A lot of 4WD owners are pretty cautious to take their 4WD’s back to the dealership, for fear that the dealership may take one look at their vehicle and say “Nah, this is full of mods that we won’t cover under warranty” or they think “I’ve modified my car, I’ve voided the warrantry anyway” and you may me right in a lot of cases, but in this case, that of the Takata Airbag recall, there’s practically nothing you can do to your car that will cause the manufacturer to void the warranty on your airbag (That is, unless you have replaced the airbag yourself pretty much)
You could easily be endangering your own life and the lives of your loved ones and friends if you have a faulty airbag in your vehicle.
What is the issue?
The Takata airbags that are in most passenger cars affected contain an explosive called Ammonium Nitrate, which, if you have grown up on a farm, or worked around explosives, you would know that it is an unstable form of explosive that degrades over time. It has not yet been made stable in any form for long term storage, essentially, you make it, you use it, and then you make some more. You don’t store it for later use, as it becomes volatile, can explode unpredictably, and sometimes, without cause.
But has anyone really been hurt?
According to ismyairbagsafe.com.au the Takata Airbags, at the time of this wiriting have been linked to 24 Deaths and 266 Injuries around the world, these include injuries like serious brain trauma, people losing their eyes, and paralysis.
This is really serious stuff, and we don’t really want to undertstate it.
How can I check if my car has been affected?
But what if I don’t replace it?
Well, asides from the obvious (listed above) threat of serious injury, as of 1 Nov. 2018 the QLD Government has stated that it will no longer allow Registration Renewals, and will be cancelling registation for any vehicles carrying affected, recalled Takata Airbags.
You can see the report here.
Replacing your airbag is free, there are no costs you need to pay.
What manufacturers are affected?
Heaps of them, anything from your bosses Ferrari to Nanna’s Honda, they’re all on the list, and you should be very concerned.
Here’s a quick list taken from the ABC.
But I have a 4WD, does it really matter?
Yes, yes it does.
Some of the accidents detailed in the 60 minutes video below happened at low speeds ranging from 5mph (8kmh) to 40kmh (24mph) which, if you have ever looked at your speedometer, are speeds that you can reach easily when out and offroad. Airbags can be triggered by things such as:
- Dropping off Rock Ledges
- Smashing Bogholes
- Stumps in Bogholes
- Going over the edge of a track
- Hitting a tree
But what is important to also note is that Ammonium Nitrate CAN BE TRIGGERED BY SHOCK, now, how many times offroad have you hiot a washout that was deeper than expected? A pothole that was harder than expected? Been on the beach and jumped a dune? Been offroad and fallen in a hole?
Even doing things such as punching the steering wheel could exert enough force on the ammonium nitrate airbag infaltor to cause it to detonate, and the issue only gets worse with age.
Yes we do, if you have about half an hour, watch this video from 60 Minutes Australia for more info: