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Airbag issue threatens nation’s economic backbone

Call for regional and rural Australians to rectify problem cars or risk “disastrous consequences”.
Posted on 28 September, 2020
Airbag issue threatens nation’s economic backbone

Car manufacturers are urging Australians living in more remote areas to immediately check their vehicles to find out if they are affected by the Takata airbag recall.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) says thousands of vehicles in regional and rural Australia could be affected by the call-back.

“Many of these vehicles will be driven by farmers and people in support industries,” says chief executive Tony Weber.

“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.”

A wide range of cars, light trucks and vans are affected by the recall. There are currently more than 150,000 vehicles across the Tasman still requiring airbags to be replaced. The faulty systems can kill or seriously injure any occupant.

It is also possible owners who have ignored multiple requests to have faulty airbags rectified will be confronted by registration sanctions. These could include a cancellation of registration or an inability to transfer ownership when selling.

Weber, pictured, says marques realise recalls can be 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 owners in regional and rural communities to locate and rectify affected vehicles.”

Automotive dealerships in Australia can remedy vehicles with faulty Takata airbags despite issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, although workshops in Melbourne’s metropolitan area may not be open during stage-four restrictions. Vehicle owners should check with the vehicle’s manufacturer to locate the nearest open dealership.

By the end of June, marques across the ditch had rectified more than 2.68 million vehicles affected by the Takata airbag recall.