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Airbag recall responsibilities for traders

If you are a potential supplier of affected vehicles subject to the compulsory recall, it is important that you are aware of the recall order requirements, and what it means for you and your business.

From 31 May 2018, no vehicle fitted a Takata alpha-type airbag inflator may be sold in trade without having been reworked, including trade-ins.

The current most up-to-date lists of vehicles subject to the recall are available on the Government’s RightCar website:

Vehicles under mandatory recall (Takata alpha-type inflator)
Vehicles still under wider (voluntary) recall (other types of Takata inflator)

Please note: the current wider voluntary recall on other types of Takata airbag inflators may be made compulsory in the future.

VIA is currently negotiating with the MIA and NZ’s new vehicle distributors, on behalf of NZ’s used vehicle industry as a whole, on how to execute the reworking of vehicles already in service, and what the terms of this will be.

In cases where a used imported vehicle has been on-sold one or more times, the importer (as recorded by NZTA) is currently identified under NZ law as the “manufacturer” immediately responsible for ensuring that all recall requirements for the vehicle are met.

VIA will be clarifying these terms in relation to consolidated freight services, which bring in vehicles on behalf of multiple individual importers.

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VIA releases latest update on Takata recall

A technician holds a recalled Takata airbag inflator.

From 31 May onwards, vehicles with alpha-type airbags that have not been reworked will be “prohibited imports” and subject to seizure by New Zealand Customs.

Importers are urged to complete due diligence when purchasing in Japan and other source markets, to ensure that all recalls have been closed out prior to de-registration.

The inspection agencies are now working on systems to identify vehicles subject to recall, and which have been reworked, before they are certified for export.

According to VIA, it is likely that NZTA will soon require the inspection agencies to enforce section 6.4 of the Land Transport Rule Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002 as now covering safety-related recalls.

The rule states, in part, that: “A vehicle may be certified … only if a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation has identified the vehicle and has determined, on reasonable grounds, that it is safe to be operated … [taking into account] additional relevant information of which the inspector is aware …. about the vehicle issued by a manufacturer, modifier, repairer or other relevant person.”

Click here for the full text of section 6.4.

For any questions, please contact VIA Technical Manager Malcolm Yorston on 0800 VIA VIA (842 842) or email technical@via.org.nz.

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VIA working with the MIA on airbag recall

Minister of Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi has now announced a mandatory recall for at-risk (alpha type) Takata airbag inflators.

VIA, the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association, is now working with the new vehicle distributors and their association, the MIA, to develop processes and protocols for managing this recall.

VIA will meet with the MIA and new vehicle distributors on Wednesday 11 April, to agree the process and terms for managing replacement of recalled airbags in used imports. 

Both groups will then convene with MBIE’s working group on Thursday 12 April, so that the proposed measures can be approved by the Government.

According to current data, there are 68,116 imported used vehicles with the alpha type inflator in New Zealand. While 22,494 vehicles have had the inflator replaced, another 45,622 are still to be completed.

VIA will continue to communicate all developments to our members as they arise.

For any questions, please contact VIA Technical Manager Malcolm Yorston on 0800 VIA VIA (842 842) or email technical@via.org.nz.

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VIA supports Govt’s airbag recall

David Vinsen, chief executive of VIA, the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association.

VIA, the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association, has voiced its support for the mandatory recall of at-risk Takata airbags announced by the Government today.

“We welcome clear direction from the Government on this issue,” said VIA Chief Executive David Vinsen. “For some months, we have been working with the MIA and new vehicle distributors to deal with the challenge of replacing airbags in vehicles already in New Zealand’s fleet. Today’s action will support the deployment of measures to bring vehicles in service up to the required safety standards.”

Worldwide, the Takata airbag recall is unprecedented in scale; it is a large and complex logistical issue affecting new and used vehicles with two different types of Takata airbags. The alpha type airbag inflator fitted to vehicles between 2001 and 2006 is more at risk of failure if activated than other types of Takata airbag inflators.

