Japanese car parts manufacturer Takata filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, but the airbags scandal that led to the company's fall from grace shows no signs of abating.
The organisation is facing billions of dollars of liabilities over defective airbags that spray metal shards into the inside of the vehicle upon impact. Inflator components that don't deploy properly in an accident are thought to be the root of the problem, with Takata 'alpha' airbags particularly dangerous.
A voluntary recall of affected vehicles has been underway since 2009, but now a compulsory initiative may be introduced to maximise consumer safety.
Small Business Minister Michael McCormack issued a proposed recall notice earlier this month, outlining the seriousness of the issue. Of the 2.49 million vehicles subject to the voluntary recall, only 950,000 had faulty airbags replaced.
Mr McCormack did not give details on how he would implement a recall, but up to 3.3 million cars, trucks and motorcycles in Australia are now thought to contain the defective parts.
The business minister admitted the move would come at a significant cost for suppliers over the coming years.
"Balanced against this, however, is the clear evidence of the significant risk of injury or death to vehicle occupants arising from the use (including misuse) of vehicles which have defective Takata airbags installed," he stated.
"This risk is immediate in the case of alpha Takata airbag inflators, and arises six years after manufacture of the inflator in the case of other Takata airbag inflators."
One person in Australia has already died as a result of the faulty car parts, while 19 deaths and at least 200 injuries have occurred worldwide.
According to the draft recall notice, serious injuries reported include loss of eyesight, spinal damage, brain damage and severed vocal chords.
People who are involved in a car accident where a Takata airbag didn't deploy properly may be entitled to product liability compensation in Australia.
Please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss the particulars of your case. You can also access a list of the recalled vehicle models at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website by clicking here.
If you would like more information on product liability claims in Australia, the team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers is always on hand to help.