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Honda recalls more deadly Takata airbags

Honda Australia recall for deadly airbags rises to 421,000 cars, as another 71,000 are added today.

It’s the biggest recall in Honda Australia history and the consequences of not getting the airbags replaced can be deadly.

The number of Honda cars recalled in Australia to replace potentially deadly airbags has climbed to a staggering 421,000 vehicles with the addition of 71,000 extra models today across the Jazz, Civic and Legend range.

Honda is one of eight car brands recalling up to 53 million cars globally -- including more than 5 million Hondas -- to replace Takata airbags that can fire shrapnel when deployed in a crash.

So far the faulty airbags have been linked to at least eight deaths overseas, but none have been reported in Australia.

It brings the Takata airbag tally across all brands to more than 900,000 vehicles in Australia.

Honda has the highest number of affected vehicles in Australia (421,000), even more than market leader Toyota (258,000) which sells almost six times more cars. It represents more than four out of every five Hondas sold locally during the recall period.

It brings the Takata airbag tally across all brands to more than 900,000 vehicles in Australia.

Honda Australia Director, Stephen Collins, told News Corp Australia the company was fixing 5000 cars per week across its network of 107 dealers.

“This is unprecedented for us and shows how seriously we are taking this issue,” said Mr Collins.

Because so many airbags need replacing globally, some customers face a painstaking wait that could stretch into 2017 before having their cars fixed.

But Honda says at least one third of the 421,000 cars have had their airbags replaced so far in Australia.

The crisis has left drivers with the unenviable task of taking the risk and driving their cars or -- if they can afford it -- park their recalled car until new airbags become available.

So far, authorities in the US and Australia have not ordered the recalled cars off the road.

The odds of being killed are difficult to calculate. Not all of the airbags in the 53 million cars are defective.

But internal testing by Takata in 2015 found 265 of 30,000 recalled airbags had ruptured -- or less than 1 per cent.

That may sound like good odds, until you realise it still leaves 530,000 cars around the world -- and at least 6000 in Australia -- with airbags that can kill.

The three Honda models added today include the Honda Civic (2006 to 2011), the Honda Legend (2007 to 2012) and the Honda Jazz (2012).

When the Takata airbag recall went global in May last year, the executive director of the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce, Geoff Gwilym, told News Corp Australia motorists “should not attempt to disable, deactivate or remove airbags”.

Mr Gwilym said disabling an airbag is “more likely to contribute to the damage caused by an accident, in the same way that you are at greater risk if you do not wear a seatbelt”.

“Airbags should never be tampered with by motorists or unqualified people,” said Mr Gwilym.

“Airbags are not a discretionary item of equipment and cannot be simply turned off and on again. The mechanism is technically sophisticated and forms an important part of the vehicle’s engineering.”

Honda Australia has directed customers to its website to check if their vehicle is affected

Toyota has done the same.

And the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has set up a website to cover all brands

Takata airbags: the recalled models so far

Chrysler 300C sedan 2005 to 2007
BMW 3 Series 1997 to 2006
Honda Jazz 2004 to 2009
Honda Accord 2001 to 2006
Honda Accord Euro 2004 to 2007
Honda CR-V 2002 to 2008
Honda Civic 2004 to 2005
Honda Civic 2006 to 2011 (added 25 February 2016)
Honda Legend 2007 to 2012 (added 25 February 2016)
Honda Jazz 2012 (added 25 February 2016)
Honda MDX 2003 to 2006
Lexus SC430 2001 to 2003
Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK 2014
Nissan N16 Pulsar 2000 to 2006
Nissan D22 Navara 1997 to 2004
Nissan Y61 Patrol 1997 to 2010
Nissan T30 X-TRAIL 2001 to 2007
Nissan A33 Maxima 1999 to 2003
Subaru Impreza 2004 to 2007
Toyota Echo 2003 to 2005
Toyota RAV4 2003 to 2005
Toyota Corolla 2003 to 2007
Toyota Yaris 2005 to 2007
Toyota Avensis 2003 to 2007

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