The massive Takata recall has already forced manufacturers to take extraordinary measures, including targeted online advertising, multiple letters and door-knocking campaigns. The industry has even come together to create a website for concerned owners.
According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), there are more than 19,500 vehicles with unchanged alpha inflators kicking about, while around 1.6 million are still fitted with some form of faulty airbag.
One of the conditions surrounding the mandatory ACCC recall is manufacturers need to make special arrangements for vehicles located a long way from an authorised repairer – places like the Torres Strait Islands.
Nissan sent a team of mechanics island-hopping from Horn Island around Boigu, Saibai, Warraber and Kubin islands, replacing five faulty airbags that otherwise would have remained a threat to the drivers.
“I hope our commitment to the Australian Islands in the Torres Strait shows the lengths that Nissan will go to to get the job done," said Nissan Australia managing director, Stephen Lester.
“The recall affects a range of earlier model Nissans, so we strongly urge Nissan owners to check the VIN number with their local Nissan Dealership, go to the Nissan website or visit ismyairbagsafe.com.au to determine if the vehicle is included.
“If your car is affected, book the car in for the repair as soon as possible - which is done free of charge.”
The Takata airbag recall affects more than 100 million vehicles and nearly 20 automotive brands around the world. Among those are more than five million vehicles in Australia, the equivalent of four years of nationwide sales.
Globally, there have been 20 deaths linked to the scandal, and 230 serious injuries. One Australian motorist lost their life to a faulty Takata airbag in July 2017, one month after another Australian driver was seriously injured.
In February 2018, the recall of vehicles affected by the faulty Takata airbags was made compulsory under law, with affected manufacturers required to replace all defective airbags by the end of 2020. Last month the ACCC added some 1.1 million vehicles to the compulsory recall.
According to the Australian Government, the risk of a defective Takata airbag rupturing may arise between 6 and 25 years after it is installed in a vehicle. In areas of high heat and humidity, the risk of rupture may arise between 6 and 9 years.