In late 2017 the ACCC urged drivers of vehicles with defective Takata airbags installed to check if their car was affected by the biggest global vehicle recall in history before driving long distances this summer. The faulty airbag made headlines around the world, as there have been serious injuries and deaths from these faulty Takata airbags, including one death in Australia in July and a serious injury in April 2017.
The main was the fact that there are around 43,000 cars on Australian roads known to contain the most dangerous types of faulty airbags, called ‘alpha’ airbags. In February 2018, the ACCC escalated the situation by stating that it would now be compulsory recall for all affected cars. So, what does that now mean for you in terms of your Australian Consumer Law (ACL) rights?
As the Minister has issued a compulsory recall of all vehicles fitted with defective Takata airbags, vehicle owners are urged to check to see if their vehicle is affected by the compulsory recall to ensure the safety of their vehicle (see the list here https://bit.ly/PBL-recall).
If so, under the ACL you’re entitled to note your VIN number and contact the manufacturer and arrange for a replacement. Regardless of whether you bought your vehicle brand new or second hand, you are entitled to receive a replacement airbag free of charge.
Because the Takata airbags do not deteriorate until between 6-25 years you may be given a like for like replacement (a newer Takata airbag) but the manufacturer must notify you in writing and place a sticker on the windscreen stating when the like for like ought to be replaced.