MIA welcomes mandatory airbag recall
David Crawford, Chief Executive Officer of the MIA says ‘the Takata airbag recall is unprecedented in scale, it is a massively 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. Completion of the recall will require the cooperation of government and industry to undertake and the MIA welcomes the Government’s decision to make the alpha type airbag recall mandatory.’ The MIA undertook a stocktake of affected vehicles in New Zealand during March which revealed that 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 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. The issue is exacerbated by importers of used vehicles who have continued to import vehicles which have not had recalls closed out in the country they are sourcing their vehicles from. Mostly these vehicles have been proceeding through import compliance without checking and then on-sold to unsuspecting New Zealand consumers. It is then left up to New Zealand distributors to try and identify these vehicles and endeavour to manage a recall. Contrary to common misunderstanding, under New Zealand legislation New Zealand distributors of new vehicles are not obliged to undertake recalls of used imported vehicles. New Zealand consumer legislation places consumer obligations, including recalls, on the supplier of the goods, which in this case is the importer of the used vehicle. The MIA is not opposing imports of used vehicles, but these vehicles should not be on-sold to consumers with outstanding (open) recalls. The MIA has a code of practice which encourages New Zealand Distributors to recall used imported vehicles when these vehicles have been imported prior to a recall being announced. However, the continued importation of used vehicles with a known recall in the market vehicles are being sourced from, places an unacceptable burden on consumers. MIA welcomes the Government’s decision to prevent any vehicle with an open recall from passing compliance and entry into the New Zealand fleet.