A Sydney lawyer has announced a class action lawsuit against Toyota, Honda and Mazda, seeking refunds for cars fitted with faulty airbags from Takata, linked to 18 deaths around the world.
Lawyer, Damian Scattini, said the Federal Court action is seeking refunds based on an Australian consumer law that entitles consumers to refunds if a product has a fault that makes it unsafe and the problem cannot be rectified within a reasonable time.
Toyota’s Australian subsidiary said in a statement that it has a process in place and that fixing affected vehicles remains a matter of urgency.
Police say a man who died in a Sydney car crash in July was likely killed because of a defective airbag. The New South Wales coroner will decide the cause of the man’s death.
Police linked the Takata airbag to the death of the 58-year-old man, who was driving a Honda CRV when it collided with a Toyota Celica in Cabramatta on 13 July.
Investigations revealed the man’s death was likely due to a fault in the airbag, causing the man to be struck in the neck with a piece of shrapnel.
Further investigations revealed the vehicle in the incident was the subject of a worldwide recall for a faulty airbag.
About 2.3 million cars in Australia are affected, including Toyota, Mazda, BMW, Subaru, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Lexus and Ford.
It is understood about 60 models are affected by the defective product, which affects the driver’s side and front passenger airbags.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said people should contact their local dealership or manufacturer if they are worried about their vehicle. There have been deaths abroad and injuries in Australia because of the defective product.
The passenger of the Honda, as well as the driver and passenger of the Toyota, were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Honda Australia is working closely to provide assistance.
The Takata airbag recall is an international issue involving more than 60 million vehicles worldwide. The recall process has been under way internationally since 2009.
AADA, along with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, joins the call from government and the ACCC in strongly urging all owners to assess whether their vehicle is affected and if so, to urgently contact their authorised Dealer network. The industry will continue to work with the Government on this process. A link to the full list of vehicles affected can be found on the FCAI website or via www.productsafety.gov.au.
More than 850,000 affected vehicles in Australia have been rectified and it is the industry’s steadfast resolve to get in contact with the remaining owners to complete the recall.
Throughout this recall campaign the industry has acted with the utmost concern for the safety of vehicle owners and will continue to do so.