Australian drivers are being warned of a new airbag safety risk affecting more than 78,000 cars fitted with a different type of faulty Takata airbag.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issued the warning to motorists in a statement on Tuesday, revealing the airbags are separate to those currently captured under the existing compulsory recall of Takata airbags.
They say the airbags are fitted with a NADI 5-AT propellant and could potentially be life-threatening if not removed.
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“There is a serious safety risk that these NADI airbags may misdeploy in an accident, which may cause metal fragments to propel out of the airbag at high speed, causing serious injuries or death to vehicle occupants,” The ACCC said.
“There is also a risk that these airbags may under-inflate.”
It’s understood Audi and BMW have already started voluntary recalls of affected vehicles, however the ACCC is now calling on other suppliers to “take urgent action to address the safety risk to consumers.”
“About 78,000 vehicles manufactured by Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Toyota between 1996 and 2000 and fitted with the faulty airbags with NADI 5-AT inflators were supplied in Australia,” the ACCC said.
“While it is expected that many of these vehicles will no longer be in use, a substantial number of affected vehicles are likely to be still registered and still in use.”
Safety authorities in Australia have received reports of three incidents involving suspected misdeployments of these airbags in Australia.
There has been a serious injury and a fatality in separate accidents involving BMW vehicles, and another serious injury resulting from an accident involving another vehicle.
BMW has already issued a voluntary recall for its affected vehicles, while AUDI also initiated a new voluntary recall of its affected cars yesterday.
“The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, supported by the ACCC, has been in discussions with representatives of Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Toyota since November to finalise satisfactory terms of voluntary recalls by these suppliers,” the ACCC said.
Drivers of affected vehicles are being urged to be aware of the serious safety risk they face if they have an affected car and consider other transport options.
“Even though full details and appropriate remedies are still being worked out by the manufacturers we are issuing this warning now to urge people not to use their car if it is affected by this potentially deadly airbag,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
“We want everyone to have a happy and safe holiday period, and encourage people to consider alternative transport options if possible, rather than using vehicles fitted with these airbags.”
To check if your vehicle is affected, click here.