Lawyers and funders behind the class actions in Australia against car manufacturers who have sold cars with defective Takata airbags have welcomed news of a national mandatory recall announced by the Federal Government today.

To date, thousands of consumers have signed up for the first of their kind consumer class actions against manufacturers since the matter was announced in November 2017. The number of car manufacturers being sued has expanded to include Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Nissan, BMW, Mazda, Volkswagen and Audi.

Damian Scattini, a Partner at Quinn Emanuel, has been working on the claims with litigation funder Regency Funding which alleges that car manufacturers are in breach of a number of provisions under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

“Today’s recall announcement by the Federal Government is unprecedented, and emphasises just how serious the danger with these airbags is. It is an incredibly urgent and potentially lethal problem – consumers should not face the chance that a product which is meant to protect them has the potential to kill them and their loved ones with shrapnel,” Mr Scattini said.

“Under the Australian Consumer Law, goods specifically need to be safe, and consumers have a right to a replacement or refund if they are not – that is what we are seeking to enforce with this action. It is hard for manufacturers to defend their actions or say there isn’t any urgency to replace these airbags when they are the subject of the largest product safety recall in Australia’s history,” Mr Scattini said.

The class action has been filed in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and is before Justice John Sackar.

Consumers who purchased a Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Nissan, BMW, Mazda, Volkswagen, or Audi fitted with a Takata airbag may be entitled to participate in the class action.

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