Toyota Recalls 3.4 Million Vehicles, Claiming Faulty Airbag Deployment

Laguna Hills, Calif. – January 21, 2020 – Toyota is recalling certain 2011-2019 Corolla, 2011-2013 Matrix, 2012-2018 Avalon and 2013-2018 Avalon Hybrid vehicles that may be installed with a faulty airbag installation.

The estimated total of affected vehicles is 3.4 million.

The Defect

Toyota is recalling 3.4 million vehicles worldwide (estimated 2.9 million affected U.S. vehicles) claiming that they were installed with an electronic defect causing the air bags not to deploy during a crash. The electronic control defect in the affected vehicles are not equipped with requisite protection against electrical noise during a vehicle crash – this can lead to an improper deployment of the airbag and impeded use and operation of seat-belt pretensioners. The electrical over-stress in certain Toyota vehicles is estimated to have caused one fatal crashes according to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

The faulty airbag control units were originally installed by TRW Automotive Holdings Corp and are estimated to be installed in 12.3 million Toyota, Fiat, Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Mitsubishi automobiles. NHTSA claims that eight deaths could be caused by the over-stress of the installed airbag control units. 

The Solution

Toyota has claimed that the solution to the issue would be to install a noise filter between the airbag control unit and the wire harness. If vehicle owners suspect that their specific vehicle is affected, they are advised to bring their vehicle into an authorized Toyota dealership for service or call Toyota customer service at 800-331-4331.

For more information on this and other recalls, visit www.motorsafety.org.

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MotorSafety.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to vehicle safety and assisting consumers with the identification and resolution of vehicle manufacturing recalls and defects. Through education, awareness, government relations, repair facility referrals and strategic partnerships, MotorSafety.org hopes to remove every unsafe vehicle from the road, facilitate its proper repair, and ensure its prompt return to the owner once the vehicle has met the required safety and performance standards. For more information about MotorSafety.org, please email support@motorsafety.org.

Marshall EarleyToyota Recalls 3.4 Million Vehicles, Claiming Faulty Airbag Deployment

Toyota Yanks Over 928,200 Cars Over Air Bag Inflator Failing

Laguna Hills, CA – Oct. 24, 2019 – Vehicles produced by numerous automakers have been affected by faulty air bags in recent years, and one of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers is the very latest to experience the fallout.

As a result, Toyota Motor Engineering is opting to recall more than 928,200 models of various types due to concerns that the air bags installed in these vehicles’ dashboards and steering wheels could explode upon deployment in a crash. Sharp metal fragments may be inside the air bag, thus causing injury or death to the driver or passenger should the bag tear and the debris fly out.

Recipients of mailers (due to be distributed Nov. 15) are strongly recommended to have their vehicles checked out by a Toyota dealership. The air bag assembly will be examined for any potential clues of compromise to see if a replacement is necessary.  In such cases, owners won’t be charged for the repair.

The Defect

Toyota has announced the recall of 928,203 models because the air bag inflators may be faulty, according to official filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A total of 17 different model types are included in this recall action, several of which are under Toyota’s luxury brand. Here’s a partial list:

  • 2007-2012 Lexus ES350
  • 2010-2017 Lexus GX460
  • 2006-2012 Lexus IS 250
  • 2010-2015 Lexus IS 250c
  • 2006-2012 Lexus IS 350
  • 2010-2016 Toyota 4Runner
  • 2003-2013 Toyota Corolla
  • 2009-2010 Toyota Corolla Matrix
  • 2004-2005 Toyota RAV4
  • 2002-2007 Toyota Sequoia

Officials note that the propellant used to inflate the air bags once triggered may degrade in high-humidity environments, which could lead to an explosion of the air bag itself. Sharp objects within the unit could cause serious injury or death should they strike the passenger or driver.

Timeline of Events

As previously noted, Toyota is one of several automakers impacted by air bag recalls, as millions of automobiles have returned to dealerships so their original bags can be swapped out for fully operating ones. In fact, all of the listed vehicles were a part of a separate air bag recall for the same problem. This is the second and final phase of the original recall. The errant air bags in question were developed by Takata, which filed for bankruptcy in 2017. According to Reuters, at least 24 people have been killed worldwide as a result of rupturing air bags. Of these deaths, 16 took place in the U.S.

Just because there are recall notices out on numerous makes and models doesn’t mean that they’re all attended to, despite owners’ receipt of notifications. In 2018, however, repair rates improved rather sharply among several models. These included the 2006 Ford Ranger (82% in October 2018 from 6% in January 2018), and multiple 2001-2003 Honda models, with an overall 96% repair rate by the end of 2018, according to NHTSA data.

Several of the automobiles subject to this latest air bag recall were also involved in a previous one that was announced in February. That one affected 1.2 million vehicles, among them 2010-2016 4Runner, 2011-2013 Corolla and 2011-2013 Corolla Matrix vehicles.

The Solution

Starting Nov. 15, Toyota will begin distributing notifications via first-class mail informing owners of this most recent air bag recall. Before this, however, each car will be inspected to determine the nature of the problem and the appropriate corrective action. For example, the driver and/or passenger air bags may be defective. Whatever the case may be, the inflator, air bag assembly or both will be swapped out. This repair is for free, and depending on the day, the fix should take approximately one hour to complete.

