Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack and Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher are warning drivers to act immediately if they have certain Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW and Lexus vehicles with models sold between 1999 and 2006, which have “Alpha” airbags installed, as this type of airbag has been identified as posing an even more significant risk of injury or death.
“There are around 51,000 motor vehicles in Australia with the Alpha variant of the Takata airbags that should be replaced immediately,” Mr McCormack said.
“Consumers should urgently check the Product Safety Australia website, to see if their vehicle is listed and contact the nearest dealer to get the airbag replaced.
“If you have an Alpha airbag, you should contact your dealer or manufacturer immediately as these airbags pose a greater risk, and it is critical that consumers take urgent action to have them replaced.”
Mr McCormack said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had advised that the Alpha airbags were produced from around 1999 to 2004 and are considered higher risk than other Takata airbags.
“As Minister responsible for Consumer Affairs, my number one focus is on product safety,” Mr McCormack said.
“I have been working closely with my colleague, the Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher, to strongly urge dealers and manufacturers to replace Takata airbags as soon as possible, but these Alpha airbags need to be replaced immediately given the significant safety risk they pose.
“If consumers have any trouble arranging an immediate replacement of an Alpha airbag, you should contact the ACCC.”
Mr Fletcher said there are approximately 1.5 million vehicles with Takata airbags which are subject to recalls and need to have airbags replaced as soon as possible.
“There have been a number of deaths around the world and many serious injuries to passengers and drivers allegedly due to faulty Takata airbags,” Mr Fletcher said.
“In view of the safety risks, vehicle owners should not ignore a letters or other communications from their car’s manufacturer or dealer. Consumers should act swiftly to arrange to have airbags replaced.
“All vehicle owners are urged to check whether their vehicle has been recalled via the Product Safety Australia website. If your car’s make, model and VIN are listed, you should contact your dealer or manufacturer immediately to organise replacement of the airbags.”
Recalled vehicles with Takata airbags installed include more than 15 brands sold in Australia including Honda, Toyota, BMW, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Lexus, Jeep, Nissan, Chrysler and Dodge as well as a small number of Honda motorcycles and a Volvo truck.
As Takata airbags are known to deteriorate over time, it is possible more makes and models of cars will be added to the recall list over time.