Toyota Adds 6 Million Vehicles Worldwide To Ever-Expanding Takata Airbag Recall
The ever-expanding Takata airbag inflator recall continued to grow Tuesday as Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, added 5.8 million vehicles to the mix. The action affects 1.47 million vehicles in Europe, 800,000 in China and 1.16 million vehicles in Japan. The remaining cars are in Central and South America, Africa, the Near and Middle East and Singapore.
The recall comes just days after Honda and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) added a 16th fatality to the growing number of deaths relating to the problem. The problem is caused by front driver, and passenger seat airbag inflators that deploy with too much force, shattering their housings and plastic parts into shrapnel that can scythe through the interior of a vehicle with deadly effect. The deaths have been primarily in the United States. However, there is a cluster of them in Malaysia.
The affected models include:
- Corolla compacts
- Yaris/Vitz subcompacts
- Hilux pickups
- Etios sedans and hatchbacks
Driver-side and passenger-side airbags installed between May 2000 and November 2001 and April 2006 to December 2014 are included in the massive recall. The Takata devices are part of what has become the largest auto safety recall in history. The recall comes as automakers over the globe ramp up following Takata’s admission that its airbags are defective. The airbag manufacturer signed a consent decree with NHTSA. The order covers the U.S. and other countries In the U.S.,Toyota has been one of nearly 20 automakers affected by the Takata airbag recall.
Both the automaker and its luxury Lexus division have called back millions of vehicles In the U.S., Toyotas and Lexuses Recalled. While there have been several rounds of older Toyota and Lexus vehicles recalled, models as new as 2016 have been recalled Takata Airbag Recall Expands To 2016 Toyotas as well.
Nearly 100 million Takata airbag inflators have been classified as defective worldwide following Takata’s admission in May. The airbags in question use ammonium nitrate, regarded as an unstable propellant unless used with a desiccant. On exposure to moisture, ammonium nitrate deteriorates over time. As it deteriorates, it becomes unstable, and its blast becomes more powerful, easily capable of shattering metal airbag housings. Authorities worldwide consider inflators without the drying agent suspect and have ordered them withdrawn. It is a complicated recall that began eight years ago and continues to expand. Exposure to hot and humid weather over a length of time can exacerbate the problems.
The latest recall includes about 20,000 vehicles that had been called back initially in 2010. The replacement parts used in these vehicles are believed to be at higher risk of exploding because they lack the stabilizing desiccant.
The latest recall comes as Takata seeks an investor to help take on the massive recall-related liabilities. It has been in meetings with potential sponsors and automakers to discuss its survival as it is being pushed to the edge.
Sources: Reuters, Automotive News