Note: The ninth paragraph of this media release was amended on 10 January 2020 to clarify details of Toyota’s buy-back and alternative transport offer.
Toyota, Mazda and Suzuki have today issued voluntary recalls of more than 18,000 vehicles manufactured between 1996 and 1999, including the popular Toyota Starlets, offering to buy back affected vehicles.
These vehicles are fitted with potentially deadly Takata NADI 5-AT airbags.
These airbags could injure or kill people in the car by misdeploying in an accident and propelling parts or metal fragments into the cabin of the vehicle at high speed,” ACCC Acting Chair Stephen Ridgeway said.
The airbags have also, in some instances, not fully inflated in a crash, thereby failing to protect drivers as expected.”
Owners of affected Toyota, Mazda and Suzuki vehicles are advised to stop driving their vehicles immediately and contact their manufacturer to arrange an urgent, free inspection.
Safety authorities in Australia have now received reports of four incidents involving suspected misdeployments of these airbags in Australia. These incidents resulted in a death and a serious injury in BMW vehicles, and a death and a serious injury in Toyota vehicles.
Drivers must take these warnings seriously. These airbags pose a serious safety risk that could lead to deaths or serious injuries. Please do not put lives at risk, and consider other transport options if your vehicle is affected,” Mr. Ridgeway said.
Consumers should check if their car is included in this recall by checking their vehicle’s VIN number in the table below or visiting the Product Safety Australia website. People who need help to check if their vehicle is affected, should ring the manufacturer’s hotline for help.
Toyota is offering to buy back vehicles or provide alternative transport options until the airbag is replaced. Toyota will arrange alternative transport options until the buy-back process or airbag replacement is completed.
Mazda and Suzuki are offering to buy back affected vehicles from their owners.
Today’s voluntary recalls by Toyota, Mazda and Suzuki follows voluntary recalls of nearly 17,000 vehicles by Audi, BMW and Ford since November 2019. The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, supported by the ACCC, is seeking to finalise voluntary recalls by Honda and Mitsubishi. It is expected that these recalls will be launched very soon.
Audi, BMW, and Ford have already commenced recalls and are urgently contacting customers. If you have an affected Audi, BMW or Ford vehicle and have not yet been contacted, call your manufacturer urgently to arrange an urgent, free inspection.
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 holiday period as a result of this safety issue. Consumers who wish to seek this hardship assistance can 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.
Further information for consumers is available at Recall of Takata NADI 5-AT airbags
These vehicles were fitted with Takata NADI (non-azide driver inflator) type 5-AT airbags, which were installed in about 78,000 Australian vehicles across eight manufacturers. A substantial number of these cars are likely to be still registered and on the road.
The NADI 5-AT airbags are different to the airbags recalled in a large number of newer cars from a broad range of manufacturers under the existing Takata airbag compulsory recall.
Drivers who have previously checked www.ismyairbagsafe.com.au to see if their airbag is affected by the compulsory recall those airbags, should also check the Product Safety Australia website.
The successor company to Takata, Joyson Safety Systems (JSS), has 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 of Infrastructure contacted all car manufacturers to determine which other vehicles in Australia may be affected.