Ford Australia is pleading with owners of its mid-sized Mondeo to have their faulty Takata airbags fixed, having already repaired "more than 60 per cent" of the 16,701 vehicles affected locally.
As first reported last week, models sold from 2007-2009 and 2014-2017 could be fitted with potentially deadly inflators on the drivers side, though they wear the less-dangerous 'beta' rating.
The company says older vehicles are being prioritised, with New South Wales and Victoria having the most concentrated numbers of affected Mondeo models.
Ford adds that it's also directly contacting businesses that have affected Mondeos operating in their vehicle fleets.
"If customers have received a recall notice, it’s important they book their vehicle in for repairs at any of our Ford dealers nationally," said Kay Hart, Ford Australia CEO.
"I encourage any customer who receives a notice not to delay and book in for their free repair."
Hart added the Blue Oval has a "plentiful supply" of replacement airbags for all affected models, and so far Ford's dealers have repaired 53,799 vehicles nationally, including Mondeos and other affected models.
"We’re really pleased with the response from owners and while we have a 61 per cent completion rate, we still have a long way to go to ensure every affected Ford vehicle is accounted for, and the faulty Takata inflators are replaced," she said.
The company has started a dedicated Takata recall page on its local website, allowing owners to check whether their vehicle is affected by using the 17-digit VIN check tool – you can access the site here.
Owners can also call the Takata hotline on 1800 503 673.
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. The ACCC earlier this year 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.
Concerned owners can check if their vehicle needs a new inflator at www.IsMyAirbagSafe.com.au.