2.1 million Australian motorists urged to check potentially deadly airbags

A fatal Sydney crash is a “terrible reminder” for Australians to check whether their car contains a faulty Takata airbag which is linked to 18 deaths worldwide, says consumer advocate Choice.

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A 58-year-old man was killed in a collision at Cabramatta on July 13 when his Honda CRV slammed into another vehicle at an intersection in Sydney’s southwest.

NSW Police on Friday said a faulty airbag was likely to blame after the driver was “struck in the neck by a small fragment”.

“Further investigations revealed the vehicle in the incident was subject of a worldwide recall for a faulty airbag,” they said in a statement.

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Three others involved in the incident were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The dodgy Takata airbags, which can explode and launch metal shards when deployed, have previously been linked to 17 deaths and at least 180 injuries worldwide.

“The tragic news out of New South Wales this evening is a terrible reminder to motorists to check whether their own vehicle is one of those on the recall list,” Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey said in a statement.

Prior to last week’s incident, there had not been any fatalities involving Takata airbags in Australia.

However, in late April a 21-year-old Northern Territory woman suffered serious injuries when one of the faulty airbags didn’t deploy properly during a crash in Darwin.

She was struck in the head by a small metal fragment, NT Police said at the time.

The recall covers approximately 100 million vehicles worldwide and 2.1 million in Australia.

Takata have been contacted for comment.