Vehicle owners worried about defective Takata airbags now have an easier way to check whether their car is safe, with an online portal letting them check by entering just their number-plate details.
The website ismyairbagsafe.com.au has been set up by the Australian car industry, led by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. Earlier sites allowed owners to check whether their car was affected by the airbag recall, but many required them to enter hard-to-find information, including a 17-digit VIN number.
The federal government announced a recall of 2.3 million vehicles with defective Takata airbags in February.
It affects more than 60 models from manufacturers including Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Nissan, Mazda, BMW, Lexus, Chrysler and others.
The airbags have been associated with 20 deaths worldwide, including that of a New South Wales man who police say was fatally injured by flying shrapnel from his Honda CR-V airbag.
RACV’s vehicle engineering manager Michael Case urges all owners to check their registration numbers on the site, and the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission’s recall list at accc.gov.au, and to keep checking as more models are added to the recall list.
“We acknowledge this recall will no doubt come as an inconvenience to many Victorians whose vehicles are affected,” says Michael. “It is important for Victorian consumers to know that replacing affected airbags is free of charge, even if you bought the car second-hand.”
Worried about your airbags? Follow these steps:
- Visit ismyairbagsafe.com.au and accc.gov.au to see whether your vehicle is affected.
- If your car, motorcycle or truck is on the list, call your local dealership or manufacturer immediately to arrange to get the airbags replaced.
- If your vehicle has Takata Alpha airbags (as noted on the Product Safety Authority list) do not drive the vehicle as it is a critical safety risk.
- Do not interfere with the vehicle’s safety features as it could pose a serious safety risk.