Safety alert 13/2012 - Asbestos gaskets in vehicles

This publication is for: 
Employee / workerEmployer

Recently, new vehicles imported into Australia from China by Great Wall Motors Australia and Chery Automotive Australia were found to contain asbestos gaskets.   

Asbestos in new products has been prohibited in Australia since December 2003 but in many countries it is still used.

Australian Customs is working with importers and foreign manufacturers to ensure that products containing asbestos are not imported.

As well as imported new vehicles, many older vehicles manufactured before 2004 contain asbestos in brakes, clutch linings and gaskets.

Action required

Automotive maintenance and repair industry

  • If you are replacing a gasket on a new imported vehicle, contact the local dealership to find out whether the gasket contains asbestos and how to safely handle it if it does. 
  • For Great Wall and Chery vehicles, check the model and part numbers on the ACCC’s Product Recall website to see whether the parts contain asbestos (unless service records or engine bay stickers verify that the gaskets have been removed). 
  • For any vehicle manufactured before 2004, assume that the gaskets and brake and clutch linings do contain asbestos.
  • Handle asbestos-containing products according to the Guidance Note – Asbestos materials in the automotive maintenance and repair industry.
  • Ensure that vehicle maintenance records include any gasket replacement work. 

Great Wall or Chery work vehicles 

Asbestos is prohibited in workplaces unless it was in place prior to 2004.    Workplaces in possession of Great Wall or Chery work vehicles or vehicles for sale should see the ACCC product recall website for details of affected models. Where the vehicle may contain asbestos gaskets, contact the authorised dealer to have any asbestos gaskets replaced.  

Importers of vehicles, machinery, parts or gaskets 

  • If you import any vehicles, machinery, equipment, parts or gaskets, it is your responsibility to have gaskets or similar items tested for asbestos content so you can demonstrate that they are asbestos free. 
  • WorkSafe recommends such testing be conducted in Australia by a NATA certified laboratory. 

Further information

Work health and safety laws apply to work involving asbestos. Please see or contact WorkSafe on 1300 307 877.

This Alert contains safety information following inquiries made by WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident. WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up to date and does not accept any liability to any person for the information in this report or as to its use.

Last updated 28 Mar 2017

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