The 11 car brands forced to recall 1.3 million vehicles after the Takata
airbag recall was made compulsory have revealed the makes and models
Holden, Ford, Volkswagen and Audi are among the newly added brands that will recall the most
cars. None of the cars contain "alpha" inflators, an early version
of the airbag suffering from a manufacturing defect, which can result in
the airbag misfiring in up to 50% of cases.
Eleven car makers had held out from voluntarily recalling their vehicles. They claimed their
airbags were defect-free as they were manufactured to more stringent
standards in a factory based in Freiberg, Germany, even though six airbags from the same factory have a documented history of rupturing.
But the federal government ordered those car makers to replace the
airbags when it made the recall compulsory. The move puts Australia in line
with overseas markets, such as the United States, where these vehicles were
The recall now covers more than 20 different car brands and affects four million cars in Australia.
The government's decision to make the recall mandatory is intended to make
sure it is handled uniformly, such as each company issuing the same, clear recall letters. It also defines some
of the rights customers have, such as the right to a loan or taxi fare in
the instance it takes more than 24 hours to have the airbag replaced. A failure
to follow the rules for the mandatory recall could result in manufacturers
being fined $1.1m.
But some confusion remains over acceptable wait times. Customers who have riskier alpha airbags are to receive
a repair within five days of a replacement being made available, but for
people with airbags younger than six years old, it is "as soon as
Takata, which has since declared bankruptcy and sold off all but its assets
used to manufacture replacement airbags, is expected to complete the recall
by December 2020. Manufacturers have until then to make sure the remaining
2.3 milion cars have their airbags replaced.