With no new or replacement parts being offered, the recent Takata NADI 5-AT airbag recall could mean affected vehicles are deregistered…
Currently, there are no replacement parts for the NADI 5-AT airbag inflator which was used in a range of vehicle makes and models during the late 1990s. This inflator was used on driver’s side airbags and so can see some vehicles previously caught up in the earlier Takata airbag recall being recalled again.
But the difference here is that there are no replacement inflators for the NADI 5-AT inflator. And it’s being left to car makers to possibly foot the bill for replacement parts. BMW, for instance, has estimated it would take between 14-22 months to design, develop, test and certify replacement inflators. And that’s why all affected car makers have announced a buy-back.
But not all owners are happy about selling back their vehicles. Indeed, we know of some affected Pajero owners refusing the buy-back offer from Mitsubishi and having to sign a waiver to that effect. The question then is, what do these owners do with their vehicles?
Because with no replacement parts and an unwillingness to sell back their vehicles, it will then be left to the Government to determine whether these vehicles will be allowed to remain on Australian roads. Tip: they won’t. Some people online have suggested they’d rip out the airbags and keep driving but that’s illegal; tampering with a vehicle’s safety equipment renders it unroadworthy.
With the faulty airbag inflator posing a potential risk to life, the Government is like to be forced into derregistering affected vehicles.
Unsealed 4X4 spoke with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, a spokesperson telling us that it’s in a watch and wait pattern.
“The effectiveness of the voluntary recall will be monitored. It is too early to say whether other measures might be necessary to ensure that the risks posed by these airbags are appropriately addressed.
“If the voluntary recall is not effective, the ACCC may recommend other options, including a compulsory recall, to its Minister. If further options also include considering deregistration, the Australian Government will work with state and territory governments in order to ensure the safety of all road users”.
The NADI 5-AT inflator was included in vehicles (for the driver’s side airbag) in the late 1990s and carries a manufacturing flaw that allows moisture inside which can degrade the inflator causing it to fail. According to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, failure of the part can result in severe injury or death,
“If a vehicle with an affected airbag is involved in a collision, the airbag may misdeploy, causing sharp metal fragments to propel out of the airbag at high speed, resulting in serious injuries or death to vehicle occupants.”
BMW was the first to respond to the recall announcing a buy-back of affected vehicles. Others have followed, including Mitsubishi (find out more here), and Unsealed 4X4 is aware of owners who are in consultation with Mitsubishi dealers who, Unsealed 4X4 is advised, will take into account accessories fitted onto vehicles.
So, the question is this: With no replacement parts available and car makers offering to buy-back vehicles, are owners better off selling now than risking deregistration and getting nothing down the track?
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