Car manufacturers are urging regional and rural Australians to immediately check their vehicles to determine if they are affected by the Takata airbag recall.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) chief executive, Tony Weber, says thousands of vehicles in regional and rural Australia could be affected by the recall.
“Many of these vehicles will be driven by farmers and people in support industries. These drivers are the economic backbone of rural Australia and may well be travelling long distances every day. It is vital they are able to do so safely” said Weber.
A wide range of passenger cars, light trucks and vans are affected by the recall. There are currently more than 150,000 vehicles requiring airbag replacement.
A faulty Takata airbag can kill or seriously injure occupants of the vehicle regardless of whether they are a driver or passenger.
It is also possible owners of vehicles, who have ignored multiple requests to have a faulty airbag rectified, will be confronted by registration sanctions. This could include a cancellation of registration or an inability to transfer ownership when selling.
“We have a very strong message for people in regional and rural Australia. Whether registered or unregistered, check your car, check your ute, check your four-wheel-drive, check your van. Ask your colleagues, neighbours and friends if they have checked their vehicles.”
Weber said car manufacturers acknowledged that recalls could be very inconvenient for the farming community given the distances involved and time taken with trips to town.
“But we need to be frank. A faulty airbag can have disastrous consequences. Car manufacturers are keen to work closely with vehicle owners in regional and rural communities to locate and rectify affected vehicles,” added Weber.
He urged people to check the recall status of their vehicles by using the automotive industry’s Takata airbag recall website www.ismyairbagsafe.com.au and by taking prompt action to arrange for the rectification of any affected vehicles. The recall status of a vehicle can also be checked by texting TAKATA to 0487 AIRBAG (247 224).
“All you need to know is a vehicle’s registration number and the state or territory of registration. A check is quick and repairs to affected vehicles are free.
“Unregistered vehicles can also be checked by contacting the brand directly,” said Weber.
FCAI says automotive dealerships can rectify vehicles with faulty Takata airbags despite the interruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some dealership workshops in the Melbourne metropolitan area may not be open during Stage 4 restrictions, so car owners should check with the vehicle’s manufacturer to locate the nearest open dealership.
According to FCAI, at 30 June car manufacturers had rectified more than 2.68 million vehicles affected by the Takata Airbag Recall.