Drivers vent frustration as airbag recall ramps up
AUSTRALIA'S largest ever recall is ramping up with new figures released today detailing the first quarter of compulsory Takata airbag replacements.
A voluntary recall had been in effect since 2009 but the Australian Government took a hard-line stance this year, issuing a Mandatory Recall Notice.
In August, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reported there were still almost 2 million affected airbags in Australian cars - 326,168 of those in Queensland.
But more than 350,000 faulty Takata airbags were replaced in the quarter following July, equal to more than 3000 replacements a day.
To date, some 2.5 million potentially deadly airbags have been removed from around 1.6 million vehicles.
Still, approximately 12,000 of the lethal Alpha series airbags remain unaccounted for.
ACCC deputy chair, Delia Rickard, said it was pleasing to see car manufacturers were taking their responsibilities seriously and working hard to replace faulty airbags from customers' cars.
"The safety of drivers is our highest priority and we must ensure these dangerous airbags are off our roads,” she said.
"Consumers who have been contacted by their manufacturer to have their car's airbags replaced are urged to book in their cars for a free replacement before the Christmas holiday period. Don't delay taking action when you get a recall notification letter.”
The Government put manufacturers on notice in February when they were forced to comply with strict deadlines to switch dangerous airbags by the end of 2020.
Affected airbags are being replaced according to a determined schedule that considers a number of risk factors, including airbags in older vehicles and vehicles in hot and humid conditions.
This means that the recalls for some affected cars aren't scheduled until later, however, all bags, including 'like for like' bags will need to be replaced by December 2020.
But it's not all good news.
While replacements are installed free of charge, Burnett drivers have been left inconvenienced and out of pocket.
The process is moving slowly and Queenslanders have now been threatened with registration cancellation for failing to comply.
Our readers took to social media to voice their opinions on the recall.
"The trouble is also that car owners have to cover the costs of getting too and from service centres,” one Facebook user said.
"I followed the first recall only to be told the replacement airbag also is faulty,” another reader commented.
"As I transport my young granddaughters in my car I was less than happy when I was told I could not have the replacement faulty air bag then replaced until at least March 2019.
"This information was from Nissan Australia and from Nissan Bundaberg who will now be my nearest service point! Unhappy to say the least.”
"Apparently I am not getting a recall notice until August 2019 and Dundas or Holden will not do anything until I get the letter. Guess I will get my rego cancelled,” another woman said.
Visit IsMyAirbagSafe.com.au and enter your registration to check whether your vehicle is safe.