More than 1.6 million vehicles are still on Australian roads with potentially deadly airbags with fears many owners are simply ignoring the warnings.
Authorities announced a recall of more than 4 million cars in Australia fitted with Takata airbags including popular models from Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen, Mazda, Ford and Holden.
There have been 24 reported deaths and 266 injuries worldwide caused by faulty airbags.
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The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) says there are 19,500 that have the alpha airbag inflators which need to be replaced as a matter of ‘utmost urgency’.
The alpha airbags were installed in some models of BMW, Honda, Mazda, Lexus, Nissan and Toyota vehicles sold between 2001 and 2004.
FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber says there is a one-in-two chance that these airbags could rupture.
“If a faulty Takata airbag inflator ruptures, metal fragments will propel out of the airbag and into the vehicle cabin, potentially causing serious injury or death to occupants,” Mr Weber said.
“It is vital that vehicle owners don’t underestimate the seriousness of this national recall.”
A new campaign has been launched urging motorists to check if their vehicle is affected by the recall with the powerful message “Don’t Die Wondering”.
Motorists can also log on to www.IsMyAirbagSafe.com.au and enter their number plate to check if their vehicle is affected by the recall.