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Mitsubishi recalls iMiEVs over airbag fault

Takata troubles: The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is the latest in a long line of vehicles to have its defective Takata-branded airbags recalled.

Electric Mitsubishi iMiEVs built between 2010-11 recalled for defective airbag

General News logo28 Mar 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

MITSUBISHI has issued a recall for 177 examples of its short-lived i-MiEV electric car over a fault in the airbag that can lead to metal fragments being ejected into the cabin in the event of a crash.

The recall, posted on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) product safety website, affects GA and GB series i-MiEVs built between February 2010 and December 2011, which then went on sale between 30 March 2010 and 20 May 2013.

At fault is the i-MiEV’s passenger side front airbag inflator, which in the event of an accident can shoot metal fragments into the cabin, increasing the risk of injury to occupants.

The i-MiEV is fitted with Takata airbags, and is the latest in a huge list of vehicles to be affected by the brand’s defective airbags.

Takata, the Japanese airbag manufacturer, has been embroiled in a scandal for the better part of a decade over the fitment of defective airbags that have resulted in injury and at least 16 deaths worldwide, and the global recall of over 30 million vehicles across a wide range of manufacturers including BMW, Honda, Daimler, Toyota, Ford, Subaru, Nissan and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

None of the recorded deaths resulting from the Takata fault have been in Mitsubishi vehicles.

There have been no reports of exploding airbag inflators in Australian i-MiEVs.

Owners of affected vehicles will be contacted by Mitsubishi via mail once replacement parts become available, and will be advised to present their vehicle to their preferred dealer to have the issue rectified.

Other Mitsubishi vehicles have also been recalled over the same issue previously, including a recall that went out in September last year relating to Pajero SUVs from 2007 up to 2016, that shot metal fragments into the cabin.

Models that previously suffered the same problem include Triton pick-ups from 2007-2014, and Lancer sedan and wagons manufactured between June 2003 and the end of 2008, which were fitted with Takata airbags.

Just last month Takata plead guilty to a felony charge in a US federal court, being forced to hand over $US1 billion ($A1.3b) as part of a settlement deal with the justice department which includes compensation for victims of the inflators and car-makers.

The settlement was approved by US District Court judge George Steeh, despite lawyers representing the victim’s families claiming that the car manufacturers were also culpable.

Fines could have potentially totalled up to $US1.5b, but the judge opted not to impose the full amount to ensure Takata did not go bankrupt, which would delay the replacement of millions of faulty inflators.

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