Toyota Recalls Vehicles Due to Defective Airbag Part
On Wednesday, Toyota Motor Corporation announced a recall affecting approximately 2.3 million vehicles worldwide due to a potential airbag defect. According to the New York Times, this is the second time Toyota has recalled vehicles for this issue.
About the Takata Airbag Recall
The latest Toyota recall affects about 766,000 vehicles in the U.S. The passenger-side airbags may have a defective inflator that can crack, putting metal fragments into the component or cause thermal damage to the instrument panel. Because the airbag manufacturer, Takata, kept poor quality control records, it is unknown which airbags have the defect. Toyota has elected to replace all the airbags.
Takata has said it informed other automakers who also use their airbags about the potential defect. Whether or not to recall the vehicles is up to each automaker.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced it will open an investigation into Takata parts used by other automakers to determine if those vehicles should be recalled as well.
Description of the Recalled Toyota Vehicles
Wednesday’s recall affects the following vehicles:
- 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla
- 2003-2004 Toyota Matrix
- 2003-2004 Toyota Tundra
- 2002-2004 Toyota Sequoia
- 2002-2004 Lexus SC 430
Previous Takata Recalls
This is the second time a recall has been issued in connection to the Takata airbags. In April 2013, several automakers including Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mazda recalled a collective 3.3 million vehicles worldwide. In the U.S., Toyota estimated about 170,000 cars had been installed with the defective component but that all vehicles would need to be inspected.
Takata has had past troubles with the safety and quality of the parts it manufactures. In 1996, about 8.8 million vehicles from nine different automakers were recalled in the U.S. due to seat belt buckles that could jam or improperly latch. At least 90 injuries were associated with the faulty seat belt buckles.