Bay of Plenty drivers are being urged to check the type of airbag they have installed in their cars.

In April, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi announced that 50,000 vehicles with Alpha-type Takata airbags were subject to a compulsory recall.

BMW, Honda, Isuzu, Lexus, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru or Toyota with airbags fitted are affected.

Today, MP Angie Warren-Clark said that there were still at least 477 vehicles with Takata alpha airbags in Rotorua and 1269 in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty that were needing to be replaced.

Advertisement

"We know the cars most likely to have these at-risk airbags are older models. We need to get as many as possible of these airbags out of the cars out there in the community because these cars are transporting our kids, our whanau.

"I also want to ensure people know people can have their airbags replaced for free if it is an Alpha airbag. We know it can be annoying having to put your car in the shop for repairs, but these airbags pose a significant risk.

"Overseas there have been 23 known fatal cases of airbags exploding and sending fragments into the vehicle. While the risk of that happening in New Zealand is low due to less humidity in the air, which the airbags are more susceptible to, we need consumers to get on board to bring risk levels down, and keep our people safe."

A voluntary recall of vehicles with affected Takata airbags started in New Zealand in 2013, and about 29,000 of the Alpha-type airbags had been replaced. Alpha airbag inflators posed a significantly higher risk of misdeploying in an accident and sending fragments towards vehicle occupants.

You can find a tool on the Right Car website to see if your car is covered by the recall: https://rightcar.govt.nz/takataalpha