An airbag deployment system is demonstrated.
An airbag deployment system is demonstrated.

How airbag delay could blow up in your face

QUEENSLAND'S Transport Department will start cancelling the registration of thousands of vehicles fitted with potentially deadly airbags within weeks.

More than 325,000 Queensland vehicles have yet to replace faulty Takata airbags with 2505 of those fitted with the older alpha model, considered so dangerous that affected vehicles should not be driven.

The alpha airbags, considered especially vulnerable in hot, humid areas such as Queensland, can explode rather than inflate in a crash, shooting potentially deadly shards of metal into occupants.

They were fitted in certain Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mazda and Lexus vehicles sold between 2001 and 2004.

Vehicle manufacturers have contacted owners about the compulsory recalls but thousands have yet to be replaced.

A Transport Department spokeswoman said authorities would begin cancelling the registration of those vehicles after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission provided them with a list of owners.

"If a member of the community receives a defect notice, we strongly recommend they contact their local dealer or manufacturer immediately to have the vehicle repaired," she said.

"Failure to comply with the defect notice may result in cancellation of registration for the vehicle.

A deployed airbag in a 2001 Honda Accord
A deployed airbag in a 2001 Honda Accord

"We expect the ACCC will provide DTMR with the first batch of vehicle details in the next few weeks."

An ACCC spokeswoman said 2505 vehicles registered in Queensland were yet to have their alpha airbags replaced.

It is understood manufacturers could still be trying to determine whether all vehicles on the list are still on the road or if they have been unregistered, scrapped or stolen.

Authorities from the Transport Department have been attempting to contact the relevant owners who, on receiving a defect notice, will have 21 days to have the defective airbag replaced free of charge.

They have been urged not to drive the vehicle and to contact their manufacturer immediately to discuss how best to have the airbags replaced.

More than 2.7 million vehicles in Australia had been fitted with faulty Takata airbags when the Federal Government issued a mandatory recall in February.

The vehicles included Ford, GM Holden, Mercedes Benz, Tesla, Jaguar Land Rover, Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda.

About 1.3 million vehicles have had their airbags replaced however some car dealers have reportedly told customers they can't replace faulty airbags until more parts become available.