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Car manufacturer put drivers at risk: ACCC

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from Mercedes-Benz, after the car manufacturer acknowledged it had failed to initiate a recall of certain C class and E class vehicles with faulty Takata airbags, due to spare parts availability, in accordance with the timeframe required under the Takata compulsory recall.

The ACCC alleges that, between June and November 2018, Mercedes-Benz failed to initiate vehicle recalls for all affected vehicles fitted with faulty Takata airbags, despite this being required by law.

The ACCC was concerned that this may have contravened the Australian Consumer Law and exposed consumers driving the vehicles to serious safety hazards. 

The cars are fitted with dangerous Takata airbags and many of the vehicles affected should have been prioritised for urgent replacement due to their age, exposure to heat and humidity, or location of the airbag inflator.

In the undertaking accepted by the ACCC, Mercedes-Benz has acknowledged the ACCC’s concerns. 

“Mercedes-Benz failed to comply with its obligations to initiate recalls under the Takata compulsory recall, potentially putting the lives of drivers and passengers at risk, and failed to inform anyone of the delay,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said.

“Industry participants must comply with their responsibilities under the Takata compulsory recall. Failure to do so may contravene the Australian Consumer Law.”

Mercedes-Benz has committed to follow a revised schedule to get affected cars off the road as soon as practicable and in the meantime, will provide free hire cars or alternative transport for owners of the highest risk vehicles.

“We are pleased that Mercedes-Benz is addressing our concerns and assisting drivers who cannot drive their affected cars by offering them hire cars,” Ms Rickard said.

Mercedes-Benz has also agreed to ensure it notifies the ACCC early of any future anticipated failure to initiate recalls, ensure its recall database correctly reflects the recall status, and keep records of consumer complaints relating to the recall.

Mercedes-Benz will also communicate directly with affected consumers, so that they are aware of the recall status of their vehicle, and their options for airbag replacement or alternative transport.

Do you own a Mercedes-Benz? Have you been notified if your car is fitted with a Takata airbag?

6 comments

I saw on the news the other night that these ar manufacturers were   "BUYING"  bank these cars -- rather expensive one too for that grand sum of about $3000 -- FHS these cars were worth a stack more than that why the hell can't they take thee darn airbags OUT  we drove without them for many decades -- it isn't the fault of the owners it is the fault of the manufacturers  -these cars were very well looked after cars -- it is a disgrace!

Some owners have removed or deactivated their airbags (especially on cars from the 90s and early 2000s) rather than accept low (but realistic) offers from car companies to buy their cars back - usually at book value which of course doesn't take into account condition. However, deactivating an airbag where one was fitted makes the car unroadworthy and may lead to issues with insurance or registration. There are no simple solutions to this mess. And certainly no winners.

I agree completely Plan B. I have a couple of Triumphs, 79 & 80 built, which are my favourite & main transport. Both are manual steering, [no power], & no air bags. The armstrong steering helps keep me fit without the cost of gym fees, & I don't have any worry of having to dodge flying bits of steel from some damn fool air bag.

 

I also have a late model large hatch, which I use when I need more then 2 seats, or to take the dog to the vets. I hate all the electronics, pasrticularly the electric steering. The last thing I need is a car with lots of letters after it's name, like ABS EBD EFI & a whole lot more. I can drive my car, & definately do not want some computor second guessing me. I'm sure the passengers in a couple of new aircraft recently felt the same, just before the electronics killed them.

The major risk in new cars, especially Mercedes is the complexity of their instrumentation and the hi tech gadgets.  This leads to many mistakes and inattention to what's happening on the road.  I would love to get back to basics and have less gadgets, simpler instrumentation which is easy to read, less alarms beeping at me etc....  

Agree re the "beeping" ... drives me nuts at times.

You're not alone Franky. At seniordriveraus.com we get regular complaints about the degree of complexity in modern cars and hi tech gadgets that people don't want and don't use, but still have to pay for. seniordriveraus.com regularly communicates these buyer concerns to manufacturers. The more complaints we get, the more we can get them to listen and the more weight our concerns will carry.

DArn right I agree 100% -- hate all these darn new-fangled beeps and such -- and I HATE automatics too -- I enjoy driving and like a manual -- I like the auto windows but would also like to have to ability to wind if needed also -- I hated driving my friends car that slows up or changes course if it thinks you should -- and also the darn window wipers that come on themselves -- I loved my 1985  Ford (Mazda) that had everything I wanted except power steering and sold it in immaculate condition--in 2010 and now have a Yaris 2010 -- 25 years old --manual -- and have had the air bag done on the driver-side

How I would hate these self driving cars --

Hey PlanB, that's a great idea regarding a manual over-ride for power windows. As for auto headlights/wipers/high beam dip and all the rest ... usually rubbish! Some come on too soon, others way too late. Is it really so hard to switch on headlights and wipers? My 1989 Audi (the "Aging Audi") doesn't have airbags; just a safety program they called ProCon10 that was a series of wires that pulled all the nasty dangerous stuff away from the passenger compartment. Sometimes, simple old technology was the best solution. And if the power windows fail, it will probably mean binning an otherwise perfectly good car. Reserve your opinion on self-driving cars ... there are plenty of times when just sitting back and letting the car take control has a lot of appeal. 

I think I would enjoy a self-driving car :)

I meant to say my Ford -- (Mazda) was 25 years old -- not my Yaris that is 9 years old -- my how time flys

No, I would hate being driven around --

Ah Suze ... it's a weird sensation. But you never quite trust the car to do what it's programmed to do. I well remember when an autonomous car was demonstrated in Adelaide a couple of years ago and it wiped out a (fortunately blow-up plastic) kangaroo. The politician in the passenger seat turned to the driver and said, "I think you've got it set to 'cull' ... " Of course it was driver error; the driver, almost by instinct, hit the brake pedal which deactivated the autonomous control and, sure enough, destroyed the unfortunate inflatable kangaroo. Just as well it wasn't a toddler! 

Or a real Roo wordsmith --

gee makes you wonder how we ever got by in the old A and B model fords and the like

We were watching The Think Tank this evening so I looked up information on the last question!

 

https://www.comparethemarket.com.au/history-of-aussie-car-manufacturing/#gref

 

Who was the first car manufacturer in Australia!

 

Image result for animation 'cartoon car running along a road' gif

6 comments