The recall of Takata airbags: what Australians need to know


FAQs on the largest recall in Australia's automotive history.

Are you affected?


The number of cars recalled due to defective Takata airbags is around four million. Affected cars include the Mercedes-Benz C Class, Toyota Rav 4 and Yaris and the Holden Barina and Cruze. 

Of greatest concern are the alpha airbags which can still be found in almost 20,000 cars. According to the ACCC the alpha airbags were installed in certain Honda, Nissan, BMW, Toyota, Mazda and Lexus cars with models sold between 2001 and 2004.

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said, "Make no mistake, these airbags can kill and our advice is for consumers to check the ACCC's website to see if their car is affected by this recall. If your car contains an alpha airbag, it should not be driven."

For all others, check if your car is under the current recall in the list below (accurate as of 8 Aug 2018). Please check the ACCC's active recalls and future recalls for more detail. 

Audi65x65

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

BMW65x65
Make and model Year range
BMW 3 Series E46  ALPHA 12/2001 - 03/2003
BMW 3 Series E46 9/1999 - 8/2006
BMW 5 Series E39, 3 Series E46, X5 E53 2002-2005
BMW 5 series E39, 3 Series E46, X5 E53 2000-2004
BMW E70 X5, E71 X6 2007-2012
BMW E70 X5, E71 X6 2007-2012
BMW E70 X5 & E71 X6 2013
BMW E8x 1 Series, E83 X3 & E9x 3 Series 2004-2015

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

BMW65x65
Make and model Year range
Chrysler 300 LX 2014-2015
Chrysler 300(LE/LX) 2005-2012
Chrysler 300, 300C 2005-2010
Chrysler 300, 300C 2013

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Citroen65x65
Make and model Year range
Citroen DS3, DS4 and DS5 (B81) 2009-2012

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Make and model Year range
Ford Mustang 2005-2014
Ford GT 2005-2006

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Dodge65x65
Make and model Year range
Dodge RAM 2004-2010

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Ferari
Make and model Year range
Ferrari 458, California, FF 2008-2011

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Ford
Make and model Year range
Ford Courier 2/2004 - 9/2006
Ford Econovan 2/2004 - 10/2005
Ford Ranger 9/2006 - 8/2011

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Holden
Make and model Year range
SAAB 9-3 and 9-5 (GM Holden Ltd) 2006-2011
Holden Trax, Barina, Cruze (QLD/NT) 2010-2013

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Honda
Make and model Year range
Honda Accord, CR-V ALPHA 2001-2002
Honda Civic ALPHA 2001
Honda Accord ALPHA 2001-2002
Honda Civic, Accord, Accord Euro, CR-V, Jazz, MDX ALPHA 2001-2003
Honda Jazz ALPHA 2004
Honda Accord Euro, Civic Hybrid, CR-V, Civic, Jazz 2003-2004
Honda Accord Euro, CR-V, Civic, Jazz, City 2002-2009
Honda Jazz, CR-V 2005-2007
Honda MDX, Accord 2001-2007
Honda City, CR-V, Insight, Jazz, Jazz Hybrid 2006-2012
Honda City, CR-V, Insight, Jazz, Jazz Hybrid 2011-2014
Honda Civic, Legend, Jazz Hybrid 2006-2012
Honda Accord Euro, City, CR-V, Jazz, Insight 2007-2011
Honda Legend, Odyssey, Accord, MDX 2003-2011
Honda Civic, Accord 2006-2011
Honda Accord Euro, City, Jazz & Insight 2012
Honda Legend 2012
Honda Accord 2012
Honda Civic 2001
Honda Jazz, Jazz Hybrid, Insight and Accord Euro 2013

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Jaguar Land Rover
Make and model Year range
Jaguar XF (250) 2009-2015
Range Rover (L322) 2007-2012

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Jeep
Make and model Year range
Jeep Wrangler JK 2014-2016
Jeep Wrangler JK 2007-2012
Jeep Wrangler 2013

