PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia A staggering 358,233 vehicles comprising Toyota, Nissan, Honda, BMW, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Mazda and Lexus brands are still fitted with defective Takata airbags, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.

As such, he said the Road Transport Department (JPJ) would send recall notices to the owners concerned so that they would go and have the old airbags changed at their respective vehicle manufacturers’ service centres the soonest possible.

Loke also said a RM300 fine could be imposed on each owner who failed to comply with the directive after the second notice was given, and they would be subject to legal action if unable to settle the compound.

We are not here to penalise anyone. We just want to make sure that they change their airbags for their own safety because it (not replacing the safety device) can cause death.

Changing the airbags is free-of-charge for all the vehicles under those brands. The process will take at least one or two hours, he told a press conference after a meeting with the representatives of the car manufacturers here yesterday.

According to Loke, JPJ would send the first notice as early as next week and give 14 days for the owners to go to the service centres or contact the manufacturers for appointment.

After that, we will obtain data from the manufacturers on those who have not responded (to the notice). If there is still no response (14 days) after the second notice is issued, we can issue summonses for not complying with the JPJ instructions, he said.

In addition, Loke said the owners would not be able to renew their road tax if they did not adhere to the directive.

Meanwhile, he said the ministry had given one year for all the affected companies to change the airbags, except for Honda which was given until the end of the year following frequent fatal accidents involving its Honda City model.

In the latest incident, Pou Hou Tien, 23, died in an accident at Taman Len Seng, Cheras last Sunday after his Honda City car crashed into a lamp post. It was reported that his death was due to the faulty airbag.

Source: NAM News Network

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