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Defective Takata airbags, manufactured in Japan, have been linked to more than 20 deaths worldwide, including one in Australia.

At least 23 people have died around the world as a result of shrapnel propelled into drivers by Takata airbag failures, with hundreds more injured to varying degrees.

They've been added to the existing two-year-old voluntary recalls of vehicles from BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, GMC, Honda, Jeep, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, Volvo and Hino Trucks.

More than 2.3 million vehicles fitted with defective Takata airbags are involved in the mass recall, including cars made by Ford, GM Holden, Mercedes Benz, Tesla, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda.

The Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, the Hon Michael Sukkar has issued a compulsory recall for all vehicles with defective Takata airbags, following an ACCC safety investigation. It comes after a recall notice was proposed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in September after a lengthy investigation.

Around 1.7 million vehicles have had airbags replaced (including 90,000 alpha airbags), leaving around 1 million voluntarily recalled airbags to be replaced.

Since the announcement of the recall, Mitsubishi Motors has replaced around 136,000 defective airbag inflators from a total 235,151 in Australia.

Product Safety Australia urges drivers to check whether their vehicle is affected and if it is under active or future recall. In 2008 internal tests from the manufacturer led to the first recall of the airbag due to rupture risks.

National Roads and Motorists' Association spokesman Peter Khoury, an Australian motorists advocate, said the compulsory recall was long overdue.

The airbags have caused multiple deaths and injuries worldwide.

Why do Takata "alpha" airbags need immediate replacement?

"But for those airbags we're saying to people don't drive the vehicle again, just contact the manufacturer, they are obliged to come out and fix it".

A statement released by the FCAI on Tuesday maintained that voluntary recalls are an "effective mechanism" for dealing with a complex issue, and that "the safety of the motoring public is of the utmost priority to the FCAI and the industry".

"For most consumers, the fundamental obligation is that, if, when you take your vehicle in to get it replaced and you can't get it back out of there within 24 hours, you are entitled to a loan auto or hire vehicle", he said.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she has joined with 44 other attorneys general to reach a settlement with Takata and its US unit, TK Holdings Incorporated which filed for bankruptcy a year ago.

"All must be replaced by the end of 2020", he said.

They have been subject to multiple compulsory recalls outside Australia.


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