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Recalled Takata airbags – what you need to know

‘Alpha’ type Takata airbags are now subject to compulsory recall. For more information, visit the Government’s recalls website(external link). There’s also further information below.

The Takata airbags global recall, potentially affecting up to 100 million vehicles worldwide across around 12 different vehicle manufacturers, is one of the largest vehicle recalls ever undertaken.

Recalls happen when there is a potential fault and vehicle owners should act on all recall notices.

This page contains information about the Takata recall, particularly Alpha type Takata airbags, and the issue of potentially disabled passenger airbags.

Alpha type Takata airbags

Alpha type Takata airbags are older and have a design fault that means they pose the most severe risk of failure in a crash. There is a risk these airbag inflators may explode, sending fragments at vehicle occupants. Failure of the airbag inflator can cause serious injury or death. Alpha type Takata airbags are therefore subject to compulsory recall.

Under the compulsory recall, owners of affected vehicles are being contacted by the vehicle manufacturer to arrange replacement.

You are strongly advised to respond promptly to the recall notification. If your car is under active recall, contact the manufacturer as soon as possible and make an appointment to get the airbags replaced.

If you want to find out whether your vehicle is affected in the meantime, there is some useful information on the Rightcar website: link)

The Rightcar website also has some useful information for importers, because vehicles subject to this recall (that have not been remedied) are now ‘prohibited imports’ and they cannot be registered or sold in trade in New Zealand.

We recommend you make sure your contact details are up to date on the Motor Vehicle Register.

For more information about Alpha type airbags see our updated question and answers.

Takata Alpha airbag compulsory recall notice(external link)
Information for importers(external link)
Takata Alpha airbag recall flyer for affected vehicle owners [PDF, 1.2 MB]
Alpha type airbags questions and answers
Check or update your details on the Motor Vehicle Register
Media release: Vehicles to fail WoF inspections for Takata Alpha airbags from early 2020 – 4 September 2019

Update (August 2019) – from early 2020, vehicles that have not had their Takata Alpha airbags replaced during the compulsory recall will fail a warrant of fitness (WoF). While the recall is still under way, WoF inspectors are helping to inform customers their vehicle is under compulsory recall, and providing information on what to do. If you receive a copy of the Takata airbag recall flyer please read it carefully – it includes the contact details for vehicle manufacturers.

The wider Takata airbags recall

The wider voluntary recall of Takata airbags by suppliers is still under way. Due to the scale of the global recall, there are delays while replacement airbags are manufactured and replaced to appropriate standards – many countries are facing this issue.

The best way to find out if your car is part of the wider recall is to contact an official dealer for the make of your vehicle. You can also check the Government’s recalls website: link)

You will be contacted about bringing your car in for replacement airbags to be installed as parts become available. It’s important you act on all recall notices you receive.

We also recommend you make sure your contact details are up to date on the Motor Vehicle Register.

Our advice, and the advice from manufacturers, is that cars under this recall are safe to drive in the meantime, as only a small percentage of the potentially faulty airbags in the wider recall are likely to malfunction in a crash.

If you have any concerns about the recall, contact an official dealer for the make of your vehicle.

Product recalls website(external link)
Check or update your details on the Motor Vehicle Register

Disabled front passenger airbags

If your car is part of the Takata airbags recall and was imported into New Zealand from Japan since the Takata airbags recall was announced in 2013, you should check it has not had its front passenger airbag disabled.

Disabling front passenger airbags was a practice that was offered in Japan in response to public concern while waiting for replacement airbags under the global Takata airbags recall. While it was legal in Japan, this modification does not meet New Zealand requirements and poses a safety concern.

There’s detailed information about this on our question and answers page about disabled Takata airbags.

Disabled Takata airbag questions and answers

If you have any further concerns

The best contact is a motor vehicle dealer for the make of your vehicle. 

However, you can also contact the Transport Agency on 0800 108 809, from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.