Toyota, Mazda and Suzuki have issued voluntary recalls of more than 18,000 vehicles made between 1996 and 1999 due to a new type of potentially deadly Takata airbag.
The recalled models, which are fitted with Takata NADI 5-AT airbags, include the Toyota Starlet.
"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," ACCC Acting Chair Stephen Ridgeway said.
"The airbags have also, in some instances, not fully inflated in a crash, thereby failing to protect drivers as expected."
Owners of affected Toyota, Mazda and Suzuki vehicles are advised to stop driving their vehicles immediately and contact their manufacturer to arrange an urgent, free inspection.
Toyota is offering to buy back cars or provide long-term alternative vehicle hire until replacement airbags are available, while Mazda and Suzuki are offering to buy back affected vehicles from their owners.
Safety authorities in Australia have now received reports of four incidents involving suspected misdeployments of these airbags in Australia. These incidents resulted in a death and a serious injury in BMW vehicles, and a death and a serious injury in Toyota vehicles.
"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," Mr Ridgeway said.
Consumers should check if their car is included in this recall by checking their vehicle's VIN number in the table below or visiting the Product Safety Australia website. People who need help to check if their vehicle is affected, should ring the manufacturer's hotline for help.
Today's voluntary recalls by Toyota, Mazda and Suzuki follows voluntary recalls of nearly 17,000 vehicles by Audi, BMW and Ford since November 2019.
The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, supported by the ACCC, is seeking to finalise voluntary recalls by Honda and Mitsubishi. It is expected that these recalls will be launched very soon.
Audi, BMW, and Ford have already started recalls and are urgently contacting customers. If you have an affected Audi, BMW or Ford vehicle and have not yet been contacted, call your manufacturer urgently to arrange an urgent, free inspection.
In addition, Audi, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Toyota have agreed to consider providing urgent short term assistance for consumers who are experiencing significant hardship over the holiday period as a result of this safety issue. Consumers who wish to seek this hardship assistance can contact the vehicle manufacturer's head office (contact details below). BMW owners can contact BMW to arrange for their vehicle to be towed for inspection.
Further information for consumers is available at Recall of Takata NADI 5-AT airbags
*Table source: ACCC