Unsafe airbags could lead to rego cancellation

This announcement is for: 

With Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard

Are your airbags safe? Car owners across Western Australia are reminded to check whether they have faulty Takata airbags as the Department of Transport exercises its powers to cancel vehicle licences if owners do not respond to notices to replace deadly Alpha airbags.

Quarterly recall figures show that around 2.8 million faulty Takata airbags have been replaced across Australia, including more than 250,000 in WA, but thousands of affected vehicles remain on WA roads.

The most dangerous Alpha airbags require urgent replacement and drivers should not drive cars containing these airbags until they have been fixed.

In February, Transport issued a warning to 190 drivers of affected vehicles to contact their manufacturer for a compulsory, free replacement or risk their vehicle’s registration being cancelled, but only 66 drivers responded. The Department is now cancelling registrations of the remaining affected vehicles.

Alpha airbags can cause serious injury or even death, with up to a 50 per cent chance of misdeployment if triggered in an incident. Affected vehicles pose a serious and heightened safety risk and should not be driven. We urge drivers to act immediately and contact their vehicle manufacturer.

Vehicles fitted with defective Takata airbags have caused injuries and fatalities. Worldwide, there have been 26 deaths and over 300 injuries reported as associated with defective Takata airbags. In Australia last year, a man was tragically killed and a woman was seriously injured.

If you received a recall letter or other communication from the manufacturer but you no longer own the vehicle it relates to, contact the vehicle manufacturer and advise them of this. And if you have the contact details of the new owner, then you should supply them to the manufacturer.

You should also provide the manufacturer with relevant details if you are contacted about a vehicle which has been scrapped or stolen.

Vehicle manufacturers are replacing all faulty Takata airbags according to priority risk factors and are required to complete the mandatory recall by 31 December 2020. Some vehicles are under active recall for replacement now, with others on a rolling basis, scheduled for future recall based on priority factors.

You can check whether your vehicle is affected by visiting the Takata airbag recall list on the Product Safety Australia Website or www.ismyairbagsafe.com.au. All you need is your registration plate number. It only takes 30 seconds and it might save you or your family from being seriously injured, or worse. 

More information about how the free replacement process works, and which vehicles are affected, is available on our website at www.consumerprotection.wa.gov.au and on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s product safety website at www.productsafety.gov.au/recalls. Or give us a call for advice on 1300 30 40 54.

Consumer Protection
Media release
16 May 2019

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