Consumer group CHOICE's ongoing investigation into those dodgy Takata 'Alpha' airbags has revealed there's about 50,000 Aussie car owners who're seemingly completely oblivious to the fact they're driving a car fitted with the potentially deadly product.
Tom Godfrey, from CHOICE, has named Toyota, Lexus, BMW, Nissan and Honda as manufacturers who've failed to notify affected customers about their heightened risk.
"Alpha airbags [which are aged between 11 and 16 years] fail in 1 in 2 deployments. In other words, they fire shrapnel at you potentially killing you and your family. Whereas, the normal Takata airbags only fail in 1 in 400 deployments"
"We think the car companies aren't doing enough"
The latest findings come after CHOICE revealed Toyota, Mazda, BMW, Lexus and Subaru were replacing customers' airbags with like-for-like potentially equally as faulty parts.
The investigation has also found car owners face waiting periods of 6 months or more as car makers struggle with parts shortages, retrofitting issues and insufficient people trained to install new airbags.
"Probably even more concerning though is if you're driving one of these Alpha inflators in the US and you're driving a Honda car, they tell you not to drive the car. When we approached Honda about that in Australia they said 'no way, good luck to you'", says CHOICE spokesman Tom Godfrey.
"At minimum we think car makers in Australia should offer consumers with 'alpha' airbags towing services and loan vehicles to make sure these cars are not on the roads at all."
"We want to see the government step in and initiate a mandatory recall"
Tips for affected owners
• Check productsafety.gov.au
• Contact your car company to arrange a repair
• If you are unhappy waiting for a repair lodge a complaint with Fair Trading or consumer affairs in your state or territory
CHOICE also has plenty more info online