SUNBIZ

Takata Airbag Recall Hits Fiji

  Twenty-nine car owners have already visited Asco Motors in Suva for airbag unit replacements as the automotive dealer attempts to address a major global recall. The recall has had
07 Mar 2018 11:00
Takata Airbag Recall Hits Fiji
From Left: Asco Motors National Fixed Operations Manager Sanjeet Kumar, chief executive officer Craig Sims and Company Financial Controller Ronald Kumar. Photo: Sheldon Chanel

 

Twenty-nine car owners have already visited Asco Motors in Suva for airbag unit replacements as the automotive dealer attempts to address a major global recall.

The recall has had automotive dealers and manufacturers scrambling to replace defective Takata airbags which have caused deaths worldwide.

The faulty airbags explode upon impact and metal shards are fired at the driver or passenger, having the potential to cause serious injury or death.

Confirming the figure yesterday, Asco Motors Chief Executive Officer, Craig Sims, said the company would be working with the relevant Government departments to address the issue.

“What we’ve done is identified the vehicles that we’ve sold that have defects and we’ve contacted those customers (already),” Mr Sims said in a press conference in Suva.

“(But) some of the difficulties we are having is the fact that some of these vehicles have been sold two or three times and we don’t have that information.

“We also have the issue where some Toyota vehicles have been imported into Fiji by other companies and, again, we don’t have that data.”

Takata Corporation is a Japanese automotive parts company and the airbags it manufactured has seen the automotive world buzzing after millions of vehicles were recalled over the years.

Australia announced a recall of four million vehicles, local media reported last month.

Australian media reports have described what has already caused one death in the country as the biggest recall in the history of its automotive industry.

In New Zealand, close to 320,000 new and used vehicles has been affected, according to media reports.

Fiji Car Club president Raizal Haniff said public awareness around the issue could be sorely lacking which, given the potential of an airbag to save lives, made it very dangerous.

“Government intervention here is necessary now because it’s a disaster waiting to happen for a large number of vehicle owners in Fiji,” Mr Haniff said.

Asco, which are the largest local dealers for Toyota vehicles, hopes to avoid a total recall with proactive strategies.

One of these includes the replacement of defective airbag units with imported parts that have arrived in Fiji, Mr Sims confirmed.

An Asco Motors advertisement published in  the local media yesterday listed nine Toyota car models that are affected.

It said: “Depending on the model, either the driver or front passenger airbag inflators will be replaced.”

Feedback:  sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj



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