The Australian Government has announced a compulsory recall of all vehicles fitted with affected Takata airbags.
Certain vehicles are implicated including those which are already subject to voluntary recalls.
A faulty airbag could kill or seriously injure you and other people in your vehicle.
For vehicles fitted with a frontal Takata airbag which are less than 6 years old, the ACCC and the Australian Government have stated that there is no immediate known risk with the airbag, but there will be in the future.
For vehicles fitted with a frontal Takata airbag more than 6 years old, the ACCC and the Australian Government have stated that there is a risk of injury or death in the event of rupture of the airbag inflator.
Drivers are strongly urged to check whether their motor vehicle has been recalled to replace faulty Takata airbags. These recalls affect a large number of car makes and models and a small number of motorcycles.
Recently, vehicles from 25 different vehicle manufacturers were recalled to replace driver and passenger airbags made by parts supplier Takata that may explode and cause serious injury or death. Your vehicle may have a faulty Takata airbag.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the difference between the compulsory and the voluntary recalls?
Voluntary recalls are initiated by the suppliers. A compulsory recall is ordered by the responsible Minister. The compulsory recall requires all suppliers of vehicles with a defect to recall all affected vehicles in Australia. The compulsory recall specifies the manner and timing of the recall activity, which may be different to recall activity under the voluntary recalls.
How do I know if my vehicle is affected by the recall?
Your vehicle manufacturer will contact you to arrange a free replacement of the airbag when it initiates recall action for your vehicle. Make sure they have your correct contact details to get in touch when it’s time for your replacement. You can check if your vehicle is under active or future recall by looking on the vehicle manufacturer’s website or on our website.
I saw the 'Faulty airbags? Don’t die wondering' advertisement. What can I do next?
Visit IsMyAirbagSafe.com.au to enter your number plate and the state or territory of vehicle registration. You will receive one of the following three messages on screen:
- your vehicle is affected
- your vehicle is not affected
- your vehicle status is unknown.
Should I disconnect my airbags while I’m waiting for a repair?
No. Disconnecting the airbag is not recommended by road safety authorities. If you are involved in a car accident, it is far more likely that your Takata airbag will perform properly and protect you than it will misdeploy and cause harm. In addition, if the airbags are disconnected then the vehicle will be considered unroadworthy and cannot be registered or insured.
What about second-hand vehicles?
Regardless of whether you bought your vehicle brand new or second hand (including from a private seller), you are entitled to receive a replacement airbag free of charge from the manufacturer.
To ensure that you are notified if your vehicle is subject to the Takata airbag recall, you should contact the Australian office of the manufacturer of your vehicle to ensure that they have your current contact details.
If your vehicle is affected by the recall, and you sell your car prior to receiving your final replacement, you should advise the new owner that the vehicle has an affected Takata airbag that will require replacement, and contact the Australian office of the manufacturer and provide them with the new owner’s contact details (with the new owner’s consent).
I recently bought a second hand car and have just received a letter about the recall. I wasn’t told about the recall when I purchased the car. What are my rights?
Businesses must not sell cars that are under active recall before having the defective Takata airbag replaced. Businesses that fail to do so may face penalties for non-compliance with the compulsory recall
If your car was under active recall at the time you purchased it from a second-hand dealer, please report it to us.
If recall action is not yet initiated for the car, and the second-hand dealer knows that the vehicle is subject to future recall, then the dealer can still sell it to you, provided they inform you about the future recall. They must also advise you of the risk associated with the airbag. This information must be given to you verbally and in writing.
The compulsory recall only applies to businesses, so if you are buying a vehicle from a private seller, they are not required to tell you about the recall prior to the sale. Consumers who are considering buying a second hand car from a private seller should check the Takata airbag recalls list for information about vehicle recalls.
Regardless of whether you purchased the vehicle from a business or a private seller, you are entitled to a free repair from the manufacturer.
How much will the replacement airbags cost me?
There is no cost to vehicle owners. The replacement airbags and labour is provided free of charge by the manufacturers.
Should I stop driving my vehicle until the airbags are replaced?
US authority NHTSA states: “Vehicles equipped with air bags, including air bags that are under recall, save lives and reduce injuries. The vast majority of Takata air bags will perform as expected. However, as made clear by the agency’s unprecedented action, we do not accept even the small number of failures; lives have been lost due to this defect. If you feel uncomfortable continuing to drive your vehicle before the recall repair has been performed on your vehicle, you should contact your dealer and ask for a loaner until an interim or a final repair is completed.”
We note, however, NHTSA also states: “Dealers and manufacturers are not required to provide you a loaner car, but it can never hurt to ask”.
In Australia, and consequent to the mandatory recall program implemented by the ACCC, if an airbag replacement cannot be completed within a 24-hour period, the servicing dealer is required to provide the vehicle owner a loan vehicle free of charge, or some other means of transport, for the duration of the repair process.