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Takata airbags flaw leads to historic Australian recall

Over 2 million vehicles in Australia will be recalled by Dec. 31, 2020 in what is the first compulsory recall in the country's history.

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Over 2 million cars are being recalled in Australia, the country's federal government announced on Wednesday, due to faulty airbags affecting two in seven cars across the nation.

At fault are airbags made by Japanese automotive company Takata, which the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said have been responsible for 23 deaths and 230 injuries around the world. Of those, one death and one "serious" injury have taken place in Australia. 

After 10 deaths, Takata's airbags in 2016 were discovered to have a design flaw relating to ammonium nitrate, a chemical compound within the airbags which can go bad when exposed to heat and humidity. The airbags lack components that sufficiently protect the ammonium nitrate within from moisture or humidity -- which causes some to rupture when deployed and send shrapnel, instead of an airbag, into the cabin. 

The recall of 2.3 million vehicles, to be completed by Dec. 31, 2020, is the first compulsory recall in Australia's history. It follows a voluntary recall in Australia last year, which Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Michael Sukkar said wasn't effective enough.

"While almost one in five passenger vehicles on Australian roads have now been recalled, the voluntary recall process has not been effective in some cases," he said, adding, "some manufacturers have not taken satisfactory action to address the serious safety risk which arises after the airbags are more than six years old."

You can find the full recall list here. It applies to vehicles made by GM Holden, Mercedez Benz, Jaguar, Land Rover, Tesla, Ford, Volvo, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ferrari, Dodge, Honda, Jeep, Land Rover, Volkswagen, Toyota, Subaru, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda, BMW, Lexus, Jeep, GMC, Hino Trucks, Skoda and Audi. 

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