Mitsubishi Australia has called for owners of its cars fitted with faulty Takata airbag inflators to have their vehicles fixed.
According t0 the company, just 136,000 of the 235,151 cars fitted with the potentially fatal inflators have been fixed. Degradation of the inflator propellant means metal fragments could shoot out in an accident, putting occupants at serious risk of injury, even death.
A full-page advertisement in national newspapers directs owners of potentially affected vehicles to this website to check if their car needs a new inflator. It also encourages them to contact their Mitsubishi dealer, or call 1800 931 811 during business hours Monday-Friday for more information.
The repairs are free and – crucially – potentially life-saving.
Mitsubishi isn’t alone in calling for owners to bring their cars in for a fix. Last year, Honda was pleading with owners to have their cars fixed using traditional and non-traditional methods, including letters, text messages, advertisements and a protracted social-media campaign.
Faulty Takata airbags have been linked to 19 deaths globally, including one in Australia, along with some 200 injuries. While 12 manufacturers have already issued recall notices for around 4 million vehicles in Australia, the government wants further action to be taken.
The tally of affected vehicles worldwide now exceeds 100 million units.
Last month the Australian Federal Government proposed a compulsory recall for all vehicles fitted with the potentially life-threatening inflators, following an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The faulty airbags use ammonium nitrate to inflate. Without a moisture-absorbing desiccant, the chemical compound degrades when exposed to humidity and moisture over time. When deployed, the burning ammonium nitrate could potentially explode its degraded container, which then becomes a projectile.