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Car manufacturers plead for Australian vehicle owners to take urgent recall action

Car manufacturers are pleading with Australian vehicle owners to immediately organise the repair of faulty Takata airbags in their vehicles – or risk serious injury and even death.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber called on the owners of more than 90,000 vehicles to stop risking the safety of their loved ones and contact their vehicle dealership to arrange for the free replacement of faulty airbags.

A faulty Takata airbag can kill or seriously injure vehicle occupants regardless of whether they are the driver or passenger. If a faulty airbag deploys, shrapnel can be sprayed throughout the vehicle’s cabin with disastrous results.

Worldwide, 30 people have been killed and more than 330 people have been injured by these faulty airbags.

“We strongly endorse Takata airbag safety warnings issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission,” Mr Weber said.

“The automotive industry has shown strong commitment by tracking down and replacing more than 3.7 million faulty airbags in more than 2.71 million vehicles by September 30.

“However, it is imperative industry dealerships replace the remaining faulty airbags in the community. We are committed to locating every affected vehicle.  There is no cost to vehicle owners regardless of the age or mileage of the vehicle.”

“The automotive industry is working strenuously to get these vehicles into dealerships. We are mailing owners, telephoning them, texting them, emailing them and in some cases, even knocking on their doors. We need to complete the recall task by December 31.

“To achieve this, we need vehicle owners to take action. The ACCC has highlighted the outer capital city suburbs and regional centres where many of these vehicles are located. If you live in any of these areas, please check your vehicle’s recall status and take immediate action if necessary,” Mr Weber said.

Owners can easily check the recall status of their vehicles by using the industry’s Takata airbag recall website or by texting TAKATA to 0487 AIRBAG (247 224). Unregistered vehicles can also be checked by contacting the relevant brand directly.

Mr Weber said anybody could readily find out the recall status of any vehicle.

“You can check a family member’s car, a friend’s car, a neighbour’s car, or a work colleague’s car. All you need to do is go to the website and type in the vehicle registration number and its state or territory of registration. You will get an answer within seconds,” Mr Weber said.

In Australia, vehicle owners could face state and territory government vehicle registration sanctions by ignoring manufacturer recall communications. This means they will be unable to legally use their vehicles on public roads until faulty Takata airbags have been replaced.