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Source: Government of Australia Capital Territory

Released 27/02/2020

ACT motorists who fail to act and get their vehicle’s faulty airbags replaced may have their registration refused, suspended or cancelled.

Amendments to the ACT Road transport legislation were finalised in January 2020, which provide Access Canberra with the power to refuse, cancel or suspend the registration of vehicles subject to a  compulsory or voluntary recall notice (issued or published under the Australian Consumer Law).

ACT Commissioner for Fair Trading, Mr David Snowden, said this change in legislation gives Access Canberra the power to take compromised vehicles off the road, such as cars with the faulty Takata airbags. Takata airbags, including the dangerous ‘Alpha’ subset, have been linked to fatalities and serious injuries in Australia and worldwide.

The airbag inflators could deploy, even in low speed accidents, sending fragments or shrapnel into the vehicle interior at high speed towards vehicle occupants. A compulsory recall of Takata ‘Alpha’ airbags was announced in April 2018. Other subsets of the airbag, such as ‘Beta’ are also subject to recall.

Access Canberra has been proactively engaging with Canberrans who have registered vehicles in the ACT with Takata airbags installed. Unfortunately, there are still a small number of Canberrans with the ‘Alpha’ airbags installed.

The Commissioner said contacting owners of impacted vehicles was a focus, saying the ACT was seen as national leader in its approach to communicating the seriousness of the issue to the community.

“Over the past few years the ACT, through Access Canberra, has directly engaged with owners of vehicles known to have the ‘alpha’ subset of Takata airbags,” the Commissioner said.

“This has been done in a variety of ways including direct mail, phone calls and in some instances, door knocking.”

In addition, an information campaign has occurred across the city, educating the community on the dangers of faulty Takata airbags with advice on how to check if their vehicle is impacted. This work will continue as focus turns to broader impacted Takata airbags.

“It’s disappointing that despite our best efforts, there are people in the ACT who continue to drive vehicles with these highly dangerous Takata Alpha airbags installed. They are putting at risk their safety and the safety of others,” the Commissioner said.

According to Access Canberra, the ACT has nine registered ‘Alpha’ vehicles, with repeated attempts made to contact the vehicle owners since the recalls began.

“We are committed to the safety of road users. It’s unfortunate that we must put into place measures where we’re cancelling the registration status of compromised vehicles. Owners that fail to comply with compulsory recalls are not only putting their own lives in jeopardy, but that of their passengers as well.”

Motorists who are unsure if their vehicle is affected by the recall are encouraged to visit the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries website at ismyairbagsafe.com.au.

– Statement ends –

Section: Access Canberra | Media Releases

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