The ACCC is warning drivers of an urgent safety risk after about 6,000 Toyota Corollas were added to the existing compulsory recall for vehicles fitted with dangerous Takata PSAN airbags.
In late August in Sydney, two passengers suffered injuries including burns and cuts by flying metal shrapnel from a PSAN passenger airbag which misdeployed when a 2004 Toyota Corolla rear-ended another vehicle.
The affected Toyota Corollas ZZE122 and ZZE123 MY 2003-2005 have now been added to the compulsory recall.
These vehicles are already under voluntary recall for the driver’s side airbag, however Toyota has recently been advised by Toyota Motor Corporation Japan that the affected vehicles also contain Takata PSAN passenger airbags, which are subject to the current compulsory recall.
Toyota Australia is urgently investigating to ensure all affected vehicles are now captured under the compulsory recall.
There have been at least 29 deaths and more than 320 injuries associated with Takata PSAN airbags worldwide. In Australia, in addition to this new incident, there has been one death and one serious injury reported.
“These Takata airbags are dangerous and can explode with too much force which can send sharp metal fragments into the vehicle cabin at high speed, potentially killing or seriously injuring its occupants,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“As other vehicles may be added to the existing compulsory recall list from time to time, please check if your vehicle is affected even if you have checked before, by visiting ismyairbagsafe.com.au. It takes less than a minute and could save lives.”
“Please do not ignore any correspondence from your manufacturer about the Takata airbag recall. If your vehicle is under recall, please act now to arrange for a free replacement,” Ms Rickard said.
Consumers can check www.ismyairbagsafe.com.au, visit the Product Safety Australia website or contact their vehicle manufacturer to check if their vehicle is affected.
The Takata airbag recall is the world’s largest automotive recall, affecting an estimated 100 million vehicles globally.
It is the most significant compulsory recall in Australia’s history, with over four million affected Takata airbag inflators and involving more than three million vehicle recalls.
Takata airbags affected by the compulsory recall use a chemical called phase-stabilised ammonium nitrate (PSAN). The ACCC’s investigation concluded that certain types of Takata PSAN airbags have a design defect. The defect may cause the airbag to deploy with too much explosive force so that sharp metal fragments shoot out and may hit vehicle occupants, potentially injuring or killing them.
In addition to the compulsory recall of vehicles fitted with Takata PSAN airbags, eight vehicle manufacturers have also issued voluntary recalls for some vehicles manufactured between 1996 and 2000 which may have been fitted with a different type of faulty Takata airbag, a NADI airbag. The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications is monitoring the NADI voluntary recalls.