Companies slammed for selling dodgy cars


Potentially deadly Takata airbags remain in 250,000 Australian cars as authorities fine companies for attempting to sell second-hand vehicles with dodgy airbags.

At least one person has died in Australia as a result of shrapnel propelled by faulty airbag inflators.

Technicians work to replace Takata airbags.
media_cameraTechnicians work to replace Takata airbags.

Car companies are racing to replace airbags before December 31, with some calling for widespread registration bans for affected vehicles.

Many cars with problem airbags are subject to buyback schemes as it is not possible to fix them.

The ACCC fined three companies a total of $63,000 for advertising vehicles for sale which have not had Takata airbags replaced under mandatory recalls.

Honda is one of the worst affected brands in the country.
media_cameraHonda is one of the worst affected brands in the country.

Some of the vehicles were listed for sale on Grays, an online sales and auction platform.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard says a BMW, Honda and Nissan with faulty airbags were offered for sale.

“We allege that by advertising these vehicles for sale, Grays made false or misleading representations to consumers that the vehicles were of saleable quality, when that was not the case because they were under active recall,” she says.

Shrapnel can be sent in passengers when the airbag deploys.
media_cameraShrapnel can be sent in passengers when the airbag deploys.

“These penalties are a reminder that it is in breach of the Australian Consumer Law to sell or advertise for sale vehicles with defective Takata airbags that are under active recall.”

Government figures show 3.56 million Takata airbags have been replaced in Australian vehicles, but that 256,000 still require attention.

“We are now in the final year of the compulsory recall, but more than a quarter of a million dangerous vehicles remain on our roads,” Rickard says.

“There is a risk these airbags may misdeploy, even in a minor accident, and send sharp metal fragments into the vehicle at high speed, causing serious injury or death to its occupants.”

The ACCC says there are 2611 critical-alpha vehicles and 8585 critical non-alpha vehicles remaining for airbag replacement.

Consumers can check if their vehicle is affected by visiting and entering their number plate and state or by texting ‘TAKATA’ to 0487 247 224.

Originally published as Companies slammed for selling dodgy cars