THE TAKATA AIRBAG DEBACLE
The Takata Corporation was a spare parts company based in Japan who also produced airbags in four different continents. In 2013 a series of deaths led to a recall of 3.6 million cars and a further 42 million cars were recalled in the USA alone. This is the biggest recall in automotive history and has now affected a large number of cars in the Australian market.
In June 2014, Takata admitted their Mexican subsidiary had mishandled the manufacture of explosive propellants and improperly stored chemicals used in airbags. Auto manufacturers BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, and Toyota announced they were recalling over three million vehicles worldwide due to Takata Corporation-made airbags.
Some of the causes of the airbags to explode are to do with the age of the airbag as well as the climate the cars are located in. Cars older than 6 years are at greater risk and very humid climates also contribute to the deflators. The increase in temperature causes a chemical propellant inside the airbag to explode sending metal shrapnel into the cabin.
There are two types of recalls; active and future. Active means that the manufacturer has parts available and it is urgent that your car is attended to and should not be driven. A future recall means you are on notice that your car is going to need a new airbag and you will be contacted once parts are available.
For car dealers in Australia this means that no car under “active” recall is allowed to be sold. We must keep these cars in stock and not offer them for sale and just wait; sometimes months for availability
The manufacturer pays for replacement parts and in some instances they will need your car for the entire day as the dash needs to come out.
A list of all cars affected is here https://infogram.com/52d3494d-2a81-47d8-813c-be936339ebee