There are around 11,280 New Zealand-new vehicles with the alpha type inflator, of which 6,485 have had the inflator replaced with 4,795 remaining to be completed. However, there are now 68,116 imported used vehicles with the alpha type inflator and while 22,494 vehicles had had the inflator replaced, there remains another 45,622 to be completed.

In New Zealand, as in other markets, progress on the recall has been hampered by a lack of replacement airbags.

Completion of the recall will require the cooperation of government and industry to undertake over some months, and VIA will continue to collaborate with our membership, the wider industry and the relevant Government agencies to effect a resolution.

“Once again, VIA endorses this position, and as always we will support our membership in adhering to their compliance obligations,” said David Vinsen.

“We thank the MIA and New Zealand’s new vehicle distributors for their assistance in dealing with the recall so far, and will continue working with them to ensure all vehicles in the New Zealand market meet the appropriate safety criteria.”

For further enquiries, please contact VIA Chief Executive David Vinsen on 0800 VIA VIA (0800 842 842) or email vinsen@via.org.nz.

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Faafoi not willing to allow any risk to remain

Hon Kris Faafoi – Source: beehive.govt.nz

Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi today acted to protect New Zealand drivers and passengers from the unsafe airbags by announcing a compulsory recall of 50,000 Alpha type Takata airbags.

The new measures put in place by Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi include intensive monitoring of a further 257,000 vehicles also requiring repairs to replace non-Alpha Takata airbags. NZ Transport Agency is also introducing new measures to stop vehicles with affected airbags that have not been remedied from being imported to New Zealand.

“New Zealanders can be assured that this Government is committed to ensuring that these unsafe airbags are removed and replaced as quickly as possible,” says Faafoi. “These airbags have been known to be a risk since 2013 yet the previous Government clearly did not place any importance on keeping New Zealanders safe.

“From today, we now have an agreed timeframe for replacements of Alpha-type airbags, and, after a 40 working day grace period for vehicles already in transit,  no affected new or used vehicles will be able to enter into New Zealand.

“Further, because I am not satisfied that enough progress has been made on other non-Alpha Takata airbag recalls, I have set up a monitoring group that will report monthly on this. If enough progress isn’t made, I will enact a compulsory recall across the board because I am not willing to compromise on the safety of New Zealanders.”

A voluntary recall of vehicles with affected Takata airbags started in New Zealand in 2013, and around 29,000 of the Alpha-type airbags have been replaced. Alpha airbag inflators pose a significantly higher risk of misdeploying in an accident and sending fragments towards vehicle occupants.

A further 257,000 vehicles are subject to a recall for non-Alpha Takata airbags, with a further 116,000 non-Alpha airbags replaced already. A total of more than 450,000 vehicles are known to be affected by Alpha and non-Alpha recalls in New Zealand, and 100 million globally.

Faafoi says the new compulsory recall is focussed on Alpha-type Takata airbags because they present the highest safety risk to drivers and passengers.

“The motor vehicle industry has recalled vehicles with the Takata airbags with varying degrees of success but more must be done to ensure that the highest risk Alpha-type airbags are removed from our vehicle fleet.”

Faafoi says he is pleased that the Motor Industry Association (MIA), which represents new vehicle importers, and the Imported Vehicle Industry Association (VIA), which represents multiple players in the used vehicle importing business, are supporting the new measures.

“I would like to acknowledge the effort some of the new vehicle sellers have made – both in replacing airbags in vehicles they have sold as new and in replacing airbags in vehicles from their marque which were imported by other parties.

“The MIA and VIA are working towards a memorandum of understanding to ensure this work is able to be appropriately resourced and, importantly for the consumer, completed as soon as possible.”

The compulsory recall is only the second enacted in New Zealand, and requires Alpha-type airbags to be replaced by December 2019. It also provides clear guidance and reporting and monitoring to ensure all the necessary recall and remediation work on all vehicles that have Alpha type airbags is undertaken.

“As well as receiving monthly reporting from a monitoring and advisory panel, we will be working very closely with industry to ensure they meet the 31 December 2019 deadline for replacement,” Faafoi says.

