105 cars with killer airbags: Crackdown on secondhand rides
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has conducted inspections at 679 second-hand motor dealers, auction houses and wreckers across Queensland to ensure dangerous vehicles were not being sold to unsuspecting consumers, as part of a national compliance operation for the Compulsory Takata Recall Notice.
Acting Attorney-General Mick de Brenni said more than 20,000 vehicles were checked which found 105 vehicles fitted with the faulty Takata airbags.
"Airbags save lives and we want to protect Queenslanders from serious injury due to faulty airbags," Mr de Brenni said.
"Takata airbags have the potential to explode in an accident, even a minor one, and can send sharp metal fragments through the vehicle at high speed, potentially causing a serious injury or fatality.
"Globally, there have been over 350 injuries and 32 deaths reported, with one death and three injuries in Australia, including one serious injury.
"Whilst the vast majority of motor dealers have worked with us, it's absolutely essential that motor dealers do the right thing for the safety of consumers and get unsafe vehicles off the road."
OFT conducted 12 investigations into motor dealers it identified as selling vehicles containing these airbags, leading to the OFT entering into 12 legally-binding, enforceable undertakings with the motor dealers.
RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner said, "It's disappointing that after almost two and a half years of this recall there are still over 2,000 Queensland cars that are yet to be repaired."
"Takata airbags are ticking timebombs which could go off at anytime causing serious injury or death to you or anyone else in the car," he said.
"If you're concerned you have recently acquired a vehicle that contains a Takata airbag, it's easy to check for yourself online if your vehicle is impacted by the recall.
"RACQ urges every car owner who has a defective vehicle due to these deadly airbags to do the right thing, if not for their own safety, for the safety of the next owner, or their passengers. Dealers have no excuse to sell these dangerous vehicles."
Mr de Brenni said that aside from the clear dangers associated with faulty airbags, failure to comply with the enforceable undertaking could also result in prosecution action for the original breaches of the law and non-compliance with the undertaking.
"Car dealers should know that it is an offence to sell any vehicle that is under active recall and significant fines may be imposed by the courts," Mr de Brenni said.
"Despite manufacturers and suppliers recalling these vehicles under the compulsory recall since July 2018, more than 2,265 dangerous vehicles are still on our roads in Queensland, potentially putting people's lives in danger."
Consumers are advised to check the VIN number on their vehicles to see if they fall under the recall.
Consumers can visit ismyairbagsafe.com.au, the Product Safety Australia page, or contact their manufacturer to check if their vehicle is affected. A list of vehicle manufacturer helplines and contact details is available online.
For more information on the recall, visit the Product Safety Australia website.