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Replacement of 2.8m faulty airbags in Australian cars could drag on for another two years

The campaign to rid millions of Australian cars of potentially deadly airbags has ramped up in recent months but the process could drag on for another two years.

Replacements of Takata airbags – affecting one-in-four Australian vehicles – averaged 3800 a day during the September quarter as part of the nation’s largest-ever recall, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said on Monday.

But the ACCC said 1.4 million bags in 1.2 million cars are yet to be replaced.

That includes 12,000 “alpha” airbags, considered to pose the highest safety risk.

VideoAn extra one million vehicles have been added to a recall list because of fears of potentially deadly airbags.

Despite the ramp-up in replacements since the recall became mandatory, all bags wouldn’t be replaced for at least a year at the current rate.

Some 2.8 million vehicles containing defective Takata airbags have been recalled in Australia since 2009.

Before a compulsory recall was initiated in February, 2.3 million cars were on Australian roads with defective airbags, either because they hadn’t been part of the voluntary recall or were yet to be serviced.

The local recall affects 18 makes and more than 100 models produced between 2001 and 2018.

Drivers are able to check if their car is affected by checking ismyairbagsafe.com.au or texting “Takata” to 0487 AIRBAG (0487 247 224).

All bags will need to be replaced by December 2020.

The NSW coroner is investigating Australia’s first death related to a faulty Takata airbag.

Sydney man Huy Neng Ngo died minutes after a “relatively minor collision” in Cabramatta on July 13, 2017, when a fragment from his steering wheel airbag struck his neck, the court was told.

Mr Ngo’s death is among more than 20 worldwide linked to the airbag fault.

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