Mitsubishi has urged owners of almost 100,000 cars with potentially deadly airbags to come forward and receive free repairs.
The Japanese giant has replaced around 136,000 of 235,151 faulty Takata airbags with safe parts from another supplier. More than 20 people have been killed around the world – including a Sydney man – as a result of shrapnel propelled by airbag inflators that can deteriorate, propelling deadly shrapnel throughout vehicle cabins when triggered by a crash.
Having made several attempts to contact owners directly by mail and numerous other communications, Mitsubishi has launched an advertising campaign (pictured partially below) encouraging owners to check whether their car is affected by the issue.
An open letter signed by Mitsubishi Motors Australia chief executive John Signoriello says faulty Takata-built airbags present “a clear risk to vehicle occupants” as “metal fragments could shoot out towards the vehicle occupants causing serious injury or even death”.
Mitsubishi models affected by the issue include some Triton utes built between 2007 and 2014 along with Pajero four-wheel-drives (2006-2017), compact Lancer models (2003-2008) and i-MiEV electric cars (2010-2011).
Owners can use Mitsubishi’s online database to see whether their car is subject to recalls, and have replacement airbag inflators fitted at no cost.
Mitsubishi’s campaign comes after the ACCC criticised the car industry’s handling of the Takata issue, saying manufacturers are not doing enough to rectify the problem.
The Japanese giant responded by asking state and territory registration authorities “to take a more proactive role in this recall by denying registration of vehicles fitted with affected Takata airbag inflators”.
Around 3 million Australian cars are affected by the airbag crisis so far, though that number could dramatically grow if European-built Takata airbags used by the likes of Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen are swept into recall programs.
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