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NSW government announces Takata airbag ban

Bag ban: NSW has enacted legislation to ban the registration renewal of vehicles fitted with defective Takata airbags.

Legislation amendment gives power to ban NSW vehicles with defective Takata airbags

18 Feb 2019

THE New South Wales government has joined other Australian states and territories in enacting legislation to potentially ban vehicles still equipped with faulty Takata airbags, with the risk of registration suspension applying to those who do not comply with the ongoing mandatory recall.


With NSW bringing in its new legislation, it leaves Victoria as the only Australian state to not have made a change to its laws to disallow the registration of vehicles fitted with potentially deady Takata airbags.


The NSW government has amended the Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Regulation 2017, which now dictates that those who have not had their faulty Takata bags replaced could risk having their vehicle’s registration suspended.


Owners will not be able to re-register their vehicle until the airbags in question have been replaced by the manufacturer, a process that can be done free of charge.


While equipped with defective bags, owners also cannot sell or transfer ownership of their vehicle.


The ban applies to vehicles fitted with Alpha-type airbags, which are considered to be the more dangerous of the two forms of Takata airbags.


A spokesperson for the NSW Roads and Maritime Services said the amendment has been made to encourage those who have not yet made plans to replace their airbags to do so.


“The safety of all motorists, passengers and pedestrians is the number one priority for Roads and Maritime Services,” the spokesperson said.


“Extensive efforts have been made by vehicle manufacturers and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and this is the next step to ensure anyone with a faulty airbag gets it replaced.


“Airbags are an essential safety component of a vehicle, like seatbelts. If an airbag deploys it is because the crash is serious enough to cause major injuries or death. Airbags need to work and be safe to use.


“Roads and Maritime is continuing to work with manufacturers and the ACCC to get all faulty Takata airbags off NSW roads.”


As of the end of 2018, 73.5 per cent of all the airbags in the federal government’s compulsory recall program had been replaced, equalling 2,805,856 out of 3,818,799 units.


Of the remaining airbags, 7816 were of the Alpha type, while the other 1,005,127 were the less volatile but still dangerous Beta type.


The highest monthly number of airbags replaced in 2018 came in September, with 130,000 units addressed.


Mazda had the best completion rate among manufacturers with 92.7 per cent, while Holden needed to replace the most airbags, with 232,682 outstanding units.


Globally, the defective bags have resulted in 24 deaths and more than 300 injuries, with one of each occurring in Australia.


Customers seeking more information on their vehicle can text the word “Takata” to 0487 AIRBAG (0487 247 224) or visit the www.ismyairbagsafe.com.au website.

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