MIA calls on Govt. for assistance with airbag recall

A technician holds a recalled Takata airbag inflator.

At present, there is around 320,000 new and used vehicles in New Zealand affected by the Takata recall process, of which the owners of approximately two thirds have received letters (recall notices) and around 134,000 owners have bought their vehicles in for the recall to be completed. 

The faulty Takata airbags has led to at least 23 deaths worldwide and more than 230 serious injuries. Takata’s airbag inflators can explode with excessive force, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks.

David Crawford, Chief Executive Officer of the Motor Industry Association (MIA) says “this is large and complex logistical issue affecting new and used vehicles with two different types of Takata airbags and current owners of vehicles having a choice as to whether they want to close out the recall. At present there is no mandatory process requiring owners of vehicles to undertake a recall if they are notified by the manufacturer to do so.”

Consequently, the MIA has asked the Government to find a mechanism which requires owners of affected vehicles to bring their vehicles into a franchised dealer for the recalled component to be replaced if they do not respond to letters from manufacturers within a reasonable time period.

The MIA are also want assistance with preventing used imported vehicles from completing import compliance unless those importing vehicles can demonstrate those vehicles have had their recalls completed.

This follows from yesterday’s announcement by the Australian government, who announced that they are ordering a compulsory recall of more than 2 million cars fitted with Takata airbags. The compulsory recall is one of the largest of its kind and follows voluntary recalls by carmakers last year affecting 1.7 million vehicles.

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