The government could impose mandatory recalls on faulty car airbags linked to 18 deaths around the world.
A competition watchdog investigation was launched after consumer group Choice warned some car companies were using the potentially deadly Takata airbag.
In a statement issued Monday, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack said he had the power to trigger a mandatory recall on advice from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
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Toyota, Lexus, Mazda, BMW and Subaru have all been linked to the dangerous airbags.
The airbag’s fault involves the ammonium nitrate used to trigger the inflation. The chemical can deteriorate over time and cause a metal canister to explode, firing off shrapnel.
A 58-year-old man who died in a Sydney car crash last week is suspected to be the 18th death globally, and the first in Australia, to have been killed as a result of the faulty product.