Recall of vehicles fitted with Takata airbags
On 28 February 2018, the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, the Hon Michael Sukkar MP, issued a compulsory recall for all vehicles with defective Takata airbags.
Minister Sukkar decided to issue a compulsory recall because, based on evidence provided to him by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), it appeared to him that:
- a reasonably foreseeable use of vehicles with defective Takata airbags may cause injury to drivers and/or passenger, and
- one or more suppliers of vehicles with defective Takata airbags have not taken satisfactory action to prevent those vehicles causing injury to drivers and/or passengers.
The ACCC is responsible for administering the compulsory recall. Further information about the compulsory recall is available on the Product Safety Australia website. This is a significant safety recall and drivers are urged to check if their make and model of vehicle is affected by visiting www.productsafety.gov.au.
History of the Takata airbag recall
This is a global recall on an unprecedented scale.
Since 2009, vehicle manufacturers in Australia have been recalling vehicles fitted with potentially defective airbag inflators produced by Takata Corporation resulting in the mis-deployment of the airbag.
On 14 August 2017 the then Minister for Urban Infrastructure, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP released a comprehensive report from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development outlining the nature of the defect affecting these airbags, the scale of the recall, and the response by both the affected manufacturers and Government.
Figure 1 below shows the number of vehicles subject to voluntary recall and rectified over time as of January 2018:
Number of inflators subject to the Takata airbag recall in Australia and key events from January 2015 to January 2018
(Click chart for larger version)
On 21 September, the then Minister for Small Business, the Hon Michael McCormack MP (the Minister), issued a proposed recall notice for a compulsory recall of certain vehicles with defective Takata airbags installed and inflators salvaged from these vehicles. The compulsory recall was proposed following a safety investigation conducted by the ACCC.
If you are not sure if your vehicle is affected, as a first step you should go to the ACCC's Product Safety website, www.productsafety.gov.au which provides further information including a list of potentially affected makes and models of vehicle. If you discover that your vehicle is potentially affected, you should contact your local dealer as soon as possible.