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Airbag recall

Airbag recall and what to do about it

Background

Since 2013, a number of vehicle manufacturers have initiated recalls to replace frontal airbags manufactured by Takata.

This is due to a risk of the release of metal shrapnel from the airbag inflator unit on use.

Due to the number of affected vehicles and hold-up in the supply of replacement parts, there have been delays to recalls being completed.

The NZ Transport Agency has been made aware of a practice in Japan where front passenger airbags have been disconnected as an interim measure pending the availability of parts needed to carry out the recall on the vehicle.

The disconnection process involves fitting an electronic component to simulate the presence of the airbag so that the warning light operates as normal. A number of vehicles with disconnected airbags have already been imported into New Zealand and registered in this condition.

Where vehicles with disconnected airbags can be positively identified without dismantling the vehicle interior, this information must be taken into account in carrying out the WoF inspection.

Actions required

For all used Toyota and Mazda vehicles imported from Japan and first registered in New Zealand from 1 January 2015, the registration plate must be checked at www.rightcar.govt.nz/recalls.

If the vehicle is identified as having a disconnected passenger airbag, the vehicle will not be issued a Warrant of Fitness (WoF) until evidence is provided that it has been reconnected.

This evidence must take the form of a letter or invoice from a motor vehicle dealer, or from a Transport Agency-appointed vehicle inspector (such as a repair certifier, entry certifier or WoF inspector), confirming that the airbag recall has been completed for the vehicle or that the airbag has been reconnected.

VINZ recommends

  • If you own a Toyota or Mazda go to www.rightcar.govt.nz/recalls and enter your registration number.
  • If your vehicle is identified as having a disconnected airbag contact your local motor vehicle dealer, or Transport Agency-appointed vehicle inspector and organise to have the vehicle inspected
  • your local motor vehicle dealer, or Transport Agency-appointed vehicle inspector will issue a letter confirming that the airbag recall has been completed for the vehicle or that the airbag has been reconnected.

Making these checks and if required completing this process before your next inspection will minimise the risk of lost time due to air bag disconnections.

If you have any enquiries about the process, contact your local VINZ testing station.

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