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Urgent airbag checks on Japanese imports

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/10/2016

New Zealand motorists could be driving around with faulty airbags after Japanese manufacturers responded to a global recall by disabling the safety feature.

All cars being imported from Japan will from Wednesday have to undergo invasive checks to determine airbags are fully functional, after manufacturers disabled both the airbags and the safety alert that notifies drivers the airbag is not working.

The move was in response to public demand following the global Takata airbag recall which increased airbag replacement wait times.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has introduced the new requirements , which will in most cases involve physically dismantling part of the car to see that the airbag is properly connected.

"While we have taken immediate action to investigate the extent of the issue and to ensure no further vehicles enter the country with disabled airbags, it's important that potentially affected vehicles already here are checked and that any disabled airbags are reconnected," NZTA national delivery manager Robyn Elston said.

As many as 300,000 vehicles in New Zealand and 100 million cars worldwide were affected by the Takata airbag recall.

It's only those imported since the recall that are expected to be affected by the disabled airbags, but it could include new and used vehicles.


- Honda

- Toyota/Lexus

- Nissan

- Mazda

- Subaru

- Isuzu

- GM

- Ford

- Mitsubishi

- Daihatsu

- Ferrari

- Chrysler/Jeep


- Mercedes-Benz

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