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Lexus
Make and model Year range
Lexus SC430 ALPHA 2000-2003
Lexus SC430, UZZ40 2003-2007
Lexus IS 250, IS 250C, 350, IS F 2005-2011
Lexus IS 250, IS 350, IS 250C, IS-F, LFA 2011-2012
Lexus IS250, IS250C, IS350 & IS-F 2013

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Mazda
Make and model Year range
Mazda B4000 2005-2006
Mazda2 (DE) 2010
Mazda2 2007-2015
Mazda RX-8 2008-2012
Mazda6, BT-50 2005-2011
Mazda6, RX-8 ALPHA 2002-2007
Mazda B2500 & B2600 2002-2011
Mazda6, CX-7 & CX-9 2006-2012
Mclaren65x65

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

MercedesBenz65x65
Make and model Year range
Mercedes-Benz GL class, ML class, SLK class 2006-2012
Mercedes-Benz R class (251) 2008-2013
Mercedes-Benz C class (204) 2008-2009

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

MercedesBenz65x65
Make and model Year range
Mercedes-Benz Vito, Viano and Valente 2006-2014

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Mitsubishi
Make and model Year range
Mitsubishi GA & GB i-MiEV 2010-2011
Mitsubishi Lancer 2003-2008
Mitsubishi Lancer 2003-2008
Mitsubishi ML & MN Triton 2007-2014
Mitsubishi Pajero NS, NT, NW, NX 2007-2016
Mitsubishi Pajero NS & NT 2006-2009
Mitsubishi Pajero NT & NW 2010-2012
Mitsubishi Pajero NW & NX 2013-2017
Make and model Year range
Ford Mustang 2006-2014

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Nissan
Make and model Year range
Nissan N16 Pulsar, Y61 Patrol 2001
Nissan N16 Pulsar, Y61 Patrol 2001
Nissan N16 Pulsar, Y61 Patrol, D22 Navara, T30 X-Trail ALPHA 2000-2004
Nissan N16 Pulsar, D22 Navara, Y61 Patrol, T30 X-Trail ALPHA 2001-2003
Nissan N16 Pulsar, D22 Navara, Y61 Patrol, T30 X-Trail, J31 Maxima 2003
Nissan N16 Pulsar, D22 Navara, Y61 Patrol, T30 X-Trail, J31 Maxima 2004-2007
Nissan D22 Navara, T30 X-Trail, J31 Maxima, Y61 Patrol 2007-2008
Nissan D22 Navara, Y61 Patrol 2009-2012
Nissan D40 Navara 2008-2014
Nissan D40 Navara 2006-2015
Nissan Tiida 2006-2012

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Make and model Year range
Silverado, Sierra 2007-2008
Cadillac Escalade 2007-2014

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Performax65x65
Make and model Year range
Silverado, Sierra, Mustang 2007-2008

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Saab

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Skoda

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Subaru
Make and model Year range
Subaru Impreza 2004-2007
Subaru Tribeca, Liberty, Outback 2004-2013
Subaru Forester, Impreza (including WRX and WRX STI) 2008-2014
Subaru Exiga 2010-2014
Subaru Liberty & Outback 2010-2014

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Tesla

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Toyota
Make and model Year range
Toyota Corolla, Avensis Verso ALPHA 2000-2004
Toyota Echo, Rav 4 ALPHA 2002-2003
Toyota Echo, Rav 4 2003-2005
Toyota Corolla, Avensis Verso, Yaris 2003-2007
Toyota Avensis Verso, Yaris 2007-2008
Toyota Corolla, Yaris, Avensis Verso 2006-2011
Toyota Corolla, Yaris & Rukus 2010-2012
Toyota Corolla, Yaris & Rukus 2013
Toyota Echo, Rav 4 2002-2003

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Make and model Year range
Ford Mustang 2006-2014

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Make and model Year range
Honda GL1800 Goldwing 2008-2010
Honda GL1800 Goldwing 2012
Honda GL1800 Goldwing 2013-2015

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Volks65x65

*Accurate as of 8 Aug 2018

Source: ACCC Takata airbag recalls list.

