The Takata airbag recall continues to expand, now affecting 53 million vehicles and dozens of brands all over the world. Eleven people have been killed by the defective airbag inflators, the latest a 17-year-old driver in Houston in March.
As of March 11, 7.5 million defective airbag inflators had been replaced in the US alone. With another five million recalls announced in February, there are still 27 million replacements to be made in the US. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says there are another 85 million Takata airbag inflators that have not been recalled, and has given the company until 2019 to prove that they are safe.
The recall has affected more than 1.1 million cars in Australia. No incidents have been reported in this country, but waiting times for replacements are now into 2017.
Internal testing indicated that just under one percent of the recalled airbags had ruptured, meaning nearly 10,000 cars on Australian roads could be ticking time bombs.
The sheer size of the recall means that most brands have replaced just five percent of the recalled airbags, yet the US and Australian Governments have not ordered affected vehicles off the road.
The make most affected in this country is Honda, with 421,000 recalls. At a rate of 5,000 replacements per week across its 107-strong dealership network, it will take Honda the best part of two years to fix all affected vehicles.
Nissan has recalled 223,500 vehicles in Australia and claims to have fixed between 20 and 40 percent of them. Mazda has recalled 150,000; Toyota 250,000; BMW 43,374; Subaru 33,556 and Chrysler 5,508, making the total in Australia more than 1.142 million.