The compulsory recall comes into effect 40 working days from today. The recall will be led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, supported by the NZ Transport Agency.

“I encourage all vehicle owners to check the status of their vehicles airbags. MBIE’s recalls.govt.nz website has information on how to do this and we will, within days, have a website detailing all affected cars.

“While I have been reassured by officials that the risk in New Zealand is comparably low – airbags are more of a concern in humid countries with extremes of temperature – I am not willing to allow any risk to remain while we can remove it.

“MBIE and NZTA will be working across the sector, and with agencies including Citizens Advice Bureau, Consumer New Zealand and the AA to reach as many people as possible and have this important vehicle safety issue addressed.”

The monitoring and advisory panel includes representatives from Consumer New Zealand, the Automobile Association (AA), the Motor Trade Association (MTA), MIA, VIA, MBIE and NZTA.

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Compulsory recall of 50,000 airbags

Technician holds a recalled Takata airbag inflator

The New Zealand Government to announce a compulsory recall of 50,000 faulty Takata airbags in vehicles across the country.

Minister of Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said today that several hundred thousand airbag units in use in New Zealand cars need to be recalled for safety reasons.

“I am concerned, to say the least, to advise that in New Zealand more than 450,000 vehicles are affected by the overall Takata recall,” Faafoi said.

“79,000 of these are the higher-risk Alpha-type airbags – 50,000 vehicles still need Alpha-type airbags to be replaced.

“In summary, we have inherited a situation where 307,000 vehicles are still on the road in New Zealand being used by everyday families, where a safety risk known to the previous government since 2013 has not been sufficiently addressed … we can not allow this to go unaddressed.”

The Australian government made a similar move back in February, which affected more than two million vehicles.

Prior to this there were voluntary recalls being undertaken by several different manufacturers in New Zealand since it was discovered a global recall of Takata airbags could affect up to 100 million vehicles worldwide.

In October last year, it was revealed that around 300,000 vehicles in New Zealand were affected by the fault. A Fair Go investigation at the time showed just 60,000 of the 300,000 vehicles in New Zealand had been fixed, prompting numerous media stories about the recall.

There have been no injuries or fatalities involving the faulty product, however in Australia there has been both a serious injury and one death.

Millions of airbags supplied by Japanese automotive parts manufacturer Takata Corporation were built with inflators containing a chemical which causes a small explosion that inflates the airbags.

These inflators have a flaw that, particularly after exposure to hot and humid conditions, can explode with excessive force, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks.

Last month the Motor Industry Association (MIA) 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. 

More updates to come.

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Takata settles air-bag claims

Takata Corp has reached a settlement with two groups representing victims of its faulty air bags, paving the way for the company to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy and move forward with a reorganisation plan, according to court documents.

Two committees for people suing over the air bags have agreed to support a bankruptcy-exit plan that would resolve lawsuits by channeling them into a trust funded in part by the sale of Takata assets.

Takata was forced into bankruptcy amid lawsuits, multimillion-dollar fines and crushing recall costs involving the air bags. 

Takata has recalled millions of air bags that had been linked to deaths in the U.S. Defective air bags can explode in car crashes, sending metal shards flying. At least 16 people have died and more than 180 have been injured due to the problem, which has touched off the largest series of automotive recalls in U.S. history.

More than 100 million inflators have been recalled worldwide.

The Japan-based company entered a guilty plea last year as part of a $1 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over the air-bag problems.

Thirteen automakers have joined the agreement, including General Motors and Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. The manufacturers, which are both Takata’s largest customers and biggest creditors, are indemnified in their agreements with Takata from losses and liabilities related to the air bag inflators.
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Toyota SA recalls 700,000 cars

Toyota South Africa said on Thursday that it is recalling more than 730,000 vehicles in South Africa amid fears over a fault with the cars’ airbags.

Some of the affected models date back more than 15 years. The recall is to replace the front airbag inflators produced by parts firm Takata.

Takata discovered the problem last year and is in the process of replacing the airbags in millions of models worldwide from a large range of manufacturers, including Toyota, General Motors and BMW.

