A potentially deadly fault in the occupant restraint system found in several light vehicles has become so severe motorists are being told to stop driving them now.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) wants those who own models of an estimated 20,000 Toyotas, Mitsubishis, GM Holdens, Hondas and BMWs to immediately stop driving the vehicle and urgently book it in for a free tow and service.
‘Critical’ cars should be towed
The warning comes after months of product recalls for the defective Takata airbag, which the ACCC has now classified as “critical”, meaning manufacturers now believe these airbags are particularly unsafe.
“Cars with airbags listed as ‘critical’ should not be driven,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said in a public statement. “A Takata airbag misdeployment can result in death or serious injury, even in a minor collision.”
Affected models include:
- 2007-2014 Mitsubishi ML and MN Triton (3254 vehicles)
- Toyota Rav4s and Echo (582 vehicles)
- 2010 Holden Cruze (1843 vehicles)
- MY2002-2003 BMW 5 Series (E39), MY2001-2006 BMW 3 Series (E46) and MY2003 BMW X5 (E53) [6043 vehicles]
- MY2012 Honda City, MY 2011 CR-V, MY2012-2013 Insight, MY2012-2014 Jazz, MY2012-2013 Jazz Hybrid, MY2006-2011 Civic, MY2007-2012 Legend, MY2001-2007 Accord and MY2003-2006 MDX (7909 vehicles).
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483,000 still need replacing
Airbags can also be checked on the ismyairbagsafe.com.au website or, alternatively, by entering the registration place, state and territory in a text message to 0487 247 224 (AIRBAG).
Anyone with the above models, who has not already had an airbag replaced under the recall, is urged not to drive the vehicle to the dealership.
“Drivers are entitled to have their vehicles towed to the dealership by the manufacturer and have the airbag replaced for free,” Rickard said. “Drivers may be entitled to a loan vehicle while the airbag is replaced.”
An estimated 483,000 airbags still need to be replaced according to the ACCC.