Fed govt taking action on Takata airbags 9:38am Feb 28, 2018 The federal government is taking the unusual step of ordering a national recall of nearly four million cars fitted with deadly Takata airbags because it's unhappy with the industry response. It is one of the largest and most significant product recalls in Australia's history and follows voluntary recalls by car makers last year. "The previous voluntary recall has not been satisfactory overall and it's the safety of all Australians which is the first priority of this government," Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Michael Sukkar told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday. "The compulsory recall will force manufacturers, dealers, importers and other suppliers to ensure that all dangerous Takata airbags are located and replaced as quickly as possible." The airbags have caused multiple deaths and injuries worldwide. One Australian has died and another was severely injured. The problem is caused by high levels of moisture getting into the airbags. This can cause the propelling mechanism to catch fire and explode, scattering pieces of metal. Manufacturers Ford, Holden and Volkswagen are among the 25 carmakers expected to urgently replace the airbags. The government action comes after federal Labor called for a compulsory recall in August last year. "The sad thing about this is that this has been waiting in the wings for months and months," opposition consumer affairs spokesman Tim Hammond told reporters in Canberra. "It is an indictment of this government that they have taken so long to pull the trigger on a compulsory recall." Consumer watchdog boss Rod Sims said last year's voluntary recall applied to 2.3 million vehicles but only about 1.3 million had airbags replaced. The compulsory recall expands the scope to cover the millions of cars not dealt with last year and another 1.3 million not previously recalled. The scale of the recall is so big it will be done on a rolling basis, with priority given to replacing airbags posing the most risk. All affected airbags must be replaced by December 31, 2020. The order affects vehicles made by Ford, GM Holden, Mercedes Benz, Tesla, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, GMC, Honda, Jeep, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, Volvo and Hino Trucks. The cost of the recall will be borne by the manufacturers.