The AADA yesterday attended a conference hosted by the ACCC on its proposed recall notice for a compulsory recall of vehicles with defective Takata airbags. The conference was well attended by a host of delegates and observers from the various vehicle manufacturers.
Manufacturers were asked to account for the activities they have undertaken and to explain the processes in place to conduct the recall. Overall, the message from the OEMs was that they were working successfully with their dealer networks in conducting the recall, as evidenced by the relatively high rates in rectifying the higher risk Alpha airbags. It was noted that the major challenges are sourcing replacement airbags (although this challenge was easing) and consumers not responding to notices.
The key points made to the ACCC were:
- The OEMs do not support a mandatory recall
- OEMs with similar airbag inflators which have not initiated a voluntary recall claimed the research showed no need to extend the recall to another 877,000 potentially affected vehicles, as has been foreshadowed in the notice
- Existing dealer networks are capable of handling the capacity
- These parts should only be handled and replaced by appropriately qualified, trained and equipped dealer technician
- Remote customers are having cars towed across long distances and dealer technicians are flying to remote locations to perform the replacements
- Multi franchised dealers are, when necessary, using technicians from other brands at the dealership
- Dealers are extending working hours in the workshop to meet demand
- OEMs reinforced that for two years they have been suggesting that officials block non-rectified vehicles from obtaining annual registration
In relation to the actions contained in the draft recall notice:
- In general, OEMs were critical of the tight timelines for rectification
- OEMs suggested the timeframe for rectification of the Alpha airbags should change from “within one business day of a consumer contacting the supplier” to within “one day of the replacement part arriving at the dealership”.
- It was also mentioned that the requirement for loan cars and a salvage program would increase compliance costs for OEMs
The ACCC will make a final recommendation to the Minister in relation to the issue of a compulsory recall shortly.
To read a copy of the proposed recall notice, please click here.