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Australia impacted by massive global airbag recall

Big bang: The logistics of replacing more than a million airbags in a short time frame has motor companies on the rev limiter.

Around three million vehicles affected by airbag recall world-wide, including Oz

General News logo12 Apr 2013


UPDATED: 16/04/2013THOUSANDS of Japanese-branded cars sold in Australia are being recalled as part of a huge world-wide safety campaign to replace potentially defective front passenger airbags produced by supplier Takata.

Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Honda and Lexus have all confirmed they are recalling vehicles in this country, with all affected cars built early last decade.

According to Reuters, which reports a total of 3.4 million vehicles are being recalled world-wide, other non-Japanese manufacturers including General Motors and BMW were also affected.

The GM recall only affects the Toyota-based Pontiac Vibe not sold in Australia and BMW Australia is unaware of any problem.

A Takata spokesman told GoAuto 2.92 million airbags are affected world-wide, but that the number that need replacing is expected to be far lower because the age of the vehicles affected means many will have been retired from service.

He said no injuries or deaths had been reported as a result of recall-related problems.

The biggest recall in Australia appears to be for Nissan, which understands 11,360 vehicles are potentially affected here, among 480,000 recalled world-wide.

Nissan is still working to establish which cars are affected in Australia but lists potentially affected models as the T30 X-Trail, D22 Navara, Y61 Patrol and N16 Pulsar (hatch and sedan) built between 2000 and 2004.

Honda Australia reports 9980 affected vehicles, comprising Civic sedans and CR-V SUVs built between 2001 and 2003 plus Jazz hatchbacks built in 2003.

Around 1.7 million Toyotas have been recalled globally while in Australia 1700 Corolla and Avensis Verso vehicles built between November 2000 and March 2004, with inspection and replacement to take between an hour and 2.5 hours.

A Toyota statement says the recall is “is due to the possibility that the front passenger airbag may have been assembled with improperly manufactured propellant wafers”.

“In the event of a crash, the inflator may rupture and cause the front passenger airbag to deploy abnormally.”

Toyota's luxury brand Lexus is also affected, with approximately 150 SC430 convertibles to be recalled in this country.

Remedial work on these cars takes around 5.5 hours.

Of a reported 45,000 Mazda vehicles to be recalled globally, Mazda Australia is recalling 468 first-generation Mazda6 mid-sizers built in 2002 and 2003, with remedial work taking around an hour.

Mazda’s recall announcement says: “during inflation of the airbag, the gas generator may not work properly causing an abnormal pressure increase to occur inside the airbag inflator. As a result, the airbag may not inflate as intended. “The Takata spokesman said the problem was due to airbag inflators having absorbed moisture during the production process and that one of its customers had discovered the issue and alerted Takata, which started an investigation.

A ten-year lifespan has been mooted for vehicle airbags but the spokesman said Takata applies a lifetime guarantees to its products.

This is not the first time Takata products have been implicated in large recalls, as Honda recalled 2.8 million vehicles over defective driver’s airbags between 2008 and 2011 and eight million vehicles were recalled in 1995 due to defective seatbelts.

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