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Sydney driver killed 'days before due to have Takata airbag replaced'

| 07.09,18. 04:30 PM |

Sydney driver killed 'days before due to have Takata airbag replaced'

A Takata airbag in a RAV4 SUV, responsible for injuring a 21-year-old in Darwin.
Photo: NT Police

Shrapnel propelled by a faulty Takata airbag.
Photo: Supplied

A Sydney driver was due to have a faulty Takata airbag replaced two days before he was killed in a car accident, a court has heard.

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 Coroner's Court was told on Friday.

The court heard the inquest will examine why the airbag wasn't replaced as originally scheduled on July 11. 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 might 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.

The family want to know why they had to wait as long as they did for a replacement, she said.

"Rather than provide protection ... this airbag malfunctioned."

Mr Ngo's death occurred one month after the Japanese airbag manufacturer filed for bankruptcy amid the largest ever automotive recall.

Ms Phillips told the court the inquest would determine the "real risks posed by Takata airbags" and how the recall had 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.

"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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