You may have heard about the dangerous airbags that were fitted to many cars from 1999 to 2017. In total, 4 million cars in Australia are affected. In fact, one hundred million defective airbags have been installed in cars around the world.
Choice magazine said "These airbags use ammonium nitrate to inflate, but the chemical compound degrades when it's exposed to moisture. In a defective Takata airbag deployment, the ammonium nitrate burns aggressively, shattering its metal canister and shooting shards of metal at the people seated in the car".
You may wonder how this could have happened. A US Department of Justice ruling in January 2017 said Takata "repeatedly and systematically falsified critical test data related to the safety of its products". This fudging of paperwork meant the airbags – which don't meet the standards set by manufacturers – were fitted in cars that were sold worldwide for more than a decade.
Note that any recall and subsequent replacement is completely free of charge.
The main concerns are the "Alpha Airbags" installed in certain Honda, Nissan, BMW, Toyota, Mazda and Lexus cars sold between 2001-2004.
The ACCC released this statement on August 2nd 2018,
"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," said 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 their car is affected by this recall. If your car contains an alpha airbag, it should not be driven."
Melbourne Prestige recommends that you return your car to your nearest dealer as soon as possible to check to see if your airbag needs repairing but be wary of the dealer trying to charge you for additional products and services you do not need in an attempt to recoup some expenses.
Melbourne Prestige will always speak to our customers about any work that may be required and will only recommend work that affects the safety and reliability of your car or commercial vehicle.
If you have questions about whether your car has been affected, please click this website link or ask the experts at Melbourne Prestige when your car is next serviced.