Number of Queensland drivers busted over dodgy airbags


Drivers who refuse to have their faulty Takata airbags replaced are having their car registration cancelled while others are being warned they face the same consequence if they fail to act.

Almost three years after the federal government announced an unprecedented compulsory recall of more than 4 million of the faulty airbags, about 130,000 potential ticking time bombs continue to be driven on our roads

Of those, about 6000 are continuing to be driven despite being deemed "critical" by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

News Corp Australia last week revealed the Takata recall is about to become the country’s biggest class action. Picture: AP
News Corp Australia last week revealed the Takata recall is about to become the country’s biggest class action. Picture: AP

As a December deadline looms for makers to complete the recall, sanctions have been applied to motorists who have ignored several recall notices, as well as follow up emails and phone calls.

In Queensland, 26 motorists whose cars had the most deadly "alpha" airbags fitted to their cars have had their registrations cancelled, while a further 720 have been sent letters advising their registration will be cancelled if their critical "beta" airbags are not fixed.

Defect notices were issued to people who didn't respond and next month a further 250 will receive letters advising them their registrations will be cancelled.

A spokesman said the next step was to focus on owners whose cars have non-critical Beta airbags.

VicRoads has cancelled the registrations of 110 owners of Alpha airbags and sent letters to another 2853 owners advising that registration suspensions will start soon.

The state still has 1059 vehicles with "critical" airbags.

Transport for NSW has issued registration suspension letters were issued to 136 owners who had not replaced their defective Alpha airbags.

A further 677 suspension letters were issued in April this year for defective non-Alpha critical airbags.

A spokeswoman said registration sanctions were lifted as soon as Transport for NSW received confirmation that the defective airbag had been replaced.

A Takata brand airbag. Picture: AP
A Takata brand airbag. Picture: AP

South Australian authorities began refusing registration of vehicles with Alpha airbags in November 2018. In August this year the registration refusal was extended to cover all remaining airbags classified as critical.

Car owners will be notified if their vehicle is identified, giving them one calendar month to provide the required evidence the airbag has been replaced.

The responsibility is on the registered vehicle owner to provide this evidence. If no response is received after the specified time frame, a flag will be placed against the vehicle preventing registration until evidence of replacement is produced.

The measure only affects about 300 vehicles.

News Corp Australia last week revealed the Takata recall is about to become the country's biggest class action, as more than two million car owners sue seven leading car makers over the airbag scandal.

Australia's most popular car brand Toyota this week began emailing more than 500,000 customers affected by the recall to gather information ahead of a planned mediation process over the next few months.

Subaru has also emailed customers seeking information. Mazda, Honda, Volkswagen, Nissan and BMW also face class actions, although other brands affected by the recall have avoided litigation.

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