Time is running out for car manufacturers to replace potentially lethal Takata airbags in more than 155,000 outstanding Australian cars.
While they’ve made significant progress in the past few months, there are only six months left on the clock for Australian dealerships to finish up.
The December 2020 deadline looms large, especially as Victorian car dealerships have been ordered to close due to coronavirus.
155,000 cars need to be found
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has again relayed the urgency this week, noting that 188,000 airbags (4.4 percent remaining of entire recall) fitted to 155,000 cars must be replaced as soon as possible.
“These airbags are extremely dangerous and have the potential to misdeploy, sending sharp metal fragments into the vehicle cabin at high speed, with the potential to kill or seriously injure occupants,” said ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard.
“It is essential that you do not ignore or delay responding to notices about the recalls from your manufacturer. If your vehicle is under active recall, please act now to arrange for a free replacement.”
6000 Takata cars now 'critical'
According to the ACCC, at least 6000 of those cars are deemed so risky that they should not be driven at all as they contain ‘critical’ airbags.
Some states and territories are taking steps to stop renewing the registrations of cars with this type of airbag and are even looking at de-registering them.
Despite the difficulties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, over 40,000 cars have had their airbags replaced in the last quarter following a renewed advertising campaign from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).
The advertising campaign first hit social media in June, before expanding to television and digital across Australia over the past 60 days.
Recalled Takata airbags are unstable bombs
As a refresher, the propellant inside certain Takata airbags degrades over time and becomes unstable, to the point where metal shards could be fired into the cabin at lethal speeds in the event of a crash and the bag explode with enough force to break steel.
The Takata recall is the single largest automotive recall in the history of automobiles, affecting 100 million cars globally.
It’s also Australia’s largest product recall ever.
Car manufacturers have until December 2020 to hit their replacement obligations and while great progress is being made, the effort needs to be stepped up.
Vehicle owners should go to www.ismyairbagsafe.com.au and input their registration details to check, or text TAKATA to 0487 AIRBAG (247 224).