Beloved Father Could Be First Aussie Faulty Airbag Victim

He was meant to have the airbag replaced two days before he died.

Huy Neng Ngo was a beloved husband, father and businessman who should not have been killed in what was an innocuous crash in Cabramatta last year.

His car was fitted with faulty Takata airbags and when they deployed to protect him, it’s alleged they, in fact, killed him.

Today, the state coroner's court heard evidence suggesting the airbag malfunctioned shooting metal fragments into Ngo’s neck.

He died a short time later.

An inquest into his death is likely to proceed in 2019, and will focus on the dangers of these airbags and the steps taken by manufacturers, dealerships and the government to raise public awareness of them.

Tragically, just two days before Mr Ngo's death his car had been booked in for the replacement service at Peter Warren Automotive but for some reason that was rescheduled for three months later.  A decision in hindsight that proved fatal.

Speaking on behalf of the Ngo family, counsel assisting Tamara Phillips said they were not made fully aware of the dangers posed by Takata airbags and the urgency of carrying out the airbag replacement.

READ MORE: Almost Two Million 'Ticking Time Bombs' In Aussie Cars 

“The issues relating to the communications between Honda entities and the Ngo family are particularly pertinent given that English was not the first language of either Mr Ngo or his wife,” she said.

She added that at the time of his death, 18 people had already been killed and a further 180 injured from these defective airbags but a Commonwealth Government compulsory recall was not enforced until February the following year.

The Figures: 

  • 14 manufacturers included in mandatory recall.
  • Choice found that five manufacturers were replacing them with the same faulty devices. (Toyota Mazda BMW Lexus Subaru)
  • There’s been a worldwide recall since 2009 where 2.3 million cars have been refitted.
  • 18 people have been killed and 180 injured globally
  •  60 makes in Australia have been affected
  • 85,000 have already been replaced

“These recent developments, although promising, beg the question as to why campaigns and publicity of this kind were not in place at the time of Mr Ngo’s death,” Ms Phillips said.

“The answers to the issues arising are of public importance given that, even pursuant to the compulsory recall scheme, defective Takata airbags are likely to remain in circulation on Australia roads until at least the end of 2020, and possibly well beyond then.”

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