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A National Industry Sector Committee of the Motor Trades Association of Australia
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After 18 months, ACCC have released their final report of the market study into the new car retailing industry. MTAA played a key role in advocating for the business interests of MTAA member associations business members across the automotive industry.

MTAA and State and Territory Member Associations advocated strongly for the ACCC to:

  • Confirm the impact and identify a solution to ensure fair and reasonable access and use of technical and repair information for independent mechanical and motor body repairers.
  • Examine concerns surrounding proposed changes to Australian Consumer law definitions of major and minor faults, among other issues.

MTAA CEO, Richard Dudley, said the Federation and State and Territory Association Members were pleased the ACCC final report has largely addressed these critical issues and called on the Federal Government to support the recommendations and for Government and Industry to get on with implementation.

MTAA are continuing the pressure on Government to deliver on the report’s recommendations.

The ACCC New Car Retailing Industry Market Study final report can be accessed using the link: Download .pdf

MTAA and its member associations are providing advice to business constituents, including independent mechanical repairers, so that they are aware and can comply with the biggest product recall in Australian automotive history.

MTAA is also advocating to the ACCC to ensure that the recall does not adversely affect automotive business and have been influential in persuading the ACCC to make changes to recall requirements to address shortcomings / issues identified by MTAA member associations and their business constituents.

MTAA is also advocating that the ACCC provide clarity to industry on recall requirements including undertaking a national information roadshow to assist compliance from industry and to ensure automotive businesses understand their responsibilities and obligations.

MTAA is providing to its member associations comprehensive and current information updates so that business members have increased clarity over recall requirements.

OVERVIEW OF THE RECALL:

On Wednesday 28 February 2018, the Federal Government announced a compulsory recall for all vehicles with defective Takata airbags following an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) investigation.

The Government acted because the ACCC investigation provided evidence that:

  • a reasonably foreseeable use of vehicles with defective Takata airbags may cause injury to drivers and/or passengers, and
  • one or more suppliers of vehicles with defective Takata airbags have not taken satisfactory action to prevent those vehicles causing injury to drivers and/or passengers.

A number of vehicle suppliers have voluntarily recalled vehicles fitted with defective Takata airbags in Australia. The compulsory recall requires allsuppliers of vehicles with defective Takata airbags to recall all affected vehicles in Australia and to replace the airbag device.

The compulsory recall specifies the manner and timing of the recall activity, which may be different to recall activity under the voluntary recalls. Suppliers face penalties if they don’t meet the requirements in the compulsory recall.

A compulsory recall doesn’t compel consumers to bring in their vehicles for replacement of the airbag, but it does require vehicle suppliers to undertake various obligations which will facilitate the recall and replacement of affected airbags.

The compulsory recall applies to:

  • all vehicles that are subject to existing Takata voluntary recalls, and
  • approximately 1.3 million additional vehicles that have not been voluntarily recalled.

It is the responsibility of vehicle suppliers and manufacturers and not independent repair businesses or consumers to replace the Takata air bags in affected vehicles.

Vehicles that require the replacement of airbags are identified by their VIN number and can be identified by using the following links:

https://www.productsafety.gov.au/recalls/compulsory-takata-airbag-recall/takata-airbag-recalls-list

Suppliers are required to submit a Recall Initiation Schedule to the ACCC by April 2018. The schedule will advise consumers with an affected vehicle when their vehicle will be recalled. The Recall Notice,requires independent second hand / used vehicle dealers to clearly communicate the serious safety risk and the need for future replacement to prospective purchasers prior to the sale of any vehicle with an affected Takata Airbag Inflator. The Recall Notice also prohibits the sale of vehicles with affected Takata Airbag Inflators that are under ‘active’ recall by a vehicle manufacturer.

The difference between ‘active’ versus ‘future’ is explained below.

  • Independent second hand / used vehicle dealers must ensure that they comply with their obligations under the Recall Notice or may face financial penalties for contravening the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

The attached information briefs by MTAA have been written to assist MTA Members and have been examined by the ACCC to ensure compliance and correctness.

To access the MTAA provided Takata air bag recall information briefs please access the following links:

  • MTAA Takata Airbag Information Brief No. 1 (1 March 2018).  Download .pdf
  • MTAA Takata Airbag Information Brief No. 2 (3 April 2018).  Download .pdf

For more information on the Takata airbag recall please access the ACCC Product Safety website using the following link: https://www.productsafety.gov.au/recalls/compulsory-takata-airbag-recall/faq-for-takata-airbag-recalls

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