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Takata airbags recall replacements and buying affected used vehicles


Current vehicles subject to the recall are identified by VIN numbers. We were contacted by Honda about our car after they located our address through using our VIN number with Qld Transport (in cases of Safety Recalls the Privacy Laws allow for such disclosure). If a car is no longer registered then the Transport Departments only have the last know registered owner but when a car is sent to the Wreckers they report those VIN numbers to their State’s Transport Dept, Insurance Companies also notify of vehicles that are deemed unrepairable. This data is then passed to the Fed Govt who maintain the “Personal Property Securities Register” (PPSR). This site is found at and if you pay the required fees you can search for as many VIN numbers you like.

The codes for written off vehicles contained in the Federal Govt database are as follows:

D - Dismantled - Legitimate removal of components for use as parts.
F - Fire - Damage caused by combustion.
H - Hail - Damage caused by hail stones.
I - Impact - Collision of some type with an object, for example another vehicle, tree or pole.
M - Malicious/Vandalism/Stripped - Intentional damage, for example broken door locks, glass window or windows, paint, scratched or stripped of all or a combination of interior and exterior body parts.
W - Water - Damage caused by water (fresh or salt) such as a storm, river or flood.

The one the wreckers use is D


Gee, they’re good over at Nissan. My brother had a recall notice last year to get his faulty Takata airbag replaced and when they did it they replaced it with the exact same model of faulty Takata airbag that was causing the problems in the first place, which sort of defeats the purpose of getting the thing replaced really. So yesterday he got a new notice from Nissan that they now have to replace the faulty replacement that they replaced his original faulty airbag with, but he’s also now on a waiting list and they won’t be able to fix it for him until early next year sometime. Too bad if the airbag gets deployed for any reason in the meantime and the faulty bit causes any damage to him. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they replace the replacement with another faulty Takata airbag. :confused:


I think this has already been covered, but the reason for this is that the sheer number of affected vehicles means that there is a global shortage of suitable replacement airbag units. As the Takatas’ fault develops over time with exposure to heat and humidity (ie the units were not yet dangerous when they left the factory), it makes sense to swap out an older, currently faulty, airbag, even if the only available replacement is a more recently manufactured version of the same model from existing stocks, as it will be safe for some time. Of course, that airbag will also need to be replaced after being exposed to humidity for some time, but the alternative would be not to replace the original airbag until a dessicant-equipped or other alternative replacement was available.

As it is impossible to have the required number of replacement airbags manufactured ‘overnight’, there may indeed be instances where a vehicle requires multiple replacements.


“Holden is initiating this recall for vehicles registered in QLD and NT. Affected vehicles in other States and the ACT will be subject to a future recall, and customers in those States and ACT will be notified in due course.”

Perhaps it would be easier to generate a list of vehicles that are actually fitted from the factory with safe Takata airbags?

Something like this perhaps:

List of Vehicles Fitted with Takata Airbags that are ‘SAFE’ from the Factory.

  1. none

… you’d have to wonder if people would be better off getting them removed and gaffa taping a pillow to their steering wheel …


As the deterioration of the relevant component is accelerated by exposure to high temperature and humidity, I can understand why Holden would want to prioritise replacements for vehicles in the north of Australia. They are more likely to become dangerous at an earlier date than those in vehicles in cooler climes, eg Tasmania.

I’ve edited my earlier post to try to make the root cause of the fault clearer.

I’ve also wondered whether it might not be possible to remove any dangerous airbag and leave it absent until a replacement becomes available. There is much discussion of this idea on multiple websites, but from what I can see, the consensus is that it is safer to leave the potentially dangerous Takata in place than to drive the vehicle without any airbag.


The US is ahead of us in managing recalls, but guess what.


This website allows one to check ones vehicle registration to see if it is part of the recall.


Our son’s near ten year old Subaru Impreza was finally done just a few months back. This is despite his attempts to get it sorted more than two years prior when the issue was full flame.

Not much to say that is positive about the whole experience. The car has lived in Coastal North Queensland until very recently. It would appear once you walk away from dealer servicing you go to the bottom of the pile.

On a look forward:

Will car makers and dealers now update their service requirements for all new vehicles?
Given no component in a car can be assured to last or function for ever,
and given many items if they fail in some way can affect safety with a potential to cause loss.
Eg, ABS, collision avoidance, limp home, DSG lock up etc

Will manufacturers move to add many more items to their list of items to replace at xxx km or yy years of service to limit their liability? It neatly sidesteps issues around hidden and age related defects or the need to provide testing and inspection assessments that will assure future safety and service.

