MORE than 1500 vehicles in the Hunter are still fitted with a potentially deadly airbag subject to a global recall.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is urging motorists to check if their vehicle has a Takata airbag after data revealed there were 26,197 vehicles in NSW yet to be repaired.
This included 1509 in Newcastle and Maitland, and potentially hundreds more in the surrounding areas.
The Takata airbag recall is the world's largest automotive recall, affecting more than 100 million vehicles globally and about 2.7 million in Australia.
The airbags affected by the compulsory recall use a chemical called phase-stabilised ammonium nitrate (PSAN). Certain types of Takata PSAN airbags have a design defect which may cause the airbag to deploy with too much explosive force.
There have been more than 330 injuries and 30 deaths reported worldwide, including one death and three injuries in Australia.
Vehicle manufactures are required to ensure all cars with affected Takata airbags have their airbags replaced by December 31, but the ACCC remains concerned about the number of vehicle owners yet to respond to alerts and correspondence.
"These airbags are very dangerous and have the potential to explode with too much force, even in low speed accidents, sending sharp metal fragments into the vehicle at high speed, potentially killing or seriously injuring its occupants," ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said.
"Manufacturers have found it difficult to reach some drivers who may not have been as responsive to the warnings and notices sent to them, calls, text messages or in the case of critical vehicles, in person visits urging them to get their airbags replaced."
Ms Rickard said the ACCC was working to raise awareness across a range of communities, including those from a culturally and linguistically diverse background, to check to make sure their car is not under recall.
"It is important that we all help spread the word," she said.
"If you know someone who lives in these areas or who you think may not know about the recall, tell them about it and offer to help them check their car," Ms Rickard said.
"It takes less than a minute and together we can help reduce the number of dangerous airbags in cars on our roads.
"Anyone whose car is subject to the recall should not delay and contact a dealership to book their car in urgently for a free airbag replacement."
More than 54,800 vehicles have been repaired in Newcastle and Maitland, and 34,863 on the Central Coast. About 850 are yet to be replaced on the coast.
Those vehicles yet to be repaired will be subject to registration sections and owners will not be able to renew their registration in NSW.
More than 100 vehicles in NSW also contain a particular type of the Takata airbag, known as the critical 'alpha', which is considered extremely dangerous.
"Vehicles which contain a 'critical' airbag should not be driven at all," Ms Rickard said.
"Contact the manufacturer to arrange for it to be towed or a technician to be sent to you so the airbag can be replaced."
Consumers can also enter their number plate at ismyairbagsafe.com.au or text 'TAKATA' to 0487 AIRBAG (247 224) to check if their vehicle is affected.
Owners who are required to leave their vehicle with the manufacturer for more than 24 hours to have the airbag replaced may be entitled to a free loan car or have their transport costs covered for the period they are without their vehicle.