A Sydney driver was killed by a faulty Takata airbag that had been booked for a replacement two days after his death.
Huy Neng Ngo, 58, died minutes after a “relatively minor collision” in Cabramatta on July 13, 2017 when the airbag activated and flung a piece of metal at his neck, the NSW Coroners Court was told today.
The court heard the inquest will examine why the airbag wasn’t replaced as originally scheduled on July 11.
For unknown reasons the booking was pushed back to a date in October.
Counsel assisting Tamara Phillips said the Ngo family had deep concerns that they weren’t made fully aware of dangers of the Takata airbag and how faults may materialise before the fatal crash.
Neither Mr Ngo nor his wife, to whom the car was registered, used English as their first language, Ms Phillips said.
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“They have expressed interest in why it was they had to wait as long as they did to wait for replacement,” she said.
“Rather than provide protection … this airbag malfunctioned.”
His death was one month after the Japanese airbag manufacturer filed for bankruptcy amid the largest ever automotive recall.
Ms Phillips told the court the inquest will determine the “real risks posed by Takata airbags” and how the recall has been managed.
Takata airbags have been reported as linked to 24 deaths and 266 injuries worldwide, according to the Australian website ismyairbagsafe.com.au.
That site allows Australians to type in their vehicle’s details to learn whether its airbags are subject to the recall.
In Australia, the number of airbags replaced in the past 12 months is now over 1.1 million, but some 1.8 million are still to be seen.
“It is very important that that website gets out,” Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame said.
Lawyers for Honda Australia and Warwick Farm mechanic Peter Warren Automotive attended Friday’s directions hearing.
A second hearing will be held on November 23 ahead of a scheduled inquest beginning in 2019.
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