“If you are involved in a collision, the airbag can go off with too much explosive force, causing sharp metal fragments to shoot out and kill or seriously injure people in the vehicle,” Toyota says in a statement.
“As the airbag gets older, a combination of high temperatures and humidity can affect airbags with the fault.”
Toyota will contact affected vehicle owners by SMS, email and mail and ask them to take their vehicle to their closest or preferred Toyota dealer for repair free of charge.
ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard urges car owners not to ignore messages from car manufacturers and advises all car owners to check ismyairbagsafe.com.au as other vehicles may have been added to the recall list.
She says there have been at least 29 deaths and more than 320 injuries involving Takata PSAN airbags worldwide, including one death and one serious injury in Australia and the two injuries in August.
Worldwide the Takata recall affects more than 100 million vehicles and more than four million in Australia.
Other faulty Takata airbags subject to compulsory or voluntary recalls include the NADI and Alpha airbags, some of which have been upgraded to a “critical” recall with drivers advised to stop driving the 20,000 affected vehicles in Australia.
Manufacturers have until December to rectify faulty vehicles with VicRoads cancelling vehicle registrations if owners ignore recall notices.
VicRoads earlier this year cancelled the registration of 110 vehicles with Takata Alpha airbags which had not been replaced and these vehicles cannot be re-registered until they comply with the recall.
It has contacted an additional 2853 owners advising registration suspensions will start soon unless the airbags are replaced.
“VicRoads took action earlier this year to ensure vehicles fitted with the most dangerous Takata airbags were either rectified or removed from Victorian roads,” a Department of Transport spokesperson says.
“We will continue to assist the ACCC and vehicle manufacturers with the national recall.”
A spokesman for the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) says Melbourne motorists subject to the compulsory recall are permitted to travel to a dealership outside their five-kilometre travel limit under stage-four restrictions in order to have the airbags replaced.
For more information, or to check if your car is affected, visit ismyairbagsafe.com.au.