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Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Page: 2280

Takata Airbag Recall

Mr LEESER (Berowra) (15:10): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer inform the House on how the government is acting to ensure the safety of Australian motorists through its compulsory recall of defective Takata airbags. How many vehicles are covered by this compulsory recall and how will it work?

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (15:10): I thank the member for Berowra for his question on this very serious matter. Today the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer announced a compulsory recall of Takata airbags based on a recommendation of the ACCC, following an extensive safety investigation in August 2017 and consultation with affected manufacturers, industry stakeholders and international experts. This is one of the largest recalls in the nation's history, with a total of four million cars, around two in every seven vehicles on Australian roads, affected by defective airbags. The compulsory recall will capture around 2.3 million vehicles that still have a defective airbag that needs replacement, including one million vehicles that have not yet received a replacement under the existent voluntary recalls. This notice requires all vehicle suppliers to recall and replace defective Takata airbags in their vehicles by 31 December 2020. Importantly for customers, vehicle manufacturers will be required to cover the full cost of replacing these airbags.

The safety of all Australians is the No. 1 priority of this government, not just on issues of national security but on issues of consumer security as well, and all matters of public security. Absolute priority will be given to replacing the alpha airbags, which pose an immediate and critical safety risk. Priority will also be given to airbags assessed as high-risk based. If a vehicle is recalled, an owner can contact their local dealer or manufacturer to book in a time to have their airbag replaced. We advise and implore all Australians not to ignore or delay responding to letters from the vehicle manufacturer asking to have airbags replaced and to contact the ACCC if they experience any difficulties or delays in obtaining a replacement airbag. I commend the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer for his initiative in this regard.

Mr Turnbull: Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Just for clarity, I again remind members that the Prime Minister can end question time at any point during question time, including midway through a question or an answer. It is well written up in Practice, if you want me to go through it, but I suspect you don't now that it's over.