Hi-Tech

Auto companies caught refitting faulty airbags

Auto companies caught refitting faulty airbags

Has your auto been recalled?

Takata airbag recall results to date.

This new focus comes as police attributed the death of a 58-year-old man on Friday with a faulty airbag in his Honda CRV, which was involved in a crash in the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta. The airbags fire shrapnel into the cabin when they deploy and have now been linked to 18 deaths and almost 200 injuries globally.

Australian consumer magazine Choice said on Monday it had discovered auto makers were refitting faulty Takata air bags in recalled vehicles as a temporary solution after questioning 14 auto manufacturers in Australia.

The airbags are in 60 makes of cars sold in Australia, including Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Jeep, Nissan, Chrysler, and Dodge. One manufacturer told Choice they'd be "lucky" if more than half their cars had the airbags replaced.

Motorists who drive affected vehicles are advised to keep up to date with Product Safety Australia's latest consumer updates. That figure has now reached 850,000.

Australian auto manufacturers have been caught replacing faulty airbags with ones they knew to still be faulty on Monday, as one of the biggest recall sagas in Australian history continues for embattled Japanese manufacturer Takata.

"With 2.3 million vehicles in Australia requiring their potentially lethal Takata airbags to be replaced, it's clear the auto companies are under pressure to fulfil their obligations under Australian Consumer Law".




"This action provided safety for a number of years, however due to exposure to the environment over time, these airbags will need to be replaced again", she says.

The claims have sparked an investigation by the government watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which said today that it was seeking clarification from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (DIRD), which is overseeing the recall, and vehicle manufacturers.

"We would have very serious concerns if manufacturers were found to be misleading consumers about their car's safety in breach of their obligations under consumer law", Mr Sims said.

If you've already had your airbag replaced: Contact your auto manufacturer to ask what kind of airbag it is and how long it's expected to last.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims urged drivers to check if their vehicle was subject to the Takata recall and demanded auto makers tell consumers what replacements they were installing.

Takata, which recently filed for bankruptcy after being handed a $US1 billion penalty handed down by the US Department of Justice, expects the recall won't be completed at least until 2020. It has even scooped up luxury brands BMW, Lexus and Ferrari.

The airbags have the potential to explode and send metal shrapnel and other material into the cabin of a vehicle, because the gas used to inflate the bag can become volatile over time.


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