Want to keep driving your car from November 1? Make sure it doesn’t have an alpha inflator, or it can’t be registered.
Owners of vehicles still fitted with the most dangerous ‘alpha’ Takata airbag inflators won’t be able to register their car in South Australia from November 1.
The move is the first of its kind in Australia, and will be enforced by the South Australian Registrar of Motor Vehicles.
Owners of the affected vehicles should have been contacted multiple times by the manufacturers, but will also receive a message from the SA Registrar giving them 30 days to provide evidence the airbag has been replaced.
Tony Weber, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) chief executive, explained the threat posed by alpha airbags at the launch of www.IsMyAirbagSafe.com.au earlier this year:
“In certain circumstances, there is a chance as high as 1-in-2 that these may rupture on deployment in a collision. These vehicles with alpha airbag inflators should not be driven and owners should immediately contact their manufacturer.If a faulty Takata airbag inflator ruptures, metal fragments will propel out of the airbag and into the vehicle cabin, potentially causing serious injury or death to occupants. It is vital that vehicle owners don’t underestimate the seriousness of this national recall.”
When the website, which allows owners to check if their car is included in the ever-growing Takata recall, was launched on July 30, more than 19,500 alpha inflators were still fitted to Australian cars. Of that figure, 679 are in South Australia.
Although some of those are in cars that have been written off or scrapped, many are still on the roads, putting drivers and passengers at risk.