Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles in North American due to defective Takata airbag inflators.
Takata, an automotive parts company based in Japan, began recalling faulty inflators in 2013 and filed bankruptcy in 2017, as the recall has impacted approximately 37 million vehicles worldwide. Toyota’s current Takata recall is a part of the nation-wide replacement of faulted inflators. Canadian automotive manufacturers, Ford and Honda, have already issued recalls for the affected airbags.
Defected Takata inflators are at risk of exploding and spraying remnants of sharp metal with heavy force onto drivers and passengers. The chemical ammonium nitrate is used to inflate the airbags; however, the chemical is known to deteriorate over time due to changes in the weather. Affected vehicles are more likely to be impacted with an explosion if the inflator is in an area with high heat and humidity.
Although Toyota Canada has not reported any injuries covered by this recall, and Transport Canada is not aware of any accidents involved, Takata airbags have been blamed for close to thirty deaths globally, including hundreds of injuries. According to Automotive News Canada, only 40 percent of Takata inflators have been replaced in Canada as of 2018, leaving roughly 5.8 million vehicles with inflators that still need replacement in the driver and/or front passenger units.
Under Toyota’s current recall, Vehicles recalled for defective driver-side airbag inflators include 2004-2005 Toyota RAV4. Vehicles with affected passenger side airbag inflators include:
Toyota dealerships will be reaching out to owners of affected vehicles in January 2019, and will either replace the inflator or the entire airbag at no cost.
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