By Alesha Capone
Thousands of car owners in the west are driving around with deadly Takata airbags in their vehicles, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned.
ACCC data reveals there are still 589 vehicles in Hoppers Crossing with Takata airbags which need replacing, 575 vehicles in Point Cook and 449 vehicles in St Albans.
Sunshine West is home to 431 cars which need the airbags replaced, Caroline Springs has 430 vehicles fitted with the airbags, Hillside 238 vehicles and Melton 271 vehicles.
The airbags are the subject of a recall after being associated with more than 330 injuries and 30 deaths worldwide.
Under the recall, vehicle owners are entitled to have their faulty Takata airbags replaced free of charge.
ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said the Takata airbags “are very dangerous and have the potential to explode with too much force, even in low-speed accidents, sending sharp metal fragments into the vehicle at high speed, potentially killing or seriously injuring its occupants”.
“We are concerned about the disproportionate number of outstanding airbags in some communities, particularly in suburbs like St Albans, Springvale and Dandenong, where there has been less take-up of the free replacement service,” Ms Rickard said.
“Anyone whose car is subject to the recall should not delay and contact a dealership to book their car in urgently for a free airbag replacement.
Check if your airbag is affected by entering your number plate and state at ismyairbagsafe.com.au, or by texting ‘TAKATA’ to 0487 AIRBAG (247 224).