Another reminder of how important this recall is, especially for vehicles with alpha airbags.
The first driver killed by a faulty Takata airbag in Australia was meant to have his airbag replaced two days before the fatal accident, the court has been told.
Huy Neng Ngo was killed in a “relatively minor collision” in Cabramatta on July 13, 2017, when a metal shard from the faulty Takata inflator in his 2007 Honda CR-V struck his neck.
An inquest into the accident will look into why the deadly inflator wasn’t replaced on July 11, and the booking was instead bumped back to October. It’ll also investigate how the recall has been dealt with in Australia, and look into the ongoing risk posed by Takata inflators.
More than 20 people have been killed and over 230 seriously injured by the airbags globally. More than 100 million vehicles and almost 20 brands are involved, with over 5 million cars included in Australia.
The ACCC and Australian Department of Infrastructure initiated a mandatory recall in February, forcing manufacturers to replace all defective airbags by December 31, 2020, with priority given to alpha inflators. They also advised people with alpha airbag inflators not to drive their cars, such is the risk posed.
Speaking today, the NRMA said the death and subsequent court proceedings are an “unwanted but necessary reminder of the necessity of this [Takata] recall” for everyone, especially people driving cars with the most dangerous Alpha inflators.
A Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) website allowing owners to check if their car needs to be recalled was launched earlier this year, racking up 1.23 million registration inquiries in its first week online.
Car manufacturers are also taking unprecedented steps to carry out the recall. Honda has replaced more than 600,000 inflators since starting its campaign, and is contacting owners with letters, text messages, emails and, in some cases, door-knocking campaigns.
Subaru is repurposing its mobile servicing vans, putting them on Takata replacement duty for people battling to get to a dealership, while Nissan has sent mechanics to the Torres Strait Islands by boat for the recall.
MORE: Takata recall updates