Labor calls on the Minister responsible for product safety to use his statutory powers and immediately issue a compulsory recall of Takata “Alpha” airbags.
One Australian has already died from Takata airbags misfiring. And millions of ticking time bombs remain on our roads.
It is now clear there remains a significant threat to the safety of nearly 50,000 Australian motorists and their families, whom the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has no power to protect.
Under section 132J of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 the Minister has the authority to issue the immediate compulsory recall of the potentially lethal “Alpha” Takata airbags which have been found to have misfiring inflators capable of firing shrapnel through a vehicle’s cabin.
All Takata airbags are currently subject to a voluntary recall; however, the “Alpha” airbags have been identified as particularly dangerous with a failure rate of one in two as compared to a failure rate of one in 400 for other Takata airbag models.
Consumer advocacy organisation CHOICE revealed this week these “Alpha” airbags were still fitted to cars in Australian.
Questioning of the ACCC by Labor in the House Economics Committee hearing confirmed as many as 49,000 cars with “Alpha” airbags remain on Australian roads.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims also revealed there is little enforcement action the ACCC can take to ensure everything possible is being done to replace the airbags while the current recall remained voluntary.
Labor is calling on the Minister to take urgent action.
“The time has come for the Minister to immediately issue a compulsory recall notice under the authority of section 132J of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010,” Mr Hammond said.
“Australian motorists and their families are at risk, and cannot wait for the recall conference process to take its course, which can take two weeks or longer.
“The Federal Minister is the only person who can issue the recall notice immediately.
“Once Australian has already died. What is the Minister waiting for?
“The Turnbull Government seems so focused on the crisis engulfing Barnaby Joyce’s citizenship that they are paralysed from acting to protect Australians.
“I also urge all Australians in cars that might have “Alpha” airbags to stop driving them, and immediately get in contact with the manufacturer.
“Your life could be at stake,” he said.
The Act gives the minister the authority to issue an immediate recall notice for consumer goods if it appears to them consumer goods of a particular kind create an immediate risk of death, serious illness or serious injury.
Worldwide, 18 deaths have been linked to Takata airbags, with the first Australian death occurring in July this year.
A list of vehicles subject to the Takata airbag recall is available on the Product Safety Australia website here: https://www.productsafety.gov.au/news/takata-airbag-recalls-affecting-australian-consumers
SATURDAY, 19 AUGUST 2017