Urgent recall as more deadly airbags found
Thousands of cars fitted with potentially deadly airbags have been urgently recalled after older Toyota, Mazda and Suzuki models were added to the list of vehicles with safety issues.
The companies have issued voluntary recalls for more than 18,000 cars built between 1996 and 1999.
Anyone who owns a vehicle affected by the recall has been urged to stop driving it immediately and contact their manufacturer for a free inspection.
The notice includes the popular Toyota Starlet and applies to cars fitted with NADI 5-AT airbags which have the potential to be dangerous.
There have been four confirmed cases in Australia where the airbags have not worked properly, with two deaths and two serious injures.
Stephen Ridgeway, acting chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, said in some instances the airbags had not fully inflated in a crash.
"These airbags could injure or kill people in the car by misdeploying in an accident and propelling parts or metal fragments into the cabin of the vehicle at high speed," he said.
"Drivers must take these warnings seriously. These airbags pose a serious safety risk that could lead to deaths or serious injuries.
"Please do not put lives at risk, and consider other transport options if your vehicle is affected."
It comes after 17,000 cars built by Audi, BMW and Ford were recalled in November last year.
The NADI 5-AT airbags are different to those featured in other urgent safety notices and drivers are advised to check the safety of their vehicle again.
Motorists can check whether their car is included in the recall by visiting the Product Safety Australia website.