Drivers urged to check their car airbags

Consumer Affairs Minister Hon Kris Faafoi is urging New Zealanders to check if their vehicle has Takata Alpha-type airbags which are being recalled.

The compulsory recall came into effect in April this year and data to the end of October shows there are still around 35,000 affected vehicles in New Zealand that are yet to be repaired, although almost 60 per cent have been repaired.

“We know many will be planning their summer trips now. In New Zealand we have higher crash rates than we have seen before so it’s more important than ever that all vehicles have safe airbags.

“Consumers can check whether their vehicle has been affected by visiting rightcar.govt.nz and keying in their registration number. RightCar tells consumers if their vehicle has an Alpha-type airbag that needs replacing and exactly what to do if that is the case.

“If a vehicle is affected, consumers will get their Alpha airbags replaced at no cost, no matter if the vehicle was purchased privately, through a dealer, new or second-hand.

“I urge anyone who has received a letter from their car’s distributor to act on it immediately and get their airbags replaced.

“Overseas there have been 23 known fatal cases of airbags exploding and sending fragments into the vehicle. While the risk of that happening in New Zealand is low due to less humidity in the air, which the airbags are more susceptible to, we need consumers to get on board to bring risk levels down, and keep our people safe.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the ongoing work of the motor vehicle industry who remain committed to ensuring all Alpha airbags are replaced by December 2019 and whilst I’m pleased with progress to date, we can’t afford to become complacent.”