Urgent Safety Recall - Takata Airbags

Vehicles made by 19 different companies have been recalled due to their being an issue with the frontal airbags on either the driver’s or passenger’s side of the car, and in some vehicles, on both sides of the car.

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These airbags, which were designed and created by Takata, were installed in vehicles of all makes and models which were created from 2002 to 2015, including Subaru vehicles. The problem with these airbags, and the reason for their recall was the fact that they can deploy dangerously, exploding causing serious injuries and even death.

In affected Subaru vehicles, the Takata airbags are fitted on the vehicle’s passenger side, are the ones that are potentially defective. The cause of the problem is the airbag's inflator, which is a metal cartridge loaded with propellant wafer, which can, in some cases, ignite and explode with force. If this ruptures during a car accident, metal shards can fly through the car, causing serious injury or even death.

It has been determined that the cause of the problem is that the airbags use ammonium nitrate-based propellent without a chemical drying agent. Over time, moisture can impact the propellent, causing it to deploy with greater force than intended, turning a life-saving device, into a potentially deadly one.

Regardless of the severity of the accident, the airbag inflator of the vehicle could still be triggered, ripping apart and propelling sharp metal fragments at a high speed towards the passengers and driver. People have already been killed and seriously injured by this defect, which is why it is so important that anyone owning a possibly affected vehicle, acts immediately and has the airbag replaced. In Australia alone, there have been 33,548 cars affected. There was previously more than 120,000 cars of different makes recalled for the same issue in 2014 and 2015. The international recall of Takata airbags is the single largest recall in worldwide history of any product. Around the world, at least 53 million vehicles have been recalled, and the defective airbags have been linked to over 11 deaths and more than 180 injuries.


Which models are affected?

Due to the large number of vehicles affected, and the fact that the defects occur based on age, affected vehicles are being repaired in phases. Initially, Subaru recalled 33,548 Impreza models in Australia; these models were built and sold between 2004 and 2007 and include:

  • MY2004: 021344 to 045216.
  • MY2005: 024602 to 058988.
  • MY2006: 024801 to 057412.
  • MY2007: 034808 to 073605
Which models are affected?

This recall was then followed by Subaru recalling Liberty, Outback, and Tribeca vehicles, with a further 75,943 cars affected. This included the following models:

  • 2004-2009 Subaru Liberty
  • 2004-2009 Subaru Outback
  • 2007-2009 Subaru Tribeca

Following that recall, Subaru then went onto recall a further 34,563 Forester and Impreza vehicles. This includes these models and dates:

  • Forester (2009)
  • Impreza  (2008-2009)

Not all vehicles created in the years listed are involved, only certain models are affected by this recall. To determine if your vehicle is affected, using the VIN search tool is important. If you have a Subaru from these years, or the years below, and are yet to check if it is on the Takata Subaru recall list, take the time to check as soon as possible.

Due to the nature of the defect, older vehicles have been prioritised, followed by vehicles located in areas of high heat and humidity, due to the fact that Takata airbags degrade based on factors such as temperature, time and humidity.

At Subaru, our aim is to ensure that affected vehicle owners have access to all of the relevant information, regarding their vehicle and the potential that it may contain a defective airbag. The airbag recall is currently ongoing, with the Takata recall list constantly growing, which means that it will take time to replace the airbags in vehicles with defective ones, and ensure that these vehicles are safe again.

Because of the danger that these defective airbags can pose, ignoring the problem is not an option. It is important that if your vehicle has a defective airbag fitted, or may potentially have one, that it is dealt with as soon as possible.

It is rare for recalls of this magnitude to occur. These kinds of defects don't usually manage to be missed for such a long period of time, however with the Subaru airbag recall, this was the case. Seeing how serious this recall is, and how widespread it is, taking it seriously is crucial, so if you think that your vehicle might be affected, make sure to check it online.


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