Proposed compulsory recall: Vehicles with defective Takata airbags

The Hon Michael McCormack MP
Minister for Small Business | Federal Member for Riverina

The Hon Paul Fletcher MP
Minister for Urban Infrastructure | Federal Member for Bradfield

21 September 2017

PROPOSED COMPULSORY RECALL: VEHICLES WITH DEFECTIVE TAKATA AIRBAGS

Today the Australian Government issued a Proposed Recall Notice for a compulsory recall of all vehicles with defective Takata airbags installed, following an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) safety investigation.

Small Business Minister Michael McCormack and Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher wrote to vehicle manufacturers on 25 July 2017 for an urgent update on their voluntary recall processes.

On 5 August 2017, Mr McCormack issued a Safety Warning Notice to warn consumers of the risks of these products and to encourage consumers to check their vehicle’s status.

Today the Australian Government is taking further action to ensure the safety of Australian consumers and safety on our roads.

Our number one priority and responsibility is to protect Australian consumers’ safety.

Today’s decision, made under section 132A of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, follows a review of evidence and advice presented by the ACCC’s Takata Taskforce.

The Taskforce found Takata airbags without a desiccant (or drying agent) or with a calcium sulphate desiccant have a design flaw that can result in misdeployment, causing serious injury or death to vehicle occupants.

The recall affects more than 100 million vehicles worldwide, and the misdeployment of Takata airbags has been associated with 19 deaths globally, including one in Australia, and at least 200 injuries.

Australian consumers who think that their vehicle may carry a Takata airbag are encouraged to check if their vehicle’s make, model and vehicle identification number (VIN) are listed on the Product Safety Australia website.

If your vehicle is recalled, consumers should immediately contact their dealer or manufacturer to book in a time to have the airbag replaced. The replacement is free.

The Proposed Recall Notice will require suppliers to replace all defective Takata airbags by 31 December 2020, with priority given to airbags which pose the greatest safety risk, particularly vehicles with ‘alpha’ airbags.

The recall will also include replacement of ‘like for like’ airbags which have been installed as part of the earlier recalls, as they will also deteriorate over time.

All manufacturers who have supplied vehicles with a defective Takata airbag are invited to register for a conference with the ACCC by Tuesday 3 October 2017 via www.accc.gov.au/takata.

The ACCC will make a final recommendation to Mr McCormack in relation to the issue of a compulsory recall as soon as practicable after any conference is held.

ENDS

Dom Hopkinson