For more information on air bag recalls and those automakers impacted by them, please visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesToyota Yanks Over 928,200 Cars Over Air Bag Inflator Failing

Toyota recalls more Takata airbag inflators – 1.3 million vehicles involved

Plano, Texas, Jan. 9, 2019 – Toyota has announced a planned expansion of recalls affecting vehicles with Takata air bag inflators that may be defective, according to a recent press release from the automaker. This recall has already involved millions of cars and trucks worldwide, across a broad spectrum of manufacturers and brands. Due to the immense number of vehicles affected and the unequal risk of defects causing harm to drivers, the process has been carried out in stages, determined by vehicle age and geography.

This new round of affected vehicles includes both Toyota and Lexus models. The latest recall involves the following cars and trucks: 2010-2016 Toyota 4Runner, 2010-2013 Toyota Corolla, 2010-2013 Toyota Matrix, 2011-2014 Toyota Sienna, 2010-2015 Scion XB, 2010-2012 Lexus ES 350, 2010-2017 Lexus GX 460, 2010-2015 Lexus IS 250C, 2010-2015 Lexus IS 350C, 2010-2013 Lexus IS 250, 2010-2013 Lexus IS 350, 2010-2014 Lexus IS-F. These cars encompass 1.3 million units in the U.S.

The Defect

The problem with the Takata inflators is one of the most serious defects to be revealed in recent years. When the propellants used in the parts degrade in high heat, humidity and temperature cycling, activation may result in a rupture in the air bag inflator. Ruptured air bags can throw sharp metal fragments at the occupants of vehicles, injuring or even killing them.

The danger from these potentially deadly air bags increases over time, which is why the Takata recall began with earlier cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association has been coordinating the cycles of recalls. In total, the department is targeting 37 million vehicles. The most dangerous type of Takata air bag, designated “alpha,” is found in vehicles older than those recently recalled by Toyota – owners of those cars were notified during the beginning of the recall.

Timeline of Events

The waves of the Takata recall have been ongoing since 2015. Unlike other recalls that are determined based on laboratory testing or safety inspections, the air bag inflator fault was discovered after several deadly accidents involving the compromised parts. The recall began with the vehicles most likely to contain high-risk inflators, with waves of new announcements following every few months.

According to Toyota, owners of the mentioned in the latest stage of the recall will receive letters in late January alerting them to the need to receive service for their vehicles.

The Solution

As with other stages of the Takata recall, the solution for the current round of air bag repairs involves replacing either the inflator or the whole airbag assembly, depending on the model of car in question. The modification will be carried out by Toyota and Lexus dealerships and repair work will be offered at no charge to drivers.

The automaker noted that it has been working on outreach efforts to ensure as many motorists as possible realize they need to have their vehicles repaired. Through practices such as holding events and working with third-party organizations, Toyota and the other carmakers using Takata air bag inflators have been publicizing the recall for the past few years. The phone number for up-to-date service and recall information is 1-800-331-4331 for Toyota owners and 1-800-255-3987 for Lexus customers.

Sean ReyesToyota recalls more Takata airbag inflators – 1.3 million vehicles involved

Toyota Recalls Nearly 170,000 More Vehicles Due to Takata Airbag Issues

Laguna Hills, CA – December 31, 2018 – Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2002-2005 Lexus SC and Toyota Sequoia, 2003-2005 Toyota Corolla and Tundra, and 2003-2007 Pontiac Vibe vehicles due to airbag propellant degradation. The potential number of units affected is 169,481. This recall is connected to a larger recall driven by Takata, in advance of official DIRs from Takata but in accordance with preset plans.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, these vehicles are equipped with certain air bag inflators assembled as part of the passenger frontal air bag modules used as original equipment or replacement equipment. In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger frontal air bag, these inflators may explode due to propellant degradation. An inflator explosion may result in sharp metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.

Timeline of Events

On December 7, 2018, in consideration of a sufficient supply of final remedy inflators and upon discussion with the Agency, Toyota decided to conduct a campaign to replace the air bag inflator or the air bag assembly on certain Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Additionally, Toyota is also recalling certain Pontiac Vibe vehicles based on General Motors’ request, and in consideration of a sufficient supply of final remedy inflators by them.

Not all vehicles in the affected range were sold in the U.S. The subject vehicles are equipped with front passenger air bag inflators (Takata-designated SPI, PSPI or PSPI-L) which contain a non-desiccated phase stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant and that were replaced as a “like-for-like” inflator under a prior recall by Takata, although Takata’s official DIRs that affect the subject vehicles will not occur until late 2019. Toyota is accelerating the launch of the remedy for these vehicles in advance of the Takata decisions.

The Solution

Toyota will notify the Toyota and Lexus owners. General Motors will notify the Pontiac Vibe owners. Depending on the vehicle model, dealers will replace the front passenger air bag inflator with an alternate inflator or replace the air bag assembly that includes an alternate inflator, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 14, 2019.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371, Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987 or Pontiac customer service at 1-800-762-2737. Toyota’s numbers for these recalls are J0A (Zone A Toyota), J0B (Zone B Toyota), J0C (Zone C Toyota), JLI (Zone A Lexus), JLJ (Zone B Lexus), and JLK (Zone C Lexus).

This recall includes vehicles that have had their air bag previously replaced under an earlier air bag campaign. General Motors will notify NHTSA separately of its repair and notification schedule and its campaign number concerning the Pontiac Vibe, and will provide reimbursement to owners for repairs according to the plan submitted by GM on May 19, 2017.

Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-883.

Sean ReyesToyota Recalls Nearly 170,000 More Vehicles Due to Takata Airbag Issues