NZ car recalls set to widen

JOEL NGEAW
Last updated 16:31 25/06/2014

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More cars are expected to be recalled in New Zealand due to potentially dangerous faulty airbags, car makers say

Car manufacturers including Nissan and Mazda said more models were affected by Takata's exploding air bags than initially expected.

Managing director of Nissan New Zealand John Manley said it was still too early to say how many vehicles were affected,

"Based on new information received from Takata in June, Nissan is adding vehicles that were not included in the 2013 global recall campaign," Manley said.

Certain models of Nissan vehicles build between 2001 and 2003 were understood to be affected by the recall, Manley said.

Mazda New Zealand said a number of its popular Mazda6 and sporty RX-8 may be affected by the defective airbags which could send shrapnel flying from exploding inflators.

Kevin Priest, technical service engineer at Mazda said: "We've got no incidences to cause anyone any concern in New Zealand."

"At the moment, customers should just continue driving their cars," Priest said.

"The challenge for us is to obtain parts. That will be a global problem for all manufacturers."

This recall follows Toyota's June 11 announcement of an update to its 2013 global recall.

Toyota New Zealand general manager of customer services Spencer Morris said 5415 New Zealand new vehicles were affected.

"We want to reassure our customers that this recall is precautionary only, and there have been no reported instances of accidents or injuries related to this matter either in New Zealand or globally."

BMW New Zealand said a recall was launched last month to replace the front passenger airbags of their 3 Series models manufactured between 1998 and 2005, of which there were about 350 in the country.

Motors Industry Association chief executive David Crawford said owners of the affected brands should check the New Zealand Transport Agency website to see if their vehicle models were part of the recall.

Crawford said the dealers or distributors would cover the cost of any replacement parts for the affected models and they would contact customers directly with instructions on how to get the problem fixed.

Japan's Takata Corp manufactures airbags for BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota.

Around 10.5 million cars have been recalled since the botched airbag was discovered in 2009, making it among the biggest recalls in history, according to Reuters.

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