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Honda Australia Takata airbag recall '95 per cent complete'

More than 40,000 Honda cars in Australia are yet to have their airbags replaced

Honda Australia says 95 per cent of faulty Takata airbags have been replaced locally, but that more than 40,000 vehicles are still out there with potentially deadly airbags fitted.

The completion high rate to date is undoubtedly a positive result, but Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said there’s much more to do to achieve the brand’s 100 per cent success rate goal. 

“The biggest challenge for us so far has been customer response,” he said. “We know the VIN numbers of the cars that are yet to be replaced, and have been actively trying to contact the owners so that they can get their airbags replaced free of charge. The faulty items are already responsible for one death and dozens of injuries in Australia. 

“We door-knocked every single person that was affected by the airbag recall, and that got a 30 or so per cent positive response. 

“Of those door-knocks, 70 per cent we found the car, and of that 70 per cent a third of owners booked their car in, a third said they understood but didn’t want to complete the recall, and the other third gave many excuses as to why they didn’t want to, including that they were busy, that nobody sits on that side of the car or that Honda was trying to sell them another car.

“There is still 43,531 vehicles left to have their airbags replaced,” Mr Collins said.

95 per cent of the airbag recall has been completed, according to Honda Australia. 95 per cent of the airbag recall has been completed, according to Honda Australia.

At the peak of the recall, Honda was replacing about 8500 airbags each week, but now is down to roughly 300 per week thanks to the reach of the campaign so far.

Honda has again called for the Victorian Government to join every other state in Australia in banning registration for owners who are yet to have their faulty airbags replaced. Honda is still attempting to locate 34,000 airbag inflators in 26,000 cars, and 4200 of those have the highest risk 'Alpha' type, which - according to Honda Australia - has a 50:50 chance of death upon deployment.

“It’s extremely disappointing,” said Mr Collins.

“NSW has the most outstanding faulty airbags by a long way, but Victoria still has many to be replaced as well, and it’s a relatively simple measure that is not difficult to implement. There’s too much talking going on and not enough action.”

Despite not reaching a 100 per cent success rate yet, Honda Australia is committed to completing the task. Because the airbags can still kill without a car even being switched on, the car industry has employed an outside firm to recover faulty airbags from junked cars in wrecking yards.

“As part of the recall, we as an industry have a company who has a team of people searching through wrecking yards finding used airbags, taking them out of the system,” Mr Collins said. “At the end of the day our focus still remains to try and get them done. That’s our total focus.”

If airbags are not replaced, occupants could die from injuries sustained from them. If airbags are not replaced, occupants could die from injuries sustained from them.

If you’re not up to speed on the Takata airbag scandal, manufacturers including Honda, Toyota, BMW and Subaru are recalling millions of cars worldwide because potentially deadly airbag inflators made by Japanese company Takata were fitted to cars from as far back as 2002. 

This is the serious part: there have been multiple injuries and even deaths because of the faulty airbags. A Honda technician in the US died changing a faulty unit while a car was switched off. Despite the replacement being free of charge, there are still thousands of cars on our roads that are yet to have their airbags changed. If you are yet to have your airbags replaced, you are putting yourself and others in danger.

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