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FCAI starts Takata recall awareness campaign

Bring it back: Of the about 3.05 million vehicles in Australia fitted with Takata airbag inflators, about 1.6 million have not had their free-of-charge replacements completed yet.

About 1.6 million vehicle still require Takata airbag inflator replacement: FCAI

General News logo30 Jul 2018

THE Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has officially started its campaign for the compulsory recall of potentially lethal Takata airbag inflators that need to be replaced in about 1.6 million Australian vehicles by December 2020.
 
Called ‘Don’t Die Wondering’, the campaign will be run across several local advertising mediums, with each directing owners to the just-launched www.IsMyAirbagSafe.com.au website, which provides a centralised location for them to check if their vehicle is impacted by the call back.
 
Critically, about 19,500 vehicles are still fitted with an ‘alpha’ version of the Takata airbag inflator, which have a greater risk of rupturing upon deployment and causing metal fragments to be shot into the cabin during an accident.
 
Certain Toyota, Mazda, Honda, Nissan, BMW and Lexus models sold between 2001 and 2004 are fitted with these ‘alpha’ units. All other recalled vehicles use ‘beta’ Takata airbag inflators, which can still be deadly.
 
Either way, Takata airbag inflators have resulted in 24 deaths and 266 injuries being reported globally, including one of each in Australia last year.
 
Anyone with a Takata airbag inflator fitted to their vehicle should immediately contact a preferred dealership to organise a free-of-charge replacement. About 3.05 million vehicles have been affected locally, with less than half already fixed.
 
Owners of vehicles with outstanding ‘alpha’ Takata airbag inflators have been contacted via mail up to six times with instructions to organise a replacement. Other communication methods, such as text messaging and phone calls, have also been used.
 
The chance of Takata airbag inflators mis-deploying may increase after the first six years of them being fitted to a vehicle routinely exposed to high temperatures and humidity levels.
 
As such, vehicles in these high-risk conditions have been prioritised, but a worldwide shortage of replacement airbag inflators has meant some vehicles have had brand-new Takata units installed. This is a temporary fix until supply increases and the replacement can be done again. 
 
FCAI chief executive Tony Weber stressed the importance of the compulsory recall and highlighted the life-changing impact it has.
 
“Some 19,500 vehicles in Australia still need to have their Alpha airbag inflators replaced as a matter of utmost urgency,” he said.
 
“In certain circumstances, there is a chance as high as one-in-two that these may rupture on deployment in a collision.
 
“These vehicles with Alpha airbag inflators should not be driven, and owners should immediately contact their manufacturer.
 
“If a faulty Takata airbag inflator ruptures, metal fragments will propel out of the airbag and into the vehicle cabin, potentially causing serious injury or death to occupants.
 
“It is vital that vehicle owners don’t underestimate the seriousness of this national recall.”
 
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which called for the compulsory recall announced by the federal government on February 28, worked with the FCAI to develop the national awareness campaign.
 
“We welcome the addition of industry’s new web tool as an easy way for consumers to check if their vehicles are affected,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said.
 
“The safety of drivers and their loved ones is at the heart of the recall, and we welcome industry’s efforts to improve consumer awareness.”
 
Vehicle owners looking for more information on the compulsory recall can text the word “Takata” to 0487 AIRBAG (0487 247 224) or visit the www.IsMyAirbagSafe.com.au website.

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