4WD's & SUV's included on list of recalled vehicles due to deadly airbag fault
Following an ACCC safety investigation, Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, the Hon Michael Sukkar has issued a compulsory recall for all vehicles in Australia with defective Takata airbags.
The list of recalled vehicles includes many SUV’s and 4WD’s including Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda, BMW, Jeep and more.
Vehicle manufacturers have been voluntarily recalling and replacing the faulty airbags since 2013 and to date around 1.7 million vehicles have had their airbags replaced.
However, with still another 2.3 million vehicles at risk, the Minister has decided to issue a compulsory recall requiring all faulty airbags in Australian vehicles to be replaced by 31 December 2020.
Car manufacturers face fines of up to $1.1m per instance for failing to replace faulty airbags by the due date.
Some vehicles will be recalled immediately and others on a rolling basis, scheduled based on various factors including relative safety risk. This means that not all vehicles will be recalled straight away.
The vehicles age and its location in Australia are contributing factors to when individual vehicles will be recalled.
The Takata airbag design defect
So what exactly is the fault causing the recall?
According to the ACCC Product Safety website . . .
"Certain types of airbags made by Takata Corporation use a chemical called phase-stabilised ammonium nitrate (PSAN) as a propellant. The ACCC’s investigation concluded that Takata PSAN airbags without a desiccant (or drying agent) or with a calcium sulphate desiccant have a design defect. Due to the defect, as the airbag ages and is exposed to high temperatures and humidity, the PSAN propellant is exposed to moisture and degrades. If this happens, when the airbag is triggered and deploys (in a collision), it may deploy with too much explosive force, rupturing the airbag inflator housing so that sharp metal fragments shoot out and hit vehicle occupants, potentially injuring or killing them.
Globally, ruptures of defective Takata airbags have been associated with at least 23 deaths and 230 injuries. In Australia, one person has been killed and another seriously injured in separate incidents involving defective Takata airbags.
The defect is located in the airbag inflator and so it may not be necessary to replace the entire airbag system to eliminate the safety risk."
This video simulates the fault in the airbags
4X4 and SUV Vehicles Recalled
Included on the list of vehicles being recalled are numerous SUV’s and 4WD’s:
- BMW X5
- Dodge RAM
- Honda CR-V
- Honda MDX
- Jeep Wrangler
- Mazda BT-50
- Mazda B2500
- Mitsubishi Triton
- Mitsubishi Pajero
- Nissan Patrol
- Nissan Navara
- Nissan X-Trail
- Subaru Impreza
- Subaru Tribeca
- Subaru Liberty
- Subaru Outback
- Subaru Forester
- Subaru Exiga
- Toyota RAV 4
URGENT RECALL - ALPHA AIRBAGS
According to the ACCC Product Safety website, a subset of Takata airbags called ‘alpha’ are considered to pose the highest safety risk of all the recalled Takata airbags. Currently, around 89,000 alpha airbags have been replaced and there are still around 25,000 yet to be replaced.
Hon Michael Sukkar mentioned in a press conference this morning that as many as 50% of Alpha airbags are susceptible to failure on deployment.
Owners of vehicles fitted with Alpha airbags are advised to stop driving their vehicle immediately and contact the vehicle dealer to arrange immediate replacement.