Australia alleges Mercedes-Benz downplays safety risks on Takata air bags


July 4 - Australia’s consumer watchdog filed a case against Mercedes-Benz on Wednesday for allegedly downplaying the severity of risks associated with using Takata air bags after deaths related to its usage prompted the country's biggest vehicle recall.

Around four million vehicles fitted with Takata Corp air bags were recalled by Australia between 2018 and 2020 after at least 23 deaths worldwide and one in Sydney were linked to the rupturing of faulty air bag anchors.

The AustralianAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission said that Mercedes-Benz agents told consumers the recall was precautionary and there had been no adverse incidents, adding that it was safe to drive vehicles when older than six years.

These alleged representations used language which was inconsistent with the requirements of the compulsory recall notice, ACCC added while saying it exposed consumers to chances of serious injury or death by minimising risks.

The Mercedes-Benz subsidiary Daimler AG, Germany's parent, was not immediately available for a Reuters request for comment.

Carmakers like Ford Motor Corp, Mazda and Honda pulled millions of their models off the road since 2008, in what was also the largest auto recall in U.S. history.