Malfunctioning airbags: Kiwis try to find out if their car is one of the 300,000 recalled in New Zealand

A website is back up and running this morning after it crashed overnight when Kiwis tried to find out if their car is one of the hundreds of thousands of vehicles on New Zealand roads which is being recalled because of malfunctioning airbags.

Malfunctioning airbags: Website down as Kiwis try to find out if their car is one of the 300,000 recalled in New Zealand

Malfunctioning airbags: Website down as Kiwis try to find out if their car is one of the 300,000 recalled in New Zealand

The [website|https://www.recalls.govt.nz/|popup=true] went down after Fair Go aired an investigation last night which detailed the huge scale of the faulty-airbag problem in the country.

“We apologise for the website issues this evening," a message posted on the website read last night.

"We're currently working on fixing these and everything should be up and running by tomorrow morning at the latest."

It comes after an investigation by Fair Go reporter Garth Bray revealed that there have been reports of injury and even death after the airbags malfunctioned overseas.

Garth Bray tests the airbags. Source: Fair Go.

The airbags, manufactured by Japanese company Takata, either did not inflate fully in an accident or in other cases the inflator ruptured causing metal shrapnel to fire out into the faces of the people in the car.

There have been no reports of injury in New Zealand, however, Bray found that around 300,000 vehicles - or one-in-10 cars in this country - has an airbag inflator that has failed overseas.

There have been no reports of injury in New Zealand. Source: iStock Getty.

The NZ Transport Agency says faulty airbags have been found in vehicles in the Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Isuzu, GM, Ford, Toyota, Ferrari, Chrysler, Mitsubishi and Daihatsu ranges.

Fair Go reported that only 60,000 cars have been fixed to date and it could take years to complete all of the work.

Fair Go reported that only 60,000 cars have been fixed to date. Source: iStock Getty.

Speaking on behalf car manufacturers, Motor Industry Association head David Crawford told the programme that they can't guarantee the safety of the vehicles with the Taikata inflator.

"A very small number have exploded. People have been injured, some people have been killed reportedly from faulty airbag inflators going off during an accident," Mr Crawford said.

"We've never seen a recall of this scale" worldwide, he added.

"We've never seen a recall of this scale." Source: iStock Getty.

He told NZME there "have been less than 200 that have been faulty in 60 million vehicles, so it's a very low percentage".

"The best advice that we can give is that the cars are safe to continue to drive. But they're not totally free from risk.

"So the manufacturers have said because a few have been faulty and we can't tell which ones are faulty and which ones are not, then all of them get replaced.

"And because it affects so many vehicles, it's going to take a little while, logistically, to work through.''

Vehicle distributors say they will cover the cost of parts and labour to fix the airbags for all affected cars.

They were also working to contact owners. However, they may not have details for used imports, so car owners are being advised to check out the Recall [website|https://www.recalls.govt.nz/|popup=true] to see if there's is one of those being recalled.


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