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Recall: 844,277 Toyotas, Pontiac Vibes for rupturing airbags

Expands on an April 2013 recall that affected four other automakers. Likely, BMW, Honda, Mazda and Nissan will issue separate recalls.

By Exhaust Notes Jun 13, 2014 7:11AM
Toyota is recalling 844,277 cars in the U.S. for faulty airbags that can rupture and explode shrapnel in the front passenger's face, according to a filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recall expands on an April 2013 recall of 170,000 Toyota models in the U.S. built between 2001 and 2003, including the Corolla, Matrix, Sequoia, Tundra, Lexus SC 430 and Pontiac Vibe. The extra models include the 2002-2004 Lexus SC 430 and Toyota Sequoia, plus 2003-2004 models of the Tundra, Corolla, Matrix and Vibe, which was a rebadged Matrix built by Toyota.

That initial recall covered 3.4 million cars from six automakers (and in May 2013, another 220,000 from BMW) because all of them used the same faulty airbag inflator from Takata, a Japanese supplier. During a crash, the airbags can deploy with too much pressure and cause the casing of the inflator to break apart. That can lead to metal and other parts spraying in a passenger's face.

On June 10, Toyota recalled 650,000 cars in Japan for the airbag problem after Takata said it had not tracked down all of the defective parts. Likely, the other automakers affected by the initial recall -- Nissan, Mazda, Honda and BMW -- will have to expand their airbag recalls worldwide and in the U.S. According to Reuters, Toyota said it would replace every passenger airbag inflator -- not just the ones that appeared to be faulty -- since Takata gave it an incomplete list of serial numbers.

More from the Reuters report:

Takata has acknowledged to U.S. safety regulators that it improperly stored chemicals and botched the manufacture of the explosive propellants used to inflate airbags.

The company has also said that it kept inadequate quality-control records which made it impossible to identify vehicles with potentially defective airbag inflators a decade or more after they were manufactured at factories in the United States and Mexico.

The Takata recall in 2013 was the largest airbag-related recall in history and came after a series of accidents and at least two deaths allegedly caused by faulty airbags.
Dealers will replace the inflators at a later date to be determined. Toyota said it would first notify owners in "consistently high humidity conditions." Toyota and Lexus owners can call 1-800-331-4331. Pontiac Vibe owners can call GM at 1-800-521-7300.

In October, Toyota recalled 803,000 cars from 2012-2013 for short circuits that could cause the airbags to inadvertently deploy or not at all.

[Source: NHTSA]
95Comments
Jun 13, 2014 9:56AM
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I laugh every time I see a negative comment about Japanese vehicles. I worked in the auto parts supply business back when Japanese cars were gaining in popularity. The quality of their cars was so superior to US made cars it was like night and day. This upped the game for the big three, forcing them to build better or lose out. If it wasn't for that competition, we would all still be driving the crap we saw from the big three back in the seventies and eighties, and it was crap. As American cars started improving, so did the Japanese, forcing even more improvements until we have reached today's quality on both sides of the pond.
Jun 13, 2014 9:22AM
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They are recalling cars made eleven or twelve yrs ago.....??? Way to go.....
Jun 13, 2014 9:41AM
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And nobody knew about it till now. RIGHT!
Jun 13, 2014 11:37AM
Jun 13, 2014 9:36AM
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Does the computer yell 'incoming' when the airbag blows up?
Jun 13, 2014 9:46AM
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I was in a car accident that caused the front end of my Tacoma to be totally smashed in and yet my airbag never deployed ...perhaps that was a good thing ...although I did bend my stearing wheel in half with my head  o.0
Jun 13, 2014 10:58AM
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Toyota, it's time to fire a couple dozen sharp pencil accounts who go for the lesser bid for services instead of considering why the bids are less than others.  It would seem that not much is saved when all of these vehicles need to be recalled, not to mention the injuries that have or may occur as a result of cheapness.
Jun 13, 2014 9:44AM
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World crisis averted- take all 3.4 million airbags and drop them on the Iraqis.
Jun 13, 2014 10:57AM
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If that airbag deploys and you are not wearing a  seatbelt it will probably be worse than a real car accident !!!!!
Jun 13, 2014 12:02PM
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Common theme today, is almost every car maker faces recalls due to safety defects. We live in a World produced car and their is no such thing as domestic cars or imports. Only in the name is a car maker still considered domestic or import. What you also see is a sharing of key parts across multiple brands which provides manufactures with cost control and lower stock. With so many models, you have to share parts or face a overwhelming warehouse full of parts. This does lead to larger recalls when those parts are defective. When you think about the number of parts in a vehicle and the number of part makers. Its understandable that failures of quality or safety will happen. The more troubling aspect of this is when a car maker ignores the issues and does nothing even when faced with evidence of a defect. 
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