The death last week of a 23-year-old Malaysian man from a faulty Takata airbag is the latest in a steadily increasing number of deaths attributed to the Japanese manufacturer in what is the greatest debacle and disasters in the automotive industry’s history.
To date more than 23 people have died world-wide from the defective safety device, with Pong Hou Tien being the seventh in Malaysia. All of the Malaysian deaths have occurred in Honda City’s.
His death comes in the wake of an additional one million cars being added to the list of vehicles needing Takata airbag replacements in Australia in the future, where more than four million cars are now affected.
Among those listed include the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Toyota Yaris, Holden Cruze, Skoda Octavia, Volkswagen Golf, Audi A5, and Ford Mondeo. (See the new list of vehicles fitted with Takata airbags subject to recall in Australia here.)
|Malaysia to penalize owners who don’t replace Takata airbags AP Archive|
Globally more than 100 million vehicles are fitted with the deadly safety device, which some experts have described as a ticketing time bomb waiting to explode.
That the recall extends to vehicles dating back to 2004 is just the beginning of the problems facing vehicle manufacturers, a shortage of replacement parts and workshop time being others.
Additionally, in less developed countries poor vehicle ownership compliance, archaic record keeping, and a propensity for third-, fourth- or fifth-purchased vehicle owners to not use company service centres all combine to see the warning message fail to reach the ears of many owners.
According to Honda the company had sent 28 recall notices to Mr Pong after his 2004 Honda City was placed on a 2015 list of vehicles sold in Malaysia fitted with the potentially lethal Takata airbags. None of the recall notices had been received because the family had changed addresses and not updated their address with authorities.
Displeased with yet another death caused by the deadly airbags, the Malaysian government has issued a directive to impose penalties on car owners who fail to replace their faulty Takata airbags effective from June 4.
The decision came after it was revealed that some 71,315 vehicles on Malaysia’s recall list of 332,458 Takata airbag-fitted vehicles have yet to comply with the order to replace the faulty devices. Under the new regulations vehicle owners who fail to replace their recalled Takata airbags will not be able to renew their vehicle’s road tax until they have done so.
In response to the latest death Malaysian Minister of Transport, Anthony Loke, said the Road Transport Department (RTD) will work with insurance companies to track down such owners who have not updated their address with authorities.
Feature photo AEC News Today Digital
- Malaysia to penalise owners who don’t replace Takata airbags (Bangkok Post)
- Malaysia to impose penalties on drivers with recalled Takata airbags (PBS News Hour)
- Honda Malaysia issues recall for 28,399 units of 2013 year models (The Star Online)
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