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Have you checked if your car needs its airbag replaced?

Takata Alpha airbags are the subject of a compulsory product recall and must be replaced.

12 March 2021

The Takata airbag global recall could be one of the largest vehicle recalls ever undertaken worldwide, and it has affected New Zealand’s car fleet.

Minister of Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, has announced a compulsory recall of vehicles with Takata Alpha airbags.

Mandatory recalls issued under the Fair Trading Act are very rare in New Zealand. In this case the recall is because the Takata Alpha airbags contain a defect that may cause the inflator to fail in a crash and explode, sending fragments at vehicle occupants.

Failure of the airbag inflator can cause serious injury or death. There have been 23 reported deaths around the world as a result of this product failure.

You can check to see if your vehicle has been recalled. You can look for NZ-new models here or find a list of used-import models recalled in Japan here.

The New Zealand manufacturer brands are contacting vehicle owners by letter. If your contact details have changed recently, you can update your address with the NZTA.

So how can these cars be sold on Trade Me?

Motor Vehicle Traders

From 31 May 2018 it will no longer be legal to sell or supply affected vehicles if you are ‘in trade’ (i.e. vehicles with Takata Alpha type airbag inflators, as covered by the compulsory recall order).

This means motor vehicle dealers or ‘in trade’ entities can only sell or supply affected vehicles that have been repaired.

This means traders cannot list un-repaired vehicles on Trade Me.

The Consumer Guarantees Act requires that all goods sold must be safe, so it makes sense that this order has been applied to unsafe airbags for those in trade.

We suggest any dealers listing an affected vehicle on Trade Me that has had its airbag replaced to comply with recall, should disclose that this work has taken place in the listing description.

Members of the public

Members of the public may continue to sell affected vehicles beyond 31 May.

Trade Me strongly recommends that sellers disclose in the listing description if the vehicle has had replacement airbags installed or requires the airbags to be replaced.

Potential buyers should also ask in the listing’s Q and A about the vehicle’s status.