Volkswagen Australia has recalled the Mk6 Golf, 'B6' Passat, and Passat CC as part of the ongoing Takata airbag recall.
Affected units span the 2009 through 2016 model years depending on nameplate, affecting both the driver and passenger front airbags.
Like previous Takata recalls, the fault revolves around degraded airbag propellant as a result of exposure to high temperatures and humidity over time.
If the condition occurs and the vehicle is involved in an accident that triggers the airbags, the metal inflator housing could rupture when deployed, shooting metal fragments into the cabin.
This poses a significant risk of injury, even death, to the vehicle's occupants. Volkswagen has, however, previously indicated none of its vehicles are fitted with the more dangerous 'alpha' airbags.
Number of affected units by model line are as follows:
- Golf 'Mk6': MY2009-13, supplied 6 February 2009 through 30 August 2013, 8277 vehicles affected (QLD, WA and NT)
- Passat 'B6': MY2010, supplied 19 August 2009 through 30 August 2011, 2349 vehicles affected
- Passat CC: MY2009-13, supplied 30 December 2008 through 22 June 2016, 4121 vehicles affected
Owners will be contacted by Volkswagen Australia to arrange for a replacement airbag free of charge. Alternatively, customers can get use the brand's local dealer look-up tool, or call 1800 504 076.
The Takata airbag recall affects more than 100 million vehicles and nearly 20 automotive brands around the world. Among those are more than five million vehicles in Australia, the equivalent of four years of nationwide sales.
Globally, there have been 20 deaths linked to the scandal, and 230 serious injuries. One Australian motorist lost their life to a faulty Takata airbag in July 2017, one month after another Australian driver was seriously injured.
In February 2018, the recall of vehicles affected by the faulty Takata airbags was made compulsory under law, with affected manufacturers required to replace all defective airbags by the end of 2020. The ACCC earlier this year added some 1.1 million vehicles to the compulsory recall.
According to the Australian Government, the risk of a defective Takata airbag rupturing may arise between 6 and 25 years after it is installed in a vehicle. In areas of high heat and humidity, the risk of rupture may arise between 6 and 9 years.
Concerned owners can check if their vehicle needs a new inflator at www.IsMyAirbagSafe.com.au.