The airbags themselves can shower drivers and passengers with metal shards when they explode in a crash and they’ve been linked to 13 deaths in the United States alone.

“Depending on the circumstances‚ this could create excessive internal pressure when the airbag is deployed and cause the inflator to rupture. In the event of an inflator rupture‚ metal fragment could pass through the airbag cushion material‚ striking and possibly injuring the occupants in the event of an accident‚” Toyota South Africa said in a statement on their website.

The company said no-one has been injured or killed in South Africa as a result of this fault.

The current Toyota recall affects 10 models, including Lexus.

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New Takata death

Ford Motor Co has just announced that it has confirmed a second death in an older pickup truck caused by a defective airbag inflator of Takata Corp and has urged 2,900 owners in North America to stop driving immediately until they can get replacement parts.

Ford recently confirmed in late December that a July 2017 crash death in West Virginia in a 2006 Ford Ranger was caused by a defective Takata inflator.

It previously reported a similar death in South Carolina that occurred in December 2015.

Ford said both Takata deaths occurred with inflators built on the same day installed in 2006 Ranger pickups. At least 21 deaths worldwide are linked to the Takata inflators that can rupture and send deadly metal fragments into the driver’s body. The faulty inflators have led to the largest automotive recall in history. The other 19 deaths have occurred in Honda Motor Co vehicles, most of which were in the United States.

The new recall announced on Thursday affects 2,900 vehicles. These include 2,700 in the United States and nearly 200 in Canada. The new recall will allow for identification of the 2,900 owners in the highest risk pool.

Japanese auto supplier Takata plans to sell its viable operations to Key Safety Systems, an affiliate of China’s Ningo Joyson Electric Corp, for $1.6 billion.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urged owners to heed Ford’s warning. “It is extremely important that all high-risk air bags are tracked down and replaced immediately,” NHTSA spokeswoman Karen Aldana said.

Takata inflators can explode with excessive force, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks and have injured more than 200. The defect led Takata to file for bankruptcy protection in June.

 

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Takata airbag led to Louisiana death

Honda says another person has been killed by an exploding Takata air bag inflator, bringing the count to 20 worldwide.

A faulty Takata air bag inflator has killed another person, this time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Honda said Tuesday night.

The unidentified person is the 20th death worldwide attributed to the faulty inflators, which can explode with too much force and hurl shrapnel into car and truck cabins.

The person died in a July 10 crash of a 2004 Honda Civic. Officials from the automaker and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration inspected the car Tuesday and confirmed that the driver’s air bag inflator blew apart and caused the death, Honda spokesman Marcos Frommer said.

Recalls for faulty airbags began in 2013, with 3.4 million cars initially affected, and has rapidly expanded.

Over 100 million vehicles were recalled worldwide across over a dozen car manufacturers, including Honda, Toyota and BMW.

A Fair Go investigation on New Zealand television found over 300,000 cars were affected in New Zealand, with many faulty airbags still to be replaced.

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VW to recall 4.86 million cars in China

Volkswagen AG will recall 4.86 million vehicles due to issues with air bags supplied by bankrupt auto parts maker Takata Corp, China’s quality watchdog has said today.

Reuters reports that Volkswagen and its Chinese joint venture FAW-Volkswagen and SAIC Volkswagen delivered 3.98 million vehicles in China last year.

The recall comes after the watchdog asked the German automaker, General Motors Co (GM.N) and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz earlier this year to recall vehicles equipped with Takata air bags.

Over 20 million cars in China had air bags made by Takata, the watch dog has estimated.

The airbags which have been linked to at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries globally, and have the potential to explode with too much force and spray shrapnel.

China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said across all of VW’s Chinese operations, it would be required to recall over 5 million vehicles.

The watchdog said the recall would begin in March next year and continue into 2019.

Volkswagen officials did not provide immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.

Of 37 vehicle manufacturers affected by the faulty air bag issue in China, 24 had recalled 10.59 million cars as at the end of June. A further five had made plans to recall 1.26 million vehicles.

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