In an update issued by the ACCC on 2 August 2018, it was revealed that 1.8 million "potentially deadly" Takata airbags have yet to be replaced in Australia. 

Between August 2017 and 2018, around 930,000 Australian-registered vehicles had their airbags replaced.

"Don't ignore or delay responding to a letter or call from your car's manufacturer asking you to have your airbag replaced. The airbags degrade over time and can become lethal by misdeploying and firing metal shards at the car's occupants," said ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard.

"Our greatest concern remains around the alpha airbags, which can still be found in almost 20,000 cars. Make no mistake, these airbags can kill and our advice is for consumers to check our website to see if their car is affected by this recall. If your car contains an alpha airbag, it should not be driven."

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries have launched an online tool that allows you to enter your car's number plate and find out if your airbag needs to be replaced.

You can also keep track of Takata airbag replacement progress in Australia at the ACCC's dedicated website.

Also in this article:

Why are Takata airbags being recalled?

Takata, a Japanese safety-parts manufacturer, has had its defective airbags installed in more than a hundred million cars worldwide. These airbags use ammonium nitrate to inflate, but the chemical compound degrades when it's exposed to moisture. In a defective Takata airbag deployment, the ammonium nitrate burns aggressively, shattering its metal canister and shooting shards of metal at the people seated in the car.

Have these airbags led to injuries or fatalities?

There have been 24 reported deaths and 266 reported injuries globally linked to Takata airbags. The serious injuries so far include the loss of eyesight, facial injuries, lacerations to the face, neck and body, severed vocal cords, spinal damage and head injuries that include brain damage.

Australia is one of three countries where Takata airbags are known to have misfired, along with the United States and Malaysia. A 21-year-old woman was hospitalised in a serious condition for months in April of 2017, and in the following July, a 58-year-old man was tragically killed.

But the tally of victims is likely to be under-reported because first responders and investigators might not trace the injuries and fatalities back to the airbag in a serious crash.

Get the full story. Read more about our in-depth and ongoing investigation into Takata airbags.

How did this happen?

A US Department of Justice ruling in January 2017 said Takata "repeatedly and systematically falsified critical test data related to the safety of its products". This fudging of paperwork meant the airbags – which don't meet the standards set by manufacturers – were fitted in cars that were sold worldwide for more than a decade.

How will I hear if my car is recalled?

As of 1 July 2018 all manufacturers were required to have accurate, up-to-date information available on their own websites detailing which cars are affected and their recall status, including VIN lookup information.

Owners of affected cars, however, should contact the manufacturer as soon as possible as well as enter their number plate into the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' online tool.

Manufacturers have been contacting affected owners mostly by mail. Many of the manufacturers we spoke to say it's hardest tracking down older cars – which are also the cars that are most vulnerable. This is because they change owners when sold or end up in wrecking yards. If the car you own was purchased second-hand, check if it's recalled by visiting the Product Safety Australia website or by directly contacting the manufacturer.

It's best to be proactive, rather than wait for snail mail. Make the call and contact your manufacturer, and if you're getting a replacement, be sure to ask if it's another Takata airbag that'll need to be recalled again in the future.

Is the recall free or will it cost me?

The recall is free as the cost is covered by the manufacturer.

How many cars are affected?

Four million cars are now on the Takata airbags recall lists, making it the largest vehicle-related recall in Australian history. Out of these, 1.9 million cars have had their airbags replaced.

There's also a further estimated 25,000 cars still driving on the road with Takata 'alpha' inflators. These are early versions of the airbags that sustained defects when they were being manufactured, resulting in them misfiring in up to 50% of cases.

Can my car have a Takata airbag and not be recalled?

The recall has been made compulsory by the federal government, but prioritises the oldest and most vulnerable airbags, so cars younger than six-years-old may not be repaired until December 2020, which is when the recall is scheduled to be completed.

