The Takata airbag crisis has taken its most serious turn yet, with to up 78,000 cars to be put off the road and bought back by manufacturers at an estimated cost of up to $200 million.
Popular cars made by Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Toyota – sold from 1996 to 2000 – are believed to be equipped with another type of Takata airbag inflator which can also become unstable over time and spray shrapnel when deployed in a crash.
The NADI 5-AT inflator is believed to be linked to at least one recent death and one recent serious injury in Australia. This is in addition to the previous death and known serious injury caused by the Beta type of Takata airbag in two separate crashes in Australia in 2018.
While most car makers so far have stopped short of calling for owners to not drive affected models – only BMW has done so at this stage – all 78,000 recalled cars will likely be put off the road and owners reimbursed based on the vehicle’s current value.
“Even though full details and appropriate remedies are still being worked out by the manufacturers we are issuing this warning now to urge people not to use their car if it is affected by this potentially deadly airbag,” said Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chair, Rod Simms.
“We want everyone to have a happy and safe holiday period, and encourage people to consider alternative transport options if possible, rather than using vehicles fitted with these airbags.”
The ACCC believes many of the 78,000 vehicles may already be off the road – either written off in a crash or scrapped due to its age – but is concerned that a “substantial number of affected vehicles are likely to be still registered and still in use”.
The numbers for each brand are still being compiled but so far the number of affected cars by the latest Takata airbag recall are Ford (216 Courier utes), Mazda (466 Eunos cars), Audi (3960 cars), and BMW (12,663 cars).
The four car brands likely most affected by the latest Takata airbag recall – Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki – are yet to compile the number of cars affected.
None of the brands contacted today would say whether or not they woudkl advise owners to stop driving the vehicles, but all of them said they would provide alternative transport with loan or rental cars, or reimburse owners for taxi use.
A statement from Toyota, which is likely to have the biggest number of affected cars because of its sales volumes, said: “We are supporting Toyota owners to stop driving potentially affected vehicles on a case-by-case basis following the announcement made by the ACCC, including by providing loan vehicles where guests are experiencing hardship.”
Vehicles that may be affected in the new Takata airbag recall
|Audi||A6 4B/C5||MY1998-2000||1800 856 770|
|A8 4D/D2||MY1998-200||1800 856 770|
|A4 8D/B5||MY1997-2000||1800 856 770|
|TT 8N/1||MY1999-2000||1800 856 770|
|Cabriolet 8G/B4||MY1998-1999||1800 856 770|
|BMW||E46 3 Series||MY1997-2000||1800 243 675|
|Ford||Courier||MY1998-2000||1800 503 673|
|Honda||Legend||MY1996-200||1800 952 272|
|CR-V||MY1996-2000||1800 952 272|
|Accord||MY1997-1999||1800 952 272|
|Toyota||Starlet 3 door||MY1997-1999||1800 800 424|
|Starlet 5 door||MY1997-1999||1800 800 424|
|Paseo||MY1997-1999||1800 800 424|
|Celica||MY1997-1999||1800 800 424|
|RAV4 3 door||MY1997-1999||1800 800 424|
|RAV4 5 door||MY1997-1999||1800 800 424|
|Echo/Vitz||MY1999||1800 800 424|
MORE: Takata recall coverage