Toyota, Mazda and Suzuki have issued voluntary recalls for certain models manufactured between 1996 and 1999.
The cars were fitted with airbags that could misdeploy and fire metal fragments into the car at high speed.
In a statement from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Acting Chair Stephen Ridgeway said, 'These airbags could injure or kill people in the car by misdeploying in an accident...The airbags have also, in some instances, not fully inflated in a crash, thereby failing to protect drivers as expected.'
Owners of the affected cars, which include the Toyota Starlet, have been advised to stop driving them immediately and contact the manufacturer to organise an inspection.
The Takata NADI 5-AT airbags have been involved in four incidents in Australia, which have caused serious injuries and deaths.
Mr Ridgeway added: 'Drivers must take these warnings seriously. These airbags pose a serious safety risk that could lead to deaths or serious injuries.
'Please do not put lives at risk, and consider other transport options if your vehicle is affected,' Mr Ridgeway said.
Drivers can check if they are affected by the recall by checking the Product Safety Australia website.