500,000 Aussies could join class action against car makers
A CLASS action has been filed against Toyota on behalf of affected customers who were affected by the recall of cars fitted with defective Takata airbags.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan (Quinn Emanuel) has filed the class action, saying it will affect more than half a million Australians.
Similar actions against Honda, Mazda, BMW, Subaru, Audi and Volkswagen were expected to be filed in the coming weeks.
Consumers who purchased a Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Subaru, Audi and Volkswagen other car fitted with a Takata airbag between 2001 and 2017 may be entitled to participate in the class action.
The class action, funded by US litigation funder Regency Funding, was filed in the Supreme Court of New South Wales on November 10.
It alleges that Toyota is in breach of its obligations to consumers under the Australian Consumer Law.
Quinn Emanuel partner Damian Scattini said hundreds of Toyota owners had already registered to participate in the action since it was first announced in July.
"Globally, the Takata airbag recall is the largest product safety recall in history and the number of potentially affected Australian consumers could make it the largest consumer class action in Australia," he said.
"Since 2009, more than 2.3 million vehicles in Australia have become subject to the recall.
"The defective airbags were largely installed in affected vehicles between 2002 through 2015.
"These airbags have been proven to be lethal and have killed at least 18 people and injured more than 180 around the world.
"This class action will allow Australians whose vehicles are fitted with the potentially deadly Takata airbag to seek either a safe replacement airbag or refund."
Mr Scattini claimed that car manufacturers had known about the fault for years and "not done anything proactive to try and right it".
This action is complementary to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's current investigation into car manufacturers' obligations under the ACL.