Car manufacturers in hind sight only needed to put say a 5 year life on air bag inflators, less in adverse driving conditions ( eg. taking a car out of the garage would be a good one to note). No recalls needed!Give it another year and let’s see what changes?

There are already many components or items that have set requirements from brake fluid (which can due to moisture ingress lead to failures if not replaced) to timing belts (embarrassing, more so if you are in the fast lane on the motorway and the car suddenly decelerates).

The industry has much to gain by making it harder and more expensive to keep older cars on the road than perhaps the short term pain of sneaking increased service costs on us. Many will not see a problem? After all it will be the less fashion conscious, more frugal and less financially capable that are more likely to inherent the problem and costs of compliance?

Some of us will already be aware that for Western Europe and Japan as examples ten years is a practical limit for most light vehicles. While for Australia that is closer to the average age of our cars, with many twice that.


Indeed I never buy a car new due to the crazy depreciation in the first few years. I miss the reliability of my old Diesel Hilux (that I traded with 550000 on the clock still running fine on the original gearbox and motor)


Yes I own a early model 1990’s hilux and it is as the adverts say is quite unbreakable, but that is not the case anymore the current generation hilux’s CRDis are just as problematic as the other makes.


Yeah, that’s what I’ve heard too.

Sorry, Toyota et al. A gearbox that won’t do 500000kms without collapsing (let alone an engine) is a lemon. Unfortunately our current lemon (Mitsubishi Outlander) didn’t even last 200000kms (35k on my watch) before the gearbox needed a $4k7 replacement.


Still a long way to go!
And the ACCC is not pleased?

Of course if you own a vehicle with an alpha model airbag it should not be on the road? However this remains a voluntary decission by the owner!

Any other serious safety defect and the relevant state transport departments would be issuing defect notices to prevent the use of the vehicles?


Not for very much longer as some states are moving to cancel registration renewal on affected cars that their owners have not taken in for repairs. And once that starts in some states the rest will follow.


Is that fair when many owners are in this queue? It is not all on the owners. Maybe the manufacturers should give free loaner cars while they get their own acts together.

A South Australian man claims he was told he has a two-year wait ahead of him to replace a faulty Takata airbag in his Holden.

James Roberts, of Berri in South Australia’s Riverland region, said he was told the replacement airbags weren’t available yet when contacting his dealer for one for his Holden Cruze during the first recall of the airbags in 2017.

He’s since checked online using his Vehicle Identification Number but is yet to receive a phone call or letter adding he went to the dealership as recently as last week.


Holden has per the report link in my previous post made almost no progress. Only a few percent done to date. As a pecentage of cars still to do BMW and Subaru are also noteworthy poor performers.


How is this going to affect he replacement of The Takata Airbags in Australia ???

‘‘WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) - Takata Corp’s U.S. unit received court approval for its bankruptcy exit plan, a plaintiffs’ law firm said on Saturday, clearing the way for a $1.6 billion sale of Takata assets and providing compensation for those injured by the company’s deadly air bags.’’


Possibly no impact expect maybe the timeframes to have new airbags installed. If Takata ceases to trade, then manufacturers would need to source vehicle compatible airbags from other suppliers. This may require research and development, prototyping and manufacturing.

My understanding is the vehicle manufacturers still are responsible for the replacement as it is mandatory recall…it is the manufacturer customers will deal with and not Takata.

I expect that the manufacturers would then claim costs against Takata for the airbags they have replaced. If Takata is insolvent, then the manufacturers (or their insurers/reinsurers) will wear the ultimate cost of the recall.


The fact that many cars still had Takata airbags of suspect quality fitted after the initial discovery of the problems and even after proof of failure had been established, leaves me with little to no sympathy at all for the manufacturers and their extra costs. Why did we have cars up until 2018 still having defective bags fitted to brand new models? The only answer that I can assume to be the case is unfettered greed and a complete lack of real ethics. Costs to the makers then perhaps is just a small measure of natural justice being meted out.


This article partly explains what is happening in the bankruptcy. The recent article is essentially a progress point.


Another Takata airbag fatality in Australia.

The Honda CRV in the photo is a gen 3 model, the same as our younger daughter’s vehicle. We are certainly glad that we made sure the driver’s airbag was replaced when the first recall was made, followed by the passenger’s airbag as soon as the next recall was made