7 Dec 2014

Manufacturer investigates airbag fault

11:18 am on 7 December 2014

The manufacturer of faulty car airbags which have led to massive vehicle recalls, says it is working to try to fix the problem.

About 14 million cars with the airbags, which are made by the Japanese supplier Takata, have now been recalled worldwide.

At least 14 million cars worldwide may be affected by the faulty airbags (not pictured).

At least 14 million cars worldwide may be affected by the faulty airbags (not pictured). Photo: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Takata said it was working on what was causing the fault, and was increasing its capacity to produce replacement kits.

Five fatalities had so far been linked to the defective airbags, which sent shards of metal into the front passenger seat, the BBC reported.

In New Zealand, Toyota and Mazda have already announced thousands of recalls.

Other manufacturers, including Honda, Ford and Subaru, are still determining how many vehicles they need to get off the road.

Motor Industry Association chief executive David Crawford said people who were worried should contact the manufacturers.

"There are a number of things the owners of vehicles can do," he said.

"They can check the recall website of the distributors to find out if their model [is one of those affected], and if so they can contact their dealer or distributor to find out when they can get the part replaced."

The Transport Agency says it was providing manufacturers with contact details for owners of potentially affected vehicles.

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