Sydney, Feb 28 (IANS) Australia on Wednesday ordered a compulsory recall of 2.3 million vehicles over a possible defect in their airbag systems installed by Japanese company Takata, that has caused the death of 20 people worldwide.
According to the Australian government, at least one person died in the country after the system had exploded at the time of activation, Efe reported.
“It’s the safety of all Australians which is the first priority of this government,” said Michael Sukkar, Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, adding that previous voluntary recalls have been ineffective.
The compulsory recall will require vehicle manufacturers, dealers, importers and other suppliers to locate and replace the Takata airbags as quickly as possible.
It will apply to vehicles of the brands identified earlier – Toyota, Mazda, Honda, BMW, Chrysler, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, among others – and adds more than half a dozen manufacturers like Ford, GM Holden, Mercedes Benz, Tesla, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda.
Sukkar also ordered the manufacturers to replace the units for free within two years, prioritizing airbags that were older and have been exposed to heat and humidity longer.