Menu

Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

Takata airbag recall tally climbs past 660,000 cars in Australia

More than 660,000 cars in Australia are now affected by the Takata airbag recall.

The number of "ticking timebombs" on Australian roads has increased again. But experts warn there is nothing buyers can do but wait to get their cars fixed.

The number of vehicles caught up in the world's biggest recall over potentially deadly airbags has ballooned to more than 660,000 in Australia, after more cars were added to the list overnight.

Despite the increase in numbers, car safety experts have warned motorists of affected vehicles not to disable the airbags in their cars, even if they are worried they may explode shrapnel when deployed in a crash -- because it may make the cars less safe and unroadworthy.

Honda is recalling 18,210 Accords made from 2001 to 2006 and added 3030 MDX family SUVs made from 2003 to 2006 to the list of more than 20 popular makes and models.

Meanwhile Chrysler has also increased the number of 300C sedans to be recalled locally, from 4500 to 5500.

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.

Follow the advice of their relevant car company and return the vehicle to the dealer when the replacement part becomes available

"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."

If the airbags in a car were deliberately tampered with, the car would be deemed unroadworthy, he said, and any mechanic who carried out the work could be liable.

"In addition to the legal implications, a professional vehicle technician will not deactivate airbags as they are aware of the risks to the vehicle occupants," said Mr Gwilym.

"While the recent global airbag recall is a concern, we advise affected vehicle owners to follow the advice of their relevant car company and return the vehicle to the dealer when the replacement part becomes available."

The VACC also warned that buyers considering the purchase of a used car should check to see if it subject to a vehicle recall notice by visiting recalls.gov.au.

The majority of motorists have no option other to wait up to a year before the airbags are replaced — because the supplier at the centre of the crisis can't build them fast enough.

It became the biggest recall in the world after Japanese manufacturer Takata — which supplies 20 per cent of the car industry's airbags — admitted in a US hearing this week the problem was more widespread than it had claimed for years.

The faulty airbags, which can explode shrapnel if deployed in a crash, have so far claimed six lives overseas. No deaths or injuries have been reported in Australia.

Authorities in the US and Australia have not ordered the recalled cars off the road

Legal experts say motorists have little choice but to endure the painstaking wait for the replacements, and they can't sue the car companies unless someone dies or is seriously injured from the defective airbags.

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 over the past six months 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.

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 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