Business owners who operate a fleet of vehicles have even more reason to check their vehicles for faulty Takata airbags, as the global automotive scandal continues to grow.
According to the ACCC, the faulty airbags, which have been used in a number of car makes and models, and are meant to protect occupants in the event of an accident, have actually caused multiple injuries and deaths worldwide, including one fatality in Australia in July this year.
In a statement warning all car owners to check whether their vehicle is among those affected by the biggest-ever global vehicle recall, the ACCC said the problem lies with the airbag’s inflator, which degrades over time.
This degradation of the component can cause it to misdeploy, leading to metal fragments flying into the cabin towards occupants of the car.
It is estimated there are around 43,000 cars on the road in Australia carrying the most dangerous type of the faulty airbag, known as the ‘alpha’ airbag.
“If you have a car that contains an ‘alpha’ airbag, our advice is to not to drive it until the airbag has been replaced,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said.
“If your vehicle has been recalled and it does not have an alpha airbag, it still needs to be replaced and you should contact your vehicle dealer or manufacturer to book in a time to have the defective Takata airbag replaced as soon as possible.”
As well as their own personal vehicles, employers have the obvious additional requirement to provide a safe work environment, which includes safe working vehicles for employees with company cars or for those who travel for work-related purposes.
This effectively makes the recall an occupational health and safety issue.
Because it is a safety recall, manufacturers are required to replace the faulty airbags at no cost to vehicle owners.
Affected makes include certain Honda, Toyota, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Lexus, Ferrari and Nissan. Vehicle owners can check whether theirs is among those recalled on the ACCC website.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.
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