With around 75 per cent of its potentially deadly Takata airbags now replaced, Subaru is now resorting to mobile servicing vans to contact those getting around with faulty inflators.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the launch of the all-new Forester, Subaru Australia boss, Colin Christie, admitted it's becoming harder to reach the final 25 per cent of outstanding airbag replacements, despite sending over a million letters, emails, phone calls and text messages.
"We would have sent over a million communications by now I'd expect," Christie said.
"Combinations of multiple letters, emails, phone calls, text messages. We've even had some cards made up in a couple of the states that would allow it. And myself, dealer staff, our staff would be walking around on the streets literally as soon as we find a car that looks like it, popping one of those little calling cards on the window to make contact."
"And we've now obviously got the FCAI advertising campaign which is trying to send a really strong message. It still surprises me the number of people who just won't react. It gets a little frustrating sometimes to be honest," he went on.
"We're in a situation now where part supplies are a bit of an issue for us, but that's getting resolved in the next month or so. And the challenge is getting customers to respond quickly," Christie said.
In an effort to increase reach, Subaru Australia has reassigned some of its mobile service vans to Takata airbag replacement duties in hard-to-reach locations.
"In some cases where workshops are full they're actually using the van that's just an extra hoist if you like in the workshop and for other customers who maybe kind of get out and get to the dealership we're using the vans."
"But the dealers have been fantastic in this process to be honest so they've been sending technicians out. We've been sending technicians all around the country. Even our own technicians are all teaming up so we've had technicians from Melbourne go to far north Queensland to help there and out to all the remote islands," said Christie.
With the Takata airbag recall affecting so many manufacturers and drivers, it's good to see brands like Subaru going out of their way to contact customers and deal with the issue of potentially deadly airbags.
If you haven't already done so, we highly recommend checking whether your vehicle is affected by the Takata airbag recall, by visiting the FCAI airbag recall check website.