South Australia has taken the initiative on removing cars affected by the Takata airbag recall from its roads, announcing that it will refuse the re-registration of any car currently on the recall list for the most dangerous type of Takata airbag unless owners can prove they’ve had their car fixed.
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It’s the toughest response so far from a government authority regarding the Takata recall saga, which centres around faulty airbag inflators that can eject metal fragments into the cabin when deployed in a crash. The number of cars affected stretches into the millions across at least 20 brands, and globally 24 lives have been claimed and 266 people injured by defective Takata airbags – the most dangerous of which are termed ‘Alpha’ airbags, which are the subject of South Australia’s Takata crackdown.
So far, much of the responsibility for tackling the Takata problem has rested on the manufacturers of affected vehicles and their owners, with the former ramping up supply of replacement airbags and contacting owners of the cars. However, whether repair work is done or not ultimately depends on the owner both responding to the manufacturer and bringing their car in to have its airbags replaced.
South Australia’s approach introduces a level of enforcement. Cars with a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) that’s linked to the Takata recall will not be permitted to be re-registered in the state unless the owner is able to prove that the vehicle’s airbag has been replaced. Cars fitted with the deadliest Alpha airbags are the focus of the South Australia’s road safety regulators for now – other cars subject to the recall but aren’t fitted with Alpha type airbags can still be re-registered.
The South Australian Registrar of Motor Vehicles will introduce its Takata registration restriction from November 1. To see if your car may be affected, visit ismyairbagsafe.com.au to enter your VIN.
The VIN is a 17-character serial number with letters and numbers that can be found either under the bonnet in front of the engine, inside the base of the windscreen on the dashboard, or in the driver’s door jam. The VIN is also recorded on you vehicle’s registration certificate and insurance documents.