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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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