Cars with defective Takata ‘Alpha’ type airbag inflators to be refused registration in South Australia from 1 November 2018

8 September 2018

The South Australian Registrar of Motor Vehicles will refuse the registration of light vehicles fitted with defective Takata ‘Alpha’ type airbag inflators from 1 November 2018 until they are rectified to ensure the safety of all road users.

The South Australian Registrar of Motor Vehicles has determined vehicles fitted with defective Takata Alpha type airbag inflators pose an immediate safety risk and is taking action to remove these vehicles from the road network until rectified.

Alpha airbags are a subset of defective Takata airbag inflators that were fitted in certain models of Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mazda and Lexus cars sold in Australia from 2001-2004. These vehicles are under active recall for urgent repair and owners should have already received notification from the vehicle manufacturer as required by the compulsory recall notice administered by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

As at 31 July 2018, there are around 679 vehicles located in SA fitted with Alpha type airbags outstanding for repair, which are highly dangerous and should not be driven. They put you, your family and other road users at risk of serious injury or death if the airbag is triggered in a collision.

The replacement airbag inflator is free and for Alpha vehicles the vehicle manufacturer must offer to arrange for your vehicle to be towed away or to send out a qualified technician (or some similar arrangement) so the owner does not have to drive it to be rectified.

The ACCC will be collating data from vehicle manufacturers on the recall status of affected vehicles by Vehicle Identification Number and providing this to the South Australian Registrar. This will include data on Alpha vehicles that are outstanding for repair and where the vehicle owner has received multiple recall notification attempts by the vehicle manufacturer asking the consumer to contact them for repair.

Vehicle owners will be notified by the Registrar if their vehicle is identified as fitted with an Alpha airbag inflator, giving them a minimum of 30 days to provide evidence to Service SA that they have had their defective airbag replaced. The responsibility is on the registered vehicle owner to provide this evidence.

If no response is received after the specified timeframe, an alert will be placed against the vehicle’s record which will prevent the vehicle’s registration from being renewed until rectified.

Where necessary, the Registrar will issue a second notification to the vehicle owner with their renewal notice advising the owner that their vehicle cannot be renewed until sufficient evidence of rectification has been supplied.

Please note that this measure only affects approximately 679 vehicles identified as located in SA that are fitted with a defective Takata Alpha airbag. The other approximately 86,820 non-Alpha vehicles in South Australia are not affected by the refusal of registration at this time as they are being recalled and replaced on a staggered basis over the next two years.

For more information about defect Takata Alpha airbag inflators and South Australian vehicle registration visit


On 28 February 2018 the Australian Government announced a compulsory recall of vehicles fitted with defective Takata airbags. In the event of a collision these airbags can misdeploy causing death or serious injury.

Alpha airbags are identified as posing a significantly higher safety risk than the vehicles with non-Alpha Takata airbag inflators.

Alpha airbags were not produced according to manufacturing standards so are immediately unsafe compared to non-Alpha Takata airbag inflators which degrade over time before becoming unsafe. These other non-Alpha Takata airbag inflators are being recalled by vehicle manufacturers as soon as practicable on a staggered basis according to the safety risk factors, with replacement required by December 2020.

As at the end of June 2018, about 1.8 million airbags still need replacing in Australia. The recall timetable is based on risk factors, including age of the vehicle, and exposure to heat and humidity.

Vehicle owners should not ignore or delay responding to recall notifications. If you have received a recall notification please contact your vehicle manufacturer to book your free replacement.

As recalls of Takata airbags are being conducted by vehicle manufacturers over the next two years not all vehicles may not be listed under active recall. If your vehicle is listed for future recall we ask that you ensure your vehicle manufacturer has your most up to date contact details to ensure you are notified when it is your time for repair.

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