MEDIA RELEASE - GOVERNMENT FINALLY HEEDS LABOR CALLS FOR TAKATA COMPULSORY RECALL - WEDNESDAY, 28 FEBRUARY 2018

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GOVERNMENT FINALLY HEEDS LABOR CALLS FOR TAKATA COMPULSORY RECALL

Labor welcomes the announcement today of a compulsory recall of vehicles fitted with deadly Takata airbags, which has come after more than 6 months of dithering and delay from the Turnbull Government.

Labor has been calling for the Government to use its emergency powers under s.132J of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 to immediately issue a recall notice for the ‘Alpha’ type bags since August 2017 when the ACCC gave evidence of the dangers to the House Economics Standing committee:

“[I]t's critical that the alpha airbags be replaced immediately.”

-       Tim Grimwade, ACCC, 16 August 2017

Over 20 deaths worldwide – including at least one in Australia – have been linked to faulty Takata airbags, together with other reports of serious injuries, let alone countless near misses.

We now know that the problem is even worse than first thought: the ACCC revealed today that around 2.7 million Australian motorists and their families are at risk of these ticking time bombs.

There remains a significant threat to the safety of around 27,000 Australian motorists and their families, who are driving around with ‘Alpha’ Takata airbags in their cars.

Takata airbags have detonators that degrade over time, causing them to misfire, and potentially spraying shrapnel throughout a car’s cabin.

Takata’s ‘Alpha’ type airbags were found to have a failure rate of one in two, compared with a lower failure rate of other types of Takata airbags.

They can turn a minor accident into a fatal incident.

This recall is welcome but horribly overdue. Australian motorists have been exposed to unnecessary risks of injury whilst this government has dithered and done nothing for more than 6 months.

It is yet further evidence – if any more was needed – of a Government more focussed on itself than protecting Australian consumers. If Malcolm Turnbull and his Government were serious about the safety of Australian consumers, they would not have done away with a Minister for Consumer Affairs in December 2017.

WEDNESDAY, 28 FEBRUARY 2018