RACV urges owners to act on Takata Alpha airbags

RoyalAuto magazine

RACV is urging owners of cars fitted with defective Takata ‘Alpha’ airbags to have them replaced immediately.

December 2018.

RACV is urging owners of cars fitted with defective Takata ‘Alpha’ airbags to have them replaced immediately.

While many cars registered in Victoria are subject to a compulsory recall of about four million airbags Australia wide, RACV vehicle engineering manager Michael Case says the Alpha airbags pose a much higher safety risk than other Takata inflators.

Almost 4000 potentially deadly Alpha airbags remain in cars on Victorian roads as of November 2018, according to statistics from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission which is overseeing the recall.

 “The Takata Alpha airbags have been shown to rupture more frequently and are therefore subject to immediate recall,” says Michael.

“We urge all Victorians to check the ACCC and ismyairbagsafe websites to see if their vehicle is affected and take action right away if they need to.”

The wider recall

The compulsory recall requires manufacturers of vehicles with all defective Takata airbags to replace the components in affected Australian vehicles by 31 December 2020, with the schedule of replacement based on risk. 

This schedule means that not all vehicles will be recalled straight away. The 2020 deadline reflects the fact that due to the enormity of the recall, manufacturers are facing major issues with supply. There are currently 372,107 non-Alpha airbags in Victorian-registered vehicles that will need to be replaced before then.

What should owners do?

  • Visit accc.gov.au and ismyairbagsafe.com.au to see whether your vehicle is affected. 
  • If your vehicle has Takata Alpha airbags (as noted on the ACCC list) do not drive the vehicle as it is a critical safety risk.
  • If your car, motorcycle or truck is on the list, call your local dealership or manufacturer immediately to arrange to get the airbags replaced.
  • Do not interfere with the vehicle’s safety features as it could pose a serious safety risk.