Is My Car Airbag Safe? Check Takata Airbag Recall  Status Now

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the country’s consumer law champion, recently recalled 20,000 vehicles in Australia alone because of their defective Takata airbags. Up to date, the ACCC airbag recall is the biggest recall in Australian history. All of the said vehicles were classified as critical, and car owners are advised to be really careful.

Being classified as critical means that the airbags of the said vehicles were identified as unsafe. It’s because a Takata airbag that gets deployed might explode, which can lead to serious injury or death. Even a minor collision can cause a Takata airbag to do so. The critical airbags need to be replaced right away for the safety of drivers and passengers. Meanwhile, the ACCC also mandated that vehicles under the critical category cannot be used unless their airbags are replaced.

Under this airbag recall, drivers have the right to have their vehicles towed to the car dealership, courtesy of the manufacturer, and have the airbag replaced without any additional fees. They can also use loan vehicles while the airbags of their original vehicles are being replaced.

The faulty airbags, which can release chunks of metal when deployed, were linked to 23 deaths globally, including one in Sydney, Australia.

Suppliers are mandated to replace all defective airbags by the end of 2020. Vehicles with the high-risk “alpha” airbags, which have a 50 percent chance of exploding during a collision, are at the top of the Takata airbag recall list.

According to the ACCC’s deputy chair Delia Rickard, the Takata airbag recall is a rolling recall. This means that more vehicles can be added to the list. She added that the car owners should pay attention to their car manufacturer’s messages. Once the car manufacturers say that the faulty airbags need to be replaced, then they need to be replaced right away.

Affected Vehicles

The following is the complete list of vehicle brands affected by the Takata recall:

  • Acura
  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Cadillac
  • Chevrolet
  • Chrysler
  • Citroen
  • Dodge
  • Ferrari
  • Ford
  • General Motors Chevrolet (GMC)
  • Holden
  • Honda
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Jeep
  • Lexus
  • Mazda
  • McLaren
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia/Pacific Pty Ltd
  • Mustang Australia
  • Nissan
  • Performax
  • Skoda
  • Subaru
  • Toyota

More details regarding the specific vehicle models under the said brands can be found at productsafety.gov.au. Among the brands included in the list, consumers should pay attention to the airbag recall from Holden because the vehicle manufacturer confirmed that 1,843 vehicles all over Australia is affected. Consumers should also pay attention to the Honda airbag recall and BMW airbag recall, because 6,043 vehicles and 7,909 vehicles in Australia are recalled from the said brands respectively.

The importance of VIN

A VIN or Vehicle Identification Number is a unique serial number with 17 characters. This is usually found on the vehicle itself, the documents that came with it, or the vehicle registration certificate issued by the vehicle registration authority in an owner’s area.

Knowing a vehicle’s identification is important because it is usually needed by websites to pull up important recall records and tell the consumer everything that needs to be known about a vehicle and its urgent or potential recall.

How to Check for Takata Airbag Recall

To do a Takata airbag check, the following things can be done:

1.    Going to the car manufacturer’s website

Many vehicle manufacturers currently have a recall database on their websites where consumers can easily search for information. The database lets consumers check the status of their vehicles by looking for their VINs and recall history. The recall history shows the dates of all recalls, and tell whether those recalls are classified as active or for the future.

2.    Checking the ACCC airbag recall list

Checking the airbag recall list is as easy as going to productsafety.gov.au. All of the vehicle models, including the year they were made, are found there. Other important information such as updates and how to check secondhand vehicles are also found there.

3.    Going to an airbag recall website

The most helpful website for checking whether a vehicle is safe to drive or not is ismyairbagsafe.com.au. The website was set up through the partnership of Australian car manufacturers and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. Since many sites require consumers to put a VIN to check whether their vehicles are affected by the Takata recall, ismyairbagsafe.com.au makes it easier for them by only requiring a valid license plate number.

4.    Contacting the vehicle manufacturer

Once a vehicle is under the Australian airbag recall list, the owner should contact the vehicle manufacturer as soon as possible. The manufacturers have been mandated to fix all vehicles under the airbag recall list, so the customers don’t have to worry about any additional expenses.

5.    Signing up for recall updates

Once a vehicle’s Takata airbag is recalled, it doesn’t mean that it cannot be recalled again. There is still a possibility for the vehicle to be recalled especially if the installation did not go well the first time. To cope with this, car owners are urged to sign up for updates for any possible recall in the future that will affect their vehicles. Consumers also should make sure that vehicle manufacturers have their complete contact information, should the customers fail to receive automated updates.

Important: Get a REVs report for more safety

Because of the the Takata recall, the Australian government has updated the REVs/PPSR to include information regarding the Takata airbags.

A REVs Check Report provides a comprehensive car history report. The report includes information that tell whether a car was stolen, under debt, or been written off. The updates now allow vehicle owners to do an airbag check, too. It tells consumers if the vehicle is affected by the Takata airbag recall Australia.

To get a REVs Check Report, a consumer has to enter the car’s VIN or rego number on the homepage of this website, click the submit button, and pay a nominal fee. After that, a  comprehensive report can be acquired within a few minutes.