Regional stats show scale of airbag issue in communities

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi says that while main centres make up more than 21,000 of 35,000 Takata alpha airbags still needing to be replaced, he’s concerned that some smaller communities have high numbers of vehicles needing attention.

“We know the cars most likely to have these at-risk airbags are older models – and we now know the communities where we are seeing high numbers of these.  I intend to get as many as possible of these airbags out of the cars out there in the community because these cars are transporting our kids, our families.

“I also want to ensure people know people can have their airbags replaced for free if it is an Alpha airbag – there is no cost to the consumer. I know it can be a nuisance travelling for a repair but I want to be clear – these airbags are a risk.

“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.”

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

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.”

See attached the full data on the Takata Alpha airbag recall by region and territorial authority. More information is available here.