Toyota is facing a class action lawsuit for selling vehicles fitted with faulty Takata airbags, with similar lawsuits against Honda, Mazda, BMW, Subaru, Audi and Volkswagen likely to follow in the coming weeks.
The class action was filed on November 10, accusing Toyota of being “in breach of its obligation to consumers” by selling vehicles fitted with faulty Takata airbags, alleging the company knew about the problem and took no action to rectify it.
Numbers are yet to be confirmed, but a partner at the law firm behind the suit told CarAdvice all Toyota vehicles subject to the recall in Australia are covered by the class action.
Toyota said it takes the safety of its customers seriously, and encouraged owners to check the status of their cars here. Concerned owners can also call 1800 869 682 for more information, or contact their dealer.
The suit is calling for replacement of defective airbags or, if a replacement can’t be sourced, a full refund for owners of affected cars, citing the case of a woman who was alerted to the fault in March this year and is still awaiting a replacement airbag unit.
This legal action is another ripple from the Takata airbag scandal, which is now the largest global automotive recall ever, affecting 100 million vehicles worldwide – including 2.5 million units in Australia.
Airbag inflators manufactured by the company are susceptible to moisture intrusion, which can make them rupture when the airbag inflates. Ruptured inflators have the potential to create metal fragments that can strike, injure or kill occupants.
Having blamed others, including manufacturing and handling errors for the problem, Takata Corporation acknowledged the components were defective. It filed for bankruptcy in June this year.
The matter has become a hot-button issue in recent months, with Australia’s first Takata-related death leading the Australian Government to propose a mandatory recall.
Along with the suit against Toyota, similar class actions are expected to be filed against Honda, Mazda, BMW, Subaru, Audi and Volkswagen in the next few weeks.
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