Australia still has a massive problem with deadly car airbags

Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesFerrari FF

  • In the past 12 months, 1.1 million faulty Takata airbags have been replaced.
  • That leaves 1.8 million potentially deadly airbags that still need replacing.
  • 19,500 of the most dangerous airbags, known as “alpha” airbags are potentially still on the roads.
  • The deadline for manufacturers to rectify the issue is December 2020.

Australia still has a massive problem with deadly car airbags.

In the past 12 months, only 1.1 million faulty Takata airbags have been replaced in around 930,000 vehicles.

That leaves 1.8 million potentially deadly airbags that still need replacing as part of a compulsory recall that will run until 2020.

These numbers are astounding consider it’s the first compulsory vehicle recall in Australian history, with at least three million vehicles affected.

New data released by the ACCC provides a comprehensive state-by-state analysis of the recall rates for deadly Takata airbags.

Here’s a look at the location of all known registered vehicles and number of airbag inflators affected that require a replacement.

ACCC/ Supplied

The most dangerous airbags, known as “alpha” airbags, were fitted to about 115,000 cars, with around 19,500 still potentially on the roads.

The ACCC says these airbags require urgent replacement and drivers should not drive cars containing these airbags until they have been fixed.

Corrosion by the ammonium nitrate in the gas cylinders used has resulted in shrapnel being propelled through a vehicle when the canister deploys the airbag.

The ACCC data also provides a first look at the progress made by various vehicle manufacturers in removing them from Australian cars.

Suppliers were not required to commence recalling vehicles until July 1, although some began earlier.

The Australian government has given car manufacturers until December 31, 2020 to complete the recall.

Here’s a look at the companies that began rectifying the issue prior to July 1

ACCC/ Supplied

And since July 1

ACCC/ Supplied

“Don’t ignore or delay responding to a letter or call from your car’s manufacturer asking you to have your airbag replaced. The airbags degrade over time and can become lethal by misdeploying and firing metal shards at the car’s occupants,” says ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard.

“Our greatest concern remains around the alpha airbags, which can still be found in almost 20,000 cars. Make no mistake, these airbags can kill and our advice is for consumers to check our website to see if there car is affected by this recall. If your car contains an alpha airbag, it should not be driven.”

The fault in the Japanese-made Takata airbag sparked a massive global car recall in 2009.

Action ramped up in Australia in 2015 when it was thought that just 500,000 cars were affected.

Last year, the Australian government gave car manufacturers until December 31, 2020, to replace all potentially deadly airbags.

At least 23 deaths globally, as well as more 230 serious injuries have been attributed to as defective Takata airbags.

NOW READ: One million cars with faulty Takata airbags are being recalled — here’s how to check which ones

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