ACCC Wants 12,000 Car Regos Cancelled If Faulty Takata Airbags Not Fixed
Anyone driving around in a car with with the deadly airbags still fitted is now on notice.
On Thursday, Queensland's Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) announced car owners who are yet to replace potentially deadly Takata airbags could have their registrations cancelled in coming weeks.
Australia's consumer and competition watchdog supports the state's bold move and is encouraging other jurisdictions to follow suit.
"The ACCC welcomes the announcement from Queensland to sanction the registration of cars containing alpha airbags given the significant risk they pose to drivers," a spokesperson told 10 daily.
Queensland authorities announced its intention to take further action to assist the recall process last month. Given the continued driver inaction, the authority is now taking more decisive action.
"TMR will take action against the registration of vehicles with high risk ‘alpha’ airbags once the ACCC provides details of vehicles where manufacturers have fulfilled their customer contact obligations under the mandatory recall process, but the airbag remains unreplaced," a spokesperson told 10 daily in a statement.
Queensland is the first state to cancel car regos if faulty airbags aren't returned.
The latest figures from the ACCC show there are about 12,000 alpha airbags on the roads across the country.
More than 2000 are in Queensland, but the highest amount remain on NSW roads.
The alpha model airbags are especially vulnerable in hot and humid weather, escalating safety concerns as we head into summer.
The airbags can explode and shatter shards of metal upon activation if its mechanism is exposed to high levels of moisture, particularly in warm conditions.
"We encourage other states and territories to consider a registration sanction policy to ensure the most dangerous airbags are urgently replaced," ACCC said.
The February compulsory recall announcement by the government and consumer watchdog affects four million vehicles. It is the largest recall in Australian history.
The death of a 58-year-old man at Cabramatta, in Sydney's south west, became the first Australian incident linked to the faulty airbags in July 2017.
Affected brands included Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mazda and Lexus model cars that were sold between 2001 and 2004.
Vehicle owners were encouraged to return affected cars to the manufacturer for free replacements.
"If a member of the community receives a defect notice, we strongly recommended they contact their local dealer/manufacturer immediately to have the vehicle repaired," TMR said.
"We expect the ACCC will provide TMR with the first batch of vehicle details in the next few weeks."
The registration sanction is applicable where an owner of a registered vehicle containing an alpha airbag fails to respond to multiple recall notifications and the vehicle manufacturer has complied with its notification escalation process in accordance with the recall notice.
"If cancelled, the remaining portion of the registration fee would be refunded," said a TMR spokesperson.
To see if your vehicle is affected, visit the ACCC website.
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