The good news is that more than six million people have checked their cars for deadly Takata airbags, but the bad news is that there is still about 900,000 on Australian roads fitted with them.
To aid the long-running Takata airbag recall campaign, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) launched the industry website www.ismyairbagsafe.com.au in 2018 for consumers to check whether their vehicle was fitted with faulty airbags.
To date, more than 6.4 million vehicles have been checked via the website and over one million have been found to be in need of a recall.
“That’s a tremendous result,” said Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI.
“The Australian public has visited the website over 6.4 million times, and that’s an indicator of strong engagement for this important safety campaign. More than 100,000 vehicles [are] rectified every month.
However, there is still more work to be done, with more than one million cars on Australian roads with potentially deadly ‘beta’ Takata airbags fitted.
Car companies are now calling for the registration ban – which kicked off in South Australia last September and has extended to NSW, Queensland, Western Australia and the territories – to be extended to beta airbag-equipped cars.
Some industry officials fear that the spotlight on the much smaller number of 'alpha' Takata airbags – which have a one-in-two chance of exploding – is taking the emphasis away from beta bags, which have a one per cent chance of incorrectly deploying.
The website joins renewed advertising efforts, with the “Don’t Die Wondering” national ads featuring on television, press, radio, billboards and social media.
The FCAI urges affected vehicle owners to continue using the www.ismyairbagsafe.com.au website or text TAKATA to 0487247224 to check the recall status of their cars.
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Mr Weber notes that manufacturers are making it as easy as possible to get the recall done, saying “once a vehicle is identified, vehicle owners can make arrangements with their brand’s local dealer to have all faulty airbags replaced. This work is free.”