A lawsuit has been filed in Australia against Toyota, Mazda and Honda, seeking refunds for cars fitted with Takata airbags, according to local reports.

Takata's faulty airbags, which can explode with excessive force, are said to be responsible for as many 18 deaths worldwide.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court and relies on Australian consumer law which entitles consumers to full refunds if a faulty product is deemed unsafe and if the problem cannot be rectified within a reasonable period of time.

The lawyer filing the suit, Damian Scattini, said the current practice of replacing one Takata airbag for another one by the same manufacturer was "unsatisfactory".

The lawsuit could open the doors to claims from owners of over a million Toyota, Honda and Mazda cars in the country fitted with Takata airbags.

It was filed following the death of a 58 year old Australian man earlier this month. He was thought to have been the victim of an exploding Takata airbag.