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Takata recall could end with your car unregistered

The phrase “Takata airbag recall” has become one that almost every household will be familiar with. Since March 2018, it has been the largest automotive recall in the world and the largest compulsory recall in Australia, however recent figures suggest that there are many Australians who still don’t understand its seriousness. 

The latest figures taken from the ACCC in July of this year indicate that over 155,000 cars on Australian roads still haven’t had their faulty Takata airbags replaced. Manufacturers have until December of this year to complete the recalls, with many industry figures believing penalties and restrictions may come into place for motorists who still haven’t completed the recall after this time.

While there is no word yet officially, it’s expected that any car without their Takata airbag replaced come 2021 will be declared un-roadworthy, and not allowed to be registered. Organising the replacement may seem like one for the ‘too-hard basket’, but re-registering a car following the recall-period would be considerably more difficult. 

The recall is due to the chemical Phase-Stabilised Ammonium Nitrate (PSAN) which has since been proven by the ACCC to be defective in certain cases. The defect may cause the airbag to deploy unexpectedly with so much force that it can cause sharp metal fragments to shoot out into the cabin, possibly in the direction of the passengers. Likewise in an accident when the airbags are expected to deploy, there is still a high risk of sharp metal being launched into the cabin.

While your manufacturer is required to contact you when they are able to carry out the replacement, drivers are encouraged by the ACCC to get in touch with their local dealer and book it in earlier if they are able to do so. The replacement is completely free and in most cases you will even be entitled to a loan car for the duration of the process. 

Despite the pandemic, the recall is still progressing with an estimated 40,000 vehicles rectified in the last 3 months. Even in Melbourne where the toughest restrictions are in place, drivers are still permitted to have their airbag recalled as this is classified as “critical and essential vehicle repair, servicing and maintenance”. If you still use your car to get to and from work during Stage 4 Restrictions and need your airbags replaced, just make sure you have a Permitted Worker Permit on you.

2020 has given us a lot to worry about, and it’s easy to forget about the seriousness of a product recall, however if you’re still driving an affected vehicle it really should be at the front of your mind. With only a few months left before the possibility of de-registrations coming in, there has never been a more important time to find out if your car is affected and requires the recall to be carried out. To see where your car stands, head to ismyairbagsafe and check now. 

Nick Williams

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