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Car manufacturers call for recall action before holiday travel

Car manufacturers are calling on vehicle owners to urgently check and organise the repair of faulty Takata airbags fitted to their vehicles ahead of the holiday season.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said it was critical that vehicle owners checked their cars before they embarked on family travel during the Christmas-New Year period.

A faulty Takata airbag can kill or seriously injure vehicle occupants regardless of whether they are the driver or passenger. If a faulty airbag deploys, shrapnel can be sprayed throughout the vehicle’s cabin with disastrous results.

“We anticipate our roads will be very busy over the holiday season this year.  COVID-19 restrictions will likely mean more people holidaying locally, rather than flying interstate or overseas.  Roads will be congested, drivers may get impatient and accidents may regrettably happen,” Mr Weber said.

“There is absolutely no need for any family to have a faulty Takata airbag in their car this holiday season.

“We have a very clear message to Australian families to ensure their safety. Don’t ignore manufacturer’s recall notices.  Don’t gamble with your family’s safety.

“And please don’t wait until the day before the family packs up the car and heads off on holidays to check. It’s been a tough year, and everyone deserves to travel safely to and from their holiday destination.

“And it’s important to note that any necessary repair work is absolutely free,” Mr Weber said.

Owners can check the recall status of their vehicles by using the industry’s Takata airbag recall website www.ismyairbagsafe.com.au or by texting TAKATA to 0487 AIRBAG (247 224). Unregistered vehicles can also be checked by contacting the relevant brand directly. 

Mr Weber said the automotive industry had shown a strong commitment to the Takata Recall by replacing more than 3.7 million airbags in more than 2.71 million vehicles. 

In Australia, vehicle owners could face state and territory government registration sanctions by ignoring manufacturer recall communications. This means they will be unable to legally use their vehicles on public roads until faulty Takata airbags have been replaced.