How often do the airbags rupture?

Tests were conducted by US safety body, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in September of 2016. Out of 245,000 airbags tested, 660 deployed defectively. This works out to one airbag failure for every 400 deployments.

The frequency of a defective deployment depends on a number of factors. Investigations concluded that the ammonium nitrate propellant deteriorates as it ages, and that this process happens quicker in climates that are hotter and more humid (characteristics not uncommon in many parts of Australia). Takata claims it can take 12.5 years for the airbags to turn dangerous, while the NHTSA estimates it takes six years in the worst of scenarios.

This differs for alpha model airbags, which can rupture in up to 50% of deployments.

What are alpha model inflators (airbags)? Should I stop driving my car if it has them fitted?

Alpha inflators are first-generation versions of Takata airbags that sustained a range of defects at the time they were manufactured. They are among the oldest, are most susceptible to degradation and have a significantly higher rate of rupturing upon deployment.

These airbags can rupture in up to 50% of deployments, compared to the 0.27% of ruptures that happen to the airbags manufactured to specification. 

An estimated 155,000 of these airbags have been recalled since 2009, but there are still approximately 20,000 cars driving with these airbags as of August 2018, in more than two dozen models offered by Honda, Toyota, Lexus, BMW, Mazda and Nissan.

These airbags were responsible for eight out of ten Takata related deaths in the US as of June 2017. 

Should I ask to have my Takata airbag disabled?

No. Airbags are a vital piece of safety equipment. The NHTSA estimates they saved 2400 lives in 2014 alone. For every 400 Takata airbag deployments, one ruptures. This means the airbag functions as designed in the other 399 cases.

However, these statistics relate to all Takata airbags excluding early model alpha inflators. Alpha inflators rupture in one of two airbag deployments, and if you drive one of the remaining 25,000 vehicles they are still installed in, it is advised you do not drive it at all and contact the manufacturer immediately to arrange a repair.

How long will I have to wait for a replacement airbag?

According to the ACCC, the replacements are delayed by a combination of factors including the availability of bags and having enough qualified repairers to refit them, as well as the enormous number of cars involved. The ones that represent the highest risk are being prioritised.

Nonetheless, car manufacturers have to follow a timetable or face possible fines of $1.1 million.

Alpha airbags remain the top priority. Carmakers have to replace them within five days of receiving a replacement airbag.

Airbags that are older than six years follow. The deadline to fix these airbags is not as clear, though carmakers will have to make sure they complete a percentage of them or face possible fines. 

Cars that are younger than six-years-old rank lower in priority. They will have to be repaired by December 2020, which is when Takata will wind down production for replacement airbags. 

Help us make products safer: sign our petition to demand stronger consumer protection law.

Could my airbag be replaced with a new version of the recalled airbag?

Defective Takata airbags have been replaced with identical defective Takata airbags in some cases. This is being used as a temporary fix, swapping older airbags that have likely degraded with fresh iterations, in a move that lowers the risk of a defective deployment. These airbags too will have to be recalled again.

Car manufacturers – including Toyota, Lexus, Subaru, Mazda, BMW and Honda – have confirmed they made like-for-like replacements in a fraction of cars. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles confirms airbags in Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep cars are being replaced with iterations from a different manufacturer. 

But most other car companies chose not to share this information with the public when we asked.

Will I get a refund or loan car under the compulsory recall?

Loan cars, taxi fares and even tows have been included under the compulsory recall, though it depends on particular circumstances.

You are entitled to a loan car or taxi fare if a dealership takes longer than 24-hours to replace a defective airbag. 

Meanwhile, the people who have a car fitted with an alpha airbag have the right to request their car be towed to the dealer. Alternatively, a dealer can instead send out a technician to replace the airbag on site.

When is the recall likely to be complete?

Takata says the recall will be complete by December 2020, but it is possible the recall could be extended.

More information

Read our full investigation into Takata.


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