Deadly airbags warning for motorists

Airbag, crash test dummy stock image. Photo: Corbis Images


AA spokesperson Layton Beard said the recall of vehicles fitted with Takata air bags has again made headlines locally and internationally. “The Automobile Association has received a number of queries from the public regarding the Takata air bag recalls, and the implications for motorists in South Africa. The problem relates to defective air bag inflators on driver and passenger side air bags. This means that should these air bags deploy, they have the potential to cause serious injuries or death,” Beard said.

He added that they were not aware of any local incidents involving Takata air bags. Beard said locally, the manufacturers listed by the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) as being affected by the Takata air bag recalls are Honda, Mazda and Toyota. He also stated that more than 20 million cars worldwide were being recalled to ensure all vehicles fitted with faulty Takata air bags are made safe. “To date, of all of the crashes involving cars fitted with Takata air bags, a total of ten people worldwide (nine in America) have been confirmed to have died because of the defective air bags, while a further 140 injuries have been recorded.

“If your own a vehicle produced by one of the manufacturers listed above, it is important that you contact them with your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to determine if you are affected or not. Even if you have done this in the past, we suggest motorists do it again, as the list of vehicles affected is expanding. You may not have been on the list before but may be on it now,” said Beard.

He added that manufacturers will have sent letters directly to customers, and will have processes in place to deal with this issue. But he advised motorists against waiting for a letter. “This is your safety, be proactive. We trust all owners will receive expert guidance if they contact the manufacturers directly,” Beard concluded.

Aphiwe Boyce
Metro Reporter

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