Takata airbag recall

The ACCC has announced a compulsory recall for all consumers whose car has a defective Takata airbag installed.

What s driving the urgent Takata airbag recall?

The ACCC has announced a compulsory recall for all consumers whose car has a defective Takata airbag installed and an immediate recall for ‘Alpha’ Takata airbags. Alpha bags are a high risk type of Takata airbag. Safety concerns have resulted in the urgent recall going out with some clear advice about the replacement steps that vehicle owners should take.

It is being reported as Australia’s largest automotive recall to date, and potentially affects millions of cars including models manufactured between 1999 and 2018. The following brands have been identified as affected: Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks, Ford Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and General Motors. The recall also applies to a limited range of motorcycles.

How can I find out if my vehicle needs an airbag replacement?

This compulsory recall applies to:

•  All vehicles that are subject to existing Takata voluntary recalls, and

•  1.3 million vehicles that have not been voluntarily recalled

You can find out if your car or motorcycle is on the list for an airbag replacement on the product safety website.

Use your vehicle's registration plate number to find out if your vehicle is affected at: IsMyAirbagSafe.com.au or by texting 'Takata' to 0487 AIRBAG (247224)

Why do 'Alpha' Takata airbags pose a higher risk?

The Takata alpha airbags have a design defect that poses a significantly higher safety risk than other Takata inflators. These have been shown to rupture more frequently, and don't deploy as they are supposed to. There exists a high risk of metal fragments and shrapnel propelling out of the airbag and into the vehicle, with the potential to cause serious injury or death. 

The defective airbags are currently associated with 24 deaths and 300 injuries, globally. In Australia, one death and one serious injury in separate incidents has stemmed from these faulty airbags.

Who will replace my airbags?

Consumers should call their supplier (normally the vehicle manufacturer) to arrange a replacement airbag.

Your vehicle manufacturer's website also has a searchable recall database to help you find out if your vehicle is:

  1. under active recall for replacement now
  2. under critical recall for an alpha airbag and should not be driven
  3. scheduled for future recall with the date it will be recalled in the future, or

if the recall or replacement is completed

You need to know your VIN number to be able to search the vehicle manufacturer's database.

Your vehicle identification number (VIN), which is a unique 17 character serial number that can be found on your vehicle or in documentation such as registration documentation.

Who pays for the replacement of the Takata airbags?

The vehicle manufacturer (supplier) must recall all affected vehicles and replace the airbag at no cost to the consumer, with priority given to replacement of those airbags that present the highest safety risk. Recalls must be initiated as soon as possible.

Is there a deadline for this recall?

Vehicle manufacturers must replace defective Takata airbags that are in Australian vehicles by 31 December 2020 (or later if approved by the ACCC). Replacement will be scheduled based on safety risk and other factors, and so your car may not be recalled straight away.

Vehicle owners that ignore this recall notifications may face severe consequences. South Australia is an example of one state that is now enforcing registration bans on vehicles with the alpha airbags. Other states may follow similar measures to ensure replacement action is taken. Some insurance and legal professionals warn drivers could find themselves ineligible for insurance claims in the event of an accident whilst the vehicle is unregistered due to the ban on affected airbags. Where organisations provide company cars for their employees, it's likely that fleet car managers will be responsible for checking many numbers of vehicles for safety compliance. 

How many cars at risk?

In Australia 1 in 4 cars are affected by the Takata airbag recall. Millions of vehicles around the world are also affected by this design flaw.  

It is estimated that 25,000 vehicles with alpha airbags are yet to be replaced. These carry immediate danger. Some 89,000 alpha airbags have already been replaced.

If you have questions about managing Motor Vehicle risks, contact our Risksupport Helpdesk by calling 1300 660 827 or emailing helpdesk@risksupport.org.au

Related items:

Contact us

Have a question about what we do? Need help with an existing policy? Our contact centre is here to help.