7 August 2018

Concerns Mount for Ignored Recall of Faulty Airbags

Michael Coates, Lachlan Thorburn
Michael Coates Intellectual Property Lawyer
Lachlan Thorburn Litigation Lawyer

Australia’s top consumer body the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued fresh warnings to manufacturers, dealers and consumers to get faulty airbags recalled by Takata replaced as soon as possible.

Bennett & Philp’s Automotive Law team Director, Brian Smith, and Associate, Lachlan Thorburn, say the ACCC’s disclosure that 1.8 million affected vehicles with defective airbags are still on the roads is an issue that should be regarded seriously by all stakeholders.

“With 1.8 million cars, Australia-wide, still needing to be fixed, and more than 19,000 vehicles still having the potentially deadly alpha airbag still installed, it’s time we put some perspective on this issue,” Brian says.

That perspective must be focused on the role all stakeholders play in effectively, efficiently and safely dealing with the recall notice.

“Manufacturers, dealers and consumers must all play an active role. It’s also important to note that Australia has been very proactive in dealing with this issue,” Brian says.

Lachlan notes that manufacturers supplying the parts and the dealers installing them are working as hard as they can to replace the defective airbags.

“However, it’s important we realise that dealerships are not 24/7 operations. Yes, there are still a significant number of airbags yet to be replaced, but progress has been made.

“Dealership workshops already have a large volume of standard work to be completed for their customers in addition to replacing faulty airbags,” Lachlan says.

Brian adds that manufacturers are also working hard to supply dealerships with the parts required to complete the installations.

Steps have been made to contact vehicle owners to ensure they contact their closest dealership to book in the replacement of faulty airbags.

Brian and Lachlan say vehicle owners have a critical role to play in assisting manufacturers and dealers in replacing their faulty airbags.

“If you own a vehicle that has been identified for a replacement, take the steps to proactively contact your dealership to organise some time to replace it,” Brian notes.

“By ignoring these notices, or delaying action, you’re placing yourself and any occupants in your car at risk. In many cases, once you have made contact with the dealership, the installation process is relatively straightforward and may require you leaving your car with the dealership for a few hours to undertake the install,” he adds.

Bennett & Philp has a longstanding relationship with the Motor Trades Association of Queensland, being appointed in 2010 as the MTAQ’s law firm of choice in providing MTAQ and its members with commercial legal advice.

To check whether your vehicle is affected by the recall, search your vehicle’s registration details at



Individual liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation (personal injury work exempted).

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