New Zealand hasn’t escaped a worldwide recall of millions of vehicles fitted with suspect airbags made by Japanese company Takata, the world’s second biggest automotive safety parts maker.
Toyota NZ has already identified more than 5000 NZ-new Avensis (above), Corolla and Picnic models that had Takata front airbags fitted, and now Nissan, Honda and Mazda are working to find out which of their cars are on the recall list.
The Toyota recall concerns Avensis, Corolla and Picnic variants built between 2000 and 2005. Toyota is still trying to track the affected used imports. The Nissan list of suspects contains 2308 Pulsar, Navara, Patrol, X-Trail and Maxima models built between 2001 and 2003. Honda says the recall affects some NZ models and it is working with its Japan head office on numbers. Mazda is doing the same thing.
The Takata recall relates to the storage of the propellant in the inflator within the airbag device. It is believed that as an airbag is deployed, the propellant could ignite abnormally and explode with such force that the casing of the airbag device could fracture and cause injury.
In the US, Honda, Mazda and Nissan have issued a recall of 2.9 million cars and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Toyota, BMW, Chrysler and Ford will also be issuing recalls. Humidity is believed to be a factor affecting the airbags and the first recall was for millions of vehicles in America’s sweaty Deep South.
Australia has been hit particularly hard by the precautionary move. Honda is said to be recalling moe than 33,000 vehicles, including the 2003 Civic sedan, 2002-2003 Jazz hatch, 2002-2003 CR-V, 2003 Accord, and 2003 Accord Euro. These vehicles have also been sold new and as used imports in NZ.
Mazda Australia is recalling all Mazda6 sedans and wagons, plus the RX-8 coupe built between 2002 and 2004. Again, these are identical to NZ-new and used models. Nissan Australia will recall 25,941 vehicles made between 2001 and 2003. Its list contains the same models as the Nissan NZ list.
Shares in Takata Corporation have fallen nearly 30 per cent since the beginning of the year and the recall has forced CEO Shigehisa Takada to apologise to shareholders. US publication Automotive News is saying the recall could cost Takata up to $US500 million.