Australian authorities have warned 33,000 Honda owners to “stop driving their vehicle immediately” – and the cars will be bought back by the car company – as the Takata airbag crisis continues to expand.
Following two separate crashes that resulted in a death and a serious injury – suspected of being linked to a new type of faulty Takata airbag inflator – the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has ordered more cars off the road because there are no replacement parts.
“Owners of affected vehicles should stop driving their vehicle immediately,” said the ACCC statement. “Owners of affected vehicles will receive a letter from Honda Australia asking them to contact the Honda Australia Recall Call centre on 1800 952 272 … to start the buy-back process”.
The ACCC statement continued: “The Honda Recall Call Centre will arrange for affected vehicles to be towed. Any tow will be undertaken free of charge.”
An earlier version of this story said owners of affected vehicles could present their vehicle to their preferred Honda dealer, however this advice has changed. Safety authorities and Honda would prefer the vehicle be towed to the dealership, not driven.
Only registered vehicles are eligible for a refund, and at current market value not the new car price.
“Alternative transport options will be arranged by Honda Australia directly with the customer until the buy back process is completed,” the ACCC says.
Given the age of these vehicles, replacement parts are no longer in production and therefore are not currently available, the ACCC confirmed.
Last week Mitsubishi ordered 8000 cars off the road (Mirage, Lancer, Pajero, Express and Starwagon vans) that were manufactured between May 31, 1996 and September 30, 1999 and sold between July 22, 1996 and July 5, 2001.
The week before, more than 18,000 Toyota, Mazda and Suzuki cars were ordered off the road for the same Takata airbag issues.
The latest Honda safety campaign on cars equipped with the Takata NADI 5-AT airbag is part of the recall issued late last year for approximately 78,000 cars made by Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Toyota between 1996 and 2001.