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Technical bulletins

1 Takata alpha airbag recall

The compulsory Takata alpha airbag inflator recall order 2018 becomes effective from 31 May 2018. From the effective date Takata alpha airbag inflators become a prohibited import as well as being prohibited for sale in trade.

The purpose of this technical bulletin is to outline the process to identify vehicles subject to the mandatory Takata Alpha type airbag recall and how to deal with them.

The process outlined below are the steps BIOs can take to assure they act with due diligence, best endeavours, and based upon the best information available.

Border Inspection Organisations

The Border Inspection Organisations, specifically Automotive Technologies Limited, ATJ, JEVIC, Independent Verification Systems (IVS), and NZ Biosecurity Services, as per the requirements of the Boarder Inspection VIRM, will provide data to the Transport Agency regarding open safety recalls on vehicles they inspect subject to the prerequisites below.

All reasonable efforts outlined in this process will be made to assure they provide the most accurate information. All responsibility for importing any vehicle remains with the importer.

The process

From 21 May 2018, Border Inspection Organisations must check if vehicles they inspect (that are fitted with airbags) are on the Takata airbag recall lists from the various source countries.

Recalled Takata Alpha airbag vehicles from Japan

In Japan, vehicles subject to this recall are listed under the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) definition ‘Vehicle of concern’. The Transport Agency is using this list to populate our website at This website is the Transport Agency definitive list of vehicles in Japan that require rectification due to the fitment of Takata Airbags that are under recall.

For vehicles from Japan a further search can be conducted on the MLIT web site at the following address to check whether the recall has been closed in Japan, if it has no action needs to be taken:

Recalled Takata Alpha airbag vehicles from other countries

Vehicles from countries other than Japan will have to be checked against official sites in those countries that are covering the Takata recalls. These include, but are not limited to:

It is important to understand that this is not a new requirement it is just enforcing the existing requirement that recalls are to be closed prior to a vehicle being imported into New Zealand.

If the vehicle is on one of the lists and conclusive evidence from the manufacturer or jurisdictional authority that the airbag recall has been completed is not available, the vehicles will be damage flagged with notes recorded stating ‘Open Airbag Recall’.

Vehicle makes to check

Other than for left-hand drive vehicles, you only need to check vehicles from the following manufacturers (as listed on the rightcar website):

  • BMW
  • Daihatsu
  • Honda
  • Isuzu
  • Lexus
  • Mazda
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan
  • Subaru
  • Toyota.

Vehicles from other manufacturers will not have Takata Alpha type airbags fitted, or be Japanese vehicles of concern, so are not subject to the recall.

For left-hand drive vehicles it is up to the importer to supply conclusive evidence that there is no recall for the vehicle and/or that the airbag has been replaced.

Conclusive evidence

To meet the burden of proof of conclusive evidence, it must be shown that the vehicle is not on any current recall lists generated by the manufacturer. Alternatively, where available a current list maintained by a jurisdictional authority can be used.

Also note, Japanese Shaken issued after 1 May 2018 is de facto evidence from a jurisdictional authority. The rationale for this is that 1 May 2018 is the deadline for all 'vehicles of concern' to have their mandatory recall cleared. Any Shaken issued after this date will require this recall to be closed.

Recall completion certificate

A Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) process document like the image below can be used to provide evidence of a Shaken test (Japanese WoF). A vehicle can only pass a Shaken test if it has had its Takata Aplha airbags replaced.

If a copy of this document is presented in for the vehicle in question and with a dealers stamp on it, it can be accepted as evidence that the vehicle in question can pass a Shaken test and therefore has had its airbags replaced. It can be accepted as proof that a vehicle has been rectified at a dealership level but might not yet have come off their website.

MLIT evidence

Example of recall completion certificate (without dealer stamp).

Other safety recalls

As the Transport Agency (or other delegated entity) makes information on additional recalls available, this process can be expanded to include those recalls for which information is available.

Page added 16 May 2018 (see amendment details)

Page updates: 31 May 2018, 8 June 2018; 26 September 2018