to inform consumers about the risks, as well as the adequacy and speed of their airbag replacement programs.
“The ACCC, along with other state and territory regulators, will continue to respond to consumer enquiries, and to provide advice and support to consumers.
“The taskforce will report to Government on what further actions may be needed in the coming weeks, including the possibility of issuing a mandatory recall.”
Minister for urban infrastructure Paul Fletcher said it was important that everything possible be done to help affected consumers and that manufacturers carry out the recall process as quickly as possible.
“With an estimated 1.5 million vehicles fitted with recalled Takata airbags on Australian roads and the possible risk of injuries and fatalities, the Government has acted to bring the manufacturers to the table to find a solution which sees swift replacement of these potentially defective airbags.
“Fifteen manufacturers have announced 75 recalls in Australia for vehicles with Takata airbags, affecting a large number of car makes and models, and a small number of trucks and motorcycles.”
Vehicle owners are urged to check whether their car has been recalled on the ACCC’s dedicated Product Safety website.