Consumers warned of new airbag safety risk

17 December 2019

The ACCC is warning Australian consumers about a new safety risk in using certain vehicles fitted with a different type of faulty Takata airbag. These airbags, which are fitted with a NADI 5-AT propellant, are not captured under the existing compulsory recall of Takata airbags. 

There is a serious safety risk that these NADI airbags may misdeploy in an accident, which may cause metal fragments to propel out of the airbag at high speed, causing serious injuries or death to vehicle occupants. There is also a risk that these airbags may under-inflate. 

Audi and BMW have already started voluntary recalls of affected vehicles, and the ACCC calls on other suppliers to take urgent action to address the safety risk to consumers.

About 78,000 vehicles manufactured by Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Toyota between 1996 and 2000 and fitted with the faulty airbags with NADI 5-AT inflators were supplied in Australia. While it is expected that many of these vehicles will no longer be in use, a substantial number of affected vehicles are likely to be still registered and still in use. 

Safety authorities in Australia have received reports of three incidents involving suspected misdeployments of these airbags in Australia. There has been a serious injury and a fatality in separate accidents involving BMW vehicles, and another serious injury resulting from an accident involving another vehicle.

Recognising the serious safety risk, BMW already commenced a voluntary recall of its affected vehicles, including offering hire cars and buying back vehicles, and recommending that consumers do not drive their vehicle. Audi also initiated a new voluntary recall of its affected vehicles yesterday.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, supported by the ACCC, has been in discussions with representatives of Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Toyota since November to finalise satisfactory terms of voluntary recalls by these suppliers.

The Department and the ACCC are continuing to negotiate with these suppliers to finalise all voluntary recalls as soon as possible.

Drivers of affected vehicles should be aware of the serious safety risk they face if they have an affected car and consider other transport options.

Check if your vehicle is affected by looking at the table below or via the Product Safety Australia website. 

Drivers who have previously checked www.ismyairbagsafe.com.au to see if their airbag is affected by the compulsory recall of the different type of Takata airbag, should also check the new link.

If you have an affected vehicle:

  • check if your vehicle is under recall: BMW and Audi vehicles are now subject to recall, and you should respond to the recall urgently
  • if your vehicle is not yet under recall, contact your vehicle manufacturer to arrange to check if your car is affected
  • consider borrowing a car from family or friends if possible, or using alternative transport options

In addition, Audi, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Toyota have all agreed to consider providing urgent short term assistance for consumers who are experiencing significant hardship over the Christmas period as a result of this safety warning. Consumers who wish to seek this hardship assistance should contact the vehicle manufacturer’s head office (contact details below). 

BMW owners can contact BMW to arrange for their vehicle to be towed for inspection.

Quotes attributable to ACCC Chair Rod Sims:

“Even though full details and appropriate remedies are still being worked out by the manufacturers we are issuing this warning now to urge people not to use their car if it is affected by this potentially deadly airbag.”

“We want everyone to have a happy and safe holiday period, and encourage people to consider alternative transport options if possible, rather than using vehicles fitted with these airbags.”

“We are continuing to support the department in its work to urgently negotiate recalls with vehicle suppliers to remove these vehicles from our roads and obtain an appropriate remedy for consumers.” 

“The fastest way to deal with these issues is via a voluntary recall. A compulsory recall is a lengthy process but it will be considered if manufacturers do not take appropriate steps.”

“If you have concerns, please contact your vehicle manufacturer.”

Background:

  • Ongoing cooperation between Australian and US authorities resulted in the identification of misdeployment incidents in Australia. The successor company to Takata, Joyson Safety Systems (JSS), confirmed the safety risk in certain inflators supplied globally.
  • An equipment defect report was submitted to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on 3 December 2019 and recalls of affected vehicles are expected in the US early in 2020.
  • Immediately following the BMW recall in November 2019, the Department contacted all car manufacturers to determine which other vehicles in Australia may be affected.
  • The Department is currently negotiating voluntary recall notices with six suppliers, with assistance from the ACCC.

Vehicles that may be affected:

Make

Model

Years

Contact details for consumers

Audi

A6 4B/C5

A8 4D/D2

A4 8D/B5

TT 8N/1

Cabriolet 8G/B4

MY1998-2000

MY1998-2000

MY1997-2000

MY1999-2000

MY1998-1999

Audi Takata Information Line –

Ph. 1800 856 770

BMW

E46 3 Series

MY1997-2000

BMW Takata Hotline –  Ph. 1800 243 675

Ford

Courier

MY1998-2000

Takata Recall Hotline – Ph. 1800 503 673

Honda

Legend

CR-V

Accord

MY1998-2000

MY1997-2000

MY1997-1999

Honda Australia Recall Call Centre –

Ph. 1800 952 272 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 6pm AEDT)

Mazda

Eunos 800

MY1996-1999

Mazda Customer Support –

Ph. 1800 034 411

customersupport@mazda.com.au

Mitsubishi

NL Pajero

CE Lancer

WA Express

CE Mirage

WA Starwagon

MY1997-2000

MY1997-2000

MY1997-2000

MY1997-2000

MY1997-2000

Takata Hotline – Ph. 1800 931 811

www.mitsubishi-motors.com.au/customer-assistance/contact-us

Suzuki

Grand Vitara

MY1998-2000

Customer Hotline – Ph. 1800 777 088

www.suzuki.com.au/airbag_investigation

Toyota

Starlet 3 door

Starlet 5 door

Paseo

Celica

RAV4 3 door

RAV4 5 door

MY1997-1999

MY1997-1999

MY1997-1999

MY1997-1999

MY1997-1999

MY1997-1999

Toyota Australia Campaign Helpline –

Ph. 1800 800 424 (Monday to Friday, 8am-7pm AEDT)

Correction: An earlier version of this media release included the Toyota Vitz/Echo 1999 in the list of affected vehicles, however this vehicle is not affected. 

An earlier version of this media release included the Honda Legend MY 1996-1997 in the table of affected vehicles, however these vehicles are not affected by this recall and the media release was amended on 20 January 2020 to reflect this. 

Release number: 
244/19
ACCC Infocentre: 

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Media enquiries: 
Media team - 1300 138 917

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