The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is reporting two recent deaths that are suspected to be related to defective airbags. As a result, the Queensland government is planning to issue notices regarding the faulty products. In addition, the organisation will strip registration from any car whose owners refuse to take the necessary steps to replace the airbags, which are produced by Takata.
Huy Neng Ngo was killed in July 2017 when his Honda CR-V was t-boned by another car, which caused his airbag to deploy. The injuries sustained by the victim resembled a shotgun wound, according to the NSW Coroner’s Court. The cause was a malfunctioning inflating part in the Takata airbag, which sent a “tube-like metal object” into Ngo’s neck. His death was the first confirmed to be caused by this defective product in Australia.
Authorities are investigating the death of another Australian driver, whose BMW may also have had one of Takata’s faulty airbags. No details are being released as of yet regarding the details of the accident, but the ACCC has warned those owning BMW E46 3 Series models built between 1997 and 2000 to stop operating them immediately.
In addition to the two deaths, a 21-year-old woman also sustained injuries when the Takata airbag in her Rav-4 deployed in April 2017.
To date, a recall is still in place for vehicles that contain faulty Takata airbags, which have killed 20 people and injured 230 more around the world.
The Takata Corporation pled guilty in 2017 to charges of fraud for concealing the deadly malfunction in its airbags and agreed to pay $1.3 billion.
Following South and West Australia’s lead, Queensland will disperse letters to owners of high-risk vehicles in an attempt to get affected machines off the road. If notices go unanswered, a defect letter will then be sent.
“We hope vehicle owners will respond immediately and we won’t need to cancel registrations, but the safety of motorists is our priority,” said Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey.
Motor-vehicle owners can check if their car is at risk via the website ismyairbagsafe.com.au.